Que Sera Sera

As the new year quickly approaches I’m not gonna lie to you and say that I have very high hopes or any sort of expectations for the year ahead and if I’m to be completely honest here, I’ve felt like I’ve been walking on eggshells as the previous six new years approached too, so why set myself up for any further disappointment. 

Around this time every year since my illness began in 2014 I have received countless, well intentioned end of year messages of hope and healing from friends, loved ones and acquaintances alike, all of whom confidently assure me that this next year things will be better for me or promise me that this is going to be my year!! 

And I do sincerely appreciate each and every one of these messages (I really do!) because I know that they are all coming from a place of love and a kind heart but my track record thus far has been 0 in 6 and so when the end of each year nears and I reflect back on these words of hope and healing I can’t help but feel in a sense like I’ve let everyone around me down, AGAIN.

In all fairness though, this year has fucking sucked for all of us. It hasn’t been a very promising year for most of us and instead it was met with tremendous loss, uncertainty and immense tragedy for many more. 

2020 has taken a lot out of us all and who could have ever imagined what was to come as the clock struck midnight on January 1st and we kissed and hugged our loved ones and sent messages of hope and healing for a better year than last.

I do want more than anything for 2021 to be my year, I truly want it to be a better year for me (I mean who wouldn’t), and for EVERYONE else too, but 2020 has broke me and it wasn’t all Covid-19’s doing. 

By the time the Coronavirus was declared a world wide Pandemic in mid March I had already spent close to a month in bed with a concussion (starting January 2nd) during which time my mom then broke her hip, needed surgery and spent 6 weeks in hospital/rehab but the icing on the cake came when Rich lost his job.

Yup, all this happened before March ever even rolled around and it’s been one big shit show ever since including several new obstacles we’ve had to face recently, just as the year is finally coming to a close.

So maybe it’s best for now that we don’t make any special promises or declarations or speculations to one another; at least not yet. Lets see how 2021 looks upon first glance, at least give it a few days to settle in, let it get comfortable, ease it in slowly and take baby steps so we don’t frighten it. Maybe if we don’t make any sudden moves or let it see us coming with our overly confident promises, declarations or speculations, maybe if we just let it do its thing, then maybe we will all be pleasantly surprised!

Thank you all once again for your continued love and support through this past year and beyond. You will never know how much your words and actions truly touch my heart.

Wishing you all a Happy, Healthy and safe New Year and oh ya, please stay home too!

#happynewyear #goodriddance2020 #queserasera #whateverwillbewillbe #walkingoneggshells #youareenough #youarenotalone #wereallinthistogether #strongertogether #kindness #mentalhealth #checkonyourlovedones 

THC Hangover

On Friday evening after experiencing several heightened episodes of anxiety throughout the day, I found myself right smack in the middle of a full-on panic attack. 

I did my best to try and calm myself down using some breathing techniques but trying to distract myself from what was triggering me in that moment I could barely catch my breath long enough to take some CBD oil; something I don’t hesitate to do several times a day when needed as a therapeutic. 

As soon as the CBD oil started kicking in and my heartrate began to decrease to a more tolerable level I curled up under my weighted blanket, still fully dressed from the day but I didn’t care because all I wanted to do in that moment was close my eyes and go to sleep.

But whose kidding who? Like is sleep ever an option for me? Even if my panic attack had just taken every last ounce of strength I had left inside and crushed it with my blanket, I was still preparing myself for a sleepless night ahead.

And I knew if I lay in bed much longer I would most definitely end up having another anxiety attack of some sort, so I reached for my other bottle of CBD oil on my nightstand, the one with the THC in it. 

I regretted my decision almost immediately even though it took a while for it to kick in. It did not reduce my anxiety or relax me or even help me sleep, instead I spent the rest of the night fighting off my paranoia and hallucinations and by the time morning arrived I was still feeling the effects from the THC and spent the entire day in bed yesterday with a “hangover”.

They say it’s nearly impossible to OD on cannabis but if there is even a slight chance of that happening then I’m pretty sure I managed to do so. Cannabis is supposed to give you a feeling of euphoria but like every other prescribed medication or therapeutic treatment I’ve taken along my journey, including that of Medical Marijuana, “Shrooms”, Ketamine and Edibles I’ve experienced adverse effects from them all.

By morning my Psychosis had pretty much gone away but it left me barely able to finish a sentence or swallow. I had a headache, I felt exhausted, I was beyond nauseous and dizzy and whenever I tried to stand up I felt myself passing out on the floor moments later. But not to worry because I can always count on my family to look after me, and they did just that while between fits of laughter and snapping pictures and recording videos of me to ensure they captured all the highlights. 

I have tried and tried for years now to reap the benefits from using THC and other similar treatments but I think that after what happened to me this weekend I have tried for the very last time and I am just grateful that at least my regular doses of CBD oil still helps me in some small way.

#cbdoil #thc #cannabis #youareenough #youarenotalone #itsoktonotbeok #panicattacks #anxiety #depression #suicideprevention #mentalhealth #mentalwellness #mentalillness #selfcare  

NOONE KNOWS WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS – VALUABLE LESSONS LEARNED FROM 2020

It was one year ago today when I made my very first ever appearance on a National Television Morning Talk Show. It felt like a dream come true for me, but as soon as it was all over I collapsed from mental exhaustion. 

Leading up to that day I had been working my ass off nonstop for several months ensuring that my new children’s book got into as many hands as I possibly could imagine but when the show ended and I arrived home, I felt a sense of defeat and decided that I needed to take a step back from my whirlwind tour. 

I had intended it to be a short break, just until the new year which by now was only a few weeks away and just long enough to get my mojo back but what came next noone could have ever predicted because way before the Pandemic hit in mid March my life took several other unforeseen turns. 

New Year’s Day 2020 came quickly and as I had promised myself a few weeks earlier I began organizing my calendar for some new and exciting upcoming events on my “book tour” and I also began looking at what other avenues I wanted to explore in the coming months ahead as well. But no sooner was it than 24 hours later when I found myself in bed for the better part of January with a concussion caused by numerous fainting episodes on the early morning hours of January 2nd. 

I soon became further defeated and on a downward spiral as I lay in bed feeling dizzy, exhausted and headachy, cancelling events and trying to reschedule others, most of which never ended up taking place at all because, well we all know the answer to that. 

Many more unforeseen events and unfortunate mishaps continued to unfold in my life over the course of last winter and before I knew it I had not fulfilled one promise to myself from the previous December day when I decided I needed to take that short break.

But who knew what was waiting for us just around the corner right at the exact moment I was finally ready to get back to where I had left off all those months earlier, who could have possibly known? Noone could because noone truly knows what the future holds. 

But there we all were, together, facing so much uncertainty and unknown and nowadays we spend so much of our time fearful of the “not knowing” and as someone who lives her life with a major depressive disorder and severe anxiety I’m not quite sure if the not knowing what the future holds (depression) is worse than always trying to predict it (anxiety).

My illness has caused me to look to my past with many regrets and when I look to my future it feels very purposeless and uncertain. But I know I’m not alone in my feelings of an uncertain future especially after what we and the rest of the world have been living through for the last nine months or longer.

2020 has become the year that nobody could have ever predicted and has crippled so many people with fear and uncertainty of what their future’s hold and has also created a sense of powerlessness in so many more, even those amongst us who may have once enjoyed a lifestyle of risk taking or living unpredictable lives.

This year has sucked big time for all of us. If I hadn’t already before 2020 hit, I have for certain by now lost so much faith in the kind of hopeful future that lies in wait for me and I am pretty certain that I have felt defeated more times than I think is humanly possible this year alone but as the year quickly comes to a close I can’t help but take note of the many valuable life lessons we have (hopefully) all learned as well.

Some of my thoughts: 

Our relationships with family and friends must take precedence over all else 

We are never to busy to make time for the people and things that matter the most to us and we must stop using it as an excuse

Taking care of our health needs to be a top priority 

We CAN actually live without many of the “things” we once thought we “must” have in our lives in order to live a more fulfilling life 

Saving money for a “rainy day” is imperative 

It’s okay to take time to stop and smell the roses 

Our definition of who is an essential worker has changed. Honour and respect them all equally as they continue to tirelessly (and with very little pay for some) take great pride in and care for all of us each and every single day

We are all human beings and we all deserve to be treated as equals

Our mental health really, really matters

What else would you add to my list?

#ayearinreview #livinginuncertaintimes #nooneknowswhatthefutureholds #wheredidmommyssmilego #writer #blogger #author #advocate #lessonslearned #youareenough #itsoktonotbeok #mentalhealth

Am I A Cold Turkey?

Today is day four since I smoked my last cigarette and I know I am a long way off from calling myself an ex-smoker however I am already feeling many of its healthy benefits. The bronchial-like cough that has been pestering me every morning for years just disappeared without a trace and the nighttime whistling in my throat and wheezing in my lungs just vanished into thin air as well (smoking is just sooooo glamorous)!

Although the health benefits should make it all worthwhile I’m not gonna lie to you because this has been an exceptionally difficult four days for me mentally. There are many moments throughout the day that I crave a cigarette, there’s also the craziness of trying to navigate my day through my trigger points and lets not forget the physical side effects that can occur when a person quits any addiction cold turkey. 

I felt like I was ready to quit smoking as I mentioned in my previous blog (Wish Me Luck Because I Quit; January 14, 2020) but I’m still not sure that quitting cold turkey is ever the smartest way to tackle it. It’s something I should know better than to do since I am very familiar with the side effects of trying to go off any type of drug including antidepressants, nicotine, opiates or alcohol that your body has become both mentally and physically dependent upon. 

Quitting any of the above substances cold turkey can actually be very dangerous and although nicotine is probably one of the safest ones to stop abruptly I’m afraid that my already vulnerable state of mind will only lead to failure.  

I’m not regretting my decision to quit smoking but I am certainly regretting my decision to do so like a cold turkey being what my mental state is like to begin with. But I know that there will never be the perfect way to quit smoking or that there may never be the perfect day or the perfect month or even the perfect year to find the courage to quit either. And maybe I’ve just come to terms with my reality that I may never find the light at the end of the tunnel that I’ve so desperately been searching for that has made me hold onto that desire to keep smoking until now.

But perhaps I may have discovered something else over the last few days, possibly more powerful than any of the above revelations and that maybe my fainting episode/concussion happened for a reason, one that is outside the realm of science. I can see now that it was my mind’s way of telling my body that I still wasn’t quite ready for the new year to begin and that I still needed a few more steps back in order to help me move forward and that both my body and my mind were in desperate need of a damn good rest in order to clear the air from all the smoke that’s been standing in my way.

#coldturkey #iquit #selfcare #smokefree #cravings #itsoktonotbeok #youarenotalone #youareenough #courage #depression #anxiety #mentalillness #mentalhealth #mentalwellness 

Wish Me Luck Because I Quit!

It’s been nearly 2 weeks since my fainting episode left me achy, bruised and concussed. I am slowly healing from the toll it has taken on both my body and mind. The morning it happened I had stepped outside my front door to have a cigarette before getting ready for an appointment when I began to have a panic attack; seemingly from the overwhelm I’d been dealing with through the night which carried over into the morning. I quickly put out my cigarette before heading back inside because I suddenly felt like I was going to throw up, I got very lightheaded as my heart beat out of my chest and a cloud of darkness overcame me. 

Ever since that day I have enjoyed smoking less and less and have started to smoke less and less. I’ve wanted to quit (and have needed to quit) for well…years and years now but have always used it as a crutch like so many smokers do. My doctor never bothers me about quitting because she knows it helps me deal with my depression and anxiety and that is what I need to focus on more. 

But I am no longer feeling the same way when I light up lately and maybe it’s because every time I do I begin to recall that morning in my head and I get an anxious feeling or maybe it’s because I have been nauseous for almost 2 weeks straight now and it makes it difficult to enjoy a cigarette or maybe it’s because I am really beginning to feel the effects of what smoking has done to me for over 30 years or maybe it’s a combination of all three. 

I can still picture that very shy and seemingly innocent 12 year old little girl sneaking off with my friend to the park behind my home carrying with me a tiny purse to conceal a pack of Cameo Menthol cigarettes that I “borrowed” from the fridge where my mom stored her cartons. I lit my very first cigarette that day, I smoked my very first cigarette that day (not sure if I inhaled though!) and I enjoyed my very first of many (I don’t even want to imagine how many it actually is) cigarettes that day. And now some 36 years later I have hopefully lit my last cigarette today, smoked my last cigarette today and somewhat enjoyed my last cigarette forever today. 

I want so much to make today the day. I’ve quit smoking before during my child bearing years so I know I can do it again, but I also know how quickly I returned to it too. I won’t make any promises today that I can’t keep but I am certainly gonna give it a try (it’s been 4 hours and counting). 
If there is one thing I know for sure today it’s that my kids and Rich would be over the moon and thrilled if I quit smoking and just think how many more hills I could hike up without huffing and puffing during the #summerofrich.  Who knows, maybe that hit to the head did finally knock some sense into it afterall!!

#iquit #nomorecigarettes #dayone #willpower #whoamikidding #courage #itsoktonotbeok #youarenotalone #youareenough #ichooseme #panicattacks #anxiety #depression #concussion #mentalwellness #mentalhealth #youmatter 


The Aftermath Of A Concussed Mind


I made a promise to myself that I needed to take several steps back during the last few weeks of 2019 in order to help me figure out how I could step forward into 2020 but here I am just over a week into the new year and I have spent most of it in bed with a concussion. 
It’s certainly not how I ever imagined the new year unfolding but I guess I have learned to “expect the unexpected” and it has been a very challenging week to say the least. The bumps and bruises on my body are physically beginning to heal but in turn I am now left dealing with even more bumps and bruises on my mind. 

In my most recent blog “My Safe Place; Feeling The Weight Of My Blanket” (January 5, 2020) I talked about how I needed to rest in order to heal and that spending all day and night last Saturday curled up underneath my weighted blanket was very comforting for me. Lets face it we could all use a day like that every so often but right now my safe place feels almost too safe and scary.

Since the incident last Thursday morning when I fainted again and again and AGAIN I have not left my house other than to see my doctor and visit the emergency room and although I have been doing exactly what the doctor’s ordered by getting lots of rest, I now feel like I am severely paying the price for it mentally.

When many of us imagine a person battling with depression they immediately imagine a person curled up in bed sleeping all day and night. Well I can tell you firsthand that this is not true for everyone and is even further from the truth when it comes to me. 

To begin with, I barely sleep! I will admit though that most of my days do not begin at sunrise (I am up at the crack of dawn, just not physically out of bed) and for my own mental health and wellness I avoid making too many commitments or appointments in the morning hours unless they don’t allow for it. I also know that in order to start my day off I must take a shower first (another great untruth that a person with depression doesn’t do).

But this week all I have wanted to do is lay in bed curled up under my blanket; doing absolutely nothing (yet still unable to sleep). I am especially finding that my concussion symptoms like headaches, dizziness and severe nausea are at their worst in the morning hours for some unknown reason; or maybe there is a reason and I’m just not up on all the concussion lingo and the thought of even taking a shower most days is painfully overwhelming too. 

I know I am probably being too critical of myself as usual and I am feeling so much guilt as though I somehow caused this to happen. I am also feeling more worthlessness right now than ever as I am unable to complete even the simplest of tasks and want nothing more than to lie in bed day and night until I heal my body and mind.

I wish I was able to let go of the negative self-talk in my head in order to allow my body and mind to both heal properly but in the meantime my goal for today is to be able to try and make it out of my home in order to go to my appointment with my therapist because that would be some pretty big steps into 2020!

#babysteps #concussion  #itsoktonotbeok #youarenotalone #youareenough #mentalillness #mentalhealth #mentalwellness #selfcare #depression #anxiety #masksoff #blogger 

My Safe Place; Feeling The Weight Of My Blanket

So far I can’t really say that 2020 has started off exactly the way I had hoped for, but as you can probably guess by now, I wouldn’t have expected any less. I mean I have enough trouble feeling hope at the best of times and then add to it the unwritten rule that New Year’s is supposed to bring with it new beginnings may have actually been what threw both my body and mind into overdrive this week landing me with further bumps, bruises, aches, pains and a concussion to boot. 

I mentioned a few days ago that I’d needed to take several steps back over the last few weeks of December in order to figure out ways I can try to help myself move forward into 2020 as I am completely overwhelmed by so much in my life which in turn was probably just setting myself up for failure and further hopelessness (See Blog: What Is Your Proudest Accomplishment of 2019; January 1, 2020). Ironically I also wrote that in order for me to regain those baby steps forward I must first learn how to crawl again before I can learn to walk or run and on the second day of 2020 I found myself desperately learning how to crawl. 

It certainly wasn’t in the way for which I could have ever imagined it to be or what I meant when I said I needed to learn how to crawl before I can learn to walk or run, but it was ironically for my survival nonetheless.  I found myself in a very scary and traumatic situation the other morning (See Blog: A Big Bang; January 2, 2020) where I kept fainting and had lost complete control of both my body and mind and all I wanted to do was crawl my way back upstairs to my “safe place” before I fainted for a fourth time. I eventually did make my way safely upstairs and “crawled” back into my bed, threw my weighted blanket over top of me; thankful to be in my “safe place”.

Ever since I purchased my weighted blanket a year ago (See Blog: My Weighted Blanket; January 25, 2019) I’d have to say that it has become my “safe place” to be.  It brings me so much comfort and warmth (not in the “oh my God I’m gonna die from the heat” kind of way) but like the feeling you get from a warm and comforting hug. I can’t say that my blanket has brought me a better night’s sleep since I began using it but for some reason it helps me feel safe when it’s wrapped around me and the other morning after I was able to finally crawl my way back into bed it’s warmth and comfort allowed me to drift off to sleep for a full three hours straight which is nothing short of a miracle. 

The trauma for which both my body and mind had just gone through I really didn’t think I needed to be anywhere other than in my “safe place” comforted by the warmth of my weighted blanket even if my doctor who I saw later that day and the doctor I saw the next day in emerg both told me I probably should have called 911 right away so that I could have been better assessed in the moment; but I guess hindsight is 20/20. 

I have since taken the advice of the doctors who both told me that rest is my number one priority right now and so yesterday I spent the entire day and night curled up underneath my weighted blanket fighting off the aches and pains, the nausea, the dizziness and the feeling like someone is playing ping pong in my head. It was actually really, really warm and really, really comforting to spend time resting both my body and mind, something my illness never allows me to do and having a “safe place” to do so is such an added bonus. 

Please continue to follow my journey at: https://youareenough712.wordpress.com

#comfort #warmth #weightedblanket #concussion #safeplace #selfcare #selflove #mentalillness #mentalhealth #mentalwellness #itsoktonotbeok #youarenotalone #youareenough

A Big Bang

2020 has started off with a real big bang! I feel like every day something else seems to go awry and today was no exception. I got out of bed this morning and like most days I felt exhausted from another sleepless night of fighting off the symptoms of my illness. My lack of sleep last night came with some additional anxiety which may have possibly triggered a severe panic attack this morning and like most panic attacks do, it hit me out of nowhere.  My heartrate became severely elevated and I became flushed, dizzy and very very nauseous and before I knew it I had fainted; and fainted again; and then again. All I wanted to do was crawl my way back upstairs to bed before I fainted a fourth time which eventually I did and I never made it to an appointment I was supposed to be at in about 15 mins by this time.

Lucky for me my girls were both fast asleep in their beds undisturbed by what had just happened except upon waking they both thought the bangs they heard earlier in the morning were part of a dream they were having. But not to worry because Maggie came to my rescue!

I’ve fainted several times in my lifetime but usually it was due to a medication I was taking (one of the many reasons I can’t take antidepressants) or a bad flu and whether it may have been a panic attack that caused it or something else I was examined this afternoon and had some tests done as well just to be safe.

I’m pretty banged up, extremely emotional and in alot of pain tonight from the impact of my falls and there’s a chance I may have a concussion too but maybe the impact of hitting my head several times could of knocked some sense into it??

#thisisreallife #itsoktonotbeok #depression  #anxiety #panicattacks #fainting #mentalillness #mentalhealth #youareenough #neveradullmoment

Please continue to follow my journey at https://youareenough712.wordpress.com

%d bloggers like this: