Wife Appreciation Day

Today happens to be “Wife Appreciation Day”. 

To be honest I am feeling very triggered right now ever since I came across this revelation earlier this morning because in my mind I don’t see myself as a wife deserving of appreciation, I just see myself as a burden to everyone, especially my spouse. 

My memories on Facebook this weekend have been flooded with one of the most incredible nights of my life two years ago when I was invited as the Guest of Honour at a launch party for my new children’s book “Where Did Mommy’s Smile Go?”. I was surrounded by so much love and appreciation. 

One of the memories that came up today happens to be the speech that Rich gave that night. I’ve read it probably ten times already this morning as I try to battle with the demons in my head who keep telling me that I’m not worthy of the love and commitment and appreciation others have for me, especially my spouse. 

I wanted to reshare those words with you today that were so eloquently spoken from the heart by Rich, to me, his wife in hopes that the demons in my head get the message!

P.S. For all of you reading this who have an imperfectly perfect wife, make sure you remind them today, tomorrow and forever how thankful you are to have them in your life; I may not always believe it but I am certainly one of the lucky ones because Rich never stops trying.

#wifeappreciationday #burdened #mentalhealth #mentalillness #mentalwellness #fromtheheart #suicideprevention #facebookmemories #triggers #childrensbook #appreciation #commitment #love #spouses

September 17, 2019

Good Evening

As most of you know I am by no means the writer in our home and my press secretary has been busy working on her own speech all week, so here goes nothing!!

I first met Kim when she was just 18 years young and she began working at the video store I was managing in Thornhill. She caught my eye right away but unfortunately there were MANY challenges standing in our way. Besides the fact that she had a boyfriend at the time and I was busy fending off some lovestruck sociopath, I was now her boss as well, but those didn’t even come close to the biggest challenge we were facing. Ya see, I was close to 9 years older than her (8 years, 7 months and 16 days to be exact). And now that I have 2 daughters of my own who are in and around that same age I can TOTALLY see that challenge from a very different perspective!

But with a combination of male ego, unyielding determination, mixed in with a spoonful of testosterone sometimes you just have to say Screw It and ignore what the haters may think or say and just go for it! By now Kim was just shy of her 20th birthday and had this been in some medievel time she would have likely been considered an old maid already so I saw this as my golden opportunity. But I am still waiting for that dowry!

We recently celebrated 24 years of marriage this past spring and have 3 beautiful kids to show for it, one of whom is busy drinking his way through Europe with some friends as I speak. And like in every marriage or as every parent can attest to there will always be challenging times along the journey which for us surfaced 5 and a half years ago when Kim first took ill.

I have known Kim now for 30 years and have watched her grow and change in so many ways but one thing that has never changed in all the years I have known her is that she has the kindest heart, and she has so much determination and so much will. I know that Kim no longer sees these incredible attributes within herself because of what depression has taken from her but lucky for her there are so many people in her life who love her enough to ensure that she can see what an incredible person she truly is.

I am so proud of you Kim. Jacob, Hannah and Rachel are so damn proud of you too. You may not see what we all see in you but I will keep reminding you of it every single day for the rest of our lives. You may not see that what you do for so many people by writing your blog and opening up to the world about what it truly feels like to battle with major (and treatment resistant) depression and SEVERE anxiety and panic every single day. You may not see how your vulnerability and honesty has helped so many others feel less alone and you may still not be able to call yourself an author and believe it to be true but you are an author, I mean City TV interviewed you for the six o’clock news last night if that isn’t proof enough!

But you know why you are an author…because you had a vision, because you have such a creative soul, because you are so kindhearted and because you have such an unyielding determination and innate will to help others. You have accomplished more than so many others because of all that. You have made your dream come true even through the darkest days of your life. You have found your purpose.

Look around the room tonight Kim and see all the love surrounding you, they aren’t just here for the free food and drinks! They are here to celebrate you!

Jacob Hannah Rachel and we can’t forget Maggie (our dog) and I love you to the moon and back! And now without further ado…let me introduce to you, my beautiful wife and best friend.. children’s author Kim Fluxgold!

More Than Skin Deep

Thank you Hannah for giving me the most meaningful and symbolic gift tonight and for making it feel truly extra special by sharing in this moment with me.

As most of you know, the words “You Are Enough” have become my personal mantra throughout most of my journey. It’s a positive affirmation that motivates and inspires myself and others to be who you are; on purpose and with purpose. It’s a gentle reminder to us all that “You Are Enough” just as you are, even when a broken wing may make it difficult to fly sometimes.  

Many people only see a tattoo as being skin deep but for me the significance of our tattoo (and my first tattoo I got 4 years ago ūüėČ goes much much deeper.¬†

The words “You Are Enough” are now permanently etched in our skin (and are expressed through my own handwriting) and will always and forever be a valuable and visible persuasion for both Hannah and myself as well as anyone else seeing it who may need a soft-spoken and kindhearted reminder somedays that “You Are Enough” because you are already you! 

#youareenough #morethanskindeep #selfexpression #tattoos #motherdaughter #mentalwellness #mentalhealth #endthestigmatogether #youarenotalone @piranhatattoo

Anti-Semitism Should Never Be Tolerated

Yesterday I posted a picture of the 500 stairs I was about to climb up along the Bruce Trail (Canada’s oldest and longest footpath; 890 km to be exact) and part of the Niagara Escarpment. I didn’t realize when I took the picture and posted it that the graffiti on the signage next to the steps was Anti-Semitic as I was too busy at the moment trying to figure out how I was about to get to the top of the steps without collapsing or having a panic attack from the height. My beautiful cousin Susan first noticed it a short time after I posted it and let me know. Thank you‚̧!

First thing this morning Rich emailed the picture to a couple of organizations within the Jewish community informing them of the hate speech and within an hour of receiving his email, the Hamilton Jewish Federation (which is where this trail is) got back to Rich to let him know that the local police were already contacted and will be taking the necessary action immediately. (Read email attached)

There should absolutely never be any excuse or tolerance for hate or racism of any kind; never ever!

#antisemitismshouldneverbetolerated #hamiltonjewishfederation #ontariothebeautiful #brucetrail #canada #bestcountryintheworld #notolerance

Pink Shirt Day

Today is “Pink Shirt Day” which is celebrated every year in support of anti bullying. This year’s focus is to “lift each other up” so whether you’re heading off to school or to the gym or to work today let’s all show our solidarity by wearing pink and that we lift each other up. We must take kindness to new heights today, tomorrow and every day and we must celebrate what unites us; not what divides us.

And in case you missed it please check out my blog “Zero Tolerance – Bullying Is Never Okay”; Oct 16, 2019 at: https://wp.me/p965a2-bm.

#antibullying #advocacy #pinkshirtday #campaign #lifteachotherup #showmesomepink #kindness #kindnessmatters #youareenough #bekind #wheredidmommyssmilego #amazondotca


Less than 48 hours ago I had never heard of the unofficial holiday called “Galentine’s Day”; that was until my daughter announced at dinner the other night that she would be celebrating it with some of her best girlfriends later that week.¬†

I suddenly became intrigued by this fictitious holiday after then hearing it mentioned several more times over the next day or so (weird eh?, but it’s no secret that Facebook and Instagram listen to our conversations). It turns out that this so called holiday has been around for 10 years and first gained its popularity after an episode of the TV sitcom Parks and Recreation aired it.¬†

This made up holiday is now celebrated on February 13th, which is of course the day before Valentine’s Day and focuses purely on celebrating friendship among women. For many individuals who are not in committed and loving relationships this can be one of the hardest weeks of the year when the air is filled with nothing but romance so maybe Galentine’s Day is the perfect distraction.¬†

I think that whether this holiday was made up or not, Parks and Rec writers were on to something when they created Galentine’s Day because friendship is definitely worth celebrating, in fact it needs to be celebrated and it’s most definitely a holiday with a lot less pressure than most and certainly a lot more inclusivity than Valentine’s Day!

Friendship is a precious gift and should not be taken for granted. Friendship should be cherished and surrounded by laughter and adventure and shenanigans. Friendship means being able to show your vulnerability without fear of being judged and friendship is about being loyal and helping to make the lows in life a little easier and the highs a lot more fun.

So I now declare that Galentine’s Day become an official National Holiday in conjunction with or as an extension of Valentine’s Day as friendship needs to be honoured because in the end it’s not the romance that makes a marriage last for 50 + years, it’s the friendship.¬† What does friendship mean to you?

Happy Galentine’s Day to all my beautiful friends who always make the lows a little easier and the highs a lot more fun! ‚̧

And happy Valentine’s Day to my bestest friend of all ‚̧ who’s friendship I cherish above all. I love you to the moon and back Rich, forever and a day!

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

Go ahead, tag your Galentines!

#galentinesday #valentinesday #empowerment #friendship #love #myheart #youareenough #loyal #cherish #romance #adventure #holiday #friends #youarenotalone #mentalwellness #mentalhealth #selflove

A Crafty Kinda Day

I hope you can tell from the picture (it’s a glass frame so you may have to zoom in to get the full effect) that the central focus inside the frame is a semicolon with positive affirmations encompassing it. The semicolon has been a huge part of my story for several years now and I have shown my support to the Project Semicolon Movement for close to 4 years now. For those of you who don’t know, Project Semicolon is a “nonprofit organization¬†known for its advocacy of mental health wellness and its focus as an anti-suicide¬†initiative. Founded in 2013, the movement’s aim is presenting hope and love to those who are struggling with¬†depression,suicide,¬†addiction, and¬†self-injury.¬†They are known for encouraging people to¬†tattoo¬†the punctuation mark¬†semicolon¬†(;) as a form of¬†solidarity¬†between people dealing with¬†mental illness¬†or the death of someone from suicide”,¬†which is what I did in July 2016 (see photo).

I’ve been struggling a lot over the past week and I figured I could use some inspiration today so I made it a “crafty” kind of day. It’s ok to not be ok, it’s ok to talk about the hard days and it’s more than ok to tell someone you’re struggling because we all deserve to feel hope, we all deserve to feel worthy and we all deserve to feel like our story isn’t over yet;¬†

My tattoo on my left shoulder

You see, a semicolon is not just any ole punctuation mark that an author would use to end a sentence, it instead indicates a brief pause, and for me that brief pause is a symbol of my life and the need to catch my breath in order to continue the rest of my story. We are all authors to our own stories and it’s ok if you need to take a pause between sentences.¬†

#selfcare #itsoktonotbeok #youarenotalone #youareenough #semicolon #projectsemicolon #youareenough #breathe #pause #keepgoing #youmatter #crafts #yourstoryisntoveryet #tattoo #chai #depression #anxiety #mentalillness #mentalhealth #mentalwellness #advocate #blogger #author #wheredidmommyssmilego #amazondotca 

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 

2020 Vision

With the New Year only a few days away it’s a constant reminder of how it has become one of the most difficult days of the year for me as there is this unwritten expectation that is placed on the day to reflect on our past year in order to make the coming year all about bright, fresh starts filled with an abundance of new opportunities. New Year’s is now a reminder for me as to how my depression keeps me saddened to my past and how my anxiety keeps me terrified to live in my future. Today I began my descent into 2020 by writing down some of my thoughts and reflections from this past year without placing too much pressure on myself. I made two columns: the first one was ‘What do I want to leave behind in 2019?” and the second one was “what do I want to take with me into 2020?” Here are just a few:

  1. I want to leave my past grievances behind which have taken up too much space in my head, I want to leave behind the guilt that keeps me ruminating daily and I want to leave behind so much of the anger I hold inside which stems from my illness.
  2. I want to find a way to let in more moments of happiness in 2020 and to allow myself to feel those moments of happiness. I want to pave a pathway to better health and wellness for not only me but for my family too so we can begin to heal together.

What would you like to leave behind in 2020 and what you would also like to bring with you into 2020? Love to hear your thoughts!

#newyear #twentytwenty #itsoktonotbeok #youarenotalone #startaconversation #youareenough #noshame #endthestigmatogether #bekindtoyourself #ichooseme

My Tribe

The two most important things that I have learned along my journey would probably have to be from the day I decided 3 years ago to share my story and in doing so I have found out who my tribe truly is. 

I began to write about my journey in private and slowly I began to whisper it softly in close quarters but when I actually started to shout it from the rooftop my tribe gathered and now it’s overflowing with so much kindness and compassion. 

Over the last five and a half years I’ve been rejected by some, I’ve been judged by others and I’ve been the topic of many hurtful conversations behind my back but I no longer hold those people in my heart. I have learned to let it go because I know that I have such an amazing tribe rooting for me now and even though you may not always understand what I am feeling you still just want to be a part of my life and learn together, you still just want to hold my hand or give me a hug (even if it’s virtual) and you still just want to listen to me or just stand beside me with no strings attached because that’s what a tribe does for one another. And just knowing how much my own story has helped so many others to gather their own tribe too means that none of us have to walk through this journey alone. 

#mentalillness #depression #anxiety #myfamily #mytribe #mentalhealth #mentalwellness #youareenough #youarenotalone #endthestigmatogether #startaconversation #itsoktonotbeok

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