A Work In Progress

Seven years ago I could never have pictured my life a certain way. 

None of us ever can.

But from very early on in my diagnosis I knew I needed to somehow paint another picture by accepting the tools I’d been given and embrace each one of them, one stroke at a time. 

These tools have helped me to understand that it’s okay if sometimes I colour outside the lines or splatter some paint on my shoes. 

I may still be a work in process but no matter what we are all a work of art.

Not everyone is ready to start painting a new picture right away.

It may take some time (maybe even years) before someone is truly able to put on a smock, pick up their paint brush and make that first stroke.

Some people need to ease into it at their own pace because they are too afraid to change their picture or ask for help in creating a new one.

The question is, how does a person truly know when they are ready? What makes someone ready? 

I’ve seen alot of people who struggle with this. They pick up their pencil thinking they are ready to start sketching their new picture. 

But then they place their half chewn and sharpened down to the nub pencil back in the drawer. 

They try again.

This time they start sketching an image but their picture gets smudged in the process so they desperately try to erase the smudges but the smudges just become more embedded deeper and darker into the paper the more they attempt to erase them.  

And before they know it they have just crumpled up their hundredth piece of paper to toss in the waste basket.

But then one day, maybe even after attempting to throw away that hundredth piece of crumpled up paper into the waste basket they realize that what they need the most is some actual guidance and direction or maybe even an entirely new perspective; one that is outside of their abstract view of what their picture should look like. 

It’s okay if you toss away a hundred pieces of crumpled up paper into the waste basket, using that stubby, chewed up pencil before you are able to create a new picture, one with more depth and composition. 

Because only you will know in your heart when the time comes that you are truly ready to pick up that paint brush, stand confidently in front of your easel and begin painting your new picture; this time using the most beautiful and vibrant colours. 

#acceptance #acceptinghelp #accountabilty #itsoktonotbeok #youmatter #yourmentalhealthmatters #youareenough #workinprogress #workofart #mentalhealth #paintedpictures #abstract

Zoomed in With Hadassah-WIZO

Thank you so much Rochelle for inviting me to speak to your Hadassah chapter tonight about my mental health journey. (Hadassah-WIZO is a “leading Jewish philanthropic organization dedicated to the causes of health, child welfare, education and youth aliyah in Israel”. Jewish women around the world liaise with other women in their community and volunteer for these worthy causes; myself included many years ago.)

I am truly so very appreciative for the opportunity and for the especially warm welcome by everyone. 

It was nearly a year ago now since we had to postpone my “in person” speaking engagement last May due to Covid-19. You did however at the time present me with an alternate option to speak to your group on Zoom instead. 

But to be perfectly honest I barely even knew what the heck Zoom was a year ago let alone how to navigate my way through it. 

The concept was so new to me (I had only just participated in my very first Zoom call ever during our Passover Sedar weeks before this which my kids had set up).

Presenting myself over Zoom felt very overwhelming and intimidating and so we decided that it was best to wait until they resumed their meetings again in the Fall when life would be back to “normal” and I could attend “in person”. 

Well as I look back now at our conversation last spring it seems we may have both been a bit too overconfident in our assumptions seeing as it is now one year later and life is still so far from “normal”.

But the good news is that I’ve had plenty of time to practice and learn many new skills since then which now includes navigating my way around Zoom.

It’s still a very far reach outside my comfort zone and I will certainly never claim to be an expert in the field any time soon but since this is as normal as life is gonna be for who the f*@k knows at this point I will take every opportunity I’m given to continue sharing my story with others, to keep educating people about depression and anxiety, to keep opening up important conversations about mental illness, to keep spreading awareness about suicide prevention and to help ensure that someone listening feel less alone. 

What is one new skill you have learned this past year?

#hadassahwizo #zoom #mentalhealth #mentalwellness #mentalillness #blogger #author #advocate #wheredidmommyssmilego #purpose #youareenough #youarenotalone #endthestigmatogether #startaconversation #itsoktonotbeok #yourmentalhealthmatters 


I finally finished this puzzle tonight. I’m pretty sure it was the most challenging puzzle I’ve ever done in my whole life.

My girls had so thoughtfully bought me this puzzle a couple of weeks ago knowing just how much I enjoy doing them and it’d been a while since I’d done one but then almost immediately upon opening up the box I became quite overwhelmed by it.

Normally I have no problem organizing the pieces of any size puzzle and then I excitedly like to get started right away but this time around I became easily frustrated right from the very beginning. 

Puzzles usually take me at most a few days to complete but suddenly this time around I also found myself adding additional anxiety to my day everytime I looked at it and began pressuring myself to get it done RIGHT NOW, or else.

I’m not really sure why I always put so much undue pressure on myself for just about every single “piece” of my life, it really is quite “puzzling” to say the very least but in any case I was determined to complete the darn thing no matter what it took or even how long it did because I knew how rewarding it would feel by doing so.

#puzzled #youareenough #gingerbreadhouses #candycanes #goals #perseverancepaysoff

Burn Baby Burn


Over the past week my mind and my heart have been in a constant tug of war with one another and the amount of sadness, anger, guilt and fear I’m feeling right now is unbearable. 

Late last night when I couldn’t sleep (as usual) and my mind was spinning out of control (as usual) I began writing down many of my negative thoughts (on an actual piece of paper) in order to release some of the pain in my heart and maybe bring a little bit of clarity to my mind. 

As more and more thoughts were emerging onto the piece of paper I began to see a lot of my past and present relationships emerging too, many of whom may have caused me a great amount of negative energy at one time or another in my life.

It was at that moment, while in complete darkness that I saw this as an opportunity to try something I’ve needed to do for a very long time now but haven’t been able to find the courage to. 

It’s been told to me many times over the last several years by health care professionals that it can be a very therapeutic tool to try and a great way to release any old emotional wounds or help to heal some of the heaviness from certain relationships that have caused me pain or betrayal and may very well be holding me back.

I began writing very personal, handwritten letters to several of these relationships, both past and present in order to let go of some of the emotional wounds that are taking up too much space in my mind and negative energy in my heart right now.

I wrote it all down, including the hard stuff, the unanswered questions and the things that I could never say aloud. It felt cathartic but at the same time it was a very emotional exercise right up until the moment that I took a deep deep breath and waited to exhale as I tore each piece of paper up one by one and then watched them burn.

**Go ahead, try it for yourself **

#nationalsuicidepreventionawarenessmonth #depressionkills #anxietyisreal #mentalillness #itsoktonotbeok #masksoff #endthestigmatogether #checkonyourlovedones #youarenotalone #youareenough #courage #suicide #suicideprevention #letterwriting #handwritten #burnbabyburn 

Beauty and the Beast

It’s no secret that I love all things Disney. Growing up I owned so much Disney apparel and accessories and I especially loved my gigantic Mickey Mouse phone that I spent hours and hours talking on (yes it would be an antique by today’s standard). I loved drawing Disney characters and I even hand made my own Monster’s Inc t-shirts as lootbags for Jacob’s 4th birthday party which was his latest obsession at the time. I made sure my kids fell in love with Disney movies and still to this day, I would choose a Disney theme park or Disney cruise over an all inclusive anyday (maybe in Paris next time though) and Disney was even a common theme at our wedding from our first dance to Aladdin’s hit song “A Whole New World” to the ceramic Mickey and Minnie Mouse bride and groom that donned the top of our wedding cake (which has since smashed to pieces and if I were in any way superstitious I’d be second guessing how we are less than 3 months away from celebrating our 25th anniversary).

Yes I have always had a bit of an obsession with all things Disney throughout my lifetime and although it’s a lot more subtle these days, it’s always something I try to incorporate into my life still, including the fact that the only collection of movies I still own in VHS tapes are Disney ones. I also love doing Disney themed puzzles whenever I can and my recent completion of Beauty and the Beast is one of my favorites because well, Beauty and the Beast is one of my all time favorite Disney movies.  

Disney has a magical way of teaching us so many valuable life lessons and I think the reason I love Beauty and the Beast so much is because of those valuable life lessons; lessons that are not only important to teach our children but most adults could benefit from a  refresher course in as well.
Beauty and the Beast teaches us about the power of love and kindness and the importance of inner beauty. Many of us often need to be reminded that beauty is not about having a pretty face but that true beauty, the kind of beauty that teaches us about the power of love and kindness, comes from inside.

What makes this movie stand out above most other Disney movies and one of the many reasons I love it so much is how it portrays women as strong and ambitious. It shows young girls that it’s okay to have dreams and desires and that it’s also more than okay to be different. 

This timeless classic allows each and every one of us to embrace our imperfections and reminds us (as cliche as it sounds) to never judge a book by its cover. I see so much of me in Belle; from feeling hopeless and judged and sad and alone to letting the world see her compassionate heart, to finding the ability to be true to herself and for of course finding her prince charming! I think I may have to a have a VHS and chill day this weekend! Who wants to bring the popcorn and VCR??? 

#doesanyonehaveavcrstill #disney #beautyiswithin #puzzles #ravensburger #beautyandthebeast #mickeymouse #mickeyandminnie  #aladdin #awholenewworld #monstersinc #princecharming #youareenough #empowerment #bekind #kindnessmatters #mentalwellness #mentalhealth #mentalillness #itsoktonotbeok #differentisgood 

Puzzle Time

Now that my concussion symptoms have subsided what better way to work on improving some of my cognitive skills that have been severely lacking over the last few weeks than with a brand new puzzle!

#itsbeenawhile #ilovepuzzles #cognitiveskills #itsoktonotbeok #ichooseme #youarenotalone #youareenough #mentalwellness #mentalhealth #fifteenhundredpieces #ravensburger

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