Happy 26th Anniversary To My Beshert

Twenty six years ago today we stood before our family and friends and made a lifelong promise to one another. It was a promise to become partners and to love each other unconditionally, for better or for worse, in sickness and in health.

It was a promise of friendship, a promise of commitment, a promise of forgiveness, a promise of kindness, a promise of laughter, a promise of honesty, a promise of trust and a promise of patience.

We may have weathered many storms since then and we may have tested many of those promises too but still, twenty six years later there is no one else in the world I would rather weather any storm with than with you.

Thank you for keeping your promise to me; especially during the storms.

I love you to the moon and back, forever and a day!

#happyanniversary #twentysix #iloveyoutothemoonandback #foreverandaday #youareenough #strongertogether #familymatters #weddingvows #weddingbells #promises #vows #weatherthestorms #mrandmrs #insicknessandinhealth #summerofrich

Love & Light

As we bask in the glow of the final Chanukah candles of 2020 tonight let the illumination of light rekindle a sparkle of hope in each and every one of us.

And as we watch the wicks quickly burn away on the year that was, let it bring with it a new and brighter light to guide us toward the year ahead.

#eightcrazynights #lightsomeonesdarkness #festivaloflights #loveandlight #youareenough

Yom Kippur is about…

Today is considered to be the holiest and most important day of the year in the Jewish faith. It’s a day where many Jews fast and while doing so are encouraged to atone for any wrongdoings and ask others for forgiveness in order to repair the wrongdoings from the past year. 

But whether or not today you are observing this holiest of holidays or maybe it’s just another “Manic Monday” to you, take some time today to reflect not just on the wrongdoings you may have caused others but to reflect on the wrongdoings you have also done to yourself too because Yom Kippur is also about introspection and looking inside of your own mental and emotional state as well. Too often the person we find we need to atone to or ask forgiveness from the most is staring right at us in the mirror. 

#forgiveness #manicmonday #motivationalmonday #yomkippur #meaningfulfast #selfcare #mentalwellness #selflove #mentalhealth #introspection #reflection #atonement 

Man Plans, And God Laughs

The other day I posted a blog titled “Socially Distanced Holiday Traditions” where I talked about how difficult the holidays have become for me over the last many years and how this year many of those social pressures, obligations and expectations that so often make it difficult for me to enjoy the holidays in the first place had been decided for me due to Covid-19. 

Sadly, it almost felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders and I could actually take in the beauty of some of our holiday traditions this year without all the added anxiety from too many social pressures, obligations and expectations. 

I felt way more in control and much less guilty than in holidays past and I was also looking forward to spending some (socially distanced) quality time with other family too, even if it meant having to freeze our asses off in the crisp Fall-like weather in order to do so.

But none of that ended up happening because just hours after posting my blog the other morning, Jacob came home from work feeling sick for the second time in just over a week (after being perfectly fine only hours earlier). This time though he had many more flu-like symptoms than the last time. He complained of body aches, chills, a dry cough and he felt warm to the touch so off he went again for yet another Covid test and then we waited, and waited some more in anticipation of his results while he lay locked away (again), alone in his room in the basement for what felt like an eternity (I’m pretty sure though it felt even longer for Jacob).

It was hard to think positively (or to think of much else) knowing what the outcome could be and knowing just how shitty he felt (I lay awake that entire first night convincing myself that I too had Covid! #anxietysucks). It was the longest 48 hours ever but thankfully once again his results came back negative. 

The whole situation made me think of the Yiddish adage “Man Plans, and God Laughs” and just how much life is truly so unpredictable and how quickly unexpected changes can occur in your life; big or small (which is basically the journey I’ve been on for 6 years now!).

I had the best intentions and the best laid plans for the first time in many years when it came to a holiday celebration and as I mentioned above I was actually looking forward to a much less overwhelming Rosh Hashanah this year. In the end it may of still turned out to be another very overwhelming holiday while we waited for Jacob’s results but at least we got to enjoy some quiet family time together (with Jacob on Facetime) and lots of delicious festive food (I think Jacob is secretly starting to enjoy being waited on hand and foot 🙂 even if the first chance he got to be released from what’s beginning to feel like a dungeon he bolted for the nearest exit up the stairs and to the kitchen!).

#shanatova #roshhashanah #happynewyear #youareenough #manplansandgodlaughs #goawaycovid #familymatters #itsgonnabealongwinter #wearyourmask #washyourhands #togetherapart #secondwave #socialdistancing

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

Late Night Radio

I just finished pre recording a segment for tonight’s radio show The Late Shift with Jason Agnew on 1010 talk radio. It’s been a while since I have done an interview or given a talk as so many recent and upcoming events I had scheduled were cancelled.

I know there are so many people who are suffering right now with Depression and Anxiety and that many turn to the comfort of late night talk radio. If I can help just one person listening tonight feel less afraid or less alone it will warm my heart.

If you can’t sleep tonight tune in around 3am. It’s broadcast throughout Canada.

Please continue to follow my journey at https://youareenough712.wordpress.com and do not hesitate to reach out to me if you ever need someone to listen. Xoxo

#iheartradio #itsoktonotbeok #youarenotalone #youareenough #covid19 #mentalwellness #mentalhealth #youmatter #bellmedia #wheredidmommyssmilego #amazondotca #bellletstalk #wecanallmakeadifference #checkonyourlovedones #togetherapart #stayhome #flattenthecurve

Put Your Heart On The Line

It’s Monday today which is probably the most dreaded day of the entire week but maybe we are too quick to overlook all of it’s good qualities too. Mondays may be blue or manic or even hated by many but Mondays also signify a day filled with endless possibilites, new beginnings, new adventures and a day for bringing hope.
But today may not feel like a “normal” Monday for many of us.

It may no longer be in competition for the most dreaded day of the week anymore because right now every day feels like Monday and right now Mondays don’t feel much like a day filled with endless possibilities, new beginnings, new adventures or a day for bringing hope either and for many more of us this coming week may feel just like a typical dreaded Monday morning.

The week ahead for millions and millions of us should be filled with family, traditions, religious rituals, food (and lots of it), maybe a day or two off from school and work and for some of us it may even have included a visit from a furry life size bunny rabbit. 

But instead of being all of that and more we are left with a feeling of emptiness, sadness, anger and frustration knowing that we will not be able to celebrate those traditions and religious rituals with family or friends this year and if you were to ask most kids and adults today where they wish they were right now I bet they’d tell you in school or at work and ya those visits from the Easter bunny and the traditional Easter Egg Hunts will be missed my many young ones around the globe.

So today probably is one of those dreaded Mondays, but well deserved this time and one which also deserves hitting the snooze button a few dozen times on and one in which many of us may need a Mental Health Check In for. And whether or not you are doing really great ❤ right now or you are having a really hard time đź’™ like myself please don’t hesitate to reach out for support đź’ś.  Put our hearts out on the line today and remember we’re all in this together.

#manicmondays #bluemonday #everydayismonday #itsoktonotbeok #youarenotalone #checkonyourstrongfriends #checkonyourlovedones #startaconversation #dontsufferinsilence #mentalillness #mentalhealth #mentalwellness #wereallinthistogether #passover #easter #happyholidays #zoom #youareenough #covid19 #coronavirus #stayhome #flattenthecurve #socialdistancing #togetherapart 

Why Is This Night Different?

A week from tonight Jews from all around the world will be celebrating the first night of Passover. A night traditionally celebrated with family and/or friends who gather together for a Sedar (means order) meal and retell the story of the Israelites Exodus from Egypt and their transition from slavery to freedom. This is told through reading a book called a Haggadah which is filled with beautiful stories, fun rituals and joyous songs.

But this year Passover is probably going to look a lot different for many of us and it will probably feel a lot different too and when we reach the page in the Haggadah where by tradition, the youngest child at the table is meant to ask the question “Why is this night different from all other nights?”, we will probably all pause to take note of why this night feels so different this year. 

We probably don’t feel too free or liberated right now, we probably don’t feel much like singing joyous songs, we probably don’t feel much like reciting the “Plagues” in the Passover story as we are in the midst of battling our own plague at the moment and it’s probably not a good idea to open the door for Elijah this year after our festive meal because if it’s not safe for Grandma to come in then it’s probably not safe for Elijah too. 

Yes this Passover will be different than all other Passovers because there will probably be less mouths to feed and less place settings to set but if you can, make it a night where different feels good, because being different isn’t necessarily such a bad thing.

#passover #sedar #traditions #youareenough #zoom #makingnewtraditions #makingmemories #familymatters #checkonyourlovedones #togetherapart #covid19 #coronavirus #flattenthecurve #selfisolation #pandemic #quarantine #socialdistancing 

Suicide During A Pandemic

*May Be Triggering*

The impact that Covid-19 has had on the world is immeasurable and unprecedented and these uncertain times have left much of the world feeling very helpless and very often hopeless. 

For 6 years now I myself have been living with daily feelings of helplessness and hopelessness but not because of Covid-19 but instead due to Depression and Anxiety and the combination of those feelings is what often leads me to having daily thoughts of Suicide, none of which has changed because of Covid-19. 

To be perfectly honest there are some days lately that those feelings are even more overwhelmingly hard to ignore and I know that I’m not alone in how I’m feeling because whether or not you were suffering with Depression, Anxiety or thoughts of Suicide before Covid-19, many, many more people are suffering with one or more of these symptoms now and many, many many more will continue to suffer well after this is all over and we begin to piece our lives back together. 

There are so many reasons why so many people’s mental health and safety are sure to be impacted from the Coronavirus and so many reasons why there could be a surge in suicidal deaths in the coming months. 

Whether it’s from having to self-isolate alone, or the impact of being quarantined with family that could increase our thoughts of Suicide. Or maybe it could be due to our heightened anxiety from fear of financial struggles or a loss of a job that can lead to Depression or thoughts of Suicide. Or some of us may become super fearful of losing a loved one to Coronavirus or spend our days worrying incessantly about contracting the virus itself. 

For some of us it may be from having a change in our routine, worry that the Pandemic will never end or simply that we have less activity in our life right now and way more time for negative thinking to occur. 

I won’t go into detail about where my thoughts are at the moment and whether it’s just one factor or all of them that are affecting my mental state during the Pandemic, but I will say again and again, I know I am not alone which is why it is imperative that we keep checking up on each other regularly regardless of how strong you think someone is because they may just be the one who is suddenly feeling the most helpless or hopeless of us all.

If you or someone you know is in crisis please call: Kids Help Phone: 1 800 668-6868 or Canada Suicide Prevention: 1 833 456-4566 and as always I am hear to lend an ear.

#suicide #depression #anxiety #mentalillness #mentalhealth #mentalwellness #pandemic #overwhelm #helpless #hopeless #youareenough #startaconversation #itsoktonotbeok #youarenotalone #checkonyourstrongfriends #checkonyourlovedones 

No-one Is Immune

Last night news spread very quickly over many mental health related newsfeeds about a young man named Jarrid Wilson, just 30 years old who had taken his own life. He was married with 2 young children, he was an author and co-founder of a non profit organization called Anthem of Hope. He was a mental health advocate, a devout Christian and a very well known Pastor who gave “hope for those battling brokenness, depression, anxiety, self-harm, addiction, and suicide” even while he was battling his own depression and anxiety; something he spoke very open and honestly about.
As soon as I read the news my jaw just about dropped to the floor because he was somewhat of a celebrity to me and to anyone else who is as obsessed as I am with the TLC reality show “Outdaughtered”. Even if you are just a little bit obsessed with the show then you should know exactly who he was (and if you don’t know the show then you seriously don’t know what you are missing; The cutest quintuplets around!). New season starts October 1st.
A couple of seasons ago Jarrid and his family were featured in several episodes when the dad of the quints; Adam Busby was diagnosed with post-partum depression (yes it exists in men too!) and sought out Pastor Jarrid for some counselling. I watched those episodes a little differently than most other episodes because I felt the dad’s pain and so much of what Pastor Jarrid said to him at the time resonated so much with me.
I didn’t know at the time those episodes aired that the Pastor was battling with his own mental health issues and that much of what he said during their sessions together came from a place of understanding and compassion and knowing both of them were very devout Christian’s, God played a big part in both of their journeys. And kudos to TLC for tackling such a stigmatized topic, especially for men.
I am certain that many of you are probably asking yourselves today how a person who devoted his entire life to helping others battle depression, who wrote books about hope, who co-founded a non profit organization supporting others with depression and who devoted his entire life to God could lose his battle with depression himself. Well the senior Pastor at his church in California summed it up perfectly. Greg Laurie stated in an interview yesterday that “Sometimes people may think that as pastors or spiritual leaders we are somehow above the pain and struggles of everyday people, we are the ones who are supposed to have all the answers. But we do not.”
Those words ring true for any person who suffers with depression and understands that no one, no matter what your socio-economical background is or your religious beliefs are, nobody is immune to mental illness which is why I can see so many parallels between my own journey and Jarrid’s journey too.
I may not pray or look toward God for guidance but like Jarrid I experience pain each and every day and like Jarrid I have made it my mission to advocate for change and end the stigma surrounding mental illness by being that voice. And like Jarrid I have made it my mission to help as many people as I can get the help they need and give other people hope. And like Jarrid I have made it my mission to let others know that it’s okay not to be okay. Hey and lets not forget that like Jarrid I too can now call myself an author!
I know it’s so difficult to understand how someone like myself or Jarrid can do all those things yet still not be able to practice what we preach because it’s no secret that it’s often so much easier to see the beauty in others and not in our own selves. And although suicide took his life “Suicide will not get the last word. I won’t let it. You always said, “Hope gets the last word (A quote from his wife). And I’m pretty sure she will make it her mission now to ensure that hope lives on in all of us battling this deadly disease.
Sent from my Samsung Galaxy smartphone.
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