A guy just walked into Starbucks in his pajamas.

It is 8:35 a.m., so I am not awake, but I really want to post something. I’m sitting at Starbucks, it’s raining. I don’t know how anyone manages to think any coherent thoughts in the morning. I see sheets of rain. The sky is gray. There are melting piles of snow. It’s freezing in here.

I miss having (or feeling) a connection to something bigger than myself. I don’t even care if that bigger thing is just in my imagination. I guess all that is required of me is to practice it. Practice feeling connected to nature and everything that is invisible.

I don’t want to sound like a weirdo, but I’ve been really happy lately. I love living a few miles from my parents. I love living next to the mountains. I love having money to pay my bills. I’ve been taking dancing lessons. I’m renting a house with a (very messy) roommate, but the house has a beautiful view. I’m slogging through each day, sometimes, but I’m so much more in the world than I was before.

When you’re not in the world, you shrink. Your comfort zone expands to the walls of your house. You forget what it’s like to be more engaged with other people. You forget how hard other people work and what that feels like. You forget (or never knew) what a fuller life feels like. It’s easier to connect with others when you’re already doing it on a daily basis anyway. I’m not saying I like it, and I dream of being alone all day, but it’s not as a bad as I thought it would be.

I don’t want to talk about this because I think suicide breeds more suicides, but someone in my small town committed suicide. I guess so far no one knows why. I can’t imagine the amount of pain that might have led to it. Having the courage to live means that you don’t just live for you, but you live for everyone, and you live because it’s your only option. You live because you’re not willing to represent suicide as the path you’ve been led on. You’re not willing to spread those germs. I don’t know how, but I wish more people could spread courage. The courage to live in spite of whatever obstacles hit you.

A guy just walked into Starbucks in his pajamas. That is all for now.


Finding light

I’m starting to feel fall sink in. Darker nights.

There’s this sadness. I’m trying to find what’s behind it.

All I can come up with is an insatiable desire to create that feels so much bigger than me. It feels like all I want to do is create and make something’s from nothing.

It’s so strong and it awakens me in the night. I want to create pretty art. I want to think and dream up new worlds. It’s a desire to create and find the beauty and love behind the sadness.

starry tree


“The sky grew darker, painted blue on blue, one stroke at a time, into deeper and deeper shades of night.”

― Haruki Murakami
Photos by Jennifer Coffey

Keep looking for reasons no matter how you feel… eventually it will pay off

Idea: If you want help to live, find someone who inspires you.

Even if you are not into football (or Michigan), I freaking love Michigan’s coach Jim Harbaugh because he’s so freaking weird. And because he has built this team of guys who feel like winners and respect themselves and each other.

He does things that are unusual but effective (and yes, he might have Aspergers — my dad’s theory), but he is one of my hero’s. He inspires me and makes me want to be better and more present in my life. I find him authentic, driven, and weird, which I love.

I’d never want to work with him in any way (cause he’s intense and crazy), but I love that I can be inspired by crazy. 




Drugs for depression/anxiety that I’ve heard about recently: Ketamine and Ecstasy (believe it or not)

I need to get to bed, but I wanted to post something else. Things are better at my job, as far as being freaked out by all the changes. I’m getting up, going to work, and it’s OK. Some days are better than others, but some days I’m really freaking happy.

And I have no idea why, but I’m watching football. I freaking love college football. I’ve never really gotten into it before and it’s like this whole world of entertainment. And I’m saying yes to more things that I would have NEVER said yes to (because I can take 1/2 of a Xanax if I need to — although I haven’t taken it since the CEO and friends tour).

This morning on the radio there was an interview on NPR about a drug called ketamine, which is too hard core for me. But it was a really interesting interview and it made me think of this blog and people who’ve emailed me in the past. So many of us need help and we don’t know where to turn. Sometimes it just feels good to have your feelings validated.

The guy in the NPR interview, Paul, is 36, and has had constant thoughts of suicide because of his extreme anxiety (puts my situation into perspective — AND he lives in San Diego). He has tried everything. Every drug. Every type of therapy. You get to hear his voice in the interview. He is real.

Then the interview talks about how he tried ketamine, even though it’s not yet FDA approved, because his psychiatrist decided patients like him NEEDED to try this stuff. I related a bit to what this guy Paul says in how it feels to find relief (I had that in my Xanax experience recently where I felt no anxiety).

He also talks about how depression is not only mentally painful, but also physically painful. I could TOTALLY relate to that too. It was comforting to hear.

This is a quote from NPR’s website.

For Paul, the benefits of ketamine became obvious soon after one of his early injections.

“I remember I was in my bathroom and I literally fell to my knees crying because I had no anxiety, I had no depression,” he says.

For the past year, Paul has been getting ketamine every four to six weeks. He feels an altered sense of reality for an hour or two after getting the drug. The effect on depression and anxiety, though, lasts more than a month.

Ketamine doesn’t always work that well, After treating more than 100 patients, [the doctor is] beginning to understand the drug’s limitations. You can read/listen if you want to know more.

Anyway, I just wanted to post that because I think that we can forgot — completely — what it feels like to be well. This drug is being considered something that could be life saving for major depression. I do think that antidepressants also work (the doctor in the interview feels they are more of a placebo) — I think they are working for me. But everyone is different.

There was also an article in Marie Claire this month and on NPR about the drug Ecstasy (called MDMA) being used in therapy settings for people with post-traumatic stress disorder. It’s cool to see mental health being covered in such innovative ways. I mean there are enough of us who could use the help and information (I mean, hello, like EVERYONE).

Here’s an excerpt from the NPR interview about using MDMA in depression:

And about six months into therapy, I take the medicine from my doctor, and within about an hour, I had a lot of imagery come up for me — some people do. And the first place I saw was this maze. It looked like a maze that I had been to as a kid, and I remember thinking very clearly, “All right, here we go” — and went in. And, yes, there was so much trauma. I had never remembered these terrible, terrible things.

And before MDMA, I really did think it was my fault. I mean, I felt it in my bones that something was so wrong with me, that I deserved those things. And being on the MDMA was the first time I’d ever felt compassion for myself, realizing that I was a child, I had no choice. I had no choice.

On what life is like for Brenda now

Brenda: It’s like I’ve been living life with the mute button on. You know, before the MDMA study, I could see what was happening in the world, and I could kind of make my own conclusions, based on the fact that I couldn’t really hear what was happening. And that was because the noise in my head was too loud.

But now, life is good. Spending 35-plus years suicidal was something I don’t wish on anyone, and after six months in that study, I am not suicidal. I want to live.’

I love this. I am putting this in here in case it helps someone.

The Xanax Post

After being terrified to go on a tour with the higher ups in my company (like the CEO), I made a discovery. I have anxiety. Like big, shitball anxiety. And I need professional help. I get claustrophobic, I want total control over situations.

I forgot that once upon a time, I did things like sat in a classroom ALL DAY, did field trips, rode a bus every day, spent hour around people, did things I didn’t want to do, and was OK.

Sometime after becoming an adult I slowly made my world smaller. I cocooned into more of what was comfortable, but I forgot all that I used to know how to do. I used to do LOTS of things.

I flew on an airplane alone when I was ten. I traveled around Europe with a girl I barely knew (who became my best friend) in college. Those things have felt virtually impossible the last couple years.

Going on a tour with the CEO and friends also felt impossible. I was so worried about having a panic attack in front of them. It’s like some part of me wants to expose that I am actually a phony, that I am incompetent and not good enough. So I’m afraid I might panic when I’m put in situations that bring those feelings up.

I HAD to go on the tour, or basically consider quitting my job. I’ve also been told they might want me to travel and talk to more CEOs in other states. To which I thought “I guess I’ll wait and quit then.” All of this caused me so much anxiety I did something I haven’t done before.

I took half a Xanax. I’ve had it since 2011, but only took 1/2 a pill one time while in bed. This time IT WAS AMAZING. I can’t believe that stuff is legal.

I took it last night while at my boyfriend’s parents house first to see how I’d feel on it. I did it totally as an experiment. It was the most relaxed I’ve ever been around them. I made conversation, was loud and funny, and even said a social faux pas to my boyfriend’s step dad about a particular football player. This actually turned the night into a very silly event with some great conversations.

I WASN’T WORRYING about anything. Instead of stopping myself from doing or saying things, I let them out. It felt so freeing. I didn’t realize how much I worry. It is CRAZY! I didn’t care if I was late to get to bed. I was fine turning the car around to get something we forgot. I was just in the present moment. With NO anxiety.

I got into bed and fell asleep, still in this bliss. Then I woke up and it kind of felt like I’d been punched in the gut. The emotions in the pit of my stomach were back — kind of a dull ache. It was like coming down from a high or something. I didn’t realize how much that dull ache is my normal.

The reason I did the experiment was because today was the tour with the CEO and friends. So I loaded up my car to drive to the tour site and decided I should definitely take a Xanax for it. I was really glad I did. Otherwise, I would have been a wreck trying to hold myself together.

But it’s like I forgot. I forgot what it’s like to feel normal –– without feeling overwhelmed by the world. I forgot what it’s like to not be anxious all the time. I forgot what it’s like to just learn something, enjoy the day, and have lunch with people (what a concept). I felt NO overwhelm. It was astounding. I didn’t realize that this is probably how many people feel every day. I honestly can’t believe it. It was like spending the day in someone else’s body.

This stuff would have been a game changer on trips I’ve taken over the years, hesitation to go on airplane rides to visit family, and so much more… I just never wanted to take it. I never thought I needed something like it. Instead, it has opened my eyes. It has helped.

Taking a deep breath… it makes me realize why I’ve felt again like, “oh I should just kill myself” when I start feeling hopeless because this is a HEAVY emotional load. Lots of other people don’t have that or even understand it. They don’t live with that. They feel anxious, and let it go. When I feel anxious I blow it up. And it feeds on itself and gets bigger.  I wonder if maybe that is how I felt when I was a kid. Just able to cope with whatever was put in front of me. I didn’t have a choice back then. There wasn’t an exit strategy other than my bedroom.

You can get used to anything. I know this. If I had to go on a tour with the CEO and friends every day I would get used to it and comfortable with it. But right now everything is new and hard. I’m not able to spend my day at coffee shops or lying in bed.

As I drove away from the tour , about six hours had passed and the Xanax was soon to wear off. I was still feeling amazing and baffled that I had spent that much time around people and I could easily have done another tour. I had NO FEAR. No overwhelm. No exhaustion (by the way, this is just my personal experience — I’ve heard Xanax can make you tired AND it can be addictive).

As I drove I noticed my emotional center — my stomach — start to wake up again. I felt a little sad. Honestly, it was like coming off a major drug. I felt more sad and cried and then felt OK again. This stuff is hard core.

So here’s the thing with Xanax. Because it helped me so profoundly, I probably needed it. I wouldn’t have known this if I hadn’t tried it. The right thing to do with it is use it occasionally to learn how to cope with new situations. To gain confidence and get through difficult or scary situations.


I wrote this a few weeks ago. I haven’t had a Xanax since, but I used how it felt to help me feel more confident in social situations — and it has helped remembering how I felt on it. I’m also taking a slightly higher dose of another SSRI drug (the generic for Celexa, which is $4 at Walmart). I’m totally OK with doing this because I realize now that having extreme anxiety and feeling depressed isn’t normal or healthy.

I would encourage anyone to try things out and be open. You never know what can help. You never know what is out there. You never know…. don’t give up.

Hold the Stars

I’m so freaking worried, and it’s driving me crazy. I’m having a hard time sleeping, which means I am a zombie during the day. At my new job.

I know worrying doesn’t help anything, but my mind won’t shut up. I’m having doubts that I can do the job. It’s hard. I wish I didn’t have to work. I don’t know why anyone in their right mind would choose to work. Like I know there are people out there who work even though they don’t have to. WHY?

I am perfectly capable of creating tons of shit to do to stay busy. But I would be staying busy at the homeless shelter. Ugh. I need to stop thinking about the fucking homeless shelter. That’s another worry — that I’m going to end up there because I’m not going to be able to hold a job.

Can you see how ridiculous this is? I don’t mean to post something negative. I just have to get back into caring for myself better. Like, I need to be reading something inspiring, or listen to inspiring things every week. I need to be able to give myself a chance to accomplish things.

-Right now is the only time we have.
-I can’t control anything outside of myself (so stop trying!)
-I am OK just the way I am.
-These thoughts will pass. They don’t mean anything is wrong.

I’ve heard that the ultimate fear is death, and if you can let go of that one, you are free.


Somehow our devils are never quite what we expect when we meet them face to face.

– Nelson DeMille

This is a Test to See How I Do in Real Life

I started a new job this week. I feel excited, nervous, lucky… Part of me is doubting myself and wondering, “Can I really do this?” Another part of me just wants to fast forward NOW to four months from now when I’ll be more comfortable. Because I HATE being uncomfortable. I am so uncomfortable and out of my zone. Even though I’m qualified and a natural match, I’m still so freaking freaked out. This is how much I don’t like change.

I have really struggled financially for years. If I can do a good job with this, I won’t have to struggle anymore. If you’ve ever not had money, how it works is you start weeding away the things you want to do or buy because you can’t do them. This includes hobbies, fun things, good food, and just having choices in general. Money doesn’t necessarily buy happiness, but it does buy choices.

Money + being settled in one place = two things that have alluded me.

Can I be settled for awhile? I move every few years… usually when I get sad or bored I pick up and move… and then I get distracted by starting over. I want so much to be okay living in one place (hey, maybe with a 2nd house on a lake someday?!). The constant going and going just creates this disconnect. You make friends, you get close to people, you get comfortable, you leave.

I kind of know what I’m running from. It’s loneliness and desperation to find what I want in life and not knowing how. I feel like I just have to calm down, love what I have in life… and be positive or something. I REALLY DON’T KNOW. I’m not sure how to get out of the loneliness loop. The unraveling might not look how I expect.

Here is what I hope:
I can write more in this blog.
I can learn something new every day.
I can sit with the discomfort and be okay.

Travel is good, but I also love to be home.20815846776_84ced4ee1c_b

I want a place to call home and a home and people I love.

Sometimes life seems uncomfortable, and that’s actually when life starts.

~M.H. Rakib

Photo by Alex Darkside

No Ending


“The unreal is more powerful than the real. Because nothing is as perfect as you can imagine it. Because its only intangible ideas, concepts, beliefs, fantasies that last. Stone crumbles. Wood rots. People, well, they die.

But things as fragile as a thought, a dream, a legend, they can go on and on. If you can change the way people think. The way they see themselves. The way they see the world. You can change the way people live their lives.

That’s the only lasting thing you can create.”

~Chuck Palahniuk, Choke
Photo by Tom (and blog title)

You’re OK No Matter What Happens (or Doesn’t Happen)

These are my personal reasons for today:

    • I have a job interview next week (what is this my 20th interview?)
    • My family, while they may not be perfect, we are made up of the same DNA that really makes up everyone. We are ALL family.
    • My headphones that shut out the world when I need it.
    • Wearing flip flops.
    • Sun flowers in the summer.
    • A warm latte or tea.
    • Being under the covers listening to crickets or a thunderstorm.
    • Cool weather in the middle of summer.
    • Remembering what it was like to be a kid and look up at the blue sky.
    • Marshmallows and bonfires.
    • Finding unlikely heroes in history, like this guy who pretty much prevented the end of the world.
    • A quiet day where nothing extraordinary happens, but everything is fine.
    • Realizing that things can and do turn around even in the most difficult circumstances.
    • Even when things are messed up you can still find the beauty and humor.
    • Knowing that things don’t need to be perfect or even peaceful for me to be OK.
    • Knowing that meaning and purpose can be found anywhere, even in prison where I read about a woman who is getting out of prison and became married to her pen pal while she was inside. 


“And it’s funny how when somebody saves you, the first thing you want to do is save other people. All other people. Everybody.”

~Chuck Palahniuk, Choke
Photo by Tom

Everything Has a Season


“When you can look a thing dead in the eye, acknowledge that it exists, call it exactly what it is, and decide what role it will take in your life then, my Beloved, you have taken the first step toward your freedom.”


“Release and detach from every person, every circumstance, every condition, and every situation that no longer serves a divine purpose in your life. All things have a season, and all seasons must come to an end. Choose a new season, filled with purposeful thoughts and activities.”


“Even though there is a part of me holding on to the belief that I am now, have always been, and will always be unworthy, I am still willing to love and accept myself.”


“I now know that nothing in my life will change until I change the way I see my life and myself.”

~ All quotes by Iyanla Vanzant (I think she may be my all time favorite self-help author)
Photos by Tom

Forgive yourself

I just got back from a really great trip to Michigan to visit family. It’s good, but kind of hard to come home. It’s nice when you can escape reality for a while. We ate a shitload of food, drank wine every night, went to an art fair, lakes, and watched slides my aunt dug up from the 1960s.

I’m not sure how much longer my grandparents will be in their house so it was good to see them. It’s the one house that has been constant in my life — I’ve been going there since I was a kid.

I was very worried about the plane rides, as I haven’t flown much in the past few years and get claustrophobic and anxious. But I did OK. I can’t tell you how much I WISH I didn’t have anxiety, but I do. I tell myself that I’m not alone, but sometimes it feels like I would like myself better if I wasn’t anxious.

I guess you can like yourself no matter what “stuff” you have, because everyone has their stuff. This has been such a battle for me. Maybe that is the purpose of my life, just to learn how to love the pieces and parts I carry.

On the trip I mentioned above I started doing something where whenever I felt anxious I would think and picture the things I love instead to try and refocus. And really feel the love as if it’s right here with me now. It was so calming and nice to visualize peaceful, loving images.

Like my cat… any fuzzy baby animal… places where I’ve lived…. a huge swimming pool with turquoise water… flower pots… an old cottage…. neighborhoods where I’ve gone running…. my favorite time of day (dusk)… people who just naturally make me feel comfortable and loved… writing dialogue and how good it feels to put a scene together…. dancing in a room of people… painting a piece of furniture…

Do you remember that scene at the end of Neverending Story? It’s the last scene of the movie where the empress tells Bastian that the only thing left in the entire world is one grain of sand. The only way for the world to be rebuilt is for him to make wishes. With each wish he makes the world will be reborn.

Maybe that’s how we can think of love.

Each time we choose to think of love instead of hate we are rebuilding our world inside ourselves.

I found it is actually fun to think of these things. I haven’t deliberately thought of tried to vision anything in ages. It’s like closing your eyes and just picturing a place or image or person. You can actually see stuff in your mind. And then you see another and another thing you love. It’s surprising.


Be willing to hear the unpleasant. Be willing to face the uncomfortable. Surrender the belief that you cannot deal with confrontation, rejection, or abandonment by forgiving yourself.

~Iyanla Vanzant

Photo by Jan Michniak

Push and Pull

I haven’t posted too much because I’m taking a break from thinking too much (Ha.. yep). Things are good. They’re not spectacular but they’re solid good. Or solid up and down. Or solid miserable. It just depends when you ask.

I would say solid good 45-55% of the time, up and down 45% and solid miserable 8%. I have not idea what that adds up to.

I still have a sort-of-job. It’s part-time, so it isn’t really meeting any of my goals, but it’s something for the resume.

I don’t really miss California, other than my friends who are irreplaceable. And occasionally the lifestyle/cool shit there.

When I go to bed at night and it’s quiet and I can wake up and hike in the mountains I’m happy I’m here. When I drive I’m happy I’m here (WAY easier and less people). When my dad wants to do dinner with me or go golfing I’m happy I’m here. When my mom and I connect and get along I’m happy I’m here.

I recognize the weirdness of getting older and the people around me getting older and that I can’t get out of it. This didn’t hit me until recently–that you have to get older.

Don’t get me wrong, I still feel 12 years old inside and I can relate and talk to little kids and feel like one of them, but it’s like I’ve had all this time now being a 12 year old.

It makes me think it would be nice if we could get older and older, but not die so quickly. You would learn and know so much if you had the chance to be 400 years old. If parts of your mind and body could still function in this world (deep thoughts man).

I think right now I’m just super confused about what I’m doing with my life and my time. I’m sort of just floating around, not here or there. I still don’t know if I want kids. I don’t know when or who I’m going to marry. The thing is I feel like I’m supposed to know this by now.

And I truly do not know.

And I have to believe it’ll be OK no matter what. If I get to be 45 and don’t have kids and then decide I want one, there are millions of children in this world who need to be loved. At some point I will know if this is what I want or not.

I feel like I’ve had a long period of time where I’ve experienced the richness (for lack of better words) of life. I feel like I’ve experienced a lot of colors and sounds and pieces. It’s probably a lot less than many people, but for some reason having that behind me is comforting.

I feel less of a pull to get out in the world and want to conquer it. I felt that way in my 20s and early 30s and after college. Like there was this canvass I wanted to jump into and see what happened.

Now I feel more like burrowing into a nest and weathering the storms in a safe place. I feel like I have less to “prove,” if that makes any sense. Before it was like I wanted to prove I was awesome.

Now I guess I can see that you can be awesome anywhere and in any circumstance. You don’t have to show anything for it to be awesome. I admire more the ability to be at peace that I do have a lot to show for it. I admire more restraint (staying away from the things you are addicted to — FB, Internet, alcohol, etc.) than I do tallying up experience after experience that means nothing in the end.

I admire people who do things differently. Who play their own game.

People are icebergs, with loads you can see and loads you can’t.

~David Mitchell, The Bone Clocks
~Photo via Alex Cornell

What to Do About The Pain

For a short time, my ebook, 101 Affirmations for Confidence and Self Love is on sale. If you need help and want to know what has worked for me, this is a compilation of some good ideas.

Saying that, I need to go back and reread it too because I’ve been a little depressed lately. I mean, I’m OK, but sometimes I just don’t understand where The Pain comes from. Just have this pain inside sometimes that lasts for days. Ugh!

And then suddenly it’s gone. Like it was never there. Poof!

I’ll get back to that in a moment but first:

1) I decided to quit the job where I’ve been working because I like to do gansta things like quit a job before I have another one because the place is fucking weird and expects you to come in at the last minute and have no set schedule. Wtf.

2) I’ve been looking into other careers. I’d like to invent the career of a Cat Domesticator. Or be a Unicorn Hunter. OMG, that would be so cool to have a website with weird careers that looks like a real career website, only it’s not. Haha…

3) I’m having one of those days where everyone looks like someone else. It’s starting to trip me out.

Things to tell yourself when you feel The Pain (that awful, gut-wrenching feeling in your body where you feel like you are going to die or should die because you hurt so much inside):

  • This will not last forever.
  • This doesn’t mean anything is wrong with me.
  • The pain can stay as long as it wants, but I’m going to do other things.
  • Isn’t it interesting? I can sit with this pain and NOT die.
  • I know I’ll feel at peace again and I’ll wait as long as it takes.
  • I’m willing to face what I need to face. <– like this one


Splash. It’s ON bitches.

Photo by Shellie

What Feels Better? Loving Others or Judging Them?

Lately I’ve been noticing a greater ability to let go of judging others. This has been SO hard in the past. I’ve judged everyone for everything: Why is he being such an asshole? How could she have married him? Can’t she see how stupid she is being?

They say when you judge someone you are actually judging yourself. Those negative thoughts come back and haunt you, not the other person. So when I pull back on judgment and instead just love that person, you know what happens?

I relax. I love myself and others more.

I realize I can’t control anyone else. And everything has their reasons for doing what they do. I can’t go into anyone else’s head and see their reasons. I can’t go into anyone’s head and change them. Things might not always look or seem the way I expect and yet they are perfect.

A friend who I lost touch with recently got married. I remember when she got engaged she seemed upset about it (but I got the impression she didn’t voice this to a lot of people). She wanted to travel and not be held down. I got the feeling at the time that she just wasn’t ready to be married. But she went ahead with it.

Soon after we stopped communicating and the friendship sort of pittered out.

Now that she is married and my first reaction is to judge her. What is she thinking? She’ll be divorced by 35. Doesn’t she realize there are other options?

But what do I know?! I’m not in her head and her heart. How does it help her (or me) to judge so harshly?

Why can’t I decide (since we’ve lost touch anyway) that maybe she got married because she wanted to, because it was the best decision for her, and that she is with the perfect guy and they are  happy together.

That feels so much better than those negative thoughts. It makes me feel real love for her. It makes me forgive the situation of our friendship coming to an end. I also realize that I REALLY WANT to love her. It feels so much better than hating her for no reason.

I can recognize relationships are constantly evolving. Sometimes they’re evolving toward harmony and sometimes toward destruction. You can’t know everything. That is god’s job, not ours.

I just can’t believe how much better it feels to just love and believe she is happy. That makes ME happy. :)

wax flower
I’m so sorry for judging you.
I’m sorry for judging me.
All is well and we are one.

Photo by Howard Mitchell

Never Give Up

16426588524_4c31a6f99f_zPhoto by Howard Mitchell

I’ve probably mentioned before that I have a family member who almost died (more than once) from alcoholism.

After going to treatment multiple times and starting over multiple times, she is now 18 months sober and just got offered a great job.

Somehow she has been able to slowly repair strains among family members and rent an apartment on her own (even after filing bankruptcy).  Yet there was a time when you googled her name and the first thing that came up with a mug shot with her face.

The most amazing thing about her now is her wisdom. She has been at the brink of death and was telling me last night that the one thing she knows is to never give up. She also prays for others every night, which is so nice. I had no idea she was praying for me.

16753231637_c1b97192b3_zPhoto by Howard Mitchell

Just when you think people can’t surprise you, they do.

16270055424_0c56959baf_zPhoto by Howard Mitchell

It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up.

~Vince Lombardi

Article: It Happened To Me: My Twin Sister Begged Me To Let Her Kill Herself And I Said Yes

I will never share anything on here that I don’t think is helpful. Sadness and depression are contagious. If you seek out reasons to be sad and people who support sadness, you will find them. If you seek out reasons to be hopeful and people who can help, you WILL find those things too.

After all that was my original purpose of this blog.

I was very sad and I decided that instead of blogging about things to be sad about I would to the opposite. I would lie to myself in those worst moments and find something of hope. Even if the pain told me that hope was never to be found, I would only write about the hope. If I wrote about pain (and I did), I would delete the post.

I can’t remember how long it took — 3-6 months or something and I was better — a lot better. Not perfect. Still struggling. But rarely do I contemplate ending it all, and rarely for days and days at at time.

There is so much stuff that is negative and easy to get influenced by. You either get sucked in or go against the grain. We all have the pain, but it’s what you do with it that matters.

9209237957_7ccb078467_oThis is a really good article (click on link):

It Happened To Me: My Twin Sister Begged Me To Let Her Kill Herself And I Said Yes


The best kind of people are the ones that come into your life and make you see sun where you once saw clouds.

The people that believe in you so much, you start to believe in you too.

The people that love your simply for being you. The once in a lifetime kind of people.


Ninja Cats

Why is no one using ninja cats as a trademark or logo? Am I the only one who thinks this concept is amusing (other than 8 year olds)?imgres



The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul.

~Dieter F. Uchtdorf
(yes, I just quoted a Mormon church leader. I am OK).

10 Things That Can Make You Happier


I went to my nephew’s high school graduation this week. It felt kind of emotional, like realizing how lucky he was to have graduated and how many years I’ve lived. But what I liked the most was listening to the speakers give advice. What they said is true: that’s it’s worse to have regrets than it is to do nothing. As long as you’re trying you’re probably failing at something.

It’s all in your perspective. A failure by one person’s standards is a courageous act to someone else.

What else?

1. Put your attention on what is good.
If you suck at this, ask someone what is good in your life. Other people are often WAY better at pointing out the things that are good.

2. Everything changes.
I know it can feel like NOTHING changes, but stuff does change. You get older. You see things differently. Stuff you said you’d NEVER do when you’re younger doesn’t seem so bad when you get older.

3. Let yourself cry (and give yourself a time limit)
Holding feelings in is painful. Sometimes you have to curl up and release them. Whenever I cry, I hear this voice in my head that says not to do it alone.

4. Other people care.
Most people are actually really generous and kind, but they are BAD mind readers. So you can’t ask for help without saying what you need. Even if you can just say 10 percent of what you need this is better than nothing.

5. Your problems might need professional help, or advice from someone unexpected.
If you think you might be mentally ill in any capacity, get help for yourself. In your sanest moments, make a list of what you need to do.

6. Learn to like yourself, and ideally love yourself.
Try to do this, even if you have no idea what you’re doing. I mean what is love anyway? It’s an act of doing, right? Maybe you aim for loving, even if it you don’t know how, and then see what happens.

7. Find things to laugh at.
Sometimes I watch cat videos. The unexpected if funny.

8. Find a purpose, or a reason, and often this reason is not done in isolation.
Maybe your purpose is to “find a purpose.” Maybe it’s to do nice things for others. Maybe it’s to work toward things one day at a time. Maybe it’s to learn to trust.

9. Stop comparing your life to others.
As the saying goes, “stay in your own lane.” Ask any older person and they will tell you that their life did not turn out the way they expected. Everyone has this idea of how things are “supposed” to go and things rarely turn out this way. You don’t marry the person you expect. No one expects to get divorced or suddenly have to move. No one has anything figured out! You can ask the most put together person and they are a mess…Believe me.

10. Stop seeking approval and self-acceptance from other people.
A) They will let you down, and B) they are busy enough with their own problems to give this to you.

I’m TOTALLY frustrated and have no idea how to solve my problems. But I know that it’s not up to me to solve them. My mind only knows so much. It’s up to me to let go. Surrender. Have courage.

Life is about trusting your feelings, taking chances, finding happiness, appreciating the memories, and learning from the past.


Less Afraid

Things are SO much better. I feel like I’ve come out of the dark stuff.

I know myself a little better. I know what matters. I’m not fighting so hard against life. I’ve done a lot more of the Release Technique and it has been the big thing that has made the difference.

I feel like I used to feel when I was younger — like I want to travel and explore and learn and experience the world a bit more.

The other day I was getting on the train to go to work and it hit me that I’d only had two hours of sleep and suddenly the anxiety hit. When I’m tired I get anxious and it is awful. My heart started to pound like I was going to have a panic attack. I grabbed my bag to get off the train and it started moving.

I was trapped. I quickly turned something helpful on to listen to. And I started having the thought that I can be tired without being anxious. Those don’t have to go hand in hand.

Not only that, I can be tired and have a wonderful day. Maybe I can even get two hours of sleep and not be tired. After all being tired is a just a story in my head. Every thought and feeling I have is just a product of my mind.

So I started letting myself feel tired without feeling anxious and unsafe. I let myself be tired without needing to change it. I realized I can be tired and really uncomfortable and yet perfectly OK. That is a breakthrough.

I can be exhausted and yet OK. I can get no sleep and be out in public and not die (or feel like I’m going to die).

I quickly was able to calm down on the train. I don’t think I’ve ever been that tired and not felt insanely anxious at the same time, wanting and needing to change it.

Suddenly I felt like I could get on an airplane and go anywhere. Do anything. I love being home, but I felt like my world was expanding. It has felt shrunken for a long time. It at times has felt like just a few rooms. Now it feels like the entire world and this is gorgeous.

That day I worked an entire day, including my lunch, and then went to yoga and then went to my boyfriend’s house and out to dinner. On two hours of sleep. Seriously historic. I was giddy at being able to do this. I never in a million years thought it was possible.

Sometimes incredible shifts can be made with the right knowledge.

“Stars are the scars of the universe.”

― Ricky Maye

I’m not sure what happened, but I feel happier and more content these days. Daily life is kinda fun. I’m hurrying less to get to the next moment. Even if I’m doing something stupid or if I’m waiting for something, I’m enjoying it. Everything feels sort of exhilarating and good.

I even have a job and I’m OK with it. I’m sort of excited about it. I might even have an actual career at some point if I’m not careful.

But I’ll always be a wanderer at heart. I’ll never let myself get buried for years in a job I hate. I’d rather live in my car and go camping.

Things get better if you let them. Life definitely doesn’t turn out the way you think it will, but maybe those surprises and keeping expectations low at times is what sweetens it up.