To chronicle my sleep patterns in a word I’d best describe it as haphazardly.
In short, it lacks any type of direction, it’s random and very disorderly.
I’m up until all hours of the night wandering aimlessly, worrying and anticipating doom.
My body seems to have made the necessary adjustments needed for someone living on minimal amounts of sleep each night but still it continues to urge me to get some rest when I can.
Most days it loses that argument because even a short catnap feels burdensome to me. My mind fights the urge to nap but certainly not for lack of trying that is.
Napping is good for your mental health. Experts will tell you that taking a short afternoon nap can help clear the chaotic thoughts and burnout from your mind, it can improve your cognitive ability and even boost your mental agility.
But still, napping gets a bad rap.
People perceive napping as laziness instead of seeing it for its many health benefits.
I wish I could nap more often. I feel guilty as it is when I can’t get out of bed most mornings. But it’s okay to nap, or even lay in bed a little bit longer if that’s what your body and mind need.
Sometimes doing nothing is the best thing we can do in order to recharge. It’s not a waste of time if your body and mind are begging you to do so.
Do you find having a quick catnap when you can rejuvenating?
Thank you to everyone who continues to reach out to me, check up on me and leave beautiful messages of support this week as I continue to try and get through this very difficult time*
Today I did my first ever Facebook live presentation within a Facebook group called “Parents Unite” whose main purpose is to bring parents together while raising awareness on mental health concerns in both adults and children.
People tell me all the time how brave it is of me to be able to do so many live television/news interviews, radio gigs or other such presentations but here’s the thing, when I do these interviews, gigs or other such presentations I am (for the most part) being fed questions to answer by the interviewers so I’m not actually having to think about what I want to say or fill air time all on my own.
But when you do a Facebook/ Instagram live it’s just you and your thoughts trying to make sense without seemingly rambling on about whatever message it is you are trying to get across to others. And whether it’s someone choosing to talk about something that is irking them or helping to grow their online business or wanting to talk about something on a more personal level, it’s not easy.
As envious as people may be watching me take center stage on live television or through the lens of a Zoom interview, I am actually the one who has been envious of others who seem to have the natural ability to just press the live button at any given moment and start speaking off the cuff.
I often think to myself as I scroll through my feeds or as I am writing a blog and especially while I am listening to someone speak live that maybe today, instead of writing my words down in a blog to post later on that I will open up my Facebook or Instagram page and speak to a live audience, straight from the heart, right into the camera, allowing others watching an opportunity to interact in the conversation live and giving way for even more raw and intimate experiences to occur. But the fear of doing so and the thought of reaching outside my comfort zone has always stopped me.
But today I reached outside my comfort zone (even after waking up with a sore back out of nowhere and as the day goes on I’m having trouble sitting and catching my breath). I spent about 30 minutes on a Facebook live sharing part of my journey with the Parents Unite community, reading my children’s book “Where Did Mommy’s Smile Go?” and discussing the importance of having open, honest and age appropriate conversations with children as young as preschool age who may be impacted by mental health issues somewhere within their family unit.
Everything I spoke about today has become second nature to me. They are things I am extremely passionate about and well versed in but not having the ability to edit my thoughts was quite a scary feeling.
As I mentioned above I have dreamed for several years now that one day I could stand (or sit) in front of an audience and speak off the cuff and from the heart with authenticity by allowing my vulnerabilities to do the talking.
And even if I will beat myself up for how I spoke today, for what I said or didn’t say, it’s okay because at least I tried. At least I reached outside my comfort zone, I learned a new skill, I took a risk and I achieved a new goal.
To me family is always having someone in your life who has your back and sees your shortcomings yet still loves you unconditionally.
Family is showing love and support for one another even through the difficult times and having a strong connection with others who want nothing more than to lift you up and inspire you to be the best version of yourself.
Family is having a feeling of security, unity, acceptance and a mutual respect and understanding.
Being part of a family doesn’t have to mean that you are related by a bloodline or always having to share the same interests or opinions with each other either; it just means that you always feel a sense of belonging, a willingness to embrace your differences and the ability to value them no matter what.
*I was asked to do a writing exercise and write a love letter to myself and so I couldn’t think of a better day to practice some much needed self-love than today on Valentine’s Day.*
Dear: Myself & I
You and I go back a really long time and I guess if you wanna be a bit more precise, it’ll actually be fifty years come this June. That’s pretty noteworthy, wouldn’t you agree?
Looking back on our almost fifty years together, there’s no denying that we’ve created alot of history. We’ve made so many lasting memories together, we’ve cried together until we’ve nearly collapsed from exhaustion, we’ve laughed so hard together that our belly’s ached and we’ve shared a bond that runs deeper than any two people could ever truly imagine.
But I know I have let you down a alot over the last many years (and several more times throughout our life together I’m sure). I feel like I have disappointed you by detaching myself & I from you and leaving you to fend for yourself while having to rely on the strength of others.
I should be the one showering you with the love and kindness you so deserve and make you feel empowered. I should be the one encouraging you, rooting you on, embracing you, appreciating you and seeing your own incredible inner strength.
I should also be the one who is always praising you and admiring your courage and I should be the one who sees how smart and creative you are or how strong and truly brave you are and I should be the one who sees what a caring and huge heart you have.
I should not be forever telling you that you are not good enough, that you are worthless, that you should do better and that you should be a better wife, mother and friend. I should be the one who is there for you and who wants to take care of you and protect you and adore you.
I want to apologize to you for not fighting harder for you, for not feeling like you deserve me, for making you feel like I have failed you and for making you believe that you are a burden, that you are unlovable and that you are undesirable. I want to apologize to you for making you feel like you don’t belong, that you don’t matter and that you are no longer needed. I also need to apologize to you for allowing you to believe that you are anything less than the amazing and kindhearted and beautiful, worthy soul that you are.
I know how difficult life has been for you over the last many years and so I’m writing you this letter today to let you know that even though you may not be able to see it now I need you to know that you are worthy, that you do matter, that you are beautiful, that you are smart, that you are creative, that you are strong and brave and courageous and kind and desirable and that you are more than enough.
Myself & I
P.S. wishing my beloved Rich and 3 beautiful children Jacob, Hannah and Rachel a very Happy Valentine’s Day today. You are my heart and soul and you fill my heart and soul with so much sweetness and love (and Maggie too!).
I love you all to the moon and back, forever and a day ❤
P.P.S. I hope you all have a very happy Valentine’s Day filled with lots of love and inner peace.
“Love isn’t about how often you say I love you, it’s about how much you can prove it’s true.” ~ unknown ~
It’s easy to say I love you, they are just words; people can tell you anything they believe you long to hear but it’s their actions that will truly tell you everything.
There are many different kinds of love we will experience in our lifetime but just remember, that no matter what, the only kind of love you ever deserve, is the kind of love that doesn’t come with conditions, prerequisites or agendas attached to it.
I had a very restless and “catastrophic” evening last night. Somewhere between 10pm and 11 I began to have a panic attack of “catastrophic” proportions which soon morphed itself into an anxiety attack and lasted until the wee hours of the morning.
But if it weren’t for a few of my many incredible friends who just so happened to be checking in with me around that time, I’m not sure how I would have ever gotten through last night. They listened to me and distracted me with their own antics and funny memes well into those wee hours of the morning.
I am both incredibly lucky and grateful to have so many amazing people in my life who simply want nothing more than to be there for me no matter what, who don’t keep score, who always know how to make me laugh through my tears, who continue to make me feel empowered and who would unselfishly be there for me until the wee hours of the morning.
Two years ago today I wrote a blog called “What A Catastrophe” which just so happened to show up in my memories on Facebook this morning and I thought I would share it with you all again (and for anyone who may have missed it the first time) after the “catastrophic” night I had. It describes in length just how quickly a depressed and anxious mind can turn anything into a catastrophe in a matter of seconds, sometimes without any warning and often without any real triggers either.
After last night and with very little sleep, I knew that I needed to find an outlet today and definitely a change of scenery. One thing that has been a tremendous source of emotional wreckage for me lately has been the lack of time in the great outdoors. I really hate winter, like really really hate it but I have also really missed my long walks every day and hiking every weekend since the change in weather hit and so today I faced the dreaded winter air head on and went for a long and very challenging hike with Rich and my girls (Jacob was working but I’m pretty sure Football would have won over a hike either way).
The weather was perfect (I could have worn a t-shirt lol), the sun was shining so brightly on us and it felt like we were in a winter wonderland. It’s the moments like today that I hold deep in my heart and it’s moments like today that I need to imagine during my next big catastrophe. And who knows, maybe we can even start a new tradition.
Today we got an early start to the day and drove up north (Jacob joined us for dinner after work 🧒) to spend the day at our friend’s cottage, something very familiar to us by now as we have been going there since our kids were very little.
Today’s visit came at a time when getting away from it all was critical for me as I mentioned the other day (Blog “Give Me A Break”; July 13, 2020). I have desperately needed to take a Mental Health break and a change of scenery is certainly a great benefit for your mental health.
Getting away from it all, even for the day can significantly help reduce your level of stress and calm your mind; and spending the day outdoors in the warm summer sun by the water, listening to the sound of the waves rolling by is definitely a perfect way to relax your body as well (and spending time with loved ones is just an added bonus).
About a month prior to the onset of the Covid-19 Pandemic I had registered my family to participate in a Walk for CMHA (Canadian Mental Health Association) in support of #MOBYSSinmotion; a confidential mobile Walk-in-Clinic for Youth and a wonderful resource for our young people who may be facing crisis right now.
CMHA has played an important role in my life over the last 6 years and I had donated some proceeds from my book sales last year as a thank you for the services they provide to both adults and youth in Canada which was why I wanted to participate in the event and why I didn’t want today to go unnoticed so I found a picture perfect place for us to enjoy a beautiful hike on our own in honour of the walk/run/bike event since it was of course cancelled.
Oh and I should also mention that it was 5 months ago today since I had my last cigarette!