Being Real

Last night I was cruising along.

Our friends came over for the evening; good friends. 

I am most comfortable being me when I am at home.

We had dinner together. We watched the Raptors and Leafs games. We laughed. 

I was okay, or at least on the surface I was. But I’ve gotten so used to masking my symptoms of depression and anxiety by now when I’m in the company of friends and family or even strangers.

It can be confusing for others to understand, I get it, but try to imagine, just for a moment what it feels like being that person, the person who has had to learn the art of how to fake it til you make it so not to make others around you feel uncomfortable; it can be very debilitating and super exhausting. 

I know I don’t have to wear a mask around many of my friends and loved ones, including the ones who came over last night and for the most part I wasn’t. I was genuinely enjoying our time together but I also know if need be I don’t have to fake my happiness around them either. I am truly comfortable in their company. It always feels so easy.

It may explain then, why suddenly, out of nowhere towards the end of our evening together my illness took hold of me and began to rear its ugly head.

I guess I just burst. I couldn’t catch my breath. My mind went to a very dark place. 

It stayed with me throughout the entire night. 

My mood is very low still today and my anxiety extremely high. It’s crippled me to the point where I can’t focus on anything else or leave my bed for that matter.

But I know that it’s okay to not be okay. I know I’m not alone in this fight and I know how blessed I am to be able to remove my mask and let it all out whenever I need to share my emotions, my pain and even my rants because trying to fake it til you make is very debilitating and super fucking exhausting. 

#beingreal #fakeittilyoumakeit #removingyourmask #depression #anxiety #suicideprevention #itsoktonotbeok #youarenotalone #youareenough #friendship #family #startaconversation

Participation Badge

Today we ventured out for a #summerofrich “Fall Edition” hike not to far from home.

It was calling for rain.

The air was crisp and you could suddenly feel how quickly the seasons are changing again.

Last month I completed another #ontariohikingchallenge and received my honorary badge through the Ontario Hiking Facebook group earlier this week. The last challenge was in July.

Participating in these challenges every few months to receive a participation badge via email may seem silly to some people but for me it’s a great way to help keep me motivated to get out and hike at least 5 times during that particular month.

The next challenge is set for January; I’m not so sure I will have the same enthusiasm right smack in the middle of winter but there is a certain level of adrenaline that comes when I open my inbox and see my badge waiting there for me and knowing that by setting goals with intent, no matter how big or small they may seem can give you quite a feeling of accomplishment upon completion.

#OntarioHikingBadge #ontariohiking #ontariohikinggroup  #October #setgoals #withintent #mentalhealth #mentalwellness #yourmentalhealthmatters #ontarioisyourstodiscover #nature #hiking #alltrails

Today is “World Kindness Day” (November 13th).

It only takes one act of kindness to make a world of kindness in someone else’s life.

Inspire kindness, spread kindness, make kindness the norm.

Do it with good intention, not for anything in return.

And remember that kindness isn’t only about extending it towards others, so don’t forget to leave some of that kindness for yourself too.

How will you spread kindness today?

#worldkindnessday #makekindnessthenorm #inspirekindness #kindnessmatters #payitforward #selfcare #mentalwellness #mentalhealth #youareenough

Carey Price is Unstoppable

If you are a hockey fan, especially a Montreal Canadiens one then the news that broke about a month ago that their beloved goalie Carey Price was taking a leave of absence from his team to enter into the NHL’s “Player Assistance Program” probably came as quite a shock.

Yesterday, Carey broke his silence by releasing a statement to both the Media and his fans on Instagram, giving an honest update on his recovery.

He told them that in early October he had entered a residential treatment facility for substance abuse which is where he stayed for a month and then bravely admitted that “over the last few years I have let myself get to a very dark place and didn’t have the tools to cope with that struggle.”

Asking for help or admitting that you need help when struggling with a mental illness is possibly the most difficult step towards facing one’s fears and being able to begin the healing process for anyone but sadly it is even more so for men; and to further add to that, men like Carey Price who are looked upon by so many as a Superhero.

But Carey has shown the world what a true Superhero looks like by proving that no matter who you are, your greatest superpower is allowing others to see that it’s okay to not be okay and that asking for help or admitting you need help is not a sign of weakness. In fact, it takes great strength and courage. Both are qualities that no one should EVER be ashamed of.

Carey further states to the Media and on his Instagram post that he is continuing to work on his mental health “which will take some time to repair. All I can do is take it day by day. With that comes some uncertainty with when I will return to play.”

That last line also probably came as quite a shock to many of his fans and Media. But as someone who has been battling a mental illness for more than seven years now I can tell you that it doesn’t work that way. Just because Carey took a month off to focus on his mental health, (something he also admitted in his press release to neglecting for many years) and spent a month in a treatment facility does not mean that he’s suddenly all better and ready to get back in the net. 

Having a mental illness is not something that people battling one can necessarily just “get over” in a month’s time or “snap out of”, even if you are a “Superhero”.

Carey Price is a true leader for change and I have no doubt that once he is well enough to return to his teammates (which seem to need him more than ever before 😊), he is going to be unstoppable both on and off the ice and I can’t wait to see where his superpowers take him next. 

You are not alone @cp0031

#careyprice #nhl #selfcare #mentalillness #mentalwellness #substanceabuse #goalie #movember#montrealcanadiens #ohcanada #unstoppable #mentalhealth #mensmentalhealth #superheros #superpowers #itsoktonotbeok #yourmentalhealthmatters #youarenotalone #youareenough #imstilladiehardleafsfan

I Appreciate You

In case no one has told you lately, you are appreciated.

I appreciate you for being a part of my life 💚.

With much love and gratitude I am thankful to each and every one of you for allowing me to share my journey with you.

Let someone know you appreciate, respect, cherish, admire, value and treasure them today.

#worldkindnessweek #iappreciateyou #appreciation #thankful #grateful #mentalhealth #mentalwellness #myjourney #itsoktonotbeok #youarenotalone #youareenough

Love, Light and Positive Healing Energy

I’ve had very unsettling feelings for the last 24 hrs. 

Still feeling it today. 

I should really be used to it by now but I’m not. It’s just not something anyone should ever have to get used to.

I have my final of the initial six Ketamine treatments scheduled for later on this evening.

The Psychiatrist however went ahead last week and scheduled me in for another treatment in about two weeks time.

I’m feeling very frustrated, anxious and irritable. 

I’m consumed by negative and ruminating thoughts.

I’m asking myself why I should even bother?

I’m wondering if today’s treatment will be the one that will finally start to lift the dark cloud. 

My mind is telling me I should just give up now.

But my heart is telling me I need to keep going.

I could sure use some Love, Light and Positive Healing Energy right about now.


#ketaminetreatments #numbersix #treatmentresistantdepression #depression #anxiety #suicideprevention #suicideawareness #loveandlight #positivehealingenergy 

The Hamsa Hand

Jacob came home from Israel last night having had the most meaningful experience of his life to date.

He was baring gifts for us. 

His gift to me and my girls was very symbolic of his experience and truly meaningful to me. 

Over the past few years I have found a sense of spirituality in my journey. Not in a religious way though.

For me, finding a sense of spirituality has afforded me the opportunity to live in a place with greater compassion, beliefs, values and purpose. 

The Hamsa hand is a symbol of spirituality and has an abundance of meaning. 

It is said that by wearing a Hamsa hand downward around your neck it is inviting goodness into your life and is believed to attract hope. It is also believed to protect your heart from sadness and negative energy and  instead bring the wearer happiness, health, luck, strength and good fortune. 

I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect gift.

Thank you Jacob 💚💚💚

What does spirituality mean to you?

#hamsahand #hamsa #necklace #meaning #purpose #spirituality #gift #Israel #mentalhealth #mentalwellness #symbolism #hope #strength #goodfortune

Wishing Away The Day

Yesterday was picture perfect. I hiked, I ate cake, I spent time with loved ones and I got to celebrate my person’s special day. Nothing could be better.

But with each passing hour, even during the many joyful moments I still kept thinking to myself, when will the day end so that I can finally crawl into bed, under my weighted blanket.

It makes no sense I know. 

Why would I want such a picture perfect day with so many joyful moments in it to ever end?

Why would I want to crawl into bed so badly every night knowing that is where my anxiety soars to panic most often and my depression becomes exasperated by thoughts of suicide?

It was a picture perfect day yesterday that’s for sure and I experienced so many joyful moments, especially seeing the look of pure joy and happiness on Rich’s face throughout the entire day and evening. 

It’s all I ever want for him and especially yesterday. It’s been a really rough few months…

So I don’t really have an answer for you as to why I spend my days wishing them away and waiting for that moment when it finally feels acceptable to crawl back into bed. 

Oh right, I almost forgot, it’s called Depression.

When battling Depression the days can feel very long, but the nights often feel even longer, yet for some unexplainable reason it’s where I feel most comfortable being, even on the many nights like last night when I finally got into bed, beyond exhausted and unable to sleep and almost immediately I began to have a panic attack. I couldn’t breathe or catch my breath. I felt unsafe, I felt restless and scared and even after taking something to help me sleep, I slept less than an hour.

It certainly doesn’t help that today is literally the longest day of the year and the hours are figuratively creeping by ever so slowly as I sit here wishing away the time until I can finally crawl back into bed again, curl up under my weighted blanket and watch my Sunday night trash TV. 

Does anyone else feel this way ever?

What are your thoughts on Daylight Saving?

#bedtime #momentsofjoy #celebrations #daylightsavingtime #timeforbed #mentalhealth #mentalwellness #Depression #anxiety #suicideawareness #youarenotalone #itsoktonotbeok #youareenough

Summer of Rich “Birthday Edition”

Some highlights from our #summerofrich “Birthday Edition” yesterday.

We couldn’t have asked for a more perfect Fall day in November as we hiked for 3 grueling hours up and down some pretty steep and rocky terrain along the Bruce Trail; we learned some pretty cool stuff too. It was definitely one of our favourites by far.

Afterwards the celebrations continued with a quiet dinner at home with some family (don’t worry Jacob, we saved you a piece of cake for when you arrive home from Israel later this evening; can’t wait!!).

Rich also loved his new “one of a kind” hoodie I made for him which will keep him nice and toasty warm on all his #summerofrich “Winter Edition” adventures.

Life’s not about how hard of a hit you can give, it’s about how many times you can take and still keep moving forward ~Rocky~

#iloveyoutothemoonandback #foreverandaday #birthdayboy #oneofakind #birthdaynumberfiftynine #hiking #cake #mentalwellness #mentalhealth #familytime #cavespringsconservation #threehourhike

Happy birthday Rich!

There are not enough words in the dictionary (or Google🤭😉) to describe what an incredible human being you truly are in my eyes but here goes:

S- Superb

U- Uber

M- Marvelous

M- Memorable

E- Endearing

R- Radiant

O- Outstanding

F- Faithful

R- Resilient

I- Inspiring

C- Caring

H- Hilarious

A- Admirable

R- Respected

D- Devoted

I hope today brings with it lots of joy as we celebrate you 🥳. You most definitely deserve it 💖 .

Thank you for always loving me and for everything you do for our family.

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

(In case anyone missed my tribute blog yesterday:

#summerofrich #happybirthday #birthdaywishes #iwoofyou  #iloveyoutothemoonandback #nextyearsabigone #celebratethemoments

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