World Suicide Prevention Day 2021

I hear you. I see you. I feel you. I appreciate you. 

I am truly blessed knowing how many people I have in my life who genuinely care about my well-being. 

I’ve read each and every message (both from my Social Media feeds and those who messaged me privately as well) probably a dozen or more times by now since sharing with you a very heartfelt and vulnerable blog I wrote yesterday.  

I cried alot.

I smiled too.

Today is World Suicide Prevention Day. I know I am struggling alot right now and I’m finding it more and more difficult to cope with my very dark and overwhelming thoughts of suicide.

I want you to know that it’s okay to acknowledge that things may not be okay. That you may not be okay. 

Just know that YOU are not alone.

Yesterday one of the private messages I received from a friend was a short animated video clip written and narrated by Brene Brown (who I admire so much) after reading my blog because she thought it perfectly summed up what I had written. The clip emphasizes the important differences between empathy and sympathy and how showing empathy towards others “fuels” connections, whereas sympathy does not. Empathy is about feeling “with” people. It’s about reaching out to someone for help and having that person say “hey, here I am”. “You’re not alone”. It’s not about looking for the silver lining (a perfect example from my blog yesterday would be someone saying to you “well at least you don’t have Cancer” when you tell them you are feeling depressed). It’s about being honest and saying I’m glad you told me. It’s not about the response, it’s about the connection.

As difficult as this week has been for me I know in my heart that I need to keep writing and sharing my journey, probably now more than ever.

We all need to do our part to raise more awareness, educate others and help reduce the stigma; and yes we NEED to talk about suicide too. 

Asking someone about suicide will help break the silence and can save a life. 

Take a moment today to connect with someone who may be struggling right now. Let them know you hear them. You see them. You feel them. You appreciate them.

Start a conversation and then keep it going; today, tomorrow and the day after tomorrow and the day after that too. 

I also wanted to let you know that my book “Where Did Mommy’s Smile Go?” is now available for purchase at Batner Bookstore at 180 Steeles Ave. W. in Thornhill (or through me as well). They specialize in new and used textbooks, workbooks, study guides, course materials and literature. It’s a perfect addition to any classroom, library or children’s bookshelf especially as we begin another uncertain school year ahead and when so many children and caregivers are facing the worst mental health crisis of our lives.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for being a part of my journey. The good, the bad and the ugly. I love you all so much. #shabbatshalom

#worldsuicidepreventionday #startaconversation #youmatter #youareenough #youareworthy #suicideprevention #mentalhealth #yourmentalhealthmatters #empathy #itsoktonotbeok #youarenotalone @the_batner_bookstore @brenebrown

High School Graduation…Finally

Just 2 weeks shy of completing her first semester at Ryerson University in Interior Design, Rachel officially graduated from High School tonight!

It may not have been in the traditional way that we had hoped for but we are extremely proud of all of her accomplishments during her time in High School just the same.

*Ontario Scholar
*Specialist High Skills Major~Arts & Culture
*French Academic Certification

#soproudofyou #highschoolgraduatefinally #FU2020 #virtualgraduation #movingforward #resiliency #perservarance #milestones #inthehistorybooks #onwardandupward #youareenough

Paint The Town

Today Rachel will embark on a new chapter in her life as she begins her first day of University; working towards her lifelong goal of becoming an Interior Designer (in LA!).

Today you leave behind a once in a lifetime cancelled Graduation trip, a brand new Prom dress with the tags still on, a High School Graduation Ceremony that is still TBA and a summer like no other. 

And although today as you begin this new chapter in your life very differently from how it’s meant to be, it will still be filled with new beginnings and endless possibilities.

Today is your day to start anew and wipe the slate clean. Today is your day to focus on the journey forward. Today is your day and I know that you are going to paint the town with every colour of the rainbow.

#todayisyourday #mondaymotivation #paintthetown #ryersonuniversity #interiordesign2024 #futureinteriordesigner #focusonthejourney #onlinelearning #zoom #followyourdreams #youvegotthis  #youareenough #youarenotalone

Dear Teachers, Educators, Parents and Children:

***Grab a tissue before you watch*** 

Listen closely to the real “experts” tell us how they are feeling right now as they prepare to head back to the classroom (either virtually or in person).  Listen closely to the real “experts” talk about their fears of the unknown ahead and their growing uncertainty of the future. And listen very closely as they send a genuine, sincere and incredibly powerful message to our teachers about how important they are to them and just how much of an impact our educators can make on a child’s health and wellbeing. 

These “experts” of all ages, races and ethnicities are speaking with truth and honesty from their heart on behalf of youth everywhere to let teachers know how truly missed and respected they are and how much their guidance and support keeps them feeling hopeful both in the classroom and beyond. Thank you to our teachers for giving our children a safe and inclusive place to turn.

Don’t forget to grab your tissue first; you’ve been warned!

#schoolmentalhealthontario #ouryouthmatter #strongertogether #kindness #goteachers #staysafe #youvegotthis #youareenough #itsoktonotbeok #mentalhealth #mentalwellness #advocate #endthestigmatogether #youarenotalone #kindnessmatters 

A Fresh Coat of Paint

Rachel has been hard at work prepping her new classroom before the start of the Fall semester and her first term in University. It may not be the ideal situation or one that many of us would have chosen for our children but to quote the Schmuck himself (AKA: The President of The United States) “It is what it is!” 

So for now Rachel is trying to make the best of a pretty shitty situation by creating her own oasis in our living room and claiming it as her new workspace and art studio, starting by adding a fresh coat of paint to the walls. 

A fresh coat of paint can be beneficial to our mental wellness and can bring with it a calming effect and a sense of comfort and ease. Having a clean and orderly space, reducing the amount of clutter in it and being surrounded by bright, natural lighting can also become a healing sanctuary for our mental wellbeing. 

I’m just not so sure that Maggie is thrilled with Rachel trying to take over her favorite spot in the house where she sits on her throne and keeps a close watch on the goings on outside but that’s for the two of them to work out! 

#interiordesign  #ryersonuniversity #nextchapter #classof2024 #onlinelearning #onlineclassroom #afreshcoatofpaint #mentalwellness #mentalhealth #youareenough #childandyouthmentalhealth #mindfulness #makingthebestofashittysituation

One Final Thank You

Just one final thank you to @cbcthenational for sharing my story so perfectly.  Thank you to @kidshelpphone for making a difference in so many young lives and thank you to the “Class of 2020” Graduates for teaching the rest of the world the true meaning of resilience while learning to face adversity head on in a time of so much uncertainty. You may forever be remembered as the “Graduating Class of Covid-19” but the lessons you will take with you as you transition into the next phase of your journey will carry you far beyond what any classroom ever could.

#classof2020 #graduationday #grads #strongertogether #togetherapart #wereallinthistogether #mentalhealth #mentalwellness #youareenough #youarenotalone #itsoktonotbeok  #makingadifference #ouryouthmatter #pandemicdiaries

Another Happy Graduate

When I receive pictures like these ones it completely warms my heart. Today a group of amazing Teachers and EA’s surprised some of their “Awesome Grads” from Our Lady of Victory School in Toronto with a small Graduation ceremony outside their homes toting presents, balloons and a “Class of 2020” Graduation lawn sign.

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words, but a smile is worth a million more.

#graduationday #grads #classof2020 #ouryouthmatter #strongertogether #smiles #togetherapart #wereallinthistogether #mentalhealth #youareenough #youarenotalone #bekind #kindnessmatters #thankyou @kidshelpphone @boorola

Graduation Day

Tonight we should be gathered together in a room bursting with pride and surrounded by 100’s of excited parents, siblings, grandparents, teachers, administrators and many more to watch our Graduate(s) take centerstage and handed their diplomas and recognized for their many successes and achievements they have put forth over the last 4 years in High School.

But instead tonight we improvise, still bursting with the same pride though as we quietly celebrate our Graduate’s successes and acknowledge her many achievements over the last 4 years.

Tonight we close this chapter and look forward to celebrating many more of her successes and achievements that lay ahead.

Mazel Tov Rachel and Congrats to all the 2020 Graduates.

#youvegotthis #youareenough #westmountcollegiateinstitutegraduate #bewolves #nextchapter  #paintthetown #2020willneverbeforgotten #graduationday #capsoff #thegraduate #celebratetheclassof2020 #wherehasthetimegone #itisabigdeal  #ouryouthmatter #strongertogether #family #memories #togetherapart #wereallinthistogether #mentalhealth #mentalwellness #thecupcakeshoppe #vegancupcakes #champagnewishes

Thankful and Blessed

Today I was so honored to receive an amazing and much appreciated nomination from my very dear friend Sheri Epstein and my very new friend Belora Cotnareanu whom I am so blessed to have both of these strong and supportive ladies in my life. I was nominated in a group that was formed just a couple of months ago called “Creative Cooking During Corona” by  Cheryl Obrant who’s love of food and community has since brought together almost 10,000 like-minded individuals who share recipes and build each other up! See below:

CELEBRATING WOMEN  #top10

“Is there someone in your life, or even yourself, who has really done something unique and special during these past few months??
Stepped up in an incredible way, given back to others, come up with a unique or innovative business idea……Overcome challenges or adversities and deserves to be Spotlighted and recognized???
TODAY WE FEATURE THE 10th OF OUR #TOP10 a double nomination by Sheri Epstein and Belora Cotnareanu – thank you ladies and we share with you the amazing Kim Newman Fluxgold

Here is the story shared by Sheri and supported by Belora

Kim Fluxgold has suffered from severely debilitating depression for the past 6-7 years. She has tried many things to help her “get better” nothing has made a difference. Although her depression has often made her feel like giving up she doesn’t!

Each day she tries to cope with the challenges of daily life of being a wife and a mother, which in itself is difficult enough. But… on top of that she has made a commitment to helping others who are suffering like she is. Kim writes a blog entitled, You Are Enough, and she even authored and published a book for children, “Where Did Mommy’s Smile Go” to help parents explain depression to young children.

Then the shut down happened and Kim became very concerned for all the grade 12 students who were losing out on the things that mark the end of high school. As a mother of a grade 12 student (as I am also) she knew that this shut down wasn’t just about losing out on part-time jobs and march break plans, but also losing out on prom, graduation, summer plans, moving into residence, frosh week, etc.

As well, she was and is very worried that all this loss could cause many of our children profound sadness, feelings of grief, and depression. Kim wanted to do something to show our graduates –all our graduates – that we are  proud of them and that we honour them.
So Kim designed these wonderful lawn signs and all proceeds from the signs are being donated to Kids Help Phone, which is seeing an increase in calls since the shut down.

Kim did all the advertising for the signs, had them made, and then delivered each one personally (with her family members helping with driving and schlepping) to each grad.

This has put many miles on her car as she has travelled all around the GTA putting smiles on grads’ faces. To date she has raised about $10,000 for Kids Help Phone. I would say that this is pretty amazing for anyone to do but for someone who struggles each day with depression this is AWESOME!

Kim is most deserving any and all accolades that she gets (even if she often doesn’t feel that she is worthy of them).

WHAT AN AMAZING STORY!!!!!!!!!  SO PROUD OF YOU KIM!!!!!!!!!!!!

#womensupportingwomen #empowerment #bekind #itsoktonotbeok #youarenotalone #youareenough #blessed






It’s Raining On Prom Night 2020


Well it’s official, exactly 1 month after her High School Graduation Trip with her friends was abruptly cancelled (or rescheduled for later this summer but who’s kidding who?) due to Covid-19 the inevitable was finally announced yesterday that my daughter’s Prom was officially cancelled and that her Graduation Ceremony at the end of June has been postponed indefinitely. 

The sudden cancellation of a once in a lifetime High School Graduation Trip last month hit us pretty hard even though we had been closely watching the virus’s force spreading quickly across the world in the week leading up to her trip, nonetheless it fell fast and furious and it was beyond heartbreaking. Since that day soooo much has changed (like everything to be exact) but at least this time we saw it coming and have had plenty of time to process it.

But no matter how much time our High School Graduates have had to process all this it will still never change the fact that they have been robbed of some of the best days of their lives, their Rite of Passage and possibly some of their hardest days too. Everything they have done from Kindergarten up until today has been a dress rehearsal for this one special moment, the moment where they get to spread their wings and fly on their own in order to chase after their hopes and dreams and find out who they truly are.

Yes some of you reading this will question what gives these kids the right to feel sad or angry or frustrated or disappointed or depressed that their High School Prom was cancelled (along with all the stuff leading up to the day) or that they may not get to receive their High School Diploma in a traditional Graduation Ceremony or that this was supposed to be their final swan song to friends before going off in different directions in the Fall when knowingly there are thousands of people who are critically ill and dying around the world and thousands of other people who are risking their own health to help the sick and dying or that millions more could lose their livelihood and businesses? 

Well in short, they have every right to feel sad and angry and frustrated and disappointed and even depressed because we feel how we feel and whatever we (“we” means High School Graduates) are feeling right now is perfectly valid so go ahead and give yourself permission to feel without any guilt or judgment whatsoever, heck, go ahead and scream and cry too while you’re at it.

This pandemic has caused disappointment and devastation to so many of us and whether it’s a concert, a trip of a lifetime, your Wedding Day, your Prom or your Graduation Ceremony that has had to be postponed inevitably or cancelled completely due to Covid-19 just please try to remember that what you may perceive as a disappointment or devastation may not hold the same grading to someone else and that’s perfectly okay but at the end of the day (a very long day) no matter what, “we are all in this together”.

Congrats to all the Graduates of 2020 (from Preschool to Post Graduate). Wishing you the best of luck and much success on whatever adventures lie ahead. 

***And to think, 3 months ago when Rachel found her dream dress for Prom our biggest worry was whether or not it would arrive on time and now I’m left to ponder what we do when it actually does arrive 🤔. 

#staysafe #stayhome #flattenthecurve #socialdistancing #togetherapart #itsoktonotbeok #youarenotalone #covid19 #coronavirus #prom #riteofpassage #graduationday #youareenough #twentytwentysucks #thegraduate #ryersonuniversity2024 #interiordesign #dreams #goals #wellearned #historyinthemaking