What is the one word that most anxious people hate? Change. Fear of Change is quite common to most people, but it thrives when you struggle with mental health. Any sort of change, big or small, seems terrifying; you don’t want to end up ‘stuck’ living a life that doesn’t bring you joy.

Our society is on an upward path now that a vaccine is readily available to some. I’m pleased to see how our lives will change once the state of emergencies and curfews lift. I’ve been using these last few weeks to honestly evaluate and assess what I need to personally change to find those moments of joy that seem so few and far between these days.

I am taking into account my Seasonal Affective Disorder. Still, I know that many old routines and regimes I had in place are not cutting it for me anymore. One major issue I’ve been battling for a few years (yes, YEARS!) is my current career. My passion for it has been sizzling out, but my anxiety has convinced me to stay. When I initially got hired, I was happy to have a job but told myself that I would keep looking. Nothing came from the abundance of resumes that I sent out for over a year, so I stopped. Life happened, and I made excuses all over again: “I’m recovering from my car accident,” “I’m planning for a trip,” “I’m pregnant.”
Now, I’m saying: “I’m a mother and need to save for retirement, so staying in a dead-end career is preferable to the risk of starting something new.”

When I said that to myself after coming back from Maternity Leave, I felt gutted. Why am I settling for something that I no longer enjoy? I’ve decided to challenge myself to overcome this fear. It’s gradual and at my own pace, but it’s a start in a new direction. The mere thought of it makes the days a little bit bearable.

With that being said, Anxious Andrea will most likely be phased out by the end of this year. This is nothing to be sad about; writing still brings me joy, and it’s been such a privilege to share my personal experiences with you. As we grow and shift through life, we notice that our energy and time need to be placed elsewhere, and that’s what’s happening!

Are there any topics that you want me to write on?
Are there any questions that you have in regards to mental health?
Do you want to scream at me for inciting change?

Leave a comment below!

Generally, around this time of year, I write out my reflections and reminisce on all the good that came my way. I’m not going to lie; writing out this post has been a bit of a struggle for me. When I look back on the past 12 months, I am shrouded with disappointment. I wish I could pinpoint the exact reason for feeling this way. The frustration lies with others, our society, and (surprise!) myself. My anxiety has been through the washer many times this year, and the frays are starting to unravel.

2020 has been challenging, and my mental health has been slowly deteriorating. I’ve been withdrawing due to having zero energy to be social, even over video calls. It’s been difficult, it’s been intense, and that’s OK. So many others have gone through significant losses this year: the loss of family, loss of friends, loss of jobs, loss of oneself. We cannot deny the surge of grievance that has presented itself, and we need to appreciate that everyone deals with things differently. Please be understanding if others aren’t present right now, there’s so much that we don’t discuss online, and withdrawals are just a way to recharge. Please keep checking in on those you care about; it will make all the difference in the world in the long run.

All aspects of society have been hit by this pandemic somehow, leaving us feeling overwhelmed and now causing lockdown burnout. It’s hard not to be angry right now; we’re just about to start another lockdown, thanks to those who believe they’re superior to the pandemic. The condescending tones regarding wearing a mask, refusal to keep 6 feet apart and continuous parties over the maximum allowance of individuals… It’s enough to drive one mad. It’s not cute to deny what’s happening because it’s inconvenient for you or doesn’t fit your lifestyle. My perception of many people (including some that I considered ‘friends’) has drastically changed forever. Unfortunately, it took a pandemic to open up my eyes, but I am thankful on some level.

I was still considered on Maternity leave up till the end of June. When I initially booked off my 12-month leave, I was ecstatic to have a full summer with my daughter, galivanting around. I had a lot of activities and visits planned, but none of them came to fruition. We tried to make the best of the situation, but it wasn’t the same. Trying to navigate this pandemic landscape with a toddler is frustrating because you cannot communicate with one another. I feel as if my first summer off was robbed and that my daughter is not getting the social aspects she needs for development. I wish I knew how to fix this, but I don’t think I can. This has caused me to overthink (a LOT), which has not been helpful.
When I went back to work, I was excited to get my old routine/schedule, but even those normalcies didn’t tend to my anxieties. It was challenging to find my groove again in the corporate world, and there were some days where I ended up crying. Even though I was working from home and close to my daughter as I could be, I was still disconnected. It took a month to get back into the swing of things, and I’m still trying to balance my home and work life – which is quite trying when you’re under one roof for all.

My usual stress relievers/coping strategies have been unattainable. I’m not a huge social butterfly, but I enjoy going to a local coffee shop to people watch or have the option. When things seem to be too much, I run to the gym to lash it out for an hour on several machines. Having these removed from my life doesn’t seem like it would cause a huge difference, but it does feel like my issues are worsening because of it. I think the key here is to have a routine and stick to it. I’ve fallen off my wagon a couple of times, and it’s hard to find the motivation to stick to a routine when the only person seeing results is you. Remember that it’s OK, and try to jump back on when you can. After all, we’re trying to get better for ourselves and not others.

During all of this, my husband was still waiting to hear back from the film industry when he could officially start again. It didn’t happen until October, meaning that he was unemployed from August 2019 till October 2020. It caused a severe strain on our finances and relationship – I still tear up just thinking of how much stress we were both under during this unprecedented time. On the one hand, I was elated to have a full-time Dad during my daughter’s milestone year. On the other hand, both of us were going through the motions, not communicating and not fully present. There’s so much more that I want to say on this subject, but I’m going to end it with one thought: If the both of you continue to show up/be present, no matter what was done or said, that’s unconditional love. Unconditional love is bittersweet to me; the last time I ever honestly had that in my life was with my adoptive mother, who passed on in 1998. It’s nice to have that feeling back regardless of the stressors that come with it. It’s hard to fight for a relationship when it’s just one person putting in all the effort; I feel thankful that he was willing to fight for us, too.

With this prolonged quarantine, I’m not surprised that it’s affected me both physically and mentally. Knowing that I tend to hibernate come winter, I decided to be proactive and start therapy once again. It’s been a slow crawl, but I think I have some pretty tangible and attainable goals. Even though I’ve been in therapy multiple times before, I’m still going and treating it like a ‘booster shot.’ I know that my feelings of disappointment can and will dissipate, but it’s been taking too long to do it myself. 

So, this year has come and gone, and what do I have to show for it?

Not much, aside from a sassy daughter who is keeping me on my toes, and that’s OK.

Not every year can be great, and I feel that everyone has been through the wringer more than once this year. Nothing is normal about what we’re going through right now, and I don’t think that we will ever get back to where we were before this all happened. I, for one, accept and welcome this.

If we could stop for one moment during this holiday time and be thankful for the little things, I think that could give us the glimmer of hope that we all need to continue to 2021. I am grateful for the roof over my head, the food in my belly, and the copious amounts of coffee that gets me through the day.

What are you thankful for?

It’s been an isolating time for this introvert. Due to another lockdown & some other stressors, I’ve been completely overwhelmed with everything, and I can feel my anxiety palpitating.

I tend to distract myself with other projects during these times, but this is only considered a band-aid solution. It is highly suggested that relaxation is the way to help anxiety (or depression, insomnia, pain, etc.). Everyone is different in how they relax, but I did want to share two useful techniques that have helped me over the years.

Box Breathing

This is the simplest one that I continuously use and have shared videos of throughout the years. Whenever I am stressed, I tend to breathe fast and shallow from my upper chest. It’s not hyperventilation, but it is considered close and could increase my anxiety if not fixed immediately.

Box breathing has four equal parts: inhale for four seconds, hold for four seconds, exhale for four seconds and pause for four seconds

Practising this breathing resets your respiratory system and promotes feelings of relaxation and calm. It’s helped me from various panic attacks, sleepless nights and painful procedures.

If you’ve never done this before, I highly recommend trying it in a seated position, feet flat against the floor, with one hand on your belly and the other on your chest. From where is your breathing coming? Shift your breathing so that the hand on your stomach is moving more than the hand on your chest. Meaning you’re breathing more from your diaphragm. Notice how your belly moves as you inhale deeply: does it feel jagged or smooth? Keep repeating the breathing exercise until your hand moves in a fluid motion

If you find yourself dizzy or short of breath, stop the exercise. Don’t get frustrated; you can restart in a minute. This does take time to achieve, but you can do this almost anywhere once you get the hang of it.

PMR: Progressive Muscle Relaxation

PMR is a series of exercises when you tense and relax specific muscles. This exercise will help you lower your overall tension and stress levels and help you relax when you feel anxious.

If you’ve never done this before, you’ll need a script to get started. Find a place where you won’t be disturbed, and set aside around 15-20 minutes to complete.

There are many scripts available online, but here’s a good start: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ihO02wUzgkc

You’ll initially start with a large group of muscles, but eventually, you can break it down into four sections. To find a full list on how to get started, you can visit Anxiety Canada

 For each group, tense your muscle for five seconds while breathing in, and then release for five seconds while breathing out. Repeat this two to three times. It’s important to FEEL the tension and release as you do this. Notice the difference between tension and relaxation. If you feel an area cramping or hurting, don’t repeat and move on to the next.

This is a little harder to achieve, so don’t beat yourself up if you can’t do this immediately. You may tense other surrounding muscles, and that’s ok! It took me almost a month to get it down because I felt uncomfortable focusing on my body. Sometimes I still use a script if it feels like my head is too cloudy; there’s no shame!

I hope that these two techniques can help you as they’ve helped me over the years.
If you have any other techniques that you would like to share with others, please leave them in the comments below!

I first learned about intrusive thoughts when I took a postpartum class a month after giving birth. It’s a common issue that many women can have intrusive thoughts about their baby, like: “What if I threw my baby down the stairs?”. It’s terrifying to think of something awful happening to your child, and these thoughts can be disturbing and isolating.

These thoughts can materialize out of nowhere, banging down the door to the party and cause such an uproar that it can induce more anxiety. Most of these thoughts focus on sexual, violent or socially unacceptable images. The people who experience these are afraid that they might commit these specific acts. It’s terrifying and confusing.

Your thoughts don’t equate to actionable items

The thing is, unwanted intrusive thoughts don’t just fall under pregnancy-related mood disorders. It can affect most people with Anxiety, OCD or PTSD. It’s estimated that 6 million Americans experience these thoughts. Still, most are ashamed and worried about them and therefore keep it a secret. They believe that something is deeply wrong with them, which causes them to fixate, blame and criticize themselves (Which causes more anxiety). This is not true; none of these are red flags, signals or warnings, despite how they feel.

Here are some other examples:

  • Dropping an excessive amount of money out of your wallet
  • Yelling obscenities in a Church/Mosque/Temple
  • Shouting RAPE/FIRE in a crowd with no imminent danger
  • Switching lanes and driving into oncoming traffic
  • Hitting, causing harm or murdering someone you love
  • Having a sexual encounter (violent or non) with a stranger, co-worker or family member.

There are so many more that I can layout, but I think you can get an idea.

Why do they feel so threatening and debilitating? Anxious thinking takes hold of them and twists them into something they are not. The harder you try to get rid of these thoughts fuels their intensity.
If you have a hidden desire to do ANY of these things, this is a different story. What you need to know is that these thoughts are standard. If you are bothered by these thoughts, you need to learn a new relationship with them to make it irrelevant and unimportant. Even though you can’t control when an intrusive thought pops into your head, you CAN control how you react to them.

How to Deal with Intrusive Thoughts

  • Acknowledge the thought as being intrusive
  • Remind yourself: the thought can’t hurt you and is not actionable
  • Do not engage or fixate on it; accept it and allow it to flow through.  
  • Continue doing what you were presently doing before this thought appeared and focus on that task. If you cannot, try to ground yourself.
  • Know that you are in control, and this thought is just a curiosity.
  • If these thoughts persist and you feel like you aren’t in control or you can’t discern between an idea or an action, talk to your doctor immediately.

This approach will be difficult to apply since you’re trying to react to automatic thoughts. If you continue to do so, you may see a chance that they will decrease in frequency and intensity. If you need help in this approach, CBT is the answer.
As always, I highly suggest meditation and regularly exercising to keep yourself calm, present and centre.

The AADA suggests viewing these thoughts as if they’re clouds. As quickly as one will come, it’ll also float away.

For more information/resources, please find the following:
a free e-newsletter that answers questions about intrusive thoughts
Check out this video by professional graphic designer and animator J. Nordby on how he overcame his struggles with intrusive thoughts. 
This article from Martin Seif Ph.D. ABPP & Sally Winston Psy.D.

If you know me personally, you would call me a Monica. I want to think that my husband has grounded me into a more laid-back person; Still, my Monica tendencies like to poke through. Back in June, I mentioned our whole house needed to follow a balanced lifestyle. I’m happy to report that due to my love of lists, schedules and planning, we’re doing it!

Since I’ve been working from home, I’ve been finding it hard to stay healthy & active. I knew I had to change it but honestly had no idea where to start.

The first thing that I started doing more of was Meal Prepping.
Before I had a baby, I was so good at doing this, and then after she came around, I found I was only doing HER meal prepping, which caused a lot of junk food to land in my mouth.
When my husband comes home from grocery shopping, I take this opportunity to wash/cut up our fruits and veggies. It makes it easy for me to grab a quick and healthy alternative, and I don’t have to ‘think’ of what to make. We also started planning our dinners each week to cut down on unnecessary spending and arguing over what to do for dinner. You’d be surprised how much time you save

Here’s what our current week looks like:

We try to use as many leftovers as we can to incorporate new meals & not every night has to be fancy either. Deluxe grilled cheeses mean you’re winning as an adult 😉

The second thing that I started to do was figuring out how to get more “me” time, either during the week or on the weekends. As a new mom, I’m finding myself bogged down with so much cleaning on the weekends that I said, “Fuck this shit!” I wanted my weekends back and started a Weekly Cleaning Schedule.

I don’t do anything on Wednesdays because we have no daycare options for our daughter – less stress = happy andrea

Granted, this works for ME and doesn’t even include the monthly cleaning that I do (like washing floors, clearing out the fridge, etc.). Still, I found that chopping it up evenly throughout the week meant that I had maybe 20 minutes of cleaning to do a day instead of killing my back for hours each weekend. You may chuckle at putting away my clean laundry on Mondays or decluttering our never-used dining room table, but hey, we’re all human, and sometimes laziness wins!

The third thing that I also started to do was making sure that I am actual MOVING. Since the majority of my job consists of me sitting, I know that I need to be more conscious of getting my daily exercise. This can be hard when you’re glued to a desk, but I made a mini workout schedule for myself that I try to adhere to every morning.

I generally work from 7-3, so around 10, I’ll go downstairs and do my 5-minute workout, grab a bowl of fruit, fill up my water bottle and head back to the grind. I’ve noticed that taking those 5 minutes has elevated my mood. Once I get into a better groove, I’ll be doing more repetitions instead of one.
I used to sit at my desk and eat as I would work, but since I’m now at home, I try to walk around the block before lunch. Gaining those extra steps in a day and getting some sunshine is so beneficial to my mental health.
If I have to take a phone call that doesn’t require video, I tend to walk around the house. I probably drive my husband bonkers doing this. Still, I remind myself that all of these small things do accumulate into something. I’ve been hitting my steps for the last week!

There are so many other things that you can do to get your balance, everyone is different, and not everything I do will apply or work for you. I’m sharing what works for me because I know what it’s like to have zero motivation even to fathom doing a ‘plan.’

How have you been surviving?  

I remember my first group therapy session quite well. It was more of a social gathering at a local community centre with other families who lost an immediate family member. They split us into two groups; all the adults went to a separate room while the ‘kids’ stayed behind. I say ‘kids’ because there was no specific age range, I was roughly twelve years old at the time, yet there were both older and younger people surrounding me.
We all gathered in a circle, and each took turns speaking about our loved ones. The thought of me talking in front of strangers was making me anxious. Still, as we went through the different stories, my anxiety lessened. Knowing that others went through something similar seemed to make my grief manageable. When it came time for me to speak, I wasn’t as ‘squeaky’ as I usually was in situations – I still cried as I reminisced about my mother, but it was a lot softer than usual.

I made a friend that day, who turned out to be so much more. Her name was Jennifer, and she lost her father. We were able to talk openly, and it was welcomed. I was still unable to open up to my adoptive father fully. Little to our surprise, both of our parents hit it off and started dating. When that relationship failed, we lost contact almost immediately. It was a hard blow, especially since I was beginning to consider her like a sister and I never fully understood what happened. Of course, thanks to social media, we recently reconnected, and it was if we never stopped talking. I can’t wait for her to meet my little one once we’re out of this pandemic.

When I look back on the group therapy sessions, she’s the first thing that comes to mind. Of course, the therapy aspect was helpful, but finding someone else who was going through the same thing was priceless.

I’m honoured to say that over the last few weeks, I’ve partnered with Pay What You Can Group Therapy.
Their mission is almost identical to mine, to support others seeking mental health care. The concept is simple – it’s free group therapy that is monitored by licensed professionals. If you enjoyed and/or found value in any of the sessions, they ask you pay what you can!
It’s been a pleasure working with the team, and I hope that you all can take advantage of FREE group therapy starting tonight, July 21st.

 

Some of you have noticed my absence on here, and I just wanted to touch base.

As I mentioned in a few posts before, I’ve been in isolation months before this quarantine took effect. I would say that I’ve been a homebody for almost 6 months now. Being home has been a challenge on my mental health, and it’s also taken a toll on my relationship with others.

When things are too much, I generally back away, and that’s what I’ve been doing. I’ve been trying my best to tread in the shallow water while observing the catastrophes surrounding me.

My husband has been unemployed for 10 months now, and the stress of that has been eating away. With no real start date on when things will turn around for the film industry, it’s been a struggle for us to stay positive. My maternity leave will end soon, and I am shrouded with uncertainty even though I am excited to get back to my old routine. It’s hard for me to fall asleep most nights now because my mind is racing with what-ifs. I am exhausted in more ways than one.

My health isn’t any better, and I am entirely to blame for the majority of it.
I’ve gained back all of the weight that I lost months after giving birth. I am not as active as I once was, and that’s given me a slew of secondary issues that make it hard to find the motivation to get up and go. Walking up and down the stairs with my daughter is leaving me breathless, and I’m on the verge of tears, thinking I won’t be able to catch up to her soon.

I’ve also been dealing with jaw problems and perimenopause symptoms, which are the icing on top of everything else.

I can hear people getting annoyed whenever I bring some of these things up, so I’ve just stopped. I preach about opening up and talking, yet here I am doing the opposite. In the grand scheme of things, complaining seems trivial. Who has time to complain about my relationship with my husband, my extreme exhaustion, or the severe daily hot flashes when there are more significant issues? From my perspective, everyone is going through their own shit, so mine seems mundane.

My heart is heavy for the world.
It’s been a challenge to be an empath during these unprecedented times. I’ve tried to limit my social media or news outlets to get a breather, but that is only good for maybe a day or two.

When I watch my daughter play, my chest gets heavy. My anxiety-ridden mind wonders why I would bring a tiny human into a broken world. Her slobbery kisses generally ground me back, but those thoughts can jump back at any moment.

I’m trying to stay hopeful that things will get better soon, but some days it’s hard to be positive. I’m sure I’m not alone in thinking this, so for those who are also struggling: I feel you.

The last few weeks have been challenging and bittersweet. My daughter has been reaching new milestones, and it’s been amazing to watch her grow as a person. Even though I am beaming with pride, I find myself shrouded with guilt and grief.

When I left my toxic family home at the age of eighteen, there wasn’t much that I could bring with me. Things that I never thought I would need were left behind, which held a lot of meaning. For instance, my ‘baby book’ that my adoptive mother curated. It contained all of my milestones and a golden lock from my first hair cut. Now that I have a child of my own, I am longing for these connections and comparisons.

Over the years, I’ve accepted the fact that I don’t have roots, as many other people do. Although at times it can be painful, I know that I cannot blame myself for what happened. I cannot blame myself for not taking that baby book when the only thing surging through my body was flight mode.

Whenever I get into this mind-frame, I think about my adoptive mother. I think of all the love that we shared in the short amount of time that we had together. I’m so glad that those memories of happiness can still burst through the dark times.

Grief has a funny way of showing up, and I think it’s amplified now due to our quarantine. We grieve for the loss of our freedom, jobs, and normalcy. It’s only natural for the loss of someone important to us to jump in. It doesn’t matter when we lost said person; it could be days, months, or twenty-two years.
I try my best to push through the guilt and grief… but it’s hard.
We need to remind ourselves that we can’t be perfect every day, and some days will be harder than others. I just so happen to be going through a harder day today, but I know tomorrow won’t be the same.

I do wish my mother was still here, and I think on some spiritual level she is. As each day passes with my daughter, I realize that I am my mother. I am everything I ever wanted her to be, and for that, I am thankful.

It’s hard to ask for help, but luckily in today’s society, there’s an app for that!

Even though I preach of talking to others, its hard to take that first step to open up about what we struggle with. I blog openly about it so others can be inspired to do the same, but if you’re still not brave or bold enough, try some of these apps to help you out!

Please keep in mind that some of these apps do have in-store purchases, so please review them before downloading and using – Make sure you get the app that’s right for you!

CBT Thought Diary
CBT Companion
CBT Nuggets
DBT Coach
Mindshift CBT
Moodpath
Quirk CBT
Sanvello
Woebot
Wysa
Youper

For Mindfulness
Aura
Balance: Meditation
Breathe: Meditation & Sleep
Calm
Headspace
Insight Timer
The Mindfulness App
Mindfulness Coach
#Mindful
Mindfulness with Petit Bambou
Reflectly
Smiling Mind

For Journaling

Daylio Journal
Happy Feed
Moody
Mood App
Mood Panda
Moodwell

Do you have any suggestions to add? Please comment below!

Last year when I wrote my reflections, I left out some huge news that I didn’t make public until February. I was PREGNANT! I was ecstatic but reserved the news for many reasons. It wasn’t until my grandmother was admitted to the ICU that I made the news public, hoping that my good news could at least soften the blow. 

When we lost her days after her birthday in March, I was gutted. My grandmother meant a lot to me; I considered her a mother when I lost mine at 11. I was unable to say goodbye to her properly while she was in the hospital and felt a ping of guilt. The problem was, pregnancy was not kind to me, and I suffered morning sickness constantly. Making a trip over 500 km by myself seemed impossible, so I did what was best for the baby and me and stayed behind until we needed to go. 

When it came time for her funeral, I was anxious to go, but my husband and mother-in-law joined me. We piled up into her car and started our journey, little did I know what was in store for us. 

Not even an hour into our drive, we were hit with a freak white-out storm. We started to hear cars crashing all around us, and even though my mother-in-law slowed down, we were smack dab in the middle of a pile-up. We were hit three times, but I can only remember two of the vehicles. I was in complete shock and feared for my unborn baby. I cradled my stomach thinking it would protect her. 

An 18-wheeler hit the back, causing the trunk to fold like an accordion and smash the glass within. A pickup truck hit my side, the passengers, which caused the mirror to fly off and dent the door so I badly I couldn’t exit. It wasn’t until hours later when everything settled that I realized, if that pickup truck was an inch closer to the left, I might not even be here. The car was a complete write-off, and people were taken away by ambulances. Several days later, I would find out that my ribs were out of place, but that didn’t warrant an immediate hospital visit. I couldn’t believe our luck, but somehow I knew my grandmother was there protecting us. 

I was on high alert and couldn’t even call my family in Montreal to let them know that we would not continue our drive; my husband did it for me. Going to bed that night was difficult as more guilt crept in over missing the service the following day. I was able to call in and hear my best friend read my speech, but it was not the same. I know that if she were still here, she would have been upset if I came in after that ordeal, but that didn’t make the guilt surpass.


My first realization of the year – No matter how prepared you think you are for the death of a loved one, it still hurts.


I was able to say goodbye with a shiva service in Ontario and again at her gravesite in June. At that point, I was close to 8 months pregnant, going through a depression, and trying to find the good that surrounded me. It was hard, and I struggled. People kept reiterating that they were there for me, but they only meant it in a certain way.  


To keep myself occupied, I kept working on my first book, Albatross, and was determined to get it published before Eve made her appearance in August. The story behind Albatross is very personal and tells my story of leaving a toxic family in Montreal. I knew that I had to get this published before I started my life as a mom, I kept thinking, “
Out with the old and in with the new.” In early August, I was finally able to publish it, and I felt a weight lift off my shoulders. I’d been so anxious and doubtful if I should even share my story, but I knew that was the old way of thinking.


My second realization of the year –
“Sometimes you have to accept something for what it is and move on.”
I needed to overcome my past, and I did by making it public. I’m hopeful that someone else who went through something similar can find solace in my words.


The days that followed were filled with a bundled of nerves. I was about to become a mom and felt an overwhelming sensation of nerves, joy, panic and love. Even though I still surged with depression, I was ready for the next step. Part of me knew I was feeling this way due to my hormones, so I was impatient with wanting to give birth to her. I was ready to feel elated, to provide all the love inside of me to a tiny human, to finally put my roots into the ground and start my own family. 

On August 13th, I met the new love of my life and best friend, Eve.
Even though I read all the books, I wasn’t prepared for the first couple of months – and I think that’s normal. You need to learn along with your baby what’s best for both of you, and even though I was tired as hell, I was ready for this chapter.


It’s true what they say about becoming a mother and losing some friendships. I didn’t care, which is a massive step for me. I usually would overthink and be a worrywart, but my perception has changed drastically, and I now have other priorities. I didn’t have the energy to fight or put in the effort when the other party didn’t do the same. 


My final realization of the year –
Everything happens for a reason, and you’re not always going to get the closure/explanation you think you deserve. That has been a hard one to grasp, but once you stop caring, you can truly live your life. 


I am thankful for my real friends who called, visited and stayed on top of my mentality throughout the full year. Even if it was just a quick “thinking of you” message, it was much appreciated in my down moments.


As I think back on this year, I could easily say that it was hard and trying, but I needed to go through the rough times to get to the better ones. I’m still not where I want to be emotionally, but I am getting there and can say that I am hopeful for 2020 to bring more good moments than bad.


To all my readers, thank you for letting me be a part of your life. Writing out my feelings, reflections, and everything in-between has always helped my anxieties, and I hope I have helped in any way, shape or form with yours. Happy Holidays and cheers to the New Year