It’s Fall Y’all. Don’t Forget to Refill Those Meds.

Back when I was a younger and what I thought was a happier human living in denial of my mental health issues and pushing all those bad feelings deep deep down, autumn was my favorite season. Change wasn’t so bad, plus look at all the pretty colors! But a lot has changed in the past few years.

Fall is a tough time for a lot of my homies with mental health problems. It is filled with change making it hard as hell for those of us who have a difficult time regulating that type of stuff. Here are just a few of those changes you may identify with.

The weather turns colder and wetter and forces us to spend more time inside. For me that means I do more binge watching while curled under a blanket and get less exercise and vitamin D. It is tough to get off that couch once I am there so I also spend less time with friends and make up a lot more excuses because it is just easier to stay at home. This is super problematic for me because exercise and outside time are a huge recharger for me. Also, despite being painfully introverted I do get a lot of positive energy from time with friends in small doses. When I start to retreat to the couch it takes a toll on my mental health and happiness.

A change that I deal with as a mother is the kids going back to school. I sometimes feel I am in the minority because I love when the kiddos are on summer break. They are more relaxed, less stressed, happier, and just more themselves. Come September when classes start up again the stress level in our house increases monumentally. And I totally get why. These young people are dealing with having all of their time suddenly structured. They have less free time to do what makes them happy, they have homework and after school activities and the stress of having to be “perfect” and do enough so they can someday get into a good college and not ruin their future. Add on to this the social pressure of trying to balance being cool while still making smart choices. Top this all off with raging hormonal changes and I have no fucking clue how they make it through each day. The stress level for teenagers is ridiculous. And I have three in my house. So their stress and moodiness and total departure from their “normal”, mostly happy selves, creates a lot of change in our family dynamic.

The days become shorter. The sun rises later and sets earlier. We see a hell of a lot less of that big happy yellow ball in the sky. This is another thing that contributes to the extra couch time. Who wants to go out when it’s dark? In Minnesota where I live soon it will be dark when we head to work in the morning and dark again when we head home. Less sun equals less Vitamin D and less happiness.

Sickness. Ugh. Autumn is rife with illness in my household. The change in weather upsets our immune systems making us more susceptible to all the new school germs that the kiddos are bringing home. I’m just getting over a respiratory cold from Hell that left me in bed for three days wishing I would just fucking die already.

I’m sure I could go on and on but you get the picture. I’m sure you all have your own changes that you deal with as well.

So how do we get through these seasons of change without doing too much mental damage?

One of the things I try to do (which I am failing at pretty miserably this year) is finding the beauty in the change. It is easiest to do this with the changes in nature. Get out for a hike. Notice the colors and the smells. Take a camera with and snap a few pictures. You’ll get some exercise, some vitamin D and a little mental boost.

Watch that diet. I know when I get depressed I go straight to the junk which only feeds into the yucky feelings and does no favors for your immune system. Make healthy soups and stews. Easy things you can throw in the crockpot that warm you up inside and out. Include lots of veggies. But don’t forget to indulge a little in all of the seasonal apple-y and pumpkin-y sweets.

Make time to spend with friends and family. We all get so busy with all the changes in schedule but it is super important to make time for those we love to recharge our batteries and remember why it is we keep going in this world. It can be tough to find the time but just remember it doesn’t have to be tons of time. Make sure you have dinner with your family a few times a week. Even if it at 4:00 or 9:00. Just commit to the time together. Get a quick coffee or beer with a friend. Even if it is just for 15 minutes in between things for a quick catch up session. The important thing is to not isolate yourself. Because isolation never ends well.

Make self care a priority. Whatever that looks like for you. I like to go to more gentle yoga classes starting in the fall. Gentle stretching in a nice warm room is good for my soul. Find little things that make you happy. Get yourself a fall flavored coffee or tea. Bake a yummy apple dessert and invite some friends over to share it. Or go get lost in the woods for an hour (not literally though). Whatever helps feed your soul.

Refill those fucking meds. Do not under any circumstances forget to take those meds. When I first started taking anti-depressants it was during the fall season and it has helped me immensely to regulate during these times of change. If you have questions about meds talk to your doctor or I’d be happy to sit down and share my personal experience.

I think the most important thing of all is to check on your friends. Especially those you know have a tough time with these transitional seasons. Remind them that you are here. That you care. That they can always count on you. That they are valuable. That you love them. That we need them here.

Because fall is a tough time and I want us all to get out of it alive.

Remember that the bad is temporary. Recognize that there are reasons you are feeling down and you are not alone. It gets better. Always. Just hold on.

I hope you find some beauty and if you are having a tough time and need some help please reach out. To me or someone else.

Love to you all. The unconditional kind.

Using My Mental Toolbox

This time of year is hard and it is very easy for me to find myself backpedaling with my mental health. Part of it is that there is just so much change. Change in seasons and weather. Change in the amount of sunshine vs darkness. Change in my children’s lives with back to school and trying new activities and getting used to new schedules and routines. I am notoriously bad with change. Add to that the negativity of news and elections and money stress and it is easy for me to start sliding.

It all starts with little things. I start eating like shit. I stop sleeping because my mind won’t turn off. I lose interest in doing things that make me happy because I am just so fucking exhausted from the lack of sleep. So I stop going to my yoga classes and I quit running. I spend more time on the couch. I disconnect more from life.

My brain takes this opportunity to start to lie to to me. It starts with little niggling insecurities and moves on to bigger and bigger sweeping generalizations. Eventually I am a terrible mom. I am a terrible wife. I am a terrible friend. I am a terrible human. I am useless. I start rapidly descending down the rabbit hole of self doubt.

In the past this kind of downward spiral would lead to suicidal thoughts and ideations. I would think that I am so awful I don’t deserve to live and really everyone else is better off without me anyways. I’d be doing the world a favor if I wasn’t here anymore. Down, down, down.

But I do not find myself there this fall. At least not at the bottom of the hole.

I am struggling, true. I thought I was getting pretty bad, yes. I started fearing the worst was coming again, absolutely. But then I remembered something. I remembered my toolbox. All of the tricks and tips I have gained from therapy. Sort of my mental first aid kit.

I remembered to stop and breathe and take an inventory of sorts. I am still going to yoga albeit not as frequently. I am running occasionally, when I feel like I really want to, but not constantly like a compulsion. I have a weekly date with my bestie and I am still leaving the house to do things with my hubby. I baked cookies the other day. I have not walled myself off emotionally or physically from the outside world. I am still taking pictures of nature and recognizing beauty. I am still seeing color; not everything is grey.

Fuck you brain. You fucking liar.

From there I can pep talk myself into making some small changes. I will start eating better. Less sugar, more veggies. I will make it a point to get to yoga 2 times a week. I will not pressure myself to run if I don’t feel like it. I will do those fucking dishes in the sink. I will volunteer at the kiddos’ school. Baby steps. Little things.

I have to remind myself that I don’t have to do ALL of the things. Doing some of the things is totally acceptable and really probably normal. Also everything doesn’t have to be awesome all the time. Sometimes it is okay to be just okay. And sometimes it is okay to not be okay. Neither of those things is a failure. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing.

It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. This is the thing I will struggle with all the way to my grave. But I am learning. Slowly.

So today I will go to the pharmacy and pick up my refill of my meds and remember that I am taking steps to be okay. Lots and lots of little steps. I am in a much better place than I was a year ago. I am okay. And that is okay.

It feels okay to be okay.

If you are struggling I encourage you to dip into your mental first aid kit and take an inventory. Be gentle with yourself. Remind yourself that it is okay to just be okay. And if you feel like you are absolutely not okay and you find that inventory to be empty then please reach out and get some help. Contact a friend or better yet a therapist. Get the help you need so that next time you start down the rabbit hole you don’t go quite so deep.

Love to you all. The unconditional kind ❤


The last 3 years of my life have been filled with changes. Some big, some small. Some bad, but most for the better. All of them have included some pretty tough decisions followed by hard, at times exhausting work. Therapy, meds, digging into my past and trying to fix the crazy-making damage that was done for so many years. Trying to find out who I am and cultivating that new self. As a person who has a very hard time with change and unpredictability it has seemed at times impossible. But I have persisted because I want to be healthy. For the first time in my life. And these changes seem worth it.

Last week I decided it was time to make another big change.

I decided it was time to leave my job. My job had become a source of such enormous stress and unhappiness it was affecting my family and really everyone in my life. It was draining me of my happiness and positivity to the point where I was starting to wonder if that was ever even who I was or if I had just imagined that I used to be that way.

The thing is, I am so good at my job. It is incredibly difficult and requires a great amount of organization which I am great at. You have to be very detail oriented but also flexible and able to pivot quickly but able to keep approximately 1,465 ducks all in a row at one time while drawing from a bottomless well of patience. It is challenging but also satisfying. And I have always taken a great amount of satisfaction in being able to do it so well. I feel good when I am successful. And I am usually successful because I am a very driven, hard-working people-pleaser. My happiness often hinges on success and making other people happy. This is a thing I have discovered in the last year is very unhealthy. Because one cannot always be successful and hinging your happiness on that is very dangerous indeed.

The thing about my job is it is also very frustrating. It involves a fair amount of baby-sitting other adult human beings who never seem to do what they are supposed to do no matter how many times you tell them. People who have enormous egos and don’t always treat you with the kindness and respect that all humans deserve. My job has a million moving parts but so many of the people that I work with think that they are the center of the universe and require so much attention and hand holding. And my job depends on them to do the things that they are SUPPOSED to do. When they drop the ball it sets off a chain reaction and I spend so. much. time. putting out fires that wouldn’t even exist if they would just do what they are supposed to be doing and think about another human being for just one second. And when they fail it comes back to me to fix and it ALWAYS looks like it was my fault. And it in turns makes me feel like a failure and frankly a little angry and frustrated most of the time because how hard is it to just do what you are supposed to do?!?! It is fucking exhausting.

For someone whose entire happiness and well-being depends on success and people liking them it has become a complete and utter nightmare for me. And it has started to drain the me out of me. All the good parts of me, the part that sees the silver lining, that gives everyone the benefit of the doubt, the part that loves everyone no matter how awful they are because there must be some good reason they are acting that way, the part that always has a smile for everyone, has been slowing disappearing. And I hardly noticed. My job has been sucking all the good parts of my life away. The sad part is I just started to think that this new person, the cranky, sad, angry, complain-y, depressed person I have become is just who I am. But it’s not.

Change is hard. It is especially hard for me. One of my biggest issues is an over-developed sense of responsibility and loyalty. If I quit my job I am letting people down. I am so good at it that if I leave everything will fall apart and it is all my fault and I am ruining literally everyone’s life. Also because I can’t handle this I am clearly a failure. And not just a failure at my job but at life. I only deal in absolutes. Black and white. There is no grey in my brain. That is the most broken part and the thing I have been working so hard on the last year especially.

But thankfully I am not in this thing called life all on my own. I have a whole support system of people helping me out. Reminding me that everyone deserves happiness and I cannot take on so much responsibility at the cost of losing myself. And reminding me that taking care of myself and my happiness is in no way a failure. I have some really amazing people. People that have convinced me I deserve happiness and I am worth it.

This brings me to my second mantra of this last year. In addition to “let that shit go” I find myself saying “it just is” a lot lately. Because it is so true for so many situations. I used to think everything had to be blamed on somebody or something. Me being me, I usually took on that blame. But that is not how the world works. A lot of the time “it just is”. There is nothing anyone can do about it. It is just life. And it will go on. No blame needed. It really helps me in my letting shit go.

This whole situation is nobody’s fault. It just is. The job is what it is. It will always be that way and there will always be people to do it. I have just realized that I cannot be one of those people anymore. It is not the right and healthy fit for me. That does not make me a failure.

It just is.

So remember sometimes things “just are”. That is life. But also remember that there is always happiness to be found. Sometimes it feels a million miles away but it never really is. It is always there, usually just outside my reach 😉 But don’t forget that we all deserve it. And if we can let some of our shit go and realize some things “just are” we can probably find it a little easier.

I hope you have people in your life that remind you to let that shit go. People that remind you that you are worth it and you deserve happiness. Because you do. If you don’t have those people then take it from me… You deserve happiness and you are worth it. Now get out there and find some.

Love to all you guys… the unconditional kind ❤