Spring Cleaning


As the weather in Virginia gets more and more spring-like, I’m getting ready to overhaul my life physically, spiritually and emotionally. I don’t know a lot of people who actually participate in ‘Spring cleaning,’ but it’s one of my favorite parts of the year. Similar to New Year’s, it gives me a reason and motivation to completely start over.

During late February/early March, I like to clean my house. And I mean clean my house. Washing everything, bleaching everything, airing out the back rooms, washing dog beds, etc. I go through my computer/phone/tablet and clean out old files and pictures, clean out my fridge, and re-pot most of my indoor plants.

On top of physically cleaning everything, I like to make sure I myself am ‘clean.’ I schedule a doctor’s appointment to make sure everything is in check, including my mental health. I go through my skin care routine and make sure that I’m doing everything as efficiently as possible. My exercise schedule gets set up (I am guilty of abandoning the best intentions in this field.)

As for spiritually, I haven’t done much in that field in a few years. I don’t know that I want to. I enjoy going to religious ceremonies of all different kinds, but I’m not stuck to any particular one. I do enjoy meditating, and I will probably plan to do more of that this year.

What do you do to ‘spring clean?’ 

Coming Back Down


My goal for this week was to do a regular blog post over the weekend, and then a favorites post today, however neither of those things are happening.

I spent the past five days at my parent’s house in Ohio. It was a much-needed break from reality and my everyday life, and I couldn’t make myself stick to any sort of habit.

I did do a lot of reading this week, between audio books and my normal reading- but wasn’t able to finish anything that I liked enough to do a favorites post. By next week I will have some things finished that will be worthy of blogging.

As for a regular blog post, I made it a point to barely touch my computer all weekend. The break was so good for my mental health, and I only wish it had lasted a little longer.

Instead of sticking to a writing schedule and strict work schedule, I spent time with my parents and siblings, played more with the dogs, read more, ate whatever I wanted, and slept in. Time was less important, and every second was well spent.

I drank without worrying about waking up the next morning, I didn’t time myself for anything, I slept until waking up naturally, and I ate what I wanted without thinking about it. It was surreal.

I think it would be helpful to make it a point to give myself this kind of break at least once a month. It’s so easy to get lost in your career/chores/schedule/etc. that you can completely forget who you are and why you’re doing what you’re doing.

So I am adding that to my New Year’s resolutions. At least once a month I will take a day unplugged from technology, eating and sleeping when I want, and taking care of myself.

What do you do to recharge mentally? Share it with me in the comments- I need some inspiration!

Let the Sunshine In


Earlier this week I found myself burrowed under several dog hair-coated blankets, surrounded by the flickering of a few bakery-scented candles, typing furiously at my laptop with anger bubbling at the edge of my mind like a wave about to crash. My twelve hour work day had just begun a few hours prior, and I couldn’t focus or conjure up a single positive thought.

The managers of my rental house had been neglecting to fix our heat or our water, which were broken for over a week. Bronchitis had taken hold of my body for about three weeks, refusing to allow me any rest. I’d been working 60 hour weeks even through all the holidays, and I couldn’t catch a single break.

An hour later I forced myself out of my cramped, cozy workplace in order to take my dogs outside for a walk. My body physically recoiled from the 10-degree weather as we bustled out the door and onto the icy sidewalk but the sun hit my face and my anger melted away.

I often underestimate the wonders of Vitamin C. SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) is a real thing, and often makes my regular mental health issues so much worse. As much as I dislike bright light, and would prefer an overcast, rainy afternoon any day, the sun truly does a lot of good for me.

Even if you don’t have time for a long walk or an extended period of time outside, going out for just a few minutes, or opening your curtains and blinds to let the light in can help. It’s really easy to get swallowed into the darkness that winter brings- make sure that you’re doing all you can to fight it.

For those of you really, really struggling, here are some easy things you can do in under five minutes to help.

-Open a window in the room you’re currently occupying. If it’s too cold for that, just open the curtains or blinds and let the sun in. 

-Sit on your porch for a few minutes. 

-If you have a mailbox that isn’t attached to your house, walk to and from it. 

-There’s a beautiful invention called a therapy light box that you can purchase. If you sit in front of it, you are provided with the same effect as sunshine. 

-Eat food with a high amount of Vitamin D or take Vitamin D supplements.

Stay safe and happy this winter season my friends.


How do you deal with S.A.D? 


What’s This All About Anyway?


Over the past few months I have been trying to decide what I really want to say with this blog. What is the theme or even just the point?  I’m a completely average person with a pretty normal life- who really cares?

I have come to the conclusion that this is mostly just for me. My mental health depends on having this kind of outlet, and if other people want to read it- then that’s just a bonus! I have been extremely flattered that people are following my blog and interested in what I’m saying.

This blog is mostly about mental health-illness, awareness, coping mechanisms, etc. To me, that’s been the main focus of 2017, and it’s an important subject for people to be talking about. As we head into 2018, the main focus will be the same.

This blog is also just about my personal interests, it’ll be about my travels once May comes around, opinions, pets, activities, etc. I don’t think I’ll ever limit it to just one small subject. However, everything is going to come back around to keeping peace of mind and inner tranquility, especially with mental illness always looming overhead.

What other topics pertaining to mental health would you like to hear about? What do you find most difficult in everyday life because of mental illness? I’d love to hear your stories and opinions. 

Be Kind to Yourself.


I haven’t been as consistent with my writing over the past two weeks- between working on my mental health, starting a second job, and Christmas coming up I haven’t had a lot of time to myself . This week I wanted to share some tips I had for dealing with mental anguish/stress/sadness/seasonal affective disorder/whatever is bothering you.

Disclaimer: if you have serious mental health issues that need to be addressed, you should see a licensed professional and talk to them about the problems you are experiencing. This article is simply for little things that can help your day-to-day stress. These are activities that help me in addition to taking medication for the anxiety and depression I experience. 

  1. If you have the ability to do so- take a walk outside during a break at work. Feel the natural light and clear your mind before going back to your desk. It really, truly helps with problems you found difficult earlier in the day. Even if it’s a five minute walk.
  2. Clean. If you’re really struggling or don’t have the time, focus on one room or one project a day or even a week. Having even a little bit of your house looking neat can be a huge weight off of your chest.
  3. Keep up on focusing on what can benefit you physically. I’ve found that several long walks a day, a rigid skincare routine, drinking lots of water, and eating well have done wonders for my daily life.
  4. Habits. For me personally, having a regular morning routine, nightly routine, and the same work schedule daily is very helpful when it comes to my anxiety.
  5. Read. Paint. Hike. Play video games. No matter how you do it, carve out time for yourself daily or weekly and stick to it. It’s just as important as anything else on your list.
  6. Stay organized- write down your appointments and plans for the day. You’ll feel better if something big isn’t skipped over.
  7. If you are taking medicine, take it regularly.
  8. Above all, be kind to yourself. Realize that you are doing all you can, even if it feels like nothing. You’re doing your best and that’s incredible.


Thanks for reading! Let me know what you think and what you do to help relieve stress.


A Letter to Myself at 9



I wanted to share some thoughts with you now that I’ve had 14 extra years of experience. It’s too bad you can’t actually read this at nine years old since I’m going to be giving a lot of advice-but maybe it’s better that you learn everything the natural way.

At this point in your life, things are absolutely perfect. You’re a chubby, awkward, imaginative, active kid with a passion for flowers, reading, becoming an international spy AND ballerina, and violin. You have four (going on five!) siblings, a dopey, wonderful dog named Bailey and two amazing parents. I envy you at this point in your life- I can’t really remember a better time to be alive.

A lot of the things you have and enjoy at this point will stay with you throughout adulthood. You still read about 2-3 books a week, your parents are still incredible, Mary is your best friend, plants are something you still delight in, you’re in Virginia for the time being, and you are passionate as ever.

On the other hand, almost everything has completely changed. You have eight siblings at this point- four ridiculous, amazing brothers and four lovely sisters. Most of the family lives in Carrolton, Ohio now (long story), Mary goes to college in Steubenville, Ohio, and David is in Albuquerque, New Mexico (Air Force).

I hate to tell you this, but Bailey passed away about a year ago. He lived an extremely long, happy life and you loved him until the very end. Mom and Dad have a new dog who looks like him- a big meaty head, sweet as pie, and always happy to see you.  You have two of your own dogs as well- a retired racing Greyhound named Whiskey and a Goldendoodle named Mr. Snuffleupagus (you probably don’t even know what one of these is at 9, oops).

Oh did I mention, you’re also MARRIED. For two years now, to be exact. Your spouse is very handsome, innovative, has the best laugh in the world (I know that’s always been important to you) and he loves you dearly. I know you said marriage wouldn’t happen until at LEAST age 30, but when he came along you couldn’t help yourself.

You never did become an international spy/ballerina. I know you said you’d never give up on those dreams, but let’s be honest, you don’t have the body or stamina for that much dancing and being a spy would cause too much anxiety. You work in something called social media, which I am sure at your age you have never even heard of. You absolutely love it and you get to work at home! It’s fantastic.

I will not tell you that things stay as easy and wonderful as they are at nine. You are going to get beaten down by a lot that life throws at you- public school, boyfriends, anxiety, depression, college…But you always stand back up. Never once did you actually stop trying to make things better for yourself, and even during those very, very dark times you had other beautiful people in your life to do it for you. When you get up, you hit back. You share your experiences with others, you write, you research, and you love those close to you even harder.

I never admit this, but I love you more than I realize. You make mistakes, but you quickly learn and rarely make them again. Now again, I know you can’t see this at nine, but I am going to offer a few pieces of advice anyway.

Boys are going to treat you like dirt. Yes, most of them, and even if they don’t some of them will expect too much of you in return for their “niceness.” Don’t give any of them anything you don’t want to, and if they try to take it from you anyway- get loud and make them hear you. Also, you’re going to want to wear thick, sparkly teal eye shadow in the near future- I’d advise against it. Over the next decade, you will actually become a Democrat- you’ll understand this more later on.

You actually stop playing violin at about age 15, and you will really regret that fact at 23. Try and love your body more than I know you’re going to. You’ll never be a size 2 with perfect proportions, and you’ll have to learn to accept it. Spend as much time as humanly possible with your extended family, trust me when I say that they won’t always be as close. Also, maybe don’t be an idiot and start smoking at 19.

There’s so much more I could say to you, but at this point I think it’s better that you brave this on your own. I love you- stay strong out there.


You at 23.


Me Too.



If you spend anytime on the internet, I am sure you’ve seen many allegations against famous people by men and women that have been assaulted by them. There is apparently a lot of controversy in these news stories, with the countless comments of-

“Innocent until proven guilty.”

“I’ve loved him and been a fan forever, he couldn’t have done this.” 

“These girls just want attention/money/fame/etc.”

“This is a witch hunt, there’ll be no men left to perform.” 

I have a few thoughts on this. It’s fine if you disagree with me, but this is something I won’t change my mind on.

A few years ago, I found myself at a police station, shaking, scared and crying while telling the cops that I had been sexually assaulted. It was humiliating, horrifying, and it made me relive the worst day of my life over and over again. A very good friend of mine insisted that I go, otherwise I never would have set foot in that building. The police officers were trying to be as nice as possible, but the conversation was extremely disheartening.

“There’s no way to prove it at this point.” 

“What were you wearing?” (Yes, really.)

“Even if this goes to court, it’ll probably be worse for you than it will for him.” 

“This happened in your home? Why did you invite him in if you didn’t want that?” 

This is why I am completely enraged when people question celebrities who didn’t come forward 10, 15, 20, 40  years ago. Many of these women were taken advantage of by men of endless power at a very young age. Ridiculing their decision to wait is ridiculous. I never would have told a single soul had it not been for a friend.

As for all of your heroes going down, I can’t say I feel the least shred of sympathy for them. Kevin Spacey went down because of Kevin Spacey, not because of anything else. Sure, they might be talented people, but that’s no excuse at all. Think of all the talent we are most likely missing out on because of the assault and pedophilia going on in Hollywood.

I would rather see all of Hollywood torn apart than to have these men running free allowed to do whatever they’d like. They made a decision to hurt other human beings and are suffering the consequences. I really used to enjoy Woody Allen’s movies, now you wouldn’t catch me at one if I was paid to go.

I will always believe someone who has the courage to come forward, in any situation. If it turns out that someone has lied, then OK. But I won’t start out by not believing someone who is speaking out about something so horrific and personal.

If someone you know mentions that a man or woman has hurt them, please take them seriously. Be willing to listen. Be there for them. This is not something that should ever be taken lightly.

I really don’t want to go into too many details with my own experiences, but I wanted to share enough to let everyone know that it is FAR more common than you think. Be sensitive. Domestic violence, assault, rape, molestation, etc. is everywhere. Both men and women can be victims or abusers, and I truly believe that taking down those in the public eye is a huge step for awareness and working on the root of the problem.

I would love to hear any thoughts you have on this. I know this is a sensitive topic, so please be respectful. Thank you for reading!




For any of you that follow me on social media, you probably saw a few posts regarding my hair over the past month. Long story short, I lost a lot of hair very quickly, and decided to drastically change my look as a result of it.

To elaborate a little more, I have a habit called Trichotillomania. This is defined as “a compulsive desire to pull out one’s hair.”

When I become anxious or upset, I twist my hair until it’s weak enough to break it off. It started when I was 13 and had started  at a public middle school. Then I didn’t do it for years. Through tons of stressful situations and times I didn’t have the urge to touch my hair at all. This year however, it came back.

I don’t know if it was quitting a toxic job after two years, readjusting all of our finances, deciding that our whole lifestyle was going to change next year, a depression episode, or all of these things combined that caused it to return-but it was worse than ever. My house was covered in my hair, and my bald patches grew bigger and bigger. I ended up with a four or five inch bald patch above my neck, which left me with a really sparse amount of hair left on my head. I wasn’t able to salvage it, which broke my heart since I had been growing it out for almost three years now.

My spouse, who has never experienced any depression or anxiety, has worked extremely hard to try and understand and always support me when anything happens. He got me back to a doctor after five years of refusing to be medicated, he listens, he researches and makes sure that he knows what’s going on, and he never judges. Since he knew that my hair was something I wasn’t able to just stop pulling out- he offered to take a whole weekend to completely redo my hair.

Alternative looks and hairstyles have always been appealing to me. I am tattooed and pierced, and have always wanted crazy hair as well. Since my husband used to work in a barber shop, I gave him complete creative control over my hair. He shaved my head, gave me a Mohawk, bleached my hair and then dyed it gray.

I’ll be honest, this part wasn’t easy. I cried the entire time he cut my hair. That was almost three years of growth that I had just thrown away with my crippling anxiety. However, either way it would have needed to be severely altered, and I don’t think he could have done a better job.


I fell in love with it instantly. I was able to completely embrace the issue and enjoy a completely new look, while also getting rid of the ability to rip out my hair. It is definitely something that I will always have to work on and talk to my doctors about, but taking this step has made me feel so much more empowered.

Please let me know what you think in the comments! Does anyone else have similar problems that they’ve been able to overcome?