Monthly Archives: March 2023

When Days Turn To Years – Reopening my blog


I am reopening my blog. This space has always existed at the intersection of faith and reality – no matter how good or how difficult the situation. This blog has never been super organized in it’s entirety. I am not going to start now either. I am not going to sit here and tell you that I will do some arbitrary number of posts every day, week or month. What I will say is that I hope I am able to share more content as life and my mental health allow.

For those of you who wonder why it has been so long – or where I have been these past few years, I’ll do a bit of a recap.

After my daughter died in 2016, I had to learn what a “new normal” looked like. If this isn’t a term you’ve had the privilege of being told that what is to happen next will start to feel like your new normal – then you have likely never walked through trauma so intense you have no idea how to keep going. Trust me when I tell you this is a good thing. I digress.

After my little girl took her final breaths this side of Heaven, I didn’t have a clue how I would continue doing simple things like breathing. I found that it was almost as if I had to learn to breathe, to move, to walk again. I had to learn that I was more than a cancer fighters mom. From there, I barely had time to learn to not drown before more loss would take my breath away. This time, my older brother passed away at the age of 40. His death nearly destroyed me. Roughly six months later, my cousin passed away after fighting heart cancer. The next summer, my lifelong best friend passed away, also at the age of 40. ( Side note, I was a little scared of turning 40 for a little while. A fear I didn’t really tell too many about. It was real nonetheless.) Many of my daughters childhood cancer fighting friends would also finish their cancer fights this side of Heaven. I have lost more than one dear friend from online. I have lost military brothers and sisters to alcohol, addiction and/or suicide deaths. Somewhere along the way (in the unforgettable year 2020) we all experienced the global pandemic, Covid 19.

No matter how you slice it, I found myself perpetually surrounded with pain, loss and illness. Not a fun variety. Just as anyone else, I have learned to do the best I can with what I have. But, it doesn’t stop there. It can’t. It has become paramount for me to remember to be able to shift perspective at any given time. Take my daughter as an example. She is no longer physically with us here on Earth. I miss her terribly, every single day. That said, there is a difference in learning to celebrate her actual life rather than simply mourning her death. Both are present, and both must happen. However, if I cannot remember that shift in perspective, I cannot enjoy or remember her life with smiles instead of stinging painful tears. It’s the difference in being able to proclaim that my daughter lived, not just died!

My hope is that you cannot understand the complexity of these kind of emotions. However, if you happen to be able to identify with them (for any reason, at any time) then know that you are most definitely not alone. You matter, just as we all do. Take time today to look in the mirror and remember that you truly matter – and realize that (as long as you are able to read words such as these, then you are also not alone. I encourage you to reach out. If you are curious, ask questions. You are worth the answers. If you are sad today, take a moment to encourage someone in exactly the way you need. I promise, your mood will change. It has no choice.

So much of life is based on perception and, as I mentioned before – perspective. Perspective is everything. So, if you are struggling today (as I am) – then take time to do something that makes you smile. For me, connecting with the swirling thoughts in my head and getting them onto “paper” makes a difference. It doesn’t always, but today I remember that life happens when or if we just remember to open our eyes. I needed to actually ponder the times and places where I have felt connected with life. Alive. Living is more than just existing. It should be at least.

Take time today to make even tiny steps towards what it looks like to thrive, and not just survive. I don’t have the magic answers, but I can tell you that not giving up on yourself or your dreams is the answer. If you find that you have stopped dreaming, or maybe you were never allowed to start, then my encouragement would be to start. Dreams and goals can be difficult to achieve if you never define them. So, dream big, or dream small – but dream something. You are worth seeing that dream through!


When Life Feels Intensely Dark – You Are Not Alone


Let’s think about what’s in my head. So, why not!? Why not, you ask? Because it’s a scary place with all the things swirling around in there.

Me. I am a multi faceted uniquely qualified human to let you know that – no matter what is happening – hope is still real. You, like me, may have given up on the very idea that hope is a thing. Let alone still real. But, I will challenge you as I was challenged. Make a choice, right here and now, to believe the idea that – no matter how dark you circumstances feel – tomorrow brings with it the opportunity for life and hope to be a surprise. It’s an easier concept in theory than in actual practice. Trust me, I get it.

The idea that pain doesn’t get the final word depends soley on you, in this equation. If you have ever considered the idea that maybe the world would be better off without you in it, then you very well may know that pain sometimes gets dangerously close to claiming it’s victory over your life – but you cannot let it. You have to hold on to the idea that rescue is possible. It is. No matter what pain you may need rescue from, know that hope remains. When you feel tempted to give into the voice in your head (or maybe the voice of someone who speaks into your life) that tells you that life is no longer worth it, remember that pain will not win.

On the days where the talons feel the sharpest, just as if it were digging into the most tender parts of your flesh – those are the days you have to push back against the darkness. It’s hard, but you are worth it. You are worth fighting for. You are. And, so am I.

Here’s the thought process.

It isn’t until I could get real, first with myself, that I could even consider getting real and putting any of these words on paper, let alone believe them.

I’ll rewind a bit, and tell you a little bit about what led me to that place. To the place where I desperately sought out help because I realized that I couldn’t do life on my own. (News flash – I didn’t have to be alone.) There was a day, and I remember it well. I felt so broken. I felt so sad. You see, life was sporadically feeling like it was simply falling apart. I was on the phone with my friends family when they breathed their final breath this side of Heaven. Though not family by blood, someone I loved was now with their maker. Life, in that moment, just grew darker. I couldn’t pull myself out of that place. I didn’t know what to do, but I knew that if I didn’t change something – that life wouldn’t end well. Yes, it would have likely ended with my death eventually.

Yes, that is a weighted topic. So weighted. It hurts my heart to think about. However, even weighted topics, they must be discussed. I needed help. Life felt too weighted. Life began to feel impossible. I felt more lost than I cared to admit.

It wasn’t until I was able to admit that to myself that I could begin to ask for help. When asking for help, I had to actually talk to other humans. I had to let them know the depth of the ways I was feeling – and why. I had to begin to uncover why I was the way that I was…why I felt as strongly as I did about certain things. I would learn about what effects things like childhood trauma could have on a person. Could have on me. Yes, I have walked through more than my fair share of childhood traumatic events. Yes, those events, ideas and processes in childhood had the power to shape the adult I am today.

Who am I today?

If I am being honest, I think that picture changes from day to day. But, let me attempt to share a little more about who I have become.

Who I am, is a person who cares about other people. But, caring about others isn’t really even possible until I could figure out how to like, let alone love myself. It wasn’t until I began to see my own value and worth that I could even fathom expecting others to see that same worth. Seeing that I am worth fighting for, changed things for me. I tell you that because I believe in you – and that you are also worth fighting for.

When I decided to let other people into my life, the weight of things that previously felt unbearable became easier to manage. We are not meant to do life alone. I feel as if we were all created as community people – to do life alongside one another. People linking arms, and standing in solidarity are things that don’t happen when a person chooses to remain alone. If I didn’t allow others in, I wouldn’t know the freedom in that kind of friendship. I also wouldn’t be alive. It is that simple.

I tell anyone with ears that it’s okay to not always be okay. No matter the situation ,it also has the potential for change. The idea is true though. It’s okay to not be okay – as long as you do not allow that place to swallow you whole. It can easily happen. It’s what happens when in that place that defines the rest of your days.

When feeling like things are dark and intensely painful, let someone (outside of your head) know. This is where letting others in makes the biggest difference. Yes, it’s okay to not always be okay – but just don’t stay there. Do whatever it takes to not isolate – a feat that I know is easier said than done as well. It may be a trusted friend. It could be a trusted confidante. It could be your faith leader. It could be your doctor. It could be a therapist. It could be just about anyone. But, please, let it be someone. You deserve that. You deserve to not feel, or be alone. You are worth it.

I don’t have it all figured out every day. But, what I have is the knowledge that I don’t have to have it all figured out. I don’t have to have all the answers to know that things are going to be okay. If I am feeling a certain kind of way, any number of painful emotions rose up in my head when I wrote “a certain kind of way” and I would imagine the same might happen for you. A certain kind of way. For me, depression and anxiety take on different forms and look differently on any given day as well. But, if I can simply remember that the intensity of today will not always feel as intense. Just because they have the ability to change, doesn’t always mean that things will right away. But, it will. Something can and eventually will change.

During those moments where you feel as if you no longer have anything to offer the world, and you think that taking your own life is even a possibility — I want to encourage you in a similar way that I have been encouraged. When you feel as if you can’t hold on, and that you simply aren’t able to go on another day – I won’t ask you to solve all the world problems. What I will ask, however, is for you to try one more time.

If any of this feels close to home for you, know that you are not alone. You may quickly pipe up with the idea that you are alone. You are. The tears may sting as you wish others knew how very alone you are. However, as long as you are reading this message, you are not alone. You may be physically alone (Trust me, it’s equally as possible to feel alone in a crowd.) but you aren’t by yourself. I am here. Others would be there, if given the chance.

Please know that there are professional resources that can also help. Reach out. Trust someone. You are worth it.