Saturday, June 03, 2017

a story about mental illness

I seriously contemplated and debated with myself about sharing has been sitting in my drafts for over a month because, well, the internet is forever, and I kept wondering if sharing this on the webnets was the wisest thing to do. The deciding factor for me was simple: I can't claim to be stigma free if I stay silent, and maybe someone will read this and feel less alone because there is someone else who can understand what they are going through. May is also Mental Health Awareness month so it seems that the Universe is telling me it's not a completely terrible here we go.


I am coping with mental illness-anxiety and Postpartum Depression specifically.

My official diagnosis of anxiety in the spring of 2014 helped me realize there is an actual title for everything I had been experiencing for most of my life beyond "I have a lot of feelings" and "I just don't know how to cope with life".

It was liberating-having a word that explained what I was dealing with-even in part-and to know that I wasn't crazy, and I wasn't overreacting or being dramatic; my brain is sick. I had knowledge, and that is an empowering thing. This diagnosis also helped me to discover I'm an empath and a HSP; two more reasons I feel things so intensely. I started seeing a therapist who taught me ways to cope and techniques I could use to alleviate my anxiety as well as how to cope with being an empath and HSP in this messy, horrible (but also wonderful) world. I went from feeling like I was sinking all the time to feeling like I could manage. I learned that people who suffer from anxiety are more prone to experiencing depression than those who do not, and that was a large contributor as to why my lows were so low; the anxiety sends you off into a worst case scenario and that makes it easier for the depression to sneak in and take hold. The best description of anxiety I was ever given is "anxiety is like perpetually hearing the boss/enemy music but never seeing the threat." I was living my life in fear of a threat I couldn't see, and the depression that grew from that only compounded things.

Talk therapy is what worked best for me and after about six months I decided that I was able to try life on my own and stopped seeing my therapist regularly-but I did continue to see her for 'tune-ups' as I felt they were necessary. Fast forward to last May when I found out I was pregnant. It sent me into a tailspin and I spent all my time worrying. You see, Mr. Wonderful and I struggled to get pregnant, and four days before I found out I was pregnant we were given terrible news. Because of this I spent the duration of my pregnancy anxiety riddled and waiting for the other shoe to drop. There was going to be bad news, there had to be because the circumstances around this whole situation is the sort of stuff you only see in movies. Because of my anxiety I can count on less than one hand the number of times I was happy and excited about being pregnant. I was so busy living in fear of the unseen threat I was robbed of the ability to enjoy this thing I had waited so long and prayed so hard for. When we learned we were having twins the joy I should have experienced was overshadowed by the constant fear that I would lose not one, but two babies.

About seven months into my pregnancy I was diagnosed with prenatal depression and once again I started seeing my therapist, but this time I wasn't making the progress I had hoped for. I lived in fear of labor and being responsible for two tiny humans. I second-guessed my decision to get pregnant and was convinced I would be a horrible mother. I was afraid of everything, rational or not, I was scared out of my mind. I tried to educate myself but reading books and taking classes only made it worse. I prepared myself for the inevitable-I was going to have Postpartum Depression. I was already anxious and depressed, major life changes (like having babies) exacerbates both, I had undergone fertility treatments, was due in the middle of January (the darkest, coldest, suckiest part of the year), and I suffer from S.A.D. Frankly, I was screwed.

At 37.1 weeks my blood pressure began to climb and my OB decided the risks of staying pregnant outweighed the benefits of cooking for another week (we had an induction scheduled for 38 weeks), and I was sent to Labor and Delivery. Do not pass go, do not collect $200. After 30 hours and a birth that went nothing how I had hoped for, they were here. Two beautiful, healthy baby boys. My lifelong dream of being a mother was a reality, and I wanted nothing to do with them. One of my first memories post delivery in the OR is one I am so ashamed and embarrassed of only Husband and my therapist know about it. It's an interesting feeling; loving something more than you can imagine all while feeling completely detached from them. I spent my time in the hospital trying to bond and feel what I so desperately wanted to feel-what I SHOULD have felt, but there was nothing. I was faking it. I was a fraud and I didn't deserve to be a mother. I felt guilty because I chose to have the nurses supplement with formula rather than work on breastfeeding so I could sleep. I remember sitting on the couch the day we came home holding our perfect, beautiful sons sobbing because I felt so detached, confused, overwhelmed, stressed, anxious, afraid, and second-guessing. I was home for less than 48 hours when I returned to the hospital with complications. Our boys were six days old and I was already being separated from them. Three days I spent away from my babies; feeling guilty about being away and at the same time relieved that I wasn't there to ruin them and thinking it was better they were in the care of someone more capable than me-all while I should have been focused on getting well.

Not counting the days I was in the hospital for my return visit I had Husband's help for a whopping five days (don't get me started on paternity leave in America) before he had to return to work; after that I was on my own. I was recovering from a C-Section, an abdominal infection, and preeclampsia, and now I had two babies to keep alive, too. Those first few weeks are a blur, but I remember a lot of crying; I cried all the time. I didn't feel like I was bonding with the boys. I felt guilty because I didn't feel what I thought I should be feeling as a mom. I wanted to be grateful but I was resentful of these two beautiful children, and then I felt guilty again because what sort of mother resents her children!? I felt guilty because this is what I wanted; I had what so many women would give anything to have-I WAS that woman a year prior, and here I was second-guessing it. I felt ungrateful. I was empty. I cried while I was constantly apologizing to them for failing them as a mother. I was convinced they would have been better off with someone else as their mom. I didn't sleep because I was convinced the babies would die from SIDS if I did. I was terrified of RSV and sickness so we stayed inside. It was dark and cold and lonely and I began to feel isolated. I stopped bathing. I was terrified that I would end up back in the hospital and wouldn't make it home this time. I was convinced I was going to leave my Husband all alone with two brand new babies. Despite his best efforts nothing Husband did could bring me out of my funk and I started to fight with him. The help I was offered I refused-it wasn't going to be there forever and I convinced myself I needed to learn how to care for two babies by myself. My mom tried to come up and help, but my dad suffered a stroke the day after she came up and she had to turn around and go back home (my dad is ok-thank heavens).

Because staying alive trumped pumping during hospital stay #2 I struggled to breastfeed. My supply wasn't big enough to feed one baby, let alone two. Trying to tandem feed stressed me out and made me feel inadequate. The boys would get frustrated and we would all cry. I was constantly worried they weren't getting enough from me and I felt guilty for that and for preferring to give them formula-at least that way I knew how much they were getting. Husband made me an appointment with a lactation consultant. Christy was wonderful and supportive, and never made me feel less than, but I was still disheartened. I was convinced I was a failure. I decided to pump and supplement rather than nurse in the hopes that would increase my supply, but I couldn't pump as often as I needed to. The babies only wanted to be held and would only sleep if they were on me. I only got a few ounces each pump. I felt like a failure. I began to think that everyone would be better off without me. While I never contemplated suicide and I never had thoughts of hurting my boys I did begin to think it would be better for everyone if I just ceased to exist, and if I happened to have a tragic accident it would be for the best. As the last day of my maternity leave approached I became more anxious and I felt guilty I couldn't stay home with them; I had failed them yet again.

At my six-week visit my OB told me what I already knew-I had Postpartum Depression. She referred me to a therapist since I felt like the one I had seen previously was no longer the best fit for me. I saw that therapist twice and I talked a grand total of ten minutes between the two sessions, I knew more about her than she did about me. While I am not opposed to medications if they are necessary she had me schedule an appointment with a prescriber before I had had one full session with her. I fired her and found someone else thanks to a referral from a good friend and I love her. I do the bulk of the talking, and she didn't push to get me on meds right away. Although I will likely end up on an antidepressant she was willing to let me try alternative methods first.

I'm still not out of the woods-about a month ago I had my first experience with apathy. It was unlike anything I've ever experienced, I wouldn't wish that on anyone. I was literally going through the motions for everything in my life when all I wanted to do was curl into a ball and never leave my bed. The guilt set back in. I was failing my boys-again. That seemed to be the only thing I was doing consistently-failing them. I felt like I was drowning. There weren't enough hours in the day. Although the boys have been sleeping through the night pretty consistently I was still only getting 4-5 hours a sleep a night because the bulk of my evenings were going to the babies and pumping. We were eating dinner at 10:00 and I was staying up until 12:00 or 1:00 to try to get things done and I was still horribly behind. My therapist asked me what I could give up to make more time. "Pumping". I said it so quickly it surprised even me. As much as I wanted nursing to be a wonderful, beautiful thing for me it was only a source of stress, anxiety, resentment, anger, and guilt. I was afraid to quit-afraid of being labeled selfish for putting my needs ahead of my children's-even if it was less than 10% of their food source. I know you can't fill someone else's cup from an empty pitcher, but nothing has gone the way I had hoped in regards to becoming and being a mom. I needed something I could control, but it still ended up controlling me. Deciding to wean was an interesting process. There was a lot of guilt and tears, but now that I'm done I'm starting to feel like I made the best choice for all of us. Bottle feeding my boys is actually-dare I say-fun. I am able to focus on them and not worry about how much (or little) I got from that session and I'm not attached to the pump. It's such a relief to know I don't have to haul it around or be at its mercy. I'm sure there will be days I'll be sad or wish I could have done more, but I did my best and I tried my hardest. That's all anyone can ask of me and it gets to be okay.

I have good days and I have bad ones, but luckily the good are starting to outnumber the bad. I'm starting to take pleasure in things again and I finally feel like I'm bonding with my boys-they make me so happy and I can't imagine my life without them, and I am working on repairing my marriage. I still have a long way to go, but I can see the glimmer of a light at the end of the tunnel. Through this experience I have learned a few things:

  • mental illness is not one size fits all, and just because your illness isn't as 'severe' as someone else's it doesn't diminish anything. A cold is a cold regardless of if you are able to function or not. The same holds true for mental illness. 
  • You are not obligated to stick with your therapist. If you don't feel it's a good fit-even if it's only been one session-find someone else. Your well being is what's important. 
  • YOU ARE NOT ALONE. One in NINE women will suffer from PPD. Odds are you know someone who has dealt/is dealing with it without even knowing it. 
  • Getting help does not make you a failure or a bad mom. It's the opposite, actually. You can't take care of someone else when you are not taking care of you first. 
  • Asking for help is not failure. People offer to help because they love you. Don't deny someone else the opportunity to serve.
  • Things will ebb and flow. There will be days you feel great and others not so much. It's part of the process. 
  • If you believe in a Higher Being prayer helps. 
And above all else-YOU ARE A GOOD MOM. (Don't worry if you don't believe it yet; I'm still working on that, too.)


Monday, June 13, 2016


My heart is broken. It's literally aching in my chest. So many questions swirling, so much confusion, so. much. heartache. One question keeps floating to the top...Why?

Why do innocent people keep dying?
Why are we doing NOTHING to stop it!?
Why can't we come to a decision on how to stop it?
Why are some people more concerned with a perceived threat to their "liberty" than a very real, very obvious, very dangerous threat to EVERYONE?
Why are people so willing and eager to say "People will always find a way to break the law so there's no use in trying to fix it. Oh well. Better them than me."?

Then once I attempt to process the heartache the anger sets in. The "red haze" Husband calls it. More whys:



This has to stop. I don't want to live in fear. People should be able to go to school, work, church, the movies, a club, or pump gas and not have to worry about being gunned down. Wondering if there will be a shooting at their children's school is not something ANY mother should have to worry about-we shouldn't have to be teaching our CHILDREN what to do in the event a shooter shows up at their school. When shooting drills are happening more than fire drills you know we are FAILING. AMERICA IS FAILING. How are we going to teach the next generation to be better when we are so busy fighting we can't agree there's a HUGE PROBLEM and work together to FIX THIS?

I am only one person; but that will not stop me. I will be the change I want to see, and I WILL NEVER STOP FIGHTING.

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

thoughts on infertility

I've struggled for a while whether or not to write about this-for a number of reasons. Partly because there is a huge risk for TMI, but mostly because it is such a deeply personal thing. I'm usually a pretty open person, but I wasn't 100% sure about sharing this for everyone to see...until I spoke with my good friend Stephen and he reminded me the only way to unstigmatize things is by TALKING about them. He's right, and I'm going to talk* about this, dangit!

*I should note that these are my thoughts and experiences, and mine alone. Like most things in life everyone's path is different, and I can't make generalizations or speak for anyone else--just me.

It scares the CRAP out of me, but I have always wanted to be a mom. Until recently it has always been this thing, far, far off in the distance; something I could see if I squinted hard enough. That horizon got a helluva lot closer really fast when Mr. Wonderful and I got married. Thanks to Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) we knew we (read-I) would have an uphill battle in the effort to start a family, but we also wanted to take some time to settle into our new normal before we turned everything upside down again by adding a small human into the mix. 19 months later I realized we were standing on that horizon and we decided there was no time like the present to try to start our family. I consulted my OB about where we should start (aside from the obvious), and she suggested we begin trying immediately after stopping the Pill in the hopes we could "trick" my body into ovulating. (I had originally been put on the Pill when I started Accutane and then when that was done my Dr kept me on it to treat my irregular cycle caused by PCOS-and then I opted to stay on it after I got married-we knew the odds of a surprise pregnancy were low-but just in case.)

Well,"tricking" my body didn't work, and so we have moved to other methods. Here we are, seven months later, and we aren't any closer to starting a family now than we were then. I've had plenty of time to feel sorry for myself, think, and overthink-on lots of things. Infertility sucks, guys.

-You would think seeing a negative result gets easier. It doesn't-not even a little bit. 

-The only thing worse than getting your period when you're trying to have a baby is not having one at all and not being pregnant (it's a pretty good sign you aren't ovulating. No ovulation=no baby). I cried for two days when that first test (and the four others I took after that-just in case) came back negative.

-Knowing the cause of the problem but not the solution is discouraging and infuriating as hell. Treatment for PCOS is literally a "this is next on the list and worked for another PCOS patient I have; let's try this and see if it works for you, too" approach. When you are type-A and anxiety riddled you don't handle this approach well. I need a plan! 

-Regardless of what anyone says not being able to do this has made me feel like a complete failure as a woman. This feeling is compounded when someone says they got pregnant without even trying/wanting to be. 

-Uncertainty of whether I will be a mom or not in this life has caused me to constantly doubt myself. More than once I have caught myself wondering and asking Mr. Wonderful if I am enough and will be enough in the years ahead if kids aren't in the cards for us. 

-Hormone treatments are just plain cruel. As if this situation doesn't suck enough, the meds I'm on have caused my cystic acne to return AND have made it super easy for me to gain weight, but almost impossible to lose it. I have never felt more disgusting or less attractive in my entire life. (Self-esteem? What's that?) 

-I am so so happy for my friends getting pregnant and having babies, but not having a growing belly or baby to snuggle of my own makes my heart ache each time they share their joy and excitement. I want nothing more than to be happy for everyone, but I find myself cutting ties to people I care about because I just can't handle it any more. I know it isn't intentional, but each of their posts rubs more salt in this open, gaping wound.

-I am on a guilt and shame cycle I can't get out of. I feel shame for not being able to do this thing so many women seem to do without even trying, I find myself thinking "I had to wait to get married, and now I have to wait to have a family, too?" a lot more than I should, and then I feel guilty for being discouraged and feeling sorry for myself-especially when there are so many people out there who have things a whole lot worse or have been waiting longer than I ever will.

-No matter how strong your marriage is the stress of infertility takes its toll. (Mr Wonderful and I are great, but I'm not going to lie. It's been really, really hard.)

-Well-meaning people who say "don't worry; it will happen for you!" or suggest adoption, surrogacy, or other medical interventions are the most insensitive people and need to be punched in the face-Hard. From the outside all these methods seem easy, but they are anything but. Financially, physically, emotionally-they all come at a high cost and unless you are willing to write me a check or hold my hand while I'm jabbed and poked and prodded please don't suggest them. Suggesting them like you're deciding where to go for dinner? That's even worse.

-Same goes for those who say "stop worrying about it. It will happen when it's supposed to happen. Just have fun practicing!" Guess what? There is no such thing when you're struggling with infertility.
Nothing sucks the romance and fun out of sex like feeling like Jabba the Hut and then having to schedule and plan it around your treatments.

-Mr Wonderful is incredible and provides me with so much support, but he can't understand what I'm going through, and that is hard on both of us. He wants to support and protect me as much as I want to be supported and protected, but there is literally nothing he can do. Watching the person you love most on the planet be frustrated and upset because they feel like they're failing you (although they are not) compounds the problem.

-I am a textbook firstborn so I don't know how to let people take care of me (I'm still learning this with Husband). As a result I feel alone a lot of the time because I don't want to burden people with my silly problems.

-There's a lot of doubt. A LOT. I catch myself wondering all the time if my inability to get pregnant is the Universe's way of telling me maybe I'm not supposed to be a mom because I will absolutely suck at it and those children would be better off with someone else as their mother.

-My biological clock is very real and very loud and I wonder if I've run out of time almost daily.

-Staying positive, not letting the stress and pressure overcome me, and not allowing myself to become bitter is really, really hard. Lately this has become a losing battle.

-If motherhood isn't in my cards-is being the 'favorite auntie' enough?

Bottom line is this: there's a lot of guilt, a lot of feeling inadequate, and a lot of smiling on the outside while you're sobbing on the inside. This post may suggest otherwise but I don't want anyone's sympathy-really. Empathy? Yes. Support and understanding? Absolutely.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015


You know, grief is an interesting thing. My Grandma Fox passed away yesterday, and all I feel right now is--relief. Well that and guilt.

When she fell in May and broke her hip part of me knew that was the beginning of the end. Although I wish I hadn't let family discord and drama keep me away from her I will forever be grateful for the time I was able to spend with her in her hospital room-just the two of us, holding her hand and telling her that I loved her. I remember her telling me that this wasn't quality of life and she was so upset she couldn't paint or write or do any of the things she loved so much anymore. With tears in my eyes I told her if she felt it was time to go that it was ok. We would all be sad, but we would be ok. Holding her hand and reading her "To Kill A Mockingbird" so she could sleep, and her waking up just long enough for me to hug her and tell her I loved her as I was leaving will forever be one of my most cherished memories.

As much as I will miss my spitfire piss and vinegar Grandmother all I can think of is now she is free of the body that has limited her for so long; for that I am relieved and grateful. 

While I am sad I haven't shed a tear and can only be relieved that my grandmother's illness (a huge source of family drama and contention) is now gone I can't help but wonder if feeling these things make me heartless?

To be honest I am hurting more watching my father grieve the loss of his mother.

I can't help but think back to seven years ago when my family lost my Uncle Gregg and how different that grieving process was. It was completely out of nowhere and struck me so deep to my core I had to leave work that day as all I could do was sit at my desk and cry, and I still have a hard time speaking about him without shedding tears. This time I had time to prepare and I knew why my dad was calling before I even picked up the phone, and I was able to finish my work day undistracted. I am able to speak about her with happiness and fondness. There are no tears to be had here.

That may change on Friday when I see her sleeping one last time, but for right now all I can think is that I am so happy she is free.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

I’m just beautiful me

As I get older one thing becomes more and more (painfully ) clear: I am my own WORST critic, and it needs to STOP. 

Today Husband and I had pictures taken, and tonight my photographer posted a preview on Facebook. This photo, actually: 

It's beautiful. The colors coordinate well and are bright and vivid. I am radiant. Husband is smiling (well as close as he comes to smiling for pictures anyway), and his eyes are so BLUE. We look like we are comfortable and happy with each other. 

Kate and Sassy Jose told us all through the evening how great we looked and how happy they were with the shots they were getting. I know it is not most important (or at all), but there has been a huge outpouring of love from our friends in the form of 'Likes' and positive, loving comments on Social Media. What IS most important:
This is a photograph of me and my beloved. Because of that there is not one reason I should look at this photograph with anything but a heart bursting with love. 

My initial reaction to seeing this photo? "Ugh. I have a pooch-I wish I could have found my belt so I could hide that, I'm jowly, you can totally tell I need my roots done, and to top it all off I am REALLY starting to look like a tired, middle aged woman."


 I am surrounded by beautiful people I am lucky enough to call friends. They come in all shapes and sizes, with so many wonderful attributes and talents. I constantly find myself comparing myself to these incredible women and tearing myself down because I don't stack up to my own stupid standards; Social Media makes it even worse. Rather than being happy with what I CAN do and a body that works and is healthy and allows me to do so many things others cannot I can only focus on the fact that I am simply not built to be a size 6 or a B cup-no matter how many treats I refuse or Zumba classes I attend (thanks hearty Dutch genes!). Instead of relishing that every day I look more and more like my beautiful, precious mother and I have a loving, supportive Husband who thinks I am the most beautiful woman alive all I can think is that I no longer look like I'm 20--like that's a bad thing. Yes, I will be 35 this year; I am closer to 40 than 20. I am officially middle aged. There. I said it. I have smile lines, crows feet, and old acne scars. But do you know what? Those smile lines and crows feet show I have lived a life that has sometimes been sad, but has mostly been full of happiness and laughter. They show I have learned and grown. And those scars? They taught me empathy and compassion; they remind me of that every time I look in the mirror. Most importantly? The scars and lines aren't as bad as I perceive them to be. 

I catch myself doing it with other parts of my life, too. I recently embarked upon an opportunity that has presented itself (it is still very much in the air so I don't want to put too much out there yet), and once I put myself out there for this opportunity I immediately began to doubt and nay say myself. 

I am always telling myself I am beautiful, good enough, capable, and qualified, yet I rarely BELIEVE IT. What good is telling ourselves these things if we refuse to actually believe them?

I am working on all of these things, and learning that confidence is not pride and self-doubt is not humility, but it is a slow process. A process I was reminded of again tonight. When I receive the rest of my images from tonight's session I will try my hardest to make sure I only focus on the positive and not the negative. I need to remember my perception isn't always correct; and the people I love clearly see something I do not, so I need to trust that. As for the days that doesn't work I will just play this on repeat, have a good cry, get up, brush myself off, and try again tomorrow. 


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

i choose kristen

An entire year without blogging. That really makes my heart sad. So many times I sat down, only to become so overwhelmed with anxiety and negativity that I decided no blog was better than one filled to the brim with everything I hate reading myself. Even now I'm struggling to finish this because I know it's not going to be all sunshine and roses and not necessarily what some people want to hear.

This week I made a decision, one that I have known I've needed to make, but have been avoiding for a while. I decided to stop doing something that used to make me happy, but now only brings heartache, pain, and guilt. Before you jump there Mr. Wonderful and I are great. Better than great. We are awesome. He is my rock and support and a large part of why I had the courage to finally make the decision I have been avoiding for so long. After I close my current project I think I'm done with theatre. Wow. Saying  it out loud and seeing it in print are two completely different things. Writing it makes it real, somehow.

Why, you may ask? The answer is long, and complex, but the simple answer is this:


Done giving people control over my schedule, feelings, and self-worth. Done feeling like I'm doing it because I "have to" or that I will be letting people down if I stop rather than doing it for me and the joy it once brought me. Done being criticized by complete strangers. Done spending precious time away from Husband only to feel that time has been wasted. Done being a punching bag to others merely for being willing to donate my time and talents. Done working so hard for something that at the end of the day is pretty thankless. Done letting this part of me define my entire being. Done being afraid to walk away because I will lose the recognition I have worked hard for and fearing I will have to start paying my dues all over again should I come back. Done having negative experience after negative experience, yet still coming back because "this time will be different". Done doing favors only to have it come back and bite me. Done with late nights that turn into early mornings and Saturday morning rehearsals. Done feeling like I always have a black cloud hanging over me, and most importantly I'm done taking out all these frustrations and insecurities on Mr. Wonderful. He has done nothing to deserve it, yet he's the one who gets to take it all because I know he'll still be there and still love me when all is said and done.

Ugh, drama is so aptly named. There has been a lot of it, that's for sure, but I am grateful for what it has brought me. Being on stage got me through one of the hardest times of my life and helped me figure out who I was again. It has blessed me with wonderful friends and opportunities I don't think I would have found otherwise. But, there is a time and a season for all things, and I think this season has come to an end. I'm ready to spend time cultivating other things I enjoy but didn't make time for because theatre was all-encompassing for so long. I am more than the stage, and I've been feeling this way for a while. It's time to act on these feelings. Theatre is a PART of me, not entirely what I am.

Is being done a forever thing? Good heavens I hope not, but for something to get me back on stage in the immediate future it would have to be something big. HUGE. Something I would regret forever if I didn't do or would just be plain dumb to pass up. There aren't many feelings like being on stage, but if I never step foot on one again I can look back over the last 17 years, smile, and be proud of my body of work. Right now I need to focus on me, my other long-neglected talents, and my future with Mr. Wonderful.

To quote my girl Olivia Pope (a little out of context, but still rings true to me), "I choose me. I am choosing Kristen." And you know what? That gets to be okay.

Thursday, February 20, 2014


Have you seen this video? I'll admit I didn't pay it any mind until I saw a worldwide compilation featured on msn today. I'm not going to lie; I am now completely obsessed with it. I dare you to not turn it up and bust a move:

I have been thinking a lot about happiness lately, and although I've always known if I count on others to make me happy I never will be, but I found that I was doing that more and more. Guess what? I was miserable. Once I discovered this I have been trying harder to make a conscious effort to make MYSELF happy. You know what? It works. Being happy isn't a life circumstance, but rather a choice you make for yourself. It's not always easy, and sometimes I catch myself slipping out of happiness and into something else, but I'm quicker to recognize it and change it now. Choosing to see (and be) the good in the world has helped, as well as surrounding myself with positive people. I know I'm not always going to succeed at this goal, but I'm determined to be happy more than I am not. I have too many wonderful things to be thankful for to dwell on the silly, insignificant things. When I think of happiness I think of my beautiful nieces, who are always so happy and full of life. What a wonderful example to follow.

Yes, happiness is a choice, and I hope you, my dear friends, are choosing to be happy. If not make the choice to start, crank up Pharrell's song and have a dance party wherever you are. I dare you to finish unhappy. I'm pretty sure it's impossible.