Words by Lois Hewitt

Words, they can comfort, encourage, teach, show love and caring. One kind word can overcome a hundred harsh words. Words can change a life.

I love words. I love to put them together in all kinds of ways. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. But I love them just the same.

I once had someone in my life that used words to control me and belittle me. Those words stayed with me for years. I used to be careless in my own use of words as I did not know the power they held. Thoughtless words thrown about carelessly can do as much damage as a physical attack on someone…perhaps even with more lasting damage.

As I grew older and started to write more as a way to heal myself, I learned the value of words as well as the value when not to use any. That last lesson took a lot longer to learn. Words, to me now, are sacred. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to be pompous. My vocabulary today is still not as developed as I would like and is heavily peppered with profanity. Very Oscar Wilde!

I am saddened by the lack of reverence for words and the effect they can have on others. I understand fully how easy it is to use degrading and hurtful words from behind the curtain of anonimity. The words I read, not even directed at me personally, on line shocks even my sensibilities.

I do not remember much of my years in high school. Pot fog, regret and bad memories have erased those years. I do remember my English teacher from high school (I never mention anyone without their consent so that is why I have not named her). She was a beautiful woman. How I envied her beauty and grace. She introduced me to reading and, ultimately, started my love affair with words.

It has gotten so easy to just blurt out anything that pops into our heads. I used to be the biggest offender of that verbal crime. Now I see the errors of my way.

One of my favorites lines in the show Longmire is when Vic turns to Walt and asks Whatcha doing? Walt hesitates for a moment and says “Thinking. I do that sometimes before I speak.” I hope I wrote that correctly. But you get the idea. It was brilliant and how I gauge my speech now.

Today’s world moves so fast and if you tend to contemplate your words too long you may not get a chance to speak at all. That’s why I love to write. I can say my peace and you can read it or not at your leisure. What a beautiful thing.

I hope there is a shift back to pausing before words are used. I hope that more thought goes into their execution and considerations are made for the end results of words used. Then a shift in the nastiness will be made.

As we get used to a slight lowering of verbal expectations, let’s push back a little bit and remember how powerful the written and spoken words are. They truly carry with them an ultimate power that should not be misused. We take for granted the power of an automobile and the damage it can do if it is not properly respected. The same with words. They can be a blessing or a curse. How will you use yours?

Platitudes, No More by Lois Hewitt

I used to be the self-crowned queen of platitudes. I, as with most people, spewed them with only the best of intentions. I wanted to be helpful. It wasn’t until I actually experienced them did I start to wonder.

In my 20s and 30s I tried desperately to get pregnant. In my mind, a child was going to save me from my depression and anxiety…not a healthy ideal I know.

I had, just a few years before, experienced an unplanned pregnancy that ended in an adoption. At that time, I could barely take take of myself let alone a child. Now I was more stable, married and ready to try motherhood.

Weeks went by, then months and then years and no baby. I begged God and made deals with Him to give me a child but to no avail. As the years passed, my mental state deteriorated. I was despondent.

During this time, loving and well-meaning friends told me I was thinking about it too much. That it would happen when I least expected it. It never did. I was told not to stress about it, it would just happen. It never did. Lots of platatudes filled with love filled me with anger and grief.

Not only was I living with my guilt and remorse (was I being punished for my earlier sins?) but I was living with something I could not control. That manifested in overwhelming OCD which I dealt with before but took on a life of its own.

All around me I only saw pregnant women and babies. I wanted to join the club so badly, to do it right this time, but I was denied admission to that club.

All around me I heard it would happen. I finally accepted that sometimes things just do not work out. That is when I started to rethink my personal policy on giving freely platatudes in situations I knew nothing about.

How could I tell someone that a child lost was in a better place? Or that a medical situation will always get better…or any other number of circumstances. Sometimes life is pain and no amount of flowery words will take the pain away. I’m sorry but that’s a reality.

When someone wishes you a good day, most people mean it. I am not against the kind words spoken that are said in a way to try to brighten ones day. But when someone is in pain, a platitude can minimize said pain. Telling me to just wait, it will happened, made my grief feel unvalued.

Now I either say nothing or offer my sincerest help if needed. Just listening can bring more comfort than a string of pretty words.

Please do not misunderstand me, I love comforting words. I love inspiring words. I pray for a return to graciousness and civility. I’m speaking of those moments in one’s life when pain and grief and fear have veiled them. My grief was so much at one time, my words to others seemed hollow. I could only see my pain and felt as if it was marginalized. I cannot do that to others.

So for today I will be more conscious of those around me. I will think before I speak and will try to never demean a person’s experience no matter how unintentional.

So with that said, I wish you all a good day…and I really do mean it.

If you are in pain today, please find someone near you that you can talk to. You are NOT alone!

Lies and Untruths by Lois Hewitt

Words spoken as a lie are sweet to the ear. They ooze comfort because they are what we want to hear. I remember back in my youth, I so longed for someone to love me and sweep me off my feet…to carry me away from my depression and make everything better. For a time, I believed the lies I was told by those who wanted something from me. The possibility that what I was hearing were lies did not cross my mind until the lies were revealed. It did not take too long before I started to see those words for what they were. The feeling of being jaded washed over me followed by a crushing sadness.

Isn’t it easy to believe them? Isn’t it difficult to tell them? Lies and untruths are a bitter pill. We are surrounded by them today. Everyone screaming their truths, their version of the truth. Who is right and who is wrong? I got good at telling when I was being played by someone who had ulterior motives. The lie was easy to see once I stopped craving its sweetness. But today, the lies are not as easy to discern. In fact, some lies are not even sweet to hear. It can be so confusing.

I believe in the spiritual gift of discernment. That feeling in your gut that just doesn’t feel right when a lie is being told. The uneasy feeling you get when something doesn’t seem to fit. That is a gift we have inside us, but it has to be cultivated. You have to work at it in order for it to work. I feel I am pretty keen these days, but I have still been wrong. Mostly on the other side, I may be a little too suspicious. Better safe than sorry, I guess.

This is a perfect example of the confusion of today’s world. For example, I believe that the Bible sets my moral compass. Believe me, I lived using my own moral compass and that ended very poorly. I find comfort in the words written and images that play in my head. I believe it to be truth. Now the other side of the story is that a whole lot of people think those words to be bunk, lies, untruths. I will not sway from my beliefs, but neither will they. We live in a world that is turned around. I believe I am right, they believe they are right and there are others who have completely different opinions who believe they are right.

There are a lot of people who make a lot of money twisting the words of the Bible, twisting truths, making their own assumptions. How is a person, who just wants to do the right thing, supposed to know which way to turn? I wish I had an answer. The saying “perception is reality” has never been truer. What I perceive is different than what you are seeing.

What about facts? There are always experts on both sides now, telling us what we want to hear. Someone has to be wrong, but the reality is harder to find, harder to see. Facts are being twisted into lies and untruths under the umbrella of ultimate truth. That umbrella covers us all, but the rain still soaks us because there are holes in it, it is flawed.

How can one tell when an act or words spoken are unencumbered by expectations and/or ulterior motives? Not every good act requires some sort of return on investment, not every act or word spoken carries its own baggage, yet so many do and that is where the confusion really takes hold.

So as I type my ramblings, I realize that we are all very different. Even those who believe what I do have different scopes of view. Is it any wonder we have a hard time getting along with each other in this world today? I guess we have to live with our own truths, eat the truth sandwiches that are of our own making. Nothing is a cut and dry as it used to be (maybe it never was), so all I ask is that we, as a society, try a little discernment. Words that fly into our ears with the softness of sugar-coated rose petals are not necessarily truth. Nor are the words spoken in anger, full of hate and malice. I have been trying to come up with a way to end this post, but there is no ending that is one size fits all. There is no big bow on this package. Truth is being lost in a forest of lies, and it is hard to see those lies up close.

The world we live in is a difficult one. I am praying for everyone (whether you want me to or not) that we learn new ways to deal with all the information and misinformation being thrown at us on a daily basis. All the newfound experts in every field, all the research conclusions, all the papers written and all the speeches spoken are muddying the waters. All I can say is be careful out there and stay true to yourself.

Hungry? By Lois Hewitt

I woke up this morning simply starving (not really, but extremely hungry). I walked into my very blessed kitchen to find absolutely nothing to eat. My stomach was really unhappy.

Oh I had food, just nothing that I could eat instantly. I could made eggs and toast, oatmeal, a smoothie or any number of other delicious dishes. But I would have had to make something. Since the Covid lockdown, I have started making my own dishes.

We used to eat out a lot. Or I would by something premade at the grocery store. Now I invest (money and health) in ingredients and not convenience.

We have made the commitment to not eat out and to eat more wholesome homemade meals. It has been life changing for our health and for our wallets. The amount we used to spending eating out, literally, makes me ill. Now I know why we were always broke and I was always sick.

But what about this morning. I’m low on energy and frankly patience. As I sit here pondering my options (in which time I could have made something already), I think about life in general.

My younger days were spent filling the never-ending hunger I felt inside. I fed myself lots of stuff that I could not afford, I feed myself alcohol and I feed myself with quick, easy and unhealthy food. The problem with all these things and many other self-medications is that the hunger never gets satisfied.

I was seriously addicted to food as a way to comfort myself. As I was eating an entire box of some unhealthy fare, I was thinking about when I would be able to do it again. So even as I was self-medicating I was already looking for the next time. Alcohol and smoking were the same. Always left unsatisfied and wanting more.

Buying things seemed like a safer way to feel better until the bills came that I could not afford. Then came the years of trying to outrun the wolves at the door. Shuffling money around, buying more things, eating more and secretly and drinking more. This went on for years and years. And I was still hungry.

I look back at those chaotic times and wonder how I ever got so far gone…so completely lost. My moral compass was broken, my inner bs was running the show and I was weak.

It took a complete life change to figure It out and years to implement. I was sick inside and out. I was so very tired. As John Mellencamp so eloquently put it, “life goes on..long after the thrill of living is gone.”

Today, although still a work in progress, I am centered more in my faith. God keeps me seeing what is really important. If you think that is a ridiculous concept, you are welcome to that opinion. But to me, it is not up for debate. I have thrown away many of the old crutches I used and am walking, albeit slowly, on my own. I’m working on myself.

I fell short a bit this week. That happens. We are all flawed. Life itself is flawed. But I’m just going to pick myself up, and try to be better today. That’s all I can do. Be a better person, for me there is no loftier cause.

As for today’s hunger, I won’t let it consume me. I’ll go to the kitchen and make an egg or two with some fresh veggies and that will nourish my body and my soul. Taking it slow and doing the right work is my fix today. It sure beats other addictions I live with.

I hope you find your truth and your peace today. I hope it’s not found in things but inside of you.

Silence by Lois Hewitt

As you may know from reading my blog, I have struggled with being bi-polar and with OCD. My younger years were brutal. Age and knowledge have helped me deal better with these things.

I hated the manic times, as they were the worst. My brain was always in the mode of finding something to make me feel better. I just wanted to feel better. My energy levels were unusually high during these periods of time. I would overextend myself thinking that I had found the cure for what was wrong…something that had no name at that time. I knew about depression as I had been dealing with that since my youth. The manic part, I used to think, was when I thought I was better. How foolish one can be in their ignorance.

During the manic times, I could not stop talking. I was, in retrospect, thinking out loud and hoping for the approval I was desperately seeking. Silence was the enemy during those times. Looking back, I cannot imagine how annoying it must have been to hear my constant ramblings. To hear about my newest plan to get better. But I could not be quiet.

I regret the alienation I caused from friends and family. I thought I was upbeat and clever. I had no filter whatsoever at the time. Any thought that entered my mind, no matter the randomness, it came flying out of my mouth. I was trying so hard to be normal but without a roadmap showing what normal was.

When I started this blog I thought the physical trip I was going to take was my epic journey. I could not have been so incorrect. The trip facilitated the real journey but it was not the actual path to what I was looking for…wellness, peace and forgiveness where the milestones I so desperately sought.

Completely leaving behind my old life, as I look back, may have been a bit of overkill. But I think I needed a full-on exorcism of the old. I, no matter what I tried, could not unbound myself from my past and all that came with it. The constant roller coaster ride had taken its toll on me. If I had not been so drastic in my actions, I honestly do not know if I would have survived. It was dire there at the end.

The complete change gave way to the me I was looking for. I found that person on the road during a very difficult journey but one so full of blessings.

Age seems to be a factor also. Where I used to never be quiet now I use my new found love of silence to observe and analyze my surroundings. I can think one thought at a time without the constant battle of multiple thoughts vying for their place in my mind.

The saying is that silence is golden is an understatement for me. In a time where everyone feels compelled to speak their mind and make a stand on every single issue, I am enjoying my personal silence with the occasional written outburst.

Dealing with my lack of mental health has finally facilitated some peace and wellness. I had always that I knew what “crazy” looked like but I was wrong. I only needed to look in the mirror to see it.

My silence is healing me somehow. I still have my moments, but I am learning to love the quiet and the stillness.

If you feel like something is wrong, find someone you trust and get help. So many people suffer alone. This is not the time for silence. Get help. Feeling better is so much better than feeling bad. Help is out there!

Going Home by Lois Hewitt

I find myself saying “I just want to go home” a lot. Sometimes I am even home when I say it, which is really odd.

I have always believed that where my husband and I are is home. It’s been our car, motel rooms, a house and apartments. As long as we are together, that place is home.

This is different. I find myself longing for a place that I don’t believe I have ever seen. A place that calls my name but that I cannot find. Even when I had a house, I somehow felt slightly homeless. Like I wasn’t in the right place.

I do not believe this feeling stems from a physical location as much as it is a mindful place. An ethereal place. Not tangible.

I read an article, written by someone who probably has no specific credentials, that we all long for a place that harbored us in past lives. I do not, personally, believe that theory but it made me think.

What if this allusive place is Heaven. That I do believe. You may not but I strongly do. I think that as we get older, life gets harder and we long for carefreeness. I think back on some of those carefree days of old. My anxiety didn’t allow for many of those, but there were some.

Youth allows for a laziness (in a good way) that is harder to grasp as the years pass. And that mysterious homesick feeling gets stronger with age. I have this feeling inside that I cannot reconcile. I simply do not know what it is. I know I just want to go home.

This world ain’t great at offering lasting security. We all know that things can change in an instant. That fact has always weighed heavy on me. I lived in fear of that unknown, unforeseen possibility always. I didn’t feel secure. So maybe that’s what I long for.

My husband used to travel a lot for work. He traveled internationally and was gone for weeks at a time. I remember being so happy when he got home and almost immediately filled with sadness that he would be leaving again soon. I didn’t even know when he next trip would happen, yet I feared it anyway.

I’m working at being healthier inside and out. I’m now exercising and eating right. I try to keep the anxiety at bay but I still have a veil over me.

I guess there isn’t always an answer to be had. I guess there are deeply fundamental ideals that are not grounded in things we can see or touch. I may never know truly what this yearning is. Not in this life anyway.

So in the meantime, I will try to be present where I am at, no matter where it is. I do think someday the curtain will draw back and all will be revealed. Until then, this is home and I will relish it.

Creativity by Lois Hewitt

The times I’m most depressed are the times I cannot listen to music. Those are my saddest days.

My taste in music ranges from Buble to Zep to STP to Zac Brown and beyond. I grew up in the all too short times when I lived with my Mom, listening and dancing to Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald. Then I found Bad Co and AC/DC. I tended toward heavier, darker music. I did not care for Michael Jackson but his sister rocked the house. Rhythm Nation…perfection. INXS and others filled the 80s. I followed a little grunge and hit a dry spell for a decade or so. I can’t forget my two trips into country music. I like most of it but it’s mostly how it makes me feel.

The music of the seventies keep me from being lonely. The eighties was a time of figuring out who I was. The nineties were down and dirty as its said. After that it trails off a bit.

During the Covid lockdown I found a lot of new (to me) music and I went down many a rabbit hole. The most profound one was Layne Staley. What a voice, what a tragedy. I have cried for Michael, Prince, Stevie, but none as much as Layne.

Artists can touch our souls with their passions, whether it be through a painting, a dance, a fabric, a written word, a song or anything created. I have grieved most of my life for my lack of any particular talent. I can do things but not on that level. It’s easy to see how that kind of passion soars too close to the sun.

I wrote a post, way back in the beginning, about if I had been given the ability to sing, like Whitney, I would have been all consumed in my own talent. In other words, I would have been a giant ass****!

I generally do not simply listen to music, I obsess. Same with movies and books and many other forms of expression. I need to know it, to live it and to feel it. Some day I will write a post about Dean Winchester, that admittedly went way beyond obsession. Lol.

The days I cannot tolerate the sounds of music or the flickers of images from a movie are the days I should be afraid. The arts, on many levels, got me through. They taught me how to and how not to live. I went through many life phases based on the current obsession. I’m not a passive enjoyer of talents. I need it to live.

So in my almost 60 years (I can’t be that old 😆) I have never found that thing I am good at until now. Also over the lockdown I found a different kind of rabbit hole. I found Jamie Oliver.

I was deemed non-essential with an uncertain future ahead. My life plans ended up in the dumpster and I was devestated for a time. Weren’t we all? But I started cooking and watching every Jamie Oliver video. I used to just throw things together without any care or forethought. I cooked just to eat. Now I cook with intent and love. I cook with beautiful vegetables for vitality and health. Jamie taught me these things and it’s changed my life.

Would I rather have a powerful voice like Layne? Or dance like Misha? Or paint like Van Gogh? Or write like Hemingway? In a heartbeat. But being able to make food, grown from the land that nourishes the body is a pretty cool talent to have. I may not be remembered long but that’s okay too.

If you are are feeling underwhelmed with yourself, try opening your horizons. I never thought of cooking as a talent except for professional chefs and that talent I ain’t got. But taking the things in life that you love and being passionate about it feeds the soul. Find your joy today!

invisible by Lois Hewitt

Tonight I am sitting alone with a cup of tea and only the glow of a single strand of Christmas lights for illumination and I feel invisible. I just walked out onto the deck and looked out at a world that is ever moving, ever changing and I felt totally and utterly disconnected from it. Is it age that makes me feel like I am losing relevance? Is age what makes me feel less important somehow? Is it age that makes me harder and harder to see?

I am not complaining, for my life is good but as the days roll on I feel as if my voice is getting quieter and my body is somehow shrinking, maybe from the weight of all the things we carry through life, things like pain, guilt and regret to name a few. In my youth, I had times (usually alcohol induced) when I was the loudest person in the room, along with no filter. Whatever came into my head, flew out of my mouth. In my manic times, I talked and talked and talked nonstop. Now to utter a word feels foreign to me, like something I do not know how to do any longer. I fooled myself into thinking that I had something important to say at all times, when in fact, I knew nothing because I had done nothing.

Now I have done something and I cannot find words to speak. It does not help that we have become a society bent on having our voices heard which leaves no room for listening. You cannot talk all the time and still listen. Did you ever talk to someone who constantly looked around as if they were waiting for a better opportunity elsewhere? Like you were just a momentary pit stop before going off to talk to (not with) someone else. Having your words not heard, being invisible. I feel that way a lot more, maybe it is just my conscious level is higher. It may have always been that way, I just never noticed because I was the one talking.

The world does revolve around the young as it did when I was young. Someone 60 years old, was basically close to death in my youthful ignorance. Now almost 60 myself, that perspective has totally changed. I feel like I am still relevant. I do not feel like I thought I would feel at 60 when I was 20. Yet things change, my ideals have changed, the important things have changed and I have changed oh so much. My life long quest to be alone has worked almost too well. I struggle with loneliness at times, something I never admitted to in my younger days. I miss long conversations, filled with laughter and a few tears. I miss those times of connection with another person.

Everyone is so busy, heck I am still busy. Working, taking care of responsibilities and the daily grind of life take its toll on those deep relationships. I am too tired most times to not just want to be alone. Alone, as it has always been, is so much easier. I don’t have to try when I am alone. I can just be without any pretense. No words are needed, no actions are necessary. It is easy but it is in those times I feel the most invisible. Although I can feel invisible in the midst of many people, busy bustling around and I stand still and watch the never ending motion all around me. I guess it is I who have made myself unseen. Laziness, perhaps, or maybe tiredness are the root causes.

I recently read of a musician who died of an overdose and no one bothered to check on him for two weeks. He went from famous to invisible. I find the story is haunting me as I deal with my own invisibility. I feel so very sad for this person I have never met. How lonely must those last weeks, days and hours have been. Please do not get me wrong, I am not ready to leave just yet, I just wonder how much more dramatically life is going to change as the calendar continues its move forward.

I do not even know what I am going after in this piece. I would like to say that I had some great breakthrough but it is not happening. I am guessing in the scheme of things, being invisible is not the worst thing that could happen. I still have a circle of friends and family, albeit a bit removed by location. Maybe the point is that with age comes the realization that the extra “noise” is not necessary. The constant motion is not a constant anymore. Maybe part of “growing old gracefully” is learning where you want to matter, and not just mattering for the sake of it. Being invisible to some but not all is a fate that can be worked with. I no longer have the absolute need to be liked or needed by everyone I ever met. So maybe the loneliness I feel is, like most things, self-induced.

Ok, I actually do feel better. The people I care about the most can still see me, and, in the end, nothing else matters. If you are feeling invisible today, look for those people who see you and love you. They are out there. Embrace yourself. Don’t shut yourself off too much. I am thinking being relevant, especially in today’s fickle world, is overrated anyway. I would rather matter to a few, then just be tolerated by a lot. Okay, I am rambling now. I will put my voice away for now.

Find your joy today! Feel your soul!! It is important!!

Fake Masks by Lois Hewitt

Masks are everywhere these days but then again they always have been. I do not mean the Covid masks but the fake facades or masks we wear everyday to give an illusion of ourselves that may not be necessarily true. The ones Billy Joel sang about.

I like to think of myself as being authentic but when I look back, and cringe, over my youth I see clearly my mask. I wanted, so painfully bad, to be loved by all that I never developed the true me until much later in life. I wanted acceptance more than anything. What I was too ignorant to notice was the harder I tried to fit in, the more alienated I became.

I conformed to the people in the room. I bent and swayed with the social breezes. I never cultivated myself as my own person. I tried to emulate my father, my friends, movie stars…it mattered not who it was. Anyone was better than I was. In a previous post, I mentioned that I finally learned that I am enough. Back then, I felt very little, if any, self worth. I was damaged goods trying to act like I was a whole person.

No wonder my mental stability was questionable at times. I was on a merry-go-round that never stopped. I fooled no one but myself. How pathetic I must have been.

Fast forward to a certain age no longer dominated by the foolishness of youth. I woke up one day and did not care if I was accepted or not. I had to just be me. If someone doesn’t like it, no worries because it no longer matters.

What freedom! I finally allowed myself to just be me. I long for all the misspent youth but also have realized I was not ready then. Given the experiences of my youth and my perceptions of myself, those types of realizations would never have happened. Only with age, for me anyway, and an overwhelming exhaustion from being someone I was not could I be free. Only then could I give up the mask.

I still have moments of insecurity but now they are real or shall I say authentic. Today you see me, not some wanna be. I relish the fact that I don’t always fit in. For no one truly authentic can fit in every situation. It’s not possible. Today I feel empowered to work on me and those things that touch my soul.

When I look back at my youth, I feel sorry for that petson, a person I barely know now. Someone who tried to hard to please people who ultimately did not even matter in the scheme of things. The more cruel they were, the harder I tried to please. Always on an emotional treadmill, moving but going nowhere. My heart breaks for the sad person.

I know that those experiences made me who I am today. They filled me with empathy and wisdom. They made me stronger than I ever thought I would be. They taught me the value of true love and friendship. I am grateful for the ugly mask I wore but am so happy to have discarded it into the garbage where it belongs.

Mental by Lois Hewitt

Everyone is talking about mental health issues and relating personal stories about the subject. I hate to be a follower but this is an important topic.

As a person who has long carried mental illness in my purse I feel compelled to weigh in on the subject. Back in my day, mental illness was the lone guy downtown swearing to himself and urinating in his pants. That wasn’t me. I could not possibly be like that.

But I suffered other things. I would have excruciating manic periods where I was compelled to get a second job and/or volunteer and/or go back to school and/or any number of things. I felt invincible. I talked nonstop and could not sleep. Then one day the depression kicked mania out of the house and I could barely move. I let people down because I could no longer honor all those commitments. I felt a loser which made the grief and depression even deeper. Then one day I got up like Superman and the cycle continued. It never stopped. I had two speeds: full on or non-existent. In retrospect, the manic times were more devastating than the depressed times.

Now throw some heavy duty OCD into the mix and I had days I didn’t know how to go on. I worked hard to hide my “quirks”. More than once I heard it said that’s just how she is. As I piled empty soda bottled in front of every door every night and checked and rechecked in closets and under beds looking for the sum of my fears. Going out literally meant up to three hours of checking the house for those fears in human form.

I have only told one person this but it feels important now. When I drove somewhere I would wonder if I had run someone over and I would have to drive the route several times to check if I had or not. Then I would agonize for hours about something I may have missed. My mind was like a prison. I, obviously, couldn’t say anything to anyone. Because, in my mind, I was crazy. Unfortunately that is just the tip of my personal descent into mental illness

Late in my 20s, my doctor, very casually, put a name to what was happening. I was manic depressive with OCD. I was amazed at her calmness. I thought I was the only person living through this. Turns out I wasn’t very unique at all. More and more people deal with these and other illnesses every day.

So what happened? I took anti-deptessants until I barely felt alive. I didn’t hurt as much but had all but lost my joy. One day I just stopped taking them. My advice…DONT EVER DO THAT. The spiral was insane. It look a long six months to even out. In place of the numbness I was treated with anxiety.

Over the years I have learned techniques to help. I feel pretty stable. I feel the mania and I can tone it down. The depression still kicks my ass.

This week I had two separate incidents where I thought I was having a heart attack. Ready to head to the ER. I think it was anxiety. We live in a new world that wraps every news report and every event in a blanket of anxiety. Why are you anxious, you might think. Why aren’t I? Plus it is just a normal state of being for some of us.

You don’t have to be a rock star or part of the Royal family to have this. And there are many varying degrees of it. I have learned a lot from my time silently suffering. Find someone you trust and talk about it. You don’t have to live with this alone. Do not let it be brushed off as if it was just a quirk. This is serious shit.

While I am on the subject, self-mediicating isn’t the answer. Buying things to fill holes in your soul does not work. Alcohol and drugs make the situation worse and can be deadly. The other devices we use to feel better don’t work any better. That’s why you need someone you trust in your corner. Please don’t suffer alone. Please!

https://www.nami.org/help

It might be a place to start. Be safe everyone.

Today I’m living with it all. Good days and bad just like everyone. Here is to better days for all!