Checking In/Kids Birthday/Long Drive

Hello everyone, I hope your weekend is going great so far. I realized it’s been about a week or so since my last post, and since I don’t want any of you to forget who I am, I figured I better do a check in.

My youngest son turned 13 last week.  I can’t believe how fast time flies. It really does seem to go by quickly. My baby is now a teenager. I let him pick what he wanted to do for his special day. Normally we have a little party but this year he wanted to plan his own day.

And so our day began…..

First we went out for breakfast.  Just the 2 of us. I honestly can’t remember the last time it was just me and him at a restaurant.  It was actually quite nice and I really enjoyed our conversations. Our special mom and son time. It made me feel really good  knowing my son was also having a good time with me.

Our next stop was Starbucks. My sons choice of course. I grabbed a fruity drink, which my son ordered for me, because honestly I have no idea how to order half of that fancy stuff on their menu. He pick out a good choice for me and it was really refreshing. With our drinks in hand, we set out on a country drive to the beautiful town of Knights Ferry, population 100.

The drive to Knights Ferry is beautiful, especially this time of year while everything is still green. But, its still a longer drive then I normally would do. I haven’t been that far from home in a few years because of my anxiety. But my son has been asking me to take him for a while now, and since it was his birthday, I had to at least give the drive a try.

Of course I didn’t get to far before the worrying set in. (Honestly I was surprised my anxiety didn’t act up while we were out having breakfast.) But soon as I realized we would be heading out of town, thats when my mind started worrying.  I was worried about having a panic attack while out on that long stretch of country highway. All the “what if’s” kept popping in my mind. What if I have a panic attack?  What if I pass out? What will my son do alone, far from home, and far from other people? The highway we had to take is very quiet.  Not much traffic during the week day. I kept picturing myself passed out on the side of the road while my son was left figuring out what to do.  I know this might sound a little silly to some of you but those are the thoughts that run through my mind. The mind of someone who deals with anxiety.

I pulled over, turned the car off, and looked over at my son. I was about to tell him I couldn’t do it. But before I could say it, he began talking. Apparently he could tell by the look on my face that my anxiety was bothering me. He started off by reminding me that I was ok. He pointed out all the times I have gotten through it in the past.  He also reminded me that he was 13 and if there was an emergency he was well over the age of knowing how to call for help.

Even though I am very open about my mental illness with my kids, I still try to hide it when I’m scared. I try not to let them see me worried. So I somehow put my brave face on and acted like I was ok. I acted like it wasn’t that bad. But deep down I knew it could get that bad, if I let it. If I let it. So with my brave face on, and my smart, caring 13 year old sitting near, I started up the car and got back on that country highway.

Knights Ferry: Knights Ferry is a small historic town with some pretty amazing scenery. Theres several monuments that are still standing after many many years, such as the bridge and flour mill. I believe the bridge has been standing since the 1800s. Theres many different trails to venture out on and so much nature to enjoy.

If your interested in the gold mining days, and want to know more about the history on Knights Ferry You can read about it here.

Below is the famous bridge.  Back when I was a kid the bridge was not covered.  Yes, I have been going to Knights Ferry since I was very young. I have watched many many people dive off that bridge into the cold water. I guess it was the thing to do back in the 80’s. I never seen anyone get hurt but I have heard many people have. That might be why it is now boarded up. No more diving off the bridge but you are still able to walk across and peak through the wooden cracks and the beautiful scenery.

The bridge in Knights Ferry
Knights Ferry

My youngest son has been asking me to take him to Knights Ferry for over a year now. I kept putting it off, to scared of having a panic attack. But since starting my blog I have been working hard on my mental health and learning how to live a more enjoyable life. I have been setting little goals and taking baby-steps. But taking my son to Knights Ferry has been a bigger goal of mine. One that has taken me a year to achieve.

But, I did it. I set this goal and I did it. I am very proud of myself.

We spent a couple hours walking around and taking in the fresh air. We walked and talked and spent some quality time together. It was wonderful.

Later back at home, we had a pizza birthday party with family. My son didn’t want a huge party so we kept it small. It was perfect. He had a good time and looked happy, which of course made me happy.

I know I have a long way to go when it comes to my mental health. I know my anxiety will act up again, and I know I will have a panic attack again. I also know my ocd will always be around. But I also know that I am capable of enjoying life. I tend to forget that. I tend to forget that I can still lead a happy life while suffering with mental issues. Not every day is going to be easy, and not every day is going to be hard.  I am slowly starting to realize this. I am taking chances, slowly accomplishing my goals, and slowly learning how to live with my mental illnesses. One day at a time.

Hope you have a fabulous weekend.


Bringing In The New Year With OCD Pt. 1

Every year around this time  I hear tons of people excitingly discuss their plans to bring in the new year. Some have gatherings at their homes, some go out to clubs, while some prefer to stay home and treat it as any other ordinary day.

And then there is me. As most of you already know, I have ocd. I talk about it quite a bit. Quick refresher for those of you that aren’t familiar with me: I have thoughts in my head telling me to do things over and over, because according to my ocd, if I don’t, then something bad will happen. So I end up doing things over and over until a good thought pops in my mind.

Celebrating New Years Eve has always been a little challenging for me.  It’s actually my least favourite holiday.

Let Me Try To Explain Why………

Every year when tons of people are enjoying the countdown and hanging out with friends, I am stressing and worrying about what “thought” is going to be in my head at midnight. As it gets closer and closer for “that time” to arrive, I begin mentally repeating positive thoughts in my mind. I will say those positive words over and over until the clock strikes 12:00. Because right when it hits midnight, midnight making it officially the new year, I “must” be thinking of something happy and good. I “have” to have happy thoughts. If not, ocd tells me something bad will happen. So I work harder, I mentally prepare, I repeat and repeat hoping to have a happy thought at 12:00 exactly. 

Sometimes I get lucky and I have that happy thought. But there are also times that I don’t. If a happy thought is not in my mind at that precise time, if I have a “bad” thought instead, then I have to mentally repeat happy thoughts until the clock changes again, hoping when it does change, a good/happy thought is in my mind or I repeat the process again, and again until my ocd says I got it right.

I know how ridiculous this sounds to those of you that don’t struggle with Ocd. Dang it even sounds ridiculous to me when I re-read what I just wrote. But, like I have said many times in previous posts, those “rituals”, those “thoughts”, are so strong, so intense, and feel so real that I seriously feel like I have to give in.

As the years passed I learned of a more simpler, easier way to bring in the new year. A way where I didn’t have to perform those tiring mental rituals. And that way is….. SLEEPING. 

Yes, sleeping has been my coping magnetism for several years now. I go to bed early and sleep through midnight. On occasion, I have woken up due to people in the neighborhood celebrating, but I know to immediately say something “good” or “happy” in my mind before I open my eyes.

But even though sleeping may be the easiest way for me, it really isn’t the way to get better. Avoiding thoughts and situations is not the way to live with OCD. The proper way, in my opinion, and from my years of research, is to acknowledge the thoughts but do not give into them. I should sit with those thoughts and sit with the uncertainty.

Back when I started this blog almost a year ago, one of the most important things I really wanted to accomplish was learning how to live a more enjoyable life, which meant finding new coping skills and how to sit with the ocd thoughts without giving into them. Because the more I resist giving in to my ocd, the weaker my ocd becomes.

Tonight I am not bringing the new year in like I have many times before. Tonight as the clock strikes 12, I am not going to mentally prepare. I am not going to repeat happy thoughts over and over. Instead I am going to let what ever thought happens to be in my mind at that time, sit there. It will sit there and I will acknowledge it, and then I will continue with whatever I am doing at that time.

The more I acknowledge and let the thoughts just sit, the more I will gain control of my life. The more I resist the compulsions, the weaker ocd gets. The weaker ocd gets, the stronger I get.

Even though I still struggle hard with ocd, I have also worked hard to get better and live a happier life with ocd. I know I have a lot of hard work ahead of me, but I am proud of what I have accomplished so far. Each day I try, and most days are hard, but knowing that I have improved since last year gives me hope that I will continue to improve.

Tonight I will do what it takes to make my ocd weaker, and by doing that, I will become stronger. Stronger to lead a more enjoyable, healthy, fulfilling life.

Have a wonderful evening, and please stay safe. If you drink, please have a designated driver with you. Do not drink and drive.

Now with that being said, have a fantastically fabulous evening!

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental illness, please Reach Out, Speak Up, And Ask For Help. Nobody should go through it alone.

Things I Think About

I wonder if…..

Do you ever just sit and wonder about people? Wonder what goes on in their lives? What goes on in their head? What are they thinking? Are they worried? Scared? Nervous? Or are they excited and happy? I know it may seem a little strange, but I am guilty of this. Very very guilty. I always find myself wondering what it’s like in someone else’s mind.

Whether it be someone I know, or complete strangers, I wonder if they are experiencing the same things as I do?


The couple walking their dog in the neighborhood, do they count silently in their heads? Or maybe they are repeating verses quietly with each step they take without the other one even knowing? Is she looking at him wondering if his head is “normal”? Is he thinking the same thing of her?


The man playing ball with his child, or the woman playing in the sandbox with her toddler, are their brains telling them if they don’t do this or don’t do that, then this or that might happen?  Are they secretly worried of the “what if’s”?


The man that was driving behind me, was he terrified that he just hit someone even though he didn’t see anyone? He didn’t feel anything hit his car, but did he turn around anyway just to make sure? Even though he made sure, does he still think he hit someone?


The young woman that lives around the corner with her parents, is she scared to leave her house? Is she worried she will leave and not make it back? Does she stay home because she thinks home is the only place she is safe?


Could it possibly be that I am the only one that wonders these things? Am I the only one that has experienced some of these things?  Is it possible there is nothing scary or questionable going on in anyone’s mind but my own? Are their thoughts normal? What is normal?


Is everyone “normal” except for me?


Is it quite in people’s head? Complete silence? No congestion, no noise, no worries, no stress, and no thoughts? Is it just SILENT?

I have been jealous, angry, and confused.  Why does that person have good health, a normal life, and most of all a normal brain?

I have thought about this things so many times I lost count. I have asked myself these questions numerous times. This is what I finally came up.

We don’t know what others are going through. We don’t know if it’s good or bad. We can’t assume someone has a perfect life just because they look happy. They might be good at hiding it. They put on a smile and go about their day.

They could be worried about a cheating spouse, a health concern, an addiction thats out of control, a very important decision that needs to be made. They might be hurting physically. And it is possible they might be suffering silently with a mental illness.

We don’t know what somebody else is going through. They may seem happy and full of life, while deep down they are hurting.

So we can’t compare ourselves.  Don’t wonder what is going on in their life, in their brain. It will not solve your problems and it won’t solve mine.

Appreciate your life. Appreciate LIFE. There are plenty of things to appreciate and plenty to be grateful for. 

We need to work and focus on our own issues and find ways to improve our situations. Lets work on ways to find our happiness and most of all lets learn to love ourselves.

Have a spectacular week and start writing things you are grateful for. I started doing this and I find it very helpful. Today I am grateful for Life.

I also want to say a special thanks to my mom. Thank you for pointing out that sometimes things are not what it seems, nobody is perfect, appreciate what you have rather than what you don’t have. Very good things to remember. ❤

If you or someone you know is struggling, Speak Up, Reach Out, And Ask For Help. Nobody should go through it alone.


Checking In/ Taking A Day Trip

Happy Friday everyone! How was your week?  Mine sort of flew on by, which is a little strange considering I didn’t do much besides my daily activities.  My same boring, daily routine.

Our weather here in California has been much cooler.  We had a couple days of high winds but other than that our weather was in the high 70’s low 80’s.  Much better than the 90’s and 100’s we were having.

Since I did a whole lot of nothing all week, this weekend I’m taking my pre-teen on an hour drive to the mountains. Just one road all the way up.  It’s such an easy drive, not much traffic,  and the scenery is absolutely beautiful. I use to take this drive  a couple times a month, back when my anxiety was barely making an appearance.

Last night my anxiety kept me awake, tossing and turning.  I was worried about leaving and being so far from home. I kept going over worse case scenarios over and over in my head.

I’m scared I will have a panic attack.  I’m scared I will have one when I’m on the country road. What if I have one while at the restaurant? What if I have one on the way home? What if I have such a horrible panic attack and it causes me to pass out? What if there’s nobody around but my son? Will he know what to do?  Will he be scared?  Those plus many more are the thoughts that kept running through my mind, causing me to lose sleep. Causing my tiredness today.  Those are the thoughts that someone with anxiety experiences.   Thoughts that can keep, and have kept, someone like me a prisoner in my home, to afraid to leave, to afraid of the “what if’s ” that circle my mind.

I already told my son about our little trip. I don’t want to cancel it. I have canceled so many times before due to my anxiety.  I don’t want to disappoint him again. He is very understanding and knows about my anxiety, but I can’t keep backing out of things with him, I can’t let my anxiety win.

My stomach is in knots, and my brain is full of “what if’s”, but I AM GOING. I am going to take my son on a beautiful drive to the mountains. I am going to have lunch, I am going to explore the town, and I am going to spend some much needed quality time with my son.

I will do my very best to live in the moment.  I will do my very best to not worry about the future or things that may or may not happen. I will be okay.


If anyone is reading this and has similar issues as I do, I know how scary it can be. But we can not let out mental health control us, we can’t let it stop is from enjoying life. Step outside your comfort zone. Live in the moment. Don’t be a prisoner in your mind. Live life and find your joy, even if you have to take baby steps. One step at a time. We can do it.

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health issues, please Reach Out, Speak Up, And Ask For Help. Nobody should go through it alone.


Have a fantastic weekend!

Reflecting On Life

I am sitting on my porch drinking my morning coffee and reflecting on my life.

Where the heck has the time gone? What have I accomplished thats worth bragging about?  And what kind of excitement have I experienced lately?

As I sit here pondering these things, I’m left feeling slightly disappointed.

You see when I started this blog back in January, I had goals. I had plans. I had decided I wanted change, and realized that nothing changes if nothing changes. (One of my favorite quotes.)

I told myself now that I’m 50 it’s time to find my joy. Part of that meant it was time to address my mental health issues and learn to live with it, without it controlling me.

Well here I am 6 months later realizing nothing much has changed.

Yes, I have been working on my OCD and trying to not let it control me. Have I succeeded?  No, not really.

Yes, I have been working on my other mental issues, like my anxiety and my panic attacks. Am I happy with the results?  No, not really.

And finally, yes, I have been working on my social life, trying to get out and have more fun and find my joy. Have I accomplished this? Have I even came close? No, not really.

A good friend once said, “Your going to wake up one day and wonder where the years have gone. Your going to realize you let your anxiety keep you from enjoying life. There’s a huge beautiful world out there, and your missing out because you won’t take a chance and let yourself enjoy it”  I remember his words so perfectly. It really stuck with me.  It stuck with me because he was right.

I keep letting my mental illnesses keep me from reaching my goals, my hopes, and my dreams. Heck, I’m not even sure what my hopes and dreams are anymore.

Sometimes I feel like I’m all talk and no action because I keep saying I want to get better but I also keep letting it control and scare me.

So my question to myself today is, what am I going to do about it?

I have to set out and try to accomplish some of these goals. I have to take that first step towards the things I want to achieve. I have to try. I have to stop saying I’m going to do it. I need to actually do it. I have also said this before but hopefully this time it will be different.

Now here’s the thing.  Dealing with mental health problems is hard. Very very hard. It’s also very scary. I need to take that step out of my comfort zone, deal with the fears, and explore change. I need to stand up and take a chance at living a more happier fulfilling life.

I think what I have been doing is expecting huge results immediately. And when I don’t get those results when and how I expect it, I shut down, get frustrated, and quit. I need to really start recognizing the small victories no matter how tiny they may be and try not to forget about it the next day. I tend to recognize victories for about a minute and then poof that memory fades.

I always try and leave my posts on a positive note. So here it goes. It’s totally fine if you don’t accomplish your goals on time. What matters is that you tried. Its totally fine to take smaller steps, to make smaller goals, because at least your trying.  And trying is better than doing nothing at all.

If At First You Don’t Succeed, Try Again.

Have a fantastic week!


Reach out, speak up, and ask for help.