How Your Core-Conflict Shapes Your Identity

“Believe that life is worth living and your belief will help create the fact.”

William James

One of the coolest things about being a human being is that we are each unique due to our various experiences and circumstances. These layers of influences have shaped our beliefs whether we realize it or not, and have created the person we are today.

This can be both a good thing and a bad thing. While we use our values to have a positive impact on the world, we also have limiting beliefs about ourselves that we have formed from an early age. The negative beliefs, while we try to repress them, are actually working subconsciously throughout our everyday life.

While on a coaching call the other night, my friend pointed out to me that I had a pattern – a pattern that was influenced by something called a “core-conflict”. We began talking it out and I realized that everytime I thought I wasn’t going to succeed in something, I gave up. I wouldn’t let myself completely fail. By doing that, I never let myself completely succeed in something because I stopped anytime a bump in the road came. The road to success is often very bumpy. As Rachel Hollis says, you have to let yourself “fail forward” many times in order to achieve the very thing you want. Success is not linear, but rather a curvy line.

When I realized this talking to my coach, it angered me. I began to think of all the things I quit prematurely – – multiple sports, swimming, acting, singing, piano lessons, and dance. I asked her, “Well I just don’t understand…when did I start feeling ‘not good enough’? What was the turning point and why did I feel like I needed to protect myself?”

Her response – “Your core-conflict is often shaped by an event in your childhood (sometime between the ages of two and six) and then continues to fester over time. The good thing is you can rewrite your story. You just have to face it head on.”

I think back and it’s amazing to see how that core-conflict of mine negatively affected my identity and how I went about doing things. To be completely honest and transparent – there have been many times even recently when I thought “what’s the point of my blog and what’s the point of Arbonne – I’m not really helping anyone anyway.” Even though this is not completely true, it “feels” true and it feels safe to take the easy way out. “I can’t fail this way” is what I tell myself. But, in reality the only way I do fail is by quitting.

I know in my heart that God has a huge purpose for me. As I sit here writing this, I know that if I were to continue down this path of self-destruction, my potential would not be met and the people I want to help will never be helped. I have learned I need to trust myself, as I begin to rewrite my story. Trust what I know to be true, and allow those bumps in the road to happen.

According to the Law of Attraction (which I have discussed in my blog before), what you send out into the universe is what you get back. In other words, “believe that life is worth living and your belief will help create that fact.” So if I am to rewrite my story and send positivity out into the world, I must first start by abandoning my core-conflict and allowing myself to feel the emotions connected with failure. By doing that, I will have to practice seeing these experiences as opportunities to practice mindfulness and self-development rather than times that I am “not good enough”.

Whatever your core-conflict is, I challenge you to do some self-reflecting as well. It will hurt to uncover the past and it will be challenging to relearn a new truth about yourself. But I guarantee you it will be worth it. Your purpose is just waiting for you to discover.

#healing #love #meditation #selflove #health #wellness #selfcare #yoga #energy #mentalhealth #spirituality #spiritual #mindfulness #peace #crystals #nature #reiki #motivation #life #inspiration #spiritualawakening #loveyourself #awakening #recovery #anxiety #therapy #positivevibes #energyhealing #consciousness #bhfyp #coreconflict #fear depression

My “Coming Out” Story

“I am gay. I am straight. I am a lesbian. I am bisexual. I am trans. I AM HUMAN.”

My story is anything but ordinary, especially when it comes to my relationships and sexual orientation.

The most common question I get is, “Did you always know you were attracted to women?” The answer is quite simple – yes, and no. 😉

Growing up, I knew I was attracted to women’s bodies but – if I’m being honest – women, frankly, were annoying to me. I am a low maintenance, fun outdoorsy type. I don’t need a lot of things to make me happy. The girls I grew up with were not like that. So to me, the thought never occurred,”Oh, maybe I could be a lesbian.” I also had the longest crush on a guy for most of my schooling, so again, my sexual orientation was never a question.

During my teenage years, while I was not aware of my own identity, I supported others who were discovering themselves and would praise friends who came out. In addition, I would occasionally check out the LGBT events, but that was about as far as that went.

Then college came. Within the second week of Freshmen year, I fell for a guy, who would later become my husband. For the first year or two, things were great. Then I found out he cheated on me with my roommate, and things were never the same after. We spent ten years in an on-again, off-again relationship (I was definitely not a saint during those years, let me make that clear).

While he grew restless with our relationship, I did as well. Even before getting married, I wondered if I was doing the right thing. In this mixed up time, I was starting to wonder about my sexuality. He found it enticing at first that I could be interested in women, so I began to explore that part of me. As our issues continued to mount, he and I both realized “that part of me” grew louder – especially the more our relationship unraveled.

Fast forward to Fall 2017, I found out he cheated on me again and was browsing internet dating sites . At this point, after just having a miscarriage as well, I was mentally done and checked out of the relationship. I could not give anymore to this marriage no matter what he did to try to make it up. We began living separate lives, but we still lived together. As I described in previous posts, I overdosed on anxiety meds twice during this period of time and drank heavily to deal with the pain. It was December when I downloaded the app “Her” – a lesbian dating app. I was so annoyed at my situation and figured if he can get something from these apps, why can’t I? And a lesbian one, even better – no fucking men!

Long story short, I downloaded the app but barely used it. One – I felt guilty, and two – I wasn’t in the right place to be with anyone. On December 20th, a girl messaged me saying “hey” and asking “what I was looking for”. I think I was in one of those moods where I just didn’t care anymore so I answered and went on about my sob story. The funny thing was – she was going through an almost mirror situation. Talk about the heavens aligning.

We spent a few months talking, supporting each other as friends as we both tried to end our long-term relationships and get our lives back. The more time we spent talking, the more I realized how much I liked her. This was the first time I really felt this deep about someone since my husband – and it was a woman! At the time I was discovering my feelings for her, we never crossed that line from friends to lovers because we knew things were already dicey – but the romantic pull was strong. I liked her as a person and I was insanely attracted to her. I had a hard time comprehending this concept.

After filing for divorce, I began telling my immediate family the situation. At the time, I had no idea if things would work out between her and I, but I knew that I needed to be real with them. My brother and mom supported me wholeheartedly, but it was definitely an adjustment for them as months went on and this girl and I actually began dating. They were not used to seeing me with a female, which lead to some awkward moments to say the least. There were times I cried because I felt like if I was dating a guy it would be different. Guys and girls show affection all the time, why is it so different now that I am with a girl? I knew it would take time for everyone to adjust, so we tried to be more considerate while everyone got to know each other better. It was hard to not show how in love we were though, because – honestly – for the first time in a long time, we both were so happy. We could not hide the happiness we were feeling.

I was hoping that by the time of my mom’s wedding later that year, everyone would be more comfortable. I remember calling my Aunt in fear that my family would not accept me. She told me to calm down, that people’s views are changing and evolving. It just takes time.

By the time of the wedding, everyone had grown to love my girl and, to my surprise, my extended family was so accepting and happy for me. My mom’s cousin’s comment stands out the most – “I’m just so happy -You are happy. Your mom is happy. Mike is happy. Everyone is happy!”

Now two years later, life couldn’t be more amazing. I am still with this amazing girl and she has become a part of my family. And most importantly, I am finally at peace with myself.

So the question I’m sure everyone has on their mind, if you are “bi”, would you ever be with a guy again? The answer is “no”.

The reason? It has nothing to do with my orientation and everything to do with me finding “my person”.

When you find yourself, you know when you have found the right person for you….whether you are gay, straight, bi, queer, lesbian, trans, etc. – you will know. That person will signal those heart strings that say “GAME OVER” and sexual orientation will mean nothing -“I am gay. I am straight. I am a lesbian. I am bisexual. I am trans. I AM HUMAN” just like you.

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Physical vs. Emotional Hunger

“I was not eating to nourish my body but rather eating to fill an emotional hole”

After my battle with anorexia, I still struggled with food for many years. Essentially, I went from not eating anything to over indulging in things because I went too long not enjoying food. Then the occasional overindulging lead to emotional eating when I was sad or anxious.

As stated in a previous post, I was not eating to nourish my body but rather eating to fill an emotional hole. This took some time to overcome, and there are still times I struggle with it today. DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) taught me “mindfulness” – as silly as it might sounds, many of us cannot master this concept. We, as a society, are always thinking about the past or the future – not too much about the present. Staying in the moment, and allowing yourself to recognize how you feel, can allow you to overcome more than you would think. Being aware is the first step to letting go.

If you struggle with emotional eating, I urge you to begin to be more mindful of your physical and mental state at the time you crave food.

Ask yourself where you feel the hunger, be aware of the timing, and how fast you are consuming your food.

Here are some classic signs to look for according to Natalie Wingfield (of the VA Beach Counseling Center) and how you tell the difference between physical and emotional eating:

Where do you feel the hunger: stomach
Timing: every 4-6hrs
Rate: slow, mindful
Other: eating with others, diversity with food

Where do you feel the hunger: mouth watering, need to chew
Timing: urgent
Rate: faster paced
Other: often alone, craving something specific

It took me a while to realize that my body is a temple. It is merely what transports my soul from one place to another. So, be mindful. Real happiness does not come from food or from having an ideal body. However, if you nourish your body with the correct amount of vitamins and minerals, you will be amazed at how much better physically and mentally you will feel. Your gut carries 80-90% of the serotonin in your body. So when your belly is properly nourished, you will see a difference in your mood.

#edrecovery #eatingdisorderrecovery #recovery #anorexiarecovery #anorexia #eatingdisorder #mentalhealth #edfighter #edwarrior #anarecovery #bulimiarecovery #anorexianervosarecovery #recoveryispossible #ed #intuitiveeating #bulimia #recoveryisworthit #recoverywin #food #selflove #anorexianervosa #mentalhealthawareness #haes #edfam #recoverywarrior #anorexiafighter #fearfood #bodypositive #foodfreedom #bhfyp

Law of Attraction

” In the New Thought philosophy, the Law of Attraction is the belief that positive or negative thoughts bring positive or negative experiences into a person’s life. “

Have you ever heard someone tell you how important it is to think positively?

If you haven’t, even more of a reason to read this article! If you have followed my blog, you have heard me say how important affirmations are and to be aware of your self-talk.

There is a reason behind all of this. There is a theory called “The Law of Attraction”, which claims that the vibe you send into the world is the vibe you get back. It is believed that, regardless of age, nationality, or religious belief, “we are all susceptible to the laws which govern the Universe, including the Law of Attraction. It is the Law of Attraction which uses the power of the mind to translate whatever is in our thoughts and materialize them into reality. In basic terms, all thoughts turn into things eventually. If you focus on negative doom and gloom you will remain under that cloud. If you focus on positive thoughts and have goals that you aim to achieve you will find a way to achieve them with massive action.” ***

I’m sure after reading that last paragraph, your mind is blown and you are still trying to fully grasp all of what I just stated. No worries, I was too at first.

My first reaction was to question – “So you’re telling me that I can basically think good things into my life?”

Yes, that’s exactly it. Now, this does not mean bad things will not happen. That is a part of life. But what it does mean is that, by thinking positively, you are more likely to achieve higher because you are aiming directly at your target (your end goals and thus YOUR PURPOSE).

The practices and beliefs in this law have been practiced for years, dating all the way back to the ancient Buddha. He believed “what you have become is what you thought.”

So, how can you use the Law of Attraction in your own life?

If you don’t like your life, CHANGE IT. Stop waiting for the perfect time or perfect situation because it isn’t coming. The Law of Attraction really is that simple. Be proactive, see your goals, and go after them – “No matter what you are looking to have or achieve or be in life, if you can hold onto an idea and see it for yourself in the mind’s eye, you can make it yours to have… with some effort on your part.”**

It really is about changing your mindset. It can be hard, but don’t give up. In a society where there is so much negative, most people have to practice affirmations everyday in order to retrain their brain into thinking positively.

My suggestion? Start a vision board or post quotes in places you will see everyday that remind you what you are fighting for. Set your intention.

Here are twelve affirmations I found that might be helpful. Begin each affirmation with “I am”:

1. Receiving abundance now in expected and unexpected ways.

2. Increasingly confident in my ability to create the life I desire.

3. Acting on inspiration and insights and I trust my inner guidance.

4. Giving and receiving all that is good and all that I desire.

5. Receiving infinite, inexhaustible and immediate abundance.

6. Creating my life according to my dominant beliefs; and I AM improving the quality of those beliefs.

7. Constantly striving to raise my vibration through good thoughts, words and actions.

8. Making a meaningful contribution to the world and I AM wonderfully compensated for my contribution.

9. Willing to believe that I AM the creator of my life experience.

10.Willing to believe that by raising my vibration, I will attract more of what I desire.

11. Worthy of love, abundance, success, happiness and fulfillment.

12. Willing to believe that by focusing on feeling good, I make better choices that lead to desired results.

#edrecovery #eatingdisorderrecovery #recovery #anorexiarecovery #anorexia #eatingdisorder #mentalhealth #edfighter #edwarrior #anarecovery #bulimiarecovery #anorexianervosarecovery #recoveryispossible #ed #intuitiveeating #bulimia #recoveryisworthit #recoverywin #food #selflove #anorexianervosa #mentalhealthawareness #haes #edfam #recoverywarrior #anorexiafighter #fearfood #bodypositive #foodfreedom #bhfyp #mentalhealth #mentalhealthawareness #anxiety #depression #selfcare #love #selflove #health #mentalillness #therapy #recovery #motivation #wellness #mindfulness #healing #ptsd #mentalhealthmatters #fitness #wellbeing #loveyourself #psychology #life #meditation #happiness #worldmentalhealthday #suicideprevention #endthestigma #inspiration #positivity

**These quotes were found from the following site:

Affirmation statements found here:

Healthy Habits to Improve Your Life

It takes 21 days to create a habit, and 90 days to create a lifestyle.


You know you are unhappy. Now what?

First off, you are not alone. I have been there. There is nothing wrong with feeling hopeless. It is a human emotion that is much more common than others let on. The key is not to stay there. It can be crippling to continue to think nothing will change and that you are “stuck”. The longer you are there, the longer it will take you to get out of it.

My suggestion? Start with little changes and stick with them no matter how impossible it might feel some days. You may not think these habits are not making a difference but keep this fact in your head – it takes 21 days to create a habit, and 90 days to create a lifestyle. It takes time. You have to retrain your brain to see the positive.

I have listed 20 healthy habits below that seem subtle and perhaps pointless, but can make a huge difference over time. I challenge you to begin mastering a few of these habits and see how your life transforms.

  1. Practice gratitude. Perhaps start a gratitude journal and add to it before you go to bed?
  2. Value your alone time. Use this time to recharge. Meditate.
  3. Make time for your loved ones. Let them be your support in times of need.
  4. Prioritize self-care.
  5. Learn from your failures and do not be afraid of failing.
  6. Write out your goals, post it somewhere visible to you, and make little steps toward them daily.
  7. Read self-help books or daily devotions.
  8. Drink more water. Ideally you should be drinking half your body weight.
  9. Be active for at least 30 minutes a day.
  10. Communicate. You need something? Ask!
  11. Declutter the space around you. Believe it or not, an organized room can actually do a lot for one’s psyche because it is something you can control in a healthy way.
  12. Get enough sleep (7-9 hours ideally). You will be amazed how much better you feel when your body is rested. Remember, this is your body’s healing time.
  13. Journal – get those feelings out.
  14. Eat real food. When you get the right food in your body, you will be amazed how much better you feel.
  15. Make it a routine to take a break from social media. The “perfect” life portrayed on social media is so far from the truth. It can be damaging to think you have to achieve such an unrealistic goal.
  16. Learn to forgive.
  17. Practice daily affirmations.
  18. Belly laugh often! It is shown to enhance a person’s mood.
  19. Be in direct sunlight as often as possible. Lack of Vitamin D alone can make you depressed. Enjoy time outdoors when the weather permits.
  20. Practice non-judgement listening

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The Holidays Without a Loved One

“Those we love never truly leave us. There are things death cannot touch.”Jack Thorne

Rewind time back to 2010 – the year my dad died and the first set of holidays without him by our side. Each day that passed was challenging, let alone a group of holidays which seemed so empty. My dad was a staple of the these special family days, especially Christmas. Some of the things I remember are the massive breakfasts he would make Christmas morning, as well as him setting up the video recorder the night before to tape us unwrapping each of our gifts.

These are memories that will never fade. Cancer cannot take these memories from me, like it took my dad. But, sometimes these memories, can hurt and be debilitating because they are just that – memories. I cannot go hug my dad Christmas morning and thank him for everything he has done. And this – no matter how many years go by – is still hard to overcome. The emptiness never fully goes away. It is just something you learn to manage.

It took years to get here but now I try to picture my dad here at Christmas, just in a different form. I see him sitting in the living room with a huge smile on his face watching us with joy. While we cannot communicate or hold each other, he nods to us acknowledging his presence. He is now an angel that overlooks us, keeping us safe and together. He would be so proud of how far we have all come.

If you know someone who has lost a loved one this year, check on them – call them, send them a letter, text them a simple “love you!” message. Most likely they are not okay. It takes years to learn how to manage that emptiness.

If you are the one who lost someone, whether it was this year or not, it is important to acknowledge how you feel and then do something about it. Celebrate your loved one in a way that will be healing to you. I went to visit my dad’s grave and I also wrote letters to him. Maybe you make a special ornament or you plant a tree in their honor. Whatever it is, make it memorable and don’t be afraid to say you need support. It is okay to hurt, just don’t let it consume you. Your loved one would not want that for you.

#loss #lossofaparent #christmas #grief #loss #griefsupport #griefjourney #griefandloss #griefquotes #grieving #mentalhealth #love #childloss #depression #stillborn #lifeafterloss #death #bereavement #anxiety #support #selfcare #griefsucks #griefawareness #healing #griefwork #bhfyp

Heartbreak City: How to Ease Your Pain

You are strong enough to face it all, even if it doesn’t feel like it right now.


Break-ups can be heart wrenching and take a toll on every aspect of your life if you let it. No matter what anyone says, it is not that easy to just “move forward” or “let it go”, especially if your whole heart was invested in the relationship.

Whether you are the one who got broke up with or you are the one to say “I’m done”, it can take weeks, months, or even years to feel like you again.

About two years ago, I decided to end a ten year relationship with my husband whom I had been married to for four years. He and I had met freshman year in college and had basically grown up together, making that transition from college kid to an adult. That bond is hard to just break no matter what the circumstances because he wasn’t just my husband, he was my best friend. Even writing this, I’m tearing up – that goes to show you that heartbreaks even years later still hurt.

I spent months knowing my marriage was in a hole, but going back and forth as to what I wanted to do. I knew I wasn’t happy and that he wasn’t happy, but I was not okay with ending a marriage I committed to for life. It literally broke me – and by “it”, I mean the actual ending of the relationship, as well as the issues between us.

Three months later of living separate lives, I filed for divorce. In those months, I was very self-destructive because my whole world was turned upside down.

This behavior ended the day I signed the divorce papers. I was still in an enormous amount of pain, but I chose to take out my emotions in a different way.

I decided to actually focus on myself, in a healthy way. I told myself no matter what happened or what was about to happen, God had me here for a reason and to self-destruct was not it. Below are the strategies/activities that helped me overcome those difficult moments and helped rebuild my life:

  1. Workouts at the gym, either solo or with a friend. I went about five times a week. Nothing crazy, but I would blast out my music while walking/running on the treadmill and lifting weights.
  2. Yoga. This was great in quieting my mind and helping me listen to my inner self.
  3. Pedicures/Manicures. This one seems silly, but I never really spent money on myself – always on bills. Being able to get my nails done every three weeks or so was nice!
  4. Writing. I wrote letters to get my feelings out and also journaled quite a bit.
  5. Painting/Crafting. I would go to any “Sip and Wine” events and I also picked up knitting again. If you are on a budget, there are a ton of dollar store crafts you can google/youtube.
  6. Binge watch a funny sitcom. For me, Friends is always my go-to.
  7. Self-help books/blogs/podcasts. Anything that was uplifting and positive.
  8. Essential oils – Lavender in particular. Helps calm down your body through your senses.
  9. Make plans with your friends. It can be hard with everyone’s work schedules, but reach out purposely.
  10. Start a side business or focus. For me, I got more focused on helping others through my Arbonne business. This took my mind off of the negative.
  11. Create a vision board. Cut out phrases and pictures of what you want you life to look like. Make a board, and make it happen.
  12. Get outside! Go for a walk, take in your surroundings and the beauty of nature.
  13. Join a support group at a local church or organization. Meet new people who are similar to you.
  14. Make a gratitude list of everything you are grateful for. It will help keep things in perspective, especially when you feel like you have nothing.
  15. Temporarily disconnect from social media. Social media, whether through Instagram or Facebook, tends to give people the impression that others have it all together. This is FAR from true. Things might look perfect on someone’s page, but that is anything but the truth. You don’t know what is going on behind closed doors. Don’t let this “image” make you feel bad about your life.
  16. Lastly, don’t compare yourself to others. Your journey in life it not meant to look like someone else’s. I used to get upset seeing another person pregnant or thriving with success. And you know what? That is such a waste of energy and time. Wish others happiness and do not compare.

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My Anxiety has Anxiety

“This too shall pass.”


Sweating. Heart racing. Can’t breathe. Hands are shaking. Thoughts are bouncing. What the fuck?!

Welcome to the world of anxiety, my friends. It sucks!

If you have anxiety, you know it is a very physical and mental struggle. Your body begins to have its own reaction while it seems like your mind doesn’t slow down. There have been times my anxiety has been so bad, that I hyperventilate and cry hysterically in a corner until the feeling begins to lessen.

And the worst part? Anything can be a trigger. Being in a room full of a ton of people can be a trigger. Having a deadline could be a trigger. Running late could be a trigger. Anxiety truly differs from person to person.

When I can, I try to talk myself out of if or distract myself long enough to help the physical symptoms dissipate.

To be specific, I use affirmations and mindfulness techniques that I learned in DBT (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy). It is the only type of therapy that helped me from overthinking and therefore being more realistic about my thoughts.

The key is to be present. That means being attentive to what is going on right now without judgement, without overthinking, without invalidating what you are feeling. Yoga is an excellent practice for this. It sounds simple, but it is often very challenging to be present and slow down your thoughts. Sometimes it helps to bring it back to the present – what do you see? what do hear? what can you feel?

The other helpful practice of DBT for me was “radical acceptance” – accepting what is and and not harping on the unpleasant situation. For example: You may find yourself rushing to get to work because you are late. Instead of getting frustrated you are hitting every red light and begin cursing up a storm, try saying “It is what it is. I’ll get there when you get there” — because guess what? That is reality, you can’t fight it.

When it comes to the technique of self-talk, here are ten affirmations you can try:
1. This is only temporary.
2. Anxiety does not define me.
3. I am not alone.
4. I am safe.
5. I am in control of my thoughts and my life.
6. I have made it through before, I will make it through again.
7. I get stronger each time overcome my fears.
8. This too shall pass.
9. I am prepared for change. I am strong.
10. I release any doubts or fears.

There is no exact solution when it comes to Anxiety. Everyone is different; what works for one person may not work for another.

However becoming aware of your feelings and being present with them is an important first step in releasing that negative energy into the abyss. Remind yourself: “I am strong and, just like before, I can overcome this“. You don’t have to live in fear.

#anxiety #fear #dbt #strength #inspirational #motivational #yoga #affirmations #mindfullness #mentalhealth #endthestigma #wellnesswarrior #wellness #wellnessadvocate #wellnessmatters #reachout #mentalhealthawareness #youarenotalone #mentalhealthblog #mhbloggers #mhblogger #mhblog #anxietyhelp #anxietyrelief #anxietyrecovery #anxietysupport #anxietyfighter #anxietytips #anxietydisorders #recovery

Friends Come and Friends Go

“As I get older, I am becoming more selective of who I consider a friend. I find that I would rather have four quarters than 100 pennies”


One of the hardest things about life is “change”. It is unavoidable and honestly a natural occurrence here on Earth. As you travel throughout the different phases of your life, your surroundings also change. People in your life may move, pass away, or just continue on a journey that is different from yours. One of my biggest challenges has been letting people go. Since I was a young girl, I always wanted to be the girl that everybody liked, the girl who was kind to all, and the one who never let anyone down. To some degree, I still feel this way.

But — can I say — how unrealistic this is? No matter what you do, you cannot make everyone happy. And honestly if you try, you will be burnt out and anxiety ridden. It has taken me a long time to realize this and I fight this concept in my head almost everyday.

About two years, I lost about 3-4 close friends if not more. I was at the lowest point in my life. I couldn’t take care of anyone anymore because I could barely take care of myself. And for some people, this is a complete deal breaker especially if they are going through something similar in their own life. My marriage was failing, I was verbally abused daily, I recently miscarried, and I felt stuck – I could not see how to pull myself out of the misery. I became a person I didn’t even know anymore. I started drinking heavily, not eating, getting high on anxiety meds, and doing basically anything destructive to run from my life. I was too scared of what was on the other side, even though I really had nothing to lose. I literally went day to day wishing I could run away or just not live life anymore. I had a couple close friends at the time that then slowly disappeared because they “could not handle my shit” – and yes I was really told that. It broke me in ways I cannot describe because the last thing I wanted was to be considered a selfish person. But honestly, in that time I needed to be selfish to get my shit together. I wasn’t me anymore.

Once I started to find myself again, I went back to my friends who had distanced themselves at the time. I wanted to try to mend things. Unfortunately, those relationships were unmendable in most circumstances.

I don’t blame them necessarily, which I’m sure will surprise you because it surprised me! But, bottom line is this — We all need to protect ourselves FIRST and foremost. Now to the classic plane scenario to prove my point. When there is turbulence on a plane, the flight attendant tells you to put the mask on yourself first before attempting to mask another. That is because you need to be able to breathe clearly if you are going to be any use to someone else.

In retrospect, we are all human so I would be lying if I said it was hard not to take this personally. My heart felt so empty. I blamed myself for the longest time. Then one day, I decided to #1 acknowledge what happened #2 admit there were times I was wrong and #3 forgive myself for something I could not go back and change.

The thing to remember is there is a purpose for every person you meet – whether they stay for a season, a couple days, or a lifetime. At the end of the day, you cannot make someone see something they don’t want to see. You also can’t force an apology down someone’s throat. All you can do is put your heart out there, apologize, and move on. Trust the process. And whether they are in your life or not, the most important thing to do for your own sanity and heart is to wish them well.

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Miscarriages are a BITCH!

One out of every four women will experience a miscarriage in their lifetime. I am one of them.

(FYI: So my first blog post is a little bit heavy, but this topic has been weighing on my heart for a while… )

The moment you find out you are pregnant, emotions of all sorts are racing through your body; whether that be excitement, fear, shock, or “how the hell did this happen?”. You have it set in your mind that, in nine months, that you will have a little one in your arms.

When I found out I was pregnant, I was overwhelmed with various emotions. Thoughts began racing through my head:”Is this real?””How am I going to afford this?””I can’t believe it, but I’m going to be a mom. My dream come true.”

The first thing I did was call one of my best friends at the time. “Natalie, I’m literally shaking – you will never believe this but I just took a pregnancy test and its positive.” I was so excited I asked Natalie to help me surprise my husband with the news.

We tricked him into taking a quick photo shoot. At one point, Nat asked us to write a message to each other on a piece of paper. Then she would take a picture of us reading our messages. On my paper, I wrote “You are going to be a daddy!” When my husband saw this message, he was so happy and squeezed me tight. We were finally going to start that family both of us wanted.

The following week, I began feeling nauseous and my breasts started hurting. Oh the joys of pregnancy. But – I was still excited because I was pregnant! I began thinking of all the ways to tell the people I love.

Then came week six. I was in my classroom at the time and I started getting cramps. My eyes started to water. I quickly grabbed my assistant and said “I need you to cover for me.” I ran to the bathroom and realized I was bleeding.

My world began to shatter. I called the OBGYN office and they were absolutely no help. I left work and ran to the store to get a pregnancy test. I waited for some time and then took the test – “Not pregnant.”

I felt like a failure. My one job was to carry this baby to term and I had failed. My husband consoled me for the first week, and then began breaking down himself. It hit us so hard, neither one of us really wanted to try again.

I went through a deep depression. Acting out, not really caring about my job, drinking, getting high on anxiety medicine, and isolating myself from the world. It took months to realize a miscarriage is a common occurrence. 1 out of every 4 people will experience a miscarriage in their lifetime. That is 25% of the population! That statistic was in an odd way comforting because I realized I was not alone. Once I began talking about my experience, many of my friends and family disclosed that they too had a miscarriage.
After months of healing, I began to question “why”. Why are people so quiet about miscarriage?

Then I thought about the pain – re-living the pain is brutal. It doesn’t matter how many weeks you are, you still have it in your head that you are having a baby. Most people also don’t know what to say. The last thing I wanted to hear was “You can try again”, but how do you explain that to someone when you are hurting?

Fast forward two years and I am here… still wanting a baby but knowing that it is in the power of God. His timing will be perfect. Right now, I am meant to grow.
Part of that growth is educating and consoling others. If you suffered a miscarriage, the most important thing I want you to know if that you are not alone. I am as real as it gets. I don’t hide my life experiences because I believe it can help someone else.

It is okay to get help. It is okay to say I am not okay, and I need someone to listen. It is not okay to stay in the pain and wallow in it (which is essentially what I did for a good six months). Somewhere along the road, society has spread the message that miscarriage is something to be ashamed of. Society teaches us to publicly celebrate our pregnancies, but when a tragedy occurs to hide it by crying alone in the bathroom and dealing privately with the massive hole that is now left in your heart. The problem with this? You begin to feel like something is wrong with you.

That is why I choose to talk about it. Miscarriage needs to be talked about, because we are not alone! I want you to know there is nothing wrong with you. You did not fail. God has a plan for you; it just might not be the plan you had envisioned.

I thought having a baby would save my marriage. I thought it was the perfect thing to bring my husband and me together. God was trying to tell me that is not the answer.
That was hard to swallow.

Does my miscarriage still haunt me? Of course it does, but I also know the only thing I can do is move forward. Blaming myself will not change the circumstance. It only makes it harder to accept.

This is why it is time to talk about it. Miscarriage should not be a taboo topic. Women need to come together and support each other. We are meant to do life together. Let’s build each other up and make each other stronger.

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