three words I never imagined would belong together

image via InStyle
Kate Spade and suicide—three words I never imagined would belong in the same sentence. I was shocked and stunned when I got the news yesterday morning from my bestfriend Tasha via text. 

I know that mental illness is no respecter of persons. You can’t escape it by being privileged or successful—two things Kate possessed in spades both literally and figuratively. 

This woman—who by worldly standards “had it all” along with assumed access to the best mental health resources available—still reached a point where she saw no way out. Death became a better alternative to life. 

finding confidence as a stepmom

I feel like mothers in general struggle with confidence. And honestly, it makes sense. Mothering is hard work. There's no performance review or real boss to evaluate you. Instead your left to constantly evaluate yourself internally. Am I doing enough? Am I doing this right? Do my kids know I love them? How am I supposed to do this?

When you start your motherhood journey as a stepmom like me, finding the confidence to mother is even more complicated. Your position as a stepparent in a blended family automatically renders you less confident. At least that has been my experience thus far.

my history with anti-depressants & where I'm at now 11 years later

I started taking anti-depressants at the age of 19. It took over six months (maybe more) and several different drugs before my psychiatrist and I found a drug and dosage that worked for my brain chemistry and body. Medication combined with therapy is what's helped me manage my depression since my diagnosis.

Until about a year ago I had been on that same anti-depressant and same dosage for close to 11 years. Somewhere in the first few years we tried adding a second drug to help boost my mood during a low period but it never seemed to help. Eventually I stopped taking the second drug all together.

feeling left out of the mom club

Even though I became a stepmom over a year ago, I still feel left out of the mom club. I'm a parent... but I'm not. I'm a mom...but I'm not. I've said to my husband more than once that being a stepmom is a cruel joke. What I really mean by that statement is that it's hard to be a stepmom because I don't get to be a mom all the time. And some people don't view or think of me as a mother at all.

In a Huffington Post article about stepmoms the writer put it this way: "A stepmom is a parent, yet not the parent. A caregiver but not always a care-getter. She donates considerable time, space, attention, resources, and family income to people from another life."

writing more of my truth in 2018

The start of a new year brings the hope of new possibilities and opportunities for growth. Lately I've felt something inside of me begging to come out. It's as if my soul is pleading with me to write more. That there is this voice inside of me that needs to be heard, even if only by myself.

These words from the Sara Bareilles song "Let the Rain" have been playing over and over in my head:

simply having a wonderful christmas time

I can't believe it's already December. Where has this year gone?! I love this time of year but as an adult, especially now as a wife and stepmom, I've found it's easy to get stressed out and overwhelmed. Between work, church, and my own family, I'm extra busy this holiday season.

Leading up to Thanksgiving I was feeling pretty stressed out and rather bah humbug. It also hasn't helped that for the last 8 weeks or so I've been really struggling with my depression. When you're depressed everything feels bigger than it really is and you have no motivation to do even the normal everyday tasks living requires.