Friday the 13th!

Today is Friday the 13th so why not open up a journal and look for today’s date. Here it is…journal 4, page 18, 7/13/01:

hey-today is 7-13-01. I’m babysititng. Kerry’s parents are getting a divorce. I feel really bad. I wish the world didn’t  have so many problems. But anyway, with the anxiety thing, it’s been a lot better. I really like going to the psychologist. He really seems like he knows what he’s doing, and Rachel is a lot better. He drew 2 diagrams. One says that anxiety is a cause of a feeling of danger (b/c you are scared). If you tell yourself u are ok and you will have fun, then your thoughts will slowly change. So it’s all good, I will be better, and without medicine! I think I’ve been experiencing anxiety the entire year but I just didn’t know it. So now it hit me b/c of Rachel. But I will be ok! I love life! I really do. I haven’t been able to say that in awhile. -I just talked to Mike, he called here babysitting –  I <3 him! Peace

Faith (1/2/06 Journal 5, Page 78)

Hello, today is 1/2/06. Happy New Year. So I just watched some Oprah. I’ve been depressed lately. It’s been 4.5 years now. It makes me wonder when the struggle will end. I do not think it will ever. I was very happy in London. I have to understand that life will not be like this forever. I will get over this and be strong and happy. I hate the feeling of thinking that I do not want to live. I feel selfish because nothing is really wrong with me. I know I’m a good person but I’m still in pain and I can’t heal. I want to be happy with myself but I can’t. I don’t want a man to make me happy. I just don’t understand why I can’t be completely happy. I do have some faith. I think once I move out things will become a little easier. I’m going to start NOW to do things. I’m going to:

1- keep a gratitude journal

2- surrender to this unfair life

3-write a letter to family each week

Hopefully this will help me. I really can’t wait to move out! Alright, I need to go. Peace out.

Happy 1st Birthday to my Daughter :)

Today is a special day. Today is my daughter’s first birthday. My baby girl is my little angel. She wasn’t planned but let me tell you she’s the greatest surprise of my life! I made a promise to myself many many years ago and I’m so happy I made it this far…

In 2006 I experienced my second worst anxiety attack of my life. I had thought anxiety was past me and I worked so hard to get where I was…in the happiest place of my life. Out of nowhere (which now I realize I have triggers) comes an anxiety attack and brings me right back to square one. I can remember on one particular evening I was having a bad night and I excused myself from my boyfriend’s (at the time) family table. I went in to the bathroom to take a breather and I made myself a promise. I promised myself I wouldn’t kill myself until I became a mother. I know it sounds odd but at that moment I wanted to end my life and what kept me going was believing that one day I would be a mother. Well here I am today. I made it this far!

When I found out I was pregnant, I surprisingly wasn’t scared or nervous but more excited. It was a surprise and I wasn’t married but I was 34, financially stable and in a good relationship so it wasn’t a bad thing. After a few weeks the reality of being pregnant set in. Was I ready? Was this what I wanted? Did I make a mistake? The anxiety escalated and I wasn’t sure if I could endure several more months of this anxiety. I see a therapist and psychiatrist and we all worked together to figure out a game plan. I had to be prepared. I decided to go to therapy twice a week and I joined a prenatal yoga class. It was extremely difficult to get out of that initial anxiety rut but I made it through.

On June 28, 2017 my beautiful daughter was born. Everyone had said it would be a life altering experience but I wasn’t sure if I would feel that way. What if I didn’t love my baby? What if we didn’t connect? What if I’m a bad mom? What if I experience postpartum depression? All of these questions kept me up at night but for some reason, as soon as my daughter was born all of my worries and concerns were gone. I believe I’m pretty lucky. I have an amazing support system and having gone into labor the same day school ended, allowed me to have A LOT of help. (My boyfriend, and many family/friends are teachers) I also believe I was born to be a mother. Being a mother is the best thing that’s ever happened to me. Besides from teaching, it’s my most confident and passionate role on this Earth.

My goal is to keep going…life that is. Get past anxiety and raise my daughter to one day be proud of her mother. My daughter is literally my best friend and I am obsessed (in a good way) with her. Every time someone asks about her, my face beams with delight. She’s the best little girl a mommy can ask for. My life has a whole new meaning. My brain has never been so healthy. I am so busy thinking about Mom duties that I spend less time thinking and obsessing about negative thoughts. I truly believe my daughter saved my life ❤

Fitting In in College (10/8/00 Journal 3, Page 48)

I was so excited to go away to college. It’s ironic because although my mother caused me so much sadness as a child due to the house being a complete disaster and her sleeping on the couch most of the time, she also was the one that pushed me to be the best person I could be. Before my mother became depressed, she apparently lived an awesome life. She loved to go out and have fun. She went away to college, upstate New York, and was part of a sorority known as ‘The Good Time Charlie’s.’ When she met my father, they loved to hang out with friends and they even traveled cross country together. As a young girl, my mother always would tell me one day I would go away to college and have just as much fun as she did. I actually thought going to college wasn’t an option and that everyone went away to college. So when it was finally time for me to leave the nest and venture out on my own, I was ready! College was great at first, but definitely also rocky. I was trying to establish myself as a new person being that I hated myself in high school all while trying to fit in and make new friends. I think I tried too hard to fit in. I tried to be friends with everyone and it made me question where I truly belonged. The first couple of months of college was where I began wondering who my real friends were and if I actually had any. This continued into my sophomore year when I thought about transferring to another college because I felt so alone. Luckily I did not and it took some heavy duty work from within to finally feel comfortable with where I belonged. This journal entry is the first glimpse into questioning myself and my friends:

hello-today is 10-8-00. Well, I’m in college, and I love it except for the fact that I have no idea who my friends are. I always had a problem that I wanted to be friendly with everyone and it took me four years of high school to figure out who were my best friends. There were my D.P.* friends, then my school friends. With them, I could actually be myself and now I can’t. Every time I feel like I can be myself I feel that they look at me funny. I was almost like the center of my friends. Whenever I wasn’t there, they missed me. Whenever I was there, I had so much fun. And here, I still feel like I’m struggling to make friends. I get along fine, but I don’t have close friends, like friends that would care if I left for a weekend. I’m not stupid, I can tell these things. The only person that understands is Rachel, she experienced it too. I can’t understand why it happens, but it did. I’m not sure if it was me b/c I wasn’t that close with them to begin with, or they just don’t like me. Whenever I’m with them, I’ll say something and it won’t matter to them. I keep telling myself it’s just me, but I miss having those close friends. It’s not the college, I love the college, but how am I supposed to get through school like this. I’ve been thinking a lot about Kerry. I made a thing that says Kerry with all pictures of her in it. Whenever I look at it, I get sad. I miss her so much. I never thought I would miss anyone as much as I miss her. I can’t explain the connection we had. If I were to try, I would describe it as love. I know now that she is having so much fun, I just hope she thinks of me, b/c I certainly don’t have that pal friend like she was to me. I don’t ever want to lose her, not ever b/c I don’t know what I would do without her. I hate thinking that I can never go back in time, b/c sometimes I wish I could, even to go back when I was younger and everything was ok! But I have to go now. I’ll write again soon.

*D.P. was the town that I lived in. I lived on the boarder of two school districts so most of my friends who lived across the street from me went to a different school. So I had two sets of friends, D.P. friends and school friends.

This journal entry makes me chuckle. Not because of the pain I felt from feeling lost but from the creepy way I described my friendship with my friend Kerry. Kerry was my best friend and I had known her since I was ten. I’m a very mushy person when it comes to the people I love, I wear my heart on my sleeve. The weird thing is, and I’m still puzzled by this today, after she went away to college, she pretty much never came back and ditched her old life. I see her on social media but that’s about it. As for college, I did soon meet my best friends. One in particular, who I call my ‘soul friend’ but I’ll get into that another time. Most of my other college friends and I keep in touch through social media. Life definitely works in mysterious ways sometimes.

The Day I did Ecstasy (8/26/00 Journal 3, Page 44)

Drugs. Drugs suck. Drugs are bad….m’kay? I can remember it as if it were yesterday. My friends bought me an ecstasy pill for my eighteenth birthday. Fabulous birthday present, right? I was never into drugs. I smoked pot here and there but wasn’t a big fan. It would make me paranoid and jittery but everyone else was having fun so I thought why not do it. I had nice friends and they never peer pressured me into anything. All I wanted was to have as much fun as they were all having. Unfortunately, I had to learn the hard way not to do drugs. In this journal entry, I was actually on my way to college for the first time. Instead of writing about how excited I was to finally be leaving my hellhole of a house, I was busy recalling my bad trip on ecstasy. Reading back at this entry now, my words did no justice for what I felt that night. I stopped the entry abruptly and never wrote about the rest of the night, however I can remember clear as day how that night played out. Here is the entry recapping one of the worst nights of my entire life:

Hey- well- today is August 26th, the day has come and I’m off to college now. I’m on my way there now with Rachel, Dude, and Mom. Rachel and I are driving in her car. I’m excited but very nervous. I think there’s something wrong with me. I’m having these panic attacks and they are so scary. Yesterday I started shaking because I was so nervous or something. I can’t really explain. It started when I did E. I’m so scared of drugs now because that feeling comes back to me. I have to tell you about that experience. Well, a couple of days after by b-day, I tried E for the first time. I thought it would hit me at once, but it didn’t. I had to make myself feel it by spinning or laying down. I thought it wasn’t hitting me. After a couple of hours I thought I wasn’t feeling it so I smoked and that was a bad mistake. I didn’t realize how much I had smoked, not to mention that it was really strong. I sat at Joe’s house on the couch and I couldn’t move. I gave him (Eric) a hug and I was paralyzed. I couldn’t move off his body and it just got worse. Everybody was moving but in like stages at a time. All I could think of was that the feeling was going to last forever and I hated it so much. Then Eric asked if I was feeling good and I said no. Then I felt like it was worse then because everybody knew that I felt bad. I was trying so hard to hold it in, crying. I thought I would bug out. My teeth started chattering, but only I felt it. And my body was all shaking inside and then it was captured with warmth, and heat that held the pain inside of me. I felt like things were growing on my face. After awhile of laying there paralyzed, Kara told me we were going outside because she knew I felt bad. It was such a relief to get out of the house with everyone in there. I couldn’t take too many people and the dancing and the music.

The entry ends there. That night changed my entire life. I honestly think that anxiety was in my future regardless of doing E but being on a drug and tripping out made the anxiety worse and many of my future anxiety attacks brought me back to that night of feeling out of control and losing my mind. Thank God for my friend Kara. She knew me well enough to know I was not ok. She took me outside and we walked the block back and forth with what felt like an eternity until it was time to go home. I remember telling her my mind felt like a movie that was replaying in my head over and over. I kept babbling about how I felt and she listened. What a good friend she was, and still is today. When it was time to go back inside, I can recall not being able to get up the stairs to the apartment in the house where everyone was. It was as if someone was holding my legs down and I couldn’t climb the steps. The amount of anxiety that house gave me was debilitating. That was the first time I had experienced anxiety association with places and things. There was a lot more anxiety and associations in my future. For now, or then really, I made it home safely and went to sleep. I recall waking up the next morning being so thankful the drug was out of my system and thinking “I’ll never do that again!”

Moral of story/blog…drugs are bad, m’kay?

List of Negative Things about my Parents (4/17/98 Journal 1, Page 206)

Ever wonder if your parents would be better off together or divorced? I’m convinced my parents should have divorced. Not only am I convinced, but I wish they had gotten a divorce. Their marriage was the death of them…literally for my mom. It was an ongoing cycle; Mom wants dad to change, dad wishes mom were different, mom becomes depressed because dad will not change, dad avoids mom at all cost because she is depressed, and the cycle repeats. I believe my mom would still be alive if she was able to escape her unhappy marriage. Eventually she stopped caring about herself, became extremely unhealthy, and was too weak to recover from a stroke. My first journal was mostly about petty teenage problems, however I also needed to vent about the serious issues within my family. I wanted so bad to speak about them to a therapist but I thought I’d be labeled as crazy if I even attempted to talk to someone. Furthermore, how was I supposed to tell my mother I wanted to speak to someone about HER. I can recall one time being so upset, crying hysterically, and not knowing who to talk to that I called the good ol’ operator. Remember those days of dialing 0? No, you don’t remember?…then you must be part of the cellphone generation! Anyway, for those old farts that do remember, I dialed the operator and a nice woman answered. I told her that I was having problems and needed someone to talk to and asked her if she could help me find someone right then. She was taken back by my emotional call for help and told me that unfortunately she did not know of any such number to call to get help. Man a lot has changed in 20 years! I could probably say the word help just loud enough for Alexa to hear and the cops would be at my door in a heartbeat! I still wonder to this day what would have happened if I was able to talk to someone that night? Would I of had the courage to seek further help? Would I of had my first anxiety attack three years later? Would I be sitting here writing this blog right now? I will never be able to answer those questions but here is probably the first journal entry that I really wrote just how bad my parents hurt me emotionally:

Hello, today is the f***ing day after yesterday. I’m hating my life. I want my parents to get a divorce so badly!

Bad things about mom:

   1. Smokes all the time

   2. Sleeps all day

   3. Says no for stupid reasons

   4. Doesn’t take showers

   5. Doesn’t get any exercise

   6. Embarrassing

   7. Ugly

   8. Old- even looks it

   9. Always late

   10. Complains about people to me

   11. Sleeps in living room

   12. Doesn’t work at all

   13. Nosy about everything

   14. Messes up living room

Bad things about dad:

   1. Didn’t go to college

   2. Doesn’t want to spend time with whole family

   3. Alcoholic

My parents are the worst couple ever. They both hate each other, they always fight. I want them to get a divorce. I would live with my father. I feel so bad writing all the bad things about my family. I want to go to therapy so——>o bad. I’m so isolated from my parents, I can’t stand them, especially when I come down the stairs and I see my mom on the f***ing couch smoking. I hate it! The more they piss me off, the worse I want to be. I actually feel like running away. I can’t talk to anyone except you. My mother has the first signs of diabetes. She is probably going to have cancer. I wouldn’t be surprised if she doesn’t already. If I ever become an ugly star, actress, it is going to be so easy for me to cry on scenes. I can’t wait till I get in college. I want to get drunk tonight by myself. Maybe I will. I can’t believe I would. I was so against all that, now I’m for it. I’m just upset. The only thing I hate still is cursing and maybe drugs. I just am scared to write something about stuff, especially about my deep true feelings but now I don’t care. I’m not a bad child, if anyone reads it, oh well. Compare me to other kids my age and I’m a Saint. I mean, other kids, my friends, drink almost every weekend, hook up with guys, and don’t do well in school. Well, I’m going now, peace!

The Day I Got My Period (1/7/98 Journal 1, Page 25)

As a teenager, I was very dramatic and thought the worst over the smallest things. As a teacher, I see this all the time in my students. I had a student recently receive a 97 on a test and tell me that God must hate him because he studied so hard and did not get 100!  It’s difficult to tell a young person not to worry over minuscule things because in their eyes it’s all they know. Don’t get me wrong, there are definitely instances when youngsters have every right to be mad or sad or whatever emotion they are feeling. Myself included, I dealt with some pretty nasty emotions. On 1/7/98, I got my period.  I called it “The worst day of my life.” Looking back, it makes me laugh to think getting my period was the worst thing that could happen to me. It’s pretty cool though that I have this day documented. This is how the day unfolded:

Hey- it’s Jan. 9, 98. I’m in Math now. I’m loving school. Yesterday I was on the phone with John and he wrote things about me in his journal. I wonder what they said. Oh well. N-e-way I’m doing not so good in school. I think it is because I’m so lazy. I’m in math now. We are going over hw. I got mine all right so I don’t need to pay attention. We are doing scientific notation. It’s so easy. I gotta go 4 now! Hey, I’m in English now, 5th period. We are watching All Quiet on the Western Front. I already saw it. It’s so boring and the ending is really sad. I hate life so much. I really don ‘t fit in. I’m a 15 year old teenager and I feel and act like I’m 12. So many people think I am 12. Oh well. I talk too much. Nhoj* says I have too many stories but I <3 talking. Maybe if I write it all then I don’t have to tell people, then I won’t talk too much. I have to go now to the bathroom and to write to Christina- well Byeeeee! This is the worst f***ing day of my life. On 1-7-98, Wednesday, at the age of 15, 10th grade, right after 5th period just about 11:44am, I found out that I got my period. Oh I hate it. Oh my God. I’m not in the mood for all this. I’m not going to John’s house this weekend. Well maybe I will but I’m not doing n-e-thing. I’m not going to be a women. I’m not ready. All of this week people have been telling me how tall and big I’m getting. I’m stopping this. I’m working out like crazy! I hate this. I’m not telling my family, only Kerry, Catherine, and Sammy. Not even Rachel or Trisha. I hate this so much. I don’t know what to do. I’m going to cry. I wish Margot and Rachel weren’t in town. I can’t wait till they leave again. How am I supposed to hide this from my family? When I’m upstairs? Oh God, help me please. I hate all this. This is my worst day of my life. I’m going to kill myself. I’m not going to go out with John. I’ve made up my mind. I’d kiss him but I don’t think I’d do anything else. I’m not ready and I’m not going to pressure myself to do anything. Me and John are just not made for each other. He’s not prude and I am. He’s hot and I’m not. John can go for Melinda or Leslie, not me. Not like he actually wanted or liked me. Oh well! I can’t believe I’m a woman. I’m hating my life now.

*Nhoj is John backwards. Betcha couldn’t crack that code! My friends and I referred to these secretive names often. Although in this entry I wrote John and Nhoj sooo not really seeeing the sense in that…🤷‍♀️

P.S. And the daytime Drama Emmy goes to…

Say Hello (12/26/97 Journal 1, Page 1)

I’ve been writing in a journal now for over twenty years. TWENTY YEARS! Just writing that makes me feel old! My first journal entry was on 12/26/97. I started writing when I was a sophomore in high school. I pretty much had no friends, was super shy, literally thought I was the ugliest human on the planet and was stuck in a body that was at least three years behind schedule. Writing made me feel like I wasn’t alone; as if someone was actually listening to me. My entries consisted of mainly basic high school nonsense…what tests I had that day, which boys I liked, what sports I was playing at the time. But there was also a dark side to my writing. A side I wouldn’t really understand until years later. You see…I have suffered with anxiety and depression since I was 18. I actually have my first anxiety attack documented but I’ll get into that another time. To understand how my anxiety developed, I had to dig deep into the past. My past was first documented when I began writing in my journal on 12/26/97. Here is my first entry and a glimpse into the mind of Me:

Hello, hey I’m on the plane now on my way to Texas. I’m excited but scared! I don’t want to crash or something bad to happen to me. Please God, make me have a good trip! This is Me, signing off at 8:23am! Hello, I’m back, it’s 11:35am and I’m still on the plane. I’m still scared but I have nice people around me to talk to. Life can be so confusing sometimes. Why do I have to be prude*. I don’t have a boyfriend. I guess I could have one if I wanted to. I heard that John likes me but I don’t understand how a really hot kid can like me. I don’t know if I should go for him! I doubt it, oh well. My teenage years stink. The only thing that I’m very fortunate for is my sisters. I love them so much. They are great. Another thing I hate is school. Oh I hate it. I hate the people and work. Well, I’ll write another entry another time- Peace out yo! I  <3 everybody!

*Prude: According to, the definition of prude is a person who is excessively proper or modest in speech, conduct, dress, etc. According to my fifteen year old self, it meant I was terrified of boys (and kissing them) when all the girls around me had boyfriends.

P.S. Did you notice the part when I wrote “I hate the people and work” then signed off with “I <3 everybody!”? Yup…that’s Me =)