Passport To Beautiful! Weight Loss Day 3!

Pulling my hair out because I broke my diet last night! But…I’m not being too hard on myself. I’ve learned that you don’t have to go hog wild! Before, I would gorge myself and feel sick the next day and feel guilty as hell!

I’ve also learned motivation, support and positivity are important. Everyone’s comments mean so much to me. Please comment below and please watch the video, comment, like it, subscribe and favorite it. The more people that do this with me the better chance we all have and the support is incredible!

But most importantly, remember…your physical health and mental well-being are more important than your physical appearance. And we don’t want to be sick…because we’re on borrowed time as it is!

Please watch Day 3 of my Weight Loss struggles here!


The Best New Advice for 2011!!!

I haven’t written since October, a realization which is a little numbing considering how many ideas for posts I have jotted down on napkins in coffee shops and on the back of receipts. It seems that some of my best “thoughts from the couch” actually occur in the aisles of grocery stores or, like this morning, listening to talk radio shows on National Public Radio.

Five months is a long time though and my shoebox of writing ideas is filled to the brim with scraps of paper. I had wanted to write about Halloween and the notion of irrational fears versus rational fears. During November, I wanted to write about my mother’s birthday, Thanksgiving and several other small ideas such as how the smallest details in my life, such as the finest cup of coffee or a cheese sample at the grocery store can turn my day to the positive. In December, I had outlined posts for my sobriety date, December 17th, to talk about the week that led up to my entering treatment as well as a few chapters from my memoir I am writing about me and my mother’s recovery’s as family members and how to set boundaries while still supportive of one another. And of course I wanted to write about Christmas. Every year it is important for me to write a piece about some lesson I’ve learned at Christmas with hopes of it being a small gift to my clients. This past year, I was going to write about the last Christmas Eve I spent with my mom on the mountainside in Tennessee, stuck in the middle of the night, while we tried to find ourselves off of the slippery road.

January brought the new year and with every new beginning comes a time for renewal. This year is my year to be my most authentic self, creative and loud, colorful and positive, thoughtful, challenging and risk taking. I had an entire post ready to print and then was criticized for something I had written so I withdrew, which is no excuse, and waited once again.

I’ve asked my readers for tons of suggestions and they have compliantly given me months full of ideas so I really have no reason not to write, but until today, I didn’t really feel it in my soul. Several times when I have been down, Alex has suggested I write, stating that I seem happiest when I am creative and writing, which is probably true. So today I decided to write. I sat here in front of my computer, unsure of what to write, and almost closed the computer with the notion that I would just put it off until later. And then I smiled realizing I definitely had something to write.

There are certain things we know as truths in our lives. I am also a believer that knowing your weaknesses and being willing to change them to strengths can be one of our greatest learning experiences. If you don’t know by now, I believe that everything that happens to us happens for a reason and that life is full of translations and lessons waiting to be revealed.

Recently during a session, a client and I were talking about strengths and weaknesses and he stated, “don’t ever give anyone a reason not to like you.” I smiled and listened as he shared something, which I considered small, which had bothered him. “You are an amazing therapist and I love the insight you have, and being that I have been to several therapists, I know your worth in my life. But not everyone is like me and people look for reasons to not like others. So never, ever, give anyone a reason not to like you.”

Later that day, I thought about what he had said and that day, put into place a policy which would change some of my procedures because he felt it would make my practice better. And then I began looking at the weaknesses in myself that would keep, not only my clients, by my friends, family members, boyfriend, whoever, away from me if they were to focus on those weaknesses.

Earlier this week I made a list of those weaknesses and changed them to positive statements and wrote them on a Post-It Note above my desk which, as I read every day, reminds me of how to turn my weaknesses into strengths and how to grow as a person and be even better than I am already.

My client was so right on with his statement. It was really the best advice I’ve been given in a very, long time. “Don’t give anyone a reason not to like you.” We all want to be liked. We all want to do good work, have close friends and make a positive impact on the world. So, if there is anything that is standing in your way, turn it around, make is a strength and become the person you always wanted to be. Because we’re on borrowed time as it is!

A Suicide Note…

Dear Suicide…I have a dear, dear friend, maybe a better friend than you can ask for at times, that was greatly affected by you, and didn’t even ask for you to be in her life. I have a dear friend, whose mother was taken by you, without questions answered, without any sign of your coming, without any ability to meet you at the door and escort you far, far away. My dear friend, Lis Crosby, is only 23, and because of you, she will never see her mother’s hair all turn white. She will never be able to hand over one of her children to it’s grandmother. She doesn’t understand you and neither do I. Why would you do such a thing. Because of you, there is so much that her mother will miss out on in Lis’ life and the life of her brother Jonathan. But why am I telling you this. You already know this by now as you take an adult life almost every 16 minutes in the United States and attempt to take one every minute. You are tricky and deceiving because you offer solutions with no reasonable answers. You are real. You are scary. And you are lurking in every corner. Not only have I lost my dear friend Lis’ mother, Nancy, but also several friends, and parents of friends. Not long ago, you met the father of a friend of mine. You hide in the minds of our children, our elderly and those in between. I am thankful I have never wanted to taste of your breath, but I can’t say so much for many, many people I have met. The only solution to getting rid of you is through education, and awareness and talking, comforting and compassion. So watch out. Because…we’re on a mission.
Nancy Crosby was born on December 7, 1963. She died on September 30th, 2006. I remember that day almost too well. I had just left work and got a call from my friend Tonya. “Uh honey.” I could tell she was crying on the other end of the phone. “They just found Lis’ mom.” And from there on, everything is a blur. I remember pulling up to her Granny’s house and seeing all of the cars, all of the people in AA surrounding Lis, only twenty at the time, and already, several years sober, comforting her as she and her brother screamed up into the trees. Why? Why? I had never experienced so much pain, angst and anger all mixed into one strange concoction. After talking to Lis, or talking at her in her fog and haze of confusion, Tonya and I went to her mother’s house to get Nancy’s dog Serenity. When we walked into the house, I was somewhat eerie, being that Nancy had only been found hours before, but somehow, the house was comforting. I didn’t experience any fear as I walked through the house and we got Serenity and put her in the car. Through those next several days, I saw a young girl shattered by the loss of her mom.
A year and a half later, Lis got to do the same for me. She was by my side the entire time my mother was sick, and eventually died from a rare disease. We laughed together, we cried together. And a 21 year old, LADY, walked me through how to deal with a funeral. Our mothers are even buried only five feet from each other. And we find comfort in that. What we don’t find comfort in is how both of their deaths could have been prevented. In the case of my mother, she had a rare disease that went undiagnosed for far too long, and probably could have prevented her death. And for Nancy? Well, much the same can be said for her disease. Because suicide and depression are diseases in this country that go far to unnoticed and dealt with appropriately.
This Saturday will mark the 2nd anniversary of Team Nancy marching in the Out of the Darkness Community Walk for suicide prevention. All money raised will go to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Lis and her brother Jonathan will both be marching again, as will many people in more than 200 communities across the United States. I know many people read my blog who care alot about mental health and addiction issues. Please donate to help their cause as it is vital that more attention is brought to depression and suicide so it can be brought out of the darkness and into the light. On the main page of my blog, I have linked The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Team Nancy for donations and more information about the walk in Indianapolis this Saturday, September 12th, 2009, and Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual/Transgender issues related to suicide.
The information is astonishing. And as I walk past my mother’s grave and visit Nancy, telling her every time, that I’m watching over Lis and taking care of her the best I can, I know somewhere she’s watching. But I have to believe that things got just too painful for her. Life became too overwhelming and somehow she ran out of options. But I don’t believe she would trade it all in if she had known other options. She was one damn fighter, we just didn’t know how to help her into the ring.
I remember when my mother got sick and we didn’t know what disease her symptoms were indicating, I asked her why she wasn’t fighting harder. “If I knew what I was fighting, I could fight.” And much can be said for depression and suicide as well. So reach out, learn and contribute. In these trying times, we should cherish the ones around us more and hug often and remember…we’re on borrowed time as it is!