Do Unto Others….

Every once in a while, something special happens. You find yourself, surprised, smiling and deeply appreciative. I’m not talking about the typically polite things, such as someone holding the door open for you, or a smile from a stranger (although these are nice gestures), I mean when something happens that makes you realize that you may just be more important or more valued then you thought. Something like this happened to me this week, and the happiness that it resulted in for me will not soon be forgotten.

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On a quarantine, rainy summer afternoon, I headed down to our home gym in the basement. It took some internal convincing as I wasn’t feeling too motivated. A blah yucky day can do that to ya! Anyway, I stretched and jumped on to my elliptical and got ready for my 30-minute workout. Not five minutes into my workout, my daughter – who is currently working from home – told me that there was something outside the front door for me. She told me that I should come up and get it. Clearly she was in on this surprise! As I was trudging upstairs, I thought, is it the paper boy? I know I paid him. It’s not my birthday. Amid these covid times,  with limited visiting and social distancing…I was at a loss.

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Waiting for me was a folder and envelope with a card inside. I opened the card and read that enclosed in the folder was a painting that a friend had commissioned for ME. Me?? Me!! It was a gorgeous painting of yellow and purple flowers, a painting that we had talked about a few weeks ago and I had loved. I was speechless that she took the time to find someone to paint it specifically for me.

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My friend’s card said that I was an “amazing person.” And she wanted to do this for me. I considered that amazing, ME? I was dumbfounded. It was then that I realized that most of us are fortunate enough to receive gifts at Christmas and on our birthdays. But receiving something nice completely out of the blue (I wasn’t even sick or anything) is startling. I immediately texted my friend and asked her why she did this? She said that it was “beautiful like me and that I deserved all the beauty in the world because I sure dish it out to everyone I meet.” She said she was “proud to be my friend and I was a bundle of light energy, and that I am like everyone’s sister, and most of all that she will always have my back even though we may not always be face to face.” Not going to lie, I swallowed a big lump in my throat.

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Her gift was timely, timely as my husband and I are soon to be empty nesters – our youngest moves out in a few weeks. I am at the point where I am struggling to figure out what’s next, and at moments I’m feeling lost, and truth be told really not needed anymore. The chapter of child rearing is closing, we did a good job.
Her gift reminded me that there is more to me then I realized and that I have the means and character to do whatever I want to do. Life isn’t over, as they say this is a new chapter. I am grateful that she helped remind me of my worth.

….. as you would do unto yourself 

blessings x

Maryse

Our Changing World

They’re calling these unprecedented times. The dictionary defines unprecedented as “never done or known before.” So, I guess this is unprecedented. These are times we have never seen before. Coronavirus, or Covid 19 – has taken over the world. A virus that is wiping out so many people around the globe daily. Each day the number of those sickened or perishing at the hands of this monstrous virus rises. At this time there is nothing that we can do about it, except try our best to protect ourselves.

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There are many that are pointing fingers, blaming countries, blaming ETHNICITIES (come on people), complaining about who knew about it first and didn’t tell the rest of the world. It really is getting us no where; the concern is how to stop this peak slow down the curve, while researchers worldwide have made it a priority to find a vaccine. The medical community is working tenfold we must help them and do as we are told. Wash hands, stay home, follow the rules.

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I know that we crave information and every day we look to the news for some guidance. It turns out to just be depressing and suffocating, how do we survive in times like this? Everyone can say “you have to look on the bright side” you have to know “that this too shall pass” or you have to just breathe” All those little tidbits and poetry quotes that we like to pull out of our pockets to make ourselves feel better. But let’s be real, I think that if this situation sucks, we should be allowed to say THIS SUCKS! Or WHY IS THIS HAPPENING? Or “THIS IS NOT FAIR” and even the first world problems that may be a part of your life that are missing, acknowledge that. You should be allowed to despise this as much as anyone else, if you can no longer jog outside with your group of friends like you used too, or attend appointments, go to work or school. You can be upset. But know that life will return to normal, but it will be a new normal.

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I think I first became aware of how different things had become when I first went into the supermarket with my daughter. We made sure to take all the necessary precautions, making sure we were wearing gloves, keeping hand sanitizer in our pockets that could be accessed quickly at any given moment. Just walking around our supermarket in our town felt so strange. I considered the fact that I am an Empath and perhaps I was just being extra sensitive. I looked around at everyone scurrying around getting their groceries with their heads down, no one looking up or saying hello like it used to be. As soon as we left, I asked my daughter, “Did it feel strange in there?” she said “Yes, tense.” I guess that’s just a new normal I hope that doesn’t last. That’s a new normal that will be challenging for me to deal with. Lineups in supermarkets, drugstores and Walmart have all started using tape so that customers know where to stand so that we are respecting the 6 feet apart rule that the medical community has asked. Will this be a new normal? I don’t know.

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What can we do in the meantime? Get the complaining out of your system but eventually, I guess we must accept this. Continue working from home, spend time with your family or whomever you are hunkered down with. Play your board games, attending meetings on Zoom, I had a lovely happy hour chat Saturday night with two girlfriends. It wasn’t the same as when we meet up in person, but it will have to do for now. The Mister was the best bartender and kept the drinks coming! You don’t have to go it alone, stay connected, facetime or phone calls. We are all in the same boat. We are all in this together. Go for walks. You must know that things are going to get better, we MUST think positively. Keep reality in check though, this virus is still rocking the globe and there will be many more deaths, the world has changed and so has its keepers. Stay real but stay optimistic

blessings Maryse xox

Make this your best year ever!

Ahhhh the smell of a brand-new year! Hello 2019!

new year 2019As always, the air is ripe with the scent of almost everyone discussing their resolutions. What are these resolutions? Get fit, lose weight, spend less money, be more patient, make a better effort at staying in touch with friends and family …the list goes on.
I thought about posting a blog on a few of these resolutions and my thoughts on them, especially since I have definitely had many of them as my own resolution at one time or another. But instead I decided that making one big promise is probably not always the best idea. I’m not suggesting that all resolutions are failures. Often, they serve as the one big catalyst that most people need to get important things moving! What I am saying though, is I think it’s important that during our quest to be successful at our resolutions, we remember some things that may seem small. But are actually very important.

sparklerHere are a few:

Live in the moment and be present. How often are we having a conversation with someone, but we are only half listening because we’re caught up in thinking about what we need to do next. Making that mental list of items that are running through our mind like a hamster on a wheel. Take a moment and think about quieting that part of your mind and just being present. Enjoy what you are doing, whether it’s having a cup of tea, chatting with a friend or family member, or enjoying the walk that you are on alone. Which brings me to my next point.
Be kind to yourself. If you’re anything like me, you may still be reviewing the past year and thinking about a few things you should have accomplished. Mistakes were made, projects not completed. It’s all about being human. Moving forward and allowing yourself to set new goals is the best thing you can do for yourself. Maybe at night you lie in bed and think about the day and what you could have said or done differently, consider not doing that anymore. What does it really accomplish? Feelings of anxiety? Regret? Anger or sadness? You don’t deserve that. Being kind to yourself may also mean, heading to the gym, getting that manicure or facial, curling up with a book and a cup of tea. Do it! Don’t feel guilty. Be kind to yourself. Without being kind and taking care of yourself first, how will we ever be kind to others?
Surround yourself with the people that make you feel great, suggest a workout at the gym with someone you enjoy being with or perhaps a coffee or lunch date. There are people out there that naturally exude happiness and positivity and literally feel like a sunny day. Positivity is the name of the game for these folks. Revel in their golden glow! It will rub off on days you can really use it. Heck you may even learn a few of their strategies.

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I wish you a happy healthy 2019, full of laughter, love and all that makes your heart glow.

Blessings xoxx
Maryse

See how she loves..

Being a Mother is a forever role……
A few years ago, I was having a late-night chat with my sister Holly. It was one of those profound moments when the eldest sister (me) seeks the youngest sister and spills her guts. I wondered if I was doing everything right as a Mom. Even though my children were adults, it is a forever role that is always evolving.
I wasn’t sure if what I was doing or saying at times was right. Was I making myself available enough? Or too much? Was I there for them when they needed me? Or nagging them when they needed space?
I was questioning every aspect of myself for a job I was doing for well over 25 years. A job I wasn’t trained for and I took on at the young age of 23.
I was saddened that at times I felt like the wicked witch of the west, constantly reminding and asking questions, phoning and texting.
Being a Mom is a rewarding yet confusing job. Our discussion inspired my sister to write the following piece, which I have read time and time again. It always makes me feel better about myself as a person and as a Mom. Last night I needed to read it again, for the first time in a long time. It is my pleasure to share it here with you:

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To the Mothers 

(by: Holly Bacchus)

To the mothers
Who were mothers before they ever
Imagined they would be.
Who accepted the challenge
Who put their own lives on hold
To create new ones.

To the mothers
Of children who are a bit different than
So-called “normal”
Of children they can only see as
Beautiful.
Who not only embody strength and courage, but
Who bestow it too.

To the mothers who didn’t think they’d
be doing it alone
But who do.
Who are two people where only one
Stands.
Whose lithe bodies become strong enough for piggy backs
10-yard hail marys, and
wrestling holds.
Who sustain sideways looks and snide comments
Who are told they ‘breed criminals”. But
Whose childhood dreams were never of
lone queens in castles.

Who are strong enough to dream anew.

To the mothers

In the quiet of a dark night
You do the toughest secret job
No one knows you do

Lying awake in a sleepy house
Contemplating tomorrows upon
tomorrows
While everyone else is drowsily,
dreamily, happily asleep.

To the mothers,
In the quiet spaces where
Little eyelids flutter
As sleep descends
Where dawn breaks through curtains
Onto heavy-lidded/adoring eyes.

To the mothers
Whose contributions aren’t writ large on
each day
But who instead
Quietly make each day happen

To the mothers
Whose children will never know
All they have done.

What you do,
Somehow exquisitely choreographed.
And yet impossibly agile,
Is a most beautiful, silent and humble
dance.

By: Holly Bacchus- www.hollybacchus.com

At the top of the 6ix

Recently my daughter and I willingly dangled ourselves 1,186 feet over the city of Toronto.  For fun! My mini me was turning 25 and I wanted to celebrate it in an unusual and exciting way! In my true mini me spirit, she is not afraid of heights and as I booked the event I was remembering her gleeful laughter when we went parasailing together over the sparkling, turquoise waters in Riviera Maya, Mexico.

IMG_9464The CN Tower Edgewalk gives participants the experience of walking around the CN Tower, suspended by harnesses. That would be 1,186 feet in the air, and a walk around the Tower itself.

CN TowerI pulled up the web page and booked it! Right after I did it, a little voice in my head said, “are you nuts?” My friends, parents and my son repeated the same phrase. I started to get nervous “wait, what??? Hang on, was this a good idea? Could I die? Could we both die? Good Lord, I’ve lost my mind.” Later that evening I saw my Husband and I told him I was scared, he shrugged and said, “It should be safe.” Yeah that’s right he said SHOULD. “I could die” I loudly said. “Nahhhh” he replied.

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On D-Day we were in traffic and arrived just in the nick of time. Which I suppose, in retrospect was a good thing, no time to think about the madness I was going to do! Aside from rushing, my daughter was a mixture of calm and excitement. We were greeted by friendly staff who gave us waivers which I signed and never read. What was the point anyway? They directed us to a room, where we were asked to put on orange jumpsuits and remove all jewelry, empty our pockets – even receipts weren’t allowed. They insisted on giving me an extra jacket as it was 9 degrees outside the tower. So, I put the jacket on over my orange suit and admired my extra padding, maybe I would bounce if I fell? Next, they administered a breathalyzer to all of us. Darling daughter loudly asked, “Mom did you pass?” Then collapsed in laughter.

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The staff in this room was incredibly cheerful and happy. I wanted to shout at them “I’m risking my life today!!! I COULD DIE! STOP ME! But I didn’t. I let them check everything on me. I asked one of them if anyone has ever changed their mind. They said yes, usually right in that very room we were in. She took that opportunity to remind me that the ticket is non-refundable.

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Once we took our group photos, the staff lined the hallway and clapped for us as we proceeded to the elevator. What the hey gone diddly was going on? It was like a scene out of Armageddon. I sorta felt like an astronaut on my way to the space shuttle. Yeahhhhh I got this! Slowly my nervousness was giving way to excitement. Go me! Needless to say, my daughter was pretty excited.
We met our leader for our walk, and she was incredibly bubbly and friendly. I was impressed that she took the time to learn all our names. Along with my daughter celebrating her birthday were two others, so it was quite the birthday bunch.
We were hooked up to harnesses and instructed not to touch the clasps. Honestly?????? I wouldn’t dare. Just to be sure, they zip tied our clasps. A good idea, I thought, you never know if someone might have plans on ending it all in a dramatic fashion! Our leader told us that once we were outside, we would be doing some tricks. Yes you read that correctly. I didn’t recall reading about tricks in all of the promotional material. How could I miss that??? TRICKS, almost 1,200 feet in the air. Of course!

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Mini me was at the front of the line and our line leader said she would go first right behind her. Hehehe. My daughter looked momentarily nervous but sucked it up. Gosh she’s brave! Then the doors opened and BOOM! OH MY GOD. No turning back. We walked outside, and our happy leader walked us out, calmly smiling and shouting at the top of her lungs “Hello Toronto!!!!” we all hung onto the areas of our harness that she said we were allowed to hold.
It was chilly outside, but sunny and beautiful. My hands were sweating uncontrollably, I definitely did NOT need the extra jacket. Nerves kept me warm.
As promised, our leader led us through tricks, putting our toes over Toronto, leaning forward, and leaning backward, she took videos and pictures of us. Each of us felt the nerves and we all cheered each other on as we took turns completing our tricks. As time wore on, it became easier and easier to be out there. Looking out over the City I grew up in, everything seemed so peaceful. Our leader pointed out places and landmarks to our group as we had a few people from the U.S. and Ireland visiting. It was absolutely incredible to be so high up and exhilarating to be hanging over the city. I became aware of how quickly my nerves settled and gave way to excitement and elation

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As our walk on the edge was coming to an end, we waited while a new group was coming out with their leader. We encouragingly shouted to them “It’s amazing! You will love it! So exciting!” You would have thought we hung out there all day long as opposed to half an hour.
When we came in, they unhooked us, and we went downstairs to return our suits and get our coats out of the lockers that was provided to us. They told us, if we looked in our left pockets of our jumpsuits we would find our tickets that included our entry to sky pod. I took my ticket out and looked at it with my first and last name boldly printed on it. I immediately looked over to a staff member and asked if, these tickets were there to help identify our bodies??? He smiled and said, “Oh no, we would use your teeth for that.”
The Edgewalk at the CN Tower was amazing. I was astounded that one event could put us through a myriad of emotions, fear, happiness, excitement, nervousness and many more. I would highly recommend this experience to everyone. It is safe as long as you listen to all instructions from the qualified and experienced staff. The checking, double checking and triple checking by different staff members was very thorough and eased my mind.

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This was an amazing and unforgettable way to celebrate my daughter’s 25th birthday. On the way out, my birthday girl asked about skydiving…. maybe…but for THAT, I’d fail the breathalyzer.

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Ticket- $225 each
Celebrating and time spent with my daughter- Priceless

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I can roll with my new role!

In a month I’ll be 52. By the time you hit this age, you get comfortable with who you are. I’m a Mom, Wife, Sister, Daughter, Aunt, Cousin and Friend. Those are my “identities” if you will, and I wear them with pride.

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Last month, our Son asked the love of his life to be his Wife. They have dated for eight years and have a lot of experience under their belt both as individuals, and as a couple. This is the type of relationship that has a solid foundation. That makes me proud.

So, what does this have to do with my role?

Sitting on the deck one evening with my husband, we happily laughed about this new wonderful event that happened in our lives. We smiled proudly, marveling at how our little boy has become a man in front of our eyes. Suddenly, we realized that we were going to be someone’s Mother–in law and Father–in law. Whoa!!!!!

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This got me thinking. How does this all work? What does a Mother-in law do? Up until that moment, I had never given a thought to the actual role.

I mean no big deal, I was always in regular contact with my Son’s Fiancée, before she became his fiancée. I have always prided myself on our relationship and the ease with which we communicate. There doesn’t seem to be many topics that we can’t chat about. Our visits, text messages, hugs and kisses. But suddenly, I felt self-conscious.

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Is it because a “Mother-in law” has such a bad rap? Oh boy, what do I do? How do I act?

Obviously, just like some of the most important roles in our lives, this one comes with no formal job description.

No one wants to be the overbearing, obnoxious, nosey, pushy, condescending busy body the world makes Mother in laws out to be. When do I ask questions? What questions am I allowed to ask? Do I keep some of my opinions to myself? Or ALL of my opinions to myself?

EEEEEEEEK!!!! I will have a new identity in about a year!

I considered rushing to Google just to see what I would find. But, I stopped myself. Really? Come on Maryse! Get a grip! You are so not resorting to asking Google “What are the functions of a Mother-in-law”.

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And so, I have simply continued on with what I’ve been doing for the last few years. Communicating with my future daughter in law in the same way we always have over the past eight years.

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Maybe as if sensing my hesitation, she has recently asked me what I think of a few things pertaining to the wedding. Those simple things make me feel important, and I have realized that everything is going to be alright. Why? Because I am going to be just ME, this is who I am and will continue to be. Loving and supportive and kind. I embrace this new upcoming role with glee.

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Shades of our Sisters

Shades of our Sisters was an event held on Thursday June 21 at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto. This event happened (intentionally or not) on National Indigenous Peoples Day. In recent years I have been learning quite a bit about the Indigenous people and culture. I am saddened that while growing up in Canada from infancy, I was never educated about Canada’s first inhabitants. Not in grade school, high school or even while earning two degrees. The only vague memory I have is of reading books in grade school about cowboys and Indians and even playing a game by the same name. Obviously, I now know that this was inappropriate.

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While I have been aware that there have been many missing Indigenous men and women in Canada over the years, I have never been intimately exposed to personal information about any of these people. That is – until I attended this particular event.
Shades of our Sisters was created by two particular families to celebrate the lives of two missing and murdered Indigenous women in particular, Sonya Cywink from Birch Island, Ontario and Patricia Carpenter from Toronto, Ontario.

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I was speechless as the event transported us back to the lives of these women. We participated in an interactive journey through their neighbourhoods, homes and interviews with their loved ones. In addition, there were exhibits that held personal artifacts that once belonged to the women.
I looked through each exhibit and I was moved by all the personal items displayed. Both women enjoyed writing poetry and some of their original work was available for viewing. There were also many photographs that spanned from their childhoods and numerous letters written on lined paper.

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Many family members belonging to some of the missing women in Canada were present. The families of Patricia and Sonya were there and interacted with the participants. Nothing makes it more real, than watching a mother silently weep as videos of her murdered daughter play on a loop.
I was very moved by this event and also extremely saddened. While we have heard about the cases of these missing women in the news, attending this event showed me who they were. They are more than just a statistic. They are our daughters, sisters, mothers, aunties and friends.
I was honored to have attended
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Not everyone can see the sunny day

In the wake of the deaths of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, there has been a lot said on social media. In fact, I had to chuckle to myself when I saw this recent text exchange:

Person A: “Depression is a real thing”
Person B: “It doesn’t discriminate”

Sounds fair? It’s not. I know for a fact that Person A has no idea what depression really is. In fact, I believe that this person is representative of much of society. I know because Person A has openly declared numerous times in my presence, “I don’t get it?” “Why can’t a depressed individual look around them and see a beautiful day?” “Why are they such a sad sack?” Yet here we go, pretending they know and understand. Lip service, pure hypocrisy if you ask me. In fact, I’m seeing a lot of this on Facebook as well. People who just DO NOT know and are shooting off opinions left right and centre.

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What is depression? According to the Mayo Clinic, “depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest”. It is a terrible illness that plagues millions around the world. While it is reported that Kate Spade was getting medical help, it doesn’t mean that it always works. A few summers ago, my neighbour’s 20 something year old son, was getting help and was taking prescribed medication yet – he still hung himself in their basement one sunny June day after an appointment with his psychiatrist. At this point you’re probably thinking what causes it? According to the Mayo Clinic “the exact cause is not known at this time, but it could be a variety of factors: hormones, brain chemistry, biological differences, or inherited traits”.

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My depression is in remission. I am grateful for that. I also know that many of you are probably shocked to read that I suffer from depression and anxiety. Well, that is another story for another day. But do I feel qualified to speak on it? You bet I do.
First, I am sick and tired of hearing and reading about people saying that these two people were rich and had it all. Do you think for a single second that they did not know that they were rich and famous? That they had it all? You are damn right they did. They were definitely well aware they “had it all”. IT IS NOT ABOUT THAT! Or, secondly,  the most frequent one I am seeing everywhere, “What a selfish think to have done! What about their kids?” RIGHT!!! BECAUSE THAT WAS THEIR PLAN TO LEAVE THEIR CHILDREN BEHIND.

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Understand this, the need to stop the pain, the sadness, the disappointment and the darkness they were trapped in was paramount. The need to stop being a burden to family members might have weighed heavily on their minds. To just make it all go away, to make the hurt stop…might have been all they wanted.
Sometimes all the medication, and cognitive therapy in the world does not and cannot help. The spiral of sadness, or the big black dog of depression holds a person hostage. This is not their fault, just because you can’t see depression, or if someone is seemingly sporting a happy smile on the outside, doesn’t mean that there may be a ton of sadness deep down. If you are not a doctor, or someone who has experienced depression – please stop judging! You are not qualified to pass judgement! Furthermore, don’t pretend to understand! Make the effort to actually learn about it. You may just save someone’s life
I feel the need to post some of the symptoms for everyone. Please read through them carefully:

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• Feelings of sadness, tearfulness, emptiness or hopelessness
• Angry outbursts, irritability or frustration, even over small matters
• Loss of interest or pleasure in most or all normal activities, such as sex, hobbies or sports
• Sleep disturbances, including insomnia or sleeping too much
• Tiredness and lack of energy, so even small tasks take great effort
• Reduced appetite and weight loss or increased cravings for food and weight gain
• Anxiety, agitation or restlessness
• Slowed thinking, speaking or body movements
• Feelings of worthlessness or guilt fixating on past failures and self blame
• Trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions and remembering things
• Frequent or recurrent thoughts of death, suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts or suicide
• Unexplained physical problems, such as back pain or headaches
What can you do? If you think a friend, relative or co-worker may be depressed? Be the person who cares. Ask them if they are ok, offer to talk, be a friend. Be available.
If you are feeling very low, darkness is closing in and you can’t find yourself, please call someone. Dial 911 or go to the nearest hospital.

Don’t be ashamed, or embarrassed. Not everyone can see the sunny day and that’s okay.

There is help on the horizon.

Phone toll-free 1-833-456-4566
Text: 45645
Chat: crisisservicescanada.ca
Kids Help Phone Ages 20 and younger in Canada 1-800-668-6868
First Nations and Inuit Hope for Wellness 24/7 Help Line 1-855-242-3310
Canadian and Residential School Crisis Line 1-866-925-4419
Trans Lifeline- All Ages 1-877-330-6366

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Is it hot in here? Or is it just me?

 

I heard the other day that some women get through perimenopause and menopause with scarcely a bothersome symptom. I don’t think I like those women.
Seriously though – through my younger years, I was well aware of menopause and the fact that it meant that your period was over. Oh, and perhaps there may the odd mood swing. Cool!!!! I’m ok with that, end of my monthly visitor!
WRONG…menopause has a vicious little sister named perimenopause and she hangs out with you for many years before menopause even comes within sight. That’s right, these are the things that you end up finding out about that no one told you about before.

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So, lets get a few things straight. What is perimenopause? According to the Mayo Clinic “it is the time around menopause.” Pardon? Can we be more vague? I need answers people! I need to know down to the minute how much longer I can expect the peri gal to hangout for. So apparently this means some lucky ladies might be having to experience these symptoms for up to 10 years before the actual onset of menopause. Well, based on my research – it seems that perimenopause brings its own list of symptoms:
Changing menstrual cycle
Anxiety
Mood swings
Fatigue
Decreased libido
Skin disturbances
Insomnia
Night Sweats
Hot Flashes
ETC…
The Etc., is big a one, because depending on the woman there could be a whole host of other things, from restless legs and joint aches to itchy skin and so much more.
Also, keep in mind that sometimes all the above symptoms sometimes like to show up and join the party at the same time.

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In the last few weeks I have been having skin breakouts like that of a teenager. This is beyond frustrating for me, especially since I never had acne as a teenager! Why is this happening? Well, as anyone in my family can tell you – when something requires research you bet I’ll be pulling up a chair to settle in for some quality time with the internet to find out everything I can! I’ve done the work for you ladies – during my research I found out some interesting facts. I found out that during perimenopause, hormone levels significantly drop, specifically estrogen. But the levels of the strongest male hormone – testosterone, will remain the same. This imbalance results in acne.
As if, having all these hormones wasn’t one thing, we also have to deal with a MALE hormone! Why can’t they keep their hormones to themselves?
While there exist medications to help with some of these symptoms, as luck would have it, due to family history I don’t qualify for any of them. I am in the process of checking into some natural remedies and I will definitely keep you posted.
Anyway, for those of you that know me, you know that I try to keep a positive outlook on things, and my thought process is one of gratitude. I’m grateful that I made it to this age, to experience this bumpy hormonal change of life ride. As frustrating as it can be at times.
But maybe in my next life, I’m coming back as a man.

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How to Know When to Get Help for Your Mental Health

Today it is my pleasure to host guest blogger Melissa Howard. Melissa believes that every suicide is preventable. After losing her younger brother to suicide, she felt compelled to create StopSuicide.info. By providing helpful resources and articles on her website, she hopes to build a lifeline of information. Please take the time to click on material that is hyperlinked.

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Mental health is an enormously important issue. Unfortunately, there will be times when one’s mental health goes through adverse changes, subtle or overt, that can have a significant impact on quality of life. If unaddressed or overlooked, it can develop into thoughts of suicide. Being aware of the symptoms is critical to knowing when to seek out support and start healing.

When to Seek Help

It’s hugely important to be vigilant when facing any sort of emotional downturn, even more so if there’s a family history of mental health issues. The impact it can have on your life, work, studies, and relationships can escalate quickly if not addressed, and may lead to thoughts of suicide and self-harm. Symptoms will vary by person, but there are usually common signs that indicate it’s time to seek help. You may find yourself disinterested in things that once gave joy, or even avoiding friends and family. There may be a loss of focus or unexplained crying. You may no longer feel you have the energy to work or study and may even find the act of getting out of bed quite overwhelming. These feelings of listlessness and fatigue can affect every aspect of your life, potentially leading to isolation and a sense of hopelessness. It’s essential to seek professional support, especially so if symptoms have persisted for weeks. Seeking help can be a terrifying prospect, but it will provide immeasurable relief and help treat whatever you’re dealing with. There will be crisis lines, and doctors should have information on what sort of services, such as therapy, are available to you. Such support can provide you with a lot of the tools to help you get better.

Keeping Up Wellness

When you’re facing serious mental health issues, self-care can be incredibly difficult, leaving your physical and emotional well-being neglected. No matter what help you’re receiving, it’s still important to find ways to look after your own needs. Self-care can be very basic, but truly essential. Showering, eating healthily, and staying hydrated are some invaluable things you can do to achieve this. Of course, maintaining an exercise routine can be challenging, but the positive effect it can have on self-esteem and mood can be significant. Opening up is something else that can also be truly beneficial. When facing emotional downturns, it can be easy to withdraw and try to get through everything privately. But if you do have someone in your life that you trust, tell them what you’re going through. Try, also, to stay active, whether that involves a quick walk or hanging out with friends, it can be a welcome change of pace. Another thing to consider is a safety plan. This could contain trusted numbers, emergency contacts, affirming words, and treatment techniques.

Suicide and Addiction

When faced with any downturn in mood, such as depression, it can be tempting for some to alleviate symptoms by taking substances. They might seem like an escape, but that is usually fleeting, and they quickly exacerbate the symptoms and worsen long-term mental health. Substance abuse can also have a harmful effect on relationships, creating more isolation and loneliness, if that is already an issue. This can quickly result in a habitual coping mechanism that can lead to addiction. As substances can remove inhibitions and impair judgement, it can also intensify suicidal thoughts. Research has shown substances to be a major risk factor in thinking about, and attempting, suicide. Indeed, one in three suicides occur under the influence of opioids or alcohol. Addiction, thankfully, is a treatable condition, and recovery itself helps improve mental health.

Don’t feel alone. You do not have to face what you’re going through by yourself. Sometimes it may not seem like it, but these feelings and thoughts are temporary. Thankfully, whatever the cause, it will be treatable, and remember to practice self-care as it will help you manage what you’re going through.

Melissa Howard

StopSuicide.info 

 

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