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Fine! Suicide. There, I said it

Note from Noelle: Tribe, once again one of our guest contributors has a subject to share that is not often talked about— mental illness and suicide— my job is to give a VOICE to things that are difficult in a POSITIVE and uplifting way— this post does just that, it is the story of a Mother’s triumph over unexpected circumstances that life dealt her. She is truly a WARRIOR of the highest degree and I hope that you will be blessed by reading her words. I was.

XO, N.

“Your father took his life. Do you understand?”

No. They absolutely DID NOT understand. How could two young children, that just turned ages seven and nine, understand what that means? Yet there I sat with a Counselor next to me, watching my girls play with toys, as if somehow that would lighten the blow. Explaining to my beautiful, innocent girls that their Dad had “taken his life.” We can finally say the word SUICIDE. Dad committed SUICIDE. My husband committed SUICIDE. He didn’t just “die”. He committed SUICIDE, and it’s OK to say it. It wasn’t my fault. My words couldn’t save him, and my words didn’t do it to him. He was determined to do it one way or another, and I still wrestle with that concept and all the “what ifs?”

Let’s back it up a bit. Meeting my husband later in life, our romance was hasty with a very informal wedding on the golf course. Being my second wedding and wearing the “divorcee” title, we wanted to keep it simple, with the company of family, close friends, and 18 holes. Married on the 18th hole at the golf course we both volunteered, a round of golf, and a Washington Capitals game to end the day, I was granted the title, “Coolest Wife Ever.” I was completely blind to the fact, however, that he had an intense fear of crowds, manic depression, anxiety so bad that it physically hurt him to hug his wife, and one day, his daughters, and an overall feeling of helplessness that eventually lead to his suicide. Those were kept private from me, but eventually came out. I mean, we had our issues, but didn’t everyone?

My wonderful marriage was the beginning of a journey cut short, I didn’t expect to take. My late husband’s mental illness was exhausting. The endless problems, addiction to cocktails prescribed to “help”, (with warnings of “may cause feelings of suicide”) the insurance hoops I jumped through, his tragic suicide, and ultimately being a widowed mom at 41 with two AMAZING four and six year old girls was not the plan. Is it ever what we plan though? It was no longer my circle, his circle, and our circle. It was just my circle, lonely and scary.

The last time I saw him was a Monday morning. I woke up and he was packing his bags. I asked what he was doing. He admitted to bad thoughts and was ready to check himself in to the hospital. He so desperately wanted help. He wanted to get better. Later that morning, call it a mother’s intuition, I looked at my girlies at the bottom of the stairs as we started to walk out the door for Preschool and Kindergarten, and I said, “Go back upstairs and give Daddy an extra big hug and kiss, and tell him how much you love him.” They happily ran upstairs, did as I asked, and off we went to school. That was the last time any of us saw him. I had a feeling, and I was right. Our instinct or “gut” is pretty powerful. It’s such a long story what happens next. One that really deserves it’s own blog, so I’ll save the details. My husband left on a Monday morning and was found in a hotel, on Tuesday. Ironically, by a friend’s husband who’d just taking a Manager’s position at the hotel. It was all something that came straight off of the Investigation Discovery Channel. I’ll never forget the detective’s face that came to my house to tell me he was found.

There are many things that I won’t forget.

The following days were a blur. I simply picked out the casket and my family took care of the rest. I lost friends, and gained new friends. I received an email from a friend stating she was so upset because my husband was burning in hell. WTH?

I had to figure out finances, bank account passwords, and a million other things. At the advice of another widow, I searched for a support group, but couldn’t quite find my niche. There were older widows that lived a full life with their spouse, young widows who lost their spouse in the Military, and other widows whose spouse died from cancer or some sort of natural death. I was a young, widowed mother of two, whose husband died at his own hands. Those were hard to come by. Moving ahead a bit, it’s no longer painful for me to talk about his suicide. In fact, it’s cathartic. I can say the word, when for years I politely told people he died. My counselor looked at me one day and said, “He didn’t just die, you know that, right? Why do you always say he died?” Uh, shame, embarrassment, not wanting others to feel awkward, wanting to dignify his life…. I don’t know. She reminded me several times, he didn’t just die. He committed suicide. I just couldn’t say it. For years I lived in overdrive taking care of my girls, and not focusing on me and the trauma I was facing. My number one goal was making sure my girls were OK. I was terrified at the thought of them having any issues from this. I wouldn’t let that happen. Looking back, I wish I would’ve taken more time for me, but as parents we often make selfless decisions for our children’s benefit.

I am NOT the same person I was back then. I work full time outside and inside the home. I am tired. I can be rough around the edges. I work until midnight to meet deadlines because I have to stop and run my kids places, or feed them dinner. I’m needed in two places at once. I humbly ask for help, which I NEVER like doing. I’ve had dating disasters, run ins with alcohol, euphoric tattoos, regretful tattoo removals, wake-up calls, and countless counseling appointments. (Which let me say, counseling is wonderful and I went through three until I found the right one. She’s from Queens with a Sailor’s mouth and she makes me laugh and cry and see things from a perspective I would NEVER myself see.)Take the time to find the right match in a Counselor. Not everyone’s your cup of tea, and that’s ok. I’m a walking book and my story is still being written. Within these last nine years, I’ve said at least a dozen times, I could write a book. One thing remains the same. I have two amazing girls, and their hearts are filled with sensitivity for others. This has made us all better people.

Suicide has taught me not to sweat the small stuff. What, a silver lining to suicide? I don’t worry myself with insignificant things anymore. If my coffee spills in my car? Clean it up. If my house is a mess? I have tomorrow. If the laundry piles up? I get my girls to do it! lol What I’m saying is, that in my deepest despair, I’m still here. I’m alive, and I’m grateful for another day to live my life. A recent hospital stay, and being apart from my girls, made me realize how much certain things really don’t matter. What matters to me is raising my now teenage girls, and doing things that make us happy, and me happy. We’re not just moms. We love to say that it’s our most rewarding job, and it IS, but there’s more to you and there’s more to me. Being a good mom, for me, means taking care of myself, and taking time to do the things that make me happy, so I CAN be an amazing mom. I just started selling Scentsy on the side as something fun to do, and make money if it goes in that direction. I’ve started working out at the gym, although Covid said enough of that! I want to inspire others. When I was in the hospital, I prayed that if I got out, I would never take another day for granted. Emphasizing every single day, I look in the mirror and say, “You’re alive. You have another day. A friend of mine going through a terrible divorce asked me, “How do you know you’re going to come out of your rock bottom?” I shared that because in a week, a month, a year from now, she would be standing. And although she slipped and may have fallen, she got back up was standing.

So, my story didn’t end with my husband’s suicide, but a brand new adventure began. I waited a couple of years until I actually told my girls that their Dad “took his life”, but I’m so glad I didn’t wait. Suicide is a very common subject in our household, and when we hear the tragedies of suicide, the three of us have a certain sensitivity in our hearts for those who’ve suffered. Waiting to tell my girls that their Dad committed suicide was not looked well upon by my counselors, and once it was explained, it made sense. My counselor shared that my girls would have trust issues if I waited. They would be dealing with so many other things, and High School angst on top of everything, if I waited. I needed to tell them as soon as I could, if they already didn’t know from rumors at school, and neighborhood gossip. My seven year old came home from school one day and asked what asphyxiation meant. After picking myself up off the floor, I decided it was time. Did they understand? No, not really. But it opened up the conversation, and that’s what we needed. Our relationship is based on open conversation, and I’m so thankful I heeded the words to NOT wait to tell them. In all fairness, as mother’s, we think it best to wait to protect them. To think that they couldn’t possibly understand the concept of suicide until they are much older. Sadly we have seen children in Middle School committing suicide. Kids know and hear more than we think.

When I see someone on social media saying something like, “My sandals just broke, worst day ever!”, I have to giggle, but that’s their reality and I’m no one to judge. In my mind I think, wow, wanna know the worst day of my life? Telling my beautiful, innocent, naive girls at the freshly new ages of four and six that their Daddy died and wouldn’t be coming home. Second worst day, was taking them to see him in the casket with their letters and pictures they had made for him. Third worst day, was telling them he committed suicide… you get the point.

It’s cathartic to let it out. Yes, my husband committed suicide and it’s OK. It wasn’t my fault. My words couldn’t save him, and my words didn’t do it to him. Whatever you’re going through as a Mom; Single Mom, Widowed Mom, Step Mom, we all have commonalities. When you go to sleep at night, be grateful the day is over, and you did it! You got through the day, by whatever means, and you did it! Now when you wake up the next day, look ahead and be grateful that it’s a brand new day. One thing I’m reminded of is my kids really don’t remember my mistakes. Kids are amazingly resilient. Rejoice in that, and their unconditional love. We make mistakes, but they forgive and forget. We need to forgive and forget ourselves, too. And surround yourself with good people. My wise bestie told me when this all happened that I would be amazed at the people I thought would be there for me that weren’t; and the people I wouldn’t expect to be there for me, that were. So true, and how my circle has changed. It’s ok to change your circle. Be around positive, encouraging people. Stay close to people that don’t judge your grief, your story, your moment. I had friends walk away from me because I asked help from other friends more than them, and they were insulted. Even writing that sounds so ridiculous, but sadly it’s true. Sometimes we’re handed a really crappy deal that we didn’t sign up for, but that’s what makes us super interesting people! More to come!

We can make it through another day!


TWSM Book Review ‘I Know How She Does It’

I Know How She Does It: How Successful Women Make the Most of Their Time

by Laura Vanderkam

I don’t know about you, but I am always on the lookout for helpful time management tips. I Know How She Does It by Laura Vanderkam delivers. Vanderkam takes the unique approach of reviewing actual data — time logs from the women in her Mosaic Project. Each woman recorded how she spent her time 24 hours a day for one week. Her participants each “have it all”, something she defines as earning over $100k per year and having at least one child under the age of 18 years old.

Don’t worry! You do not have to fit this definition to find the book helpful, and relationship status is not part of her definition of “having it all”. Yes, Vanderkam includes a few examples of women who have incredibly helpful husbands (and some of them have nannies, too), but many of them don’t. And real life examples like needing to work and having a sick child at the same time are universal parental experiences regardless of important tools like having a supportive partner, paid leave time, or the ability to work from home.

The math itself is empowering. As Vanderkam points out,

“There are 168 hours in a week. If you work 50, and sleep 8 per night (56 hours per week in total), that leaves 62 hours for other things. If you work 60 hours and sleep 8 hours per night, that leaves 52 hours for other things.” (Introduction) 

Yes, the other things may include activities like eating lunch while checking your work email, doing laundry, or waiting in line at the pharmacy to pick up a prescription for that sick child after getting up in the middle of the night with her, but there are still other things, too. Things like having a meal (not necessarily dinner!) with family members, exercise, and hobbies.

I tried the time log for a week, and I was surprised at how grateful and empowered it helped me to feel. I was also shocked at how much time I spent driving my daughters around (although some of our best conversations happen in the car which balanced this out). That week I also spent time visiting with friends and family (while social distancing), reading, and practicing yoga.

Vanderkam encourages her readers to recognize that they have leisure time and to take charge of this and enjoy it.

“Think through your leisure time. People are generally good about setting work goals, but we’re not as good about personal ones. In five minutes, you could decide that next week 

you’ll make dinner plans with friends, watch a favorite movie with your family, and make your famous apple pie over the weekend.” (Chapter 9) 

Regardless of the obligations you have in your own 168 hours each week, I recommend taking the time to read I Know How She Does It. It will help you to create a beautiful mosaic of your own.

Rating 5 stars out of 5

I Know How She Does It: How Successful Women Make the Most of Their Time Copyright 2015, 2017 by Laura Vanderkam

Liz is a technical writer by day and a humor writer by night. She lives in Minnesota with her two teenage daughters and their cats, Beau and Phoebe. When Liz is not reading, writing, or searching for new books to review, she can be found practicing yoga or enjoying time with friends and family — usually around a fireplace or a lake. She is savoring the time that she still has with her daughters under her roof, yet she secretly dreams of being an empty nester who can travel more and not have to worry about other people borrowing her socks.



A Little Help From My Friends

A little help from my friends.

Captain’s log it is day ninety of this can’t do much business.

Wait… that’s not how I start these blogs for you.

This week’s background music is Foo Fighters and covers of various Foo Fighters songs. Right now the Color Morale is doing a very punk version of Everlong.

My ears are happy. The magic elixir is working.

Last night I hit my ceiling and crawled right into my head. I am a person who lives by timelines, even though I’m pretty laid back I like deadlines. This upside down world has ravaged that.

I had some pretty big dreams for this summer and they aren’t happening. 

I am over seeing my face on a computer screen. 

All that aside, I did something I don’t do obviously enough of. I reached out. I am part of an online Moms group. The two big things we have in common, we are Moms and we all have  a seriously wicked sense of humor. 

That’s it. We are otherwise all incredibly different. I posted this morning- how I was feeling. I was raw. I was true. My heart very much on my sleeve.

Within minutes messages , than another, than another. Each one with words of encouragement. Support. Humor. 

So… emboldened by that. I posted on another group this time not to talk about the fact I was feeling like Eeyore but to talk about my favorite group. The distraction of conversation about how we all collectively were bummed their tour got canceled but excited about possible new music – was what I needed.

Feeling really brave, I group chatted a few women I have gotten to know through common interests. Again, we are all remarkably different but they have lived lives and the words, what I needed. 

I found a quote that I am holding onto tightly during this: “a diamond is chunk of a coal that did well under pressure.” When I shared this with one of my oldest friends she said her husband says “some days are diamonds, some days are coal.” Then she told me there is no shame in being a coal miner some days.

We have a tendency as women to say we are ok when we aren’t. To apologize when we’re sad and think that’s somehow a mark of weakness.

I’m not sure where we learned those lessons but they’re wrong.

When people care about you, they want to be there for you.

Let them.

You take care of everyone else  Mommas.

Let people take care of you.

Be safe

Much love

<3 Caprise

I Could Use A Hand

Have you found yourself in a situation where you really could use a hand?  A helping hand?  A strong hand?  A loving hand?

Did you sit around and wait for one to show up or did you ask for help?  If you’re not one to ask for help, I get it….then please don’t be the one who complains because nobody is there when you need them.  People CANNOT read our minds.  AND if they’ve never been through what we’re going through, they really don’t have a clue as to what’s needed.  Truly.

Until someone goes through the loss of a loved one, they cannot imagine the rollercoaster that you are on when you lost your sweetheart.  They really have no clue what would calm your never-ending mind babble, tend to your achy breaky heart, comfort your whirlwind of why’s or come visit to offer a quiet long hug.  Really.

A mom who is raising a girl has no clue what it’s like to raise a boy.

A woman who did not go through menopause has no clue what a hot flash is like.

A sister who has never been a Troop Leader cannot fathom the joy of the troop getting a WIN.

What’s in your way of asking for help?  Pride? Ignorance? Selfishness? Lack of Trust?   Whatever it is… think about the people who said “If you need anything, let me know.”  They MEANT it!  They are waiting for you to take them up on it.  They really really really want to help but have absolutely NO idea where to start without stepping on your toes.

Are you able to offer a helping hand to someone?  If you are, be sure to follow-through.  Or if it’s a really CLOSE friend…then just show up.  I remember when a friend did that to me… It made my day!

Go make someones day.


Your God-girl


Should I See A Counselor?

Going to a counselor was the best thing I did throughout my divorce. I had always kept my feelings and thoughts to myself for years. Growing up I was always shy.. I didn’t like groups of people and I hated speaking in front of people. I dreaded college classes that talked about our hobbies or what we liked to do. I was just never any good at talking about myself.  And I had poor self esteem and confidence throughout my younger years.

I had never really given much thought to going to a counselor.. I kinda thought counselors were for crazy people and they couldn’t help me with my problems.  And then that day, I walked into a counselor’s office and spilled everything about my life.  I struggled with my decision to get divorced for years.  In a matter of 60 minutes, I felt like a heavy weight had been taken off me.. I will never forget when she said “ it’s ok to say you do not love your husband”.  And that’s all I needed to hear… How could hearing that make everything that clear to me.  It was now so clear.  My life seemed clear. I was smiling.  I knew what my future was and I felt like I had the strength to get there.  It was just being able to openly talk to someone without any judgement and not feeling guilty for my decision.

Having that person that you could be completely honest with about your feelings and not feel judged was empowering. If would have not been completely open with her, then I would probably be still contemplating my decision.  It takes strength and courage to lay everything out there and not know what you are going to get in return.

I continued to see her weekly through my divorce process and after.  I still see her occasionally to check in. If I am feeling lost or struggling with something in my life, then I still see her to work through it. And every time it helps.

Without going to a counselor, I would probably still be struggling with many areas of my life. Yes, your friends and family are great to vent to about your problems and struggles.

But a couple things to think about relying on your friends… sometimes your friends can’t help you make the decisions. They can give you their perspective.  And some friends can’t give you the honest answer you need.

Many times friends can’t give you the tools to follow thru on the decision.  And sometimes we are just not as honest with our friends as a counselor.  I know I wasn’t… And lastly no one wants to be the friend that always has problems…

If you are struggling with your life, marriage, divorce, relationship, then go talk to a counselor.  People waste so much time in life contemplating decisions and trying to work past struggles on their own.  I just feel that why waste time.. why waste more time in life struggling by yourself when a counselor can help you get through it.

No one should feel guilty or ashamed of needing extra support in their life.  No one is perfect and we all face difficulties.  If it makes you stronger, happier, and more content, then keep doing it!



Chicken In A Can

Was I paying it forward out of love for my fellow man or out of fear from my past?  Whichever it was, it made me smile.  Made him smile.  And caused another to take notice.  I was grateful that I could help.

I must have made a decision when I was a young girl, to never be without money.  Never to be in a position of NOT affording life.  Life as I had been living in.  Life as a young girl in a safe, warm, loving home had at her fingertips.  Life was good.  Until I was introduced to chicken from a can, powdered milk and big jars of peanut butter. I don’t really remember why and I’m sure my mom explained it to me…. but as a young girl… I did not like that one bit.  And That…. I think is the reason I promised to NOT be without money.

I was in the grocery line the other day and the man in front of me didn’t have enough on his food stamp card to pay for his groceries, so he started to take things out of the bags.  As I stood there….it came from deep down in my belly right out of my mouth…. “oh NO, that is NOT happening”.  “Oh no.  Uh uh.  Put those groceries back in your bag.”  And I paid for them.  No thinking, no contemplating, no wondering, just BOOM ***  “Pay for it.” Is all I heard in my head.  It must have been surmountable to him because he couldn’t say thank you enough.

I was grateful I could help, grateful he got to keep the food he needed to eat, grateful for God’s good and wonderful ways.  And so so so grateful for the cans of chicken, powdered milk and big jars of peanut butter from childhood.


Your God Girl,


Self Care-SOS!

If you follow this page regularly the topic of self care comes up pretty often. It will probably continue to come up as it seems to be a hard one for people.

In particular -parents

Moms especially. There are whole memes devoted to this very thing.

For whatever reason some of us are hard wired to believe if we take a moment we are being selfish. I’ll even take it one step further some of us, we don’t even know how to ask for help. Or say I’m hurting, I need a break, I need help, I need a hug.

Me. Ok, I’m referring to myself. But I’m pretty confident quite a few of you reading this struggle with it too. For me I never want to be a burden, appear weak, or put anyone out. So I usually just keep powering through until I can’t.

I’m here to tell you that is not the best way to go.

Typically it means I get horribly sick. So I have gotten better about going to bed early. Rather than staying up trying to make everything picture perfect. Baby steps in the process.

I am a bit envious of people who are able to openly say things suck. Some even on social media. I’m hesitant to go that route though. I have an acquaintance who regularly laments her life. Reactions are varied. Which is why I and I think other people sometimes just dig in and keep on keeping on.

I don’t want to appear negative or needy or not capable. I have been on my own so long, even with my own parents it can be hard to ask for their help when I’m sick.

To put it in perspective I get chronic migraines, rather than just tell people I have a migraine I have to cancel. I say I’m not feeling the best. I’m too embarrassed to say I have a headache.

That’s silliness. I know, but somewhere along the way… I was made to feel I shouldn’t ask.

To REALLY put in perspective I have had two really serious health and family things happen recently. Maybe two people know. And that’s because one noticed I seemed not myself and the other I had to ask to be my emergency contact.

As parents, Moms, wives, partners, friends, sisters, daughters we are working so hard at being the sparkly rock of support, care and love for everyone else we sometimes don’t know how or forget it’s ok to ask for help.

It’s ok.


You are not any less you for needing a moment or a hand. In fact you’re tougher for knowing to ask. Rather than letting it explode. Take it from the fire starter writing this.

In the last few years I’ve been incredibly fortunate in that my circle is teaching me it’s ok to ask.

This week was tough and my body retaliated in kind. For the first time in a long time I had someone making sure I was ok. My heart is still full from it.

The love and care you give out- Mommas, it’s beyond ok to get that back. But in case you forget I’ll be here reminding you.



The Bravest Thing I Ever Did-Cont;nuing

A few days ago someone said something to me that has been stirring inside me ever since.  Not a good stir.  And not a good topic.  Not something I would never talk about publicly, and never in a million years finding myself writing a blog about.  But in hopes of shedding some light on a much misunderstood topic, a very relevant one in today’s society, and one that is now a part of my story.  Suicide.  Relax.  Obviously I am here typing this story so it didn’t happen.  But if I were recording a tape from 13 Reasons Why this would be one of them.

Recently my world has literally fallen apart.  My wife, the love of my life, my everything, my best friend…left me.  My family torn apart.  I lost my job.  Had been out of work since February desperately looking for anything without any luck at all.  My daughter and I have been living on next to nothing trying to make ends meet the best we can.  Sounds like a country song right?  If only I could play it backwards and get it all back!  I have been deeply depressed.  And that is putting it lightly.  I stayed in bed for days on end.  Not eating.  Not sleeping.  Just crying.  Throwing up.  I would get up only to make sure my daughter had food or to take her where she needed to be.  I was endlessly applying for jobs.  I would put on my makeup, cry it off on the way there.  Fix myself in the car before going in.  Cry on the way back home.  Crawl back into bed.  And do it all over again the next time.  This went on for weeks.  Months.  The panic attacks are still insane.  I even have them in my sleep.  I wake up gasping for air, thinking I am dying because I cannot breathe.  Clinching at my chest, the tears rolling down my cheeks, trying to calm myself down as my heart is beating so hard I can feel it in my throat.  Wishing the dog could dial 911 so someone could come help me.  The mental and physical pain from a broken heart is real.  And it is unbearable. I write all this not to seek attention.  But to paint the picture of where this blog is going.

The way people deal with pain is different.  And to each their own.  On the night of June 5th, as I sat alone in my home, hysterical crying, I felt I was to the point where I needed the pain to stop.  I couldn’t take the physical pain another minute.  I was not the strong person everyone thought I was.  I was not the mother my daughter needed me to be.  I just wanted the pain I was feeling to go away.  So I took the keys to the truck and I went into the garage, and I started it.  And as I sat there crying the pain was more intense at that moment than it has ever been.  My broken heart…how was it even still beating? I called out for help.  But no one came.  I wanted to die, but only because I wanted to the pain to end.  It seemed like I had been in there forever.  How long did this take?  I was too scared.  So I turned it off and opened the garage door.  I cried myself to sleep sitting right there.  But the next night…I did it all over again.  And again….I was too scared.

So here’s where the stirring comes in…If anyone ever confides in you that they have attempted suicide…don’t tell them that’s the coward’s way out.  You have no idea what they are feeling or what they are going through.  And let me tell you something…everyone is entitled to how they feel.  You have no right to tell them how they should feel.  Anyone that is low enough to attempt to take their own life and is confiding in you with that information is trusting you enough that they think you will support them in some way shape or form, not come back with some type of negative comment such as that.  People who attempt suicide have their reasons and I can guarantee you that none of those reasons is to ever intentionally hurt someone they love. You’re missing the point completely. It’s solely about the pain they are feeling.   And if you can’t find anything to say that isn’t negative, then turn around and walk away without saying a damn thing!  If you cannot be supportive than learn to just be quiet.

I am in a better place now.  No I am in no way shape or form better.  I have a long way to go.  I may not ever be better.  I still hurt.  My heart is still in pieces.  I don’t know that I will ever be whole again.  Who knows.  But what I do know is that I was stopped both those nights for a reason, and am thankful for that reason.  I am not strong like I used to be, but I know I am brave because I was able to cont;nue on when I really, really didn’t want to.  And I know that I now have something else to advocate even stronger for, because it is more personal now more than ever.

Know that if you’ve felt this way, or are feeling this way now that you’re not alone, nor do you have to be a warrior in this battle alone.  There ARE people that care! Reach out…even if it’s to me!

Virtual hugs!


How to Handle Fear

In all my years of coaching people it has come to my attention that it is difficult for people to make progress stick…they make some forward movement during the class or the consulting appointment and then they return to their ‘real lives’ and all the good insight that they had vanishes…

So I am developing some new pieces of work called MAPS





These will be short ‘tools’ that people can use to remind themselves about how to effectively handle or change a particular circumstance or behavior, I will be posting them here as I create/write them and then perhaps I will turn them into a downloadable workbook for sale on the site.  Each MAPS will have a simple bullet-pointed list of points to help you remember the best way to navigate through something.

In the first one we will talk about FEAR.

Handling Fear

  • Recognize that most of the ‘fear’  you experience comes from pulling in experiences from your past… as in something that has happened reminds you of something that did happen in the past and that past happening scared you or rendered you unable to respond…so now you see the fresh circumstance, however it really isn’t ‘fresh’ because you have already connected it to the past and now you are reacting to the past, which takes away all your POWER in the present.
  • Be VERY clear that you have the power to CHOOSE how you relate to the past. Every response is a choice, we can make the conscious choice of how we respond in the present to the past.  We can choose to see things that happened as different than they felt when the event actually took place.  As in a formerly challenging childhood could now be viewed as an excellent training for the adults we have become.  It is OUR choice when it comes to deciding what stories we tell about the past; do you choose to be a victim of the past or do you choose to hold the past as a blessing or a learning experience.  How we ‘frame’ something has everything to do with how much power it has over us.
  • CHOOSE to frame the past in a different context, one in which you kept your power. A context in which the past was a contribution to you rather than a detriment.  Everything comes down to the language we use to describe it, words are powerful tools.  The words that we speak about something go forward into the future to create the circumstances and those circumstances will solidify themselves exactly how we spoke them.
  • Understand that by recreating and re-framing your relationship with the past you will actually do away with most of the things that you fear. If you are no longer reacting to the past, then you are free to respond to what is actually happening in the present.  Reactions are devoid of power, when you react you are like a puppet on a string…locked into something from the past and not free to use all the tools available to you as an adult to RESPOND to the situation at hand.  All of your power comes from the ability to remain peaceful and respond.
  • STOP worrying about stuff that has not even happened, stop playing the ‘what if’ game and stop thinking thoughts that scare you. Understand that you have the ability to create your life the way that you want it, fear is a false construct and it’s time for you to leave it behind.

~XO, Noelle



Depression…The High, The Hurt, The Shine, The Sting

Depression is like the ocean.  A riptide.  Dangerous currents that want to drag you under even when you can still see the shore.  That shore may be within swimming distance but it might as well be in another world.  That’s what depression is.

A couple weeks ago, we saw suicide hit the news again and I thought about blogging then.  It’s a subject that’s always close to me.  It’s my lifelong companion.  My truest friend.  I used to blog about funny things, though.  I used to be funny.  I didn’t want to blog sadness anymore.  I wanted to make you laugh.  So I didn’t blog.

I guess one thing that my children may never know is the hardest thing I have ever done is stay alive for them.  They have seen me work, sometimes more than one job at a time.  They have seen me prepare meals, wash their clothes, run around trying to find what they’ve lost.  They’ve seen me mourn, they’ve seen me struggle, they’ve seen me tired.

They’ve never seen me stare at a bottle of pills.  They’ve never seen me daydream about turning the wheel when I’m driving alone and the perfect drop off appears.  They don’t know that in my mind there is such a thing as the perfect drop off.

I don’t want to be this person.

I want to be happy.

I want to be carefree.

My happiest moments are with my babies.   But they are growing up.

My mom can no longer carry on a conversation with me.  My dad is dying.

I’m just so tired.

My ex and I briefly tried to get back together.  See, things were confusing.  It’s hard when that person is still your best friend, or supposed to be.  He was telling someone else everything he was telling me.  He was scheduling vacations and applying for jobs 1,000 miles away.  He was promising to move if only she would stay.  He was making plans that would effect our children and I was sitting here blindly letting our child think we were becoming a family again.

I don’t think that I can forgive myself for that.  I should have known better.

He will be so mad at me for saying that.  He never wanted me to air the dirty laundry.  I didn’t want to either but our reasons were different.  I wanted to be mature and also, I was embarrassed.  He didn’t want dark actions brought to light.

Depression is a black cloud.  It’s a swarm of bees.  It’s loud.  It gets in your ear and it just. won’t. stop.  It tells you that this is it.  This is all it will ever be.  You, always chasing things that fly away.  You, getting the courage to leave and those little mosquitos coming back for another round of blood.  You being everything.  The ripest peach that they can’t stop taking bites of and the bruised one that is no longer appealing.

Depression tells you that it’s okay if you finally just go to sleep.

What I really wanted to blog when suicide hit the news was different then.  I kept reading comments about how suicide is selfish.  I kept thinking that survivors were reading that and they were reading painful lies.

I’ll say again what I said before.  My children will never know that the hardest thing I have ever done for them is stay alive.

If someone you love lost their battle, that decision was gut wrenching and agonizing and not fully thought out.  That decision was coated in a dust of grief and pain and disillusion.  That decision would not have stood up in a court of law.  That decision was breathless.  That decision might have been a weakness but I can promise you that it was one out of a million moments of inhuman strength.

I added a new medication to my regimen in hopes of getting my fibromyalgia under control.  In doing so, I have noticed the suicidal thoughts creeping back in after months of sitting in the light.  I will be diligent in having my meds adjusted again until I’m back in my sweet spot.  I will do it for my kids.  I only wish that I was doing it for me.

“Depression is living in a body that fights to survive with a mind that tries to die.”  — unknown

Depression is your friendly, funny, 40 something soccer mom who loves Pinterest and Krogering.

Depression is someone just like me.

<3 LA

You can read more from LA at https://sweeterinthesouth.blog/