Last night I wanted to die.  Only for ten minutes, but still, it was pretty real.  I am happy to know that in these emergencies that I know what to do.  I know to contact husband or mental health team and just get a safe person on the line who can help remind me the pain is temporary and that it passes through radical acceptance.

After sleep for a few hours I woke up with such clarity, such amazing clarity.  It takes me to hit a rock of pain to have these moments, which is really what I am now clear on.  I have been so good with pain management, I kind of forgot to work on pain minimization.  I still take on too much, I still do not protect my heart against people who will hurt it.  All I have done is substitute the players.  I have so many people who love and care about me (because I’m clearly awesome) but I focus and go after the small amount that don’t.  It is okay to have people not like me.  what?  no really, it’s okay to have people not like us.  Okay once again, it’s okay to have people not like us.

What the problem has always been is that I personalize that rejection into I am wrong, I am horrible.  I look at them through their eyes.  In fact it doesn’t matter why they don’t like me, as my  husband eloquently said yesterday “fuckers come and go, look at what’s always there”.  Oh yeah, the pain of not being liked, nah, hated at times, is not for me to worry about, rather I should focus on those who love and adore me.  I know at times people with BPD aren’t the most likable people.  I truly get this and my fear has always been that if people don’t like me, I am becoming the BPD “monster” but in fact, I am not.  Even in my roughest pain, I do not lash out and hurt people.  In fact in this latest bout, where I would usually lash inward, but honestly this time I just sought help.

Yesterday I had an employee who had made quite a big mistake at work.  I spent time telling her it was okay, that it was an honest mistake and to learn from it and not beat herself up.  I need to take this advice for me.  But the moment of clarity tonight is not all this, it is about learning to protect my heart to start with.  If people clearly don’t care or like me, then don’t go out of my way to be extra nice to them.  Don’t hate but trying to hard and focusing on them when I can focus on myself, protect myself from hurt, this is a better strategy.

I feel at this moment that I am finally letting go.  There will be relapses, but I have so much in my life to look forward to, my one woman show, my children and husband, my amazing job and friends, that although I will have nights like tonight, I am finally going to work on limiting the pain and toxic people I bring in my life.

thanks for reading whomever you are, and I do hope that you get something out of this, if not, writing it always helps me.


Progress not Perfection

I have two blogs, I don’t even know which one this should go to.  I guess whichever one you are reading is where it ended up!  Oh where to start…I guess let’s back up a bit.  For those not regular followers, I am working on the debut of my one woman show concert tour.  I am very excited and it looks like we are getting lots of media coverage.  this information will come in handy later in this blog.

For those following the quest for total health, my Borderline Personality Disorder, mixed with a few bad choices and a full on self harm attack came on today.  It lasted ten minutes.  Ten minutes of pure torture and agony.  The type of agony that scratches the soul from the inside out.  The type of agony that put me in the hospital all those years ago.  This agony used to last for long periods.  This one lasted ten minutes.

To make a quite irrelevant story short:  I had felt a connection and kin with a younger woman, a kid really, who has similar mental health issues.  The problem is she is dating someone who I am no longer friends with , and the friendship ended quite badly last December, partly due to the influence of this woman, partly due to the fact that the friendship was on it’s last legs anyway.  Regardless, for some reason I thought her and I could be friends outside the whole “her boyfriend used to be my friend and now it causes me intense pain” type of triggering pain.  In hindsight, this could be the stupidest thing I have ever thought.  Oh what the mind will do to trick me! 🙂  Today absolute nope, we will not be friends and then poof she turned mean just like in December. Not mean like she’s a bitch mean, but mostly just “so yeh, we can’t be friends” and poof, blocked and done.

To anyone else this is pointless and stupid interactions.  To me, for that ten minutes, it was the worst torture I have felt in years.  For some reason, in that small amount of time, I gave this woman, nay, this kid the power to make me feel like nothing, like I should die, and realistically, that is not her intent.  Point of this story is, I felt a connection, she clearly doesn’t want me in her life,and poof that is end of story.

What my mind did was convince me that she thinks I am a whore, and her boyfriend must think i’m a worthless whore, and hey, everyone thinks I am a worthless whore and I should die.  This is literally the short leap my brain took.  The pain was enormous.  I wanted to lash out at her but really she did nothing wrong.  She’s just a young person with her own mental health issues in a new relationship while also trying to work on herself.  duh, maybe she doesn’t want the ex friend of her now boyfriend around.  Again, the mind perhaps played a bit of a trick on me.

Now in years past, this would have prompted a food, drinking or gambling binge.  This might put me over the edge and actually bruise myself.  In truth today for that ten minutes, I reached out to my husband and he and I skyped (I am out of town),  He let me cry and calmed me down by saying “um, hon, I can’t understand you when you are sobbing.  um breathe”.  He then reminded me that these two little fuckers (and he has nothing against either of them but to him they represent annoyances in his life because I get fixated), but he says these little fuckers don’t matter to me at all.  They will live there life, I will live mine and who really give a fuck what they think of me”.  Um, I guess I do.  He calmed me quite nicely, though my mind was still in self hatred mode.  I mean, if these two people in their twenties hated me (which by the way neither of them have ever stated they have) then surely EVERYONE must hate me.  sigh

I spent five minutes talking to a gal pal of a couple friend, and she just had the right words.  It is okay to be sad, sometimes friendships end and it may not be forever but for now it is done because that’s just how it is.  She also reminded me to focus on what matters, and that’s my family.  she also said “haters will hate” which made me smile, just because she is french and I tried to envision her saying that in her accent.  And then the entire matter was done.  I mean done.  I was smiling, dancing to some music on Songza, and played a game of candy crush.

In ten minutes, I went from wanting to end the pain, not thinking of anyone else but my pain in that moment, to finding a way out, reaching out to the one that truly matters, and bringing myself back to where I needed to be.

The irony of this situation is that I had to answer questions about mental health for an interview via email for my one woman show.  In it I had an opportunity to really talk about mental health, and how even as I am getting ready to debut a show about my disorder, my disorder and choices therein were kicking my ass.  And THIS is the dialogue I want my show to create; no not about me and petty drama, but the fact that me, a happily married woman to three wonderful kids in a job her loves and tits that many would die for, a person who does good in this world and is a good person, that even now at this point in my life, I can feel too much pressure over really small things and buckle.  there are others out there, and I was once one of them, who will not have a way out of there moments of agony.  There are people who will not have a husband to call and make it better.  If even I, in all the wonderful things I have in my life, thinks in that ten minutes of agony that I should end my life, so too do other people with mental health issues.  THIS is the crux of the show, of the dialogue, that we need to end the stigma, and work as a society to help those with mental illness.

As for me and the petty drama?  The pain will come, it just does.  My friends know if I start talking about this issue, they tell me not to.  They do not indulge this, and not because they don’t love me but because they do, and they know that talking about it will only make it worse for me, and that to truly move on, I do need to let it go eventually.  I am a strong woman and a survivor, and as I practice my words in my one woman show, while I write motivational speeches about following our dreams, it is like i need to continually reteach myself these things, over and over again until it sticks.

Winning the Battles, not the War

I’ll return to regularly scheduled program soon.  Today is one of those days I wonder if total health will be achievable.  I first say that I am not writing a “poor me” status, but rather giving an idea as to what obstacles the brain gives people with mental health to prevent us from healing.

First the start of the day was a bit messy; waiting to pack until the last minute is nothing new,  but today I cut it pretty close.  I slept in, decided to go for breakfast with my husband, realized we left the money home, went back, decided we didn’t have enough time but stopped at McDonald’s for ten minutes of romantic bliss!  Those breakfast burritos were so good I truly thought I was in México.  #sarcasm.  Of course this means I already made two unhealthy choices, not to exercise and to eat shitty fatty food.  Woo, let’s start today!

I am going away for four nights, and always excited to do comedy but I also scheduled a meeting in Thunder Bay next week, so put the two together and I am gone way too much; not only missing Valentine’s day (which truly who gives a shit) but more so my anniversary.  I will eat Taco Time in honour of josh that day.  (he proposed to me  at Taco Time, true story, you literally cannot make that shit up) So this travel cuts into family time and date with josh time.  These are a couple other choices that may go against total health.

This was all avoidable and on me for bad choices.  The consequences for a normal person would be a little bit of gas from the breakfast, a little bit of sore muscles from not getting exercise and some rescheduled, poof no biggie.  Alas for me, a series of questionable choices leads me to a five minute crying jag in my office about how everyone hates me and I should die to make everyone happy.  Whoa, what???  How can the mind go so negative so quickly?  It comes but then if I’m lucky it goes as quickly as it came.  It goes like this:


  1. Feeling bad about eating bad in the morning.  Head tells me “you are a loser who will always be fat and no one loves you”.  I laugh a bit because I know I am loved,  kids, husband and friends, so fuck you head.
  2. Had to be strict with an employee, necessarily so.  Head tells me “you are such a mean bitch, no one likes you and you are fat and no one loves you”.  I get annoyed and tell head to shut up, I am doing my job and doing it well.
  3. I get a note on my child’s developmental assessment only to find out he is still below average on most items.  Head says “what kind of mom are you?  If someone else had adopted him he would have been better off”.  I remind my head that this is actually progress from him as last assessment he was significantly below average.  I start to be sad though.
  4. I see a picture of a dog that looks like my old dog nacho, I cry remembering the pain of putting him down.
  5. I start missing an old friend who I used to talk to daily, and although it ended where It needed to for both of our health, my head says “you are such a worthless whore no one wants to be your friend, you should just die”.  I don’t argue.
  6. I reach out a bit to talk NOT about the underlying issues, but about missing my friend to another friend who says “stop talking about it, it’s done let’s move on”.  My head says “see, this friend will leave too, everyone will always leave”.  And INSPITE of having an amazing husband and children who adore me and always will, I start to believe the head.
  7. Someone notices my face from my five minutes of tears over my dead dog or dead friendship and brings me a cupcake.  My soul is soothed as food is one of my pain diversion methods, and then I start to beat self up about being fat.


At this point in a regular “spin” (spin is what I call my thoughts slipping so negative so quick), I may over text someone, have negative thoughts about others, lash out on my body (simple bruising) gamble drink or completely dissociate.  I can work in my job under the most insane situations and can pretend everything is okay but in the end it’s better to be honest with self, “I am in pain and want the pain to go away”, and when someone says “how are you” instead of saying “fine” and then beat self up for crying, I just say “I’m getting there, thanks”.

I breathe, take a walk, divert my thoughts, and in this case, write a blog item.  After this, I am 100% fine.  I mean 100% fine.  It’s ridiculous how the mind can go from “I should die” to “cool, let’s work on that proposal”.

This my friends is mental health.  Every day is a series of choices, and the better the choices the better the day just like anyone else, but the worse the choices, truly the worse the consequences are.  Once triggered in a “spin” it’s hard to get out.  It’s hard to know how to refocus, get old friends and dogs out of the head, appreciate everything in front of me and just be happy.  This has been done today, and I will continue my ups and downs through life, preparing for situations that may trigger me.

It aint easy being green as Kermit said, but honestly, every time one of these “spins” comes to a conclusion that doesn’t hurt self or others, I feel victorious.  Tired, but victorious because I may not win the war on my mental health, but I can win the individual battles.

Thanks for listening.


Being a Grown Up

Today I did number 20 on my Total Health List:  did my taxes for the past four years.  As it turns out, this was not as happy an occasion as I thought it would be.  Okay I never really thought it would be fun, but didn’t think it would be as bad as it was.

Let me start from the beginning:  Three years ago I had a pretty bad breakdown and went off sick for a couple of months.  during that time I ended up with a few extra debts, which came on top of a few extra debts from the seven months leading up to the breakdown where I was drinking and gambling quite heavily.  After I got sick, I didn’t want to face real life things like taxes.  Actually, I rarely want to face real life things like my taxes; part of my disorder is living with a certain amount of chaos and drama; for whatever reason I can manage huge budgets at work and effectively manage 15 or so staff, but give me accountability for my personal finances and I’m like a five year old with her hands over her ears saying “i can’t hearrrr yoooouuuuu!”.

Regardless, I didn’t do my taxes and had been trying to pay some of the debt down from the bank and from a relative.  I paid most of the bank loan and ⅖ of the personal loan.  I knew I owed from the year in 2010 so I thought, in fact my plan itself was to wait a few years to hopefully work out that a refund from a few years was more than the money I owed and poof, it would all balance out!  In hindsight, maybe a few flaws in the plan, like interest owed on the back taxes and the fact that I was in a higher tax bracket and was not having enough money taken off my bi-weekly pay.  so poof, my plan to not pay a certain amount years ago was not smart, and today I found out I owe four times that amount!

The question now you, the reader, may be asking is, “why is this about health?  I thought this was a health blog?”.   Well first of all thanks for asking :), but more importantly I have to say that even though I now know the reality of my financial situation, I feel great!  For years personal finances loomed over my head like a big elephant in the room to be dealt with. Every time I would get close to doing it, something in my life would take over, either a mental health episode, children issues, comedy shows etc. you name it, it could distract me from doing my taxes.  So today by achieving personal responsibility for my finances and focussing on reality, I can at least make a sustainable plan to get ahead.  This is what is good for mental health, and I am proud of myself.

The accountant I worked with started talking to me about RRSPs.  Whoa!! Hold the phone!  While I want to take responsibiliy for my past, I rarely want to think about the future.  This is what my health change is about, looking beyond the past and now.  The only time I really focus on the future is to obsess over people abandoning me, which ironically kind of screws up the present.  See, me, like many with Borderline Personality Disorder, I am an RFN kind of gal.  RFN of course stands for:  Right Fucking Now!  I live in the now, but not in the good way.  I focus on the RFN for wanting things to take away the torment and pain that comes as part of my disorder.  RFN was often used for excessive use of alcohol, gambling, overeating, overshopping etc. etc. etc.  Basically it was a bandaid to cover the pain I felt in the moment.  This also happens when things are going really well, I don’t want those feelings to end and RFN means to keep doing things that make me feel good NOW.  Often doing taxes, healthy eating, exercising etc. is not an RFN move.

Times are changing for me, and as I am in my 39th year, it’s time that RFN moved to TAF (Think About Future).  As I begin to love myself and manage my pain I have to think about avoiding chaos in my life such as poor finances.  I have to think about living  for the next 50 years, not about covering the pain of the moment with a Quarter Pounder meal.  It’s time to look beyond the RFN, and focus on building a sustainable future, all while balancing my mental health needs.  I need to see that doing my taxes and other grown up things today will help avoid a crash later on.

So I did something on my list that I can cross off.  I will look at these RRSP things after my account is cleared with the government, and will try to get someone to explain them to me in a way that makes sense.

Everyday is a journey, and today, instead of fighting the usual Sunday pain and chaos in my head, I straight up did something I didn’t want to do and gave me no immediate pleasure.  Ironically, just getting this off my worries and back was enough to suffice for now.

Thanks for reading!  Also, in a plug for my awesome play, come check out Jesus Loves a Crazy Horny Feminist coming in March!

The Beat Goes On and On and On and On…

My blog about total health has been a little slow, but I am learning lots, so here’s some things that have happened or that I will get better at:


  1.  Weekly dates with husband:  These have been stalled while we work out both finances and babysitting.  This is more important than ever.  I realize when I am not making the time to share of  myself with him that I can go back to old habits, missing people I shouldn’t and not problem solve mini crisis in my head.  We are excited to go to Cracking Up the Capitol to see Rick Mercer this Saturday and are working on a day with friends and outing at night for our anniversary.  I hope something fun and lovely comes out of that to report on!
  2. Eating healthy and exercising is up and down.  When doing well on food I don’t exercise and when I do good on exercise I don’t do good on food.  It’s like my subconscious wants to keep me from getting healthy too fast.  Something to talk to the therapist about, but just something I noticed.  For today I did my exercising and ate well, so yay!
  3. Family time:  We are doing well on this, of course it could be better but we are trying one full day per weekend to be all about family and some other surprise days in between.  I surprised the family with a rainbow movie last week, to see delivery m an.  Firstly, what a dumb movie and secondly the kids no longer want to sit with us.  But we’ll count it as family time!
  4. Get more couple friends:  This is going well.  We are trying to be social with people who have kids are or accepting of our kids.  A few Sundays ago, after Josh got back from his mom’s funeral, we had a family over to play board games and we not only had fun but truly it was a great diversion from the grief.  More to come on this!
  5. Drink Less:  Whoa, who put that one on here?  Me?  I must have really wanted to get healthy!  Truthfully I am in fact doing well on this.  I severely overindulged on New Year’s Eve and have had, at most, one drink while at comedy clubs and outings per night.  Oh wait….oh yeah, I had a birthday party that we drank way too much at, okay hold the phone, this one isn’t going  very well!
  6. Be nicer.  Um, I’m nice and all that but I do let jealousy and past pains sometimes get in the way.  An example is that I reached out to someone going through some things right now, and in the end it ended up being a trigger for me, and likely not so good for her, so I can be nice but don’t have to reach out as far as I think I should; sometimes the nicest thing I can do is pray I guess. 


I will keep with this blog and share the fun and not so fun.  I am getting excited for my three night performance in March for Jesus Loves a Crazy Horny Feminist, and that and writing for my fringe play is taking a lot of my time.  It’s all exciting and good, but without balance I know I’ll be a train wreck and good to no one.  One thing of note is that I truly am very happy, life is good and I have many blessings in my life, but I always have to remember and be prepared for triggers for my disorder.  If I am not prepared and get complacent, I will fall back.  I am ever ready, ever attentive to deal with the next “spin” or trigger.    Mental Health issues are a bitch, but then again, so am I.  J


Thanks for reading,


The True Us

I have to remember this blog is about updating for my 25 things I will do in 2014, my goals essentially for total health (emotional, mental, physical and spiritual).

One of those goals is Visit Halifax because I wanted Josh my husband to see his parents.  Alas this happened much sooner.  He is there right now to attend his mom’s memorial tomorrow.  To sum up his experience with this right now he said “this is way to grown up for me”.

We may not visit as a family now and thus life has thrown a wrench into fulfilling this goal.  The spirit of the goal will live on and hopefully we can get Josh’s step dad to come and visit the kids.

While there, Josh has been going through pictures of us in our early twenties.  Holy crap we were young, always smiling, happy just to be together, and we were together, ALL THE TIME.  Literally we met and poof, it was movie this, sex that and always cuddling.  Josh used to work all day at his crappy job then come hang with me and I’d go work my graveyard shift at my crappy job and he’d hang out with me until he had to go to bed.  That was our life and we loved it.  We bussed or walked everywhere and were always laughing.

As we have gotten older we still laugh every day.  We still love each other but we sure don’t get to spend as much time alone as we used to.  We are now grown ups, not young kids in love.  We are as in love as always it’s just matter of fact now and not as exciting I guess.  Where before we’d want to spend all day in bed trying really cool stuff on each other (you have no idea how good we were/are) now we’d rather hang with our kids dominating them in Risk or snuggling them watching a movie.  Yes my kids still snuggle with me, though not in public.

Yesterday I was not coping well with Josh away and the death of Sandi and fell back to old coping mechanisms.  I wanted to escape into a life I don’t belong, to a friendship that is toxic for me and to emotional eating.  I wanted to but in the end I know what’s best and that any unhealthy coping techniques come behind making sure my children are clothed, fed and happy.  For me, telling my kids that someone they loved had died was the most grown up thing I have had to do, and I didn’t like it one little bit.  Being a grown up sucks, but it is what we must do.

So we will continue on trying to be a grown up but we will also spend time doing what we do and being who we are.  Josh and I are silly people who still laugh every day.  Josh and I have not gone one day without saying “I love you” to each other.  I promise you that if one of us (god forbid) passed away tomorrow that the other will always know they were loved by their best friend and lover.

The goal may not work as planned but the spirit lives on in ensuring we are balanced as a family and just as importantly that Josh and I never lose the young us who were so in love and felt like we could take the world by storm.  Together we are a force to be reckoned with and we have fought every challenge life has thrown at us and are ready for whatever comes next.

Balance; it is achievable.

Emotional Eating

In my large list of 25 goals that I will achieve this year to achieve total health, I will keep coming back to the big one:  weight loss.  Today let’s tackle the subject of emotional eating.  I don’t want to address it, frankly I’d rather pretend it doesn’t exist at all.  Some people talk about emotional eating as a joke, “oh I get stressed and eat a whole bag of chips”.  This is part of emotional eating, but the degree between a little bit of chips when stressed to binge eating as part of a larger emotional and eating disorder is quite large.

Today I feel some stress, but not huge.  I have the usual things in my head “you aren’t good enough, nobody likes you etc. etc. etc.” but I have fought those off with positive affirmations and a technique I like to call “get the fuck out of my head negative feelings” where I basically create two characters in my head who duke it out for my health.  Somehow this just makes me laugh and I forget the negative messages.  I woke up today NOT wanting to get up.  I never want to get up, maybe still dealing with feeling sad about my friendship that meant so much to me (but was bad for me) falling apart, maybe the sun not being out, maybe me turning 39 tomorrow, whatever the case I don’t want to get up.  But today I had to get up on time, as it is Josh’s birthday and he is going through a lot right now with his mom on her last days, so um, the least I can do is suck it up and make the kids lunches.

I woke up and did a surprise cupcake for Josh so the kids and I sang.  I told the kids they could have their cupcakes after school.  I had zero will power and ate a cupcake, not because of emotional eating but because I had rationalized that I could have one as a special treat.  I was feeling some stress over Josh’s mom’s last days and my having to leave to be out of town until Saturday.  I felt stressed and that I wasn’t being a good wife to Josh, even though we both agreed it was what was best given it was new job and that there is nothing we can do anyway.  I realized how good the cupcake tasted and slowly took the container out and took a wee bit of icing off of one of them.  Realizing that this would make one of the kids have less icing, I ate a little off all of them.  Pass some time and I will spare you the gory details, but I ate all three of the cupcakes to total FOUR CUPCAKES!  Not only did I break my detox which is going fabulous, and did emotional overeating first thing in the morning, um, I ATE THE KIDS CUPCAKES.  The kids will now come home and not get their treat because mommy couldn’t control herself.  I literally took candy from my babies.I ended up with emotional shame, desire to purge (but didn’t) and a headache the size of timbuktoo.  I am diabetic and should have zero sugar let alone FOUR cupcakes.

In 2013 I would have said “okay I failed” and just go back to being unhealthy.  Suck it 2013 because 2014 jenn is stronger and better than ever before.  After this whole thing with the friend falling apart Josh would remind me “just because you fucked up doesn’t mean you are a fuck up”.  This IS my mantra now because I will fuck up, lots, on everything.  Getting healthy, seriously wanting to get healthy is a new thing for me and I will have ups and downs, but in no way will I quit.  In no way will I take this as a sign that I am not a good person.  While the healthy eating will remain, I know the larger issue is still the day to day management of my internal pain from my mental health.  Everyday I will have pain and I will make choices on how to manage said pain.  Today it was cupcakes, tomorrow it may be bruising, hopefully it’s never gambling again but really everyday every moment is a chance to make a good choice.  I may have failed on my cupcakes but I didn’t fail on my lunch and I didn’t fail  by bringing my shoes to walk by the river in Montreal or do the treadmill at my hotel.

Emotional eating, frankly most overeating is a sign that something is wrong on the inside, not just bad choices.  By continuing to work with my therapist and keep everyday a chance to succeed, I will make my goals one step at a time.

Never quit, no matter the setback.


Thanks for listening.



One of my goals this year is to date my husband again and to maintain a stronger balance between work, comedy and my family.  Dearest husband and I are doing great, kids are good and off we go, yay 2014.  We are ready for anything!


So as it appears, anything is happening.  Josh’s mom is close to passing away.  Her kidneys shut down and they say to prepare for the end this week.  At this moment I have to take the time to spell out how important my husband is to me.  We have been together for over 16 years and while if you have read this blog you know that this past year I was not as dedicated a spouse as I could have been, but still our time together has been amazing and together our hearts will dwell together wherever we are.  (note I received Josh’s  permission to do this blog post at this time)


Josh’s mom, Sandy, is a great woman.  She was born with a disorder that I don’t remember the name of, but know it is the same genetic disorder that was represented in the movie “Unbreakable” played by Samuel Jackson.  The doctors said she wouldn’t live past 5 years old, but here she is in her sixties.  She put herself through school and received her master’s degree in Educational Psychology.  She has been in a wheelchair for most of her life and when she went to school in the 70’s they didn’t have accessible washrooms.  She wheeled herself right into the Dean’s office and pissed on his floor.  The university soon revamped it’s policy’s for people with disabilities.  On Josh and my first date the bones in her lungs collapsed and she was rushed to the hospital and she miraculously made to fight another day and required oxygen to breath.  That didn’t dampen her spirits and she remains an amazing woman.


When I first heard about her kidney’s shutting down I assumed another miracle was on the way but Josh says that no, this is it.  He has been told this would happen his entire life, in essence he has been preparing for it.  That only makes the matter of fact evidence normal to him but emotionally the toll will be hard.  Josh is very close to his mom, they shared a special bond.  She was told she could never have a child and poof, out came Josh.  He didn’t always live with her when he was growing up and the story goes that when he was having a really bad time and missed her that picture would fall off the wall at her house and she’d know to call him.


Josh lost his dad about six years ago.  It was right after we adopted our children and the last email he sent to us was to tell us that he was proud of us for adopting the kids.  That was the last we spoke to him and he was gone.  This is very close to the last family member Josh has and it will be hard.


This entire thing has us talking about family, what it is, who they are and what everything means.  We have my family though we are not all close.  We have a few distant relatives in his family too which is nice, but we rarely to never see them.  (but thank goodness for Facebook)  We have friends we love and consider close, but at the end of the day, family is family.  Good and bad.


So for me my family is Josh and my kids.  They are what matters most to me in this world.  I love my friends and I love my parents and siblings but at the end of the day it really is just the JH5 against the world.  While that may seem like a sad thought it’s not.  When I worry about old friends, things in the world, or get distracted by petty drama or insecurities I really have to sit and be grateful that I have this tight close family of Josh and the kids.  I have love in my life that is pure, true and while moments may go up and down, we are here for life.  I am here for Josh to lean on and he is there for me.  This is family, this is love.


So whatever family is to you remember tonight to be grateful for love in your life.  Our parents may drive us crazy but we love them.  Our kids may drive us crazy but we love them so much, and Josh and I may drive each other crazy at times, but our partnership and love is the most real and consistent thing I know.  I hate to see him in pain, I hate to be in pain, but I know that all things make us stronger and as we all age and move ahead in life, it’s always important to remember to take time and truly appreciate the gifts we are given.


Thanks for listening.


Why Do People Blog?

I had a fun birthday bash with husband and friends at the house last night.  No kids, it was really fun.  Maybe have to work on the less drinking part of the lifestyle change as today was a very bad day, hung over, overtired and low mood with impulsive tendencies, but that’s not why I am blogging today.

At the party last night after one or two of three too many, many philosophical debates began.  Some over the old friend who is no longer around, some about comedy and some about Facebook and blogging posts.  The discussion surrounded why I, a smart woman, posts like I do.  Why I post my moods, lessons learned and specifically why do I blog about my mental health and life struggles.

So why not have a blog post about why I blog.  That seems very “Inception” like, thought likely not as deep and certainly not as pretty as Leonardo DiCaprio.

First of all I am not alone, there are MANY people with mental health issues who blog about it.  There are also MANY people who blog about pretty much every other topic on the planet.  Some blog to increase their business, some blog to provide important information and some blog to amuse, delight or piss off others.  These are not the main reasons I blog.  I blog first and foremost because I like to write.  I really like to write out my thoughts and feelings and use this at times to help ensure I am learning  from my adventures.  I also blog to help myself through publically set goals, maybe it will help, maybe it won’t (so far it has helped) but here are some reasons I blog.

1.  Let’s hit the obvious one out of the way.  Attention.  For whatever reason, either personal insecurity, past experiences, internal struggles, there is something gratifying about people reading what I have written.  Maybe it’s sad that I get validation from this, but I do.  This is a very honest assessment but I truly think this is why ANYONE who blogs about themselves does so.  I just happen to talk about deep and thoughtful subjects instead of my Pez Dispenser collection.

2.  This was aforementioned but blogging gives me a sense of responsibility to sort my feelings out through journaling of sorts.  Given I have followers who do read me either here or on facebook regularly, I feel a responsibility to keep this updated, do what I am doing and be 100% honest with myself online.  It may cost me in the end, maybe I don’t get a booking because someone doesn’t like what I am writing, or maybe it alienates people from me, but in the end those are the people who weren’t meant to be around to start with.  I write for me firstly, and I find it very helpful.  Maybe in the future I won’t need to but for now this helps me stay accountable to myself.

3.  It does help others.  For those who think it is just self-serving and not important then I say, don’t read.  At least once a week I get a facebook message or email from someone who says thanks for talking so openly.  People say they have often felt like I have but have never been open about it and feel good knowing they are not alone.  This is not why I blog but this is a good thing that can come from the blog system.

4.  I really like people cheering me on.  I like a place to brag when I am doing well.  When I lost my first bit of weight, all those people wishing me health and happiness and encouraged me to continue on with my journey.  This helps me. It really does and if that helps me stay motivated I will keep posting, so suck it haters.  (I am now a rapper or woman in my twenties using the word “haters”, yikes!)

5.  I like to procrastinate.  Listen up people I am a busy busy woman.  I have three children, a husband, two dogs, a full time job, a comedian, producing my one womans show, writing a fringe play with my buds, maintaining healthy friendships and working on physical and mental health, so sometimes I would rather write about myself and indulge my desire to write than do laundry or have sex with my husband.

So people, this is why I blog, though I can’t speak for others, I imagine this is also why many others blog.  Thank you for asking drunk friends last night, and as for the other debates, I don’t remember them and will be looking at all future alcohol intake because wow my head hurts.

Thanks for reading and share with anyone you think would be interested.


Cognitive Distortions

Let’s go deep.  Really deep, like penetrating deep.  Soft and slow, let’s go.  I have no idea why I tried to make that sexual, but hope I got your attention.

Yesterday I came across the 15 main cognitive distortions laid out by David Burns and Aaron Beck.  I had first come across these distortions while in the psychward all those years ago.  I remember so many “aha” moments reading them.  Low and behold I re-read them and had a few “aha” moments from this past year.  So let’s review each one and look at them from the point of view of my lifestyle change and the now in the past friendship that ended up causing me extra pain (through no fault of the friend).

Let’s do this deep thing!

1. Filtering.

We take the negative details and magnify them while filtering out all positive aspects of a situation. For instance, a person may pick out a single, unpleasant detail and dwell on it exclusively so that their vision of reality becomes darkened or distorted.

Yikes!  Um, well story time.  When I started my friendship with my now ex friend I kind of flirted with him.  As it turns out I am BAD at flirting.  (and also should not be flirting because I am, um, married).  Nonetheless, I ended up asking him outright if he was at all attracted to me.  He said no.  Actually I am filtering that out too, what he said was something along the lines of “as a person I think you are amazing, have a great heart, have all the qualities I would look for in a future spouse, but no I am not sexually attracted to you.”  I then asked “is it because I’m fat”.  (What a loaded question!)  He said “yes. I feel bad saying that”.  As our friendship went on, no matter what he said that was good (and trust me, he used to say some very nice things about me as a person), it always came back to “i am fat and ugly”.  So while at times I had no feelings for my friend that were romantic, whenever he said “i want to bang her” to other women we know (he said this a lot) or started a relationship, somehow I always felt “oh that is what beauty looks like).  So no matter what he said good, I filtered out and only remembered this small comment he said a long time ago.  Ironically I should not have ever put my self esteem in his or any other person’s hand, I have to love me, but let’s leave that for another day.  Also ironically I was and am worshipped as a Goddess of beauty by my husband, but again let’s save that for another day.

2. Polarized Thinking (or “Black and White” Thinking).

In polarized thinking, things are either “black-or-white.” We have to be perfect or we’re a failure — there is no middle ground. You place people or situations in “either/or” categories, with no shades of gray or allowing for the complexity of most people and situations. If your performance falls short of perfect, you see yourself as a total failure.

While trying to achieve my health, I fall into this distortion often.  When I’m good I’m good and when I’m bad well I say “let’s kill myself”.  It’s so stupid, but if I fail at something in life, I feel I AM a failure.  When I try to get healthy and say overeat, I am a failure who deserves to be unhealthy.  I am so hard on myself.

3. Overgeneralization.

In this cognitive distortion, we come to a general conclusion based on a single incident or a single piece of evidence. If something bad happens only once, we expect it to happen over and over again. A person may see a single, unpleasant event as part of a never-ending pattern of defeat.

This one is simple.  I have been very hurt by people in the past and assume all people will hurt me.  I am learning to trust now, but I have been guilty of this distortion.

4. Jumping to Conclusions.

Without individuals saying so, we know what they are feeling and why they act the way they do. In particular, we are able to determine how people are feeling toward us.  For example, a person may conclude that someone is reacting negatively toward them but doesn’t actually bother to find out if they are correct. Another example is a person may anticipate that things will turn out badly, and will feel convinced that their prediction is already an established fact.

If anyone knows me they know I am so guilty of this.  Let’s go back to the old friend.  I would text, he would not text back in a “timely fashion” and I’d assume he was upset at something he did.  Period, I jump to conclusions.  Still do.  Working on it!

5. Catastrophizing.

We expect disaster to strike, no matter what. This is also referred to as “magnifying or minimizing.” We hear about a problem and use what if questions (e.g., “What if tragedy strikes?” “What if it happens to me?”).  For example, a person might exaggerate the importance of insignificant events (such as their mistake, or someone else’s achievement). Or they may inappropriately shrink the magnitude of significant events until they appear tiny (for example, a person’s own desirable qualities or someone else’s imperfections).

What if no one likes this blog post?  I bet that means they don’t like me?  I bet no one will be my friend.  This is the worst thing ever!!!!!!!

6. Personalization.

Personalization is a distortion where a person believes that everything others do or say is some kind of direct, personal reaction to the person. We also compare ourselves to others trying to determine who is smarter, better looking, etc.

A person engaging in personalization may also see themselves as the cause of some unhealthy external event that they were not responsible for. For example, “We were late to the dinner party and caused the hostess to overcook the meal. If I had only pushed my husband to leave on time, this wouldn’t have happened.”

7 Control Fallacies.

If we feel externally controlled, we see ourselves as helpless a victim of fate. For example, “I can’t help it if the quality of the work is poor, my boss demanded I work overtime on it.” The fallacy of internal control has us assuming responsibility for the pain and happiness of everyone around us. For example, “Why aren’t you happy? Is it because of something I did?”

I am sure I have control issues, okay I know I do.  While it may appear that my distortion is external control that is in fact false.  I may have little pity parties, but it is always blaming me for being a horrible person, never about my past or things that have happened to me.  But the internal controls yep.  I assume I am to blame for lots of things I have nothing to do with.  As my old friend used to say “it’s not about Jenn all the time”.

8. Fallacy of Fairness.

We feel resentful because we think we know what is fair, but other people won’t agree with us. As our parents tell us when we’re growing up and something doesn’t go our way, “Life isn’t always fair.” People who go through life applying a measuring ruler against every situation judging its “fairness” will often feel badly and negative because of it. Because life isn’t “fair” — things will not always work out in your favor, even when you think they should.

Ha, this is all comedians all the time, but yep, sometimes I have been guilty of this, but not as much as the others.

9. Blaming.

We hold other people responsible for our pain, or take the other track and blame ourselves for every problem. For example, “Stop making me feel bad about myself!” Nobody can “make” us feel any particular way — only we have control over our own emotions and emotional reactions.

I was like this in my early twenties.  I would blame everything on my family or past things that happened to me.  Those days are gone, alas I went the other way and blamed myself for everything.  Now I hope I am more in the middle!

10. Shoulds.

We have a list of ironclad rules about how others and we should behave. People who break the rules make us angry, and we feel guilty when we violate these rules. A person may often believe they are trying to motivate themselves with shoulds and shouldn’ts, as if they have to be punished before they can do anything.

I should exercise more.  People should be pro-choice.  I should have not overtexted my friend who is now gone.  Yep, guilty as charged for “shoulding” all over myself.

11. Emotional Reasoning.

We believe that what we feel must be true automatically. If we feel stupid and boring, then we must be stupid and boring. You assume that your unhealthy emotions reflect the way things really are — “I feel it, therefore it must be true.”

When I feel ugly, I assume it is true.  I assume everyone is looking at me thinking I am ugly.  I overcompensate being nice at times to people I don’t even like because I think it makes me less ugly.  Guess what, I’m not ugly.

12. Fallacy of Change.

We expect that other people will change to suit us if we just pressure or cajole them enough. We need to change people because our hopes for happiness seem to depend entirely on them.

I don’t even want to think about this one, it does so deep.  Let’s just say I may have put “too many eggs in one basket” friendship wise, and was fully dependent on what this person thought of me, so maybe at times I tried too hard to get them to say nice things.  Ugh that wasn’t a pleasant thought about myself, but first step I guess is to acknowledge the truth.  yuck.

13. Global Labeling.

We generalize one or two qualities into a negative global judgment. These are extreme forms of generalizing, and are also referred to as “labeling” and “mislabeling.” Instead of describing an error in context of a specific situation, a person will attach an unhealthy label to themselves.  For example, they may say, “I’m a loser” in a situation where they failed at a specific task. When someone else’s behavior rubs a person the wrong way, they may attach an unhealthy label to him, such as “He’s a real jerk.” Mislabeling involves describing an event with language that is highly colored and emotionally loaded. For example, instead of saying someone drops her children off at daycare every day, a person who is mislabeling might say that “she abandons her children to strangers.”

When trying to lose weight, when I fell off the diet wagon, I’d say “I’m a loser”.  Period.  The point is that I used to be quite hard on myself and use harmful labels to further beat myself up.  (not anymore though, yay 2014)

14. Always Being Right.

We are continually on trial to prove that our opinions and actions are correct. Being wrong is unthinkable and we will go to any length to demonstrate our rightness. For example, “I don’t care how badly arguing with me makes you feel, I’m going to win this argument no matter what because I’m right.” Being right often is more important than the feelings of others around a person who engages in this cognitive distortion, even loved ones.

This again was more in my twenties, I am more prone to bend down to someone else to have them still like me.

15. Heaven’s Reward Fallacy.

We expect our sacrifice and self-denial to pay off, as if someone is keeping score. We feel bitter when the reward doesn’t come.

I give and give and give and no one appreciates me.  Something like that.  I may have some guilt on this!

So folks, these are cognitive distortions.  I thought I’d think more of general things but I guess this just showed how distorted my thoughts were with putting too much on one friendship.  When we put too much of our self worth, we end up being mother fucking crazy.  I didn’t see it at the time but it’s so clear now.  Now I can look at these distortions through how I beat myself up and stand in my own way to achieving my goals.  This means listening to Josh and my therapist and my friends to when I may be using distortions.  This means hearing things I don’t want to hear and having people be honest with me.  Calling out the people we on these distortions are the only way we can grow and move forward.  Yay to learning, yay to application of this learning and yay to balance and health.

All my relations,