Oh, hello there. I feel likes it’s been forever since we caught up!

You know what it’s like when you catch a cold and then can’t get rid of the cold but then you kinda feel like your cold is subsiding but then you wake up one morning feeling worse off than you had before? Well, that’s been my past couple of weeks. My throat hurts. I can’t stop sniffling and blowing my nose. I’m exhausted but I can’t sleep through the night. Ugh. It’s been rough, y’all.

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Real life isn’t always the silly selfies and picture perfect life you see online. Real life can be hard; real life can be exhausting.

Social media offers only a glimpse into our lives. We choose what we want to share, and what we don’t.

Personally – I always try to be open, sharing the good and the bad.

What you don’t always see though, are the days that I cannot leave my bed; the days where my depression tightens the hold it has on me and I feel so utterly alone and stuck.

What you don’t see are the days where I have full-blown panic attacks; where it feels as though the walls are closing in on me and I can’t breathe, nor see through the overflowing tears.

What you don’t see are the times where my anxiety is so crippling that I’m left questioning myself, my worth, my everything – all because the boogeyman in my head is telling me over and over how unworthy and useless I am.

What I want you to see though is that even through all of this – happiness is possible, you just have to choose to fight for it…to fight for yourself.

…and sometimes we all need that reminder, even me.

Sweet Potato Gnocchi And Rapini In A Browned Garlic And Sage Butter Sauce With Reggiano Parmigiano

You know when you fall into a rut in the kitchen, and you end up making the same things over and over again and then you wonder why you’re so bored with cooking and constantly wanting to eat out? Well – that was happening for me, so I decided to make a change.

I’ve been collecting cook books for years, and rarely ever opening them. I finally said enough was enough and started planning ahead. Every Sunday, I scour the books and good old interwebs and come up with a few recipes I want to cook for Mike and I for the week. Then I out together my shopping list and hit the grocery store. Grocery shopping by myself is one of my new favourite things to do! I take my time in the aisles, without having Mike nagging me to hurry up because he’s bored. LOL

Anyways, I’m going to start sharing some of the recipes I come up with because almost always, I make some changes to what I read in the books on the web, and tweak it to make it my own. I recently did this with a sweet potato gnocchi recipe and holy smokes – it’s a new fave in our house!

I could go one and on about how magical sweet potatoes are or how I have a sweet memory from my childhood regarding gnocchi…but, let’s face it – I hate going to a website for a recipe and I have to scroll through 18 paragraphs of mumble-jumble content before I can finally get to what I was there for in the first place!

Just tell me the ingredients and what to do and be done with it! Am I right?!

Sweet Potato Gnocchi And Rapini In A Browned Garlic And Sage Butter Sauce With Reggiano Parmigiano

Sweet Potato Gnocchi And Rapini In A Browned Garlic And Sage Butter Sauce With Reggiano Parmigiano

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Part Two | My 30 Day Stay In A Psychiatric Ward

…I am no mental health expert, but what I can do is share my experiences with all of you in hopes to help those battling mental illness feel even just a little less alone.

I will never forget the day of my suicide attempt. It was cold, like really cold, and it was snowing. A lot. I was (obviously) not in the right state of mind, and I lashed out at those I loved the most. I was in so much pain, and I didn’t know how to process that pain. So I lashed out. I may not remember exactly what I said, but I remember storming out of my mother’s house, screaming that she’ll never see me again and that would be that. Then I jumped into my car and left. It was really early in the morning, and the roads were empty thanks to that fact, and the snow. It was really coming down. I went and parked in a parking lot. I was so angry and hurt. My mind was racing and I couldn’t get it to slow down no matter what I did. I cried and I cried until finally the tears stopped, and it was almost like I stopped feeling anything at all. It was in that exact moment that I made the decision to take my life. I calmly started my car, made the turn out of the parking lot and sped my car up…my eyes never leaving the pole directly in front of me. I didn’t blink until my head smacked off of the steering wheel from the impact of my car hitting the pole. Next thing I remember is the firemen pulling me out of the car. I don’t even remember the ambulance ride, but I remember thinking to myself,

“…you couldn’t even do THAT right.”

I felt defeated.

After the first 72 hours in the hospital, I was admitted to the psychiatric ward for (at least) 30 days to get the help I so desperately needed. I was at my rock bottom, and I finally collapsed and accepted that fact. My white flag was up and as weak and fragile as I was, I was waving that flag feverishly. I needed help. I couldn’t go on living the way I (barely) was, and on top of that – I couldn’t get better without some help. This was it – my utter rock bottom…now, there was nowhere to go but up.

I failed at living, and I failed at dying. I had lost all hope and will to go on. I was lead from the emergency room to the psychiatric ward by a nurse that I don’t ever remember making eye contact with. The feeling of shame was too much to bear. Sitting in a room, another nurse began asking questions. Attempting to better understand what help I truly needed, she asked triggering questions. Discussing, even in the briefest of details, the many traumas I had experienced in my life was overwhelming. I stared at my hands as I began listing all that I could remember, thinking to myself, “Will my hands ever stop shaking again?” It’s always difficult discussing trauma, especially when so much of it is still buried, and especially when in such a  fragile state. As I continued, I glanced up and saw the nurse writing everything down…by the end, she was flipping through multiple pages of notes. That couldn’t be true. That couldn’t be my story. Was I really THAT damaged? But, alas – it (I) was.

It was like peeling an onion…there were so many layers and the more I cut in, the more the tears flowed.

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This Crazy Thing Called Life | Mental Health | Suicide Survivor | How Did I Get Here

I lay there; alone on the stretcher in the hallway of the ER.

No recollection of how I got there.

My body aches, my head is pounding.

How did I get here?

The fluorescent lights above beaming directly in my eyes.

I can move my neck – I look to the left, to the right.

I see no one that I recognize.

I’m alone besides the doctors and nurses rushing past – the hustle and bustle that is the ER.

I hear a familiar voice, and look up to see a worried face.

They come rushing to my side.

As if I have no control over myself, my body, or my emotions – the tears begin to fall, on both of our faces.

Sitting by my side cradling my tiny hand in theirs, they wipe the tears from my cheek.

Staring at me, they just kept asking me, “Why?”

Over, and over, and over.

It was more like they were pleading with me to open up, to finally open up – than it was they questioning me.

Finally I looked, and said, “I just don’t want to live anymore.”

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