Last month I wrote a “favorite things” blog post on a whim. It was fun to share the book I was reading, my favorite movie, podcast and tv series and other things I am currently loving. The response was great and I got so many messages from readers asking for more. So, I’m excited to announce the Super Mom’s Favorite Things will become a monthly series! AND volume 2 is up today. I even included our new favorite snack from @artisantropic! Sooooo yummy! Click on the link in my bio or swipe up in stories and let me know what categories you’d like to see me add in January!
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#myfavoritethings #favoritethings #bookshelf #whatimreading #whatimreadingnow #movielover #favoritemovie #bestmovie #whatimwatching #tvseries #encore #disneyplus #podcasts #podcastlove #whatimlisteningto #snacks #snackideas #healthysnacks #christmas #christmasgifts #giftwrapping #christmasiscoming #supermom #palmbeachblogger #westpalmbeach #southfloridablogger #mominfluencer #loxahatchee #royalpalmbeach #westpalmbeachblogger

Last month I wrote a...

This week has been hard. Sunday would have been my Nana’s 95th birthday and it was also the first anniversary of the passing of one of my best friends, Brooke. 
This was the photo that hung in my Nana’s living room. She would show it to everyone that visited her.  She told me she would stare at it and smile every single day. She was so proud of all of her great-granddaughters. 🥰 I’m so grateful that my girls were able to know what an amazing woman she really was, even if she was taken from us a little earlier than expected. So while I try to reflect on the good times, I’m still trying to accept that she and my friend are both gone, too soon. It’s been a hard week, but I will get past this and keep living my best life... that’s what they would have wanted. How do you deal with grief?
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📷 @jenpriesterphotography 
#newborn #newbornphotography #newbornbaby #newbornphotographer #newbornposing #newbornphotos #newbornphoto #newbornsession #babyphotography #babyphotoshoot #palmbeachblogger #westpalmbeachblogger #loxahatchee #babyfever #babygirl #newborns #newbornpics #newbornbabygirl #grief #anxietyproblems #anxietyrecovery #anxietysupport #anxietywarrior #gonetoosoon #gonebutneverforgotten

This week has been hard....

Happy National Cookie Day! Where are my caramel macchiato fans at?! Super Dad and I will rarely order anything else when visiting our favorite local coffee shops. So when we were trying to come up with the perfect cookie flavor to celebrate today, I had to try these caramel stuffed macchiato chocolate chip cookies. And let me tell you, they came out SO good. Head to the blog for the full recipe (link is in my bio or swipe up in stories). What kind of cookies are you celebrating with today?
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Happy National Cookie Day! Where...

Let’s play a fun game, inspired by my cousin, Jenn… Guess what’s in the box. The funnier, the better... Let’s hear your guesses!
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#christmasmagic #santa #santaclaus #santaiscoming #christmasiscoming #christmasjammies #christmaspajamas #holidaymagic #magicofchildhood #photoshop #digitalartist #gramslayers #imagination #imagine #imaginethat #exceptional #igcreative #theartofchildhood #childhoodmemories #targetstyle #targetfinds #targetdoesitagain #targetdeals #targetchristmas #palmbeachblogger #westpalmbeach #southfloridablogger #magicalmoments #magicalgirl #christmaspresents

Let’s play a fun game,...

I say it all the time. We may have rescued Elle from @bigdogranchrescue, but we needed her just as much, if not more, than she needed us. I can’t imagine our family without her. Does your family have any pets? I’d love to hear about them and how they changed your life. .
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#rescuedogsofinstagram #rescuedog #rescuedogsrock #dogsofinsta #puppiesofinstagram #puppylife #whoreallyrescuedwho #tjmaxxfinds #tjmaxx #raedunn #raedunnfinds #raedunnmugs #raedunnclay #raedunnobsessed #hobbylobby #hobbylobbyfinds #tommyhilfiger #bigdogranchrescue #rescuedogs #sharpei #sharpeisofinstagram #christmas #christmasgifts #christmasiscoming #hohoho #merrychristmas🎄

I say it all the...

We visited @treasurecoastsq last week to remind our girls that the true spirit of the holidays is about giving. #sponsored With their lists in hand, they went to their favorite stores (Claires, Spencer Gifts, Forever 21 and Justice), picking out the perfect gifts for their favorite people.They did such a great job of choosing each present without going over their budget and the only thing they got for themselves was hot cocoa and a snack from Starbucks! On our way out, we took some pictures by the Santa Photo Experience, located in the Old Navy Court and someone special snuck up behind them to get in the pictures. They had no idea that Santa was standing just a couple of feet behind them!  There’s something about the holiday decor at Treasure Coast Square that always gets us in the Christmas spirit. Our next trip will be to drop off some donated toys at The Salvation Army Angel Tree table! What is your favorite part of the holidays? #holidayatsimon

We visited @treasurecoastsq last week...

Where are my Frozen fans at?! #ad My girls have been fans since day 1, so it’s not a shock that most of their Christmas wish list is Frozen themed. When we found this @HuffyBicycles Disney Frozen EZ Build Bike at Walmart, Falynn couldn’t "let it go" and she received a Christmas gift early! This bike has so many fun features! It even plays Frozen sounds! It’s available in 12” or 16” and features Elsa, Anna and Olaf. It’s perfect for young riders! Head to Walmart to purchase a Huffy bike for your little one this holiday season. They make the best big reveal gifts for the holidays and you’re sure to get tons of nice "warm hugs!" This bike is ON SALE now -- link in bio and stories to shop.  #GiveTheRide #LiveTheRide #AvailableAtWalmart .
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#frozen2 #frozen #disneyfrozen #olaf #elsa #walmartfinds #walmartdeals #walmart #christmas #christmas🎄 #christmasgifts #blackfriday #blackfriday2019 #blackfridaysale #blackfridaydeals #disneychristmas #disneyprincess #giftideas #giftsforkids #letitgo #disneyfamily #disneylife #disneyinsta #christmasiscoming #christmasshopping

Where are my Frozen fans...

Traditions are a big part of our holiday season. We are so grateful to be working with @minted this year on one of the traditions I love the most, our annual holiday cards. Our daily lives can be hectic, but it’s a great way for us to stay connected to our family and friends. Minted made the process incredibly easy. They have a card template for everyone and they are completely customizable (greeting, colors, fonts, and more). And if you need help, Minted offers free card styling service. Just Text Your Photo to 22737 and a Minted stylist will text you back five holiday card designs, selected especially for and styled with your photo—for FREE. Import your address book and Minted will address the envelopes for you! Do you know how much time that saved me?! They even have the option to create your own stamps to match your cards! I can’t believe how easy it was and more importantly, how beautiful they turned out. We can’t wait to send them off to family and friends this week! Now through 11/29, Minted is offering 20% off all orders $150+ or 15% off all orders, plus free shipping with code BF2019. Have you ordered your holiday cards yet?
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#mintedholiday #minted #gifted #christmas #christmas🎄 #christmasiscoming #christmascountdown #christmascards #christmascard #holidaycards #happymail #tjmaxxfinds #tjmaxx #hobbylobby #hobbylobbyfinds #targetdollarspot #targetfinds #traditions #joyful #hanukkah #blackfriday #blackfriday2019 #blackfridaysale #blackfridaydeals #targetdeals

Traditions are a big part...

Falynn has always been our little fashionista #ad But now that she's older, she's discovering her own sense of style. She prefers shorts to dresses, hats to headbands and would call her own style "swagalicious," if you ask her. She was super excited to receive this new #BMR1959 Ken doll! She must have spent 15 minutes describing each piece of his outfit. She really got a kick out of their matching hairdos! I love watching her enjoy @Barbie as much as I did as a kid! BMR1959™ is perfect for the holidays! These bold, fully posable dolls capture the diverse looks found in today’s streetwear culture. From high-low fashion mixes, re-imagined ‘90s gear to juxtaposed patterns, textures, and silhouettes, this curated ensemble is all about personal expression and style. Is #Barbie a staple in your home as well? .
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Falynn has always been our...

S E V E N. 
Where has the time gone? It was just yesterday that she was born, yet here she stands today, an intelligent, beautiful, incredible big girl. Today on the blog, I’m sharing a special birthday message for Falynn, the girl who is everything I wish I could be. .
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#birthdaygirl #birthday #itsmybirthday #birthdaylove #birthdayfun
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S E V E N....

It’s Time I Stopped Lying to Myself and Everyone Else

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I’m going to start by saying that I’ve been writing this post for a while. It probably didn’t go live the day I intended it to and it might disappear at some point. But enough is enough. Time for me to put my big girl panties on and stop lying to myself and everyone else.

The Back Story

After my massive panic attack at the entrance of Disney World, I finally realized it was time to get help. I scheduled an appointment with a behavioral therapist and sat in her office for one hour every week. I actually looked forward to it. We spoke about my family, my job and tried to figure out what trigged my anxiety. Everything was on track, until I had a panic attack in her office.

About ten minutes into that session, I asked her if I could lay down on the couch and about a minute later, told her that I was going to have to leave. That is my thing. If I have to choose between fight or flight, I always chose flight. First came the light-headed feeling. Next, cold sweats. My therapist fanned me with a file folder and tried to distract me and get me to breathe while I counted the seconds until I could pay her and get back to my car asap. I never went back to therapy again. It was no longer a safe space. It would be forever be the place I had a panic attack.

My therapist called and left me a voicemail a couple of days later to check in on me and make sure I was ok. She recommended that I see a psychiatrist and consider medication. She knew that was my last resort and knew that I would probably not be back to see her.

Although my therapist suggested it, I wasn’t ready to admit to myself that I needed to see a psychiatrist. Instead, I decided that I was going to ask a primary doctor about medications first. So I made an appointment with a new primary doctor that I found online. I remember one of the first questions she asked me…

Do you also suffer from depression?

“NO. No, I don’t. It’s just anxiety. Aside from that, I’m perfectly happy.” She followed it up with a number of questions that seemed to be many other ways to ask if I was depressed. I answered no to all of them. The word depression scared me. I thought if I said that I had moments where I felt sad, that she would take that as my admitting that I might do harm to myself, which I would never do. So I told her no, over and over again. I said no so many times, I even convinced myself that I wasn’t depressed.

But the truth is, I am and I have been for a long time.

I left that appointment with a prescription and hope that this was going to be what changed everything for me. And it was… just not the way I imagined.

For a full two days after I took that first pill, I was in bed. If I thought anxiety was scary, those meds proved that I had no idea what scary was. The meds made me think things and feel things that no person should ever feel. I was afraid to be alone. I was afraid to do anything but sleep. I couldn’t get out of bed. I couldn’t eat.

So, I called my doctor and she said,

Sometimes things have to get worse before they get better.

WHAT?! I went to this doctor because I needed help. My anxiety was out of control and I wanted her to help me fix it. Instead, she gave me something that had me thinking the darkest thoughts. What kind of medical professional would prescribe something that was going to make me feel that much worse?

But, she was the professional, so I waited it out. I continued taking the meds as she instructed. As I got used to them, the dark thoughts disappeared. I could concentrate again. I could do every day things. I was ready to live a normal life.

About a week later, I went to visit my Grandma and had the worst panic attack of my life, which resulted in me being stranded in our car, an hour from home, with my three daughters. I was completely paralyzed by anxiety. I couldn’t move, I couldn’t get back on the road to go home. My youngest had to use the bathroom and I tried to get her to pee in a bag because I couldn’t bring myself to walk them into the fast food restaurant that was just a few feet from our car. I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t calm down. Instead, we waited for hours until my husband and a friend could come and pick us up.

I called my doctor as soon I got home and told her I needed to stop taking this medication. She told me she would call in a new prescription and instructed me to stop taking that one immediately, something she probably should have told me when I called her the first time.

For a little while, things got better. But that ordeal kept me from leaving my home for almost 3 months. I couldn’t drive and I couldn’t be more than 10 minutes from my house without panicking. I still have a hard time driving anywhere on my own. I’m terrified that it’ll happen again.

I’ve Become Great at Lying

Over the years, I became great at lying. No matter what my loved ones were seeing, I swore everything was fine. I didn’t want them to know the truth. I didn’t want them to know that I was crying myself to sleep and that I was sad more often than I was happy. I couldn’t look at myself in the mirror without cringing. I was completely disgusted by my weight, my lack of self-care and especially for how I had let myself go.  I hardly recognized myself. I pushed my loved ones away because I was expecting them to leave me anyway. It was easier if I was in control of the situation.

It wasn’t until recently that I realized that I’ve been depressed because of the “what ifs”. My life is good. I have a beautiful family, a roof over our heads and a business that is actually fun. I have no reason to feel the feelings that I feel. I think it’s just my mind’s way of trying to stay in control and coping with the fear of what could happen. And I realize that is no way to live.

While I am fully aware of what’s going on, I still battle both anxiety and depression. Most of my days are good ones, but I do have to fight for those good days. I’m fighting to stop the sadness. I’m fighting my sudden irritability that hits me without warning. Mostly, I’m fighting to hide it all from my kids because I don’t want them to think this is normal. This isn’t normal. And I refuse to believe it’s my normal.

So why am I sharing this now, in a public forum? Because I’m tired of pretending. I’m tired of lying to myself and to everyone around me. I have mental health issues, as do lots of other people, millions of people in fact. My secret ends today. If I’m feeling depressed, I’m going to call it what it is. I’m going to address it. I’m going to work toward training my mind not to focus on the “what ifs” so that I don’t miss the good parts that are happening now.

Now you know the truth and I hope you don’t think any less of me or feel sorry for me. I’m still the same person I was before you read this. I’m just a little bit stronger.

The doctor asked me so many different ways. I answered no every single time. But I was lying to her and myself.

XOXO
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42 Comments
  • Vasu Devan
    September 7, 2019

    Generally speaking, It is important to get timely help. However it is easy to say that than do it. Here is where friends and family can help, perhaps. First step is to know and accept that help is needed!.
    Vasu Devan recently posted Welcome to Saputara Monsoon FestivalMy Profile

  • Kiwi
    August 27, 2019

    I am glad you are using your platform to speak your truth and to get yourself to admit you have high anxiety and depression. Its the only way you are going to heal when you admit there is a problem. Yes please continue for the health of yourself and for your family.

  • Catherine
    August 23, 2019

    So raw and honest. To move forward, we must first acknowledge what holds us up. This is a very important post to share. Thank you!

  • Jackline A
    August 22, 2019

    I know it was not easy writing this but I am sure it has helped a lot of people and starting a lot of important discussions. Thank you for sharing.
    Jackline A recently posted 6 Dollar Store Organization Hacks for your nurseryMy Profile

    • Surekha Busa
      August 23, 2019

      Sorry to hear that.. Admitting that you need help is a great start. You are so brave to write about this.

  • Bella at Dear Mummy Blog
    August 22, 2019

    You’re brave for writing this post, my mummy has dark days too and pushes them away – it doesn’t help when people are happy to offer pills to fix you.
    Bella at Dear Mummy Blog recently posted Escaping to Kidz Island on Southsea Pier, PortsmouthMy Profile

  • Heather Barber McMechan
    August 21, 2019

    It’s so easy to try and convince yourself that everything is okay. It took great courage for you to realize there was more to your attacks. Glad you were able to bring your emotions to light
    Heather Barber McMechan recently posted 7 Back To School Tips To Help You Stop NaggingMy Profile

  • Amber S Battishill
    August 21, 2019

    I can’t imagine how hard or scary that this is. Speaking out about it takes such courage and surely helps someone else that is or has been in a similar situation. Sending you positive vibes and hope that you are able to find something that helps you to feel better.

  • Myrah Duque
    August 21, 2019

    To talk about these things is important. Removing all the stigma. Thanks for sharing this. It will help many. We all go through difficult times, I’m glad you found the right medication.
    Myrah Duque recently posted Enter The Great Myrtle Beach Condo or $50,000 Giveaway Contest!My Profile

  • Krystel | Frugal Living
    August 21, 2019

    I’m sorry that you are going through this. Probably took so much strength to write this. Sending you positive vibes.

  • April
    August 21, 2019

    I am so sorry that you are going through this. And hopefully you found the right medication for you. I also think that cognitive behavioral therapy is very helpful for this kind of situation. But at least admitting that you need help is the first step to healing.

  • Monidipa Dutta
    August 21, 2019

    I have extreme severe anxiety too but my problem is I am unable to open up. I’m a counselor but I am afraid of getting counselled. U r stronger than me thats why you could open up.

  • Ashley
    August 21, 2019

    I’m so glad that you’re able to get out there and share your story. Depression is a serious thing and I think oftentimes, we think if we ignore it that it will just go away. That is not the case!

  • Sue-Tanya Mchorgh
    August 21, 2019

    Depression is such a heavy topic. I find a lot of persons don’t like talking about it. I think it is important that you’re having the conversation. I know a few persons that this post will help so I will make sure to share it.

  • Garf
    August 21, 2019

    Thank you for sharing your story. I am sure it took a lot of courage to do that. Stay strong!
    Garf recently posted Common Cosmetic Dentistry ProceduresMy Profile

  • kumamonjeng
    August 21, 2019

    I have friends who suffered from depression due to many reasons, stress, loneliness and other factors. They can’t sleep at night and eat a lot during night time and hence gains weight due to excessive eating at night. I hope your post reach out to more people and gained awareness.
    kumamonjeng recently posted “The Brown Papaer Bag” in Sydney UTS (University of Technology Sydney)My Profile

  • Kita Roberts
    August 21, 2019

    I know that it took you a lot of courage to share your story to us. But I am thankful that you were able to talk about it. It would really help you so much. Keep strong!

  • julie
    August 21, 2019

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. I’m sure this is going to help so many women.

  • Ruth I
    August 21, 2019

    It is so brave of you writing such a sensitive content. It was never easy to deal with depression. I hope you’ll be doing ok in the near future.

  • Catalina
    August 21, 2019

    It’s the first and the most important step is to realize that you have a problem and you need help. And you need to be ready to accept help!

  • Kelly Martin
    August 21, 2019

    Thank you for such an honest, real post. I think this will help a lot of people in the same situation.

  • Blair Villanueva
    August 21, 2019

    I admire your courage to seek help and prioritize your health. Still many out there are in denial, and slowly destroys what they have. Virtual hugs!

  • Kristine Nicole Alessandra
    August 21, 2019

    This is so brave of you to share a part of you. It is not easy to open up and admit having mental health issues, but you are strong. You stepped out of your comfort zone. That is the first step to healing. Hugs to you and hopefully everything will get better soon.

  • kristin
    August 21, 2019

    Oh my Gish I so relate to this!! You have no idea, this was great. Big hugs!!

  • Sherry
    August 20, 2019

    Good for you for owning your truth. There is such a stigma attached to depression whether put there by others or by ourselves. I too suffer from depression and as I was reading this I saw myself in so many of the words you wrote. I was to the point where my children would be talking to me and I just wouldn’t care. I was staying in bed and lying to my husband about going to work during the day. Thankfully the medication my doctor put me on has helped.

  • Celebrate Woman Today
    August 20, 2019

    Heather, thank you for sharing your life, your very personal stories. They do help and support a lot of people reading your blog.

  • Leigh Suznovich
    August 20, 2019

    It is so important to talk about these things openly and remove the stigma. There is nothing wrong with what you are battling, no more wrong than if you were battling physical pain; and nothing wrong with naming it and getting the help you need just as you would for a broken arm. Thank you so much for sharing.

  • Claudia Krusch
    August 20, 2019

    Wow! Thank you for sharing your story! So many suffer and refuse to ask for help! Glad you are on a healing path.
    Claudia Krusch recently posted Teen’s Back To School FashionMy Profile

  • Danielle
    August 20, 2019

    I think that you are so brave and inspiring to share such a vulnerable truth with the world. Thank you.

  • keikilani
    August 20, 2019

    Your story resonates with me so much. I appreciate your bravery in sharing your story. I hope that sharing helps both you and others like me continue to heal

  • krystal
    August 20, 2019

    It is hard to admit these things and you are not only admitting them to yourself but to us too! That is very brave!
    krystal recently posted Grilled Caprese BurgersMy Profile

  • Amy Desrosiers
    August 20, 2019

    I think the what ifs are what cause my anxiety as well. It is so hard to sometimes see how good we truly have it in the moment.

  • Kathy
    August 20, 2019

    I’m sorry you’re going through this, but glad you realized you needed the help. This can be tough and scary. I’m very glad you shared this with us too.

  • Melissa Chapman
    August 20, 2019

    I appreciate the honesty heart and soul that went into this post. I have issues I could never share on my blog so I give you credit and hope it helps you cope better.
    Melissa Chapman recently posted Weight Watchers Peanut Butter Marshmallow WontonMy Profile

  • Stacie
    August 20, 2019

    Thank you so, so much for sharing your story. Depression has such a stigma that many won’t even tell their doctor about it just like you didn’t want to. I’m glad you’re on the road to recovery and getting what you need to get better.
    Stacie recently posted Sweet Ways to Reward Your FamilyMy Profile

  • Yanna
    August 20, 2019

    I love your transparency. Admitting you need help is always hard on anyone. I am sure this post will help someone out, it not many. I started getting really bad anxiety after I had my son.

  • Kim
    August 20, 2019

    I am always here for you my friend.

  • Kim
    August 20, 2019

    Thank you for being so open and honest. I can relate to this so much.

  • Tara Pittman
    August 20, 2019

    I am glad that you realized that you need help. Depression is a tough thing to go through alone and it is hard to admit that things are not perfect.
    Tara Pittman recently posted Safer Cooking With Concentrix Ceramic Coated Nonstick FryPanMy Profile

  • Brianne Tursi Manz
    August 20, 2019

    What a powerful post! If people who suffer from anxiety and depression would read this, I think it would help them make sense of it all.

  • Cherishingflo
    August 20, 2019

    I have never related to anything more. When I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression I refused to acknowledge it and avoided doctors and medications and even saying those two words for two and a half years. I don’t drive due to my anxiety and the panic attacks that I have so I TRULY understand. I hate driving by myself. I have had many panic attacks while driving and ended up stranded for hours before I could calm down or someone could come get me. I love this so much and thank you for being so open. This makes me feel a lot less alone in this topic.
    Cherishingflo recently posted 11 Things Successful Bloggers do differentlyMy Profile

    • Heather
      August 20, 2019

      I’m so sorry to hear that. I think when we are going through things like this, we tend to forget that there are others out there exactly like us. We need to stick together. If you ever need someone to listen, I’m here!

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