Wishes for My Daughter’s Future

A Mother’s Wishes for Her Daughter

  1. I wish you love yourself as much as you love others. 
  2. I wish you take risks. 
  3. I wish you try new things.
  4. I wish you respect the planet more than the generations before you.
  5. I wish you are kind to others even though the world is cruel.
  6. I wish you have control over your own body.
  7. I wish you eat and not feel guilty about it.
  8. I wish you always know you’re beautiful and that beauty is more than your appearance. 
  9. I wish you find love.
  10. I wish you find passion.
  11. I wish you realize all emotions are valid and often expose your needs.
  12. I wish you see others’ voices as important as your own.
  13. I wish you follow your own path.
  14. I wish you find strength in any pain you experience.
  15. I wish you find success in whatever way you define it.
  16. I wish you always stay informed.
  17. I wish you always vote.
  18. I wish you never lose your love for books.
  19. I wish you accept your flaws and be realistic about the things you want to change.
  20. I wish you’re healthy – mentally and physically.
  21. I wish you’re happy and that you find happiness in your own way.
  22. I wish you get to travel.
  23. I wish you listen to your mind and body and give them what they need.
  24. I wish you are gentle with yourself.
  25. I wish you learn from our family’s story.
  26. I wish your thirst for knowledge never stops and that you learn as much as you can.
  27. I wish when you see others struggling you lift them up.
  28. I wish you realize that all people have more in common than not.
  29. I wish you always see others’ experiences as valid.
  30. I wish you always know I love you.


What would you add to the list?

Recovery and Acceptance for the Black Sheep

I’ve always felt different from the rest of my family – the so-called “black sheep” – not just because of my mental illness but also my intense personality. I’m passionate and ambitious – obsessive even. I’ve always stuck out and I’m hard to relate to.

While I long for acceptance, it would also kill me to be considered “normal”.

The things that make me crazy also make me a writer.

I’ve been feeling really misunderstood lately. I recently realized that after two decades of recovery, two rounds at treatment centers, and hundreds of conversations around the kitchen table, my family actually knows very little about eating disorders.

I’m hurt – and confused. How is this even possible?

I’ve always been an open book. I have freely shared my story with all of my loved ones, but now I don’t feel as comfortable.

On the one hand, do I continue to share hoping one day they will understand, or on the other hand, do I keep quiet to spare myself heartache and judgment? Which has my recovery’s best interest in mind?

I should add, that my husband is the exception. He always knows what to say and do, and I really don’t know how he does it. He is the one keeping me grounded while still allowing me to live my dreams. I would be very lost and very lonely without him.

This latest round of treatment was very intense – maybe even a little traumatic – and since discharge, my emotions have been an absolute rollercoaster ride.

If you have advice, I’m open to it, but really putting my words out into the universe is therapeutic in itself.

I’m different, and most of the time I’m okay with that, but who doesn’t want acceptance from their loved ones?

Toledo, Ohio – The City, The Struggle, and The Library

Yep, that’s right. It’s another post singing the praises of the Toledo Lucas County Public Library and the life-saving and life-changing work that they do.

Calling Toledo Home

I was born and raised in Northwest Ohio but didn’t move to Toledo until nine years ago. For the longest time, I told my husband (also a Northwest Ohio native) I would never live in Toledo, but he finally convinced me with the help of a few friends. The promise of cheap rent lured me in. Times were really tight.

Why was I so adamant about not living in Toledo? Toledo often has a bad rap in the surrounding area. It’s a city riddled with violent crime and poverty – at least that’s all we see on the news. It’s true. But that’s only part of the story. 

My husband and I have now settled and started a family in Toledo. We both took jobs in helping professions in the city – I work in mental health and my husband in emergency services. My husband and I are passionate people and it is not possible for us to live here and not want to help.

The Library to the Rescue

Driving around Toledo you will see many decals and bumper stickers with the Toledo Lucas County Public Library logo on them. The support for the local library system is undeniable, but why does this struggling Midwest city hold its library in such high regard?

Our community presents a dire need for basic necessities and skills and our library has answered that call. 

You might go to the library to check out the latest fiction selections, but for many people in Toledo, you go to the library to get a meal.  Children can get supper during the school year as well as lunch during the summer. SAME (So All May Eat) Cafe is slated to open in the main library soon. People can volunteer time or give fresh produce or money in exchange for a meal. No one is turned away. Everyone eats.

Of course, the library also offers a myriad of classes and programs to help everyone – GED, ESOL, resume and interview help, legal advice, financial literacy, small business and nonprofit help, etc.

Like many places with overwhelming poverty, our sense of community is very strong. It’s the people that make this town. Our city is diverse with a vibrant culture. I’m proud to call Toledo home and I will always show my support for our amazing library.

The Bigger Picture

Here’s a question we have to ask ourselves – we know the librarians in Toledo are superheroes, but why can’t librarians just be librarians? Why do they have to fix our problems? Let’s be real – passing out meals is merely a band-aid to a much larger issue. 

Why is our beautiful city riddled with violent crime and poverty? Toledo is just another example of how wealth inequality is destroying our very being. Toledoans are proud – but desperate.  We need security. We need opportunity. We need change. But one thing that’s very clear – we’re not going down without a fight.

Accepting Yourself Just as You Are Right Now

It’s been three months since I was discharged from a treatment center for eating disorders. I am so glad to be home with my family and I’m moving forward in my recovery with the help of a therapist and dietitian.

I still have a lot of work ahead of me. It’s not like you go away to treatment and come home all better. Treatment just kind of jump-starts your recovery so you can hopefully stay on track upon discharge.

Battle of my weight or mind?

When I was at treatment, I was certain I would lose weight. I would fantasize about going home and everyone would congratulate me on my weight loss. I was going to buy all these cute dresses and show off.

Isn’t that ridiculous? Eating disorders can really poison your mind.

About halfway through my stay at the treatment center, I was freaking out because I thought I had gained weight. There were no full-length mirrors but when I would take a shower I would do my version of “body checking”– I would poke and pinch certain parts of my belly. I was sure it was getting bigger.

Turns out I was wrong on both accounts. I lost a little weight when I first got to treatment, but nothing really that noticeable. However, I didn’t gain weight either.  When  I started eating regular meals, my weight stabilized. 

My therapist here in Toledo takes my weight every week and it continues to be stable. 

Fantasizing about losing weight is nothing new for me. I’m often embarrassed by my size and say when I lose weight I’ll do this or that – (enter social event here).

A Turning Point

The thing is, I was probably never meant to be thin. No one in my family is thin. With the psych meds I take, thin may even be impossible.

I’m learning that I don’t have to be thin to buy cute dresses. They actually make cute clothes in my current size. I recently bought a green knee-length dress and I actually like the way I look in it. That’s a new feeling for me. I usually don’t like the way I look in my clothes. I’m always pinching and pulling at them. 

My dietitian recommended the book Body Kindness by Rebecca Scritchfield and I’ve made it through the first three chapters so far. I look forward to reading more of it. The book really stresses the importance of accepting yourself as you are right now.

That’s definitely easier said than done but I’m working on it. I know I don’t have to be thin or change anything about my appearance to do the things I want to do. I’m trying to put that into practice.

As summer approaches, I’ll be put to the test.

Finding Neutral Ground

In treatment, we worked on making more neutral statements about our bodies. For example, “my body carried a baby”, “my legs get me where I need to go”, and “my arms hug my daughter”. 

I hope in time I’ll even have positive things to say about my body.


How do you feel about self-acceptance? Is there anything you are working on? Do you have any tips or words of advice?

Conspiracy Theories for Progressives?

Last week my husband and daughter had covid. Luckily the symptoms were mild – similar to a cold. They both lost their sense of taste and smell. I was cooking my butt off making some wonderful meals but I was the only one that could enjoy them. 

Throughout the whole ordeal, I never got sick. I tested myself twice and was negative both times.

I was the only one in the house who got the booster. My husband refused and my daughter is too young.

I received my booster shot in Chicago when I was away at treatment. I remember that night I called my husband to tell him about it and I also encouraged him to get it as well. My husband responded with a conspiracy theory regarding the booster shot and said he wasn’t going to get it.

I was shocked. My husband is very progressive. He wouldn’t be caught dead watching Fox News. 

I don’t remember the specifics of the theory – something about the shot being ineffective and only out to make the pharmaceutical companies money. 

Okay – greedy pharmaceutical companies is pretty believable, however, I totally trust the science behind the shots.

So maybe I’m opening a can of worms here, but how do you feel about the shots?

Also, do you know any other conspiracy theories progressives may believe in?

Where do you volunteer? Give me some secular ideas!

Several years back I spent a lot of time volunteering for our local chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). I was very involved in their art program and I even made connections that led to the job I have now. I meet some amazing people and found the support I needed as a person with a mental illness.

Since then, I have worked at two nonprofits both in the mental health field.

In my previous position, I was required to drive clients to food pantries – almost all of them were at churches. Some said a prayer before passing out food. One actually made you sit through a sermon before they gave you groceries. I thought it was disgusting that they were taking advantage of very vulnerable people.

You shouldn’t help others in the name of god. You should want to help because you’re a decent human being. 

It’s no surprise that you run into a lot of religious people in “Holy Toledo”. 

I’m thinking of volunteering again and I would love to hear where you volunteer. I need some secular ideas. 

At the top of my list right now is my daughter’s school. It might be nice to meet some of the other parents and I definitely need more reasons to get out of the house. However, I may have to wait a couple months since the last week of school is literally next week.

Okay decent humans, where do you volunteer?

If your life was a pie chart, would spirituality be one of the pieces?

A while back I asked in a post if you can be both spiritual and atheist and I think most agreed that you can, in fact, be both. It led to some interesting comments.

If you can be both, do you think spirituality is an important part of life? A part needed to feel whole?

Working in mental health as well as being a patient I sometimes run across things like this — a pie chart that shows spirituality as an important part of wellbeing.

Do you agree that it’s a dimension of our wellbeing? Is it necessary?

Sometimes I’m annoyed with spirituality’s inclusion right alongside physical, emotional, and financial health. Until my last post about spirituality, I always associated spirituality with religion which gave me some seriously bad vibes whenever anyone brought it up — especially professionals.

I myself have never considered spirituality as important but recently I have been thinking about it differently. Maybe it does play a role in my life. I’m still trying to figure that out.

So what do you think? Is spirituality important even when you’re an atheist?

Are you comfortable labeling something as “unexplained”?

As many of you know, I have schizoaffective disorder which comes with both mood and psychotic symptoms. I have been on medication for many years and I’m in a good place.

Prior to medication, I had hallucinations that I thought were spirits or ghosts. Once I started taking anti-psychotics, the ghosts went away and I knew they were just symptoms of my mental illness – and better yet, symptoms that could be treated. That came as a relief since I was often frightened by them.

Sometimes friends and family are a little leery of my diagnosis since they, too, have experienced “ghosts”. My “ghosts” came with an explanation but theirs didn’t. It’s pretty obvious that I have a mental illness, but I don’t think that’s true for all of my friends and family. What exactly are they experiencing?

I would never discredit someone’s personal account. Something was obviously real to them

I consider ghosts as “unexplained”. I don’t think there are dead people haunting us, but I do think there is something to it and one day science will catch up and figure out what that something is.

I also see aliens as unexplained.

Do you see things as unexplained or do you dismiss them and say they’re not real? I’m really curious to see how you guys feel about this.

A Letter to My Body

Dear Body,

When I started skipping meals at eleven years old, I had no idea I would still be struggling with a devastating eating disorder nearly thirty years later.

I am truly sorry for that.

I abused you for decades and yet you survived. If only my mind was as resilient as my body.

I have a hard time calling you beautiful. I’m working on it but I’m not there yet. However, I recognize that I have just as many likes as dislikes when it comes to your appearance. I don’t like my belly, thighs, or arms but I do like my short stature, lips, and curly hair. 

Your strength is undeniable. You grew a baby inside of me and brought my daughter into the world. It was an amazing experience and I’m so happy to be a mother.

As I progress in my recovery, I reflect on everything I’ve put you through and how amazing you truly are. Thank you for keeping me alive.

My 40th birthday is approaching and I am grateful for the time you have given me. I am developing healthier habits and I promise to treat you better in the years to come.

Here’s to finally showing you some love. You deserve every bit of it.


An SOS from a red state – I’m losing hope.

When I was younger, Ohio was a swing state and often very influential in elections. We have since turned red. It’s pretty hard to believe that our state once voted for Obama. 

What happened?

I don’t often write about politics because I really don’t want to get into fights with people, but I have something to get off of my chest.

I’m losing hope.

Obviously, I’m not a fan of Republicans. And although I usually vote for Democrats, I’m not a huge fan of that party, either.

With the rise of Bernie and AOC, I thought I would see some real changes made but it feels like their movement has lost momentum. My husband and I donated time and money to their campaigns and felt a tiny bit of hope.

What happened?

My husband and I struggle with everything from student loans to childcare costs. Sometimes it’s hard to accept that this is just how things are and any chances of relief are pretty bleak. 

My husband has a very stressful job and he doesn’t get breaks. There is nothing in Ohio’s laws that requires employers to give their workers breaks. How ridiculous is that? 

Don’t even get me started on my maternity leave.

My husband is very passionate and vocal about politics, often fighting with family and friends on social media.

I’m not as loud, but I still care. I’m just losing hope.


Where do you stand? Do you think things will ever change?