A Little Pick-Me-Up

Here’s a little poem I wrote while in treatment…

Rise from the rubble
like the badass that you are.
The world came crashing down
but you have the strength
to build it back up.
Brick and mortar,
concrete and steel —
don’t let anything knock you down.

Some recent events have really put my recovery to the test, but I made it. I survived.

In this moment, I’m feeling a lot of strength and love. I don’t believe in prayer or good jujus or anything, but I hope in some way you’re feeling it, too.

A few questions…are atheists typically arrogant? Are we smarter?

Do you think atheists are typically arrogant? That’s definitely a stereotype out there; sometimes I fall into that category. Why can’t everyone see religion in the way that I see it? It’s just common sense to know that religion is bullshit, right?

As atheists, is it our duty to expose the evils of religion? In a way, “spread the word”? 

We may have science on our side, but it always seems to be our word vs. theirs. 

But take your average Christian in middle America – going about life, doing what they know and maybe don’t know any different – are they doing anything wrong? Is it their fault for not questioning their beliefs?

Is being skeptical a personal responsibility?

Are we smarter for questioning? Is being inquisitive an inherited trait? Why do some question and some follow blindly? I’d say that a lot of it has to do with your environment, yet so many people rebel against their upbringing. Could there possibly be a nurture vs. nature argument when it comes to faith? 

I’d like to think I’m not an asshole. Deep down I know we are all just humans with our own experiences, trauma, abilities, and flaws and most of us are just trying to get by. 

Hate the belief but not the believer? Maybe this is a case of live and let live.

Wanna take a stab at the many questions I vomited onto this post? I’d love to hear it.

Post-Roe Plans for a Mom Nearing 40 in a Red State

When I heard the news of Roe being overturned, I felt I needed a plan. I am a woman still in her childbearing years. I have an amazing daughter but I know I do not want any more children. 

I also live in Ohio – a red state. The very same day Roe was struck down Ohio’s Heartbeat Law went into effect, making getting an abortion in our state nearly impossible. 

The first step in my plan is to get an IUD. I am currently on the pill and I’m not going to lie – I have occasionally forgotten to take it. I don’t want to take any chances.

The next step is to get a new passport. I let my passport expire a few years back and didn’t really have a need (or the money) to renew it. I don’t know what the states bordering Ohio are doing, but Canada is only an hour away from my home in Toledo. Seems like that would be a safe bet if I ever needed an abortion.

The trickiest part of this whole equation is my six-year-old daughter. What will this country and this state look like as she gets older?

My husband and I have actually talked about moving because it’s not just Roe – it’s everything. This is absolutely heartbreaking to me. My family has called Northwest Ohio home for 170 years. 

Are you making post-Roe plans?

A Fond Childhood Memory That Brings Out the Atheist in Me

I want to share with you one of my favorite memories of back home. 

I grew up in a very rural area – Henry County, Ohio. It’s a rich agricultural region that was once part of the Great Black Swamp. 

My best friend lived a few miles away. Our grandpas were both farmers and our families had lived there for generations. 

One of the coolest things about living in the country (in my opinion) is the night sky. It gets so dark. On a clear night, the stars can be overwhelming and you just feel so small. 

My best friend had a big trampoline in her backyard and we would lay on it at night and look up at the sky. You wouldn’t believe how much is going on up there – there’s a lot of shit in the sky!

Sometimes I thought it was scary. I was certain that we were going to be abducted by aliens but thankfully that never happened. It made me feel like there’s just so much that goes on that is beyond my understanding. The sky is so vast and beautiful but there’s so much I don’t know. 

When we looked off to the Northeast, there was a faint orange haze in the distance. That was the lights of Toledo. I had no idea that one day that would be my home.

Today I prefer living in the city but I definitely miss the dark nights of the country.

You always hear people talking about awe-inspiring experiences bringing them closer to god but for me, thinking about the big night sky and stars back home brings out the atheist. It reminds me that we are so insignificant – barely a blink in space and time. We must make the most of the experiences that we have.

I was not an atheist back then but this is how the memory affects me now.

Have you had any awe-inspiring experiences that bring out the atheist in you?

Pushing Through Pain and Self-Care

I just want to see if there’s anyone out there who can relate.

How do you keep yourself going when you are feeling unwell?

For example, I’ve spent years battling an eating disorder and it can sometimes be really hard to listen to my body. I’ve learned that oftentimes when my stomach is upset or I’m feeling nauseous, I’m actually hungry. It feels so counterintuitive to try to eat when I feel like I’m going to throw up. It can be absolutely grueling but I know that’s what my body needs. At that point, eating becomes a form of self-care. 

Sometimes I just can’t do it and I waste away the day by laying around in pain. 

This isn’t just for physical pain though – mental pain can be just as debilitating.

I also struggle with anxiety and my symptoms can range from lack of concentration to not wanting to leave the house. But I’m still a mom. I still have a job. I still have shit to do.

It is just so hard to push through that pain and keep going.

How do you keep going when you feel like you can’t? How do you push through the pain? 

If you knew an area had conservative religious and political views, would you refrain from traveling there? 

Do an area’s popular religious and political views ever deter you from vacationing there?

A Recent Road Trip

I recently spent a few days in Tennessee visiting family. In true Midwest fashion if you can drive somewhere in under twelve hours there’s just no need to fly, so my husband and I made the eight-hour drive from Northwest Ohio to Eastern Tennessee. Our daughter did surprisingly well on the road trip. In fact, most of the time she was pretty quiet watching videos in her car seat.

My relatives moved to Tennessee just a few months ago; this was the first time I had visited the area. I knew Tennessee was more conservative but I didn’t think it would be as visible — my relatives live in a very busy tourist area in the Great Smoky Mountains. 

I was wrong!

Christianity and conservative viewpoints were definitely on display but I think it just added to our entertainment. My favorite was the huge cross on the mountainside right above the gigantic “Adult World” store. 

There were several year-round Christmas stores along the main drag. Gross.

I shit you not, there were also two Trump Stores. We don’t have that in Toledo! I did not have the guts to go in.

Car Trouble

Just after lunch, on our first full day in Tennessee, our car’s brakes started making some horrible noises. Surprisingly, we found a shop that was able to fix our car in a couple of hours and it didn’t cost as much as it could have. We thought the mechanics might take advantage of us since we were from out of town. 

We have several atheist and humanist stickers on the back of our car and I thought about that as we handed the mechanic our keys. We’re a long way from home and at the mercy of the mechanic – could my stickers be a reason they screw us?

Luckily, the mechanics were great. Our car is fine and we could still afford the rest of our vacation.

Choosing Your Vacation

Obviously, I didn’t choose to vacation in Tennessee; that’s just where my relatives live. Despite the local conservative views, it’s a very beautiful area and I’m glad I got to see it.

If you knew an area had conservative religious and political views, would you think twice about traveling there? 

Thoughts on Perfectionism and Ambition

As most of you know, I recently spent a couple of months in a treatment center for eating disorders. Treatment was grueling and being away from my husband and child was very difficult. It’s true that sometimes even the treatment itself can be considered traumatic. My emotions have been a rollercoaster since discharge. I go back and forth from feeling relieved that I am now physically healthy to feeling absolute disbelief that I went through treatment at all. Treatment didn’t necessarily leave me sad but I’m not exactly happy either. This whole experience has forced me to do a lot of “soul searching”. Sometimes it’s hard to describe what I’m feeling. My thoughts and emotions can be complicated right now. I’m safe and working with an outpatient team, but sometimes I don’t know what to do other than write about it. So if my posts seem a little emotional or disconnected lately, that’s why.

A Few Questions

Do you wonder if your best will ever be good enough? Not just to your friends, colleagues, and family, but also to yourself? Like most people with an eating disorder, I struggle with perfectionism, but I don’t always think it’s wrong. I like being picky and my anxiety makes me prompt, well-prepared, and organized in almost every aspect of my life. The problem is that it will never be good enough. Perfection is unattainable. Is it a waste of time to try to make things perfect or should you accept people and things just as they are?

Is it best to always want more or to settle with what you have? I’m ambitious and I can never settle for how things are. I always want more. Is that bad? Maybe sometimes it’s good. I think I would be a happier person if I could settle with what I have, but that seems to go against my very being. I’ve always been this way. I think it’s possible to do bigger and better, so shouldn’t I want that?

Leaning On My Better Half

My husband is a very relaxed person. Although I know he feels deeply, he’s also the most stable person I know. He helps me with these questions and I appreciate his feedback. 

I’ve always been uptight, intense, picky, and ambitious, and while I think I would be happier if I wasn’t, I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing. I think I just need to learn to turn it back a couple of notches. 


So how do you feel about this? Are you a perfectionist? Are you good enough for your friends, family, and yourself? Do you settle with what you have or do you always want more?

A Poem from My Book, The Housewife Who Ruled a Kingdom

I have been working for a while on my second poetry book, The Housewife Who Ruled a Kingdom, and I would like to share a poem with you. I consider the book erotic although it is more about the housewife than the sex. The housewife is torn between her loving and devoted husband and a sexy stranger she’s obsessed with. 


His Name

My sexy stranger
has a name
but I don’t dare
speak it.

He’s a real person
but my fantasy
is far from his reality —
a world created in my mind.

All I have is a picture
and an imagination.
I’ve made him into
a man that doesn’t exist.

My loving husband —
faithful and kind —
he’s all that I need
so why do I want more?

Lustful, sinful,
invading my restless mind —
I strip this stranger bare
but we’ll never meet.

Guilt and shame
come entangled
with my thoughts.
Why is my focus divided?

This stranger is
hundreds of miles away
but in my mind
there’s no such thing as distance.

My faraway lover
consumes me
stealing my time, productivity —
my life is distracted.

I’m guilty
of diverting my attention
from my family, my world —
a world this stranger will never be a part of.

A harmless seduction?
A fantasy of the forbidden —
is that why
I like it so much?

A private encounter
that will never happen —
a secret
I will never spill.

I love my husband —
my partner, protector, provider —
so why
do my thoughts betray him?

It’s a terrible affliction —
a tale of two men —
both give me
warmth and poetry.

I’m torn between fantasy and reality
but my sexy stranger
will never know.
I don’t dare speak his name.

Just a thought – what would it be like if I were religious?

Despite being raised in rural Ohio, I’ve never been very religious, and quite frankly, it’s a little disturbing to imagine what I would be like if I were.

My World in a Nutshell

I have always been a really intense person. My feelings run deep and my passion is fiery. I’m one of those emotional creative types with too much ambition and a mind that takes me to dark places. I also have some serious mental health issues that only fan the flames.

I question my reality a lot – did this really happen the way I think it did? Rational thought meets overwhelming emotions. Oftentimes my world differs from the real world. The atheist in me looks for simple answers – the ones the evidence actually points to – but my mentally ill brain tends to complicate everything. I know my feelings and experiences are valid but sometimes I overthink and under analyze. 

A Disturbing Thought

Knowing all this, could you imagine what I would be like if I were religious? Holy shit! My complicated brain would become a raging dumpster fire. I can’t even imagine how far I would take it. When I find something I’m interested in, I give it my all.

I’m not a very social person but regardless, I know how to use my voice. Art and writing mean everything to me and I’m sure I would use them to spread the word.

But what would that do in my personal life? How would that affect my daughter?

I’m not going to lie – this is a really weird and frightening thing to think about.

I have a schizophrenic disorder and I’ve seen many people with similar diagnoses become religious fanatics. Thankfully I’m stable on medication and haven’t gone down that road.

A Secular Life to the Rescue

I’ve often thought that atheism has contributed to the shreds of sanity I cling to. I couldn’t imagine if that were gone. 

I decided long ago that I would use my relentless drive for good instead of evil. Despite my head being in the clouds most of the time, I really do value common sense. My mental illness tends to muddy up my life but atheism has brought me some longed-for and much-needed clarity.


What would you be like if you were religious? Or perhaps you were religious in the past — what were you like? Were you ever a fanatic?

“Girl Mom” – Sharing a Poem from My Book, Free to Roam

I haven’t done this in a while…here’s a poem from my book, Free to Roam: Poems from a Heathen Mommy, published last year by Freethought House.

Girl Mom 

How do I protect my daughter
from having the stories all women have,
from fearing the night
and walking alone? 

How do I protect my daughter
when rapists run for president,
when boys will be boys,
when an accusation is too frequently overlooked? 

How do I protect my daughter
when she doesn’t have a say
when her body is property
and legislation dictates her future? 

How do I protect my daughter
from seventy-eight cents to the dollar
from taxes that come in pink
from old and rotten expectations? 

How do I protect my daughter
from the shards of glass
when she destroys the glass ceiling
and leads the way in a man’s world? 

How do I support my daughter
when she no longer needs my protection?


My poetry book gives an atheist perspective on being a Midwest Mom. It is for sale on my publisher’s site freethoughthouse.com, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon. (Signed copies are available at freethoughthouse.com.)