Do you believe in luck? Do your trinkets have meaning?

You hear people use the term “luck” all the time. I’ve always thought luck was a very random thing so it probably doesn’t exist at all. Do you ever describe times in your life as having good luck or bad luck?

Have you heard the phrase “when it rains it pours”? Does negativity snowball? My husband and I live paycheck to paycheck like many Americans do, so if there’s an emergency we’re screwed. 

A few weeks ago our cat was injured and needed to have her leg amputated. We spent our last 500 dollars on the surgery and the next day my husband’s car broke down. We don’t like asking for help but we had no choice. We were in a very desperate place. Thankfully a relative came to our rescue.

That’s some bad fucking luck right there.

I bitch but I know everyone has stressors in their life. Bad luck didn’t just pick me – I’m not special. No one has good or bad luck; there’s just random shit happening all the time.

Is there ever a balance between the good and the bad? I see a lot of both in my life.


Do you ever feel luck and sentimental value are related? Like carrying a special trinket around and hoping for good things?

When something happens in my life I often buy something small to remember it by. Sometimes it’s a plant or toy; other times it’s jewelry or a small trinket. 

For example, I recently submitted my art to a local gallery. They had a lot of requirements for their submissions and I worked really hard to put it all together. I finally sent the email and later that day I bought a small toy giraffe to remember what I was working on. I carry it in my bag for “luck” but really it reminds me to stay focused. 

I did the same thing for some poetry submissions. I bought a toy lion and carried it around. When my art was at a consignment shop, I bought a blue necklace from the shop. 

Probably the most meaningful one was a Valentine’s bear I bought when I was discharged from the treatment center last year. I came home on Valentine’s Day and I wanted to remember that.

This is a habit of mine. There are little things all over our house that I bought and have some sort of special meaning to me. It might be getting a little ridiculous. I think I have more stuffed animals than my seven-year-old daughter. 

Even if you’re not superstitious, do you have meaningful trinkets that you keep close by?


How do you feel about “luck”? Do you use the term (even if you don’t believe in it)? How do you feel about sentimental value? Is it something that affects you?

How much are you influenced by the people in your life?

Do you remember your relationships when you were a teenager? I swore I was in love. When I was nineteen, I moved from Ohio to California with my boyfriend. Moving had been my idea and when we got to California, it was pretty clear that he didn’t want to be there. The relationship fell apart soon after and he moved back home.

Why would he agree to such a drastic change if he really didn’t want to do it? (I’m going to ask myself that question in a minute.)

My next boyfriend was Jewish and his family was unhappy that I wasn’t. At the time, I didn’t consider myself an atheist yet, but I was definitely turned off by religion in general. Despite my true feelings, I started taking classes to convert to Judaism. My boyfriend’s parents were paying for them, of course. 

I didn’t want to be Jewish so why the hell did I agree to convert? (I never followed through, by the way.) 

Many years later I met my husband. Our relationship is different from any of my other relationships because we didn’t have to change for each other. Our similarities and differences seem to balance us out.

Influence can be positive or negative, but what if you lose yourself in the process?

I know someone who is heavily influenced by the women he’s with. He takes on their traits and it can be good or bad depending on the woman. It’s been going on for so long that it makes me wonder if I truly know who he is as an individual. 

How do you contribute to a meaningful relationship if you’re not being authentic?

Is it possible to be easily influenced because you just don’t know what you want?

What makes a person easily influenced? I think as I’ve gotten older I’ve developed a stronger sense of self. I’m not saying it’s always easy to be authentic but I’ve learned that it’s harder not to. Does a less–developed sense of self make you susceptible to the influence of others?

How do you get to know yourself outside of the influence of others? I spend a lot of time alone and have had lots of time to think about the things I want. Being alone has allowed me to develop my sense of self which has given me a confidence I didn’t have when I was younger. 

Does age affect how easily influenced you are?

One thing I regret is not living alone. When I was in my twenties I had an apartment near campus for a very short time, but other than that I lived with my parents or a boyfriend. Had I taken more time to get to know myself back then, I’m sure it would have had an impact on my relationships and goals.

What do you think? Have your partner, family, or friends influenced you in some way? Do you stay true to yourself? What makes a person influenced or influential?

Living with a Mental Illness: What I Wish I Knew When I Was Younger

Living with a Mental Illness: What I Wish I Knew When I Was Younger


  1. You don’t have to chase after a “normal” life. A normal life is not necessarily the goal of recovery – even if your friends and family think otherwise. Do what works for you.
  2. Find a way to embrace and celebrate your uniqueness. I’ve learned it’s better to accept your differences than to change them. You’re going to stand out and you have to find the confidence to be okay with that.
  3. Beware of people that invalidate your thoughts and feelings because you’re mentally ill. It’s really just an excuse for them to not hold themselves accountable. Watch for phrases like “too sensitive” and “crazy” and then find more thoughtful and understanding people to hang out with. 
  4. Medications are great but therapy is also really helpful. There have been so many times in my life when I said I’m on medication and don’t require therapy but really the ideal situation is having both.
  5. You are not damaged. You are just as worthy as everyone else. A mental illness doesn’t make you less than others. You are deserving of a fulfilling life and a seat at the table.
  6. A wise man with a similar diagnosis once told me that sometimes you have to stretch yourself to see what you are truly capable of. I actually took this advice when I was younger and it has served me greatly through the years.


People in recovery, what would you add to the list? For everyone – what are some things you knew when you were younger? What would’ve been helpful? What would have saved you some heartache?

A Poem from an Anxious Mother

A New Promise


I’m just a tired parent
overprepared with anxiety and wet wipes.
You’re an everchanging little girl,
yet I stay in place.

Pick, pick, pester.
Put your clothes away.
Clean up your toys.
Put on a coat.

I don’t want to be angry all the time.
You don’t want me to either.
My anger is fear —
a need to protect you.

You’re my one and only.
A raised voice,
a quiet tear,
a new promise.

I’m raising a reflection
of my own little universe
and it’s time
to expand our horizons.

Learn, grow, discover –
I won’t stand in your way.
It’s your path
and merely my guidance.

Let’s let go
of the things that don’t matter
and focus on the love
in front of us.

In this – your eighth trip
around the blazing sun,
let’s see the good in the world —
and each other.

If laws didn’t exist, would you still trust people?

So, my seven-year-old just told me she doesn’t trust the police. The police don’t have a good reputation here and my husband and I don’t speak very highly of them (although the topic doesn’t come up very often). But still, the few times in my life I’ve needed the police they were there and I was grateful. If I wasn’t a middle-aged white woman, I’m sure my story would be different. 

Strange question – how badly do we really need laws? Are there too many of them?

If laws didn’t exist, would you still trust people? Are there people whose only deterrent from doing something horrible is the threat of incarceration? 

Does the threat of incarceration stop you from doing anything? Jail really scares me even though I’ve never been in any real trouble with the law. Deep down is that fear preventing me from doing anything?

The thought of laws not existing reminds me of people who say if you don’t have religion, how do you know right from wrong? Obviously, we know religion isn’t required in morality, so I feel if you took away laws, most people would still have a conscience.

Do laws work? It’s like that saying, “Locks keep honest people out.” If you really want to do something, do laws actually matter to you?

I asked my husband if there was anything illegal he wanted to do, and if he would do it if laws didn’t exist. He laughed and said he wanted to loiter. I told him it might be exciting to dine and ditch. We couldn’t seriously think of anything we actually wanted to do. Do you feel that way?

Are there any laws you would like to break if it was no longer illegal? Are there any laws you feel are unnecessary? I’ve always felt drugs should be decriminalized. 

How do you feel about laws? If you don’t want to comment on this post, I completely understand! I just thought it would be interesting to throw some questions out there.

The Confessions of a Mother

My daughter is the best thing that’s ever happened to me. When she entered the world seven years ago she changed everything. However, the stress of motherhood was more than I could have ever imagined. There was no way I could have known what this felt like beforehand and when my baby was born I was jumping in head first. No turning back. Nothing will ever be the same. 

Sometimes it’s a relief to know that I’m not alone – there are other parents around me all the time – but I’ve learned that also means everyone has an opinion. Mommy shaming is real and sometimes I wonder if I’m doing things because I think it’s what’s best for my daughter or because I think people will judge me if I don’t. 

Stress seems to come in two forms. First, caring that my daughter does well and wanting what’s best for her comes with this particular stress – like worrying about the future or about situations that might never happen. Sometimes it’s motivation to keep me prepared and organized as a mom. 

But then there’s this other stress – feeling a burden by the heavy responsibility of parenting. This is where I focus more on myself and my shortcomings. I assume I won’t measure up or I’ll fail my daughter. It feels deep and dark – like I’ll never be able to handle everything and it’s my fault. While feeling this kind of stress is painful, thankfully it’s short-lived because my husband always comes to my rescue. 

The stress is real and it’s relentless. Whether it’s good or bad, it all puts my anxiety through the roof.

But I would never give up my role as a mom. On her last day of school before summer break my daughter won an art award at school. I was so excited for her. Art is an interest my daughter and I share and when I get to paint with her it makes everything worth it. Those are the things that really matter. 

I literally can’t even remember what life felt like before becoming a mom. I’m not sure if that’s good or bad, but either way, I would never turn back time and go back. 

I would love to hear from other parents/relatives/caregivers. Can you relate to the stress, the judgment, the joy, and the times when all those feelings are mixed up together?

Is age just a number? How do you feel about it?

I’ve been watching a lot of TV lately – which isn’t really like me – but I seem to be really drawn to documentaries and true crime. Apparently, I like to unwind by watching something stressful.

Have you seen The Curious Case of Natalia Grace? (I think I watched it on Prime or Hulu.) It was an interesting story but the ending was pretty unsatisfying. It’s about a family who adopted a little girl with dwarfism but in the end, they didn’t know her age. It’s quite possible that she was a very small adult masquerading as a child. I was left unsatisfied because there really were no answers in the documentary – just the mention of an upcoming court case. 

What would it be like to experience childhood as an adult? 

If you could be a child again, would you?

Personally, I wish to remain an adult. Childhood is rough. A budding mental illness coupled with normal growing pains left me feeling fearful and confused. I’m happy to be grown-up and in charge of my own life. As a child, I wish I would have felt the freedom I do now. There’s nothing worse than feeling stuck in a bad situation.

Do you feel and act your age?

I entered a new decade with my 40th birthday last November. I thought I was going to have a hard time with it, but so far, forty’s not so bad. I have a wonderful family and I get to do the things I love to do. I can’t really say that about other times in my life. I’m not as physically fit as I should be, but I get around just fine. Yeah. Forty’s pretty cool.

Should I fear the Golden Years?

Man, I don’t know how to say this nicely. While I’m just fine with being forty, today I realized that maybe I’m a little scared of becoming elderly. I dropped off an order at a local sign shop run by a husband and wife team. The husband took my order and told me to return a few hours later to pick it up. When I showed up later my order wasn’t finished. It turns out the husband has dementia and left. The wife cried when she realized what had happened. 

I don’t know if I’ll ever get my order but I really don’t care at this point. I couldn’t imagine going through that. The wife said they had been in business for fifty years and should call it quits.

I don’t ever want to have to call it quits.


There’s just been a lot in my life right now making me think about age – from myself, from raising my seven-year-old, and from my interactions with others. How do you feel about it? Would you ever want to be a child again? What’s been your best decade? How do you feel about your age right now?