Our New Normal with The G TUBE!

Our new and beautiful normal! Today we ventured out for a little play time at a jump house! We approached Warren’s feeding time and it was a breeze!

It is speculated that my sweet boy has a missing Corpus Callosum. With this abnormality it is common to have a misshapen or deformed larynx. Warren has struggled with aspirating when feeding from a bottle. In order to maintain his health and avoid pneumonia we are under Doctors orders to use his G TUBE!

So here we are rocking out our new normal! At first I was afraid it would be to difficult but so far it has been a breeze and we are doing great!

#warrenthewarrior #specialneedsadoption #beproudofyournormal #specialneeds #specialneedsmom #specialneedskidsrock #gtubeawareness #gtubebaby

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I know an Angel and her name is Lindsay!

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If you do not believe in angel’s already, this might change your mind.

Some of you are probably wondering where I am at and what and I doing here?

In order to adopt a child from a different State you have to recieve approval from what is called ICPC- The Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children.

Basically North Carolina and Michigan have to both agree to Warren leaving North Carolina and entering Michigan. This is a standard procedure for anyone adopting a child from a different State. If adoption was not already very expensive most are hit with big hotel/ housing cost when waiting out the ICPC process! Eric and I had to really budget and save in order to make this adoption work in our lives (especially after the cost of our two losses in the hospital). Adopting was a huge priority for us, so we made it happen, however it was very challenging.

To be honest we were afraid that we would have to wait a bit to proceed with adopting after having lost $7,000 to the not so awesome adoption Facilitator that will remain un named (if you want to know so you can avoid making a huge mistake like we made please just private message me). When the Baby Z situation came to our attention all of the legal fees JUST met our allotted budget for adoption. If we would have had to pay for a hotel for 2-3 weeks we would have not been able to move forward with Warren! We would have had to hold off. We knew that if we absolutely had to pay for a hotel we could scrape the money together … but it would have been a challenge.

The beautiful Goddess of a Mother that is standing in the middle of us Mommies is Lindsay Chole Smith. Lindsay is the Case Manager with Colores Adoptions, the agency that was working with Warren’s Birth Mom. Without hesitation (once we were the selected family) Lindsay offered us her guest bedroom to stay in while we visit Warren in the NICU and wait out ICPC. Oh and BTW she also let us use her truck in order to get around town! OH AND she has been helping me manage taking care of Warren without Eric. Most importantly while Warren sat in the NICU and waited for his forever family to find him, Lindsay sat with him every day for 4 weeks! EVER DANG DAY she drove all the way to Levine Children’s hospital to be with our precious Warren so that he was not alone.

She and her Husband have been so welcoming and have graciously welcomed us into their family!

This type of support does not happen in every situation, in fact its pretty un heard of! That is why she is such a gem and we are so grateful for her support and generosity.

If you want to follow a kick butt Mom of 4 amazing children (get this… 3 are adopted and 1 is a miracle of a kid who is doing things no one thought he could do!) go to

www.onloanfromheaven.com

I could not be more grateful and blessed to have Lindsay in our lives. She will forever be Tia Lindsay to our beloved children. She has also inspired me on so many levels! #MOMGOALS!

Baby M.

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Baby M. holds a very special place in my heart. I will never forget the moment I laid eyes on him. He is and will always be one of the most beautiful little creatures I have ever seen. Baby M. also remains one of the most heart breaking experiences of my life.

I have to call him Baby M because of the sensitivity of his case. He is now considered a “Warden of the State” So I am unable to use his name. In February Eric and I began our adoption journey. We had just put the wheels in motion for our Home Study and started to work with a few agencies (and the not so honest Facilitator I had mentioned in my last blog post). We were spending some much needed time in Arizona with Family. This was one month after I had lost William to a cord accident and delivered him at 20 weeks gestation. The hormones were through the roof! I was pumping 5 times a day working very hard to store as much Breast milk as I could because I wanted to give this milk to the baby that we adopt. If you have ever lost a baby than you would also know that pumping after a loss is very therapeutic and gives the grieving Mother something to hold on to. It gives the grieving Mother some control over the world around her.

At the time I thought I was only pumping my breast milk for our future baby, but I was more so pumping to maintain my sanity. I would pump and pray. I would pump and envision my little baby that I would soon have through adoption. I would imagine my baby boys playing in heaven with Jesus. By the end of February I had an entire freezer full of pumped breast milk. It got to the point that I would just sit and cry while pumping. I felt so emotional and so broken. How could I be at this place AGAIN. Not just 7 months prior I sat in my bed room in our home doing the same thing after losing our baby Jack at 32 weeks. I would sit and cry, pump and look at photos of Jack. As some time has passed since those days I have come to realize I was acting out of complete intuition, hormones, and survival. Just like child birth, it was almost animalistic. I just did it without putting much thought into it!

I remember the day I saw his eyes. Baby M. looking right back at me with the biggest brightest baby blues! My now friend Melissa had reached out to me to share Baby M’s incredible story. In a nutshell Baby M’s mother had given birth to him in a circle K parking lot. She was high on various drugs and her baby was literally laying in her under wear when she was picked up by the paramedics. She literally lived in a dirt lot behind the church she attended. Baby M tested positive for Meth and Heroine. He went right into detox and withdraw from these narcotics. He started his life in a very painful and tragic way. After a few days postpartum Baby M’s mother left him in the hospital and she returned to the streets to continue her lifestyle as a drug abusing criminal and most tragically a lost and broke soul. Baby M. was left to go through the most painful moments of his life and his very first days on this planet ALONE. Fortunately Baby M’s mother had enough where withal to leave a note saying that she wanted her pastor from her church to be the temporary care giver for Baby M.

This miraculous and loving Pastor and his Wife very quickly became Baby M’s hope. Without much hesitation these wonderful people took Baby M. home and cared and loved him as if he were their own. It became apparent to the Pastor and his wife that Baby M’s Mother was not coming back any time soon. They began researching opportunities for possible adoption. They knew that the best opportunity for Baby M. was a home with a growing family. The Pastor and his wife needed to find Baby M’s mother as they needed her to sign off on various documents to give them custody. She was finally arrested after Baby M. was about 3-4 weeks old for burglary. She was very quickly released giving no one the opportunity to sit down with her and make a solid adoption plan for Baby M.

It was a shot in the dark. It was an impossible miracle lead by a place of love and hope. My friend shared with me that this Baby might need a family and we came to mind for her. We were elated and honored to learn about this little miracle baby. He had fought through so much in his short little life and has already inspired so many people. Just like me, he too experienced loss, and heart ache. We both had lost something very important to us. He lost his Mother and I lost my son. I felt an immediate connection to Baby M’s story and life and I absolutely fell in love with his perfect little face. Something grabbed a hold of me tightly and it begged me to not let this go. I knew that Baby M would be a shot in the dark. There were no guarantees and this would take a miracle! Baby M’s mother would need to be sober and willing to create an adoption plan. When we were first notified about Baby M. his Mother had been missing again and likely back to being on the streets.

We took a leap of faith and hoped that this situation might be the answer to our prayers. Perhaps we were Baby M’s forever family? My heart said yes, my mind said… not a chance. We asked our friend to set up a day to meet with the Pastor so that we could talk about Baby M’s future and to see if it would be at all possible to adopt him. He so graciously met with our little family and I poured my heart out. I explained the loss I had been through and how I wanted to badly to give that love to Baby M. I wanted Baby M. to feel the love that I had for Jack and William. I needed somewhere to Chanel that love and Baby M. seemed like the person most deserving. The Pastor and my little family hit it off! Without thinking it through and acting completely from my heart I asked to meet Baby M. I had no idea why. I knew that this could lead to tremendous heart ache but every fiber in my body said that I had to at least meet this little miracle.

The Pastor kindly agreed. I am certain he knew what sort of pain this could cause but he could also see how serious Eric and I were about potentially adopting Baby M. We rushed to a grocery store and picked up a few gifts for Baby M. The next day we met him! When he was placed in my arms my heart was so broken for this tiny human. I think about the love I have poured into Scarlett and how this baby deserves that type of love from a Mother. He was also just so completely beautiful. My heart melted as I held Baby M. and fed him his bottle.We also learned his birth Mothers incredibly heart breaking story. She was attending college and running track. She injured her back and was put on prescription pain medication. Soon the medication became to hard to obtain. Her then boyfriend introduced her to heroine because it was an easier to obtain option and a heck of a lot cheaper. My heart broke for this Woman and for this sweet baby.

We left that meeting hopeful, we left that meeting thinking… maybe we just met our baby? We were in the right place at the right time, I mean what were the chances that we just so happened to have been visiting Arizona at that time. I had lost William right around when Baby M. was born. While driving to meet Baby M. there was a rainbow in the sky following our car! I prayed and I prayed that this would be our baby boy.

We were warned that this was going to be a long and hard road. Once meeting Baby M. we were in. When I got into the car after meeting Baby M. I looked at Eric with tears in my eyes and Eric said “we are going to do what we can for him.” Once we returned home from our trip to Arizona we began aggressively finishing up our home study and we began reaching out to various attorney’s to seek legal advice and see if this adoption could really happen? We were completely lost and had no idea if this was going to be possible. Just when we found some great news, even worse news was presented to us. It became more and more impossible. Moments of hope were torn apart within days. This was one of the most intense emotional roller coasters of my life. There were nights that I cried myself to sleep thinking about this baby. I was in love and I couldn’t figure out why? This was a baby, just like any other baby… why did I feel so much love and connection to him. It was really bizarre, but I just kept following my heart.

One thousand tears later and thousands spent in legal advice ultimately Baby M. was never to be our son. We soon learned that because the Birth Mother was high during the pregnancy, and the baby tested positive for narcotics Baby M. became a Warden of the state. In conclusion Baby M. was to either stay with the Pastor (which was a miracle that the State allowed this) or go into Foster Care. Because the Birth Mom had such an intense criminal background and was not considered of sound mind during the times that she needed to be she was no longer able to make an adoption plan. According to the State the Birth Mother wanted the Baby to be cared for by the Pastor and made no efforts toward an adoption plan. We came to the realization after months of guessing that Baby M. would be next to impossible to adopt since we are not residents of Arizona.

Why was this so hard to swallow? We had turned away several other adoption situations because we were committed to adopting Baby M. We waited a few months to come to the painful conclusion that we needed to move on. This hurt terribly because it is not like the baby is no longer alive. He is not alive in my life… but he is still alive and will never be ours. I had become so attached to the idea of him, and I became so dedicated that I acted on emotions and listened to my heart more than I listened to my mind.

There were many lessons that I learned from the Baby M. situation.

  1. I could in fat love someone else’s biological child. I could love a baby that was not biologically mine. This was something I pondered and worried about when deciding to adopt.
  2. Never meet a baby before it is even a possibility to adopt them.
  3. Gaurd your heart. Expect several situations to not workout for you before you find “The one”.

Without Baby M. there might not have been Baby Warren in our life. Baby M gave me the push and motivation to comlete our home study very quickly. We had started the process in February and were Home Study approved by April. The Baby Warren situation came to be at the end of May. If we had not rushed to get our home study done in order to adopt Baby M. we would not have been home study read and ready to travel for Baby Warren. My love for Baby M. will always be there. He holds a very special place in my heart. Loving the idea of him helped me to heal during the days after I had lost my third baby. My love for Baby M. gave me the confidence that I was ready to adopt, and that I was doing it for the right reasons. Baby M. showed me that I am capable of such incredible unconditional love. I knew I was capable for that love with my sweet biological daughter Scarlett, but could I be capable of that for another baby birthed by someone else?

 

The answer is yes.

 

Baby M. I will always love you and I will always have gratitude for the brief period that you were in my life. My love for you was real. The tears I wept for you were real. The visions of you playing with Scarlett on our trampoline were real.

 

You and I were real.

 

 

 

 

The Adoption Business

Our adoption journey pt 2

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Adoption seemed over whelming and impossible when we sat down to make our plan. We had no idea what we were doing. We trusted the opinion of everyone because we did not know what questions to ask or where to turn. Fortunately we aligned ourselves with an honest and fair Agency in Michigan. They helped us to navigate the overwhelming and exciting journey of adoption. This agency guided us to where we should look for a match and helped us with our home study. Unfortunately we ran into a situation where we were taken advantage of with a different “agency”.

We were approached by a representative from an “adoption agency” so the google search description said. We were given a ton of information right off the bat and trusted what we were doing. After talking with several people about adoption we eventually realized this company was not an agency, but rather a “facilitator”. The only thing a facilitator does is match you with a baby and help you create your look- book to be presented to birth Mothers. The entire time that we worked with this facilitator we were under the impression that they were an adoption agency and the money that we were paying to them would cover the entire adoption and all fees included. We were quoted $15,000 total and given then opportunity to pay in installments. We paid 7 installments before we realized that they were not an agency and we were actually paying them a fee to find a match for us and not to actually execute the adoption for us.

We paid $7,000 to this facilitator up front and were never shown one situation, there were 40 plus waiting families and just a handful of people had been matched in since the month we came on board in January. When we asked the Facilitator to refund us our money as we were not aware the difference between agency and facilitator. How were we to know? We were clueless about what we were doing. We read the contracts and asked questions but really was UN-sure of what questions to even ask. We asked for our $7,000 because we felt misguided and mislead. We stopped working with this facilitator before we were out a total of $15,000.

In conclusion not a dime was refunded to our family. The facilitator kept every penny we gave them. $7,000 into someones pocket and we were left with no match and back at ground zero. This was salt on our wounded journey as we were still paying for the hospital bills from when we had to deliver the boys. I spent many nights crying over the money that we were out. We felt so frustrated and defeated. $7,000 is a lot of money to part with and it set us back in our adoption journey. We had to pull back for a few more months and save back up enough funds to adopt. Please email me anitamiron@anitagetfit.com if you would like to know who this facilitator is. I will be glad to share so that you can avoid making the same mistake that we did.

When we came back on board with a fresh perspective and weariness we felt more confident and ready to pursue our dream. We refused to pay anyone up front before we were matched and we decided that we would exclusively adopt a special needs child because that is where our hearts were headed. After loosing a baby with special needs we felt very strongly about giving a home to a baby in real need. We had prepared our minds, and our lives for a special needs child! That is a massive decision and we decided it would be a blessing to continue forward with that plan.

We found that with every typical adoption there are somewhere around 50-100 plus families sending in their profiles to be viewed by the birth Mother. These “non special needs” adoptions were absolutely going to find a family. There was no question or doubt! There are so many waiting families for every typical infant adoption situation! We felt that if we were going to spend the money on adoption we want that money to go to the child who actually needs it. We wanted to give a child who was actually in need a chance at a beautiful life.

This may upset some readers, but we just had so much trouble finding a situation or agency that we felt comfortable and confident with. In many situation we felt like there were so many hands in the pot and it began to feel like we were part of a Baby auction. We literally felt like we were buying a baby. That was not our goal in the beginning. When we envisioned our adoption journey we envisioned a child in need and blessing that child with a hope and a future. Do not get me wrong. There were some adoption agencies and facilitators that we felt comfortable and confident with, but for the most part, it felt like we were participating in a giant Baby auction.

For a list of my favorite Adoption Agencies and Facilitators please email me at anitamiron@anitagetfit.

I will share with you who and what to avoid as well who and what to invest your time and money into.

– My biggest piece of advise do not pay astronomical amounts of money before being matched with a situation. Find facilitators and agencies who charge a moderate a reasonable fee up front and the remainder of their final fee’s after the adoption match.
– The only things you should be paying upfront: Your Home Study (make sure your agency does not hold ownership of your home study) and an application fee. An appropriate application fee is about $100-500.
– Make sure you are working with an agency that does not require you to work with them and only them. Other situations will present themselves and you do not want to be tied to one agency.
– Pay the application fee to multiple agencies and work with whoever matches you with the right situation.
– Be weary of potential scams. There are scammers who say they are pregnant in hopes that you will pay their financial needs and then they dissapear.
– Know that all aspects of adoption require giant leaps of faith. Nothing is guaranteed.

In conclusion we started on the wrong foot with our adoption journey! We got bruised big time. Once we were back in the swing of things we started to feel excited again! We made great connections all over social media!

I had no idea that around the corner was my third tragic loss…

to be continued.

To

I’ve loved you for 1,000 years

Our adoption journey PT 1

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photo credit Allison Fowler

I woke up and looked at my clock. It was 3:30 am and my heart was beating out of my chest. I felt a swoosh of anxiety rush over my body. “What if it happens again? What if at my 20 week anatomy scan in 3 weeks the Doctor determines that my baby is dead?! I rolled out of bed and got on my knees and I prayed. I prayed that I would have peace in this pregnancy. I prayed that I would soon find my rhythm and make it through this pregnancy one day at a time. You see just a few short months prior I lost my baby boy Jack at 32 weeks gestation. As soon as I lost my sweet boy my world completely changed. What once seemed like the most incredible life became grim and negative. Everything seemed as though it was a little bit scarier. If I could lose a baby in the womb… what else could possibly happen to me? What could happen to my daughter? My husband. This loss put me in a state of panic and eventually perinatal depression.

For for the remainder of my third pregnancy I felt fear, anxiety, had trouble sleeping, and had panic attacks. The fear of losing another baby crippled me. We began trying to get pregnant 2 months after losing baby Jack. We just wanted to feel some hope on the horizon and we thought that another pregnancy would do just that! I mean, lightening never strikes the same place twice… or does it?

I spent every single day of my last pregnancy listening to the heart beat with my Doppler. I became obsessed with the Doppler and with Ultrasounds. We went about the pregnancy as if we never lost Jack months prior because we wanted to give this new baby everything he deserves!

On the day of my anatomy scan for Baby William (my last pregnancy) I felt enormous anxiety. At this point my physicians had suggested therapy and an antidepressant. I felt as though it was starting to kick in and I was starting to feel more in control of my anxiety. I laid down on the couch to have my daily doppler meeting with my baby. I put the doppler right on the spot that I normally find the heart beat. There was nothing. I moved the doppler around fiercely and frantically. Still nothing. I started to panic and within in minutes was on my knees crying. The anxiety flooded in. We had my anatomy scan in a few minutes so we would have confirmation, but I had a really good feeling that he was gone, just like I had with Jack. Mom’s intuition I guess!

“Anita I am so sorry, but William is gone.” The Doctor looked at me with tears in his eyes. He looked panicked, trying desperately to find out the answers and help me calm down. “Anita I am so sorry this happened to you. This should never happen to a Mother.” I looked at Eric and we were both sobbing. Eric leaned down and started to rub my hair as I cried out “NOOOOO, GOD PLEASE NOT AGAIN!!!” The entire floor of that office had to have heard me as I screamed and cried. “Anita we need to make a plan for delivery. What do you want to do?” I knew the drill already. Take the pill, lay in agony, deliver baby, hold said baby, and shrivel into a pit of darkness for several months. “Lets just get this over with.” I exclaimed. Eric and I got into the car and Eric drove directly to a gas station. He came out with a solemn look on his face. He got back in the car and handed me a pack of cigarettes and started the car. He knew exactly where my head was at. Some people grieve by laying around and crying, I grieve by sitting alone and smoking cigarettes, and NO I am not a smoker. I used to be, but I kicked it during one of my intense health make-overs!

Who gives a SHIT about health when two of your babies are gone. So I smoked and I cried and then proceeded to the hospital to deliver William. This would be the second still birth in 1 year. I laid lifeless on the bed and just sobbed. After 8 hours of contractions, I delivered William (I won’t go into gory details, but it was the most horrific thing I have ever witnessed.) As I started to compose myself after holding William I looked at Eric and I said “This is the year that we adopt, and I am pretty damn convinced we need to adopt a special needs child. We owe that honor to our Jack and William. We need to give all of this love we have mustered up in our bodies to someone who NEEDS IT. At first Eric was nervous about the idea, but as months progressed we got on the same page. It was time to find our baby boy.

To be continued.

It Brings Us Together!

The Ultimate Reset is bringing us closer together. I am not even joking! Here are the benefits of working towards the same fitness goals together:

1. You can cook and prep your meals together rather than alone.
2. If someone drops the ball on prepping meals, you can help by picking up the slack for them.
3. Um we get to laugh about the things we miss (foods and wine ;)) together.
4. We have felt brought together by a common goal.
5. We have more sex… yep I said it. We are feeling more energy and more up beat! We are more attracted to one another and we are more excited to yah know… do the things!

So another benefit of this whole Ultimate Reset experience… our marriage has only gotten better…
I love you babe! Eric Miron14370164_10210535801172739_5139536442901391058_n

My Journey with Depression.

 

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The tunes were pumping, the sun was shining bright, I had a pretty awesome to do list in place, and I was ready to conquer the day… or was I? I quickly noticed that my favorite song was not igniting the same joy in my heart. I looked around out side and everything seemed to be a little bit gloomier. I felt a feeling of panic and fear rush over my body. I thought about my to do list and all of sudden it felt the the world was on my shoulders. I thought about the hours, the days and the months ahead of me and everything seemed… bleak. Nothing about the up coming dinner I was planning seemed to bring peace in my heart. Nothing about a peaceful evening on the couch with my husband sounded appealing. I wanted to pull the car to the side of the road and cry. What was going on?!

I knew it. I was depressed again. It hit me out of no where. Or did it? The signs were coming but I was trying my hardest to ignore every one of them. The signs looked like this:

  1. Trouble falling asleep
  2. Panic attacks out of no where
  3. Slowly becoming less excited about things that normally excited me.
  4. Feel nervous in the morning and relaxed later in the evening.

I could not believe I was here again. This would be my 3rd bout of depression in my life. My first happened when I graduated college and the stress of the world got to me. I thought for sure when I beat that I was free from it completely. I thought… this should be a fluke right? The second hit me in 2015 shortly after my Step Father passed away, we moved to Texas, my business got crazy busy, and my Mother moved in with us. That bout lasted 7 months until I was treated with anti depressants and therapy. I was free and clear of most symptoms by the time I was pregnant with my son. I felt 90% for the length of my pregnancy. But then I lost my son. The weeks after loosing him I experienced some slight panic here and there, and the normal feelings of sadness. But I was coping and felt balanced chemically.

After my first menstrual period after losing my son (he passed away at 32 weeks due to a chord accident)  I realized Depression and Anxiety would be something that I would have to deal with for the rest of my life. This sucker was not going to just disappear. This was something I had to be on top of for the rest of my existence if I wanted to live a balanced life. I was devastated, heart broken, terrified. What if I feel this way forever? What if my life is stuck feeling this way! What if I never go on to enjoy my incredible family? What if I go on to live in a mental health facility just like my Father!!

Here is the difficult fact … my father and his siblings all struggle with mental illness. They all have had a variety of mental illnesses take over their life. I knew this, but I did not want to face it until I myself started to experience Depression. I began asking my cousins if they to had issues with Depression and come to find out… they to were dealing with this. That fear took over me for many weeks and I did not know how to cope. The “what ifs” of my world became to hard to bare. The uncertainties of my life and future became to hard to function around. I started to develop OCD symptoms and began ruminating about whether or not I would become like my Father.

Here is the deal. I know that this is a chemical in-balance. I know that it is not my fault. I know that I have a fabulous life, a life to be very proud of and grateful for… so these feelings are not real. These feelings are the power of Depression lying to me. As of last week I started to feel some relief of this most recent battle with Depression. Fortunately I knew right away that I needed help. I got in contact with my Doctors, my therapist and I let my family know that I was in deed struggling. I was given an adjustment in antidepressants, I was given more therapy sessions, and I began studying “The Depression Cure” by Stephen S. Ilardi.

I am a Blogger, Mom, Wife, Successful Entreprenuer …. and I also struggle with mental illness. I am real. This is real.

Why Do I share this with you?! Am I looking for a pity party?! Absolutely NOT! I am looking for the “Me too’s” out there! I am looking for other Women who are to afraid to get their Depression treated. I am looking for the people out there that have stigmatized Depression and Anxiety. I am looking for the people who believe that Depression is only for sad and miserable people who have terrible lives… BECAUSE I AM HERE TO TELL YOU THAT IS THE FURTHEST THING FROM THE TRUTH. I am looking for the people who think that their thoughts and fears are just life and not a chemical in-balance. I am here to tell you that millions of people struggle with Depression and 1 in 4 people in the United States will experience a bout of it in their life time. There are people who take their own lives because they have no idea how to escape the pain when there is help right around the corner.

I share this because if I can help one person out there see hope, and see a fighter, they to will fight for their lives. Depression steals your joy, ability to function, and often your life. I am the face of someone who has had Depression and refuses to let it take over my life. I am someone who is not willing to go down without a fight, and I want to take you with me! So if you or someone you know battles with this illness… know that you are or they are not alone. Depression will lie to you and tell you that no one knows what you are feeling. Depression will lie to you and tell you that you will never get better, but here is the incredible thing about Depression… you can get better. There are hundreds of ways to improve in this illness. You just have to be willing to put in the work and dedication. I suggest the following:

  1. Immerse yourself in peer support. There are some really great groups on Facebook to be a part of.
  2. Read “The Depression Cure” by Stephen S. Ilardi
  3. See a Psychiatrist and do not be afraid of taking something for short period. Just to help you get back to you!
  4. See a Therapist weekly. Do not give up on attending your sessions. Just because you start to feel better does not mean you have to tools to make sure it does not come back.
  5. Go for long vigorous walks even when you feel terrible and do not want to. Force yourself to.
  6. Tell your family that you are sick. You need to be treated like someone with the flu. It is worse than the flu in my opinion so why not treat yourself like it? How do you treat yourself when you have the flu?
  7. Find something to do with your hands. Teach yourself to crochet, knit, cross stitch. Do something to stay out of bed and be productive.
  8. Do not make major life changes. Do not move, do not leave your spouse, do not leave your job. Chances are you are having feelings about these things … it could just be your chemical in balance causing you to not see the love and joy in those things. That is how depression works. It takes the peace and joy right out of things. Its not the things, its you… so give it time.
  9. I cannot stress #2 enough. Such a great book!
  10. I have to give credit to the medication that I take that has helped me and that is Lexapro. It is hard to admit that I take something for depression, but it is what it is. It has helped me get lifted off of the ground when things seem to tough.

Reach out to friends and family. You never know who in your life is going through what you are. Having peer support is so important. You never know who you might affect by simply sharing your pain and struggles. Do not be embarrassed or afraid. This is a real mental illness brought on by life stress that our bodies are not meant to handle. This does not make you weak, crazy, or bad… this makes you human. Everyone struggles with some sort of illness in their life… this just happens to be the one you struggle with and the beauty of life is that you are not alone in that struggle.