#yearofcalm

I ended 2017 with a blog about my intentions for the New Year and a quote from my pal Buddha which said, “There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting.” I can’t believe it has been over 5 months since I wrote my last blog. I certainly have had my hands full. Not only that, I was struggling with what I wanted to write about. Yup, for five whole months. Talk about a writer’s block. Truth is, I have been going back and forth regarding the topic I am writing about today. It is a topic that I am open about as much as I can be. It is raw, real and hard to write about because of those very factors.

For me, panic attacks have become a new normal. I wish it wasn’t always this way, but sadly, it is. I have been getting panic attacks for over a decade. In the beginning, I just figured I was an overly anxious person who worried about ‘things’. Then those ‘things’ just kept piling up and made me worry more frequently. I could take the smallest feeling of getting a headache and basically convince myself within minutes that it was a tumor and that I was going to die. Nice, huh?

As I sit here writing this and periodically reread my grammar, I can’t help but pause and think how absolutely crazy and insane this all sounds. I mean, how a person can go from a minor ache or pain to literally within seconds feel like the world is caving in on them with their heart racing so fast and thousands of thoughts swirling all around their head seems quite nuts. With my panic attacks, they are mostly associated with something physical. Once the physical sensation happens (a headache, some twitch, a localized pain) it is over. Legit, game over. Game, set, match, OVER. My mind is now fully in control and good luck to me over the next 2 long and grueling hours. You read that correctly, sometimes it takes me 2 hours to fully get rid of my panic attacks.

My panic attacks in the beginning were pretty low key. They used to come and go and I would be able to switch gears and get rid of them fairly quickly. My pregnancy with Camryn drastically changed the frequency and severity of my panic attacks. Over the course of my not-so-wonderful 9-month pregnancy with Cam, I miscarried Camryn’s twin, I had pneumonia, I had the stomach bug, I had to wear a heart monitor for a month due to increased stress levels, my skin burned in three spots from the gel of the heart monitor pads, I had an allergic reaction from the steroid cream I took for the burn that caused me to break out in a full body rash that made me scratch so much I bled and I got a stress fracture during my 8th month and had to be on crutches. YES, all of that shit truly happened. I was a fucking wreck for that entire pregnancy. All of this meant I had to go to the doctors, A LOT. Going to the doctors for me became a norm but for my brain it was a quick trip to panictown. At any moment where I had any sensation in my body, my brain immediately thought “great, here we go with another trip to the doctors”. I would think about my appointment from the minute I woke up until the second it happened. Not just think, obsess is a much better word for it. What will my tests results from my lab work say? Will my blood pressure be normal? Then I became obsessed with checking my heart rate. I used to do it roughly 50 times a day. I wish I could go back to the old days where going to the doctors wasn’t such a big deal, but for me, it is a huge deal.

So what brings all of these crazy ass panic attacks on? It wasn’t until while being pregnant with Camryn that I realized my trigger. It was stress. One would think that this would have been obvious, but to me, it never was. When I am overly stressed, this is how my body tells me that I need to take care of myself better. If I don’t comply, well, off to panictown I go. One way that I started to take care of myself was through meditating.  I began meditating during my pregnancy to the Calm app which was recommended by a friend. Folks, I am serious when I say this, STOP what you are doing and download this app. I used the free version for 10 months and finally bought it after I had Camryn. It was $60 for the entire year and the amount of information, knowledge and support this app has given me is priceless. As I wrote in my last post, I was going to meditate for 30 days. After those 30 days, I was hooked!

I wish that I could say that my go to technique is one specific item like meditating. Truth is, sometimes that works and sometimes it doesn’t. There are nights where I have to try four different techniques in order for me to get one to stick that pulls me back to normalcy. That doesn’t mean I have failed. It just means that I was a little deeper in the weeds and I needed to switch it up and use more of my tools. My advice when someone you know is having a panic attack is to listen to what they want to do. Sometimes I want to talk and other times I just want someone to talk to me. When I call my mom to talk me off of a ledge, she becomes a storyteller. She can talk to me about a hair elastic and I wouldn’t care. I just need to listen and get my mind off of what I currently am thinking about. Also, support them in any way you can. Perhaps you can offer to meditate with them or do deep breathing exercises. Panic attacks are real. They are scary and can often leave you feeling helpless. You won’t ever know what a true panic attack feels like unless you have experienced one yourself.  When I tell people that I suffer from panic attacks, most people think I am joking and can’t actually believe it. Just remember, everyone is struggling in life. Everyone has their own set of challenges. Try and recognize the symptoms when you can and be patient. If I could stop my anxiety, I would have done so by now.

So long, 2017

img_3765.jpgNormally I try not to make New Year’s resolutions because they are a waste of time. I always break them, no matter what. Whether it is a friendly bet with my friend or something actually at stake with my husband; I never follow through. However, this year I am trying something new.

Do I want to eat healthier in the New Year? Yes. Do I want to exercise more in the New Year? Yes. Do I want to be less stressed in the New Year? Do I want to swear less in the New Year? No, who the fuck wants to do that?! You get my point with these resolutions. So why is it so damn hard then to keep these resolutions if and when you make them?

For me, I set unrealistic expectations for myself. The only way these resolutions work is by changing your behavior and essentially rewiring your brain. Instead of trying to accomplish all of those goals above, I am choosing one. Only one goal, in hopes that the rest will also fall into place.

I am dedicating 2018 to me. Yes, you read that correctly. Dedicating it to me; the whole damn year. My hope is that not only will I benefit from it but my kids, husband, family, and friends benefit too. So you must be dying to know how I am dedicating 2018 to myself. Out of everything that I need to work on, I need to work on my inner self the most. I have decided to find my presence, settle my mind, and connect with my heart in the New Year.

First up is 30 days of meditation to kickstart my year of calm. For all of those who know me, meditation doesn’t come easy for me, for many reasons. For starters, my brain and mind are constantly on. Always. Like on all the damn time with no hope of shutting off. Even when I am sleeping I will wake up in the middle of the night and need to write stuff down on the notepad on my nightstand or on my phone. Then I will be up for over four hours because why? Right, that mind not wanting to shut off thing. To silence my mind is the hardest thing I have ever done. And to be honest, I have yet to do it for more than a few minutes. I truly suck at it. Basically my mind is like a million browsers open on a computer. Constantly cycling, updating, and always on. It sucks, big time.

The other reason why I find meditation hard is because I tend to think of all of the things I “should” be doing while I am meditating. I “should” be cooking, cleaning, going to the gym, dropping the library books off, taking a shower, switching the laundry and so on and so on. Meditation doesn’t count as a priority so it is something I easily forget about or skip altogether. So from now on, meditation will now be in the “should” pile in 2018.

Meditation also takes patience. Now, I have a lot of patience for children and the elderly. Everyone in between, not so much. Same goes for meditation. I have no patience while I’m doing it. When all of the thoughts that come in my head during meditation, I then start to focus on how terrible I am at meditating because I can’t shut my thoughts off. Instead of doing what I should be doing and giving myself a break and trying to refocus, I quit. Instead of devoting my time to practicing, I quit. I should really listen to my yoga instructor more when she says that you can’t fail at meditating. There is no right or wrong way to do it and I will create my own way in 2018.

One of the things I chose to do a few months ago was write. This is how this blog came about that you are all so happily reading. For me, it is calming and so helpful to get my thoughts out on paper. This will continue to be part of my meditation and mindfulness practice in the New Year. Being in the moment with my thoughts while I frantically type or write them down is something that soothes my soul and really helps my anxiety. When you see me on my phone I’m not just scrolling through Facebook or buying shit off of Amazon. (Well, maybe Amazon was a stretch.) No, but really. I spend a lot of time jotting down notes and ideas for blogs or random quotes because it is a destresser for me.

I have a lot of work ahead of me in the New Year. Who knows, maybe by doing this 30 day challenge I will be more calm, more patient, sleep better, reduce my anxiety and be more present. That is my goal. Trying to live moment by moment because you never know how many moments you will have left.

On that note, for my last blog of 2017, I will leave you with this: “There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting.” –Buddha

Thanks big guy! So, 2018…. I’m coming for you! Namaste bitches!

Ode to the Man Cold

005CCBA5-5E15-47B5-B659-BB40393CA291I am pretty sure the worst thing to hear from your husband are the words that string this dreadful sentence together; I think I am sick. The moment I hear that I want to scream and run. Literally take the kids and run for the fucking hills. Not in fear of getting his illness. No, not for that reason at all. Simply because my 32 year old husband now turns in to my third child roughly age 6.

I am not sure what happens to their bodies when they get a cold. Does it go straight to their brain as well and they forget how to manage every day life? Perhaps. Whatever it is, the struggle is real. The realest of real.

Getting typical housework done while operating at 100% is difficult, forget while the man cold hits! My advice? Just use all of your finest paper goods so you don’t have to add more stress in your life by cleaning all of the mugs. Because you know; tea. We must have tea in 68 different mugs because why we can’t drink the same flavor tea out of the same mug is beyond me. I’m also starting to rethink why I have so many mugs in the first place. On a positive note, I have found that scalding hot tea holds up relatively fine in a paper cup for the most part.

In our house, we also mime during the man cold. Well, I don’t because I know how to use my words like an adult. Let me walk you through a little miming routine at our house. Pointing to body parts such as your throat symbolizes my throat hurts so badly. Holding your hand up to your mouth pretending to sip something symbolizes I really need some tea because, you know, my throat hurts so badly. And moaning simply means I’m dying. Straight up dying. All the while my active bitch face says I am fresh out of fucks.

Let’s talk about medicine for the man cold. Once it has hit our household, he will check the medicine cabinet and will never find anything. Why? Because the last time he had his man cold he finished the whole bottle. We all know there really isn’t much you take with a cold because, why? Say it with me now, because it is JUST a cold. I will then get asked, “can you go to CVS and get the orange stuff”. Boy do I wish he meant Sunny D, but no, just dayquil. That shit was so good. Anyway, I digress. Why his brain can’t remember simple words like dayquil is also something to ponder but in case your strapped for time, just blame it on the man cold brain.

I guess I shouldn’t stereotype ALL men and lump them in to this man cold bunch. But let’s face it, it is most. And by most, a lot. And by a lot, basically all.

Just so the record shows, I know I have made fun of my husband and most men but I do make the tea, I do get the orange stuff, I do get the sugar free cough drops (yes they need to be sugar free) and I do tuck him in at night. Sometimes a little too tight because I lost my patience with the man cold when I started dating men. I do all of this because I love him but I want him better for my own sanity, obviously.

I am looking forward to his vasectomy said no wife ever who has dealt with a man cold. Good thing this is waiting on deck for him.

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Good Old Days

image1 (1)So I turned 35 today. In my spare time between diaper changes, laundry, and feeding two small children; I decided to ponder the meaning of life. I know, not really a small feat! To be a little more clear, I’m not saying that I started to think about evolution and Darwinism or crazy thoughts like that. It was more about being 35 and where I am in my life. Think Baz Luhrmann’s song “Everybody’s Free (to Wear Sunscreen)”. If you haven’t ever listened to that song, you should. It’s a good one.

So with my infinite wisdom (because that’s what you get when you turn 35), here it goes…

I’m going to eat that cake! Notice how I didn’t say slice of cake, I said cake. I mean it. If I want a cake, I’m going to eat the whole damn thing. Most likely after I do I will feel pretty shitty but that doesn’t matter. What matters is the joy I encountered when eating said cake.

If I want that purse or those shoes, I’m going to buy them. As long as it is not near the cost of my mortgage and I can somehow hide it from my husband, I will buy it and not feel bad. Most guys I know won’t even notice anything new. And on the off chance they do, feel free to adopt my favorite line; “oh this old thing?! Nah, I found it in the back of my closet when I was cleaning”. Works like a charm.

Give back. Even if it is in your own little way, do it. If it is buying some cans to give at a can drive or buying one toy for a child in need for the holiday, it will make you feel good. Whatever you can do, no matter how big or small, every bit counts!

Don’t just tell your kids how beautiful or handsome they are. Give them something else, something concrete that they can work with. Tell them how smart or funny they are. How creative or kind they are. We (as a culture) are too beauty obsessed. I have spent too much of my life worrying about my weight or the way I look. Yes, the irony isn’t lost on me since I just said I’d eat a whole fucking cake. That aside, I have so many other qualities to offer besides the way I look. I used to always tell Harper she was beautiful or gorgeous. Two years ago she put on an outfit and in her little broken toddler English said, “I gorgeous, Momma?” and that was all because of me. I followed it up with, “of course you are and do you want to know what else? You are smart, kind and hilarious” and I still do that to this day. It is important to rely on other traits in life rather than worry about how small your figure is (or isn’t).

Laugh often. While you’re at it, laugh at yourself often. Nothing feels better than a belly laugh so hard it hurts, especially when you share that belly laugh with your kid. Or when you are in a meeting and can’t stop laughing at something your knucklehead coworker said. Life is too short to be serious all of the time.

Take pictures; lots and lots of pictures. I have lost many family and friends on facebook by being blocked because of how many pictures/posts I put up. Do I care? Of course not! Every morning I wake up and look at my social media timehop and look back at all of the memories and things I did “on this day” however many years ago. I love it and I won’t stop doing it. While we are on the picture subject, one thing my Nana taught me was to always write dates on pictures. You think you will remember but you won’t, trust me. Not only do I write the date and year, I write the age. My simple math skills are really quite sad.

And oh ya, definitely wear sunscreen. That shit is extremely important.

For me, these are the good old days. These moments right here and right now. Speaking of right now; I’m off to enjoy my birthday CAKE…not slice!

The whole truth and nothing but the truth: after childbirth edition

I decided to write this blog for all of my soon to be mommy friends. In a few months, I have coworkers and other friends that will be first time mommies. They will continue to take classes about breastfeeding, infant cpr, and basically how not to kill your newborn in 10 easy steps. What they won’t be focused on is what happens after childbirth. For me, I figured once the baby was out I had to keep it alive and I would be golden. And while that being said was true, I knew nothing of the shitshow that I was forced to deal with regarding myself and my body.

The Nile River…
…of blood. Since you couldn’t see all of the blood you lost while you were actively pushing your beloved watermelon out of your hoo-ha, you will make up for it for up to 6 weeks later. Sometimes even longer! Sadly, they don’t make pads the size of the Nile but if you combine three of them that should do the trick until you go to move (or sneeze) and then you need to change your supplies again. Fun, right?

When Jack dies in the movie Titanic..
And what does Jack dying have anything to do with postpartum? Only the direct correlation of how much you sobbed as his body gets swept away passed an iceberg to how much you will cry during postpartum. It will be over random things like the first and last piece of toast as you wonder why it doesn’t look like all of the others in the loaf. Or when your baby smiles for the first time because it is THAT overwhelming your heart just burst open and now you are ugly crying, everywhere.

Your first shadoobie…
Whoever you want to give credit to for coining the phrase in context, Chelsea Handler or the Stones; your first shadoobie is potentially greater pain than delivering a baby. Between the anticipation it’s going to hurt like a sonofabitch and it actually hurting like a sonofabitch, you’re simply screwed either way you look at it. Because IT HURTS! And oh, the hemorrhoids! Not everyone is so lucky to get hemorrhoids. If you are part of the lucky bunch, make sure to use all of the witch hazel in the world. Take all that you can from the hospital. Seriously, all.of.the.witch.hazel.

You will hate your husband…
Maybe hate is too strong of a word. Loathe perhaps? You basically just sit most days and think about the pregnancy process, the birthing process, the nursing process, and the keeping your newborn baby alive process while he is working. Sure, sure someone needs to make money so you can live but it just doesn’t seem right to be doing so much on your own. The baby grew inside of YOU for 9 months, YOU nourish them morning, noon, and night and basically YOU do most of the work. You are instantly awoken by a twitch, a sound, a breath, and some nights inconsolable cries which he is literally sleeping through. That always did amaze me. You know, they didn’t change the saying from “I slept like a baby” to “I slept like a husband” for nothing. Be prepared for that. I used to kick him in the back in the middle of the night and pretend he just woke up on his own. Yup, it’s fucked up but I was fine with it.

High end hospital fashion…
Two words for you: mesh underwear. I am not sure if I am the only person who did this but I took more from the hospital to wear when I got home. I had a deep obsession for those amazing things. They were not only comfy but you just pitched them when you were done with them. No laundry required. As another tip, grab an extra perineal bottle. There is something to be said for squirting your lady parts with that incredible small plastic bottle filled with lukewarm water after the torture that is labor.

Your sense of style can best be described as…
NAKED. Yes, naked. If not fully naked than pretty much close to it. You are constantly being spit up on, shit on, peed on and will have some form of mucus on you at all times. AND THE LAUNDRY?! Dear lord, it is like you gave birth to 18 children with all of the laundry you now do. Embrace your stretch marks, your stitches or scars and just get a towel. Life was much easier for me when I did that. And for the record, visitors may or may not be creeped out. Depending on who you invite over.

You lose handfuls of hair…
Don’t worry, you won’t end up looking like a hairless cat. Although it is frightening when you roll your fingers through your gorgeous greasy locks (because who the fuck has time for a shower) to see it fall out in clumps. Like giant tumbleweeds drifting away with the wind. Don’t worry, they will just sit in the corner until you clean. Which you won’t do because you won’t have time. Just pretend you live in the wild wild west, that’s what I did.

You will still look pregnant…
I recently ran into my ex-husband who came over to say hi and after a few pleasantries asked if I was still pregnant. Yes, that did happen. Was I still pregnant?! Hey asshole, I’m not and she is three months old but thanks for taking an interest, you clown. Instead of flinging insults to his face (because I am an adult), I shall do it in a blog he will never read (mature, I know). As I stared at his ridiculously unmanicured and gray beard, I looked down at my body and smiled. I actually showered, had makeup on and looked fantastic. It was one of those days you WANT to run in to an ex. I work full-time, I own a home, I have a four year old and a young infant. If I get to the gym twice a week those are weeks to be celebrated. Unless you are Beyonce and have endless money to spend on trainers and chefs, you won’t bounce back overnight. And that is okay! You take care of that baby and eat your extra calories while nursing and get your ass to the gym when you are good and ready. Or get the stomach flu like I did and lose 10 pounds overnight. Whatever works.

Find your tribe…
Adopt any and all mom friends. (Dad friends count too). They are your saving grace, always. Whether it is comparing stories, commiserating, playdates, winedates, whatever! Find them and when you do, love them hard. They will always know how to make you feel better.

Well new mommies; now that I scared the ever living shit out of you…welcome to the best and most kick ass group out there!

Maternity Leave

0064My maternity leave with Harper was so very different from Camryn’s. With Harper, she was my first. I had no idea how to be a parent. I didn’t have a clue how much time and energy went in to keeping a small 7 pound 5 ounce human alive round the clock. You pretend to know leading up to it, but you have absolutely no idea. Balancing myself and a baby over a toilet was a daily occurence. Walking and talking like a zombie (or mombie) was something of the norm, especially in those first few weeks. Forget about showers! What are those? Forget about eating because honestly, who has time for that?

For the most part, you are a hermit. I remember making visitors wash their hands and fully sanitize each time they would come near my precious little one. Changing diaper after diaper, nursing for what seemed like all day, trying to squeeze what’s left of your milk supply by pumping, and then oh ya, all of those chores you need to do around the house. Speaking of chores, have I mentioned baby laundry? That is at least 3 hours out of your day. They spit up and shit on virtually everything.

I remember the dreaded two question combo Scott asked me each day when he came home. How was your day and what did you do all day was the one-two combo punch leaving me on the floor before I even started my fight. Even though I am writing about this experience four years later, I remember those days vividly. Some days when he asked all I saw was red and other days I would just cry for what seemed like forever. What did I do all day? Well, um, let me tell you what I did all day. No, but really, what DID I do all day? Then the tears would stream down my face. I didn’t know what I did all day to be honest. Well I mean, I did but I didn’t even know where to start or how to describe the toll it took on my mental and physical state. So instead of giving a recap of: changed a few hundred diapers, kept her upright after every feeding so she didn’t spit up everywhere, stressed about what articles of clothing she should wear temperature wise, and constantly nursed her; I would pass her off for a 5 minute shower before she screamed her head off that she needed me again.

My maternity show of choice was Friday Night Lights and it was glorious. Except for of course the most ridiculous storyline of season 2 when Landry became a murderer. That was just weird. In any case, I digress.

So with that being said my maternity leave with Camryn was different from the start. I left the hospital as fast as I could, whereas with Harper if I could have stayed forever I may have. I wasn’t a first time parent anymore when Camryn came in to the world. So I was a pro, sort of. I didn’t stay up throughout all hours of the night watching her breathe. She was sleeping through the night a little before she was three weeks old. I know right?! Yes, and would even snore! A lot!

Camryn had to be in a routine early on since Harper still had to get to school each day and continue her other activities. Although, Harper was never on time for anything. I couldn’t manage two kids properly for the first month. I mean don’t get me wrong, everyone was fed and bathed and happy but it felt like I was doing everything while stuck in molasses. The most giant damn tub of molasses. It was either molasses land or I would be on such a roll and ready to be out the door and then Camryn would shit herself. I accepted I would never be on time for anything during my maternity leave.

When I had to go back to work after I had Harper, I was a mess. I didn’t want to go back to work and pleaded with Scott to figure out a way to pay for everything himself so I could stay home. I know, how nice of me! I remember crying all day and night the Sunday before I had to go back. Well, the time has come to head back to work after I had Camryn. I thought the time with Harper went by fast! No way! I blinked and 12 weeks flew by. I won’t lie and say that I am not sad to leave Camryn but I am ready to go back. I finished 5 seasons of House of Cards and I’m ready.

As the great Sasha Fierce once said, ‘strong enough to bear the children then get back to business.’ That is what I shall do tomorrow, get back to business.

Photo cred: PureStyle Photography

Two Years Ago Today

This morning I woke up at 4am and fed Camryn. I opened up facebook as I do every morning and looked at the “on this day” feature. I love reminiscing about what happened years ago and enjoy that feature immensely. I scrolled down about halfway and then had an instant pit in my stomach. I had to take a couple of deep breaths before I kept reading.

Two years ago today after my swimming lesson for my nephew, I started to get changed like I normally did and instantly felt my heart beating out of my chest. I couldn’t control it and my heart rate was going higher and higher. I could feel it so heavily in my neck too. My sister is a nurse and thankfully she happened to be with me. I remember her trying to calm me down and then she took my pulse. In that moment when I saw the look on her face, I knew something was wrong. I tried to remain as calm as possible and instantly my boss called 911.

When the ambulance got there they took me right away. I remember laying in the ambulance by myself staring at the giant red letters that said AMBULANCE while thinking of my family. I was crying and could not stop thinking about my family and baby girl. My heart rate was at 230 bpm and the EMT said he had to give me a dose of something that instantly was going to make me vomit but it would hopefully slow down my heart. I was administered the medicine and nothing. I didn’t vomit or get nauseous. I was in the exact same state. They did it a second time and the same thing happened. Nothing. Nothing was working. The EMT kept asking the driver how far out we were to Newton Wellesley Hospital and I was a fucking wreck of a human.

My heart rate kept getting higher because I was so anxious and nervous. When I got to the ER they were able to get it to slow down after several hours. After lots of ekg’s and other tests, I was finally released 7 hours later when everything went back to normal. To this day they don’t really know what the actual cause was.

The post that I read this morning said, “After the longest and one of the scariest days of my life, I was able to thankfully put everything in to perspective. Family is everything and stressing over things isn’t worth it. I am so thankful I have my own personal nurse in the family because she is a damn good one! I am very lucky to have an awesome support system!” It went on to thank my husband, sisters, brother in law and my parents. I don’t talk about this story much or ever at all really. It induces fear and panic all over again. When I read that this morning, I thought, wow, two years have gone by and what the hell have I done to make things better?

Truth is, I didn’t make things better initially. I didn’t work out more or eat healthier like I should have. I just decided to live in my own small world of fear. It wasn’t until I was pregnant with Cam that I admitted I needed help. I had a really rough pregnancy (blog about that to come soon) and decided I needed some more guidance with how to cope with my new onset of severe anxiety and panic attacks. We dove right in to our sessions and weeks went by before I told her what had happened to me two years ago. We connected everything that was happening with the pregnancy with Cam to my issue that happened two years ago and started my treatment plan.

During my super early yoga class this morning we were towards the end of our practice and the instructor was talking about erasing our thoughts and just being in the moment. I couldn’t. No matter what I did I kept thinking about what happened two years ago. So I decided to think of all of my progress within the last six months. I am grateful that I found an amazing therapist to help guide me through my new normal. I lost all of my baby weight from Camryn and have 18 pounds to go from the weight that was left over with Harper. And yes, I know she is four. (Thanks for the reminder). I have been able to manage my anxiety and panic attacks without ever going on medication. (That has not been easy, let me tell you!) I have been eating healthier and working out 2-4 times a week. Some weeks I make it to the gym more than others and I am okay with that. Life happens.

So when I ask myself the question again, I have made huge strides since two years ago. Today I went to yoga. Today I refused to have a panic or anxiety attack. Today I lived more in the moment and was thankful for my health and all of my loved ones surrounding me.