No shame in my game. I love therapy. Listen- I was widowed at 32 and I am a single mom of three kids. That alone, makes me feel like I need to run screaming to my therapist’s office. That is not what I am writing about, though. This blog isn’t about grief, it isn’t about stress and anxiety, and it isn’t about heartache.

It being Mental Health awareness month, I want to tell you all about my biggest therapy “Aha!” moment. It was finally getting the whole “both/and” thinking. If you can wrap your mind around that, it will change your trajectory of life. What that means, is that two things are capable of being true at the same time. Clear as mud, right? Let me try to make it a little clearer.

Let’s take the most garbage human you know. Think of them. Is your blood boiling? Do you have rage about them? And when you talk to others about them, do you feel like you might explode? I am not gonna name any names, (albeit I would like to post a photo – address – blood type of them right here), but from my own experience – here is what I gather. I want the whole world to think of this person as garbage – truth being? They are garbage TO ME. Also? They are probably pretty decent to other people. Is your mind blown? Yeah. I know. Mine too. That’s just a casual example from my own life. Once again, I ain’t naming any names.

Either/Or to Both/And. Let me give another example. Either I do exactly what my significant other wants me to do today, or he will be upset and our night will be ruined. If you use the both/and mindset, it looks like this. My significant other has some things that are important to him/her and they want me to do it for them. This isn’t an ideal time for me, I have a lot to do, also. I can call them, prioritize, and we can get the most important things done and save the rest for tomorrow.

In this time of quarantine, take time to focus on your mental health. Depression rates are skyrocketing. Domestic abuse is at a high also. Suicide rates have increased. Pay rates have been cut and jobs have been eliminated. In this time of financial fear, I have been able to use my both/and thinking to keep my sanity. I can lose some pay – and still support my family. My company can take a financial loss, and rebound one day. A bad thing and a good thing can be happening at the same time.

If this post doesn’t make sense, my bad. But what I do want is this – kill the stigma and shame behind having mental health issues. You don’t have to keep it together all the time, by yourself. Life can be hard. And you aren’t alone. I still struggle with “all the things” at times. It might be my weight, my hair, my skin, my lips, my emotions, my intelligence, my trust, my fear, my finances, my health. And that was the things from this morning. LOLOL! And yes, I laugh. I laugh because that’s the way I cope sometimes. I laugh.

So, share your mental health story. Reach out and show support.

Love Fully. Live Fully. Shine On.

Sat Nam.

I am in a mood. Not a particularly good one either. I’m working on it, though.

I realized in the past 24 hours, that I am human, and I expect others not to be. That’s a crappy revelation. I mean, you can be sitting there saying, “Duh. We know you are human. As are others.” I mean it like this.

I have emotions, expectations, and things I need. I feel like I express them eloquently. Sometimes, I am sure I do. I also realized, that sometimes, I don’t. For the past 15 hours or so, I have been beating myself up over this, internally. I hardly slept. I realized, that not everyone is a mind reader, and just because I know my intentions are good, doesn’t mean they do.

Then folks, I started to question everything about myself. Am I a good person? Am I a good friend? A good mom? Yeah, I know. I went way down a really sad place. I cried because I felt like I really hurt someone. And to be honest, I did. I hurt them. Not intentional – but I did.

After some crying, talking, and praying it hit me. If you had someone crying to you over this same situation – what would you say? Now say that to yourself, Kristie. So here it is. “You are a good person. A great friend. You are there for people no matter what. You made a mistake. It wasn’t intentional. You are owning your mistake. Learn from it and don’t do it again. That is all you can do.” So, I am doing it.

I get comments, emails, and really – people telling me all the time how ‘strong I am’ and ‘how positive I am’. I also get tough, grateful, loving, and a menagerie of beautiful adjectives. I often always try to swipe them down out of embarrassment. Please know that today I am clinging to those, and thank you. It is helping me right in this moment.

And right now, I really didn’t feel like writing. I really didn’t. So I just wrote what I was feeling. Here is something to know. Motivation doesn’t happen naturally, either. That’s my opinion, anyway. I think it is completely unnatural. Everyday, I have to listen to positive things. I stay listening to self help books. Like today, when I felt down, I went through my Audible arsenal, and re-listening to some positive books I have downloaded. I have to remind myself of all the blessings I have. Write them down. So gusy, I ain’t perfect. I am super-flawed. I just gotta keep working at it. Maybe tomorrow will be easier.

Love fully. Live Fully. Shine on.

Sat Nam.

Non-perfect, practicing, regular old me.