about me, growing up, health, ocd, recommended reading, writing from the heart

We’re the gladiators.

A few posts ago I admitted that I had been in a (one-sided) fight with my therapist. The absurdity of this statement doesn’t lessen no matter how often I admit it. But I was angry. Furious. Because of my own absolute stubbornness. And, because he wasn’t saying what I wanted him to say, he was no.1 on my grudge list. Who do you talk to about irrational fights when the person you’re in a fight with is the person you go to? You wait. At least that’s what I did. A month. no, two months went by before I got over myself.
I went back because at the beginning of our sessions last year he recommended the book The Depression Cure, and after scoffing for a good nine months at the title, I finally caved and bought it. ($6 at Barnes and Noble, I had no more excuses. Bonus: it was written by a professor at my alma mater. It has to be good. 😉)
This book, with its heinous title and all, has been a game changer for me.
Let me explain: I have suffered from OCD my entire life, but wasn’t diagnosed until I was 14. You can read more about that here. It’s an awful lot like the chicken and the egg dilemma when it comes to my depression. Does the anxiety cause the depression, or vice versa? I know my triggers, and I know that the two definitely feed off one another. It’s a mess, really. But at some point, it doesn’t so much matter as how you got this way, as it does how to cope and beat it.
So this book, with its horrible title and all, (which allegedly the author hates as well…), definitely gave me some perspective I had yet to hear or come across in my research of my situation–which millions of others suffer with as well.
It talks about lifestyle changes, minor ones at that, and certain foods and supplements and habits that can significantly lower your depression. Immediately I bought the supplements, Omega-3, and you guys, I felt results in days. Days. I’ve also started doing some sort of exercise, for at least thirty minutes, three times a week. (Yoga is my jam!)  
I don’t want to get too into it, because let’s be honest, I’m not the greatest at explaining why these things work, and how etc., but the author has done extensive research on it and is a medical professional–and a professor at my alma mater, remember?!– so I’ll just direct you to his wisdom
Of course, I had to go back to thank my therapist for the recommendation, and, upon doing so, I had a really great talk with him. I guess he did make a pretty good point. Our (one-sided) feud is up! Hoorah! 😉


My second grade teacher liked to ask us,
“How do you feel today, on a scale of one to ten?”
Ten always meant I’m super, thank you
and one was always not today, Mrs. MacAuley, not today.
But I never liked numbers, they would always
twist and rebel against my mind so I chose
to speak in colors instead.

January third – I am the color
of mint chocolate chip ice cream
but I’ve eaten all the chocolate chips.
I am calm.

February seventh – I am a bruise of
blues and violets today. I think it would
be best if I sat by the window.
These are unhappy colors.

April eleventh – I am turquoise, I am magenta,
I am every color in the rainbow.

April thirtieth – I am gray, I am silent.

May first – I am orange, the color of melting
creamsicles on a beach in July.

June twelfth – I am as yellow as the school bus
that will bring me home to summer. I am free.

Twelve years later, I still use colors.
The winter makes me feel cobalt blue, the ocean
turns me a seafoam green. Violets and purples
leave me uneasy and scarlet is a fever of fury.
Some nights I drown in shades of navy, denim,
and cornflower but other nights I meditate in forests of
harlequin and shamrock.

But you,
you leave me a blinding white followed by a soft yellow:
the color of sunlight after a period of darkness.

Kelsey Danielle, “A Diary of Colors” 


Important note: please don’t start taking supplements without talking to your doctor and reading more and seeing if it’s right for you. I don’t want this to come off as though it’s taken me from super blue to perfectly fine. Honestly, some days are worse than others. Some hours, even. And while I still struggle tremendously, these few lifestyle changes have made a difference for me. I truly hope they work for you as they have for me, and I hope their effects are truly as long-lasting as research has found. Additionally, I do take medicine, which I won’t go into detail on here, but it is monitored extensively by my doctor.
And, if you’re suffering please don’t hesitate to reach out. Also, this post can maybe give you some resources to contact if need be.
Title of this post is a lyric from Lorde’s Glory and Gore, because I am unapologetically obsessed with her at the moment…
childhood, cope, God is Love, hard times, health, life lesson, memories, mom, my life, my mom

On this day in 2001.

My Mama and a wee niece Julia. July 4, 2007.

I’m not sure if I’ve ever talked about it before, but my mom has a brain tumor. She discovered it in the Spring of 2001, and after months of anxious waiting, on August 15, 2001, she had most of it removed. 
My brave Mama underwent brain surgery that lasted around 17 hours. It was unknown if she’d survive, and if so, the difficulties she would face physically. My mom, being the amazing lady she is, came through like a champ, with few side effects. 
12 happy, healthy years later we continue to be grateful for her good health and that she beat those stinkin’ odds. 
We love you to the moon and back, Mom–or as the grand kids say–Grandma Peg!
God is Good.
Yes, my soul, find rest in God; 
my hope comes from him.
Psalm 62:5
about me, growing up, health, ocd, writing from the heart

"Like the sound of the sun."

I’ve never really mentioned this in my blog before, though I’ve gone back and forth in my head often, wondering if I should share… 

I have diagnosed, severe OCD, more specifically, POCD. I decided recently to write about my struggles with POCD after having come across this article. It made me so frustrated, while these shown are phobias or quirks we all experience some variety of, it is not necessarily OCD. 

So, I submitted this article as a response and would love to share with you. It touches a bit on my struggles with OCD, but I plan on writing more about it in time. After clicking “send” and hearing that it helped some, I realized I should share my story, and honestly, I feel a little bit lighter having done so. Life’s funny that way, no?

If you have any questions about POCD or OCD, please don’t hesitate to ask. And if you or someone you know struggles with this disorder, this foundation and this website can help.

I would like to be known as an intelligent woman, a courageous woman, a loving woman, a woman who teaches by being.”-Maya Angelou

adventures, fall 2011, growing up, health, new habits november, note to self, resolutions, wise words, write it out

new habits november.

it’s halloween. which means it’s still october. but man, i’m ready for november. & so, i’ll just get a jump on it. & over on this side of the ocean, we’re a mere 3 hours away from november. mehr oder weniger. 

so let’s kick it, shall we?

exercise 30 minutes a day. maybe a walk around the block? a bike ride along the beach? a jaunt on the elliptical? something, anna. just something!
write 30 minutes a day. about anything. the time you got a conduct card on the bus? your first crush at the ripe age of 7? ideas for recipes? funny names to name eyeshadows? anything, anna. just write it d-o-w-n.
clean out your inbox. because anna, this is getting out of hand. really.
take more photos. your in a beautiful city. in a beautiful country. why wouldn’t you try & take as many pictures as possible? 
save your money. well, at least try your best to. & remember: “no, you do not need another striped shirt. auf keinen fall.”
keep your coca-cola intake to a minimum. baby steps, my friend. baby steps.
love yourself more. quit being so darn rude to yourself. ya hear?

start small. take your time. keep your hopes high and your head higher.

health, sisters, summer

Why I Love Sunscreen lotion.

[Germany 2011.]
I love the beach. I love the sun. I love rounding up the kiddos & taking them all to the beach a mere block away. 
I also love sunscreen. It’s a weird thing to “love” sunscreen. It’s even weirder to the kids I watch. Can you blame them? I mean, it’s kind of a weird thing to love.
But then again, it’s an important thing to use, even if you don’t “love” it.  I’ve always been paranoid of skin cancer. If  a layer of lotion can help prevent your skin from getting cancer -not to mention keep it from getting wrinkly- then maybe, even if you don’t love it, you should just take a few seconds to layer yourself right up. 
Your skin will thank you, and so will your family
More information & tools, click here.