Anxiety Takes A Trip (to the doctor)

I’ve dealt with anxiety pretty much ever since I can remember (which, at 52, is not as far back as it used to be but it’s still a very long time).   Over the years, I’ve learned ways to cope and most people would probably never know I have anxiety, except for the fact that I’m very open about it and will talk about it when people would probably rather I just shut up.

But learning to cope doesn’t mean anxiety goes away.  Ah, if only it were that simple!  Learning to cope just means I don’t let anxiety rule my life…..although some days, it definitely rules my brain.  The following ramble is an example……

For the past few years I’ve had a lot of trouble with my bladder.  Some of that can be chalked up to being a woman and a lovely thing known as menopause (what a load of fun!) but some of it is related to other issues.  My regular doctor and my gynecologist have been playing a guessing game the last few years while I’ve been reading loads of information on various things that can affect your bladder (I know way more things about bladders than I ever wanted to).  Recently, I decided to go gluten free which has seemed to help more than anything I’ve done so far but this is all just background to get you to the anxiety part (not that anxiety hasn’t played a part in all of this, because, believe me, it has).

Back at the first of this year…….literally the very first day of the year, it felt like something dropped into my bladder.  I’m used to having bladder infections but it’s never felt like something dropped into my bladder!  At first I had some minor pain, like a regular UTI, so I had my doctor call me in some medicine.  After a week or so of that, the pain was still there but not as bad, so I waited, thinking it would go away.  Nope!  I went to a local clinic (my regular doctor is 90 minutes away) and they said I had a bladder infection and treated me for one.  That medicine also didn’t help so I made an appointment with my regular doctor.  In the meantime, I was having some of the worst pain I’ve ever had in my life and I’m thinking, This is no bladder infection!

Fast forward through some regular doctor appointments, a gynecologist appointment, various medications (some which made me so sick I couldn’t function), and we get to my latest cause of major anxiety.  My gynecologist concluded that at some point I’d had bladder stones so my regular doctor referred me to a urologist.  My first trip to her, I had really worked myself up because I just knew she was going to do a cystoscopy to look into my bladder.  I’ve had that done twice before, probably close to 30 years ago and it is one of the most unpleasant things I’ve ever had done.  Imagine my relief when it didn’t happen!  She did some other tests, none nearly as invasive as a cystoscopy, gave me a journal to keep track of my bladder habits, and told me that next time she’d take a peek at my bladder.  Well, crap.

The next few weeks the only thing on my mind was that procedure and how much pain it was going to cause.  I think the pain overshadowed any thought of something actually being wrong.  I mean, I have a pretty high pain tolerance but the thought of this was just something I was having a very hard time with and looking back I think the anxiety from that came out in lots of different ways (some of them ugly).

I was pretty wound up about that doctor visit when they called and postponed it because my urologist had to be in surgery that day.  At this point, I’m thinking about calling the whole thing off.  Just let my bladder fall out.  I don’t care.  Just don’t do the cystoscopy!  I know, what a drama queen, right?  Nope.  Just my anxiety talking.  She says some pretty stupid things sometimes.  Also, by now, I’d been gluten free a couple of months and was feeling quite a bit better so why poke the bear when there’s no need??


Anyway, I didn’t call the whole thing off.  As much as I didn’t want a cystoscopy, I also wanted one.  HUH???  Yeah, you read that right.  I wanted to know what was going on with my bladder.  My gynecologist had told me a few years ago that I had Interstitial Cystitis but he based that purely on the fact that I have to pee a lot.  He’s a man.  Apparently, he doesn’t realize that older women (and sometimes younger women) just have to pee a lot.  I still love him though.  He’s a good doctor.

I hadn’t been convinced for a long time that Interstitial Cystitis was my problem so I really wanted to lay that to rest, one way or the other.  But, oh the anxiety.  I mean, I wrote this whole blog post to try and explain anxiety and I still can’t.  This doctor visit was on my mind, every second of every day.  I dreaded it to my very core.  Some might say, “Well, just don’t think about it.”  HOW DO YOU DO THAT????  If I knew how, believe me, I would have forgotten about it until the very hour it happened.  Luckily, I was very busy at this time and that helped some but it was still there, haunting me every single day.

Finally the day arrived.  Before the cystoscopy, I had to have an ultra sound of my kidneys, which required me to drink a lot of water before I got to the radiology place.  Needless to say, that helped keep my mind occupied because when you REALLY have to pee out 32 ounces of water, you’re too busy perfecting the pee dance to think about much of anything else!

Afterwards, it’s on to the urologist’s office. I really can’t say enough good things about my urologist and her staff.  They knew I was dreading the procedure and they tried to keep things light.  Everyone in that office is SO nice.  They assured me that technology was much better than back when I’d last had the procedure done but my brain wasn’t convinced.  It was telling me I still had time to make a break for it.  Although, at this point, I was pantless so that might be what kept me in place!

I will have to say, they were right.  The procedure was so much better than it was years ago.  Not saying it’s something I’ll be lining up to do again anytime soon but there was minimal pain during and afterwards (afterwards used to be almost as bad as the procedure).  So, all’s good and the anxiety is gone, right??

Nope. As I mentioned before, anxiety is never gone.  It’s just that what was causing my anxiety has now been replaced with something else.  Afterwards, she talked to me about the results of the two tests.  The good news:  she said my bladder looked fine which means no Interstitial Cystitis!  Past issues prove I’m sensitive to some foods and I know what those are but having IC and just being sensitive to some foods is a whole different ballgame!  In the meantime, I’m literally so relieved at not being in pain, I think I might have been in some sort of shock.  I didn’t ask her near as many questions as I should have, especially about what she told me next.

She said the kidney ultra sound showed that I have dilation in my right ureter (the tube going from your kidney to your bladder).  She literally drew me a picture of it.  She said what she thinks is causing this is a stone stuck toward the bottom of the ureter but the only way to be sure is to do a cat scan.  She said that since I’ve been feeling better, we could wait and do another ultra sound in a few months and see if the dilation is gone.  The one question I did manage to ask was:  could it be something besides a stone?  Her answer:  “If you were 80, smoked 5 packs a day and was peeing blood, I might think it was a tumor but I’ve never seen one in someone your age, with your symptoms.”

Do you know what my brain heard?  TUMOR.  Do you know what has been flashing in my head like a neon sign ever since that moment?  TUMOR.  Do you know what my Google history looks like right now?  TUMORTUMORTUMOR.  Quite honestly, I think that’s why I felt so compelled to write this, just to get some of it (TUMOR) out of my system.  I mean, basically, I went to the doctor and got pretty decent news but all I heard was TUMOR.  All my brain can focus on is the one small possibility of TUMOR.

I’ve already had someone tell me I need to be positive and if you have anxiety, you know that’s one of the worst things someone can say to you.  It’s so patronizing.  I mean, I feel like on the whole, I’m a pretty positive person but it doesn’t make anxiety just go away.  And also, telling someone they need to be positive when they’re obviously worried about something (TUMOR) is like saying what I’m feeling isn’t valid…..that I don’t have a right to be worried or scared (TUMOR).  I wish I wasn’t worried (TUMOR).  I wish I could just make the thoughts (TUMOR) go away but that’s not how anxiety works.

So, in the meantime, I have to decide if I want to get a cat scan (which brings up a whole other anxiety issue that I won’t go into right now) or if I want to try and wait until December to get another ultra sound.  I have so many thoughts (TUMORTUMORTUMOR) going around in my head about what I should do but right now I don’t have a clue how I will deal with things.  The way I’ve been trying to deal with things lately is with prayer and just by taking one day at a time.  I’ve found it much easier for me to break things down into small increments (days) than try and tackle my whole life at once!

If you’ve read this far and you think I’m being silly, well, lucky you.  I’m glad you don’t have to deal with anxiety on a daily basis.  But if you’ve read this far and you understand, or you’re trying to, then God bless and thank you.


Accurate representation of my mind on most days:


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Would Jesus Attend a Protest?

Not too long ago there was a big uproar in my conservative town over something that wasn’t very conservative.  There were protesters…..and from what I heard, most of those claimed to be Christians.  I didn’t attend this event for various reasons……one, I kinda forgot about it and two, I think I actually had something else to do that day so anything I know about what happened is second hand information but I did hear a lot about it and I saw some videos.

Soon after, on a Wednesday night at church, this event was brought up and the question was asked:  Should we attend those types of protests?  It was an honest question and I’m not sure we ever came to a real conclusion.  I’ve thought a lot about it since that night and did some studying of my own.  We know as Christians we’re to spread the gospel but people have different ideas about how that is accomplished.  So, I would invite you to consider the question:  Would Jesus attend a protest?  Or better yet, if Jesus attended a protest, how would He act?

In order to come to any kind of conclusion about this, we have to look to the Bible and see the examples we have of Jesus interacting with other people.  Many times the Bible states that Jesus had compassion (Matt. 9:36, Matt. 20:34, Luke 7:13).  We know from this that He was a caring Savior.  He didn’t just go out and yell at everyone that they were going to Hell if they didn’t repent even though that seems to be what a lot of protesters and even some so-called preachers like to do these days.  Remember the woman caught in adultery?  (John 8:3-11) The Pharisees and scribes (the Christians of that day, if you will) brought a woman to Jesus who had been caught in the act of adultery and they were ready to stone her, according to the Law of Moses, but what did Jesus do?  He basically told them if none of them had any sin, then have at it…..go ahead, stone her.   And those so-called Christians couldn’t do it because they knew they weren’t perfect either.  We’d all do well to remember this lesson!  Now, what did Jesus do after all the accusers left?  Jesus told the woman if no one else condemned her then He wasn’t going to either.  He told her to go and sin no more.  He had compassion on her.  He was within the rights of the law to have her stoned but He came to show us there’s a better way……a way of forgiveness…..a way of compassion.

Jesus got to know the people He was trying to reach.  He spent time with them and got down on their level…..not that He ever sinned.  He was perfect and we know that, but He was also an available Savior.  He ate with those who invited Him into their house whether they were a Pharisee or a tax collector.   The Pharisees and scribes murmured against Him for eating with sinners in Luke 15:2.  But in the verse prior to that it says “the tax collectors and the sinners drew near to Him to hear Him.”  So, how do you think Jesus was treating those tax collectors and sinners compared to how the Pharisees and scribes were treating them?  Those people wanted to be near Jesus.  They wanted to hear what He had to say. Some of the things Jesus said probably went against their way of living……but they still wanted to hear Him.  What does that say about how Jesus treated them?

People aren’t going to listen to what a Christian has to say if we’re yelling for them to repent, calling them names, or even worse, acting as if they don’t even have the right to repent…..that they’re too far gone to be saved.  Nobody is too far gone.  As long as you’re still breathing, you can be saved. And while we’re on the subject, it doesn’t seem very Christian-like to act that way when we’re supposed to be spreading the “good news” of Jesus. Christianity these days has a very bad rap.  We need to make sure we aren’t part of that problem.

From what we read in the Bible, it seems the closest Jesus ever came to yelling at people and pointing out what they were doing wrong was when He was talking to the Pharisees and scribes (Luke 11:37-44).  And really, shouldn’t this give Christians something to think about? Are we treating others the way we would like to be treated? (Matt. 7:12)  If Jesus was here, would He be calling us hypocrites?

You might say, “Wait a minute, what about the moneychangers?  Jesus got pretty mad at them.”  Yes, yes, He did.  But you know what?  They were in the temple of God, defiling it, so He tossed them out.  He didn’t go stand outside their house and yell profanities at them.  He didn’t hold up signs that said God hated them.  He just ran them out of His Father’s house because they were defiling it…..not by being there but by practicing their sin there.

And that brings me to my final point……the Bible says that people sought Jesus… collectors and sinners wanted to be near Him.  Obviously they felt safe with Him, even if He was teaching things they had never heard before.  As Christians, are we that safe place people can go to?  If someone who is obviously not living a Christian life came into our church building, would we try to get to know them?  Would they want to be around us and hear what we have to say or would they feel nothing but contempt and hatred for their way of life?  Would they leave the building before they ever found out that Jesus has a better way for them…..a better way for all of us?

So, do I think Jesus would attend a protest?  I don’t know….but I do think He might attend the event that sparked the protest.  I think He would observe what was happening and make Himself available to everyone in attendance. I think He would have compassion on every sinner there…….even the ones holding the hate filled signs and shouting condemnation to all those around them.  Would He do some yelling?  Maybe…..but I think He might save that just for the hypocrites.

Peace and love, y’all.



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Suicide: Call It By Its Name

Trigger warning: talk of suicide


When I was nine years old my great-grandfather died by suicide, although, at the time, I’m not sure the word suicide was ever used.  Granted, that was a long time ago and I don’t remember a lot of the details but I do remember it was all very hush-hush.  We were told not to mention it around our grandfather.  Somehow I learned a few details (probably by eavesdropping) because I knew that my great-grandfather had hanged himself and I also knew that my grandfather still had the rope that he did it with.  With a little snooping, I found that rope.  At first, I only took a peek at it but for some reason it fascinated me and I couldn’t stay away from it.  I kept sneaking peeks of it until finally I couldn’t stand it any longer and I touched it.  I remember that it gave me the weirdest feeling, knowing that somehow that piece of rope had killed my great-grandfather.

As I said, I was only nine years old and back then, being nine years old was a whole different world than it is now.  Where nine years olds now have their own smartphones and just about any other type of electronic device you can imagine, I was still playing in the dirt and scraping knees by falling off bicycles (I was never a very girly girl).  So, yeah, much different world and I’m not sure I had totally put together exactly what my great-grandfather had done.  And in retrospect, I wonder exactly how long it took for me to piece it together because it was never explained.  It was basically pushed under the rug, which makes me wonder how my grandfather ever got any closure.  If nobody was mentioning what happened around my grandfather, then I’m sure he wasn’t mentioning it to anyone either.  Why were people so afraid to talk about what had happened?  I didn’t understand it at all.

Fast forward a few years (okay, more like 40) and I’m talking to a friend about someone in their life who struggles with depression and has been making some scary comments.  I told my friend to ask this person if they’re thinking about suicide.  The question that actually got asked was:  “Are you in a dark place?”  My friend said the reason it was asked this way is because the word suicide makes them uncomfortable.

So, that got me wondering how many other people are uncomfortable with the word suicide.  I took a poll on my Facebook and Twitter accounts and was pleasantly surprised with the results.  I wish I’d had more participants but out of the people who did participate, around 85% said they’re not uncomfortable with the word suicide.  That’s amazing!  One of my favorite quotes about suicide from someone who participated in my poll was this:  “Call it by its name and reduce its power.”

Now, I’m a total fangirl at heart so that quote reminded me of something Albus Dumbledore said to Harry Potter about Voldemort.  “Call him Voldemort, Harry.  Always use the proper name for things.  Fear of a name increases fear of the thing itself.”  Everyone was afraid to say Voldemort’s name except for a few brave people.  I mean, just his name made people quake in fear and instead of facing the fact that he was still alive, some people chose to totally ignore what was going on until the harsh reality was staring them in the face.  Isn’t this exactly the way some people choose to deal with suicide and mental illness?  They think it’s not real, or it will never affect them. They may see the signs in someone they love but they choose to ignore it for fear of making things worse until one day the harsh reality is staring them in the face.  That harsh reality is suicide and by then, it’s too late.

So, why are people so afraid to even mention suicide?  I wish I knew all the answers to that question but what one person told me was this:  “I feel it may set something in motion if I ask or talk about it.”  They’re afraid if they even mention the word suicide it will put something in the other person’s head and they will act on it.  Trust me, if a person is suicidal, you’re not going to put anything in his or her head that’s not already there.  Talking about it can only help them.  They need someone to share these feelings with.  If they can talk about it, it might help them realize what they’re actually thinking about doing.  Most people who are suicidal don’t really want to die.  They just want the pain to end and they feel suicide is the only way that can happen.  Having someone to share their pain with, someone to let them know they’re not alone… can be a huge weight off their shoulders and it can be the beginning of a healing process.  You can assist this person in getting the help they need.  You can help share their burden.  You just have to be brave enough to ask one little question:  Are you thinking about suicide?


Peace and love y’all!

RESOURCES:–chat based crisis support–Text based crisis support

1-800-SUICIDE (784-2433)–National Hopeline Network

1-800-273-TALK (8255)–National Suicide Prevention Lifeline




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The Pony That Got Away

This year marks the 10th anniversary of a book club at work that I’m a founding member of.  (One of our members keeps up with the books we read if you’d like to check out her blog:  A while back we read a book that was a collection of short stories written by local authors so we decided to write our own book of short stories and I thought I would share mine here.  I hope it makes you smile.


My Daddy was a character.  I don’t think I fully realized what a character he was until I got older and became a bit of an odd character myself.  Every afternoon the school buses drove past our house and he would threaten to sit on our front porch in a pair of butt ugly shorts, his knobby knees on display for my whole school to see.  Sometimes he’d come through the house singing weird songs that only he knew the words to.  I have a picture of him at Easter one year wearing Jennifer’s Easter hat and if he had a hard time opening his Christmas presents, he’d just pull out this big old pocket knife and get the job done.

I like to think I got my twisted sense of humor from my Dad and if he was still alive I’m sure we’d still be laughing over what happened one Christmas when I was about eight years old.

When I was little, I always tried to stay up and wait for Santa.  Mom would tuck me into bed and tell me to go to sleep but as soon as she was gone, I was out of bed, a book in hand, curled up next to my night light, doing my best to stay awake.  It never failed that Mom would come through and catch me (numerous times), put me back to bed, and finally, despite my best efforts, I would fall asleep.  I never once stayed awake long enough to catch Santa in the act.

One year my Dad kept telling me Santa was going to bring me a pony but it would probably get away.  I always liked horses and really wanted one when I was younger although I don’t remember ever asking Santa for one.  But, for some reason Dad decided Santa was bringing me a pony that year.

On Christmas Eve, as usual, I tried to stay awake and failed.  On Christmas morning my brother and I weren’t supposed to get up until my Mom and Dad did but we would always sneak into the den to see how many presents we had.  Our den was next to our kitchen so we would stick our heads into the kitchen to scope out the situation.  My Mom always left the light on over the stove, so, on this particular Christmas morning we could make out a toy box for each of us and a stack of other presents but there was something else on the den floor, something making an almost perfect semi-circle around the Christmas tree.  We both strained our eyes but we had no idea what it was.

We were always afraid of getting caught out of bed (although I’m sure Mom and Dad knew we did this every year) but the curiosity overcame me.  I had to know what that was on the floor and I couldn’t wait for Mom and Dad to “officially” wake us up.  I had to know now!  I moved forward quietly, hoping to get a quick look and then I would scamper back to bed.

The light in the den was dim so I ended up right over the stuff on the floor and I still wasn’t sure what it was.  I puzzled over it for a few minutes and finally decided I would just have to pick it up and see if I could figure it out.  As soon as I picked it up, I realized what it was.  It was horse poop….not fresh, thank goodness.  I’m guessing Mom drew the line at that.  But still, it was horse poop….in my hands….ugh.  I quickly dropped it and yelled at the top of my lungs:  “Daddy, I’m gonna kill you!”   I’d totally forgotten I wasn’t supposed to be out of bed.  None of that mattered now.  I had touched horse poop!  It couldn’t get any worse than that!

From his bedroom, my Dad howled with laughter.

Needless to say, Daddy received many presents in the years to come that were meant as revenge for that Christmas morning but none of them lived up to the original prank, one that I don’t think he himself ever admitted to.   Whenever it came up in conversation his reply was always the same:  “I told you Santa was going to bring you a pony but it would probably get away.”


Peace and love y’all!



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Staying Positive in a Negative World

Have you ever met someone who was negative all the time?  No matter what happened, they never had anything good to say?  I once worked with someone who actually made the following statement:  “Everyone around me keeps getting cancer.  I don’t know why this is happening to me.”  Um, helloooooo?  It’s not happening to you.  I can’t say for certain but I’m almost positive all the people around her who had cancer never once thought about how sorry they were that their cancer upset her delicate feelings.

I’ve noticed negative people tend to turn things around and make it all about them, no matter what’s going on.  Your dog died? Oh, well, their dog is going to die any day and it’s going to be way worse than how yours died.  Your brother had a stroke?  Oh, well, that’s like this one time they had something wrong with them and yeah, well, it was way worse.   I mean, I’ve heard (and had) actual conversations like this with people.

I call these types of people “one-uppers.”  No matter what has happened to you, they’ve had something similar happen but it was worse…….waaaaaay worse.  Look, it’s not a competition.  We all have crappy things happen in our lives but when you’re trying to talk to this type of person, it’s never about you.  It’s always about them and how bad they have it and quite honestly, talking to them can be exhausting, not to mention extremely frustrating.

Not all negative people are “one-uppers” though.  Some just think nothing good will ever happen for them.  Their glass is always half empty and they’re constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop because they can’t imagine it any other way, even though nine times out of ten, that shoe never drops.

So, what happens when you find yourself being pulled down by all this negativity or, *gasp*, even worse, you find yourself becoming a negative person?  How do you keep yourself from being sucked into this mindset?  It’s something I’ve been struggling with a lot lately.

I have a lot of issues with depression and the last couple of years, I’ve noticed it’s been worse so I started thinking about the reasons this might have happened and one thing I keep coming back to is the amount of negativity I’m exposed to on a daily basis.  I feel I have let myself become a part of the vicious cycle of negativity and the anger and bitterness that goes with it and that’s not who I am.

So, I’d like to know what other people do to counteract the negativity they find in their lives.  I mean, I can read numerous articles that say to cut the negative people/things out of your life but it’s not always that easy.  Sometimes you have to work with these people and sometimes these people might even be part of your family.  You can try to avoid them but you can never totally get away from them. So, what do you do?

One thing I’ve done to help at work is put a jar of positive quotes on my desk.  Anyone can come by and get one if they need it (and they do) but it also helps me to pull one out and read it occasionally.  I’ve unfollowed people on social media that only tend to post negative things and I’ve all but abandoned Twitter, which used to be my happy place but is now nothing but a cesspool of negativity and hate.  I’ve also pretty much stopped watching the news, which may mean I’m sticking my head in the sand but if my mental health depends on it, then so be it.  My head will remain in the sand.  I’m the one who has to live in that head and it’s much happier when it’s not filled with negativity.

So, how do you stay positive in a negative world?  I’d love to hear other people’s coping strategies.  I mean, we’re all in this together so let’s do what we can to make our corner of the world a more positive place.

Peace and love y’all.


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Jesus Loves Me, Mental Illness and All

There’s a church where I live that has a spot on the radio, three times a day.  Normally I hear their message on my way to work and it’s usually a good message.  A couple of weeks ago I was on my way to CVS to pick up my blood pressure medicine when I began to hear a message on the radio about suicide being the number one cause of death among teens.  I knew it was that certain church’s message because I recognized the voice.  The message went on to talk about anxiety and depression and I thought: “Wow! They must be doing this because of Mental Health Awareness Month.”  And quite honestly, I was excited that a church would tackle this subject and then I heard the rest of the message.  Basically, the message was:  if you’re having these problems all you need to do is pray and ask forgiveness for your self-pitying ways and give it to God.  Never once did they mention seeking professional help. It’s a good thing I was picking up my blood pressure medicine because I was boiling!  I was so upset I was shaking and crying.  I almost called the church but I probably would have lost my cool and that wouldn’t have accomplished anything.

Now before you get all:  “Yeah, that sounds just like those (insert derogatory word of choice here) Christians!  They think blah, blah, blah.”  Let me set you straight.  I am a Christian.  I believe in God and Jesus.  I believe Jesus died on the cross for our sins.  I believe He’s returning again someday to take His church to Heaven.  I believe in the power of prayer but I also believe in mental illness.  Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it’s not real.  Christians, of all people, should understand this.

I thought about doing a bunch of research to prove how mental illness is real but I don’t need to do that.  I know.  I’ve lived it.  I still live it.  Do I pray about it?  EVERY SINGLE DAY.  Have I also sought professional help?  Yes, I have.  Would you expect me to pray about my high blood pressure but never go to a doctor?  I don’t think any reasonable person expects that so why is mental illness treated differently?  If your brain is sick, it needs help.  It’s as simple as that.

If mental illness is just a product of our “self-pitying ways,” as this church would have you believe, can someone please explain to me why I had anxiety when I was 8 or 9 years old? What kind of “self-pitying ways” did I have when I was just a kid?? Why did I keep my Mom up every night, crying because I was terrified of dying?  Actually, when I think about it, I wonder if that fear didn’t come from some of the hellfire and brimstone lessons I heard in church as a kid. I remember hearing a lot of those and I remember being terrified. We REALLY need to hear more lessons about the joys of Heaven instead of the horrors of Hell.  I didn’t learn about the joys that come from being a Christian until I was older.  Pretty sad, huh?  I do think most churches have gotten better about trying to scare people into Heaven but most are still pretty much in the dark when it comes to mental illness.

I wonder if the church who spread this message on the radio really believes there’s no mental illness in the Bible.  If you don’t think depression is real, read Job.  Read some of David’s Psalms.  Someone right now is probably saying:  “Well, they didn’t get professional help or take any medicine for their problems.”  Really?  Were you there?  I mean, I doubt they took Prozac or Zoloft back then but guess what?  I bet they didn’t have Atenolol and Norvasc either (that’s blood pressure meds, in case you didn’t know).

Our knowledge of medicine and illnesses is changing every day.  New discoveries are being made and cures for diseases are being found, with more on the way.  So, why do so many people still refuse to believe mental illness is real?  For a long time I was ashamed for people to know about my struggle and sometimes I still am, but the only way people are going to know mental illness is real is if we tell them.  Those of us who know.  Those of us who’ve been there.  Those of us who are still there.  We can make a difference.

And in the meantime, yes, I will pray. I will pray for all those afflicted with a mental illness to seek the help they need, because it’s there, waiting for you.  I will also pray for those who don’t understand, those who don’t believe mental illness is real.  I will pray we can end the stigma associated with mental illness.  I will also continue to pray for my own strength because when I am weak, He is strong.   Jesus knows me and He loves me, mental illness and all.


If you are feeling suicidal or just need to talk to someone here’s some places you can try:–chat based crisis support–Text based crisis support

1-800-SUICIDE (784-2433)–National Hopeline Network

1-800-273-TALK (8255)–National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

If you need to know more about Jesus, here’s what I recommend:

The Bible

Peace and love y’all.

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Hello, is this thing on??

I’ve been thinking about starting this back up again and actually writing about things other than Supernatural!  *GASP*  I know, right?  Who am I and what have I done with winchesterwoman?  Let’s just say she’s come a long way, baby.  I still love Supernatural as much as ever but I’ve become really passionate about being a mental health advocate and I have a lot of other stuff going on in my life that I like to talk about sometimes.  I’m horrible at journaling though and I’m wondering if I’d also be horrible at blogging. 🙂   Stay tuned to see what I decide!  In the meantime, enjoy my hug from Sam Winchester……no, seriously, it’s Sam, not Jared.  Don’t you see it?  I asked for a big protective hug from Sam.  *sigh*



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Ramble On To Kansas: Road to Nowhere, Day 5-We’re not in Kansas anymore

This day was spent on the road home.  We finally managed to find the post office before we left Lawrence and so we could send our postcards.  I almost always end up sending my post cards on the last day of my trips….better late than never!  I’m still not sure if they’ve all reached their destinations.

Meredith made some duck friends at a gas station as we were on our way home.

And, of course we had to make one more awesome video.  Thena cracks me up at the beginning of this one.  She looks so forlorn.

In Illinois we decided to stop by Metropolis and see Superman.  He was pretty impressive.




Around seven o’clock that night we made it back to my house in Tennessee.  I had done a lot of the driving the last part of the trip so Thena and Meredith could sleep since they both wanted to get back home that night.  Our Ramble On To Kansas trip was finally over.  This blog doesn’t even begin to cover how much fun we had.  It was so awesome to be on a Supernatural related road trip with Supernatural fans who you could make random Supernatural references to and they would totally get it! 

Random things learned on this trip:

Kansas is the sunflower state but strangely enough, we saw no sunflowers.

Thena will tell you she doesn’t know where your sunglasses are even though they are sitting on her head.

Meredith has the worst sense of direction ever but can still navigate traffic like nobody’s business.

There are more adult bookstores in the state of Kansas than the whole U.S. combined….okay, maybe not but there sure are a lot of signs for them.

I am easily entertained by taking pictures of weird road signs.

There may or may not be a whole bunch of fake hawks perched on a fence close to Abilene, Kansas.

Thena is a rock when it comes to performing silly chants on camera.  Meredith and I are hopeless.

A tripod aka triprod may possibly be the best invention ever.

There really is a Supernatural reference for everything!

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Ramble On To Kansas: Long, Long Way From Home, Day 4-World’s Largest Ball of Twine

Monday was our last full day of Kansas before we had to head back home.  We had decided to visit the world’s largest ball of twine.  The ball was in Cawker City, which was a little over three hours from Lawrence.  We really spent a lot of time on the road in Kansas, which was appropriate for a Supernatural themed road trip, don’t you think?  I think I kinda fell in love with Interstate 70.  Flat roads, pretty scenery, and 75 mile an hour speed limit!  Come on, what’s not to love?  If only Sam and Dean had been traveling with us………sorry, I got sidetracked…..where was I?  Oh, yeah, heading to Cawker City. 

I live in a small town in Tennessee but Cawker City was even smaller.  Honestly, I don’t remember seeing but two people who actually lived there.  We did see another couple pull up and look at the ball of twine (more like make out in front of the ball of twine…..thought they might need a room at the inn) but that was it.  The town was only missing tumbleweed blowing across the road.


Sam and Amy may not have been impressed with the size of the ball of twine but I thought it was pretty huge.  It only smelled slightly, which was surprising to me as I’d read reports that it smelled like it is rotting.  It’s under a shelter but I’m sure it still gets wet occasionally.  There was a mailbox with a notebook where you could leave a message.

The souvenir shop is across the street and the web site said to email or call to let the owner know ahead of time that you were coming.  Meredith had emailed that morning but apparently we should have emailed a day or two ahead of time since nobody was there.  A sign on the shop gave us a number to call or it said we could go up the street to the Ball of Twine Inn.  We drove up to the Inn which looked as deserted as everything else but we could hear voices coming from inside.  There was a gated patio area and Meredith and Thena walked on into the Inn.  Suddenly from inside I hear a surprised yell.  Still not sure if it was only the lady or all three of them scaring each other.  LOL 

The lady who owned the Inn was very nice and tried to call the lady who owned the souvenir shop but couldn’t get hold of her.  She said that normally they would have twine at the Inn that we could add to the ball but she didn’t have any that day.  She kept trying to call but couldn’t get an answer so she said, “You can just go to her house.  It’s right over there,” and pointed toward a street.  She said her son would show us where it was.  This boy who is about 12 years old comes out and grabs his bike.  Meredith says, “Can we just walk over there?”  I’m like, “We’re not walking!  We have no idea where we’re going and we’re for sure going to have somehow to get away if we need too!”  Creepy Stull guy had made me wary of small town Kansas.

So, we’re following this boy on a bicycle through a seemingly deserted Kansas town, going eight miles an hour, and have no idea of our destination.  Luckily, the woman’s house wasn’t far and when we got close enough the boy just pointed to it, turned around on his bike and headed back the way he came.  Not strange at all, especially since the place he pointed us to was called the Almost Done Inn.  Did that mean the Inn was almost done or that we were??

The Inn proved to be as deserted as the rest of the town.  A sign on the door indicated that the occupants had “Gone Fishin’” and would be back around five.  We couldn’t wait that long since it was such a long drive back to Lawrence and we wanted to do some shopping that evening before the shops closed.  So, we left Cawker City without any souvenirs from the world’s largest ball of twine except for the memories.

On the way back to Lawrence we stopped to take pics of some buffalo we had spotted on the way to Cawker City.  Interstate 70 also proved to be the perfect place to make music videos. 

Our ear shattering rendition of Eye of The Tiger:

Our moving version (as in, you may want to move away from the computer) of Wanted Dead or Alive:

After we returned to Lawrence we checked out some of the shops on Massachusetts Street.  When we were just about shopped out and were heading to find some food, we found a place that made t-shirts.  We were reading some of the designs from the window and found one that had definitions for Lawrence on it.  There were already two so we wondered if we could use that design and add our own definition.  Luckily, we could and we got the most epic shirts ever…..easily the best souvenir of the whole trip.

After eating at a pizzeria place that wasn’t so great but had a wishing well reminiscent of Wishful Thinking (no wishes were made because as you know, “wishes go bad”) we made a visit to the Cupcake Construction Company and had some wonderfully delicious cupcakes.  I should have gotten about a dozen to go!

Once back at the hotel the realization set in that we would be leaving Kansas the next morning.  We had become strangely fascinated with the University of Kansas rock chalk chant and had been singing it all weekend.  On our last night in Lawrence we made a video of the chant.  It took us 11 times before we could do it without laughing.  Meredith and I couldn’t stand next to each other without laughing and what Thena and Meredith didn’t realize was I had to look at their ghostly faces in the dark before turning on the camera so I was already laughing before I ever took my place in line.

 Wouldn’t you be cracking up laughing too if you were looking at this??

Our Rock Chalk video:

One more day:

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Ramble on to Kansas: Carry On Wayward Son, Day 3-Natural History Museum

The next morning we changed hotels for one that was closer to downtown Lawrence.  It was right on the Kansas River but the river was pretty low.  We decided to get some lunch before heading to our destination for the day.  We found a place called Bob’s Barbecue that suited us just fine!

Hmmmm……the Hunter Special or the Mr. Moose Special??  How about one of each?

Today we had decided to go to the Natural History Museum at the University of Kansas.  I work on a college campus and I love visiting other campuses.  Meredith is really into dinosaurs so visiting was her idea but it was a good one.  I enjoyed the museum a lot.  When we first got there, a whole swarm of bees was flying around the doors.  We had to go in another entrance and we found out that there was a bee tree up on one of the floors but the guy working there said it was unusual for them to swarm like that.  BUGS anyone??

The bee tree in the museum!

 The bee swarm!

Oh, and we found miniature rainbow slinkies at the museum gift shop.  I really hoped to find one of the giant ones on this trip but I was happy to find the small ones.  If I haven’t said it before (or you haven’t already figured it out) we are very easily entertained. 


When we got back to the hotel we found our hotel door open.  Before we left they had called us about changing some lights and then a woman had come by to look at some of the lights in the bathroom.  I don’t know if they came to change lights or not but someone left the door open and we were freaking out.  I think we were all more worried about our laptops than anything.  Mine wouldn’t be worth anything to anyone else but it has so much stuff saved on it, it would be like losing one of my best friends.  Meredith called the front desk and then handed the phone to me.  She said, “You’re better at being mad.”  LOL

After this excitement we went strolling around Lawrence for a bit and ate at the Free State Brewery.  This place was the busiest place we went all weekend.  There were loads of people at the bar and the beer is supposed to be great but I don’t drink so it was lost on me.  The food, however, was not.  I had Pesto Chicken Pasta and it was AWESOME!  I am still craving it. 

The Eldridge Hotel in Lawrence is supposed to be haunted.  It was also too expensive for us to stay in.  Maybe next time!

We also visited the Lawrence Visitor’s Center that was just about to close when we got there.  We managed to get some Lawrence post cards (finally), crash an anniversary party (strange place for a party, IMO), and get some pics of an awesome statue out front….and of course, I made a SPN connection.  That’s what this trip was all about!

Carry On Wayward Son.  Click here for day 4:

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