Celebrate the gift of life



I’ve discovered these awesome little Buddha Doodles. I subscribed and they drop into my inbox each day. Buddha Doodles was started by a cartoonist in 2011 as a daily sketch practice for personal therapy. It quickly went viral in social media and appears regularly on the Huffington Post and Tiny Buddha.com.

I liked this one – it reminds me that I have a beautiful life. And I treasure every minute of it, even though there are some difficult days (weeks…months). It is a privilege to be alive. I can stand outside in my garden and appreciate a beautiful sunset. I can walk in the park with my family. I can see my son grow. I am fortunate to have the most amazing life partner. I have enough. I am enough.



The road to recovery – it isn’t about the easy days



Source: Interesting Engineering

Source: Interesting Engineering

Doesn’t the road to recovery from depression, anxiety and PTSD feel like this sometimes? What I know is that “recovery” isn’t a place you can get to. It is a journey and sometimes there will be really big potholes in the road. What’s really important is to trust the process. I read about this concept all the time – it must be the universe trying to tell me something ;-). Allow life to unfold. The late Jeff Buckley says “life has its own rhythm and you cannot impose your own structure on it – you have to listen what it tells you.”

I saw this the other day and I think it is true:

Anyone can do recovery on a good day. Recovery isn’t about the easy days. Recovery is fighting through the worst days and coming out the other side. You’ve worked incredibly hard to get there. Don’t throw it all away. Keep pushing through.

Crying. We all need to do it.




I thought this is quite wonderful. It offers an interesting perspective on something I’ve always struggled with. I’ve never liked crying in front of people. It always made me feel so vulnerable (and it still does, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing, I think it is a sign of strength). I always felt so defeated and weak when I cried. I guess this is what happens when you spend years growing up in a family where it is just not okay to show emotion.

But then I started changing my perspective on this. I am still cautious around people I don’t trust (and I think that is a good thing, it is important to guard your heart), but I’m starting to feel more comfortable about crying. It doesn’t mean I’m weak, it is a sign that I am alive, human, in touch with my emotions and that I have the ability to feel things. That doesn’t sound like a bad thing at all, actually. I would even say crying is really necessary. Crying cleanses the heart and soul. And let’s face it, life can suck and sometimes what you need is a really good cry. It is so freeing that I can allow myself to do this now.


This is what it means to be alive


what it means to be alive


I saw this today and I think it is so beautiful. I think life should be celebrated because each day is a gift and another chance to live a life where I am truly present and alive. Appreciating the small things in life helps me to see the big picture. I find that so comforting. No matter what happens today, how I felt or how I struggled, each day is an opportunity to try again. I think that’s a really cool life perk. 🙂

In honour of my therapist




I owe a great deal to my psychologist and psychiatrist. They are amazing people and although I know I pay them to help me, that’s not the point for me. I once read something about how important it is to honour the people in your life who believed in you and gave you confidence when you needed it most – and that is how I feel about them. I actually know I wouldn’t be alive if I wasn’t for them. They helped me realise that my story isn’t over yet. They showed me how to feel emotion again. Because of them I realised that my life is valuable. And that comfort of having someone really listen to your story – the really honest version with no edits. Such a relief and so much freedom.



I’m fine and other lies



I’m fine.

How often have you found yourself saying that? I think people who struggle with depression are professionals at this. I know I am.

It just seems so difficult to tell someone how you really are – and it is risky.  How do you explain it? How do you tell people that you’ve reached your breaking point? I didn’t tell most people because I was worried that they might delegitimize my feelings and then I wondered if would they really even care.

I also didn’t want to risk someone telling me that I should just pull myself together, that I should snap out of it and that there are lots of people worse off than me (by the way – these are three of the worst things you can say to someone who has depression).

Sometimes it just seemed easier to hide the pain and despair. But actually – it’s not. Doing this is exhausting. And when I do it, I’m just lying to myself. It takes a lot of energy to pretend that you are happy.

Eventually I realised that I need people in my life who I don’t always have to be fine with. People who don’t have to see the cleaned-up version of me.


I saw this quote the other day and it got me thinking:

“Everybody is always so fu***ng “fine. But we are not. Sometimes we are hurt and bruised and nearly completely shattered and this, sir, is not what one calls fine.”

So I wondered why I feel the need to be so guarded? I hide my emotions to protect myself and because I’m scared of making myself vulnerable. But there is actually nothing more freeing than being real and telling someone how you feel, what you’ve been through and what you are experiencing now.

I treasure the people in my life who stood by me when I was at my lowest point. These people helped me to find the things I had lost – hope, courage and the will to live. They helped me to stay close to the things I love and make me happy to be alive.

So what do I do these days?

My psychologist doesn’t allow me to walk into her room and tell her “I’m okay” or “I’m fine”. I have to explain how I’m feeling. Properly. This irritated me so much in the beginning, but now I’m learning to label my emotions and express them. The word “depressed” isn’t an emotion. Now I rather work out if I’m feeling fear, despair, hopelessness, anger, betrayal or sadness.

I’m realizing that emotions are messages delivered by my subconscious mind and I owe it to myself to listen to that message.  And I also take time to document that feeling in my journal.

What I also find helpful is making a list of all the emotions I feel – positive and negative. It might sound stupid but if, like me, you struggle with these things it is a very useful exercise. And if you struggle to find the emotion – just Google it!

I don’t always get it right – I still struggle with identifying and dealing with my emotions because it wasn’t something that I was encouraged to do as a child. My default mode is to push my emotions away as quickly as I can.

But now, when I’m starting to feel that my mind is a race track of thoughts and emotions, I make a point of calming myself down and I take just a few minutes to figure out what I’m feeling. This is something that’s really worked for me.

And in the process I’m learning to be gentle with myself. I’m not a project to be completed flawlessly and I don’t always have to get it right – this is one of the biggest life lessons I’m learning all the time.