Smiling on the outside

With the sudden death, and suspected suicide, of Robin Williams, I can’t help thinking about all of the people in the world who suffer in silence.

I have been one of those people at various points in my life, so I know how difficult it is to 1-get through each day and 2-ask for help when you feel so horrible. There are too many people who don’t understand that a smile can be as much a mask as it is an expression. Just because you think a person is happy and playful and excited about life does not mean that is how they actually feel.

Every day I see people being hateful to one another under guise of it being “just a joke” or something the other person needs to “just get over.” Just because a person is laughing does not mean they do not believe the insult that you consider “just a joke,” and if they don’t laugh it does not mean that they do no have a sense of humor. You never know what they are going through. You may never know.

People shy away from sadness, and that’s only if they do not outright reject it. Too often people learn that someone is sad or depressed, and they want to get away from that individual. “They just need to get over it.” is not a helpful phrase, and it is not going to solve anything. So, people who feel this way often feel the need to hide it from the world. It’s a sad truth.

For myself, I never wanted to burden anyone with my own depression, so I smiled brightly and made all of the right noises. At the same time, with a big smile across my face, I would run through scenarios of how I might die. Don’t get me wrong, it was not suicidal thoughts. It was more wishful thinking. “If I get up and drive to work today, I might get killed in a car accident.” or “If I come into contact with enough people today, I might get sick. We’ll think it’s the flu, and find out too late that it’s meningitis.” These thoughts were not frightening to me at the time, they were hopeful. I could never hurt my family by suicide. My biggest problem was feeling like a burden on everyone, and suicide would only make me the eternal burden. Instead, I only made it through each moment by holding on to the hope that the next might be my last. All the while I would giggle and joke, chatter on about nothing, and bounce around as though I were a silly, happy, normal girl when I was anything but.

I worked through those feelings years ago, but the thought of what I went through can still bring me to tears. It is something I would not wish on my worst enemy, and yet it is something so many people suffer through in silence.

People you know and love may be suffering while you sit in ignorance of it. Let them know you’re there. Let them know they can talk to you, you will not judge them, and they, and their emotions, are important to you. More than anything, earn that trust, and hold it close. Betraying someone in pain can be the last dagger through their heart.

Save the mockery, joking or not, it serves only to cause pain. If you want someone to smile, give them a real reason to feel happiness, and don’t expect them to feel the same as you. The best gift you can give another person is respect for who they are, not who you think they should be.



That moment when…

That moment when you’re having a delightful conversation with a few coworkers, and the one loud-mouth attention whore of a coworker you hate joins.

Bees and Efs: ‘Forever Friends’ Don’t Always Last

Do you — or did you ever — have a Best Friend? Do you believe in the idea of one person whose friendship matters the most? Tell us a story about your BFF (or lack thereof).

There’s a funny thing I’ve noticed about BFF’s. For most people, the second ‘f’ is optional. To be honest, most people seem to think all of it is optional. People often go through best friends faster than they go through wardrobes. I am not one of those people. I do not even consider someone a friend unless we’ve been through several wardrobes together. By this, of course, I mean I prefer friends who are really my friends rather than people I’ve hung out with a few times. If we haven’t had time to really get to know each other and build trust, then we aren’t really friends. We’re acquaintances.

This is no different with my ‘best friend.’ Though, I would consider her more like a sister. We hardly see each other. In fact, we’ve never lived in the same state.

How are you like sisters if you’ve never lived in the same state, you ask?

Our fathers grew up together, and as a result we grew up together. Summers, holidays, every chance we get we spend together. It only adds up to a few visits each year, but our status as ‘besties’ still remains.

One of the funniest things about our friendship is that we are nothing alike, and I mean nothing alike. She is a sun-worshiping, hyper-social, extremely emotional, pop and country music-loving, chesty blonde. I am a night-loving, anti-social, not-so-emotional, rock music-loving, big booty brunette. Yes, our physical characteristics are as opposite as our psychological and emotional differences. She is the eldest of two with one brother while I am the youngest of four with three older brothers. We argue almost constantly when we are together, and we have trouble agreeing on activities to enjoy unless it involves going to Olive Garden (don’t judge! It’s our age-old tradition) and watching horror movies.

Despite all of our differences, I know she will always be there if I need her, and I will always be there for her. She is the sister I never had, and no matter where our lives take us, she will always be my best friend.

That is, in my opinion, what a true best friend is.

The family kind of forever.


An OB/GYN’s opinion on the Supreme Court, Hobby Lobby, and contraception

Everything I’ve tried to explain to too many people. It is overwhelming how little people care until it directly affects them.

Dr. Jen Gunter

The Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision, sided with Hobby Lobby (and much of the religious right in the United States) and ruled that a closely held private corporation does not have to provide insurance coverage for certain birth control methods. Justice Alito, speaking for the majority wrote:

“The owners of the businesses have religious objections to abortion, and according to their religious beliefs the four contraceptive methods at issue are abortifacients. If the owners comply with the HHS mandate, they believe they will be facilitating abortions…It is not for us to say that their religious beliefs are mistaken or insubstantial.”

As an OB/GYN I see six disastrous consequences of this decision:

1) The idea that religious beliefs of some are more important that the religious beliefs of others. Any woman wanting to use one of the 4 methods of contraception listed obviously doesn’t share the same beliefs…

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Guest Post – Wading Against Mental Health Stigma in the Work Place

I am nowhere near being a professional, but I do have a degree in psychology. My education has taught me enough to realize how idiotic most people are when it comes to mental illness. The lack of understanding and compassion baffles me. Every time someone does something bad, people want to blame mental illness. When I hear, “That guy killed twenty people! He must be schizophrenic or something!” I want to punch them in the throat. When I find out a friend has depression, or is bipolar, but does not want to go to the doctor or take anything for it because they don’t want to be labeled as “crazy,” I feel lost for words. More so, ignorance is no excuse for invidious discrimination. The stigma has to stop.

Profanity in the Profound

Everyone wants to be profound. It’s almost funny how hard people try. I think we’re beyond profound by now. I see the profound as the ramblings of a drug addict in the middle of his or her journey to oblivion.

That’s so profound, man.

Is it really that important? Be honest, even if your honesty is boring, or irritating, or completely misunderstood. I’d rather be with one boringly honest person than a hundred “truly profound” individuals.

I’m not profound. I never have been. There was a time in my teens when I believed a whimsically beautiful view of the world could bring about a sense of enlightenment.

I was happy, but I was wrong.

Call me cynical, jaded, or whatever else you might like. I enjoy the cold, hard reality I’ve found outside of the comforting fog.

If what you know is this beautiful and optimistic world, or the dream of changing lives with just a few words, then by all means continue.

I’ll stick to what I do, even if it isn’t always so pretty and well-received.

So I’ve written a book…

Yeah, who hasn’t written a book now-a-days?

Seriously, though, I have written a book. I am in the editing phase now. To be honest, I’m in about the fiftieth editing phase, but I’ve gotten all of the scenes written for this one so it’s the first full-fledged editing phase. That’s saying something, right?

Now I am tasked with submitting my manuscript to publishers, but I have no idea where to start! Do I just send my manuscript out to whatever publishers I find online? Who can I trust with my baby? Am I so desperate to be published that I would put my characters, and their lives, in jeopardy?

I am excited to be so close to finished, but I am also overwhelmed. Not to mention terrified. I’m sure every author goes through this, but that does not guarantee my future as an author.

Deep breaths.


An Ode to Ranon and Mims

I could sit for hours

Just listening to you sing

It’s a song I’ll never hear again

You sat trapped

Such a small place

Yet the music still came

It broke my heart to hold you

But I feared letting you go

You deserved better than me

Now you sail through the sky

Your world open and free

I miss you, your song

And the light you brought into my life

But I smiled, I laughed

Even as my heart broke

I saw you fly away

I watched you soar

You are beautiful

You are free

Heebie Jeebies: A symptom of weevils.

I have recently been seeing an occasional bug in my apartment. I only saw one or two over a week, and they were tiny so I did not worry about it. I killed them, of course, but I was not overly concerned. I continued to see more as the days passed. Not often. One, maybe two a day. I decided to look them up. The next time I saw one on the carpet, I caught it in a small container to get a better look and turned to the all-knowing google. After several attempts at searching insect sites I finally found it.

I have weevils.

I kill weevils, not photograph them.

The name says it all. We Evils. While they are not harmful, they do eat rice, grains, seeds, etc., which can make them a nuisance. Not to mention they’re creepy and gross. Who wants little bugs crawling around their apartment? Certainly not me.

Google was helpful, as it often is with simple information requests. The wonderful thing about this search; it was actually pretty consistent in its results.

Weevil larvae can travel into your home in any of the food products they frequent (rice, grains, seeds, etc.), or they can fly in. Through a quick process of elimination, I believe I have found the source of my weevils.

My bird seed.

I have two pet birds, Rannon and Mims, and I bought new food for them just before the weevils showed their ugly little faces. When I moved my bird cage, I found several weevils under the cage, and in the treats I threw away. Their full bag of food, not wanting to waste it (the weevils and their eggs will not harm Rannon and Mims), is in the freezer to kill anything still in the mixture.

Now, I am set with the task of throwing away half of my pantry, cleaning out each of the cabinets, scrubbing my entire apartment, and setting out bay leaves to keep the creatures from infesting again. I have already purchased a number of containers for storing the rice and grains I will have to re-purchase after the infestation is under control. It’s going to be a process, but the weevil infestation will be manageable.

What I may not be able to manage, though, is the heebie jeebies plaguing me. My entire body itches, and I’m afraid to walk through my apartment without shoes. I can’t sleep thanks to the images of my unconscious body being covered in small insects. It is a feeling I expect to live with for at least a few weeks, even after I am certain I have destroyed the monsters invading my home.

Now, I am going to take half of a muscle relaxer to knock me out. The faster tomorrow comes, the faster I can vacuum and scrub my apartment.

Thanks Rannon and Mims.




Ranon and Mims have left me. During the cleaning process (which took place outside), Ranon made a quick escape out of the cage. I released Mims shortly after because they are a mated pair and because Mims hated me anyway. I hope they are able to enjoy their freedom while it lasts. Sadly, their bright plumage, and their seed-fed/caged upbringing, will hinder their ability to survive in the wild.

Goodbye Ranon (left) and Mims (right). I’ll miss you.

Just a thought