Wednesday, 27 November 2013

The View From My Window Today

So much for meeting the new therapist  today. As predicted, we were deluged in mountains of snow during the night. The weatherman got it right for once. Although I think, if given satellite feeds, computer analysis  and a clear view of the sky I might have been able to see that massive snowfall coming too.

Its disappointing to have to delay moving forward with the Acceptance  Commitment Therapy but I must admit I love being snowed in.The children are home,  playing blissfully in the snow, just outside my window. The trees are heavy laden with fluffy white snow. Everything is so peaceful and serene, it feels like God wrapped our little family up in a big white cozy blanket and said “take rest”.

My new revised plan for the day includes fuzzy slippers, hot cocoa, a potential Disney Universe grudge match and gratitude ……lots and lots of gratitude . For in this moment I am free of panic, depression  and despair . This moment I will cling to in times that feel much darker. My thoughts and prayers are with you .

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Monday, 25 November 2013

Monday Madness

Hey guys. I have an interesting update for you. I will be starting a new group therapy session soon and I am going to meet the new psychologist on Wednesday. The sessions will be an introduction to ACT which I have been very interested in learning more about.  I had shared that I was reading a rather large book on the subject over the summer. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy has been such a lifeline for me on my journey thus far and I am hopeful that this new approach will build on that.  If you have not tried CBT I encourage you to invest some time in finding out about it. There are many resources available online about it.  You can even do counselling online if that is easier for your situation.
A good place to start is LearntoLive they offer a free questionnaire about social anxiety as well as online services.

I am really looking forward to receiving additional information about Acceptance Commitment Therapy and I will share the information with you as I am working through it.  As my friend +Michael Ballard  would say "What your repress, makes you regress." So it is time for me to move on with life and not let things I can't change hang around me like a heavy anchor. I am hopeful that this is a step in the right direction. I will keep you posted...oh, no pun intended. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

The Story of A Life

Wow, emotional day here. It seems life just keeps handing them out. I literally just walked in the door.  My hands are even now shaking madly while I try to type this post. I know, go have a break and a cup of hot tea (+John Litzenburg) but truly I wanted to write this post while everything was still fresh in my oh so cluttered brain.  Did I ever tell you that I am a card carrying member of the CWL? OK, it's not that big of deal I guess but I do have one of the fancy plastic cards not the flimsy paper kind that the casual members get. Today we stood as honour guards at the funeral of a women that inspired me immensely. Helen Mary Callaghan...could you get a more Catholic name.  Helen passed away on Saturday in her 93rd year of life. Until her heart started to fail her earlier this year she attended Mass every Sunday with her special needs son whom she cared for until she could no longer stay at home, again earlier this year. I remember vividly the day she fell ill. We were all singing during Mass when suddenly Helen drooped forward, the parlour of her skin a dusty white. Immediately the entire congregation dropped to the kneelers and began to pray. The silence enveloping the church I will never forget. After about 20 mins of this deafening silence I saw Helen gesture to her daughter. Preparing myself to hear Helen's final words being relayed to the priest I waited. Father Dale nodded and announced to the congregation that Helen said to get going with the Mass. What fortitude. As the paramedics rushed into the back of the church I saw Helen's children arrive and silently take their place in the pew behind their mother.  That was the last time I saw her alive. The CWL doesn't really call on me anymore. Its pretty well know in my community that there is something wrong with me. Something they politely overlook me when assigning tasks. When I heard Saturday that Helen was gone I needed to be there to don the CWL stole and stand guard for this amazing woman. At 90 years of age she was still the very active President of our League. She was even still driving at 90 (which I think if she had lived anywhere other than Read the police would have wrestled her license away). Whenever she wanted your attention she had a way of just walking up beside you and taking your arm. She pretended to use it for support but really she used it to hold you in place until she had finished what she wanted. She was truly a Matriarch of our community. When I thought about attending the funeral I started thinking of course about having social anxiety. How it limits my interaction in the world and how it sort of isolates me from being too close to the world. Safe...that's what I call my house. My safe spot. My sanctuary. Less outsiders to care about means less opportunity to feel the pain of the loss.  The absolute sorrow in that church today and the funeral home last night was palpable. I think I cried more for the hurt of the ones left behind then the woman we were there to celebrate. Her work was done. Her reward in hand. But oh the legacy that stood there today. 8 children, 10 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren. All loved with her every breath and best of all...they knew it. She showed them all how to love without reserve, how to serve others with to live their faith. As I said, what a legacy. So I my house my safe place...or is it my hiding place. If the worst of my anxieties came true and some catastrophe occurred that took my life or worse still my family, is that chance any worse than the world I miss out on hiding behind my window? My thoughts and Prayers are with you all and especially the loved ones of Mrs. Helen Mary Callaghan.

Friday, 8 November 2013

Kerry Connelly Interview for Her New Book Shaken

Kerry; Your first book Observation City was such a witty entertaining read, what inspired the drastic move to such a deeply personal book? As people can see by your Facebook, Google+ and blog entries, your book Observation City is popping up all over the world, with fans sending in pictures from around the globe. Who do you hope to see as the audience for this book? What type of feedback are you expecting as it will be less likely that people will feel at ease sharing photos of Shaken.

Very true. I hope that shaken is able to resonate with an audience of people who can take from it something useful and use it in their own journeys.  Even now during the books pre-release I have been receiving emails from people in my Google plus community and website visitors who have bravely shared their experiences with me. I hope that readers are able to take out of it something that they can use in their own lives. Of course I welcome people to send me in their photos with ‘shaken’ as many did with ‘Observation City’ if they would like to, but it isn’t something I expect. I do however encourage readers to feel free to send me an email if they would like to.

If you could press rewind and go back to the time before the abuse and depression (not the acts itself but rather to the person you were) would you? Or are you happy with the person you have become through overcoming these trials?

I believe everything happens for a reason, even if you don’t know it at the time. Do I wish I hadn’t been subjected to an emotionally abusive relationship. Of course. Would I erase it if I could? No. It has taught me so much and from that experience I’m standing on the verge of releasing an important book which hopefully will be able to help others.

Writing such a personal account of your own life is extremely courageous. What has been the feedback from friends and family about sharing so much of yourself in this book?

My partner has been incredibly supportive and encouraging, he can already see the impact the book has been having pre-release on people’s lives through my interactions with many kind and courageous people of my online communities. He encourages me every day, even when I am going through low points myself that the book has been written for a reason.

When can we expect to get our hands on "Shaken"? Where will it be available?

Shaken will be available in paperback and digital formats THIS NOVEMBER from and publisher direct. Easy purchase links will be added to my website and updates on various book retailers that will be stocking Shaken, will also be added to my website as they come.

Kerry thank you for taking the time once again to join us here at

In closing; if you had the chance to speak with one young person struggling with abuse or depression what would you tell them?

Depression doesn’t discriminate, don’t feel ashamed because you are not alone, so many of us have been through it or are going through depression at this very moment. And for those who have find themselves the subject of emotional or other types of abuse- speak out, know that you are worth so much more than the treatment you are being subjected to. Reach out to those around you that you can trust, seek help. Read shaken and feel free to email me. 

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Shaken is out this week!

Several months ago we were fortunate to have Author Kerry Connelly provide a guest post on this blog. During those months the effects of Kerry's courageous battle with living with the aftermath of abuse and mental health struggles have forged several new forums for discussing mental health issues. I have been privileged to be apart of several of these groups and discussions and I am so proud of Kerry's ability to turn her personal struggles into a beacon of hope for others to follow. Be sure to get your hands on Shaken this week and come back here November 8th for Kerri's reasons for writing Shaken, the effects it is having in her own life as well as words of wisdom for others that are suffering and feeling like they are alone.

Meet Kerry Connelly

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Time to toot my own horn

So admittedly I have been in a funk lately. Maybe its the grey weather.....maybe its just learning to be home alone without my kidlets. I started sliding back into the pattern of staying home all the time again. Some days I was not even combing my hair in fear that my hubby might request that I go out....and to be fully honest with myself...I was just getting to depressed to care what I looked like. Well Thursday being Halloween I had to take my kids out trick or treating. Friday and Saturday I took my small business on the road and was a vendor at a local craft sale. Guess what....I did not even shake until after 3:00 on Saturday and the show was over by 4:00.  My Mom went with me to the show and I suprised her by how outgoing I was with the customers. I was fearless! Of course I got to talk about something that I am passionate about so that certainly helped. Today the numbness in my back and shoulders were my evidence of three days out in the world. I almost gave myself permission to crawl back under the covers but instead I got up and got ready for Mass. To my suprise I did not shake or have a panic attack today. I felt almost like me again. I think this is the first time in a very long time that I have been out four days in a row. I am so glad that I pushed myself past what I thought I could do. My confidence is at its highest point in recent memory. I won't lie...I feel pretty rough tonight.....and have no plans to leave the house until maybe mid week....but oh it was so worth it!  What can you set as a goal today? My thoughts and prayers are with you every step you take towards your goal today.