Are you a professional who is passionate about women’s sexuality and pleasure?

Women’s sexuality and pleasure is a complex and multifaceted topic that has been studied and discussed by researchers and experts in a variety of fields. Studies have shown that women’s sexual desires and experiences can vary greatly, and that there is a wide range of factors that can influence a woman’s sexual pleasure, including physical, emotional, and social factors.

Some physical factors that can affect a woman’s sexual pleasure include hormonal changes, medical conditions, and the use of certain medications. Emotional factors can include stress, anxiety, and relationship issues. Social factors can include cultural and societal expectations, as well as the influence of the media and other forms of popular culture.

Research has also shown that women’s sexual pleasure can be enhanced through various means, such as sexual education, communication with partners, and the use of sex toys and other aids.

It’s important to note that every woman’s sexual experience is unique and that there is no “normal” when it comes to women’s sexual pleasure. Studies have shown that many women have difficulty reaching orgasm, and a lack of sexual pleasure is not a sign of any sort of personal failure.

Seeking support for sexual issues can be an important step in addressing and resolving any difficulties related to sexual functioning or pleasure. There are several options available for individuals who are seeking support for sexual issues, including therapy and counseling, medical treatment, and self-help resources.

One of the most common forms of support for sexual issues is therapy or counseling. This can include individual therapy or couples therapy, and can be provided by a licensed therapist or counselor who specializes in sexual health. Therapy can help individuals and couples to address and work through any emotional or psychological factors that may be impacting their sexual functioning or pleasure.

Medical treatment is also an option for individuals who are experiencing sexual dysfunction or other physical issues related to sexual health. This can include treatment for conditions such as erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, or vaginal dryness. Medications, hormones therapy or other treatments may be prescribed.

In addition to therapy and medical treatment, there are also a variety of self-help resources available for individuals who are seeking support for sexual issues. These can include books, articles, and online resources that provide information and guidance on sexual health and pleasure.

Many women struggle with finding their voice in matters related to sexuality, whether it be due to societal pressure, lack of education or representation, or past trauma. It is important for women to be able to express their desires and boundaries in sexual relationships, and to feel comfortable and empowered in their sexuality.

That’s why I decided to write my upcoming book, “Womanhood: Identity to Intimacy and Everything in Between.” This book aims to explore the various facets of womanhood, from the societal expectations and stereotypes surrounding femininity, to the personal experiences and struggles of being a woman in today’s world.

I am looking for writers, poets, academics, and activists who are passionate about this topic and have something meaningful to contribute. Whether you have personal stories to share, research to present, or perspectives to offer, I would love to hear from you.

It is important for us women to remember that our sexuality is valid and deserving of respect, and that our feelings and desires are just as important as those of our partners. As a co-author in “Womanhood: Identity to Intimacy and Everything in Between,” you’ll have the opportunity to spread this message to women around the world!

The topic of womanhood is an important and timely one, and contributing to a book on the subject could be a way to contribute to ongoing conversations and debates about gender and identity. Being a co-author on a book can also help you establish yourself as an expert in the field, and contribute to your professional reputation.

Working on a book project can be a great opportunity to collaborate with other experts and researchers in the field, and to learn from their perspectives and experiences. Contributing to a book on womanhood can also be a way to make a meaningful impact by sharing your knowledge and experiences, and helping to shape the conversation around womanhood and femininity.

Co-authoring a book is a significant accomplishment that can be used to showcase your expertise and experience, and can be beneficial for future job opportunities, funding or research opportunities.

If you are interested in co-authoring this book, apply here.


It is important to note that seeking help with sexual issues is a personal choice and requires a person’s own comfortability with it. It is also important to find a professional you trust and feel comfortable with. Seek professional help if you’re experiencing difficulty in your sexual life, as these issues can have a significant impact on your overall well-being and quality of life.

The Path to Becoming

by Angie Pope

If you’d asked me 10 years ago if I thought there was a path that led me out of my trauma and into happiness and growth I’d have said no. I might have believed that there was one that led to a place of contentment- where perhaps I was free of my abusers and no longer abusing myself- but happiness? No. 

So to be standing here today feeling intensely happy, in love with myself, in love with my partner, having beautiful mentors and people who cheer me on, and continually growing… It’s amazing. And I am constantly grateful because I know that my past self who was scared and depressed and self injuring never expected anything more out of life. But here it is. 

So, the big question then is…
How do you get from here to there?

1. Know that there’s not a one size fits all answer. Everyone will have advice and how-to’s for you on your journey. Take what feels good to you in your body, and leave the rest.

2. Small shifts in your “I am”. Both your brain and the universe are listening intently to what you say. Speak life, speak positivity, and affirm who you’re growing into. (My affirmation deck is an amazing way to start the day with that!)

3. Make time for rest and play. Yes, you CAN still be efficient while operating from rest! Ask for help if you’re not sure how to implement that in your personal life.

4. Know your why. Your why, your purpose is what keeps the fire burning. What do you want to see happening if your life? How do you want to affect the works?

5. Get in your body. Pay attention to how your body feels. Engage in movement- yoga, dance, or whatever brings you to life.

6. Watch your mental diet. Surround yourself with things that fill you up, not things that drain you. What kind of shows, news, music, and conversation are you consuming?

7. Get grounded. Connect regularly with nature. Go out in bare feet and connect with spirit.

8. Have people who support you. Invest your time and money in people who can guide you. Have friends who support you and lift you up. Hire a mentor who can help you find your path and accompany you on the journey on a 1:1 basis.

We aren’t here to be less than. We’re here to heal and grow and lift the planet into light in a massive way. This journey is yours for a reason. All you have to do is take the first step. 


Angie Pope

How did I get back to ‘me’ after trauma, loss, and depression?

The other day someone sent me a message and said she didn’t know how I did it. How did I get back to ‘me’ after everything I went through?

First, I gave myself grace. Then, I got to work. And the first thing I had to do was make a decision. I wasn’t going to settle anymore.

I knew that I deserve better than what we’ve been through, and that my kids deserve better, too. It wasn’t fair to any of us to not live the most enriched life we possibly can. And, as a single mom, I knew that it was up to me to make things better. I had to set the example.

So, I started with my mindset. It always starts with mindset. (You can check out my interview with Michele Meza to learn more about that.) As she reminds us, “thoughts become words become actions,” so you have GOT to start with what’s going on in your head.

Just this week, I’ve had to pull myself out of that negative space on several occasions. All I could see were the challenges ahead of me, the plans that aren’t working, the places I’m “dropping the ball.”

But when I intentionally shifted my perspective, those same challenges turned from roadblocks to stepping stones. 

I sat down to focus on 2023 and began reviewing this past year. Let me tell you, 2022 started out rough…

The first quarter was messy and ugly. This time last year, I was in the hospital, literally ready to give up on life.

Fast forward to today, and I’m humbled by my achievements. Over the past 9 months:

– I traveled without my children and focused on myself for almost 2 weeks
– I bought a house in California
– I moved my family from IL to CA
– I rebranded my business + began sharing my story with others
– I co-authored a book + became an international best-selling author
– I appeared in my first podcasts
– I became a public speaker
– I produced + hosted a virtual summit with international experts
– I began hiring a team + delegating tasks within my business
– I’m preparing to publish my next book in Summer 2023

WOW!!! When I look at it that way, I feel incredible – unstoppable! Like I can do ANYTHING! Because the truth is that I can. And so can you!

Getting back to yourself after a breakup or loss starts with getting your mind right and I want to help. I want you to experience that same feeling of empowerment!

So, I’m opening up my calendar next week for 12 free coaching calls as a special holiday gift for you! Let’s connect to talk about your specific situation and plan for stepping into your feminine power in 2023.

You deserve better, too. I can help you get there. Get started HERE.

A Raw Account of Motherhood with Postpartum Depression – Part 5

. . . continued from My PPD Story . . .

The truth is I don’t know how this story is going to end. I can pinpoint the exact therapy sessions during which I finally chose to release the pain of my past and how glorious it felt as the ugliness physically left my body, releasing through my feet and leaving me with what can only be described as pure lightness. 

I can tell you where I was when I realized that I am not alone in this world, but in fact, surrounded by amazing people filled with good hearts, great intentions and loving support. 

I can describe with elation the trip I took with my mom that finally healed my little girl’s heart from festering childhood wounds. 

But my story continues. I can’t yet claim to be cured of my illness, this postpartum demon. Some days are better than others; most are better than the last. It’s a process. One I am still learning – every day a new lesson.

I’m learning that through it all and despite self-talk to the contrary, I am a good mom. I am that “Other Mother,” who enjoys taking her kids on walks through the woods and chasing them until they’re breathless at the park; who worries about their health, happiness and futures; who wonders if she’s giving them enough love, a good balance of comfort, structure and independence.

I’m learning that there are a million ways to be a good mom and among these is recognizing that motherhood is stressful. Every day we strive to balance self-care, relationships, parenting, house management, careers and other life stressors – the good and the bad; I’m learning to relieve this stress just as frequently as I encounter it.

I’m learning to take care of myself; to spend time and money on myself once in a while, so I can recharge and prevent Mommy-Burnout. I’m learning to ask for help when I need it and to be thankful when I get it. That Daddy will not always do things the way I would (in fact, I can guarantee that 95% of the time he will do them differently) but that he loves those kids, and tirelessly aims to keep us safe and happy. For that I am truly grateful and blessed. We are all imperfect beings and this means my partner has his own struggles; he needs my love, not my judgment.

I’m learning to love and accept myself as the person I am, complete with imperfections of my own. I’m also learning that I best demonstrate this love and acceptance to my children when I take care of myself and when I share my love with others.

I’m learning that it takes a lot of patience to be an adult, to remain a grown-up when you feel like stomping your feet and joining the kids’ wails. I’m learning how to deal with those childhood issues I naïvely thought I could leave in the past; to face them and not fear them, like all obstacles in life.

I’m learning how to spend more time living in the moment, embracing who I am and where I am here and now. That it’s important to plan and anticipate the future with open arms, but it is more important to inhabit this minute, to cherish life at this moment for the next has not been promised.

Coping with PPD is not easy, but it is possible. I’ve learned that until we release our pain and suffering, until we bring our darkness to the light, we can never truly know peace or happiness. It is with this wisdom that I share my story with you and encourage you to do the same.

First of all, ask for help. Trust me, it’s out there; you just have to find it. Seek professional help, talk to a trusted pastor, confide in a friend… Please, reach out. Connect with someone and share your story: your triumphs, your lessons, your fears. Make new friends and reconnect with old ones. Understand that you are not alone. When it comes to motherhood, we’ve all been there!

My experience has taught me that utilizing the mental health system takes patience, persistence and perception, but the help is available. Stay in control of your body, your mind and your health by being proactive in every aspect of your life, including making the choice to switch to a mental health provider with whom you feel comfortable and connected, no matter how many times it takes. The same can be said about medicine.

Medication is a tool that can be incredibly helpful in helping you maintain homeostasis, providing you the time and space you need to learn, grow and heal. However, it should be only considered as part of your treatment, as should any other therapies you choose to endeavor. True health requires a lifestyle change – there is no drug or therapy or treatment that will magically dissipate your life’s problems. But, medication and therapy can be useful tools in helping you change how you think, how you respond to life’s problems and in turn, how you feel about life.

Ultimately, it’s on you. You have to make up your mind and take action, put forth the effort and open yourself to learning from your mistakes along the way. But I assure you, you can do it. It’s all about perspective. Change your thoughts; your words and actions will follow, your circumstances will shift. You will see results.

Please remember to be gentle on yourself. Give yourself a break. Often. Slow down and enjoy the life you’ve been given, for the good of yourself, your relationship, your family and your community. Soak up the good stuff, release the bad stuff to the wind. Find your passion, your mission, your reason for being and let the chips fall where they may. You can’t control the rest of it anyway.

Like you, I’m still discovering that I have control of my life, that I create my own destiny. I’m learning that the pen is in my hand and that each day is a fresh page. I’ve realized that I determine where my tale goes from here: the woman and the mother I will choose to become, the life that I will decide to lead. I know that I’m writing in ink and I can’t erase my mistakes, but if there’s one thing I’m certain of, it’s that I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be… every day writing my story, every day living my dream.

January 1, 2015

A Raw Account of Motherhood with Postpartum Depression – Part 4

. . . continued from My PPD Story . . .

When the baby arrived and the surge of post-pregnancy hormones washed over me, I felt at peace for a brief moment. I was happy in my little life, content with my wondrous family and the breath of fresh air a newborn brings into your home. That is, until the  PPD crept back in, poisoning my life once again. What once came easily, naturally – parenting – I started to do on auto-pilot. An empty shell robotically fulfilling my duties as Mom… feeding, burping, bathing, diapering, cleaning; repeat… sitting through monotonous songs and repetitive nursery rhymes and brightly colored, too-loud toys. I was a robot at my best; a monster at my worst.

Soon, I began to detach even further, separating myself from my children whenever possible. Too often relying on Netflix to entertain them so I could retreat into my dark, lonely space, away from the family I created, the family I am more convinced everyday needs to be free of me…

It’s a cycle that has grown all too familiar: Meals for the kids become whatever I can grab and dump on their plates without exerting much effort. I swallow my guilt and shove nutritional concerns aside as I open another “veggie pouch” for my 4 year old. I have no desire to cook and I certainly won’t feel like cleaning after we eat. Well, after the kids eat, anyway. My appetite vanishes with my motivation right about now. After dinner, I’ll skip their baths, “just one more night” because I don’t have the energy to wrangle, undress, rinse, soap, rinse, play with, dry, and re-dress three children right now. This wash-up will do just fine.

When morning comes, I skip getting them dressed because now it’s actually late afternoon and really those PJs aren’t that dirty (we just put them on the night before last… or was it the night before that?). We aren’t going anywhere today anyway and didn’t we say last night that we would do baths tonight? I skip the story and the song and the sweet good-nights because honestly, I just want to be done with the day. Please go to sleep. Shh! you’ll wake the baby… No, you don’t need another glass of water and you’ve already gone potty 4 times! Get back in bed. Shh!… Lie down, don’t move and please be quiet. Shh!!!… Damn it, that’s it! Back in your bed, now! Just lie down and SHUT UP and leave me alone!!!

Oh, God, I’m so sorry. I know it’s not your fault. Mommy doesn’t feel good, but I’m not mad at you. It’s not okay for me to talk to you like that and I feel bad for doing it. No, I don’t know what’s wrong, baby, and I don’t know why Mommy cries. But I love you and thank you for hugging me and please, sweet baby, please get some rest. Yes, I will, too.

I’m not sure exactly when I started seeing my depression reflected in the lives of my children; I don’t know if I noticed it in their disheveled appearances or if I felt it in the baby’s cry as she suckled at a dwindling milk supply, hungering for nourishment I could no longer provide. I do know I missed it in the voices of loved ones who expressed their concern: at my constant scolding/yelling/punishing the kids; my desire to remain secluded in our home, where I barricaded us from the rest of life; my lack of interest in… anything. I’m not even sure I saw it in my uncharacteristically dirty house or my unkempt, overstressed and angry self. But eventually, I spotted it in my kids; I saw it in their eyes, I heard it in their words, I felt it in the way they treated themselves and others. I noticed the reflection of my lowest and worst self, glaring me in the face and growing stronger each day. And I hated what I saw.

At first this realization upset me. I was failing at the one thing that I have spent my life training for: from caring for my younger siblings to working as a nanny to studying early childhood education and child development in college, my entire life experience has prepared me for this mission. My life was a dream come true, one I only dared to imagine in the innocence of my youth. Yet, here I was living it for real – and I was wasting my time by dwelling in the throes of life rather than reveling in the abundance of it. How did I let myself get here? And what in the hell am I going to do about it?

. . . to be continued . . .

A Raw Account of Motherhood with Postpartum Depression – Part 3

. . . continued from My PPD Story . . .

My husband’s grandmother lost her in-home caretaker and my mother-in-law volunteered to stay with her while they sought a replacement. Turns out the arrangement was a rather good one and remains indefinite to date. This is wonderful, with the exception that it essentially left the responsibilities of caring for the house and property in my husband’s and my hands, a tremendous task for which we were terribly ill-prepared and completely unsuspecting. Yet, as with most of the undertakings we’ve faced in our marriage thus far, we’re learning.

We were blessed to have different relatives stay with us for various spells while we transitioned to the challenge of caring for our family on our own. Each of those experiences taught us lifelong lessons we hold close to our hearts. Still, having so many people in limited space also posed its own obstacles. Perhaps as a result of turning to one another for comfort during these times, we soon learned I was pregnant once again… except this time, it wasn’t joy I was feeling.

We hadn’t planned on having another child and certainly not so soon. My daughter was only 8 months old; my son was not yet 3. My husband was having difficulty securing steady work, meaning finances were tight and tension was usually high. The chaos at home was already too much for me to handle and I couldn’t imagine adding more. Asking for help didn’t seem a reasonable option: after all, we had gotten ourselves into this mess. Besides, I was already trying to ignore the judgment I felt glaring at us from the sidelines. I relapsed. Any progress that I had made in relieving my depression up to this point vanished and left me in the darkest, loneliest place I have experienced in my lifetime.

After discovering I was pregnant with my third child, I spiraled into a deep depression; one that would not fully lift until after the baby was over a year old. For me, the illness came in waves, knocking me down over and over. I would hit what felt like rock-bottom, only to discover there was further to fall. I was paralyzed from even the simple tasks of everyday life by the heaviness of my sickness and so I would often retreat into comfortable isolation.

Whenever I felt a rage coursing through my veins that I could neither control nor understand, I would lock myself in my bathroom or bedroom in an effort to barricade myself from my family. I swore to myself that I would not hurt anyone or damage any (more) of our stuff. I wanted to scream, punch the walls, tear at the fixtures and kick in the door. I wanted to run, very fast and very far away. But I couldn’t run; I couldn’t leave. I had babies who needed me. All. The. Time. Humans whose lives depended on me upholding my responsibilities. After all, I’m The Mom.

Whenever anxiety blanketed me, the intense emotion would pulsate through every inch of my body, the blood rushing to my tear-swollen face, until I was sure that it had reached its maximum capacity and would just explode me into a million pieces. I’d let out a scream, sink into the fetal position on the floor, and begin sobbing uncontrollably. I was gone; disconnected from my world and everyone in it, unable to communicate or even comprehend what was happening inside me.

I lost months – years, maybe – to this illness. I often yearned to be alone. Thrusting my parental responsibilities onto my husband, I’d seclude myself to the darkness in my mind. I’d drive aimlessly, not wanting to be anywhere or see anyone; feeling trapped inside my head. Or I would park next to the river and contemplate my place in this world, ponder my worth and whether I had any as I let my pain stream down my face.

I found myself increasingly exposing my bleeding heart to my husband, looking to him to release me from my self-imposed prison; begging him to give me a way out of my misery and leaving him speechless and no doubt feeling alone and scared when nothing he tried would work. Neither of us knew what to do – how to “make it better” so to speak. Many times I felt the only reason I continued living was because of the growing life inside of me. A life I increasingly felt I didn’t deserve.

. . . to be continued . . .

A Raw Account of Motherhood with Postpartum Depression – Part 2

. . . continued from My PPD Story . . .

When I discovered I was pregnant with my first child shortly after completing the intensive outpatient program, I stopped all prescriptions.  I knew the darkness inside me was not good for my baby or myself, but I also knew the risks I would be taking by continuing those dangerous drugs that only made me feel worse. I knew it wouldn’t be easy, life as an unmedicated “Bipolar” mother, but I also knew it was the best choice for all of us.

The journey was difficult. As much as I wanted children, I did not enjoy my pregnancy. I spent most of it crying and the rest of it angry. Morning sickness lasted the first 30 weeks and I spent the last 10 weeks adjusting to my abrupt role as a housewife/stay-at-home mom. All 40 were stressful. My husband had just been discharged from the Marine Corps and was transitioning back into civilian life, an indescribable feat of its own. We were married during my second trimester and moved into our apartment a week before the wedding – the same week I lost both my job and my beloved cat, Daisy.

I was a complete mess. I wasn’t sure what I wanted or where I was going or how to enjoy my experience. The first time I felt my baby kick, I was parked at a forest preserve, sitting in my car having an emotional meltdown, depressed about my life and questioning my future. My husband and I had been fighting – constantly. The fact that we made it to the altar at all is a bit of a miracle considering the strife we battled during our whirlwind engagement. We knew in our hearts that we were meant to be, yet when we would argue, we would seem to forget that we loved one another. Somehow we just kept going. Soon, our baby arrived.

My first night home with my son, I remember thinking that I was going to end up alone. That my husband would leave us and I would end up raising this child on my own. Adjusting to a new baby in the house took some time and put a strain on our marriage. Learning how to deal with my own issues, a transitioning veteran, being a new mom, a new wife… It was all too much. Cognizant of my history, my family watched for signs of postpartum. Sure enough, soon I was back in a psychiatrist’s office, this time looking for medication that wouldn’t interfere with breastfeeding my newborn.

I told my new doctors that I had previously been treated for Bipolar Disorder. We initially began treatment for the same, but during an intake interview with the psychiatrist, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder was mentioned for the first time. I began to consider this alternative and research the diagnosis. However, we soon moved a couple of hours away from that facility and once again I stopped treatment altogether.

Now, we were in a new home in a new town, hours away from any friends or family (aside from my mother-in-law, with whom we lived). I felt powerless, confined to the house and isolated from my world, something I attributed to both the move and my newfound dependence on a man and his family. My husband and I had a love-hate thing going on; we hated the knock-down, drag-out fights that rumbled their way through our newlywed years, but man – we loved to make up! Not surprisingly, we were soon expecting again.

On Christmas morning of 2012, I awoke my husband with news of a positive pregnancy test. We were overjoyed at our impending new arrival. While I can’t exactly say I enjoyed the pregnancy, I do recall it being easier… even though I was chasing a toddler and the morning sickness lasted 38 weeks the second time around. I had begun holistic therapy with someone who saw and treated me as a person, an entire being. He never made me feel like one of those defective products on an assembly line and so, with his help, I was able to begin the process of healing myself.

We brought our baby girl home and our little family was quite possibly complete: one boy, one girl, and I was beginning to adjust to life in our first little home. I joined the local fitness center and took the kids to the baby gym. I even began dreaming of a career in writing, with plans to chronicle my newfound exploration of holistic wellness on my blog. 

But alas, life happened, changing up our life plans again.

. . . to be continued . . .

A Raw Account of Motherhood with Postpartum Depression – Part 1

The following is an excerpt from an article I wrote in January 2015 about my postpartum journey. 

There are so many layers to my story, I am not sure where to begin.

Motherhood has been fickle for me; consistently inconsistent, if you will. Some days, I’m on top of my game, juggling diapers and Legos and laundry and schedules and child-sized meltdowns without missing a beat. My friends and family often tell me I am an amazing mom and on these good days, I think they’re telling the truth. I feel it and I almost believe it. Almost. At least until the stress of being Mom inevitably gets to me once again. On those days, the ones I struggle to get through, I am convinced that I am doing it all wrong and that my children would be much better off with some “Other Mother”: one who doesn’t lose her temper, yell too much or randomly break down crying in front of them. A mom who enjoys getting on the floor and playing with her babies, taking her children on adventures through the neighborhood and crooning off-pitch Disney tunes into a make-believe microphone with her budding rock stars. The mom that I always envisioned I would be when I was given my chance.

“What do you want to be when you grow up?” My answer to this has not changed since I was a girl. All my life, all I ever wanted – all that I dreamed of – was to be a wife and a mother and to raise a family of my own. A family, I vowed, which would be devoid of the trauma and abuse that I endured as a child. When I married my 7th grade sweetheart in 2010 and we were blessed to immediately begin our family, I knew I was living the happily-ever-after to my Cinderella story. What I didn’t realize is that motherhood is not the light at the end of the tunnel I imagined it to be. In fact, it’s a journey of its own, chock full of blind turns, roadblocks and dark tunnels. This they didn’t cover in my Lamaze classes or at my prenatal visits or even in the dozens of Preparing for Baby books I read. This I had to learn on my own, through a long, arduous struggle that is My PPD Story.

I didn’t realize it at the time, but my struggle began before my first child was even born. In January of 2009 I began actively seeking professional treatment for some issues I had been battling for years: extreme mood swings ranking at the top of my list. I began to run the gamut of our country’s current mental health system, a course on which I would spend the next 5 years.

It started with a (mis)diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder. I was treated with strong psychiatric drugs; medication that intoxicated and sickened me, yet did nothing for my symptoms of depression and anger. Following a particularly intense meltdown in February of 2010, I voluntarily admitted to an intensive outpatient program at my local hospital. I spent 6 hours a day, 5 days a week, for 3 ½ weeks attending group and individual therapy sessions. I saw psychiatrists, psychologists, physicians, nurses and professional counselors. I told the story of my background so often that I had it down to a concise monologue, highlighting precisely what I knew the doctors wanted to know, complete with a chronological print-out detailing my mental health journey.

Through all of this, I never felt like more than a number in a system, a case from a textbook. Don’t get me wrong, people were nice and most had good intentions. However, the Psychology major in me felt like the majority of the time my symptoms were just being run through a list in the DSM-IV, paired with the closest resembling diagnosis (in the opinion of my provider anyway), and assigned a treatment, by the book.

No one asked about me; the real me. None of these trained professionals saw the forest through the trees of my emotional wounds, past my masks of self-preservation. No one took the time to genuinely connect with me, understand me as a whole person, get to know what makes me tick. If they had, they would have made the connection between how I was raised and how I was raising my family. They would have realized that I’m a perfectly normal human being, one reacting to life the only way I ever knew. They would have told me that it was okay, that every new wife and mom has similar fears, that what I needed was support. Instead, they saw my diagnosis.

I was a defective product on an assembly line and their job was to fix the defect with whatever medicinal concoction fit the bill, which of course I had to pay somehow – though being a single, white female with a full-time job (or 3) and no kids disqualified me from any type of government assistance.

Still, I rode the waves of the mental health world, allowing several weeks for each of the meds to “kick in” and telling my story, my symptoms repeatedly as I struggled to find the right therapist. Upping my meds when it was clear they weren’t helping; changing them because they still weren’t; adding a supplement pill as advised by the latest psychiatrist…. Still, the crippling ache remained inside. My soul still sank down into the darkness and tears still flooded down my face. My blood still boiled as the raging fire inside me ripped through my body, eventually spilling out into my world and burning those I loved the most. The One I loved the most. The One who, throughout all this craziness, still loved me and wanted me and made me his wife and the soon-to-be mother of his children.

. . . to be continued . . .

The Mess is Where the Miracles Happen

This is it. We are in the thick of it, going through the nitty gritty of transformation and let me tell you, it is not pretty.

One child tells me on the daily how much they hate me.

Two children resort to using violence to get their way or show their discontent.

Three children immediately start whining/wailing when things don’t go their way or the answer to their question is No.

Between the house, the car, the kids and myself, something is always unkempt.

Finding work has been a struggle because I’m the only one; the only one school can call when one of the kids gets sent to the office (again). The only one here to get them ready and off to school in the morning and here when they get home in the afternoon. The only one daycare can call when one of the babies is crying in pain and needs to go to the doctor. The only one to ensure that all of the kids get to all of their activities and therapy and doctor appointments.

And somehow I have to be the one to earn the bacon, shop for it, bring it home, cook it, serve it and clean up after it.

Talk about pressure.

Talk about exhausting.

Learning to not just take care of myself, but to make myself a priority, is a daily lesson. I still get upset and emotional. I still tend to yell and lose my sh*t more than I’d like to admit. I still fight depression and anxiety.

No, it’s definitely not pretty.

It’s nowhere near perfect.

But it’s not about perfection; it’s about progress.

Transformations are hard work. They’re messy. Some days you feel like you’re not going anywhere or even worse, like you’re taking steps backwards. Some days you will slip and others you may fall.

Can I tell you a secret though?

That’s OK!

The mess is where the miracles happen. 💕✨

It is in this mess that I have learned: how to get my kids to open up to me more, what they need from me in order to feel seen, heard and safe, how they feel about the past and what they’d like to see in the future.

To better care of myself. I notice more often when I’m shifting into that negative space and I work to feel and release it. I give myself permission and grace as needed. I recognize that I matter, I’m worthy, I have a voice and I can use it.

To trust again. I’ve begun to find and build a new tribe. I’m making new connections both personally and professionally, all of which are helping me grow.

Yes, it’s hard. It’s exhausting and at times, overwhelming.

No, it’s not perfect or pretty.

But it’s progress.

And progress means I’m getting closer to the place I want to be.


April 21, 2021

Sometimes life destroys you. 
Sometimes it burns you to the ground. 

In March 2021 that’s what happened to me. 

In just 4 weeks I went from happily-ever-after to widowed-mother-of-five after making a dark and twisted discovery about my husband. 

Rather than be consumed by the fire, I choose to be transformed. 

This is my story.
Watch me rise.


Four weeks ago, life as I knew it was completely shattered. I received a phone call revealing that the man I married, the man I had known and loved since I was 12, had been severely deceiving me and hurting our child for years.

I went completely numb.

At first my mind said, No.

No way, not true, didn’t happen.

But then I heard the facts. And it was like a punch right to the gut. Repeatedly.

It was true.

It had happened.

My worst nightmare had come to life…

I couldn’t breathe.

I couldn’t speak.

Everything went blank.

I hung up the phone, gathered up my babies and went straight to the authorities without a second thought.

Four weeks ago my whole world fell apart.

Survivor instincts kicked in and over the next few weeks I went to into auto-pilot, doing everything and anything I could to protect my children.

I cried. I screamed. I raged. I fell to my knees and cried out in anguish to God.

I’ve questioned myself and replayed the memories and tried figuring out where it all went so wrong… what did I do? What didn’t I do? Why wasn’t I ever enough?

I had known my marriage was broken, that my husband was sick and refused to seek treatment; but I didn’t realize the depth of his demons and I was determined to stay true to my word…

…for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health…

In the end, it was never about me. It wasn’t even about us. The man had ailments he wouldn’t acknowledge… pain he couldn’t admit… torment he’d never escape. An avid defender of freedom, he never truly was free.

I pray that now he is finally at peace. That he atoned for his sins and found the release he so desperately sought in life.

…until death do us part. 🕊

We will always miss you, Aric, and forever grieve what should have been. Rest in peace.

#mentalhealthawareness #mensmentalhealth #normalizetherapy #askforhelp #addiction #breakthesilence #breakthecycle #SpeakUpSpeakOut #metoo

Abuse isn’t always black and blue. If you or someone you know needs help, please reach out to Flight of the Phoenix Collective. We’ve got your back.

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