Hi, My Name Is..

Teddi, and it’s nice to meet you. To be quite frank, it’s been a wild 26 years on this Earth.

I’ve always strived to prove myself somehow whether it be through my creativity or brutal (and loving) honesty. My life hasn’t been particularly “rough,” but it hasn’t always been the smoothest ride either. On this universal plane, I think we can all say that we’ve seen some sh*t and it’s time to open up and speak on it. In the end, I’m just here to entertain you, and [maybe] even put you at ease in some regard. And I’m pretty stoked to do that by sharing some of my anecdotal stories & life experiences with you.

So the better question is – who is Teddi? I’m a cis heteronormative woman who was raised on a quiet farm with a whole lot of land and the freedom to explore my imagination to my heart’s content. Albeit rare in a small, rural town, my parents allowed and embraced me to be who I wanted to be. Whether it be a tri-athlete who struggled with her very enduring growth spurt, a humble equestrian, a curious academic, or an introverted and erratic child with undiagnosed behavioral issues at home. My family underwent a lot of struggles once I turned 8, and financial traumas hit us hard. It was a little messy, but what childhood wasn’t?

My parents loved me, raised me, and here I am; 26 years old with a life of her own, fully developed mental health diagnoses, and two furry children who depend on me. I enjoy the repetitive loop of pop-punk playlists, QT cherry limeade freezeronis (with a mixed berry vodka), and taking part in shenanigans with my best friends. I have a big love for horror movies, I binge and rewatch shows to feed the quiet creature comforts, and I miss going to live shows. All the while, I take time daily to learn about/document mental illness symptoms that affect my every day life. And? I finally have a partner who is also willing to learn about those symptoms and love me just as I am despite the fact.

To be honest with you, there were two significant times in my life where I didn’t think I’d be typing this all up for you to read, but I’m grateful to be here. So I want to thank you, yes, you, for taking the time to take a read into my little spiel. Cheers, my friends, may this be a fun journey for all of us.

xo – Teddi

Why Twenty One Pilots Should be a Part of Your Playlist

I’m confident that at some point over the last decade you’ve heard a song by Twenty One Pilots, made up of Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun. It may have been Heathens from the less-than-awesome Suicide Squad soundtrack or maybe Stressed Out that played all over the radio in the summer of 2015. With the newest album release only a week old – this is why you should have Twenty One Pilots on your playlist.


Genre Bending Music 

TØP started out a rural, hometown band from Ohio playing small venues for a dedicated legion of fans. The first two large scale albums, Regional at Best and Vessel, were raw, rough and full of angst. Since the band’s beginning in 2009, they have ventured into rock, punk, rap, hiphop, alternative, electronica and more even winning a Grammy for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance for Stressed Out in 2017. 

When it comes to live shows, there’s something amazing about the expectation and consistency from fans. I’ve seen three concerts, one from the Blurryface tour and two from Trench, and each time the comradery from fans is inspiring. They know the tours like the back of their hand, provide interactive paper cut outs to use at certain times and are all around – so great. TØP is also consistent. They never do encores, they always end the show with Trees. It’s a comforting experience.


Mental Health Struggles

I know that there have been mixed feelings about this but I really do appreciate the level at which Tyler shares his struggles. Most apparent during the earlier albums, Tyler pulled a lot of the creative inspiration from his own struggles with depression and anxiety. Hell, Blurryface is a literal personification of his anxiety. It’s realistic, honest and something that almost all of us can relate to. Even the newest album, Scaled and Icy, is said to represent being scaled back and isolated due to the pandemic. (Or is it a cover and really means Clancy is dead? #dema) 


The Dema/Trench Lore

If there’s one thing I’m a sucker for, it’s good storytelling. I won’t even pretend to know absolutely everything about DEMA or TØP lore, but boy am I a fan. Mentioned briefly in the Blurryface album (2015), DEMA is a terrible, prison-like place. During the hiatus between Blurryface and Trench (2018), a clikkie found a new 404 page on the TØP website, which include diary pages from someone named Clancy, along with graphics that would later be revealed as clues to the songs on Trench. In the first three music videos released for Trench, Jumpsuit, Nico and the Niners and Levitate, viewers see Tyler and Josh struggling in DEMA, being captured by one of the ‘Bishops’. 


The Quarantine Bop To End All Bops – Level of Concern

As the world was thrust into a pandemic and consequential lock down, our favorite guys released the ultimate quarantine bop – Level of Concern. It was as if they knew that the world needed something positive and upbeat during such a shit storm. Not to mention the 24 hour long interactive livestream where fans could post their own videos. 

Following up the livestream was an interactive puzzle for fans to try to decode. Designed to take up to six weeks to crack, fans a.k.a. The Skeleton Clique or clikkies figured it out in under a week. The puzzle included never before seen photos, graphics, audio recordings and more than anything – a distraction during lock down. 


Each Album Is An Absolute Masterpiece In Its Own

I know, I know, you’re probably thinking ‘damn she drank the kool-aid.’ Maybe I have, but I also know that I’ve been listening to this band for nearly a decade now and have not been let down once by their music. The first song I heard by TØP was Car Radio on 89.1 The Bash (a community college radio station from Illinois that only could be heard on good weather days). I was immediately caught by the intense lyrics, the interaction with the music – all of it. Everytime a new album comes out, I listen to it on repeat – deciding if it’s as good as the predecessors. Every time, without fail, that answer is yes. The newest album, Scaled and Icy, released this month and is full of bops. 


Looking for something deep and tragic?

Try these!

Looking for something light and fun?

Try these!

Looking for fantastic covers or videos to watch? Try these!

Getting the Weight Off My Chest

I have big boobs, but a little over a year ago I had BIG BOOBS. I was in the 8th grade when I got to the point where without a bra, I was in absolute agony and holding my arms tightly over my chest all day. And they only got larger from there. I wore a size C bra until I was a junior in high school, and it took an entire day to find a store that could measure me appropriately. My life up until a year ago was horrific when it came to anything that was going to be covering my chest: bras, bikini tops, t-shirts, button up shirts. Nothing fit correctly.

I assume at this point you’re asking for just a *crumb* of context, wondering, “How big were you? It couldn’t have been that bad…” and “Dating must have been easy! Guys must have been all over you, right?” Well, it’s these assumptions I’ve come to put in the same dumpster as my titties before I set it on fire.

First of all, let’s explain how big I was versus how big I am now.

I recently discovered a boob-to-pancake batter calculator, so we’re going to do it that way.

From the age of 13 to 25, I was carrying around the equivalent of 86 pancakes on my chest every day. Can you even fathom that many pancakes? I know I can’t. Now imagine, a young teenager, only five foot three inches, stumbling around the halls of junior high, with all of those hormones and angst and cringe… but now she’s carrying 86 pancakes worth of batter in a fanny pack. Not only does that sound horrifically embarrassing, but it’s just down-right cumbersome.

I’m now only carrying around a svelte 86 pancakes, which an adult body can carry better than young teen. It’s still way too many pancakes, but it is infinitely more manageable.

Here’s the chart so you can find out the grotesque amount of pancakes you carry around daily:

You would think that any well-meaning adult would want a young child to carry around an appropriate amount of pancakes, right? Wrong. I can’t tell you how many GROWN ASS WOMEN would tell me, “Oh, people pay good money for what you have!” or, “At least let them catch you a man first” or, “You’re so lucky; I wish I had boobs, but I’m so flat!”

I was literally a child, wearing ill-fitting bras that hurt me and left scars on my torso, or I was spending a whole measly Pizza Hut paycheck on a $66 bra, because at the time, there were no cheap options for people like me. I had to special-order my bikini tops from Britain. I longed to shop in the bra section at Kohl’s, but I had to trek my ass thirty mins away to the FancyPants Mall in Richpeoplestan to go to a freakin’ Nordstrom’s in order to buy something that would only scar me a little bit.

While my friends got to buy phones and video games and eat out after school everyday, I was saving money so I could have a backup bra for when mine wore out because my bra was carrying around 86 sweaty pancakes incased in meat sacks everyday. I wore a sports bra to bed at night because if I didn’t I WOULD SAG. I was 16 and if I didn’t wear a bra 24/7 I would look like a 68-year-old who burned her bra in the 70’s and didn’t care that her nips touched her knees.

But as a 16-year-old I cared quite a bit, if you can imagine. Not to mention, if I went bra-less and had to walk up stairs or move any faster than a walk… my boobs would cause black eyes for everyone in the tristate area.

This also made dress shopping an actual nightmare. I wanted to wear cute dresses that were strapless, or had fun open backs, or literally anything other than a tank top with thick straps, but it was not to be. I wore the same style of dress to everything, and while I still looked cute, I missed out on all the sassy clothes only teens can pull off.

In the picture below, where I’m in the car, notice the rut in my shoulder from the plastic clear strap of the bra I was wearing, which was four cup-sizes too small for me. I adopted the pin-up girl look, because those A-line designs were the only thing that didn’t make me look like a boob with legs. In the rock climbing picture, I’m wearing a bra that fits, but you can still see just how aggressive those things were on my chest. It honestly probably made my rock climber’s shoulder worse than it would have been. The last photo is of one of my many underwire scars from the night before my surgery.

. . .

The worst thing about having big boobs, for me at least, was how difficult they made it for me to do the things I loved to do.

I stopped riding horses and rock climbing. Rock climbing had extra challenges because my torso was three inches farther from the rock face than everyone else’s. Paired with the fact that I’m so short, it was kind of a wonder I was able to climb up to 5.10 when I was climbing regularly.

I didn’t realize how much I loved to be outside and active until after I had four pounds of tissue removed from my chest. Four pounds of pressure on my upper back that I no longer had to deal with– four pounds lighter to move around with more ease, and probably two inches slimmer in my chest. Clothes aren’t a pain in the ass anymore, at least no more so than they are for other women in general.

I get that women who are “flat-chested” want boobs, and that they would look at me and think how perfect my life must be because I have such great boobs. But it’s the same thing as hair; if you have straight hair you want it curly, and vice versa.

I know if I had started out flat that I most certainly would have envied some women and their chesticles, but let me tell you that it stops being fun and flirty at a point and starts being a literal pain in your back.

Before my surgery, I woke up everyday at a four on the pain scale and went to bed at a six. EVERYDAY. From the age of 12, my back ached constantly. I rarely took pain killers because I was so used to the pain that it didn’t seem worth it to get the few hours of reprieve, especially when I knew it would just come back and feel worse once everything wore off. My surgeon was floored that I was just now getting a reduction at 25, seeing as I had been enduring pain like that since I was 12.

To top this whole catastrophe off, I’ll answer the last question: No, my boobs did not get me boyfriends.

They only garnered me the unwanted attention of men, because especially for younger men, the bigger the boob the bigger the slut until proven otherwise. By the time a guy knew me well enough to know that I was just the unfortunate nerd host to these sentient meat sacks of pain, I was no longer a sexual interest, but also not even a romantic one. It seemed that once I was one, I couldn’t be the other to a lot of guys.

I remember one of the football players in high school that was in my journalism class had pulled me aside one day and abruptly apologized for what the football team was saying about me. I hadn’t heard anything, so I asked what he was talking about, to which he nervously looked down quickly and whispered, “You know, about your… boobs.” I had not heard what the football team was saying about me, but I’m guessing that I’m glad I didn’t. I thanked him, and I thank him everyday for being so considerate of someone he barely knew over the people he played and worked with everyday.

I didn’t start dating until I was 22, and I think my boobs had a lot to do with that. Not that my love life is on fire now, but I think that I had integrated my boobs into my personal identity, and I knew what type of attention they drew to me. So I tended to steer clear of romantic and sexual attention, preferring to sit like the heroine of a YA novel – waiting to be swept off my feet by three different men while I saved the world from, I don’t know, zombie rabbits, or something.

My big take away from my year with less boob is this: a singular body part should not define who you are.

It should not be so deeply ingrained in your psyche as “a part of you” that it keeps you from doing the things you love to do. A body part shouldn’t effect your dating life or draw unwanted attention from people simply because it’s there. And you shouldn’t have to listen to people telling you to keep a part of yourself that is causing you harm, simply because others would “love to have that” or “wish they could have that.”

You should be able to remove, or add, the things to your body that you need for your survival, both physically AND mentally, whether that be adding insulin, removing a tumor, or adding boobs. So take that statement where you want to take it, because you deserve to feel like you.

. . .

I Made a Vision Board for 2021: Part Two

As promised, here is part two of making vision boards for 2021. If you haven’t read part one already, go ahead and check it out now!

I Made a Vision Board for 2021 and Here’s How it Went: Part One


What is included in a vision board?

It can be anything you want. There are a few different ways to go about building a vision board, so truly there is no wrong answer. I made two – one for general ideation and one for specific goals. For the second board, focused around goals, I kept it simple. I added twelve goals to achieve throughout the year as well as imagery to help manifest that.

How does it work?

Vision boards serve as a physical reminder for what you’re wanting to achieve. Seeing it everyday will help keep your goals or ideas at the forefront of your mind as you progress through the weeks and months. It can help to motivate you in a passive way. Rather than an obnoxious alarm on your phone or a calendar reminder, you can be met with a peaceful, self-created image that hangs on your wall as a friendly notice.


Here’s my vision board, broken into two segments: imagery and goals.

Left – Imagery 

Since this board is dedicated to goals, I didn’t want to overcomplicate or clutter it. I cut images from magazines that showcased what I wanted to emulate to help achieve these goals – a watch for time, candles and coffee for relaxation and focus, the galaxy as a corny way to ‘reach for the stars’, an upside down drop to symbolize change and a quote. More than anything I wanted the imagery to exude calmness and growth.

Right – Goals

Writing out goals was the hardest part of this board. Even though I am someone who is hyper-aware and anxious constantly, I am not someone that has a life plan. I tried to focus on things that were not so far out of reach, but could be tangible with a little hard work. I used the categories of play, health, work and joy to establish my goals; these are based off of the teachings in Designing Your Life. By grouping these items you’re more easily able to see areas in your life that may need extra attention. 

It’s OK To Be SAD

SAD – Seasonal Affective Disorder, commonly known as Seasonal Depression.

According to the Mayo Clinic, SAD is a type of depression that’s related to changes in seasons — it begins and ends at about the same times every year. For most people, symptoms start in the fall and continue into the winter months, sapping your energy and making you feel moody. Less often do people experience SAD in the warmer months, but it still happens!

Fall and Winter SAD

Symptoms specific to winter-onset SAD, sometimes called winter depression, may include:

  • Oversleeping
  • Appetite changes, especially a craving for foods high in carbohydrates
  • Weight gain
  • Tiredness or low energy

Spring and Summer SAD

Symptoms specific to summer-onset seasonal affective disorder, sometimes called summer depression, may include:

  • Trouble sleeping (insomnia)
  • Poor appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Agitation or anxiety

The Mayo Clinic also firmly encourages, “Don’t brush off that yearly feeling as simply a case of the “winter blues” or a seasonal funk that you have to tough out on your own.”

It’s always startling to me how controversial therapy is. Over the years I’ve heard so many people say, “No, therapy is not for me. Tried it once and nope.” or the quip of, “I don’t need therapy” or even therapy being labeled as liberal poppycock is another quip that has the eyes rolling to the back of my head.

I have a very firm belief that anyone who hates therapy simply hasn’t had a good therapist. It’s so important to find the right therapist for you, therapist shopping is a thing! A sucky tiresome thing, I’ve learned in my adult life, but necessary.

The concept of therapy has never been taboo for me, it’s always been a common party of life and conversation – talking about going to see a therapist is as casual as talking about a trip to the mall, or a more accurate comparison is saying you’re going to the doctor for just a checkup to make sure all the parts are running the way they should.

I’ve been seeing a therapist since I was seven or eight years old. My mom had started seeing Suzie shortly after my parents divorced, but my sister and I weren’t brought in for a family session until a few years into my mom’s therapy journey. After one visit with Suzie, we began yearly visits until sometime in high school when it became abundantly clear I wasn’t doing ok and needed more frequent visits. Essentially, I have a habit of bottling up emotions and carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders. I hate sharing or opening up, because I feel my problems are mine alone to bear, I don’t want to put them on anyone else.

But talking with Suzie became a such an outlet, and I will say – it was an incredible bonus that she was regularly seeing my mom, my sister, and even some other family members. This meant I never had to do a lot of the background family deep dive you usually do with a therapist – she already knew the deep rooted family problems and how they trickled into my psyche. Every visit with her was always this much needed cathartic release of emotion I had kept tightly sealed… she’s a blessing, honestly.

As I got older, moved away for school and what not, I still would hit a point about once a year where I’d be like, “DRIVING UP TO ANDERSON BECAUSE I NEED SUZIE!”

It took probably the second year of me only coming to see her in the dead of winter where she’s like, “Emily, I’m pretty sure you have seasonal depression.”

I was quick to respond, “No, no – I’m sad year round remember?

But she explained it, that yes overall I struggled with mental health, but my lowest points where I seem to be unable to take it anymore happen the same time every year – nearly without fail.

I still had a hard time agreeing with her, mainly because winter is my favorite time of the year, I love Christmas, I adore the snow (I swear I can smell it coming several hours before it actually snows), and I just love the coziness… there’s no way my favorite season would betray me so much. I couldn’t accept it.

But, she was right – it wasn’t really up to me to dispute the facts.

She also let me know that Indiana has some of the highest seasonal depression rates in the country, ranking number 3 overall!

Indiana 3rd in Google searches for seasonal depression | News Sun |  kpcnews.com
Source: KPCNews

Above is an image detailing states with the most google searches for seasonal depression – I think this graphic is most interesting because it shows how many people are wondering, “Do I have seasonal depression?” and looking into it; scouring WEB MD to see if their never-ending feeling of meh is normal. As you can imagine, seasonal depression, like clinical depression, often goes undiagnosed.

The ultimate “cause” of seasonal depression is unknown, but the Mayo Clinic says it could be:

  • Your biological clock (circadian rhythm). The reduced level of sunlight in fall and winter may cause winter-onset SAD. This decrease in sunlight may disrupt your body’s internal clock and lead to feelings of depression.
  • Serotonin levels. A drop in serotonin, a brain chemical (neurotransmitter) that affects mood, might play a role in SAD. Reduced sunlight can cause a drop in serotonin that may trigger depression.
  • Melatonin levels. The change in season can disrupt the balance of the body’s level of melatonin, which plays a role in sleep patterns and mood.

According to the National Institute for Mental Health, treatments for seasonal depression fall into four main categories that may be used alone or in combination:

  • Light therapy
  • Psychotherapy (this is talk therapy aimed to help develop coping mechanisms)
  • Antidepressant medications
  • Vitamin D

Light therapy may be the one to catch your eye (it certainly caught mine) and honestly it’s something that I had always been told about and it’s my mom and my aunt’s favorite form. The quick way to get some light therapy in high dosage is simply going tanning, which I know, I know, it’s not good for your skin. But I can tell you right now, when I excessively tanned throughout college, it always seemed to be the boost I needed that day.

That being said – there are non-harmful, safe for your skin, forms of light therapy available! Very Well Mind has compiled a list of the best light therapy lamps of 2020 – check those out and maybe invest, or ask for one for Christmas 😉

Over the years, the way that I’ve tried coping with SAD is to jam pack the winter months with activities. At work it’s the busiest time which helps, I try to make it where I get to see as many family and friends as possible, and then at the tail end of winter (that nasty February bit) is when it’s the absolute worst for me – so I always try to plan a trip abroad during that time. I find that for me the depression creeps in when I have idle hands and a dwelling mind, so I work hard to eliminate as many occasions as possible where the depression could take its hold.

Some days the depression still wins, making it hard for me to even leave my bed; but sometimes I do the winning and have great days – and that’s just the way it is. It’s a balancing act to get all those chemicals in your brain steady 🙂

. . .

Ultimately, Seasonal Depression is real and not something to be taken lightly. It’s serious, don’t ignore it or brush it off – and don’t brush off your friends and family when they tell you they suffer from it. SAD can lead to serious issues like school or work problems, social withdrawal, substance abuse, suicidal thoughts or behavior, anxiety, eating disorders, and more.

Seasonal Depression is a real mental health issue, treat it like you would clinical depression, manic bipolar, bulimia, or literally any other mental health issue. Just because you don’t suffer the effects everyday, year round, does not invalidate the severity or the impact it has, or could have, on your life.

. . .

If you or someone you know is in immediate danger due to depression, contact 911. If you or someone you know is in need of support, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255); En Español 1-888-628-9454 or text “HELLO” to 741741 the Crisis Text Line.

My Water Journey: An Apology Letter

Dear water,

I’ve been working on not saying “sorry” as much, but I owe you the ultimate apology. I used to hate you, despise you, LOATE YOU, but my heart has changed. Now, I can’t live without you.

We love the drama, no?

A couple of my girlfriends and I took it upon ourselves to track our water intake about a month and a half ago. I knew it would be tough for me because, ashamedly…

I was that girl who used to drink soda for breakfast.

I know you audibly gasped, maybe even puked just then, but it’s true. I was a monster. Since I was a wee lad I would want soda as soon as I woke up. I’d even go as far as waking up in the middle of the night CRAVING the sweet, sweet carbonation of that caffeinated demon.

So we started the journey by downloading Plant Nanny and/or My Water, a couple cute ways to hold ourselves accountable. We even went as far as buying new water bottles for the occasion. After a little bit of research we found that for us, we’d need approximately 12 cups/96 fluid ounces of water a day — it’s different for everyone based on a variety of things.

I was intimidated to say the least. I was already a dehydrated vessel of a woman from my severe lack of water intake, but I don’t even think I was consuming 96 oz. of fluid a day at all. I got busy and forget to drink! Thank god we’re on that #SelfCare train now and are rolling straight into hydration station. *choo choo*

Now, I’m not going to say I am a perfect flower and hit my goal every day, nor have I rid myself of soda forever. If I know I’ll want soda later on in the day, I’ll make sure I hit my goal beforehand so I can indulge later. I’ve also cut my soda consumption down drastically to maybe three a week. And my skinnnnnnnnnnnn honey, omg she is POPPIN’!

But wait, there’s more! Clearer skin isn’t the only benefit water offers.

According to healthline.com:

  • It maximizes physical performance in a multitude of ways. Being dehydrated “can lead to altered body temperature control, reduced motivation, and increased fatigue. It can also make exercise feel much more difficult, both physically and mentally.” Um, no thanks.
  • Staying hydrated affects your energy levels and brain function! “Studies show that even mild dehydration, such as the loss of 1–3% of body weight, can impair many aspects of brain function.” That’s flat out scary, y’all. I know it’s spooky season, but damn. Dehydration also leads to poor mood and memory, and we already out here being hormonal AND dealing with ADHD, so I don’t need help in the negative mood/memory department.
  • It may help prevent and treat headaches — something I’ve noticed in myself. “For example, a study in 393 people found that 40% of the participants experienced a headache as a result of dehydration. What’s more, some studies have shown that drinking water can help relieve headaches in those who experience frequent headaches.” FYI, there’s still more research needed to confirm, but it makes a whole lot of sense to me! So the next time you’re experiencing a headache, consider your hydration levels before automatically popping an ibuprofen.
  • Hydration relieves constipation — another benefit I’ve gained LOL TMI (jk everybody poops and if you’re grossed out please remove yourself from this blog immediately). On a real note, this one shocked me because right after I started drinking more water, I couldn’t stop going to the bathroom and didn’t know why. Little did I know, my body was rejoicing!

I know these are widely known, but helping with hangovers, weight loss, and kidney stones are the last few benefits listed in the article if you’d like to learn more.

BOTTOM LINE: Drink more water. Drink enough water. Hell, maybe cut soda out of your diet altogether because I could write another novel on why it’s so bad for you.

At the end of the day, water, you have been nothing but a blessing to me and I’ll never stop singing your praises. You’re the kween that keeps me a kween.

With love and sexy skin,

Lindsey

Mindfulness Magic

Stop what you’re doing for a second. Stop reading this and do these five things:

  1. Look around the room and name five things that you can see.
  2. Focus on four things that you can feel.
  3. Name three things that you can hear.
  4. Notice two things that you can smell. 
  5. Focus on one thing that you can taste.

Congrats! You’ve just completed your first grounding technique that is taught many times in practicing mindfulness. It’s supposed to help bring you back into the present moment, which is a main component of mindfulness.

Mindfulness, noun: the state of being conscious or aware of something.

Headspace.com describes mindfulness as, “…the quality of being present and fully engaged with whatever we’re doing at the moment — free from distraction or judgment, and aware of our thoughts and feelings without getting caught up in them.”

A lot of us are always going, always moving, thinking “okay when I get off work I have to do ____.”, “I can’t wait until the weekend so I can go ____.”, “I’m so worried about ____ because I can’t control ____.”

Does that sound familiar? It’s because we’re not present. We’re not living the beautiful moment that is right now. Everything before this moment is unchangeable, and everything after this moment is unpredictable. Sure, it’s okay to get excited about something happening in your future, but think about the times when that thought of excitement turns into anxious thoughts, worrying, etc. It sucks and it causes a lot of issues — I’m speaking from lots of experience. Even as I write this I’m experiencing it. LOL.

Have you ever thought about how mindful you’re being at any given moment? Researchers on mindfulness put together this quick little questionnaire to help you out!

You might be wondering why this matters — what are the benefits to being more mindful? Lucky for you, Headspace is back at it again with the wonderful information you need:

  • You’ll have lower glucose levels.
    • Researchers at Brown University found that those who scored higher in mindfulness were more likely to have healthier glucose levels than those who scored lower.
    • Mindful people are more inclined to believe they can change important things in their life as well, found in a study from the University of Pennsylvania. Mindfulness helps people feel less ashamed when presented with advice; making them more motivated to change.
  • Develop better eating habits.
    • Think about it! (Pun intended). Being more thoughtful about your food choices would obviously help you identify when you’re hungry, satiated, or too full.
  • Less anxiety and stress.
    • Researchers at Georgetown University Medical Center found that patients with anxiety disorder (omg meeeeeeee) had reduced stress hormone and inflammatory responses to stressful situations after taking a mindfulness meditation course.
  • Better ability to focus and improved memory.
    • Again, researchers published papers in the Journal of Management finding mindfulness stabilizes attention to the present moment. Those who studied mindfulness meditation were more likely to remain vigilant longer during tasks.
    • UC Santa Barbara researchers found that simply two weeks of mindfulness training can improve reading comprehension, working memory capacity, and ability to focus.
  • An increase in pain relief.
    • Wake Forest Baptist researchers conducted a double-blinded study including 78 healthy volunteers, and found that pain was reduced by over 20% after meditation.
  • Better sleep! Yay!
    • According to an article published by JAMA Internal Medicine, sleep from meditation improved in older adults that had trouble sleeping.

So like… where’s the negative? I’ve had some pushback from people when I express my love for mindfulness meditation and I don’t get it. What’s the worst that could happen? Even if you tried meditating for 10 minutes and didn’t feel you were “doing it right”, you were still able to get 10 minutes to yourself, right? You time is the most important time.

You deserve to live in the moment. You deserve to be present. You deserve not to worry or feel anxiety about the past or the future, because it’s unchangeable. What already happened, happened. And what’s going to happen, is going to happen, whether you like it or not.

I’ll leave you with a quote by boss babe meditation teacher and author, Megan Monahan:

“There is no good or bad meditation. The only bad meditation is the one you don’t do.”

“Don’t Hate, Meditate” – Episode 312 of Highest Self Podcast

Misdiagnosed and Misunderstood: ADHD in Women

“Look! A squirrel!”

“You’re running on dial-up while everyone else is running on WiFi.”

“You’re such a blonde.”

“What are you looking at? Are you paying attention?”


These are just a few of many phrases I’ve heard as a woman with ADHD. I do have to admit, the dial-up comment is hilarious and was said out of love from a friend. But you get the idea.

News flash to all the assholes out there: ADHD is more than having “squirrel” moments. It’s being withdrawn, having anxiety, low self-esteem, medication shame — the list goes on, y’all.

And the worst part? Even though we are making strides towards the issue…

it’s still a man’s world.

According to verywellmind.com, ADHD is a condition traditionally thought to affect mostly males. Not only that, women often don’t show as many physical symptoms as our male counterparts. Women are more prone to have inattentive ADHD, to where males deal more with hyperactivity/impulsivity. Luckily, thanks to knowablemagazine.org, I found that the diagnosis rate is now approximately 2.5 boys to every one girl.

For those that don’t know, ADHD/ADD manifests itself in three different ways: hyperactivity, inattentiveness, or a combination of both. I’d say I’m about 75% inattentive, 25% hyperactive (some may disagree on that with me though LOL).

Women are often called spacey, chatty, forgetful, air-headed… what great names to be called for a condition we were born with! Just because we’re not bouncing off the walls doesn’t mean we don’t struggle with remembering what we had for dinner last night, feel ALL the emotions VERY strongly, or my favorite, having a full-ass conversation with someone but not mentally being there the entire time. I have had so many conversations with people that after we’re done I have to sit there and recall what was just said. It’s both a blessing and a curse to be able to zone out that hard. Maybe this is what my old doctor meant when she said it’s my “superpower”.

So why are ADHD symptoms glossed over in women? Stephen Hinshaw, a psychologist at the University of California, Berkeley started studying women with ADHD back in 1997.

*Let’s pause for a brief eyeroll on a study about women done by a man.*

Anyway, Hinshaw found that women not only suffer the same problems as boys do with ADHD, but they have even more problems! Yay! He discovered that women “internalize” their behaviors, meaning they take all their problems out on themselves rather than other people. Of course it’s harder to diagnose a woman with ADHD if you can’t physically see her struggling. Because of things like this, girls often suffer from more anxiety and depression.

By Amber Lewis/Corvophobia on Tumblr

And then there are periods and hormones. Oh yes, these make ADHD symptoms even worse. Everydayhealth.com says, “During the first two weeks of a menstrual cycle, estrogen levels are high and women with ADHD may be in better control of their ADHD symptoms. As estrogen levels drop toward the end of the cycle, symptoms of low estrogen may start to make usual ADHD symptoms worse.” I feel this to my core. Even with my medication, that time of the month makes my ability to focus, control my temper, racing thoughts, etc. that much harder.

The article goes on to say that symptoms of ADHD have a lot in common with when your estrogen levels drop right before your period, or the years right before menopause. Estrogen affects receptors in your brain responsible for serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine.

Serotonin: The key hormone that stabilizes our mood, feelings of well-being, and happiness.

Dopamine: A neurotransmitter released when your brain is expecting a reward.

Norepinephrine: A stress hormone and neurotransmitter released into the blood as a stress hormone when the brain perceives that a stressful event has occurred.

The levels of these receptors dropping + ADHD = straight up recipe. for. disasterrrrrrrrrrrr honey! And if you do the math in the menstrual cycle of a woman, it leaves about one and a half weeks of having to manage ADHD without the worry of hormone/estrogen levels being affected. So ladies, take it easy on yourself. Know when to take a break.


It’s not a catchall, but luckily there are things like medication and therapy to help. Please remember that you’re not alone — I like to talk to my sweet husband when I’m having trouble (and I don’t have a therapy session coming up). Other things I like to do when my ADHD wants to get the best of me:

  • Meditate
  • Write my feelings/thoughts out in a journal
  • Take a nap
  • Talk to a friend/family member
  • Play with my doggy
  • Take a walk
  • Dance
  • Clean something
  • Breathing techniques
  • Listening to uplifting podcasts (my blog here lists some of my favorites).

And most importantly, as I already mentioned, take it easy on yourself! You don’t have to get everything right, finish your to-do list, or even keep a conversation on-track to be a good person. ADHD isn’t a superpower, but it is a part of you (and me), so we love her. We have to learn to love all parts of ourselves, even the less glamorous.

If you haven’t been formally diagnosed but feel as if this blog resonates with you, consider having a conversation with your doctor to see what you can do to get help. You’ve got this, babe.


More ADHD/ADD resources:

And That’s on Periodt, Cup: My Menstrual Cup Experience

My period has always been an issue — much like it has been for most people who menstruate! For the majority of my life I’ve begrudgingly gone the pads, tampons and panty liners route. With this has also come irritations, yeast infections, and overall extreme discomfort.


PLEASE NOTE

I am extremely thankful I am to live in a country where these options are available whenever I need them. I know it’s not this easy in lots of places in the world, so I will be categorizing this as a “first world problem”.


    I had heard about the menstrual cup a couple years ago. Initially I thought it was for hippies and would be a trend that’d die out soon — LOL. We have to laugh at how small-minded we were at some point, right?

    About a month and a half ago I started getting Instagram ads about menstrual cups (shout out to the FBI for planting that seed; no pun intended). So I thought, “what the hell, let’s do some research.” I put up an Instagram poll on who out of my followers loved/hated the cups if they’d tried them and why. The answers were all over the board, but a common theme was that they loved it once they got used to it.

    What is a menstrual cup?

    It’s a small, rubber/silicone funnel-like cup you insert into your vagina to catch your period fluids. They hold a surprisingly large amount of liquid because a lot of the time you don’t bleed as much as you think you do. They’re a more eco-friendly alternative to pads and tampons; you can go for up to 12 hours before you need to remove it!

    I hate to say it but the ad did its job! I found out which cup I’d like to try first, the size that worked for me, and didn’t look back. I recorded my experience this past week — check it out below!

    Youtube: My Menstrual Cup Experience

    As mentioned, I went with The DivaCup, but feel free to try whatever works for you! With the DivaCup there are three different types:

    1. Model 0: For ages 19 and under.
    2. Model 1: For ages 19-30 and haven’t given birth vaginally.
    3. Model 2: For those who are either over age 30, have a heavier flow, or are at any age and have given birth vaginally.

    On their website, DivaCup shared that the average person creates 300 POUNDS of waste in a lifetime from using disposable period products. Not to mention the massive amount of money you’ll save. One DivaCup is around $40 that you can use for an entire year before having to re-buy. I know for a fact I spend that at least every two months when using pads or tampons.


    Thankfully, you have plenty more options to choose from in the menstrual cup world! And since I am so passionate about period health, I took it upon myself to share those with you (you’re welcome, bb):

    FLEX Cup

    The FLEX Cup, $32: This cup is different in that it has a pull tab which some find easier for removal. It comes in both the Slim Fit and the Full Fit. The Bonus Pack available also comes with two menstrual discs if that is more comfortable for you.

    Lumma Cup

    The Lumma Cup, $42: This is a flexible disc with three sizes available designed to fit into the round walls of the vagina. There is a longer string attached making it easy to remove as well.


    Menstrual Cup vs. Menstrual Disc: What’s the difference?

    PUTACUPINIT.COM

    According to putacupinit.com, menstrual cups sit at the vaginal canal below the cervix. They can be folded into a number of shapes, and have a structured form to help collect the period flow. They are said to be a little more comfortable to insert. Cups create suction when inserted and removed (in order to prevent leakage), meaning you have to *pinch* the cup inside before removing to break the seal. SOMETHING I DIDN’T FIND OUT UNTIL JUST NOW: even though they normally aren’t, menstrual cups are able to be worn during sex.

    Menstrual discs sit lengthwise into the vaginal fornix behind the cervix and are tucked behind the pubic bone. They are inserted by squeezing the sides together (like a taco). Even though they can’t be folded into a multitude of shapes, they have a more flexible body to collect period flow. Discs don’t create a suction, but like the cup, they still do require dislodging with your finger and kegel muscles for removal. They’re also a little more prone to make a mess upon removal. However, the best part: they’re more recommended for wear if you’re wanting to get your freak on — just be sure to empty it before and after!


    Long story short: I loved the period cup and will continue to use it until menopause lolz. I just have to get the light flow situation figured out! Cups being eco-friendly, causing less irritation, ability to sleep in them, provide up to 12-hour protection, and (discs) allowing you to have mess-free period sex?! Sign me up, luv.

    Honesty: Humility: Growth

    This part of my story is pretty real and raw. This is the part I am not proud of. However, it’s important to share because even after I left John Doe, I struggled with self-identity, structure, discipline, and self control. I decided to make a few decisions that ultimately put myself in terrible predicaments and changed my life, but in some of the worst ways. I searched high and low for closure and answers, but all I found was temporary satisfaction, disappointment, and trouble.

    There were weeks I spent several nights at bars, drinking heavily. I made many new friends and developed a social life I never had before. I was getting attention from people, but not all of it was positive. I decided to explore the dating scene and embark on a new adventure to “find myself”. Well I admit the alcohol abuse played a part in some, if not all, of my poor decision making. I found myself getting involved with a few people and making decisions I should not have done. I was naive and very trustworthy of people when I should not have been. They lied to me and I should have known better because I always have acted better in that sense; I have always preached to my friends about being safe and making good choices and not jumping into things without completely evaluating everything. I have always told them to think about the consequences before acting. I have failed to listen to my own advice. However, feelings and actions do not justify an individual hiding important information from a person.

    I refer to these few months as me being crazy and doing things I never had the chance to do. So many people told me it was okay, and that this was normal. Now looking back, it wasn’t. Or if it was, I didn’t want my normal to be like that. I changed my behaviors and decided this way of life wasn’t for me; I stopped casually dating and became very selective. I have been left with physical scars now and life has been altered for me in ways I never thought would be. I never thought it’d be me. My advice here is never forget who you are. Try to stick to your morals and be very careful who you surround yourself with. Acknowledge that theses mistakes may be made and if they already have been, understand how you got there and try not to do it again despite the temporary satisfaction and attention.

    One evening I was leaving a bar and I made one of the most terrible decisions ever, I chose to drive home. Well, that ended with me in jail for the night and with a criminal charge. I was beyond embarrassed. I did the very thing we all should never do – drunk driving. Thankfully, I was not in any accident or anything like that, but it still scared me and changed my life in many ways. I stopped drinking heavily and set limits. My advice here is clear, do not rely on substances of any kind to cope with heartbreak, depression, or grief. I know it’s harder than it sound, trust me, but this was one of the worst things I ever did and I have residual effects from it. Again, trust your friends, family, therapist to help you through hard times. Talk about your feelings.

    Another topic to touch on is what I realized and came to accept and admit to. I looked back on my relationship and saw things I did that contributed to an issue, unknowingly. I realized I was going out to bars more, spending more money than I should have. I also acknowledge that listening to your partner is important and communication is key in working things out. In my recent article, I mentioned that I would ignore John Doe’s requests of being left alone when he was in a fit of rage, all because I thought that was the right way to handle it all. It wasn’t and it was wrong of me. However, being honest with yourself and others is a growing process too. I was also an enabler and turned a blind eye to a deeper issue at hand for years. Admit your faults. I will never deny what I did during and after my relationship because it was a stepping stone for me to find my peace and it allows transparency. Again, doing these things still do not give a free pass for anyone to be abusive. It is important to understand that.

    I went down a path of destruction, and nothing I was doing was benefiting me. I was getting no answers. I had no closure. What was I even doing?

    My decisions I made during and after my separation were wrong and foolish. I made choices and rolled the dice of life. I’m not perfect and I will admit this and the things I’ve done. I’ve used these experiences to help educate others who are struggling with coping from loss—that be of a loved one or maybe even a divorce, failing relationship, stress, etc. I was ashamed but again, it’s part of journey. It’s also to make people aware of how important it is to be honest with oneself and grow from these things. It’s a chapter in my life that has closed and left me with valuable lessons.

    My advice here, is anyone trying to overcome such things like stress, divorce, separation, loss of a loved one, whatever it may be — should seek out help. This is something I never did until later. I could have avoided the trouble I got in after the separation if I just had better coping skills. My advice: keep communicating with people. I will say this time and time again, talk with your family and friends. Maybe seek out a therapist or counselor. Whatever you need to do to be safe and healthy while you heal from the wounds that life left you with.

    What is just as important as healing, is being honest with yourself, learning from your mistakes, and taking back control of your life. We all have one chance at life, and we need to respect ourselves more. We are worthy of that.

    If you or someone you know is being affected by abuse and needing support, call 1-800-799-7233, or if you are unable to speak safely, you can log onto thehotline.org or text LOVEIS to 1-866-9474.

    You are not alone.

    I Stopped Meditating Daily and All Hell Broke Loose

    Like, for real. You know how you always have good intentions when beginning a new habit, then feel kind of shitty when you fall out of it? Well… it was nothing like that at all. It was 1,000x worse — and I couldn’t be more thankful.

    In a previous blog I mentioned how I was furloughed from work for three months earlier this year. During those three months I meditated every-single-day and it was magical. I felt more peaceful, present, less reactive, and more. I had unlocked my higher self and finally knew what it felt like to live in the high-vibration state I had only read about in books. Truly, it was life-changing and I was committed to doing it for at least 10 minutes daily moving forward.

    LOL. How cute of me to think I could do something like that! Honestly, I’m adorable.

    Now, I don’t want to blame this on going back to work because at the end of the day, it’s my responsibility to keep up a personal habit. However, I am a Taurus and would like to take a moment to base my entire personality off of my zodiac sign.

    *ahem*

    Tauruses thrive in comfort and are very stubborn. Meaning, me going back to work after being at home getting my mental shit together three months prior = recipe for disaster, baby! I got back to work and still managed to get my meditation in for the first week or so. But you know how it goes, it only takes missing ONE DAY to get completely thrown off balance. For me, anyway. Going back to working 40 hours a week, I would come home, veg out, crash, and do it all again the next day. Then on my days off I was in such a tizzy I honestly didn’t know which way was up!


    We can’t always change what’s happening around us, but we can change what happens within us.

    Andy Puddicombe, Headspace co-founder

    About three weeks ago I was at the gynecologist for a yearly check-up. “How are you?” she asked. My mind swelled with thoughts which sent me into fight-or-flight mode, and of course I chose to fly. “I’m fine…” I gurgled.

    “Lindsey, I don’t like that answer. How are you really?”

    Here’s a mental image for you: there I was, lying back in my chair, hospital gown on, feet in stirrups, bracing myself for a pap smear, having a mental breakdown at the gyno. No better place to cry while your baby maker is on full display, I guess.

    I went on to explain to her the mental struggles I was having the past month (even though I have 27 years worth of grade-A content for her!). How I was doing extremely well during my months off work, meditating daily, working to become a LIFE COACH… I felt so unworthy and small in that moment. I finally cracked as she told me I have to stop trying to be the one to save myself, that I can get professional help and that is o-k. All the work I’d done earlier this year barely scratched the surface, but I’m glad I was able to etch off that top layer.

    She discussed the medication route as well as the therapy route, which I excitedly chose to do both because I needed help ASAP — and still do. The noise in my mind gets so loud sometimes I feel like my ears are going to bleed.

    “Why didn’t you do _____ today?” “If you don’t get the dishes done your ENTIRE apartment will stink.” “You do know you’re a failure because you’re not using your college degree, right?” “Why didn’t ____ laugh at my joke earlier?” “Are you being present in this moment?”

    “Are you listening, Lindsey?”

    “Hello?”


    It’s loud. It’s so earth-shatteringly loud in my head and I know I can do better. I can BE better. I am so thankful for getting out of the loop with my meditation, because that breakdown at the gynecologist saved my life.

    I’ve been taking anti-depressants since that day and have already had my first therapy appointment. Since that day, I’ve been setting aside time for ME to meditate, read a good book, or do absolutely nothing. There is nothing wrong with taking medication if it helps you operate in a “normal” way, and I can happily say I’m already feeling much more balanced since I started. Having a day off and putting away my phone, doing nothing is completely fine. Needless to say, I’m chomping at the bit to read this again in a year and give myself a huge pat on the back for all the progress I’ll have made.

    If someone can’t respect the time I take for myself, they don’t deserve to know me in the first place.

    Besides, I’m a Taurus. And I do whatever the hell I want.

    Déjà Vu

    Those moments, you know the ones, where you’re doing something as simple as laughing in the car with friends or reaching for the same can of soup as someone else in the grocery – and you’re hit with a feeling of, “Woah this has happened before, I’ve lived this precise moment once before.

    This is déjà vu, the already seen moments.

    I always had believed these moments to be striking and perhaps that I’d simply dreamed them before, but it was a friend in college that enlightened me with a different idea. They told me that these moments are actually when the universe is reinforcing that you are exactly where you’re meant to be right then and there. It’s reaffirming that all of the choices you’ve made, up until that moment, have been the correct moves and you’re still heading the ‘right way,’ or the way the universe has intended for you.

    If anyone else’s friend had told them this, I could imagine most folks would blow them off with a “Pft, yeah right, okay.” But I’m not most people. I’ve always had a striking intuition, a curiosity of the unknown, and I’ve always believed the earth is constantly speaking to you – and you could hear it if only you’re listening close enough. Also, to put it simply, I thought my friend’s take on déjà vu was so beautiful I didn’t even want to question it!

    But here I am, a few years later, just now wondering if my friend was truly onto something or full of shit.

    And after a very brief round of research, the worlds of science and psychology are divided.

    Power of Positivity, which solely based on the name, you’d think would embrace my friend’s take on déjà vu – but nope. Their article actually references a study completed by Akira O’Connor and his team at the University of St. Andrews, UK; this study had shown that déjà vu is actually just a ‘healthy memory checking system’. It’s your brain basically trying to trick you by telling you, “Bro you’ve been here before, doing this exact thing…”

    You hesitate before thinking, “No, no I haven’t? I totally haven’t but you’d know better than me… right??

    To which your brain laughs, “Totally got you man, you’ve deffo not been here before – just trying to keep you on your toes!

    This is also why people most frequently have déjà vu between the ages of 15 – 25, it’s when memory is the sharpest and your brain is constantly checking for memory gaps or errors.

    On another note, an article by Judith Orloff M.D. in Psychology Today, aligns incredibly close to what my friend described déjà vu to be – yay!

    “[Déjà vu is] a memory of a dream, a precognition, a coincidental overlapping of events or even a past life experience in which we rekindle ancient alliances. What matters is that it draws us closer to the mystical. It is an offering, an opportunity for additional knowledge about ourselves and others.”

    Judith Orloff M.D.

    Now this is the fun meaning behind déjà vu that I signed up for – a mystical connection with deep significance. It’s something to be paid attention to and not brushed off as a simple brain-self-check mechanism. This is not only the earth communicating with you, it’s your higher self reaching out and guiding you.

    Déjà vu moments are meant to be questioned and observed: Where are you? Who are you with? What are you feeling?

    This all being said:

    You can essentially interpret déjà vu to mean whatever makes the most sense in your world. I know what I choose to believe – but how about you?