Its ok to not be ok

An honest view of mental illness proceed with caution.

This is an example of the worst of me… but I truly believe its important for other to see this side of me.

Am I ok?

I mean honestly, I have no clue, but I don’t think people want to hear that. I don’t think most want to know I spend my lunches in my car crying and most evening debating with myself on why its worth it to live another day.

Is this normal?

I have no fucking clue but it is my reality.

I spend most of my day awake wondering what I have to do to make the pain stop.

Make the pain from being a failure your whole life wash over you and to accept it.

To accept you may never find that piece of happiness you crave.

To accept you will most likely be alone the rest of your life and just accept it and cope.

To accept most will never get the darkness in your soul and to be glad most can’t feel that pain.

Almost 20 years ago, I laid down to die, truly believe it was best for everyone if I did this. I took enough of everything to make it all stop. But while I lay waiting to die, a picture of my brother started talking to me. Basically screaming at me to call 911 and to snap out of it. The image of him told me I couldn’t leave him.

Well for some damn reason my ass crawled to my phone and dialed 911. I remember clearing the conversation with the lady at 911.

“911 what is your emergency?”

“my brother told me to call.”

“and why did he want you to call?” she asked

“i got sad and realized I can’t do life so I took a bottle of vodka and 30 xanax pills. That was about 45 minutes ago. I think I am gonna go to sleep now, but my brother really doesn’t want me to.”

“can you unlock your door?”

“yeah, can you make sure my cat is ok?”

“you and your cat are gonna be ok if I have anything to do this is.”

I remember the paramedics getting there and asking why I did it. I could only say I was tired. Because I was. And I had planned it well. I had had dinner with my aunt and uncle and saw my little cousins one last time. But that picture of my brother was the only thing that got through to me, only my brother could make stay.

And guess wha….t I still am tired. All those years later. Mental illness can be treated but it can’t be cured. So while I hope I die from “natural” causes, I will be kind enough to future me to know if I do kill myself I was probably exhausted felt that was my own option left and you know what that ok. I will never judge others for how they cope with their battles with mental health and I sure as fuck won’t judge myself.

So yes most days I find reason to keep going and keep fighting, but I also know the pain I feel the pain that I don’t think will ever go away. And I have the right to acknowledge the darkness and try and cope with it.

So Jessica its ok to have bad days, weeks, months and even years, in the end the only metric that matters is if you stick around. So remember you have been fighting for over 20 years and that nothing to scoff at.

Playlist 20/20

I have been making a lot of different playlist lately… trying to listen to as much music as I can before I go deaf.

But I had a bit of hope restore Friday that I will be OK. So I thought I would share my playlist I made NYE and listened to first thing in the new year. I have listed them in alphabetical order by artist. Enjoy….

Send my love (To your new lover) – Adele

Water Prayer Rasta Mix – Adham Shaikh

Walking on Broken Glass – Annie Lennox

Lose It – Austra


Anywhere (Two Lone Swordsmen Remix) – Beth Orton

bad guy – Billie Eilish

Entertain Me – Blur

Work B**ch – Britney Spears

Safe and Sound – Capital Cities

Changes – David Bowie

Let’s Dance – David Bowie

Caffeine – DJ Roc

Party in the Hague – DJ Roc

Walking on a Dream – Empire of the Sun

Sweet Dreams (remix) – Eurythmics

Can’t Kill Us – The Glitch Mob

The Sweet Escape – Gwen Stefani

Mad About You – Hooverphonic

Chimes – Hudson Mohwake

Trouble – Iggy Azalea

Peace of Mind – The Jezabels

Demon Kitty Rag – Katzenjammer

Siberia – Lights

Old Town Road (feat. Billy Ray Cyrus) Remix – Lil Nas X

Not Fair – Lily Allen

Everyone’s At It – Lily Allen

The Fear – Lily Allen

Hard out Here – Lily Allen

Royals – Lorde

Perfect Places – Lorde

Daydreamin’ (feat. Jill Scott) – Lupe Fiasco

Kids – MGMT

Animal – Miike Snow

Blood Like Lemonade – Morcheeba

So What – Pink

Never Tear Us Apart – Paloma Faith

Ghostwriter – RJD2

Brave – Sara Bareilles

Blank Space – Taylor Swift

I Think We’re Alone Now – Tiffany

Habits (Stay High) – Tove Lo

Run Boy Run – Woodkid

43 songs 2 hours 49 minutes

Bah Humbug 2019

Oh, 2019… what can I say about you?

Well, firstly I am going to be thrilled to see the end of you. RIP 2019. But while it been what I can only say has been a shit storm of a year, I do have things I have learned from this year.

It certainly wasn’t my best year, but admittedly it also wasn’t my worse year yet.

I didn’t die. I didn’t have surgery. I found a treatment for my Meniere’s disease that meant I spend far less time with debilitating vertigo.

My mental health faced of many challenges this year and overall I was not driven mad… maybe just a tad more guarded… but we all have our faults.

I also have come to realize I need to work better on accepting shit in my life and figuring out how to move forward. Because the way I have been doing it by bottling it all up and never talking about it, well it simply isn’t working. And I never thought it would. But I need to go through these stages, I needed to grieve.

I need to figure out what going deaf is going to do to my life and prepare. I am scared shitless, I won’t even try and lie. But I do know I have to figure out a way to cope with it, to accept it, to know my rights and options. When I fall back into a little bit of darkness because going deaf scares the shit out of me, I need to remember that’s ok too.  I try to also be open about my life, because I know I am not alone in my struggles.

It sucks, I won’t lie, I have had about let’s see, zero, Christmas spirit this year. I tried I really did. I decorated my house, and put my dumb tree up. Honestly, how it is still standing I don’t know, the Doctor has loved it. I know the holidays are always hard for me. My anxiety acts up, my past bugs me more than any other time of year. But strangely I have also always loved Christmas, even with the memories and baggage.

However, the thing is this year it’s not either of them.

Its the problem I have been running from since 2018 when I found out my condition was in both ears and I was most likely going to be deaf within ten years. Going deaf made me leave Maryland where I truly had found happiness within myself. Now back in Rochester, I have been unsure often if I made the right choice. And while I will forever prefer the Maryland area, my family (blood and chosen) are here in Rochester and that is what I need to deal with this. And that is exactly what I have.

So yes, I have been struggling, barely keeping my head afloat, I know I will be ok. The bad days always pass and the good days are what make the pain and suffering worth it.

2019 you definitely tried to kick my ass, but look at me I am still standing. My motto in life is always fall down seven times, stand up eight. So here’s to a much better 2020. But not matter what I shall keep going.


Lately I have been working a lot. I am running my companies flu clinics around the area. It’s been stressful to say the least but I know it’s a good resume builder. So when I am not on call on the weekends I am really trying hard to put myself first and to also enjoy them as much as I can.

This weekend started with a quiet night sitting on my couch with my Sestra having a few drinks and talking. It was so needed for both of us. Saturday morning I got up and went to PT and was released to resume all activities with my knee. Then I went with my brother and niece to Letchworth State Park. We walked around, took pictures, had lunch and just talked. It was a great day spent with two of my favorite people. But when I got home after that I felt horrible. My knee was fine but my body was angry. So I took today to rest, drink lots of fluids and relax and I feel much better tonight.

I am not on call again next weekend and I already have some plans. I need to make the most of my weekends combining self care and family/friends. I really do love fall and the holiday seasons. Here’s to making the most out of life.

Ménière’s disease

So I have a Ménière’s disease it is a disease of the inner ear that causing vertigo, ear ringing, ear pain, ear pressure and hearing loss. For the last five years I have been struggling with this disease and there have been quite a few times I thought it would win. But about 7-8 months ago I started seeing a new ENT who recommended steroid injection into my worse ear. It would stop the vertigo but it would also cause my hearing loss to accelerate in that ear. And believe it or not I said yes without much thought to the injections. I knew I would be going deaf in that ear anyways that if there was a glimmer of hope my vertigo could be controlled and allow me to live a “normal” life I was willing to sacrifice my hearing.

Now that certainly doesn’t mean I am ok with going deaf. I am not. I try to be positive about it and not get down about it but I will never be ok with it. But that’s ok too. I think if I was ok with going deaf I would be giving in. Do I know I will be deaf in one ear for sure within 5-10 years, yes I sure do. I am not going to lie to myself about my prognosis. However I am still going to be mad about it. I am still going to struggle with learning to cope with it. And now after my 3rd injection in my left ear I am really noticing my hearing going in that ear. And that is very hard for me to accept.

However I still truly believe I made the right decision with this treatment. The fact is life is not fair and dealing with a chronic disease is hard AF but I won’t let it win. So yes I will still cry when I think about my new life but I won’t let that cloud stay forever over me. I want to enjoy my life and be the best person I can be. I don’t ever want to be seen as bitter. I know there are worse things that could happen to me. So while I am definitely mourning the loss of my hearing I will continue to try and make my life worth it because deep down I can overcome this disease. It will knock me down but I will get back up every time.

random photos

Here are some random photos I have taken over the past few months. A couple from Vermont trip with my niece Ani. A few of the Doctor, my demon kitty. And some from this weekend, apple picking with both my nieces.

Fall is here

I for one am thrilled fall is officially here. So much to look forward to… Apple picking, soup of dinner, cuddling up on the couch with the cats and a book, the leaves changing and sweater weather. This girl is super excited about fall. And maybe just maybe I will post on here more.

Struggles of life

Lately I have been avoiding posting on here because I don’t like admitting my struggles. However I know the only way to get better is to face all my struggles head on and stop hiding and start working on them.

So first of all I have struggled with mental illness my whole life, I spent 10 years misdiagnosed as bipolar, the medication they put me on literally drove me crazy, my life was an absolute mess, and I hated myself. But then in my early 30’s I found a doctor who finally listened to me. I was diagnosed was bipolar with no mania other than insomnia and racing thoughts. Now I know my insomnia stems from a rape when I was 18, but I have dealt with that and know the insomnia will be around but I can handle it. So that doctor listened and realized I was clinically depressed but the bipolar medication had caused me to get worse, I heard voices due to it, saw things that wasn’t there because of it, I wanted to die because I saw no hope for my future. But then over the course of a year I was taken off those medication and put simply on an antidepressant to help my clinical depression and anxiety. Over the next ten years my life changed, I found I had hope and finally saw a person in the mirror I didn’t totally hate anymore.

However looking in the mirror has never been easy for me, I suffer from body image issues and am anorexic. And most people would look at me now and say how can you be anorexic, you weight way more than you should. Well that’s because I am not actively anorexic at the moment. I refuse to diet because I know I will spiral out of control. And the last time that happened I ended up weighting 93lbs and having massive health issues due to my restricting my calorie intake to 250 a day. Yes I said 250 a day. And what is the saddest is I can still look at the pictures of me at that weight and I still see imperfections, because I don’t see my body like I should. So while I have been able to keep my anorexic under control I have struggled with my weight. I have no thyroid due to a medical issue and it’s hard to keep my thyroid levels under control, as due to my being very crappy at remembering to take medication.

My life seems to be filled with medical issue after medical issue. About 5 years ago I though I was finally getting everything under control and finally getting to a place I wanted to be and then I was struck with vertigo. Now I had had vertigo numerous times so I went to the doctors to get medication and they referred me to an ENT who quickly saw this was not just vertigo. So after many tests I was told I had Ménière’s disease which causes vertigo, ear pain, ear pressure, balance issues, and hearing loss. So over the next few years I had to come to terms with a new normal for me. I moved back to Rochester to be around my family so they could help me when this condition knocked me down. My job has been great about it and I am lucky for that. But it was spiraling. I was dealing with horrible bouts of vertigo 3 to 4 times a week, barely able to function, I was ready to give up. I was unable to function and going deaf, I saw no hope at the end of the tunnel. But then my PCP referred me to a new ENT in the area and he suggested steroid injections into my inner ear to stop the vertigo. This treatment has been life changing, I now have very mild vertigo spells and them rarely lasting more than a day, and those days are getting rarer. He and I still need to figure out the best amount of time between doses but I have a glimmer of hope again.

So just when I had a glimmer of hope again, I injured my knee, I was so scared I was going to need surgery again and I hate being stuck in my house and not being able to move normally or go to the gym. After getting my Ménière’s under control I finally hoped I was going to be able to get back to the gym, get back in shape and I know all those things will help my mental health but then I blew my knee. It crushed me, I was struggling and truly didn’t know what I could do. But I talked to my mom and I admitted my mental health had been struggling for a long time. And everything I was doing to get it under control it wasn’t working. I was struggling to get out of bed, find no joy in anything, crying often, sitting in the silence and dark by myself hiding from the world, I knew I needed more help. So I got into see my PCP and she agreed on upping my dose of Prozac as I was on a very low dose. This pleased me Prozac has been the only antidepressant that worked and gave me no side effects. So I am one week one of my increased dose and while I haven’t noticed a change I know it can take up to 4 weeks for it to work. I am also going to try light therapy as she thinks this may be seasonal effective disorder as well.

And then yesterday I finally saw the knee surgeon who replaced my ACL 5 years ago, I had nothing torn but a lot of arthritis in my knee, which runs in my family so that’s not surprising, and while nothing was torn I had sprained my knee and that will take time and work to get better, so he injected my knee with cortisone and I will start PT very soon.

So I am once again seeing a light at the end of the tunnel, I am finally hopeful things will improve and yet I know I will always face struggles, that’s life, but if I refuse to give up I will be ok. I will be ok because I am strong enough to handle this, no matter how weak I feel, I have gotten this far, I can keep going. I will be ok because of my family, my mom and dad are truly my rocks, they lift me up when I can’t do it myself and they have refused to give up on me through all my struggles. They tell I am loved and make me feel loved when I think I am unlovable. They have put up a lot with me but they tell me it’s all worth it, because to them I am just who I was supposed to be and they are proud of me. That helps me a lot. My brother still texts me every single morning to tell me he loves me, he started this after a suicide attempt many many years ago and he never lets a day go by without telling me I am loved. He is someone who I can be honest about my life with and he truly has never judged me, he has saved my life more than once and I am forever grateful to have him as my big brother and one of my best friends. And I will be ok because I have friends who are like family to me. I live in the same complex as two of my best friends and their two kids, who help cheer me up and keep me going on my dark days. I can tell Katie the darkest thoughts I have and she hugs me and tell me they are ok to have and I will be ok. She reminds me I am not my dark days and thoughts, they are a part of my but they do not define me, she reminds me that I am loved and worthy of love. My friend Sheryl is like a big sister, she calls me on my bullshit and reminds me I am a good person in spite of my fault. She checks on me and reminds me that I am allowed to be annoyed by my health and struggles but that it’s worth it to keep going. She lifts me up when I feel lost and has truly changed my life by being in it. I have so many others I could mention who make my life worth it… Lessa, Ani, Mia, Gabe, Randy, my coworkers and friends near and far, they all remind me that it’s worth it to get through the struggles.

So while life isn’t easy I do know that no matter how dark the days feel, better days are in the way and it’s all worth it. Life is worth it, I am worth it. So thanks for listening to my struggles and know you are worth it too, and never let anyone or anything make you feel otherwise.



My parents got me a tiny rubber ducky luck charm earlier this year… here are some of the Duck’s adventures….

The Duck went to Vermont

I take work very seriously

Duck and Sestra

Bear and the Duck

Leila and the Duck


My niece Ani and I took a long weekend trip to Vermont recent. We had planned this trip to celebrate her 13th birthday and my 40th birthday. The trip was perfect, we went to Ben and Jerry’s to do the factory tour and have some ice cream, hiked Quechee Gorge and visited a horse farm. For me, this trip was just what I needed. I needed to get away and remember the good things in life. My father came with us as a driver, as we were unsure if my Meniere’s disease would allow me to drive and function as I wanted. Luckily for me, I have been seeing a new ENT who is taking an aggressive treatment plan which involves injections through my eardrum into my inner ear with steroids to stop the vertigo. Now I will go deaf quicker but I am willing to take that if the vertigo stops, as that is what prevents me from enjoying my life. However, I was lucky and only had one or two quick dizzy spells and was able to be active the whole time.

Below are a few pictures from the trip. I will definitely be back to Vermont again as soon as possible, I fell in love with Vermont completely, I would move there if I could.


Peace – JS