Depression · Mental Health · self-help

Fighting the Darkness of Depression

I have been wanting to talk about this topic for a while, and I have also got quite a few requests on how I cope with it. I wish I could say “overcame” it but I am still dealing with it off and on, and as I write this, I have been in a down spot so it has been difficult to even start writing about it.

Depression is such a heavy word and to people who don’t deal with it or know much about it, they may think it looks like someone who looks very sad or down. Not true! There are a lot of times I have been depressed but I have posed for photos smiling and posting acting like everything is great. Sometimes we are trying to fool even ourselves, and want the world to think everything is okay. We also don’t want to come off like we are complaining or not being grateful. People want to see the highlights on social media and want to see the happy photos, right? Although, I am learning through this journey the more open I have been about feeling depressed- I have connected on such a deeper level with people. Once I started stepping into who I am and sharing that with the world, and not being ashamed of it is when I started to get my control back and started to give myself more grace. Not saying my “identity” is being a depressed person, because no it is not. It does not DEFINE me, but it is apart of who I am and I have accepted that.

What does depression look like on me (& maybe the same for you)

  • Overload on social media to get attention
  • Ignoring people for days
  • Not being able to talk on the phone
  • Lying in bed & zoned out for days
  • Hard to connect with others, but longing a deeper connection
  • Wanting to go out and have a social life, but feeling too down to face other people
  • Can’t focus on work, school, honestly on any daily tasks
  • All over the place with emotions
  • Days that are very HIGH and you feel very excited, motivated, inspired, and share a lot- but then come down off that and feel isolated and alone
  • Buying things (online shopping) to make yourself feel better at that moment
  • Constantly looking back at the past
  • Eating fast food, or indulging a lot of food that feels good for that second-for some not eating
  • Binge drinking, and going out when you are upset
  • Excessive guilt and blaming yourself
  • Shaming yourself and speaking badly of yourself
  • Sitting in the bath and listening to very sad songs
  • Thoughts of harm to get rid of the pain
  • Feeling exhausted
  • Feeling like a dark cloud is constantly over you and you are trapped

My story:

 My depression started when I was a freshman high school but at the time, I had no idea that’s what it was. I remember always listening to sad music and watching sad movies to sit there and cry. I would actually crave this kind of sadness, almost like I started to become obsessed with being sad or down. I always longed for “more” and would get into this fantasy world, instead of being present in the world I had in front of me. There were many factors of why I was depressed, so my feelings were completely valid, but I did not channel this energy correctly at the time. What’s the correct way anyways? I would drown the pain being surrounded by the wrong crowds, smoke, pills, drinking, unhealthy relationships. I didn’t know how to process my emotions; all I knew is that I had a lot of emotions. I was always (and still am) known for being very open about my life, and to some people that can be a lot. I used to be too much for people and I used to think that was a flaw of mine, and that I needed to stop sharing so much of myself. I felt so judged and felt embarrassed about who I was. I didn’t want people knowing my mistakes or knowing that part of me that made bad decisions because she was hurting. At that young age, a lot of my friends didn’t understand this kind of deep hurt. They were just regular high school people and trying to live it up and have fun. They were worried about what college they were going to go to, and I was just hoping I made it through another day. I was so envious of this and felt jealous of their lives. I would constantly compare and get mad at myself for how my life was.

“Comparison is the theif of joy.”

I started to hold a lot in and not deal with feelings, and just act like everything was okay. I remember always feeling so exhausted every morning and not being able to talk to people. Going into work and everybody would be bubbly and talkative, and it would give me anxiety to even have conversations with people. Sometimes I would call out of work because I could not face dealing with people in general. I did not want them to see me down, and I felt like it was written all over my face. I stopped wanting to share things with people because I stopped trusting others, and started feeling like I had to be more selective. I felt like people could use it against me, and I did not want them knowing I was weak. I was always a “social butterfly” from a young age, and I wanted to keep that up but so much was going on that I was really losing myself throughout this sadness. For so long, I had to be strong and to continue to survive. I was always in survival mode and that weighed very heavy on me. This is a lot for someone in their teens and twenties to deal with, and it starts to catch up on you.

With my image, I didn’t want to feel like I always had issues or “drama” because didn’t want people to not want to be around me. I know it can be intense to hear things all the time, and you don’t want others to worry about you. I learned this from being on the other side of worrying about someone with depression and hearing about situations a lot. Depression heavily runs through my family and I have seen A LOT of hardships.

At times I would feel like a bad friend for not going and hanging out, or not calling someone. Luckily, I have found a great support system that understands me, and I have been able to tell them these things and now I don’t feel as bad. I definitely have my moments though! I do have moments of feeling crazy, like why am I feeling this way when I have a roof over my head, food, loving husband, friends, family, and I AM HEALTHY AND ALIVE. I feel like I come off ungrateful since I do have so much, and then I say well some people have it WAY worse than me, so why am I sitting here sobbing? Yes, people do have it worse, but that doesn’t mean your feelings aren’t valid and true. Honor those feelings and acknowledge them! When you are going through something, it is very real for you and so do not feel bad for feeling that way.

My depression got really bad before I moved to Georgia and I was going out more, and using tactics to “not deal with it.” I was making bad decisions and felt so exhausted from these feelings for so long. I started to feel super depressed again while living in Georgia because I felt very alone. It always goes back to that feeling of being alone, feeling lonely, lack of connection, guilt over the past, and comparing myself to others and their progress in life. It started to get to the point where I couldn’t go to work or do normal activities. I felt like I was always looking backward and into the past and living there. I would constantly go through old photos, post old photos, and would wish things could be different. This is when I knew I needed professional help, and I was so scared to get it but I was more scared to keep living in these thoughts.

How therapy helped and gave me the tools to heal

I was actually really proud of myself for getting professional help, and for those of you listening do not be ashamed if you do! That is a sight of strength. I have learned it is okay to ask for help, and that I do not need to keep living my life this way, and it is time to rise above. Therapy is where it started and wow that has changed my life. First, I tried Cognitive behavioral therapy which is a psycho-social intervention that aims to improve mental health. It focuses on challenging and changing unhelpful cognitive distortion’s and behaviors, improving emotional regulation, and the development of personal coping strategies that target solving current problems. I would go into therapy and tell her current situations going on, and she would help me change the way I think about them and the way I react. It was about training my brain to change my “usual” response and to rewire it to a healthier response. These tools helped me a lot! I started to be able to communicate my feelings more and be able to understand myself better. I realized I am not crazy, and that there are reasons why I think this way. I stopped going to that therapist and saw another and it was more basic therapy that worked better for me. I loved the tools from the first, but never be afraid to switch therapist if the one you have isn’t working for you! I love the one I have now and have seen her for three years. She has helped me understand things on such a deeper level, and it is crazy how much comes from our past, and how we are used to handling things. She has been able to really help me work through past stuff and find the strength to create boundaries and loving relationships that will last and to mainly love myself and to not be so hard on myself. My feelings and experiences were very valid and so are yours!

Psychiatry experience

My therapist recommended seeing a Psychiatrist for me to get on medication and this is when a whole new world started. For those of you curious about these appointments, they are an EXPERIENCE, to say the least. I went to my first appointment, and there is a student in school who is the assistant asking me over 100 questions and to rate my feelings about topics on a 1-5 scale. This is so scary because you almost don’t want to be honest about your suicidal thoughts, so you don’t get committed on a 72-hour hold, and you also don’t know how you truly feel. It is a weird experience, and there is no in-between or being able to explain the reason you feel this way. It is based on numbers, facts, and way different than therapy. Then, I met with the nurse and talked to her about my situation, and then the Doctor came in for like 1 min and handed me my prescriptions. It is very business-like and not a “feel good” experience. I left there with 4 prescriptions, and was more terrified than ever! At the time I was planning a wedding, dealing with my husband traveling for work, personal issues, and working and school full time. I needed these meds in order to handle all of this, honestly.

My medication journey

I started my journey with anti-depressants, sleeping meds, and two different anxiety meds. It was very hard because you can’t drink on them, and not like I drink much but the occasional wine I had to be very careful about. Then the weight gain started and this really made me mad! I kept wondering why I couldn’t lose weight, and it made sense because I was on so many medications. The anti-depressant I was on was an SSRI that have fewer side effects than past anti-depressants. For those who don’t know, SSRI is Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and increase the level of the neurotransmitter serotonin by limiting its reuptake into the presynaptic cell, which increases the level of serotonin in the synaptic cleft available to bind to the receptor. Basically, it increases your level of serotonin and makes more available to pass further messages between nearby nerve cells.

I will say medication truly saved my life and helped me connect more to people again. I was able to make phone calls, hang out with people, go to work, work out, and have a healthy relationship with myself. I would highly recommend medication to anyone who thinks they need help and do not feel ashamed for doing so!

Getting off anti-depressants

A few years later, I got to a point where I wanted my body to be more natural and to let go of all the meds. I felt happy and in a better place so thought I could do it. You are supposed to slowly wing of anti-depressants and I did and followed all orders. Although, it was one of the hardest things I ever went through last year. I was having brain zaps, out-of-body experiences, depression, anxiety, fatigue, hard to connect with others, and basically, all my symptoms came back. I thought I was never going to be the same and thought this would never end. During this time, I highly suggest you eat really healthy, get a lot of sleep, and make sure to have people you trust to watch you and support you. Continue therapy because I think that is one of the main things that got me through it. I still take meds to help me sleep, because at night is when I get super anxious and start thinking about so many different topics. I think of things I need to get done, things I have been lacking on, and just things in general. My mind races and I can’t turn it off, and so the sleeping meds and have helped me so much. When I get good sleep then I can be functional the next day, and it also helps me with my depression. After a very LONG 5 months winging off these meds, I started to feel back to normal. Although, I still have very big highs and low lows so I am never against going back on them if I need them.

The Silver Lining

I started being more grateful for my flaws, and for my journey. My heartaches, setbacks, and pain are what has made me a stronger person, and someone who has a story to tell. Through my stories I have been able to help others, and that is something I have always wanted to do but didn’t know-how. I would try to help others see the good in them because I saw their potential, even when they didn’t. That can be very draining and exhausting! This also put me in very toxic relationships of trying to be a “fixer,” when really, that person needs to work on themselves and I can support and love them for who they are. The real energy needs to go into me and worrying about that. It doesn’t mean you are being a bad person, and it is okay to be selfish. Selfish always sounds like a bad word, but YOU NEED TO BE. You need to put yourself first, because if you don’t take care of you then you can’t have loving relationships with others. I am still working on this, but I can say that I have overcome a lot. I have found healthier ways to cope with and actually deal with my emotions. I try not to avoid what I am feeling, but the most important lesson I can give you from my experience is…..

“It is OKAY to feel down, feel your feelings, but do not stay in them”

This was a very hard lesson for me to learn, and I still struggle with it. I think when I would sulk for too long, and continue that sad playlist then I would stay down and in this endless cycle that I could not pull myself out of. I have to put on upbeat music and have to do more things that light my soul on fire, and that inspires me. I have to do more things for me, and do things that make me feel confident, happy, and alive! Your feelings are valid and I hope this post makes you feel less crazy and less alone in your feelings.

“Vulnerability is a strength, not a weakness”

What has helped me fight the darkness

  • Don’t do things you don’t wanna do & don’t feel GUILTY for not going
  • When you are exhausted learn to rest and not be hard on yourself for doing so
  • Do activities that make you feel happy
  • Therapy: CBT, DBT, or regular mental health help
  • DBT workbook: From Amazon, it is a workbook that gives you exercises for learning mindfulness, interpersonal effectiveness, emotion regulation & distress tolerance
  • Getting out into nature
  • Medication(Seek out professional help for this and do research)
  • Showering, washing my face, brushing my teeth! (These simple tasks can even be difficult when feeling down)
  • Less drinking and going out. Alcohol is a depressant and it is easy to drink the worries away, but it can end up bad if you go out in that mindset
  • More me time (Self-care)
  • Yoga
  • Opening up about my depression and talking about it, and to talk to people when I feel down and get support
  • Having people you can trust and talk to
  • Creating boundaries
  • Vitamins and herbal supplements
  • Don’t look back at the past, use it as a learning experience and make peace with it.
  • Focus on the PRESENT 🙂
  • Essential oils: Lavender and Frankincense oil are amazing combos! (I always have a diffuser by my bed and in my office) I also spray lavender on my pillow before bed to help me calm down and relax before sleeping
  • Meditation: Apps I use are; Headspace, Insight Timer, Simple Habit, & Mindbliss
  • Journaling: This is very healing and feels good to let things out and down on paper
  • Having my dog helps me get out of bed and forces me to get outside for walks- which can be difficult but ends up helping my mood overall
  • Eating healthier: The body and mind are connected and we store a lot of stress in our gut, and that can lead to stomach issues and more.
  • Connecting with other like-minded people
  • Self Help Books: *The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer, *YOU ARE A BADASS by Sincero, *10% Happier by Dan Harris, *Braving the Wilderness by Brene Brown
  • A fun/uplifting playlist (Spotify has ones based on mood)
  • Allowing yourself to feel sad and acknowledging the emotions, working through them, but not staying in that down mindset
  • Forgiveness (Forgive yourself and others)
  • Have compassion for yourself and be thankful for all you’ve overcome
  • My grandma Duffy taught me to put makeup on and get dressed because when you look good you feel good- and feel more confident

You got this

I just want to say if you are struggling right now with depression you are not alone, and you will overcome this. I hope these tools will help and I hope my story will help you feel less alone. There are so many resources so do not go through this on your own. You are loved, valued, and seen. By the way, I am not a professional so this is all based on personal experience and what I have learned along the way.

Sending love and light



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End of the year

The year in retrospect and manifesting 2020

2019…. Wow, what a year! Honestly, it felt like three different years in one because of how much has happened. Not only are we closing off a year but also an entire DECADE which makes me think about even more experiences and things that have happened in the past 10 years. For me, this is my last New Year’s celebration as 29, because in a few months I will be the big 30! I honestly don’t feel that age and long ago I would say wow 30 is old, but now that I approach it, I feel like the 30s will be the best times of my life. The ’20s are such a rollercoaster because you are growing, learning, evolving, and trying to figure out who you are and who you want to be. For me, this past decade has been CRAZY, to say the least. I want to focus on this past year though because it is crazy how much can happen in a full year. I honestly believe some years test you more than others to help you grow, and other years feel easier. I have noticed that how it goes in cycles because life is always giving you what you need in order to keep growing.

2019 started off very negative, like New Year’s Day was terrible but I will keep those details to myself. In the first part of 2019, I left a job that was draining the life out of me and I finally got the confidence or finally had enough where I quit. It was very hard on me for many reasons but needed to be done because it went on way too long. Then, I transitioned into a new job that quickly challenged me in ways I was never challenged before, and I learned a lot. I was still going through school and constantly feeling stressed and anxious because of how much I had going on, and felt like I was way too overwhelmed with how much I had on my plate. I always had this much on my plate ever since I was 16, but after years of working full time, or two, three jobs, and going to school…while trying to maintain other aspects of your life, and heal in many ways….it really starts to catch up with you and comes crashing down hard. In March, I decided to get off my antidepressants and try to go on with life without all the medications. At the time, I was on 4 different meds for depression and anxiety and I will say that it saved me in so many ways, and helped me have a “normal” life and be able to get out of bed in the morning. Let me just say, getting off the antidepressants was one of the most physically and mentally challenging things I have done. I was having brain zaps (hard to explain but for those of you who’ve been through it- you know), mood swings, nausea, constant sweating, panic attacks, hard time sleeping, hard time connecting with others, lack of patience, wanting to stay in bed, and more. Sounds terrible right? This went on for two months while I was trying to learn a fast pace new job, do well in school, nurture my marriage, take care of my high energy dog, manage a household, and still try to remain in touch with friends and family.

I noticed how hard this was on my friends and family who wanted to see me, speak to me on the phone, or just wanted me to be “fun” and be able to go to events or travels with them. As fun as that all sounds, when I am not feeling “fun” or myself it was felt impossible to face anyone. Instead, I just kept a lot to myself and battled these feelings alone. Thankfully, I do have an amazing therapist who was helping me through it and my Husband. I am not saying that my friends and family weren’t there for me, I just think it is hard to understand what someone is truly going through unless you have experienced it yourself, and I had a hard time going to them when I needed a friend. My husband travels all the time for work so it was extra hard on me this year compared to the rest. He has traveled since the beginning of our relationship, but for some reason this year was hard because of how emotionally down I was. When he was gone, I wouldn’t be able to sleep and I would feel so alone so it was very difficult. I have Milo which thank god because he was definitely my emotional support dog, but he also drove me nuts and it was very difficult dealing with his energy on my own.


This year was the year I learned boundaries and something I have always struggled with but have needed to learn for AWHILE now. Boundaries with family and friends to start taking control of my life. I am a people pleaser and an empath and I constantly would hear my family drama and it would affect me very hard.  I am the type who worries about everybody around me and when I hear things aren’t going well then, I get all worked up, panic attacks, and lose sleep over it. I would constantly listen to the drama from people and get sucked up into it. For someone who deals with heavy anxiety and depression it started to become way too much for me. (I know I was having my own drama and struggles and am not perfect-but when you are constantly put in the middle of things- it becomes draining) I learned I had to cut these conversations to a minimum, speak up and tell people my boundaries, and slowly distance myself away from the negative. My life has been filled with a lot of drama and I am to the point where I am just done with it, and I only want people in my life who lift me up and who I know are truly genuine. Also, I had to start accepting people for who they are and not let their choices or things they say affect me (especially if I still wanted to continue a relationship with them). I started to really notice the ones who were draining my energy and this is when the boundaries started. This did not go well with some people who do not like boundaries and who were used to me dealing with this, and being the emotional sponge while not giving me the same respect in return.

I had a really dark moment in September that some of you might have saw on social media. I sprained my ankle the day my husband left for 3 weeks for a work trip and had to handle my dog myself. While, going to school, starting a new job (working from home), and then I got really sick with the flu for a week. I felt so helpless and weak and I am not the best at asking for help when I need it. Instead, I isolate and try to handle what I can but by the end of that I get so anxious, depressed, and in a state of mind, that is dark. My suicidal thoughts came back, something I haven’t felt since a month before I moved to Georgia. At the moment I just felt like what is the point? I can’t do this anymore! I look back now and I feel kind of crazy for feeling that way but this is what depression is yall. It comes on quick and intense and dark thoughts come into the brain that is very hard to shut off. This was also stemmed from previous emotions and feelings of being alone, helpless, and weak from my teens and twenties. I am thankful I reached out for help and quickly saw who was truly there for me. If you are dealing with suicidal thoughts: The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline #: 1-800-273-8255 and they are open 24/7!

This is my semicolon tattoo: My story is not over & it just beginning

It truly makes me emotional thinking back at this dark time, but I think it was meant to happen to open my eyes to how strong I am. I have overcome way harder things, like WAY harder! I’ve had near death experiences, abuse, great loss, and so much more. This was a wake-up call, to start living in the present, love myself, start using my resources, and to start focusing on the good and know that “This too shall pass”.

Afterwards, I started to spend more time alone and started to journal, meditating, read a lot of self-help books, therapy, and went on the path to learn to love myself. I started noticing the people who were slowly slipping away, and the ones who were getting closer to me. The ones who have always been there and haven’t left my side, and the ones I reconnected with after years of not talking who started to really show up for me.  Then I started to connect with amazing souls in Georgia and started getting back into yoga which has really helped my overall well being and confidence.

I also saw a lot of change this year in friendships and a lot of long-time bonds start to drift away. That is the thing about this age is we are growing, changing, learning, and evolving and so life is bound to separate some of us and it is okay to let go of these attachments. If you have to hold onto something super hard just to keep it because of a past with them then that might mean it is time to let go, and let life go its course. My sister always told me by the time you are 30 you will have a lot less friends, but a few ones you can for sure count on. She was right! I was always a social butterfly and loved having so many friends and people around. I always wanted to be liked and to be “fun” so when I do not feel as “fun” it is hard to be in these social situations. I honestly still love having all sorts of different friends, but as long as they are the right people and are good for my mental health, and people I can be my true self with and not be judged for who I am.

I started to realize I kept looking back at the past and holding on so tight to these memories, friendships, relationships, places, and just everything. I was holding so tight and it was making me feel isolated and alone in Georgia. As soon as I started to slowly let the past be the past, and focus on the present in Georgia then my life started to get better. It is okay to still be connected and close with those people from the past, all I am saying is try to make new connections and focus on the present. When we constantly focus on what we don’t have then we stop seeing what is right in front of us. I have decided to focus more on what I do have and start focusing on me.

The thing is, we get in relationships or get married and we almost depend on that other person for our happiness. This will quickly backfire in any relationship (even friendships). We focus so much on the approval from others, being loved, seen, acknowledged, appreciated, etc. When we don’t feel that, we quickly start thinking someone must be wrong with us, did we do something wrong? For me, this starts spiral affect and has put me in a dark depression where I isolate myself away from everyone. The only way to be truly happy is when we truly love ourselves FIRST. If we can’t love ourselves then how in the heck is anyone else suppose to love us? When we can truly make ourselves happy and not need this outside validation because we are already showing up for ourselves and filling our own cup then we are fulfilled. Then, when the relationships, family, friends, or whoever start to fill the cup then it is just adding onto the cup that is already filled and we overflow with joy and can really create long lasting relationships, and continue the one with ourselves.

Journal Prompts to end 2019:

-Things that hurt me this year

-Strengths I have gained this year

-Things I have accomplished

-People who really lifted me up, & what did they do?

-People who really brought me down, & why?

Setting Intentions for 2020:

-Goals for 2020

-Things to get done in 2020

-Places I want to travel to

-A new hobby I wanna learn

-Things I want to work on personally

-Dreams I have

-Type of people I want in my life this year, and always

You can make any type of list you want but here are some of the ones I do for inspiration. You can even make a playlist of the moods you want to feel, draw, or even make a vision board! I love vision boards because I actually made one last year and kept it up on my desk so I could visually see it every day.

Vision Boards:

-Posterboard or whatever you want to use to put things on

-Magazine, pictures, crafts

-Scissors, tape, and whatever other tools you might need

This was my vision board from the beginning of 2019

Why are setting goals & intentions so important?

I believe setting goals, intentions, and reflecting is so important because you help make a plan for your life. You are also able to see how much you’ve accomplished and can be truly proud of yourself. Sometimes we focus so much on saying goodbye to a year and being so ready for it to be over. Let this year, or any year be another chapter in your life of lessons you’ve learned. Every situation and every set back are leading you to something wonderful. Everything truly happens for a reason! I believe having a fresh year is like a fresh start, and another chance to do something you may have been wanting to do but still haven’t crossed it off the list. It is NEVER too late, so just do it…BUT DON’T BE HARD ON YOURSELF if you aren’t there yet. Be patient and loving to yourself, and proud of how far you’ve made it in this world.

The end of 2019
The first part of 2019

End of a Decade

I did want to say I cannot believe we are ending a decade and so I did want to comment a little bit on this. I started this decade very weak, naive, and wanted to be loved and wanted…and did not have a purpose. I was seeking out love in the wrong places and drowning my pain with drinking, non stop partying, wrong crowds, and not taking care of my health. I was in the hospital for stomach ulcers at age 20 from so much stress built up, and not taking good care of myself. I had the time of my life at 21 and made memories with my group of girls that I will never forget. I went through a very hard heartbreak with someone I was on and off with since middle school. This was something that was very rough on me, and took a huge physical and mental toll on me. I had some very tough times and when I turned 25 I had a very very rough time. I got into a horrible near death accident and that kicked my butt in gear to move across the country to Georgia. It was a chain of events and a constant cycle of feeling broken, unloved, unhappy, weak, worthless, and alone. I am thankful that the universe kicked me in gear because moving was the best thing that could have happened to me. I reconnected with my dad after spending 10 years away from each other. I got a brand new car after having so many “hooptys” as we call it (haha LORIANA). I got into a University and am now a senior, and going to get my bachelors degree in Psychology soon. I started therapy and working on myself finally! I met my Husband and had the most beautiful wedding. I gained an amazing family from my Husband and have made such great memories. I own a house!! For so long, wanting to have a place to call my own and to finally feel grounded somewhere…actually happened! I never thought I would find a healthy love or a place to call my own. My life was always constantly changing and chaotic that it seemed I could never fully catch a break, or catch up. I have so much to be proud of and if it wasn’t for all of these difficult experiences then I do not think I would be as grateful and aware as I am today. I am ending this decade smart, confident, strong, wise, open, inspired, grateful, accepting, brave, blessed, bright, dedicated, compassionate, committed, caring, determined, LOVED, I HAVE A PURPOSE, and I am a women who will never give up!

Goodbye 2019

I will say I am very proud of myself for how much I have overcome in a decade, and in this last year. I have learned that “This too shall pass,” because it always does. At the moment, it feels so overwhelming and feels like you can’t handle it…but YOU CAN! I will continue to work on myself and grow, learn, and overcome whatever is thrown my way. I am thankful for the hard lessons this year was trying to teach me, but when all is said is done, I finally truly love myself. I can look in the mirror and just really say WOW, you are amazing. I know what I deserve and what I am capable of and I have learned to not stay in situations just because you’re comfortable or you feel you don’t deserve more. Make as many changes to your life that you need to because this is YOUR LIFE. DO THINGS FOR YOU! Do not let the judgment of others or your own self-criticism hold you back from changing careers if your miserable, not doing school because you don’t feel smart enough, not starting a family because you’re worried you won’t be able to handle it, or not truly living your life. I want to give a HUGE thank you to all of the amazing people in my life near and far who have been there for me, and have loved me no matter what. I see you and I appreciate you so much! Thank you for taking the time out of your busy day to read my blog, and I truly hope this helps and inspires you. I am always here if anyone needs to talk! Sending love and light to everyone, and have a safe and great New Year!! BRING IT ON 2020 I AM READY!

Love & light,



Coping with loss around the Holidays

Hi everyone! Thank you so much for reading and I am excited to share more with you. The holidays are fun filled with family, love, lights, traveling, and magic. Christmas has always been my favorite holiday because it brings everybody together, but because I grew up in a house who went all out for it. For those of you who may not know, I lived with my grandparents as a kid and until I was fifteen years old. Boy, did they spoil me always but especially for Christmas. My grandma loved Christmas and she had the tree fully decorated, the village set up, musical Santa out, and basically the whole house was filled with Christmas joy! Growing up my sister would come stay the night Christmas eve, and we would bond and be excited for the next morning. Christmas morning came and my dad would get on the loud speaker (that went into each room) for us to get up at 6 AM! We thought this was crazy because we just wanted to sleep in, but we smelled breakfast so we decided to get up. We had so many great memories like this and thinking back it makes me so thankful I had a great childhood filled with love.

Time went on and it was the year 2004…I was a freshman in high-school and so excited to start this next journey. My grandpa had Parkinson’s disease and slowly he was getting worse. He passed in October 2004, and a week later my grandma had a stroke and was unable to speak and bed ridden. I will never forget after my grandpa passed going to the hospital and seeing him laying there, but his spirit already gone. My grandma was at the hospital at the same time, and I ran up to her floor and crawled into bed with her and started crying. I remember her telling me how much he loved me and how I kept him alive longer, and no matter what happens they will both always be looking after me. I felt so much comfort in this moment but I was so young I had no idea what to expect next. My grandma had her first stroke shortly after, and was in the hospital until she passed. It was Christmas eve and I remember my sister Heather spending the night and we were sleeping in my bunk beds. It was 4 AM on Christmas morning, and my dad and mom wake us up. Usually, this means Santa is here and we need to wake up for Christmas. This time, it was them telling us grandma just passed away. I remember us being quiet as my parents left the room, and we both started sobbing silently. How ironic? My grandma’s favorite holiday and she was sent to heaven the same day.

After that, my life changed forever and so did my family. Being so young and not understanding loss was very difficult. We had to move and so many other factors which I will post more about in another post.

After this, I started to get very close to my grandma’s best friend Duffy. She knew me since I was a little girl and she was the sweetest. Most of her family lived far so I started to come see her more often, and we became best friends. This bond started to form when I was 18 and we started to spend more and more time together. I would go over there and help her with the day to day, and watch the Bachelor with her (Yes that’s where my love of the show came from LOL)

Duffy was in her 90’s but she was such a strong lady and had so much wisdom. She knew everything about me and we would talk for hours. It was so nice to be a little older and be able to listen to the amazing stories she had to tell, and be able to remember the advice she gave me. That is something that was so hard for me when I lost my grandparents….is that I was so young that I hardly remember the stories or the day to day. Luckily, my grandma took a TON of photos so I can always look back and remember that moment.

Years passed by and I spent so much time with Duffy..times where I would sleep on her 100 year old couch that was so small but I did not mind. The ironic thing is, she always thanked me for helping her but what she didn’t know is how much she was helping me. I finally had a chance as an adult to spend time with an elder and learn, grow, and be loved so deeply by someone. A grandparents love is so rare and something I cannot describe. She gave me something to live for and gave me hope…She believed in me so I never wanted to let her down. She passed away a few days before Christmas in 2014. Christmas again!? Right!

I wanted to share this because I know so many of you have lost someone close to you, and some around the Holiday’s. Whether you lost them during the holidays, or you are now spending the holiday’s without them….I know this isn’t easy, and it might not ever be the same.

It is so hard to be without that special person and it hurts A LOT…So feel that hurt, grieve, cry, and do whatever you need to do to heal. I will say that I still have moments where I cry and wish they were here. Although, I will say they are always with me and I believe in keeping little keepsakes with you so they are still there. I have a Christmas stocking my grandma made me as a kid and I still keep that near ever Christmas. Do whatever you need to do to feel them close, and know that you are not alone. I do wanna say, keep doing those things they did and keep their spirit going…. they would love to see that ❤️

I wanted to send so much love to all of you and especially to the ones spending this holiday grieving a loss. You are not alone, and I see you and I love you.

Happy Holidays everyone and have a very Merry Christmas!

Love & Light,


Me, Dad, Grandma, & Grandpa
Duffy ❤
Me as a kid 🙂

My First Blog Post: The Winter Solstice Celebration 2019

Hello beautiful souls! Thank you for reading my very first blog post wooo! I wanted to kick off my blog by sharing an amazing experience I had last night at my yoga studio. So what is the Winter Solstice? The Winter Solstice symbolizes death and rebirth-new beginnings and fresh starts. It is the shortest day/longest night of the year. We are ending 2019 but also a DECADE! The event took place at my yoga studio called Ember Yoga and it was led by a wonderful teacher Marie. I had no idea what to expect because this was my first time ever attending a solstice event. There was a room with people putting glow and the dark body paint on because the yoga room had black lamps so we could flow and glow. The studio was filled with many people and the room started to fill up as the time got closer. The event starts and we are given a piece of paper and told to write on one side things we want to let go and that no longer serve us. On the other side, we write things we want for 2020 and what we want to feel, be, or accomplish. Setting intentions and getting clear about what we want to see happen. Then, we rip the paper up in pieces and throw it away!

The room gets dark and surrounding me are many yogis and everybody is glowing. The music starts and the energy was so strong and powerful. Here we go, time for 108 Sun Salutations. The reason for 108 is because it is a sacred number in Hinduism and yoga, and traditionally mala beads come on a string with 108 beads, and the 108 beads turn like the planets around the sun. Basically, we just kept moving through these with no breaks and flowed through the salutations. I felt like I did a million push-ups and my arms were about to give out, and my head started spinning halfway. WOW, this is physically challenging and did not expect it to be this hard. I pushed myself to keep going and to breathe through movements, and all of a sudden all sorts of emotions came up from the past year and decade. I felt my body releasing the pain, sadness, doubt, anxiety, and every emotion that I have experienced. I took a moment in a child’s pose because WOW my arms were already shaking. I gave myself a few moments but got up and kept going because I told myself, “TUSCANY YOU ARE STRONG, YOU ARE CAPABLE, YOU HAVE MADE IT THROUGH SO MUCH THIS YEAR, AND DECADE, SO KEEP GOING!” I chanted this through my head and I completed it! We laid in Savasana, which is the best pose because you are basically lying down and relaxing the body and mind. We had a good amount of time in this and as we start to meditate I start balling my eyes out. All of these emotions came up and I could not stop crying. I let it flow and let it out because all that was stored in my body and clearly releasing, and I realized this is the point. Towards the end, the tears ended and I had a huge smile on my face.

I smiled because I completed such a challenging class but also because I made it through a challenging year, and DECADE! I am so proud of myself for all that I have made it through, and it is just making me stronger and wiser. I am so excited for 2020 and I truly feel like this next year will be a great one. I am grateful for the yoga studio for helping me heal, release, breathe, focus, love, stretch, connect, and for helping me manage my anxiety and depression.

I would love to hear your experiences with a solstice event, yoga, meditation, or anything you might want to let go of in 2019 that no longer serves you. I highly recommend doing the writing exercise on a piece of paper and writing what no longer serves you, and what you hope for in 2020. Thank you for reading and I look forward to sharing more stories with you. I appreciate you taking the time to read. Please subscribe below and share it with your friends and family. Namaste<3

Love & Light,


Winter Solstice @ Ember Yoga 2019
Marie led a beautiful class
108 Sun Salutations