In the Shadow of Lakecrest

“Pent up anger builds in secret, like a volcano beneath the surface. You never know when the tremor will hit that sets it off.”

It’s 1928 and Kate Moore is desperately seeking an out from her horrific childhood. Kate’s family has always been poor as dirt, being witness to her father’s abusive ways. It sounds bad enough.. until Kate also bears witness to her mother violently knifing her father to death. In order to get out, Kate must change what she was born into and there is only one way to do that–marry into money.

A chance encounter aboard a sea vessel seals her destiny with Matthew Lemont. The Lemonts are known for money-sure-but even deeper, the mysterious story of his aunt Cecily’s disappearance. Kate has not been bothered with all that until she is stuck at Lakecrest with no way out. She begins to think a quick marriage the wrong choice even if it’s for her ulterior motives. Between an ice old mother-in-law and Matthew’s twin sister who is ever so clingy to him, can she escape the insanity that is Lakecrest? Or has she been sucked into a prison that will drown her like the rest of the Lemonts?

I’m haunted by this historical fiction novel. It was fantastic in the way all good mysteries are. I was able to finish this book in 2 days, not because I had the time but because I just couldn’t force myself to shut it long enough. There are certainly times when reading this, we believe we have all the answers and I won’t lie–some of them we do. There is more to this read than figuring out all the mysteries that come along with it. I was nervous when I began reading this, another thriller that won’t be able to hold my interest. I was wrong. This book was set in the 20’s (which yes, that’s one reason I love it) but it also gave the devastating creepy feel to it alllll that worked in it’s favor.

My favorite part of this book is watching Kate Moore’s character growth. There are moments you will see her in complete weakness, moments in complete strength, and you’ll wonder how she might ever be able to survive Lakecrest…

This is my first Elizabeth Blackwell read but certainly not my last. What a captivating author to take on historical fiction mixed with some thriller/mystery and absolutely demolish it. I want to see more of what this woman can write and I want it now! Oh, look.. On a Cold Dark Sea is calling my name!

You can buy In the Shadow of Lakecrest right here for a low price of just $6.99!


Atheists Who Kneel and Pray

Erika, The Fictionista Who Kneels and Prays. Seriously. Talk about worshipping, right? Tarryn Fisher just fucking gets it, bottom line. As a PLN we worship her.

Here I am again at the end of a Tarryn Fisher book and I am at a loss for words. I always want to make sure my reviews do her books justice and sometimes I feel they fall short. Okay, here goes:

Yara Phillips does not stay still. Her home is London but her heart and mind are travel, don’t stay in one place for too long. Leaving is her M.O. From Chicago to Miami, and now currently in Seattle she’s always been ‘a muse’. Until David Lisey. She’ll be his muse until he leaves. But he doesn’t. Yara stays.

Until she leaves again.

David Lisey knew from the beginning, this was the woman he wanted to marry. He’d been around the ringer with women–hell–he’s the lead singer in Lazarus Come Forth. He thought he loved and given his heart before. That was until he agreed to let Yara Phillips be his muse.

They love each other. They were made for each other. They get married.

Fast forward three years later.

Yara back in London, David a famous singer.

Why did she run? The girl who was afraid of being left?

“..what’s the meaning of love? Enlighten me.”

“I’ve thought a lot about that, actually. It’s when you can’t get someone out. They crawl inside you and they just live there for the rest of your life.”

“Like a parasite. Draining you of…well–everything. Not pleasant.”

“Who says love is pleasant?”

He’s right of course. That’s why people create art–because love crawls inside them and they need a way to get it out.

If you’re used to me, you know that Tarryn Fisher is nothing short of perfection in my eyes. I always refer to her as being my spirit animal. Out of all books she has written, Atheists Who Kneel and Pray is my favorite book of hers to date. For me, it’s usually hard to pick just one book from favorite authors but this wasn’t even a difficult choice. Half-way through I just knew.

David Lisey is my newest addition to my book boyfriend selection. He’s even in my top three. (No one has been up there since Miles from Ugly Love.) His character was my favorite in this book (sorry, Yara I loved him more!) and the patience he showed was truly admirable. Rooting for a happy ending was definitely not hard to do, but worried me because..hellllloo, we are dealing with Tarryn Fisher here. I kept faith and decided it would be okay to breathe during the last handful of chapters, because no matter what he endings bring–happy or sad–she nails it.

Okay guys, you can buy this beauty right here and obsess over it with me!


If you don’t know, I live in New England. We experience quite the variety of weather here and I wouldn’t change it for anything. I love living in a place that is lucky enough to have all four seasons make a visit each year! Up until about 3 years ago, I hated winter. I found in my older age appreciating it more. For some odd reason I would rather bundle up than to want to peel my skin off because I’m too hot. Having the balance of each season is perfect. By the time spring rolls around, I’m ready for all the brightness and the flowers.. and that hint of warmness in the air that come with it. When my allergies are all set with spring, that’s usually when the hot summer days begin. Pull out the beach chair and put away the coats! When September blows in I’m always jumping up and down (my favorite season approaches). Teasing us with cool air and fall fashion. Here we are now, “Winter is here.” There is nothing like a heated blanket while being in bed with a good book to curl up with during a snow storm.. and that’s where I’m at right now.

I usually don’t make an itinerary for a snow day but I couldn’t help but to do so this time around. I’m always saying, “I should have done this while I had the day off..” and I decided I wasn’t going to allow that whiny statement to leave my mouth. JUST DO IT. My body doesn’t allow me to wake up after 8am so–like literal clockwork–I was up at 6:30am. I ate some breakfast (Van’s gluten free waffles with some Philadelphia 1/3 less fat cream cheese and Log Cabin no high fructose corn syrup maple syrup) it was delicious. I then got back into bed and put on some HBOGo to continue my 2018, every year ritual Game of Thrones series binge. I’m at the end of season 2! It helps with my withdrawals and that’s why I’m so knowledgeable on this fandom! Who else has done this? I can’t possibly be alone. I figured I would watch TV until we (possibly) lose power like they predicted.

Next on my to-do snow day list was to do this. Yes, this. Write a blog post. Like I stated in my New Year post, I need to write in order to stay sane, in order to release what’s going on in this head of mine. I’ve done good by this goal so far and have written at least once every day. IT FEELS GREAT. I work full-time and sometimes feel like I never have enough time to give my blog posts the attention they need. This is why I wanted to write one today, because I have the time and well.. I knew I’d be upset with myself if I didn’t.

You didn’t think I forgot about reading did you? I’m pacing myself. I know once I open Atheists Who Kneel and Pray by Tarryn Fisher there is no stopping until I reach the final page. GUYSS I haven’t had a nerd moment with this yet but now that I’m here I can’t help myself. This is my favorite Tarryn Fisher book. REPEAT, my favorite Tarryn Fisher book. Annnnnnd I’m only halfway through. You want the synopsis don’t you?

Yara Phillips is a wandering muse.

She dates men who need her,

but always moves on to something new,

never staying in one place for very long.

David Lisey is in need of a muse.

A talented musician lacking lyrical inspiration. When he first sees her, he knows he’s found what he’s been looking for.

Yara believes she can give David exactly what he needs to reach his full potential: a broken heart.

David’s religion is love.

Yara’s religion is heartache.

Neither is willing to surrender, but religion always requires sacrifice.

Tarryn only writes strong female characters, this is one of the many reasons I love her so much. The female characters do not give a shit in the best way possible, and they’re fierceness nothing short of bad ass. If you’re a PLN and haven’t read this yet..please do yourself the favor, I mean, you already know you’re going to love it. If you’re not a PLN you totally need to consider becoming one. Take a look for yourself!

Lastly on this windy, white day of snow I want to r e l a x. It’s not often these snow days come around, and even more rare to have the day off from work because of them. Make them count, New Englanders!

New Year, New…

Good morning and Happy New Year everyone! New years bring new beginnings but that’s not the only time you’re allowed to begin again and make resolutions for yourself. A good friend of mine, Megan Lawrence wrote a great blog post this weekend and I think you all have to read it. No, really. Go on her name! Find her empowering, positive and inspiring blog and subscribe. This woman’s strength is admiring.

This year I am going to continue to practice some self love and set goals for myself. Baby steps but I am getting there. How will I reach my goals? Me, personally I have to give myself attainable goals. I tend to set goals that are way to high for where I’m at in my life at those moments, and the end result is disappointment..which leads to self destructive feelings towards myself–enter depression. I will not give fuel to a self destructive flame.

A couple of goals set for myself this year are listed below:

1. Goodreads Challenge. Not this year folks! I’m a very competitive person, whether I’m competing with others or myself. I HAVE TO WIN. In 2016 I surpassed my reading goal by 5 books so in 2017 I wanted to up the ante. I did. And I failed. And I felt like shit. But Hello! I read 55 books in a year. That is more than some people read in their lifetime. I should be satisfied right? RIGHT. This year I decided to focus my energy on books I want to read. I will reread books I’ve been wanting to and I will do so without the fear of not meeting my Goodreads goal. Reading is fun for me and I will not continue to make it a stressful hobby.

2. Pity parties! We’ve all thrown some for ourselves and sometimes we get into the habit of having them ritually. IIIIIIIIII throw a lot of pity parties for myself. Mostly internal ones..which I know isn’t healthy and that is why it stops this year.

3. Writing. This year I found the best way to express myself and calm myself is to write. This is not something I am starting for the new year, this is what I hope to continue to do this year. Whether I write in a journal, use prompts, or just some light poetry here and there, I know I am releasing feelings in a productive manner.

4. The “everyone has this resolution” resolution. The gym 💪. This is one I’m bringing over from 2017 too. I learned so much about myself health wise last year and my mind was blown. Food plays such an important role in our lives and guess what? So does exercise! I do not go to the gym everyday nor do I left weights. I found a new love for running in 2017 and unfortunately had to give it up (for now, I’ll be back!). I’ll continue to make my health a top priority in 2018 and watch those goals continue to be met.

Bookish Gift Guide 🎁

Having trouble with your Christmas shopping? Not quite sure what to get your loved ones this year? If you know a book lover, you’re in luck! I have provided a small guide of recommended books separated by genre. If your receiver likes a certain book, I have done my best to recommend more like those reads. At the end you’ll find more bookish items that your bookworm is sure to faun over. I hope with this busy season upon us I have been able to make this process a bit easier on you. Happy shopping! May the odds be ever in your favor.


  1. The Walking Dead comics by Robert Kirkman

These comics are great for your family and friends who love the all the zombies, action, and gore that come along with an apocalyptic world. If they’re a fan of AMC’s The Walking Dead, this is the perfect gift to give!

If you’re looking for a TWD fandom gift look HERE to find the official cook book and survival guide!

2. The Clockwork Dynasty by Daniel H. Wilson

This book is sci-fi, steampunk, and historical all wrapped into one. It intertwines both past and present. Anyone who is a fan of HBO’s Westworld will find all the joy in reading this mystery filled story. We uncover secrets–machines living as humans among us for how long? Constantly brining you to turn the pages to discover more and about these automatons.

3. White Flag of the Dead series by John Talluto

This series certainly falls right in line with The Walking Dead. If you have any loved ones who are like me–caught up with TWD comics–this will be the greatest series for them to start! Being a zombie lover myself, this surely helps when experiencing those fandom withdrawals!

4. Game of Thrones series by George R.R. Martin

Say no more! I know exactly what your GOT lovers are looking for. The box set which you can find right here is currently only $35.95 on Amazon. What. A. Steal. This book set is perfect for anyone looking to either A. Read them before the show ends or B. Read them after the show ends!

Fandom gifts come in all shapes and sizes for this series. My favorite site is Valaryian Steel for your GOT lover. Replica swords, helms, armor and more! You’ll have trouble in choosing just one.

5. The Rosebush Series by Christina Hart

This series is Alice in Wonderland meets Narnia! The perfect escape for your family and friends. Join Ethelyn Jaslove and her adventures that spread throughout three magical books. Purchase them on Amazon and now for a short time only, the kindle editions are free! While you explore Christina Hart’s page also check out Fresh Skin; the perfect novel for those vampire lovers you may know.

6. The Bird and the Sword series by Amy Harmon

Amy Harmon writes fantasy!? And she does it well! You may have seen her name fall under many Romance novels but she tested a genre, ran with it, and SLAYYYED. What you will find in The Bird and the Sword and The Queen and the Cure is unlike anything you will ever read. Do your bookish friends and family love themselves a strong, romance-filled magical fantasy? They’ll thank you later for these reads!

7. Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

This book is my #1 recommendation for sci-fi fans. A multi-verse, sci-fi thriller will keep your loved ones occupied for hours. Don’t interrupt them though! Blake Crouch will take you on the ride of your life–in hopes this scientific theory really doesn’t exist out there. If this book has been read and you want more like it, be sure to check out Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid.

8. The Martian and Artemis by Andy Weir

Are your friends and family obsessed with the unknown O U T E R S P A C E? Andy Weir tells The Martian with so much humor, you’ll forget you’re currently on Mars. There’s a plus here! Once you come down from The Martian hangover, you can start them back up on Artemis; Andy Weir’s new release. Want to add some bookish charm? NASA t-shirts are the perfect side gift with these reads!

If you have family and friends who love Harry Potter and looking for similar reads, I have been recommended The Magicians Trilogy by Lev Grossman! It’s still in the works for me, but I’ve heard only good things and wouldn’t recommend it myself if I didn’t trust the source. Other sci-fi fantasy reads to check out would be Midnight Lily by Mia Sheridan; this books has a Shutter Island feel to it–sci-fi meets thriller. The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan for more apocalyptic lovers, Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris for those loved ones who miss HBO’s True Blood, and Lastly How to Hang a Witch and Haunting the Deep by Adraina Mather; be taken back in time to the Salem Witch trials and sail on the deadly Titanic ship as it once sailed!


  1. Marrow by Tarryn Fisher

I will forever recommend Tarryn Fisher books. She’s dark, brutal and quite amazing. If your bookish friends love thrillers and tough ass lead women this is the woman to buy from. Marrow, Mud Vein, Bad Mommy, F*ck Love, The Love Me with Lies series, Atheists Who Kneel and Pray; seriously click on the link above and buy them all! Your book lover will join the PLN’s and be eternally grateful.

If your bookworm is already a PLN and doesn’t know what to read next I would recommend Obsession by Amanda Robson; this read has a Bad Mommy feel to it.

2. Cemetery Girl by David Bell

Are your friends looking for that page turning thriller? Stop right here, you’ve found the book. When Caitlin Stuart disappears at just 12 years old her parents don’t know what to think. Was she kidnapped? Could that little voice in the corner of their mind be correct–would she purposely run away? The lengths that Caitlin’s father Tom goes through, may not be worth the answers he needs…but he needs to have them. There is so much pain lying in the unknown. Pick up your copy of Cemetery Girl here!

3. It’s Always the Husband by Michele Campbell

Do you know fans of Mean Girls? Are they book lovers too? It’s Always the Husband by Michele Campbell is a dark and twisted version of Mean Girls. You can throw away the pink clothes and the burn book–this read will show you what real backstabbing looks like.

4. The Girl on the Train and Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

Have you read one but not the other? Have you watched The Girl on the Train movie but still haven’t read the book? Did you plan on reading Into the Water but never got around to it? Now’s your chance to give the gift! These books, both different in their own ways will make you a Paula Hawkins fan for life.

5. You by Caroline Kepnes

This soon to be Lifetime drama series is worth the read before the show premieres! Book lovers unite at the bookstore, unless Joe works there.. As much as you’ll find yourself hating these characters, they’ll make you laugh. Most importantly they will terrify you. Do you really know people or just the show they put on for you? Give your friends the gift of a great thriller before the release of the show and keep your eyes open for Kepnes new release Providence a novel coming out June 2018. What is better than a fictional serial killer in your hometown?

6. Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

Have your book-loving friends watched HBO’s Big Little Lies featuring Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, and Shailene Woodley? Have they “been meaning to read the book“? Here’s your chance to make it happen for them! Big Little Lies is the funniest, mystery-filled thriller you will ever come across. Your loved one will devour this in one sitting. If they’ve already completed this book, give them the gift of Liane Moriarty, seriously. Choose their next victims!

A few more thrillers I would recommend would be The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena; the fictional tale of the most f***ed up baby napping ever. How well do you know who’s sleeping beside you? Good as Gone by Amy Gentry. If you love Cemetery Girl by David Bell–this is your next read–another child missing returns home..or does she? Lastly I recommend, The Night She Won Miss America by Michael Callahan. This read is based on true events. Will we ever truly know what happened the night she won Miss America?


With the amount of romance I read, I’ll keep it simple for you guys. These are the authors I highly recommend. They are my auto-buys and have broken my heart and (sometimes) placed it back together. The hangovers each book has given me are addicting, and that is why I return for more. If you love love, I’m doing you a favor here.

  1. Colleen Hoover. We will skip all the praising and get to it. If your bookworm loves a ‘not your average’ love story, mixed with humor and just all around phenomenal writing–Colleen is your go-to girl. You will find all her books right here! Don’t know which one to start with? Try the beginning with Slammed, Point of Retreat, and This Girl.
  2. Amy Harmon. You may have noticed I mentioned her in Fantasy. She does it all and holy hell she does it well. Every book on my shelf has tear stained pages. From Making Faces, to The Law of Moses and The Song of David, from the wonderful fantasies The Bird and the Sword and The Queen and the Cure, to the heart-wrenching historical fiction From Sand and Ash. Your loved one will never read these books without tissues! All her books can be purchased here.
  3. Renee Carlino. I haven’t been a fan for that long but when I opened the first book of hers my fate was sealed. If your book lover enjoys the hangovers of fantastic romance stories–Renee is your first stop. Each book individually different will take a piece of your heart only to never return it, but it’s okay. These are the kinds of stories you want to give it away to. Purchase books here.
  4. K.A. Tucker. Get your bookworms ready with these stories. She offers Contemporary Romance, Romanic Suspense, and Young Adult. There will be something about the way K.A. Tucker’s writing speaks to your book worms, that they’ll be a forever fan of hers. Find her books here.
  5. S.D. Hendrickson. I found this gem on a whim. Find her with me too! Your bookworm will love this indie author and all the love and heartache she causes you to feel. Every book of hers, I know I have to prep myself for. The damage is real but like me, your book lovers will come back for more!
  6. Mia Sheridan and Brittainy C. Cherry. These ladies KILL the romance game. Your family and friends will find their book boyfriends easily when it comes to their books. You’ll fall hard and even harder tor their writing. Mia Sheridan’s books can be found right here, and Brittainy C. Cherry’s books will be found here!

Young Adult

Finding the perfect YA books can be tough, I’m here to help!

1. The Sun is Also a Star, and Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon

These books are the greatest gift your young adult could receive. Nicola Yoon takes on strong topics for teens and portrays them beautifully. These books are filled with kindness, laughter, and real life issues.

2. Matched, Crossed, Reached Trilogy by Ally Condie

Dystopian books are my FAVORITE. If you have a bookworm out there who needs their fill of dystopian worlds, these are your trilogies!

3. Textorvert by Lindsey Summers

Your YA will love this light read, just for fun! It’s a great take on texting with a cute love story to follow. Lindsey Summers wrote this book first on Watpad for free reading. The reviews took this book home for a published copy.

4. The Way I Used to Be by Amber Smith

Where Textrovert is light, The Way I Used to Be is dark. My heart hurts as I write this. If your YA reader wants a serious topic, or even if you want to educate your YA on a serious topic this is the gift for them. Amber Smith covers the topic of assault and how a young teen deals with the aftermath. This read will teach us just how important it is to always speak up.

5. Wake, Fade, Gone Trilogy by Lisa McMann

Your bookworm teens will love these books that have a sci-fi feel to them. Make sure to buy them all and buy them here! They won’t want to start without having them all, just a tip! 🙂

6. Wonder by R. J. Palacio

Did you want to take your family to the movies to see this adaptaion? Did you make sure they read the book first? WHAT? Halt right there and don’t you dare buy a ticket until you read this book. Make it fun, have a little family book club for this read. No matter your age you will feel the depths of the book so deeply in your heart. Stock up with tissues and let your heart flow with love. This book is a wonder. You should gift it

You think your book worm has too many books already? Okay, fine! There are other bookish items available for you to buy:

  1. Book Sac Boutique on Etsy offers your precise bookworm some comfort that their books will be safe thrown in a bag. The Book Sac helps protect your books from becoming damaged (i.e. in a purse, harsh weather conditions). I purchased my Targaryen House symbol Sac just a couple months ago, and I never leave home without it. They’re the perfect size made with fantastic quality. From simple colors, to fandom loves! Find yours today.
  2. LED Book Lamp. What’s so great about that? WELL, take a look for yourself! Just $32.88 on Amazon. This exact lamp was gifted to me just last year. It gives off the right amount of light without blinding you. The perfect desk accessory, all you need to do it plug it in from time to time for a charge! Your book lover will be o-b-s-e-s-s-e-d.
  3. Is your bookworm a tea drinker? Of course they are. I have just the gift for you. NovelTeas. Each tin is a book that comes with a bookmark. Make sure to check out their holiday special.
  4. Jewlery from Bookish Gifts should be your next stop. These creations are so beautiful, and book lover might cry at the sight of them! (I know I would) There’s nothing like showing off your love for books via jewelry.
  5. You’ll want to check out the From The Library Book Embosser for your bookish family and friends. You can customize your embosser with their name, to personalize every single book they own. I received one just last year from my mom and I screamed. My little library will always belong to moi!
  6. If you’re still looking for that special gift for your book lover, your last stop should be Out of Print. This site offers so many fun bookish items, you could be looking for hours. Does your bookworm relative/friend have a baby? Great they make literary onesies! In need of the perfect bookish socks? They got ’em. The amount of bookish garb you can adorn your bookworm from this site is REDIC. Have fun in there!

Shopping doesn’t have to be hard, especially if we know who we’re shopping for. With this bookish gift guide I hope to have provided you with enough options. Take a breather, and stop stressing. You can enjoy the gift of giving when you know a book lover!

I’m pretty cool but I cry a lot

Good Saturday morning my loves! Today I wanted to talk about an important topic in my everyday life: crying to be exact. A few weeks ago I stumbled upon this shirt, “I’m pretty cool but I cry a lot“. I instantly knew I needed to have it.

Anyone who knows me knows this.. I’m a cry baby who cries over anything and everything. I’m so overwhelmed with happiness? Bawl. Something sad happens in a movie? Gimme the tissues! Someone has made me so extremely angry? I channel that anger to tears. I’m nervous? Tears. I see someone else crying? More tears. I think you all get the point. I used to warn people, let them know ahead of time that I cry over absolutely everything and what others might consider ‘nothing’, worst of all I would say this like it was a flaw of mine. Do I really need to come with a warning sign for expressing an emotion? Hell, how else could I put it? Like it’s a positive thing? Everyone always made it seem like crying was such a bad thing. “Why are you crying?” “Please don’t cry.” “If you’re going to cry we won’t…” “Why are you so emotional?” How could someone possibly hear these comments all their lives and accept it as an acceptable thing to do? A reaction to be aware of, to be proud of, not to hide it or warn people in advance. Imagine you just won a new car! You’re happy, smiling from ear to ear and probably jumping up and down right? Now imagine that person also telling you to stop having a reaction to this news. “Please don’t be so happy.” “Stop smiling so much.” “If you keep up all that excitement…” Sounds kind of ridiculous when I put it that way, huh? So what exactly is the difference?

Charles Dickens once said, “We need never to be ashamed of our tears.” Crying is a reaction to a feeling just same as laughing is. But they’re not looked at the same. One is more appropriate than the other. One is done more than the other. Expressing happiness is better than expressing sadness! Why do we make one emotion ‘more okay’ than another? Just recently I’ve become so unbelievably comfortable with who I am as a person and all that comes along with me. Crying like a god damn baby over everything is one of those attributes. Don’t try to change me, I won’t allow it anymore. I cry because I feel. I feel more than your average person and there is not a damn thing wrong with that. Being an empath, I’m more in tune with not only my feelings but the feelings of others. It can be such an overload at times, so how can I release all these feelings I absorb? I CRY. I cry like a human being does. I didn’t ask for this gift, but I take it like any other and find the positivity in it. I’ve grown to appreciate and love this about myself.

A couple months ago, I was seeing a therapist. This is another thing people are afraid to share with the world, another “damaged” part of our self we feel we need to hide, but that is a whole different discussion for a whole different day. This therapist, in our short amount of time together taught me to start accepting and loving the parts of me I didn’t deem loveable. At one point she had stated because I’m a crier, people ultimately believe it’s a weakness. She went on to tell me, it’s not. It made me look at myself in a whole new way. She was right, just because I cried didn’t mean I was a weak person, it really meant the exact opposite. I read an article following our meeting that explained how healthy crying is for a human. You think you’re a strong person, a solid wall that never falters because you don’t cry? Think again. Crying is a natural reaction that can actually cause negative physical effects on our bodies if held restrained. This article also gave me 5 strong points as to why crying means you’re a mentally tough person:

  1. Meeting your emotions head on.
  2. Caring less about what others think about you.
  3. Helps you to release feelings that build up over time.
  4. The health benefits that come along with crying.
  5. Helping others to feel more comfortable expressing themselves.

Meeting your emotions head on is something others may have some trouble with. People tend to run away from their feelings instead of looking them straight in the face and dealing with them in the moment they surface. Showing others you don’t care if they see you cry shows a vulnerability that people are not usually comfortable with. You’ve rebelled against the social norms, realizing you are human and you are going to cry. Releasing your feelings with a good cry is much, much better than to repress your feelings and ultimately have a ticking time bomb blow out. Crying releases a feel-good hormone that will lower your level of stress and anxiety. Come on guys, who hasn’t ever felt much better after a long, hard cry!? You’d be lying! My last and final point is to help others feel more comfortable in expressing themselves. There are people out there who will continue to look at your natural emotional release as weak, negative, and something you just shouldn’t do. They couldn’t be any more wrong. I know we all tend to tell people not to cry, I used to myself. Since becoming more aware of just how okay it is to have this emotional reaction, I’ve stopped myself. Cry. Release. Feel better. It’s okay to cry. But even more important.. It’s okay to be you in a world that tells you otherwise.

The Attack

There are moments when that deeply rooted panic starts to surface, branch out and take control.

My body instantly becomes tense, painful, and full of worry.

It’s like I can feel death sitting right next to me in these moments.

Is it coming for me? Is it coming for someone I love?

Trying to remind myself, this is just a fear.

The tears give away my secrets, and my walls fall down flooding the place I’m in.

This feeling won’t go away.

There’s no way I will survive this.

It’s trapped me,

it’s pulling me down,

drowning me………

until I finally find the strength to want to breathe.

To tear the roots off and pull them out.

I start to feel the panic surrender.

Falling back into the dark hole inside of me,

awaiting the next attack.

Panic attacks. They’re not fun. If you have ever experienced one–I’m with you. I still remember as a little kid being afraid of almost everything, a constant worry. My sister’s are fighting? I’ll go cry in a corner plugging my ears, until the elephant on my chest gets up. My mother wasn’t going to one of my dad’s baseball games? My oldest sister stepped up and played the role of ‘mom’ to try ease my panic. My parents are going away without us? This tense pain in my body wouldn’t go away until their plane landed back in Providence safe and sound. I used to wear a locket with their picture in it while they went on vacations. Anytime panic would sink it’s teeth into me, I could open it and hold it until it subsided.

Once middle school rolled around I thought I was ‘cured’. I forgot all about the worry and the panic. I was a pretty rebellious teenager , you wouldn’t even believe I had issues with anxiety and panic attacks. Hell, I even pushed those memories so far back I fooled myself.

By the time I turned 20, they came back swinging with a purpose. I’ve never been knocked on my ass so fast and hard by an emotion. An emotion I felt I had absolutely no control over. I remember in 2013 when I could no longer try and keep in these feelings of panic. I was at work, making a customer’s coffee when I burst out in tears. The crippling feeling of doom washed over me and I ran in the back room. I thought I was dying. I did as I always do and called my mom. Just the sound of her voice alone was enough to suppress this invasive feeling.

I went to the doctors as they explained the science behind it all. Women’s frontal lobes reattach sooner then men, and our consequential thinking comes back into our lives. Hello, panic 👋. This wouldn’t go away without some medication and self help working. I didn’t want the meds. I didn’t want to rely on a drug to make sure I felt sane. It wasn’t an easy decision, but I kept the meds on hand in case I experienced another attack like my first big one.

I’ve come so far from where I was. Managing my feelings, attacks, and worry have gotten easier but I’m not completely there. They will never be fully gone. I’m now comforted by knowing I have medication if I need it. I also know my mother is a phone call away to help me out of my own head. And as always, I escape into my greatest hobby: reading, to redirect my thoughts. There are moments–there are always going to be moments when that panic resurfaces. I try to make sure I am ready for them and that I can defend myself. It comes when I least expect it, and leaves just as quickly sometimes. Other days I can’t get out of my own head and I still wonder if I’ll ever recover from these feelings. The great news is–I always do.

I just recently found out I have OCD. You all must know by now that it’s not an organizational disorder. It’s deeper than what we make it out to be. I knew I had OCD for awhile but it hit me hard when I was told I actually do have it. The confirmation of it all scared me and made me emotional. We all want to be normal right? Didn’t I have enough to deal with in my own head? I’ve decided to chalk it up to..there’s no fun in being normal! It would be impossible to truly enjoy our journeys without obstacles in the way. How else would we appreciate it?

I want to let the world know they aren’t alone. There were scary feelings I experienced where I thought no one could possibly understand and no one in the world could be having these same thoughts. I was wrong. You don’t have to suffer alone. You don’t have to heal alone and I am hear to listen to your stories. In some ways we may be able to help each other.