I Hope You Hope

F799226C-5CE8-4D64-A072-9DDE5E188627Hope is a choice of courage. ~Terri Guillemets

As I sat down and held our old, heavyset cat, we both fell asleep. Easy to do for both of us.  Now, if the cat was writing this, she would write as I was held by my old, heavyset human mom we both fell asleep.7AF681FF-95B3-48CE-9E00-B274FA3030B1

Can you tell that this quarantine is starting to get to me? My days and hours are all messed up, the cats are messed up, they are as confused as I am.

As I was slowly waking up, at 3 am yet again, I was thinking and a lot of my thoughts were, I hope this or I hope that. Just thankful I had hope.

4B9726C2-16AC-41EA-8604-B2DAC95F1E21I hope this period that we are all experiencing, not just in our town or state but worldwide will end soon. I am sure you hope that, too.

I hope that my son is doing okay, as I feel he doesn’t tell me everything and I understand, as I do remember being young. When I called him, as a text message was not enough, I said several times I was not convinced he was okay. A week or two ago, he was not sure this COVID19 was for real. It is. Now pretty well stuck at his home as we all are, he has to manage and I cannot do it for him. So I do hope and pray that he is really okay, as he says he is. I must trust and put my faith in the Lord to help him, care for him and love him. Being a mom is hard, even as our children get older.F080EDCF-7E63-45A0-A26E-B5338A8500C4

I hope that one day I will see so and so.  I hope that one day or soon I will hear from certain ones, as I feel it is out of place to contact them. I wait and see and I hope.

I hope that through all of this we are all experiencing that we each will see life differently and be more appreciative of everyone that is in our lives and just how blessed we really are.

I hope for so many things. I hope I will be a better person, mother, sister, friend, mother/daughter-in-law and most of all, a stronger Christian. I hope I can toss away the intimidation and fear in life, in my praise and worship and not care what others think of me. I don’t want to be the same person that I was. Perhaps this is an awakening for each of us.

749799C1-B069-4FDF-A295-E9A23872970BOn a lighter note, I hope that I can make my hair look nice and not try cutting it myself. No doubt many are stressing, as I am. We will all have new hairdos.  We just might like this change, but I don’t have much hope in that, for me.

I do have hope for each of us. As we go forward through days of uncertainty and distancing, I pray that you also have HOPE.

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Hope is an optimistic state of mind that is based on an expectation of positive outcomes with respect to events and circumstances in one’s life or the world at large. As a verb, its definitions include: “expect with confidence” and “to cherish a desire with anticipation.”

https://lifehopeandtruth.com/bible/bible-study/encouraging-bible-verses/encouraging-bible-verses-about-hope/

Take Away

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Day by day, little by little, a bit here and a bit there many things are no longer a part of our lives.

Our normal has been disrupted and the new normal is not comfortable and never will be comfortable.

As we drive past parking lots now empty, especially the ones that are always packed, I find it difficult to comprehend, thinking how odd for that to be possible. My mind knowing all along what is happening but everyday seems like a Sunday, with everything closed. Everything that we have known has changed. I’m old and feeling discombobulated and I can only imagine what the younger generation feels, although some are not taking this COVID19 very serious. I know I am feeling somewhat stripped of more and more each day, as they are taken away. A19CDF5D-0D26-4222-8DF3-E12D0B1CAE2F

Just yesterday, I had two events canceled that I would attend, within thirty minutes of each other. One was in April, which did not surprise me but the other was at the end of May.  Honestly, I found myself angry with all of this happening. Now what?

Fear of one another, wondering if we will get or pass on germs. A disconnect physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.

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I noticed my elderly neighbor answer the door to her best friend. Just watching to see how they handled this situation, knowing their routine is off and of loneliness no doubt. The door was not opened immediately, which surprised me in a way but then I wondered if she was afraid to open it. Finally, the door was opened and my neighbor stood on one side of the glass storm door and her friend on the other. They were protecting one another. How sad though to be that close, to miss one another’s company and glass separates the normal contact of one another. No hug was made, no physical touch of comfort to ease each other’s fear and anxiety. 

9C790675-106E-4BEE-91D7-E0BC81576DCCThe distancing between each of us, family, friends, co-workers and each one, is too far apart, although needed right now. It’s like when we put up walls to keep people out of our lives from being hurt, but we are now basically building walls between each of us to avoid contact. Perhaps feeling as though we are lost in a maze. I wonder after this month and hopefully that is enough time, will we be programmed to still limit connection, hesitant to reach out to one another. 

Today is today, tomorrow will be just another day and each one will add up. Yesterday, I had no motivation and unsure about today. I don’t feel depressed although I know it would be easy to be so, but I know anxiety still creeps up on me. How about you?

So, as we have today and each tomorrow will come, let’s make them as best as we can. It is okay to rest, as we recognize that what we are experiencing is not normal and we are not going to feel normal. Still, we will get through this, one day at a time.

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STAY WELL

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40 Beautiful Bible Verses for When Stress & Anxiety Feel Overwhelming

The Way

1DFD2EC3-6A6E-488D-9C5F-24EB36D0681AAgain, just to get away from the news and the numbers, I thought I would share a part of my life, if just for me. What’s your story? 

Growing up, I was not raised in a Christian home whereby prayer and church was present in our lives. We were always told that we could make our own decision about God and if we wanted to go to church, then go. Very odd, isn’t it? My parents were raised to go to church and they hated it.  My maternal grandfather and great-grandfather were both Baptist preachers. I always found grandfather interesting to see and listen to when we would visit, which was not often due to distance. My dad’s father was a deacon. Church was not a choice for them.89D4587D-3480-474E-B4F7-6B58CC57867D

In our large family, with me being the youngest, almost being like the only child due to being seven years between my sister and I. Oftentimes I was just present and heard a lot and have seen a lot. I would sit out of the way and be quiet. It was nothing to hear laughter, jokes and things little girls should not hear. I can still hear the clanking  of beer bottles from the big brown case as they came in the house, of which I heard often. Oftentimes I was a delivery person when told to go get me a beer, and I did. 

Even though I was not raised to worship and pray, I always felt a drawing and as a young child I knew there was a God.  Perhaps with me going to Vacation Bible School each summer with the family nearby, I heard enough that I was convinced there was a God even though I did not go to the altar to proclaim salvation, I knew enough to have faith, as a child880BBAEA-674D-444C-B3DF-9C0A6AEB8503

Growing up the way I did though, I assumed that is life. You work, you drink, and repeat daily and on the weekend you drink more. Had it not been for my shorthand teacher in my senior year to ask what our plans were after graduation, I would have been stuck in that mode as the rest of them for years, if not still.

College was not as prevalent back then so we each pretty much shrugged our shoulders. It was a small class, not much interest in shorthand but I loved it and still use. With our blank look back at her and having no idea what our futures held, she took myself and two others to a vocational school and two of us signed up for the business and office class.

Looking back, just with her bold move to do this with me and my friend, would have got her in a lot of problems, if today. We both took her advice, did what she said, completed the class and loved it.

A7444428-9223-47B9-97BC-18B5B2CE22BEI love to look back over my life and see the Hand of God in each step in how He orchestrated it all and even still. He does have a plan and a purpose for each of us. He will get us to where we are to be. We might cause detours along the way, but He will pick us back up and get us back on track.

I met a lot people in class from all walks of life, but I met this one girl that was on her way out to start a career but enough time to build a friendship. When it was my time to leave after completion, I had my first real job. At this office, I got to know many bit usually there is always one you gravitate to and become not only co-workers but friends. To find out, she was related to the girl in class, they were cousins so now I am friends with both.

My co-worker and I became good friends. After a bit, I found out her father was a Baptist preacher so I started attending their church. Many times being in their home staying over, as friends do, I watched what a normal family was like. No beer, no alcohol, no dirty jokes or cuss words. The complete opposite of mine and I liked it.

Still as life went forward, I was saved. My heart was beating so fast and I knew it was the time to go forward. As I write, I laugh with tears falling seeing this all played out like a movie, in my mind. I laugh because when I am at the altar, the preacher and three others, I assume deacons were with me, too, as we stood in a circle. The preacher said let’s pray. It was me that prayed aloud in this group for my salvation, they all just stood there. Amen. It had to have been the preacher to say, well there you go, I believe she is saved. No doubt they were shaking their heads, laughing at the dinner table of what just transpired. No doubt about it, I was saved. Perhaps it was my grandfather and my great-grandfather, both Baptist preachers, coming out in me. Amen.

Even though I can laugh now and cry tears of joy, I also feel the sense of shame I have carried through the years of praying when they were to pray, for me. I do not know why I did that, but it came automatic. The sense of shame making me feel like a fool that day and I honestly have felt a hindrance since, in praying out loud. I just realized that. Wow! I wonder if this is my turning point.

6614C487-1ED0-472C-A026-BB93B30A4FB4I still have the white Bible that was given to me by by this Baptist preacher’s family. Somewhere in this time period, The Way, a Bible to easily understand and read was given to me or I bought. I don’t know, but I loved it. I was so joyous of being a Christian and having this Bible, I stayed up all night reading it. I remember my dad getting up and surprised that I was awake and reading. I had joy. I could not get enough of the Word of God in me.

Life moves forward, of course, and I was blessed to have been connected from one friend to another to get to where I was and am today.  Evident of God’s mercy and grace.

Back to The Way, I had a neighbor friend, we had grown up together playing outside, riding bikes and all but never close friends as we got older. I found out that she was in the hospital. Knowing she needed to change her ways or 9ABCFDB1-FF9C-4AD4-AA48-046A0ADDB31Fshe would end up back in there or worse. I took my Bible, The Way, to her and we talked and I witnessed to her as best as I knew how being a young Christian. Thankfully she was very receptive and accepted my my Bible.  I planted a seed.

Knowing her life was not a bed of roses and many issues through the years thereafter, her two children both grown, now a grandmother and raising her grandchildren. Her daughter had lost her rights to her children due to repeated drugs usage and rehabs. Such a sad way to live.

Approximately forty years ago, I gave my friend my Bible, The Way. I always loved it and I went searching to find another and about five years ago I found it, bought it, read it, loved it still. I was so excited to have it once again in my possession, on my bookshelf.

Little did I know and I am sure this was no coincidence but my friend’s daughter was out of rehab and living in an apartment near my home, staying with friends. Different times we would meet out in the yard and talk. While trying her best to get her life together, it was always a battle but she knew that God was the one to turn to. Asking if I would take her to church. Many discussions and plans were made to take her to church with me, with excuses each time. One night, standing on my sidewalk talking yet again, I told her to wait, I needed to get something for her. Yes, I gave her my Bible, The Way. Also receptive of receiving, as her mother did.BE0F9289-EC0B-4796-9658-3FDE43DF319B

How interesting that two generations, the mother and daughter, each got my Bible, The Way.  I am unsure if a page was even read or the Bible even opened or maybe it was thrown away, but they both had a seed planted of God’s Love.

We may not know how our actions or our encouragement will lift up others but it is worth a try to do such. Right now, many need encouragement and hope like never before. What we can do is to give to others whether it is a smile (no cost), a word of encouragement (no cost) or hope (no cost) as much as we can.  If they can see Christ in us, it points them to ‘THE WAY’ of the Cross.

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https://www.crosswalk.com/devotionals/in-touch/in-touch-mar-1-2012.html

SALVATION… anytime, anywhere, 24/7

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Care of a Cardinal

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To get off of what is going on all around us, around me, I thought would share a part of my life, plus for me to go down memory lane. Think back in your own life and bring up good memories, write them down for your children/family, or just for yourself. We need to deviate from what is happening around us. Take a break!

So today as I stood at my kitchen sink looking out the window, waiting for my coffee to finish, I watched the birds on my deck enjoying the birdseed. It seems like I always have at least ten cardinals all the time. Now and then I will have a blue jay, woodpecker, doves and then, of course, the pesty black birds that try to take over and eat all the seed. C454C9FA-C679-4DF1-B596-18DB6635A8DC

Many have said that when there are red birds, the cardinals, it’s family members that have passed. If that is the case, I am having a family reunion daily, which is fine with me. It is kinda nice to imagine, if so.

Sometimes remembering that saying, and as with family members, they quarrel now and then, pick on each other, but so do the birds, so I smile and think it must be my family members.EB951341-5668-418B-9453-C8ABE81844F8

The bright red cardinal is the male. I never understood why he had to be so bright and pretty, as it should be the female. The females are more grayish with a red tint. No matter, they are beautiful and I do love watching them.

When watching the birds, I was reminded of the day before my thyroidectomy several years back. Standing at my kitchen sink also, I was looking out, crying and praying because I was scared. Majority of the time I can hold it together for the most part, while with others or at work, but I do fall apart when alone. This was one of those times. Even so, I know the Lord has me in the palm of His Hand.

Had it not been for me being in the hospital for four days before Christmas with an A-Fib attack prior to my surgery, this blog would not be as it is.

My family doctor, when they did actually come to the hospitals for visits, she asked if I had the ultrasound of my goiter that was present on the right side of my neck. No, I put off making an appointment due to work or one reason or another. Nobody would have noticed the goiter but it was causing me swallowing issues, as it was pressing on my esophagus. The ultrasound was ordered before they would release me. Please release me, let me go I was begging, as I had only one day to get my Christmas together before my boys were home from college.

I know that nurses are not to say anything to their patients about tests. My nurse though looked at me before giving my release papers and instructions and just said, ‘you need to have a biopsy soon’ with a dead, serious look directly into my eyes. I can still see her in my mind of that serious moment between us  Okay! Just let me go home, I promise.

I did have the biopsy, a fine needle and a core needle biopsy. Now as I write this, I remember there were four of us in the dark room with my head tilted back. The nurse held my left hand, the doctor was on my right and the laboratory technician with the microscope was over to the side to receive the biopsy sample. Fine needle biopsy, done. With the core needle, they were hoping that they would get a good sample on the first try. Hey, I was, too. First try! Those two guys actually did a high-five, like two boys winning a ballgame. Hey, I am over here. Thank God it was over.

As I left the procedure room, now holding a bag of ice on my neck, I just hung out because I knew I tend to pass out, a vagal response. Of course, being independent as I am, I drove myself and now I was afraid to drive. So I found a place in the lobby and just sat down until I felt relief from the pain and the fear that was overtaking my mind. Sitting there, out comes a friend, that I have not seen for many years, from visiting her father and she was leaving. We talked briefly, as people do in passing but then she sat down and stayed with me. Later telling me it was not an accident of this meeting, and I knew that, too, as I needed support. One more hurdle down and a big one to come.

While I have had plenty of surgeries throughout my life, this time the doctor was going to be cutting on my throat. Not knowing for certain if I had Cancer, the fine needle and core needle biopsies showed cells that were questionable. They did not hesitate to schedule surgery. This all was in a timespan of seven weeks, from Christmas  until the day of surgery.

389627B0-3EE9-4120-9A33-92AD87D58CE2So standing at the kitchen window, the day before surgery, out of the blue, a red cardinal came to the window, clutched onto the window screen right in front of me. I am looking at it and it is looking at me.  In that moment, I felt peace. Like it was there to let me know I was going to be okay, and I walked away with that assurance. So you tell me if cardinals are family members or not, as it sure felt that way.

Back then, I felt it was my mom but today I thought now that was a male cardinal so that must have been dad, if so. Either or, I had comfort going forward the next morning for surgery.

As the doctor made markings on my neck where to cut, the right side only was to be removed. He stopped and asked my permission that if they did not like what the left side of my thyroid looked like, can they remove it, too.  Otherwise, in six months we would be doing the same thing. Of course, I gave my permission, I felt I had to.

As they wheeled me back to the operating room, I knew my one doctor (ENT), the one doing the surgery, who specializes with thyroid cancer would be in there waiting to start. As the gurney went around the corner, I see the other ENT doctor I normally would see either for myself or for my boys. He was smiling and saying he was going be in the operating room also. I felt totally confident that these two would take care of me. I did, in fact, have a full thyroidectomy.

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Returning for my post-op visit a week later, my sister drove me, as I was not to look up or down, and trust me, I did not want to. The tape that he used was more of a nuisance than the pain. I am not one to have others in the exam room with me at any of my doctor’s office visits. When they called my name though, I looked at my sister and said, I think you are to be with me today. It was odd to have her in there with me though. As the doctor came in to remove the aggravating tape, bandage and drain tube, he then said that he was glad they removed the whole thyroid. The right side was the one of concern throughout this whole ordeal but Cancer was on the left side.7BD0DA6B-A8D6-4AF6-96E5-8CCA465F5AB2

Hearing the word Cancer will put one in a daze. The doctor said they caught it early and he felt confident that my bloodwork which would be needed often and for years, would show negative results, if so. Thankfully, negative results, still.

As my sister and I left, we got in the car and both just sat there stunned, not expecting to hear Cancer. It was a shock to both of us.

So with the cardinals outside my kitchen window today, reminding me of just how the Lord has had His Hand upon me from the beginning before Christmas, in the hospital, knowing had it not been, my outcome would not have been as positive.

Don’t you at times look back and see how the Hand of God worked in your life? Our ways are not His Ways. Since I procrastinated on that ultrasound for a year, it was no mistake that I ended up in the hospital on a different matter. I really feel that He allowed this in order to stop me from putting it off any longer. I am thankful.

We may not understand what we go through at times, questioning and even angry at God. It is no surprise to Him of our reaction.  Even now with the world-wide crisis, we don’t understand, there is hopelessness, fear, anger and all kinds of emotions, which is normal. Hopefully though, we will see that He is and has held our hand through trials we go through and going through and our faith will increase. We each have a choice and I hope that you Trust Him.

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Check your neck!  Thyroid Awareness is not just a woman issue, men are not exempt.

Red Cardinal Biblical Meaning – The Cardinal Symbols of Faith

Scatterbrained

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Today, I should be at work, I want to be at work, please let me work. I miss my office, I miss my desk, I miss all the files that go across my desk and through my hands daily, I miss the exhaustion at the end of the day and I miss all of my work family.

We will definitely need to have a “Welcome Back” party when we all return, just not soon enough right now.

My job right now, has stopped, just one at a time in the office. I cannot do anything unless the higher ups start pushing cases through. I am at a standstill. Odds are, you are, too.

090B38E0-8F3A-4554-98C3-69F99529705CToday I coughed to clear my throat many times. No other symptoms, just a cough. As I continued in my day, the thoughts started to run rampant within, of you have the virus, you have given this to your sons and it will be your fault and, of course, you are going to die. The enemy likes to torment me and place fear to where I feel frozen or perhaps paralyzed unable to think, get things done, as I go from this to that and chaos causing me to feel scatterbrained. It’s anxiety. My cough is just from the anxiety felt.

Today I have managed to pray, read, write, trying my hand at tapping through the anxiety (EFT), and often splashed essential oils all over me. I am a walking, talking and breathing diffuser right now. To write, I do relax. A walk helps to feel the sun and crisp air on my face to allow myself to get grounded.E4C987CB-559A-4855-B921-E19385657968

My routine is off, your routine is off, everything is off. I have time to do whatever I want and have wanted to do around my home for days, weeks, months and yes even years but my focus and desire to do any of it is off. I just do the basics. Thinking, too, I will have plenty of time.

So many posts on Facebook deal with what we are dealing with all over the world, to help with anxiety. At times, I just want to shut everything off and pretend this is not real.  I have read often that we are to limit our time watching the news, reading too much of the statistics and what seems like doom and gloom.

With me not going to work, I had more time to read information of the latest news and how the virus affects the body, but I read too much. My mind went into overload and then fear jumped in.

So perhaps you experience anxiety from time to time, too. It is very easy to feel right now but we are to limit ourselves, we can set up our own boundaries. As long as we are doing our part through this crisis, we are doing good. Take one day at a time. As I wrote yesterday, I know that He is my hiding place, and He is yours, too.

CEB840C9-38CD-40ED-881D-362700912554Focus! We are to keep our eyes on The Lord. He brings peace to the chaotic, scatterbrained routine that we may slip into at times. Just be sure to bring your focus back to Him.

Stay Well

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https://www.biblestudytools.com/topical-verses/worry-and-anxiety-bible-verses/

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/scatterbrain

Powerful feelings, such as being stressed, angry or sad, can cloud your thinking brain, hampering your ability to reason effectively. “Those primary emotions — anxiety, sadness, anger — are the ones more likely to be associated with those who feel disorganised, distracted and overwhelmed,” he writes. May 6, 2014

https://themighty.com/2020/03/difference-between-anxiety-and-covid-19-symptoms/?utm_source=Mighty_Page&utm_medium=Facebook

 

You Are My Hiding Place

 

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As I woke up this morning, I immediately thought, you are my hiding place.  I knew exactly that this is in the Bible and that the Lord is my hiding place. He has had to be, is now and forever will be. I love when I have a word or scripture come to me, just like this morning, as I will dwell on it today and give me hope for the days ahead.

Of course, that is where I started my day and continued, looking up scriptures to match the words, you are my hiding place. Being confined is quite nice actually, in order to slow the morning down, not rushing to get ready to go here or there.B9CB050C-780D-4B68-9C1B-5C4542617724

Knowing of what is taking place in our world, fear hits at times and tears fall but this is normal for any of us during this time of uncertainty. Just don’t stay in that mode because you still need to push forward and live. We will get through this.

Being reassured with those words, you are my hiding place, did give me hope. I will share them with you, as He is your hiding place, too.

6F2AC933-A205-4B36-BFE5-346B360589EDAs a mom of two grown men, they are never out of my thoughts and prayers, they have my heart and continuous love. I did get to see them last night, briefly. I just needed to see them before we may have to shelter in place. I did get my hugs from each and that in itself melts my heart. As their mother, even at their age, I want to hide them from all of this chaos. Just as that is on my mind, so is the Lord for me, you and each of us. He wants to hide us.

Trusting and believing that this too shall pass but that we turn our thoughts and prayers toward Him, as our faith will increase and love toward Him. It is as simple as that. He is our hiding place.3D122027-3C8A-401A-92BA-1A76763B3273

Open up your Bible or use the Internet and look up scripture, if just God is my hiding place, that I write about this morning. You will be surprised. There is a joy deep within when you can read His Word, and a certain word or scripture just seems to pop out at you. Odds are you will say or think, I needed that. The hope within you comes alive.

May your day(s) be filled with peace knowing you have a hiding place to go to. Trust Him!

 

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Joyce Meyer – Choose God’s Secret Place

http://www.tellthelordthankyou.com/blog/2017/6/6/psalm-1911-8-you-are-my-hiding-place

 

 

My Counselor is better than your Counselor 😊

CAC2AA3E-0D94-49D1-BD01-9F043EE7F7E5You know how kids will say, my dad is better than your dad? The title came to me after my one counselor texted me this morning, he was just checking on me with everything happening. How sweet is that!?!

My other counselor and I touched base the other day, too. This means a lot to me as they both know of my past with abandonment. During this time, I could easily feel that way although they had nothing to do with the crisis we are in. Thankfully, I don’t feel abandoned.

Many would object to this contact between counselor and client. Perhaps more so after counseling has ended so the contact would not cause a dip in the progress made. Plus, due to the code of ethics. I get it, although I would welcome contact from my previous counselor, but I doubt that will ever happen.

Just this morning, as I was getting ready for my day, soon after writing my blog, I Don’t Like It, I received his text.  It was like he knew I needed that. Perhaps the Lord put me on his mind and heart to make contact, which did touch my heart. 7B62F08A-0730-4491-B83E-66BEE3139A17

These days and more so ahead, we need to touch base with one another when they come to mind. That could be that the Lord put them in your thoughts to encourage them, if just in a text saying you are thinking of them. Everyone will need encouragement through this period that we have never experienced before. Pay attention to the nudge within, take a minute and touch base.

If you or someone you know is having some issues through all of the crisis at hand, please contact a counselor. While they, too, are on limited face-to-face setting to meet, a telephone call or FaceTime will have to suffice but at least it is something and reaching out. Give yourself or them a pat on the back, if so.

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There is nothing wrong having a counselor, or two in my case. Many still hold a stigma in this area, as you are crazy, etc. Even with me seeing two counselors, that enters my mind that others might think I have a lot of issues. I have issues that I am dealing with but at least I am reaching out for help but mostly to be a better me. I have and had the best.

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