Managing grief in the new year!


Many of us have heard about the stages of grief. For those of you who are not sure what those stages are, they are as follows: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and finally acceptance. What a lot of people fail to mention is that it doesn’t necessarily progress in this order. Or just because you have completed one stage, doesn’t mean you will never go back. Unfortunately, I have found myself experiencing the stages of grief. On December 9th, I lost my older brother. My mother passed away 11 days later. In this short time, I have found myself flying back and forth through these stages of grief and it’s nauseating. I’m completely exhausted. I keep waiting for this moment when I will just “get over” this grief and all will be new again. Unfortunately, this is not the case. I will move between each of these stages at various times in my life. The time in between will just lengthen, and I will learn to live my new “normal”. Until then I will try to learn to cope and go on with the day-to-day. Because I know that is what my mother and brother would want me to do.

So, in this new year 2018, I am allowing myself to stumble, but I will always get up. I am allowing myself to grieve, but I will never give up. I will allow myself to move on, but I will never forget.

My mother, who at times, struggled with depression used to tell me “sometimes you have to fake it, until you make it”. So, I will allow myself some fake smiles here and there to help cope, but I will make it!

Our pastor told us in his sermon, to reflect on the past year and to instead focus on the positives and try not to dwell in the negatives. There are always Gods blessings around, sometimes we are just not paying attention. I would like to share with you some of my 2017 blessings:

  1. I got to spend another year with my mother! She was so sick, and I thought I was going to lose her many times throughout 2017. But I got to see her, talk to her, say goodbye, and love her! I thank god that he allowed me this time!
  2. I got to spend a terrific year with my brother. We took him on a vacation where he got to experience many first. It was like reliving my childhood all over with him. I am thankful I got to spend this time with him, and my children/husband got to see a side to my brother that they only heard about through me. My brother was special in many ways. He had down syndrome, but he was always smiling and happy!
  3. I became an adopted mommy for my mom’s dog, knebbles. This dog is my shadow now. I have always been a cat person, but this little dog has worked her way into my heart.
  4. God led me to organize a fall festival at church in October. It was a great success and it was a lot of fun watching people enjoy and fellowship with each other.
  5. I got to spend some time away with my husband this year. We went on a short vacation where I saw a Jim Henson museum. My favorite movie of all time Labyrinth, had an exhibit there. It was remarkable! If you knew how obsessed I was with this movie then you would be excited, I promise!

If you find yourself struggling, know you are not alone. If it were not for God, I truly don’t know how I would still be standing. Try and stay away from constant negative thoughts. It is okay for them to sneak in, but don’t let them stay. Sometimes it takes writing out the positives, because it is human nature to dwell on the negatives. My hope for myself and you this new year is to draw closer to God. Really, get to know him and form a relationship with him. Stay positive and never give up. My hopes for you and I are for a Happy New Year!

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash


It is easier to have faith in God when things are good! But what if they are not good?

When things are going good in your life and there are very few troubles. It is easy to sit back and think “I got this” and pull away from God. I have been there countless times in my life. It’s not that I stop believing, I just stray a bit. It is kind of like when your child goes off to college, and calls once in awhile if they need something, or stop in to say hey, and then move on. So I would thank God for my blessings, maybe pick up prayer a little more if I sensed trouble, and go on with life. My visits at his house (church), would become less frequent. I started making less and less time for him, but I felt like my faith was strong, because everything was great!

When tragedy strikes it can overwhelm you and really catch you off guard! Then becomes the true trial of faith. You start to question God, Why me? I am faithful? And maybe even start to place blame. The truth of the matter is we live in a very imperfect world. This life is hard and there will be tragedies and heartache. As humans we have the gift of free will, but with this gift comes down sides, as we can see many of them playing out in the news daily. God uses these moments to pull us closer to him if we will let him. God is a our father, and like any father he wants what is best for his kids. If we make a poor decision, then God will use this to help us grow as a person if we let him.

So when things are not going to good, it helps to lean on God! That is what we are supposed to do. I know I have had to a lot lately. My mother got very sick in January and my whole life changed. I almost lost her! She was on a ventilator (a machine that breaths for you), and they couldn’t get her off of it. So they had to move her to a special facility that was about 2 hours from home. I made that trip 2-3 times a week, and also tried to hold down my job. My mother also took care of my older brother, who has down syndrome. He came to live with my husband, 2 kids, and I. My brother made the trip with me to see our mother. There was many times we weren’t sure if she was going to make it. It was an emotional roller coaster. I work night shift and I got a call from the hospital that my mom had a possible stroke! There was nothing I could do, but wait for a phone call to see why she had become unresponsive. Since mom was so sick, I became legal guardian of my brother, so I could legally make decisions for him.

So I was caring for my mother, my brother, working in a caregiving profession, of course my 2 kids, and finally it just all came down on me. I became burned out! My husband was there to help out. He has been absolutely amazing through all of this. He had open arms when my brother came to live with us. He also stepped up in many areas. Without his support, I probably would of had a full on nervous breakdown.

I had taken a new job, and had to step away and tell them I was burned out. I didn’t know what I was going to do for money, but I couldn’t go to work the way I was feeling. We struggled with bills, and it was, and still is a trying time. It was during this time, I became closer with God. I read in my bible, had prayer, and even meditated. I had neglected myself for so long, that my body finally just said enough is enough. With all this going on in my life I had 2 choices. I could blame God for my sorrow or grow closer to him. I chose to grow closer to him, and I am so glad I did!

My mother is now closer to home. She is in a rehab facility, and she is working on coming home! That is my home, because she wont be able to live by herself. I have seen what the power of prayer has done in my life. My mom has been back from the brink many times. If you would have asked me in March if I thought this would be possible, I would have been in disbelief. My brother is adjusting incredibly well. He comes with me to visit mom and enjoys being in our noisy household. I look over at him when we are in the mix of the hustle and bustle and he is smiling.

I returned to work and I have been doing really good. I feel like I am reenergized. I have started school to work towards my Masters degree. So professionally I am on a better path too. I was exploring getting out of nursing all together, but with lots of prayer and self discovery, I feel this is where I am supposed to be. I actually had a supervisor come up to me the other night and said, “Thank you for everything you did tonight, you are a great nurse”. It made me smile, because it validated that I am where I’m supposed to be.

So have faith in God even in the storms of your life. Storms don’t last forever. They might seem that way, and I am not totally out of my storm yet, but I know with God at the wheel, I will end up where I need to be.

Faith Bible Verses

  • To keep your faith strong, you have to visit God in his house (Church), don’t be Gods college kid, who only shows up if they need something, or calls once in awhile.
  • Prayer is important! This is the way you communicate the good, bad, and the ugly. God listens to it all, he is just waiting for the call.
  • Finally, let God know you love him and your thankful, even in the bad times. There is always something to be thankful for. When we get in a situation, it is human nature to just concentrate on the negative.


Sometimes you might really have to dig to find the positive. When you do find it, hang on to it through the storm, and collect more on the way. Pretty soon the clouds will part, the sun will come out, and you will look back, and stand in amazement of the incredibly God we have. Much love! XO



Bible Verses: Anxiety/Fear, God is in control!

I really need to say this. If you are unhappy, anxious, or otherwise depressed, pick up the bible. It is well worth it, because in the bible there is a God who loves you and gives you a comfort only he can provide. At the beginning of the year, I reached a really low point. My mom almost died a few times (she was very ill), my disabled brother came to live with me, and I was completely overwhelmed. I started having panic attacks out of no where. If you never had a panic attack, I do not wish it on you. I remember my first one, it still haunts me. I was asleep, and was dreaming. I had a dream my mother and I were in a car and laughing/talking like normal. The road just ended and we drove right into a lake. As the car sank and the water came swarming in. I managed to get my seatbelt off and noticed my window was already down. I started to make my way out of the car and looked back and saw my mother struggling to undo her seatbelt. I tried to grab her and help, but I was being pulled towards the top. My air running out with every second that ticked by. I fought as hard as I could, but no matter what I did it failed. I woke up in the middle of this dream. I was breathing really fast, I could hardly catch my breath. I felt like a log was on my chest. I was really starting to panic, because I didn’t know where I was for a moment. My mom’s dog (who I also adopted), started to lick my face.  It was the only thing that brought me back to reality. It was by far one of the scariest moments in my life. I have had a few more since, but nothing like that first one. My husband has been super supportive and I am really grateful for that! I have asked him and my kids to completely rearrange our lives, and they have been awesome! When my mom gets better, she will be living with us also. That’s 2 families under a small roof.

The MVP goes to GOD! If it was not for him, I think I would still be lying in bed, with no ambition, or hope. I finally decided to stop trying to fix everything myself and just let go. Let him deal with all my anxiety, depression, and worry. So I embarked on a spiritual journey. I started to meditate. I am still struggling  with this, because it just feels so weird, so it’s a work in progress. I made a vision board. This listed goals I wanted to accomplish this year, along with bible verses and inspirational quotes. About this time my oldest son said I was becoming a hippy! Ha! I started to read more in the bible and really worked on my prayer life. It was amazing the changes, that started to take shape. It was a process, but I could feel everyday was getting, better.

Now I still continue my journey and feel a lot better, than I did only months ago. I would like to share some bible verses that helped me to get through some tough times.

  • So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
  • Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
  • “When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul.” Psalm 94:19
  •  “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
  • Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:34

The last one I repeat to myself almost daily. “Do not worry about tomorrow, tomorrow will worry about itself”. It is a reminder for me to hold back the anxiety and to not worry about the things of tomorrow I cannot change. I need to be more concerned about the here and now. God will see me through the rest!

I also like to just lay and watch the stars. How amazing is a god who can create so much wonder in our world, and universe, and then decide, that you are needed also.  It really just blows me away. So basically, I finally said to myself, “I am worth it, and because I am worth it, I need to take better care of myself”. This meant physically along with mentally. Still working on the physical part. Ha! I really need to start exercising more. Little change at a time right! Maybe soon I will be able to post I started exercising regularly! I am proud of how far I have come. It was not easy, but I made it through. Life will continue to throw you and me hurdles. Life is difficult! I feel maybe they should have prepared us a little better in school for some of life’s crap! Maybe less quadratic equations and more how to be an adult and cope! I know I have never had to use a quadratic equation in my adult life.

My hope for anyone suffering from anxiety, depression, or fear, is to work through it. Because your worth it! A creator who made all the stars in the sky and planets, looked down, and decided the world couldn’t be with out you! Much love! XO

*****If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, please reach out for help. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (US) is 1-800-273-8255*****


New Journey in Nursing & Life!

Nursing is a hard profession! There are highs and lows, and it isn’t for the faint of heart! When I started in nursing and still today, it was for the clients. Really, throughout my nursing career I really didn’t have any issues with my clients. It’s just the healthcare system itself is rigged against the safety of our clients, and our staff. It isn’t anymore fair to them that we have huge patient loads than it is to us. My mom currently is in a facility for rehabilitation following a very serious illness. The poor nurses are very much over worked, and to see it from the other side was horrible also. Imagine, having to wait for a pain medication for your family  member for over an hour, because the clients nurse has 40 patients she is taking care of, and she just simply can’t get there. The nurse in me feels for the other nurse, but the family member part of me, doesn’t care, that is my mom! So I understand both sides. These types of scenarios is what led me to become burnout in nursing. As I have been leaning about nursing burnout and it’s cause. I feel like it isn’t necessarily that I don’t want to be a nurse anymore. I still have a deep passion for nursing! I think I just need a change, not just in nursing, but in how I cope with stress. So that led me to take up various hobbies, and starting my Journey to my Master in Education in Nursing!


I have always enjoyed writing. I like the research process and even writing papers. Now sometimes in nursing school your required to write so many papers you wanna pull your hair out! When I suffered with depression as a teenager, I kept a journal and it was really helpful. There is something therapeutic about getting your feelings out on paper and then looking back, and being able to see any changes. So the first step of managing the symptoms of burnout I used was writing. This led me to stumble upon an old sketch book that I had started 20 years ago. It was really eye opening to see some of the writing in there, drawings, and poems that reflected my mood at the times. One thing I did notice my last entry was in 2009. That was depressing in itself. So that’s when I decided to start a blog, because writing in a sketch book is so 1997, ha! It is a very public way to go through feelings and emotions, but a good trade off if it helps, inspires, or other wise encourages just one person! So far it has been a wonderful journey. It has really helped me to get my feelings out on virtual paper now, and has encouraged me to reach for other goals in my life!


So I decided I need hobbies! Something other than getting lost in my own thoughts and sleeping. So I have started making all sorts of things from pins, to necklaces, and coin purses.

It’s been so much fun, I even have my youngest son involved! I thought about trying to make things for his schools craft fair in November. That would give me 2 months to make things for it. It’s silly how much something like this can change your mood, but it really does. I thoroughly enjoy it! I actually want to pick up a few hours overtime here and there, because I think of all the craft supplies I can buy!


Last, but not least, I am starting my Masters in Nursing Education on September 1st! I am really excited to see where this new degree will lead me in nursing. I have always wanted to be a nursing instructor, and this will get me closer to that. It is always really scary knowing I am back in NURSING SCHOOL!!! Nursing is hard and so is nursing school! I went back and forth, if it was the right time for me to do it. I decided it was for me, because I needed a change in my nursing career, and this was the best way to bring it about.

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I am going to be a super busy person! That’s good though, less time to think! Be ready for some, I can’t do this post, or I am overwhelmed! Until next time! Nurse on!


Part 2 My first job! ( I can change the world)

I hit the ground running with my resume in hand. I had decided in nursing school that I wanted to work in the hospital setting. I want to start out in medical surgical nursing, and really get a good skill set. That was the thinking when I first started nursing school. Now medical surgical nursing is it’s own specialty, which it should be! I became disappointed when I realized most hospitals around my area were not hiring LPN’s. I had to shift my focus if I wanted a job.  So I started looking into long term care nursing. It wasn’t long after I applied that I was getting calls left and right. I was in demand and it felt great! I decided on a long term care establishment and accepted my first nursing job!

The realities of nursing hit like a brick. I was given 3-4 days training, which basically consisted of “here are the keys, if you have any questions come find me”. I was taking care of 20-25 patients, more if I worked the night shift. It was a complete shock. I had treatments and charting, medications, families, and cna’s to manage. It was only for 8 hours, 5 days a week, but everyday was a race just to get care done. I could really only do the bare minim for my clients, because of time. I went from thinking I was going to change the world with care and compassion, to depression and guilt. Every shift I worked I gave it 100%, and I still felt like I came up short. I was finding out that nursing school was in a protective little bubble,and I was just now being let out to see the reality of nursing. It hit hard and I didn’t want to let my family know how I was feeling, because everyone was so happy for me. I prayed and decided to stick it out, and luckily I had a senior nurse who took me under her wing, that would help me when I didn’t know what the crap I was doing! She was also a great listener. Unfortunately, the assistant director of nursing (ADON) at the time decided I was going to be her new “punching bag”, and for a year I experienced workplace intimidation, bullying, whatever you want to call it. It was hell.

This nurse would come in, and in the morning her first stop was to make me feel worthless about the day before. Other nurses witnessed this and would intervene at times, or try and distract her. She would come in and criticize my charting, how long it took me to pass medication, or anything else she could think of. I understand this is part of her job, but it went above and beyond. I sought advice from fellow nurses, on how I could improve. I was told I was doing great that this particular person just likes to pick a punching bag (especially a new nurse), and will move on shortly. Well, shortly turned into months and I had finally had it. I had asked her politely to pull me aside if there were problems (she wouldn’t), to stop cussing at me (she wouldn’t), and I even asked her if she could start off with a hello in the morning before she started into yelling ( of course she didn’t). Her response was always “I am making you into a better nurse”. So I went to her boss the director of nursing (DON). I asked if we could have a meeting and possibly discuss what had been going on. Well needless the say it didn’t go well. The ADON was yelling in the meeting and calling me a liar, and getting real defensive. Finally, the DON just asked me to leave, and she would talk to her. I returned to the floor thinking “we’ll at least she saw some of the behavior I was describing, so surly my days of darkness had to he ending”! Well, not really. The ADON actually left the meeting and come found me on the floor I was working. I was in the middle of medication pass. She stormed down the hall like a bull charging at a matador! She slammed into my med cart pushing it at least 3 feet. I was in shock. I thought this is it she is going to resort to physical violence on now. Of course there was no one around to see this. She just stuck her finger in my face and told me if I thought it was bad before, I had seen nothing yet. I ran and found my nurse friend, I was visibly shaken. She didn’t know what to do. She told me just to keep waiting it out. So my torment continued on and off for weeks, until I got a survey where I could fill out how my supervisors were doing, and it was anonymous! This not only went to the DON, but corporate. The DON had already made very clear to me she wasn’t going to do anything about it, so I unloaded in the survey.

Well, a few days went by and I came back from a break, and saw the ADON sitting at the nursing desk where I usually sit. She looked visibly upset. I went behind the desk to put my things up, and she started to interrogate me. She stated “I know you were the one who ratted me out, admit it”. Needless to say she completely lost it in front of everyone and bought herself a one way ticket out the door. She was let go, basically given the option to resign or be fired. Another words she became another organizations problem. Looking back now, I cant believe a stayed in that situation as long as I did. Hindsight, I wish I would have stood up for myself more, and maybe prevented this person from moving on and bullying other nurses. Rumor has it she did end up getting fired from the other company for the same type of behavior. I did choose to learn from this situation. I developed better coping skills, and learned to be more assertive. I wouldn’t wish this experience on any nurse new or experienced, but I chose to not let it define me, and shape my future negatively.  If anyone else is experiencing this type of workplace bullying, I strongly encourage you to reach out to your supervisors, and follow the chain of command. Let your family and friends know what is happening, and if you need to, talk to a professional. Most work places offer Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) that can help. When something like this happens it can be frightening, and you can feel alone. You are not, please don’t do what I did, and what so long to stand up for yourself, and let others know about the situation. The saying is true you have to take care of yourself, before you can take care of others. It took me years to figure that out!