If you'd like to purchase the book for yourself or someone else:
SOME EXCITING PUBLISHING NEWS! I'm delighted to share that I have a new creative nonfiction essay included in NAVIGATING BIPOLAR COUNTRY, an anthology that features personal and professional perspectives on living with the condition on a daily basis. It feels like ages since I've had something published, and this piece, called "When Motherhood and Bipolar Disorder Collide"—is about how I handle solo parenting while living with a mental illness. It may affect everything in my life, but it doesn't define the relationship I have with my daughter. Many thanks to my editor Merryl Hammond for including my story. I hope it helps other parents see it's possible to survive the highs and lows with lots of love and support, and whatever treatment options works for them.
If you'd like to purchase the book for yourself or someone else:
GOOD NEWS: I'm honoured to share this personal essay I wrote for The Endometriosis Foundation of America about my chronic journey with endo. After 20 years, I’ve learned that there are no built-in guarantees about ridding myself of this life-long disease. However, I do try to enjoy all the respites as long as they last. Writing this piece was like having a conversation with myself, a sort of reckoning. Please read/share if it resonates with you or someone else. Read it here.
I'm delighted to share my latest essay about how I'll be celebrating my first Valentine’s Day as a single mom. I'm determined to still make it a day about love. Not the romantic kind, which I’ve learned doesn’t always last forever, but the sort that’s unconditional and unbreakable, between a mother and child. And with dreaded lockdown upon us once again, we definitely need this lift. My seven-year-old sweetheart deserves a magical day, and that’s exactly what she’s going to get.
Read it here.
Today I saw my words published in print in not one, but TWO bookshops! What a BIG dream to come true for me! In the first Indigo/Chapters I visited today, I ran into my ultra-cool high school English teacher and his lovely wife. It made me realize again how many wonderful people have inspired me and encouraged me to keep writing over the years.
I'm so thrilled and grateful to be part of such a positive and exciting experience! It has given me greater self-confidence as a writer and as a woman, and a fierce determination to keep reaching for the stars!
If you're interested in purchasing BIG, here's how:
If you're in the U.S., you can preorder on:
Barnes and Noble
And for those who prefer the independents, Powell's in Portland has it:
And If you're in the UK, you can preorder on:
February 21st, 2020
What Real Love Looks Like
A real relationship is two flawed people refusing to give up on each other. It's encountering everyday obstacles and unexpected hurdles and finding a way through them together.
It's talking it out when you'd rather give each other the silent treatment. It's listening to the other side of the story when you believe yours is the only valid perspective.
It's holding hands and hugging it out after an argument. It's hanging on for dear life when you go through emotional hell and feel totally beside yourself.
It's finding time for each other at the end of the day, when you're feeling fraught and spent and just want to read a book or scroll through your phone.
It's putting away your phone.
It's not hiding things on your phone.
It's being together in the same room even when you feel galaxies apart. It's building a bridge between hurt feelings and new beginnings even though it's so, so hard.
It's having fierce conversations that feel like therapy sessions. It's saying all the stuff that's been festering in your head for months. It's getting it all out so you can authentically go on.
It's sitting together in the darkness and letting it wash over both of you until a speck of light appears.
A fractured heart glowing in the dark.
A spark of hope.
It's moving toward new starts and mutual forgiveness.
Real love is a daily choice. A conscious commitment. Not using the exit clause when things get tough or you're just tired of dealing with it.
It's being open to the possibility of falling in love not once, but many times with your partner, as you both grow and evolve and become different versions of yourself.
It's being there in sickness and in health. It's being mindful of balancing who does what in the house. Doing your share. Helping out.
It's not putting everything on your partner's plate. It's not being surprised when they turn out to be human and start to break.
It's dealing with depression, anxiety, anger and biploar disorder. It's being patient when chronic pain tries to come between you. It's talking your person down when they are a natural worrier.
Real love is wonderful and natural, but sometimes it's pretty damn awful. It demands you reveal all your invisible wounds and scars. It's admitting your frailty and faults, and all the shit in your past you haven't addressed yet.
It's about consciously maintaining your bond and keeping your relationship strong, even when the storms swirl in and your roof is leaking and you discover you have a shaky foundation.
Real love includes rages, arguments and disagreements. It also brings to light any jealousy and insecurities.
But it's how you make your partner feel better that matters. What you do to make amends. How you try and capture the desire and romance again, so you don't end up just being roommates or friends.
It's loving someone at their worst and cradling them at their weakest. It's listening when they don't deserve it, witnessing their pain and acknowledging your own part in it.
It's remembering why you fell for each other in the first place, before kids, marriage, mortgages and play dates.
It's looking into each other's eyes and still seeing your person, the one being on this planet that you want to go through this wild adventure with.
It's a hand on your lower back. Being considerate. Swallowing the petty things. Accepting where you are on your relationship map.
It's welcoming your love's hand over yours and pledging your commitment all over again. It's vowing to do your best as you jump eyes open and fingers crossed into the unknown.
Real love. It's difficult. It's worth it. It's a choice.
July 25th, 2019
The Strange House of Motherhood
When I became a parent, I began a life-changing journey into uncharted territory. Caring for a newborn was like walking into a strange house blindfolded. There were no blueprints to consult, no floor plan to get my bearings. Everywhere I turned, there were missing stairs and secret spaces that led to unexpected emotions and tears. With my history of psychological and physical health issues, the foundation of the structure felt shaky, the ground uneven.
I'm honoured to share my latest essay, "The Strange House of Motherhood," which is part of an amazing new anthology called "A Mother Knows.” Please check it out if you have a moment, and let me know if you can relate. I hope it helps someone know they're not alone.
My daughter was five-and-a-half weeks old when my husband captured this moment of me breastfeeding in my sister's bedroom on Christmas Day. It was 2013, and at the ripe old gestational age of 36, I had finally gotten the baby girl I had so desperately wanted and prayed for.
This looks like my Gisele moment, nursing my child while jauntily wearing a Santa hat, one leg propped casually on the bed for support. I am smiling. I have lost all the baby weight and then some. I seem happy.
Maybe I was in that moment. Maybe my colicky daughter was latching correctly for once. Maybe there was sufficient milk supply that day. Maybe I was just content to escape all the people downstairs talking at me and fussing over the baby. My family.
I was actually in the throes of postpartum depression underneath this mommy-bliss expression. I am dressed up in a cute blazer and skirt, showing off my tiny waist and Steve Madden boots, but really, I am deep in the trenches of postpartum anxiety.
This week is World Maternal Mental Health Week, and this photo is part of my motherhood story. A single, early snapshot of my transformative and magical journey. It was an incredibly difficult emotional time for me, and being overwhelmed about becoming a mum made me feel incredibly abnormal and guilty.
Now I can look back at that new mum and newborn baby and experience a healing feeling of empathy. It is normal and common for many women to feel this way, not just me. But we need to talk about it more, and not shroud it in such feminine secrecy.
We also need to feel comfortable asking for help from our friends and family. We need proper postpartum support and care, and access to medication and therapy. These are the things that saved me.
These are the things that saved me.
January 16th, 2019
is a writer, editor, and poet. Her writing has been nominated for the Best-of-the Net award, and has appeared in The Washington Post, HuffPo, Today's Parent, Los Angeles Review of Books, and Motherwell, among numerous other publications. She is also an advocate in the mental health and chronic illness communities.