“Perspective is often the key to happiness”

I’ve been doing a lot self-reflecting, and talking, about the state of my mental health lately.

Often times I find myself hyper focused on the fact that I’m not “100% okay” and therefore need to classify myself as “not okay”. It makes me come across, and feel like, a much more negative person than I’d care to be. It’s not fun. What I’ve found is that we (mainly I), need to allow ourselves to have parts of ourselves that are not 100% okay, while still enjoying life and focusing on those other pieces of us. Honestly, I’d love to meet someone who isn’t struggling with something related to their mental health because then I will meet a real life unicorn.

What I have found, is that most people I do surround myself with are going through their own struggles. The difference is some people may not be as willing, or able to be, as open as I am. What I’ve learned, sometimes the hard way, is that we need to set boundaries with each other about how much they are willing to take on of our own struggles (and vice versa). We need to be mindful not to bring others down by adding our own weight to what they are already carrying. What’s also important, is communication. Letting those in our lives know how much we are carrying, and how much we can take on. And also communicating that we may care, but can’t express it in the way the other may need. One thing I’ve learned recently is that many people in my life have different communication styles.

Like communication styles, everyone has different love languages. I’m realizing that in all relationships, not just romantic, it’s important to learn and understand our own love languages as well as those closest to us. I’m also realizing that it’s okay to have certain needs. I’ve always felt very selfish about having my own needs in any relationship,, but as a friend pointed out to me recently, I give and give and deserve to have that in return. Another big life lesson I’ve had to learn is that sometimes not sharing and understanding these needs do more harm than good.

I recently saw this, and it really resonated with me.

In any type of relationship, all of these make me feel safe, and understood. I’m making it a goal to learn more about my friends’ and family members’ love languages to best be there for them, and with them.

While digging deep about communication, relationships, and needs I had another realization. I’ve more-or-less always looked at myself as being broken, and not good enough to be loved. No one person has made me feel this way, and I’ve had people in my life make me feel really great. It’s me who views all my imperfections as flaws, when really, there’s so much more to me than that. Not everyone is ready or able to balance out someone like me, and that’s okay. It’s taken me a long time to get here, but, it’s okay. After looking back at years and years of relationships in various capacities, I now know that I want, and deserve, to be with someone who isn’t afraid to tell people we are together. Someone who will be there with me as I figure out life, and as they figure out theirs. To celebrate the good days, and hold my hand on the hard days. Someone to fall asleep with and wake up to. Just because I feel that I’m not perfect, doesn’t mean I don’t deserve happiness. Because, let’s be real. If I wait around until ‘I’m “fixed”, I’ll never give myself the chance to be happy.

All of this rambling really comes back to perspective. Just because there are some dark days, doesn’t mean the sun won’t shine again.


Looking for cheekbones and confidence

Wow, it’s uh, been a while. Quarantine has been interesting to say the least. I haven’t been writing (obviously) and have been going through a rollercoaster of emotions.

If you read my last post, you’ll remember that even at the beginning of quarantine life was a mess. Well, it only progressed from there.

My mental health wasn’t great. My jeans were fitting a little tight. I felt lost, confused, and just angry at myself, and the world around me. So, what did I do? I decided to get my shit together and start Weight Watchers. What better time to cut back on drinking beer and to kick my emotional eating habit other than the death of one of my dear friends, mixed with a human rights movement, wrapped up in a quarantine and served up on a pandemic?


Well, here we go. I took the quiz, figured out what plan I am on and instantly felt lost, overwhelmed and like I needed a snack, or a drink. LOL. Off to a great start.

THANK GOODNESS for my mom. For many reasons, but specifically in this story for helping me figure all of this stuff out. She started WW a few months before me, has been KILLING IT. She is the one who recommended I give it a try one night while I was having a slight mental breakdown.

I used to really enjoy cooking and baking, but then my social life got the best of me and I got away from all that. Well, thanks to the quarantine I had nothing but time, and absolutely no where to go. I really wanted to stick with this new plan, so had to get creative if I didn’t want to eat chicken and veggies every day. I started to experiment and have fun in the kitchen, and it became a great outlet not only physically, but mentally! I stepped out of my comfort zone with new recipes, and drinks. It took me a bit to come to terms with, but I really do enjoy a spiked seltzer. (Nothing will replace my love of IPA’s… but I’m all about that balance right now.)

WHO KNEW THAT A HEALTHY DIET WORKED?! I was/am very minimally working out, and have seen some great progress in just under 2 months! I’m down about 20lbs, and physically and mentally feel so much better. I have long way to go, but off to a good, well-paced, start.

The mental aspect has been MAJOR. Majorly hard, majorly important. Not turning to food during all of the emotional turmoil of the past few months has been nearly impossible some days, but some how, some way…. I’ve been doing it. And if I can do it, I have no doubt that anyone can. In the past food has been my friend, my crutch. I’d eat something totally unhealthy and wash it down with a beer or two to temporarily forget what was going on in the real world. But, as much as I love Dr. Nowzarden, I really don’t want to end up as one of his patients.

Starting to find a jaw line, and now looking for cheekbones and confidence!

Instead of turning to food or booze, I needed to find healthier outlets to cope with the shitstorm that is 2020. A few things that have helped:

  • Journal: If I feel like I need to eat out of emotion, I write down all that I am feeling. What is making me feel this way? Why do I want to eat? Am I really hungry? What actionable steps can I take that will actually solve my emotional distress?
  • Track your food: What you are eating, how much you are eating. AND DRINKING. Don’t forget your liquids. Also, look up the actual serving sizes of things and give yourself that much. Especially salad dressings, oils, cheese, etc.. It will be a shock and adjustment, but you will adjust. Promise. (You should have seen me when I first measured out a single serving of pasta)
  • Drink water. Drinking water really does help relieve stress. Gives you something to focus on. It also helps curb hunger, promotes weight loss and apparently helps clear up your skin. (I’m still waiting for the last part.) And, bonus! It helps get you some extra steps because you are peeing 73 times a day.
  • Accountability: Have a buddy, or a tribe. Accountability and support is key. Join facebook groups, have people you can message, text, etc. to complain with, motivate and get ideas from.

As total joke, I brought back my old #cookingwithjulie and to my shock, people actually started enjoying that content. It selfishly motivates me to keep coming up with healthy, creative recipes so that I can have some type of connection with the outside world. I’m all about giving the people what they want, so, today was born my newest Instagram @_cookingwithjulie. Feel free to give a follow for all of my recipes, ideas, etc.. Don’t worry, there will be plenty of fails and Maddy content.

I’m still trying to figure out where to take my blog in regards to recipes, my weightloss journey and all that, so if there is anything you want to see, let me know!

Until next time,


It ain’t easy being wheezy

I haven’t written in a while, and due to the current shitshow of the world, felt inclined to do so.

We all have our opinions of how it is and was handled, the politics around it, and all that other stuff, but I’m not going to get into that here.

I do want to talk about dealing with quarantine and self-isolation. I live alone, and, it is exactly as it sounds… isolating.

It was hard enough when it started. Adjusting to working from home full time, not seeing friends or family. Hell, my new niece Piper was born and I have no idea when I’ll get to meet her. Not being able to go anywhere. Not to the gym, out for a drink, Target, to the coffee shop to write, to book club… you get it. No real opportunity for genuine human interaction.

All of that was taking a mental toll. I am very fortunate to have friends, family, and technology to help stay connected. I felt myself getting depressed, anxious and really down on myself. I’ve had, and will have more, times where I sat against the wall and cried. Cried out of fear, frustration, sadness, and loneliness. And, honestly, I still feel depressed and anxious. We’re about 3 weeks in and no where near the end of this.

I’ve never wanted a hug so badly.

And then when I was getting settled into those feelings, things took a turn.

If you know me at all, the universe has a sick sense of humor when it comes to my immune system and health. For whatever reason, no matter how hard I try, I get the most fucked up health issues. (I know… that’s dramatic, it could be SO MUCH worse, but this still really sucks, okay?)

About 10 days ago I got pretty sick and went downhill quickly. I had, and still have, extreme tightness in my chest and shortness of breath. I can barely walk to the bathroom without being totally winded and feeling like I ran a freaking marathon to get there (LOL it’s about 10 feet from my couch). I can’t get through a sentence without being totally out of breath and coughing every few words. Having a phone call with me is a real fun experience right now. Not to mention the chills, fever, being totally rundown and my body feels like I got hit by a bus. A tele-med appointment with the doctor led me to getting tested for covid a week ago.

If you’re wondering about the test, it was a drive-thru test. I needed a referral from my doctor and an appointment. I luckily got the first appointment of the day and it went quickly. Everyone had PPE and Medical professional #1 came to my window, I showed him my ID and he verified my info. I drove up and the 2 nurses came out and shoved 2 long q-tips very far and uncomfortably up my nose so far my eyes watered and I was wondering if it was worth it. The whole thing took about 10 minutes, but by the time I was finished there were already 40 or so cars in line. Keep in mind, this was just the beginning of the day.

Anyway…. back to the story. After the traumatic test, they tortured me a bit more and I had to wait 5 very long days for the results.

Thank goodness it came back negative!

I genuinely felt scared. And, still do, even without the ‘rona diagnosis. Not gonna lie about it. My current diagnosis still has me scared, and I think it’s okay to admit that. Breathing issues are fucking scary.

Once I got that “good” news, I had to go to the hospital (queue minor anxiety attack) to get more tests and a chest x-ray done to see why I’m feeling like shit and can’t breathe. I found out I’m positive for the flu and bad asthma. So, I guess the best case of a shitty situation? Idk. I never thought having the flu and asthma would be good but life is weird right now.

One thing I discovered is that it 100000% sucks to be living alone through this. I’d give anything to have someone here with me tucking me in, telling me it’s going to be okay and making me tea, but right now NOT sharing is caring. Like I said earlier, I’ve never wanted a hug so badly. I’m so grateful for the tribe of people checking in on me, reminding me take my temp and dropping medicine and supplies at my doorstep. It really does take a village and I’m so appreciative of mine. Every single text makes me feel less alone in this nightmare.

I’m not sharing this for sympathy, but as a reminder that no matter how careful we are all being you can still get sick. The only place I’ve been since 3/14/20 has been the grocery store, and even that has been limited and full of social distance. That’s the most human interaction I’ve had. It’s sad, but the reality. My hands are cracked and raw from washing them so much. I am relieved to finally know what is going on with my body so I can properly treat it. And let me tell you, it a’int easy being wheezy.

So friends.. stay home. I know we all want to see our friends and family. I miss people so fucking much. My cat loves me and is getting used to me (I think… or she’s letting me think that before she carries out her plan to kill me). I want to hug my mom and siblings. I want to meet my new niece and see how big the other three are getting. I want to hug my friends and have real face-to-face conversations. I really, really just want to spend some quality time outside. But if you don’t live with someone, you sadly shouldn’t be spending time with them. That’s the main point of all this social distancing. As hard as it is and as much as it sucks, that’s what we need to be doing. The less people we are around, and the less exposure we have, the less we unknowingly spread the rona, the quicker this can all be over.

I’m so lucky I “only” have the flu and asthma. People have it so much worse, and I think of them everyday.

I know I have a long road ahead, physically and mentally. And, I feel like others out there feel the same, so I want you to know you’re not alone. If there is anything I can do from a safe distance, I’m here for you. 🖤

Stay home. Wash your hands. Try and stay sane. We really are #togetherapart.

At the hospital waiting for my xray and tests. So grateful they had a mask for me. Not the best mask, but still a mask. Thanks to my recent Grey’s Anatomy binge, I kinda knew how to tie it!



I’ve come to realize that we live in such an apologetic world. In some ways. I know there are many ways in which the world is very unapologetic.

We tend to apologize for so many things, that really, we don’t have to be sorry for. I personally need AA (Apologizers Anonymous). I say sorry for being sorry. Always have, and hopefully, always won’t. (Oh, hi there anxiety!) It’s something I’ve been working on for a while now (even in therapy, it’s that much of a conscious problem for me). After talking to friends about this, I know I’m not alone.

Sometimes, we don’t even know why we are sorry. I feel like it’s a natural reaction to just say “Oh, I’m sorry”. For example, a lady was rude to me at Dunkin Donuts last week and I apologized to her. WHAT?! WHY?! She tried to cut in line because she felt high and mighty, she bumped me and spilled coffee on me, but I APOLOGIZED. Yes, I know, I shouldn’t have. But, I did. It happened before I could stop my mouth and I was so upset with myself for days after. (Okay, and clearly still am if I”m writing all this about it now, but it’s a good example!)

We get sick, we apologize for having to miss work or events with friends. Yes, it sucks, and we don’t want to. But, do we really have to be sorry? Do we have to feel guilty? We got sick. It happens to literally everyone. We shouldn’t feel that guilt. But, we do.

We are exhausted (physically, mentally, or emotionally) and cancel plans. We say sorry. Sorry for being tired? Or sorry for canceling? If you’re like me, it’s a mix of both but you really feel bad that you’re tired and can’t hang like you used to. Next time, just say “Hey, I apologize for cancelling on you, but tonight just isn’t going to work out”. Not, “I’m sorry I’m so exhausted from this long freaking week”. We shouldn’t be sorry for giving life our all and needing a break every now and again.

Here are some other examples of things we apologize for, and alternates (Disclaimer, I have heard these from friends and the internet, so I can’t take any credit. But, I try and keep them tucked away in my brain and call them out each time I apologize for absolutely no good reason.)

I am so sorry I’m late! Thank you for being patient and waiting for me!
This can be late to work, late for meeting a friend, getting a project to your boss/teacher late.

I’m sorry for being so emotional. Thank you for being so accepting of me and helpful.
We ALL have emotions. Some of us show them more than others. One thing I’ve been apologizing for a lot since losing my dad has been for my emotions. Hard days, days where I just need to sit and cry. I always apologize. But, there’s no need. Sometimes we just need a friend’s shoulder to cry on. And, we don’t need to be sorry for it.

Sorry for fucking up again. Thanks for being there to help me clean this mess up! And for not giving up on me!
If you’ve never made a mistake in your life, please message me and let me in on your secrets. If not, we’ve all been there and instead of apologizing, help a sista out.

Sorry for being so needy. Thank you for being a friend.
A true friend will be there. And you’ll be there for them. It’s life, and friendship. If you have to apologize to make it right, then maybeeeeeee they aren’t as good a friend as you thought?

Sorry for talking your ear off! Thank you for listening!
Again, we ALL need to vent. Does it really help? Scientifically? Not sure. I’m not a scientist. But, what I do know is that good bitching session does help me not want to kill someone!

Sorry that my house/desk/space is so messy! Thanks for being understanding of my organized chaos!
Mess happens. Life goes on. For me, when my mental health isn’t great (which is pretty frequent lately, and I’m working on it), my physical space represents that. I know I’ll feel better when I clean/organize, but it’s so hard to do when the depression is creeping up. So, don’t judge someone’s mess as them being a “slob”. It could be more than that.

I’m sorry that you’re angry/upset. I am sorry you feel that way. I am sorry that I did “XXXXX” to cause you to feel that/you went through that experience.
If you cause someone pain, don’t just say “sorry”. Apologize for what you may have done to cause their pain. If you’re sorry that something else happened, then that’s different. Be sorry that they went through that, not just that they are feeling that way.

Sorry for being me.
No response for that one. Never apologize for liking the things you like, or doing the things you do (first hand experience on this one, it doesn’t help you, and doesn’t help the person you’re apologizing to). Unless you are legitimately doing something terrible. But that’s a whole other conversation.

So, basically, moral of the story here, is to try and figure out why you are sorry. It’s such an easy word to say, but means more when we understand why we are sorry. And, to stop apologizing for things that we really don’t have to feel sorry about.

Next time I apologize to any of you for no good reason, you have full permission to call me out on my shit.