Tag Archives: mental health

May Day! May Day!

Well hellllooooooo! I have been gone lo! these many weeks. I feel like the last five weeks have been crazy, but then when I look back at my life, it turns out that crazy is the new normal. (That’s what my shrink says. Probably.)

Since The Broken World came out, I’ve been managing to keep myself busy. (True story – 99% of the time I type “busy,” I accidentally write “busty” instead. And I have definitely been keeping myself busty.)

ANYWAY. What have I accomplished?

  • I finished my first draft of “It’s Not in the Cards,” which will be the first book in my Oracle Bay series.
  • I started a new medication that seems to be (knock on all the black cats) working pretty well, now that the side effects have mostly dissipated.
  • I took a quick trip to the coast to visit Oracle Bay with the Beer Guy.
  • I’ve been editing for my freelance clients.
  • I’ve outlined Oracle Bay #2
  • I’ve spent more time learning about blocking IP addresses and dealing with Amazon customer service than I cared to
  • I’ve been momming at a very high level (side note: when does parenting get easy? asking for a friend)
  • I’ve managed to get through 4.5 seasons of Supernatural
  • I saw Hamilton (!!!)
  • I went to the Saturday yoga class that’s been on my calendar for a year. Yes, for the first time. (I’ve been twice now. I’m ready for my Yoga Journal cover shot.)

So, you know, since all that crap’s behind me…

I want to revive my habit of making monthly goals. But I also don’t want to get carried away. Small starts. I’m a huge checklist person. Nothing makes me happier (well, almost nothing) than crossing things off a list. And although I’ve been riding out this never-ending storm, I’d like to get enough perspective/distance to see if I’m just sitting in some rough water or if I’ve lost my ability to determine how hard things are. So. Goals.

May 2018 Goals 

  1. Yoga – six classes
  2. Oracle Bay 2 – 40K words
  3. Two Raj chapters/two Wing and a Prayer chapters
  4. Get the bike out and make sure it’s ridable. Then, if I’m feeling extra feisty, ride it.
  5. 3/6/12 month business plans.

That is ambitious, but achievable.

Dream big, pony boy.


And you? Anything big for May? I can’t believe the school year’s almost over and my kid is just about finished with kindergarten. How did that even happen?

Five Things Friday

Oh hey! It’s been a bit! Since it’s Friday, and I missed 3 Things Thursday, I’m going to give you TWO BONUS THINGS! I know, I know. You’re welcome.

  1. I am leaving for Ireland/Spain in just over a month. 32 days or something like that. I don’t even have a packing list yet, and I’m a bit worried. (I’m also worried that the Beer Guy says he’ll be cutting back the amount of stuff I’m bringing, because apparently, for a 16 day trip, you don’t pack 16 complete outfits + a couple extra “just in case” and then just some random shit because…reasons.

  2. I started new meds this week. The shrink lady said “take this in the morning, but if you find it makes you drowsy, you can switch to evenings.” So, I took my first dose Wednesday morning. I was yawning so hard all day I thought my jaw would split, and I kept dozing off at work. Including in a meeting. Which was super awesome. I switched to evening and took my second dose last night. I slept like a baby. But one of those good babies who sleeps all night. Not the baby who wakes up hungry every two hours. (I have been sleeping like a champ this week due to other new med, and it’s making me happy.)

  3. I finished The Broken World last week and sent it off to my first readers. Reader #1 – aka my PSM – gave me the best compliment any author could want. (Reader #2 – aka the Beer Guy – has given me zero feedback so far, but he hasn’t broken up with me yet, so I’m hoping that’s a good sign.)

    Narrator Voice: Amy did not feel terrible.

  4. My freelance editing business is busy AF the first half of the year. We  (because we are a we now) do have a few slots open. If you need proofreading, there’s definitely room. If you want a full edit, you’ll have to hit me up with your details so we can decide if we can fit you in. Either way, I suggest booking sooner rather than later if you want to guarantee a spot. Hit me up at amyrcissell at gmail!

  5. I get my kid back tonight! The current custody schedule of one week on/one week off has the advantage of cutting down the number of times Bean has to go back and forth during a week, which is easier on him, but seven days without my kid is hard AF. I’m always so excited by Friday. (That excitement is mostly gone by 7 am on Saturday morning when he wakes me up, even though he’s not supposed to wake me up until his clock says it’s ‘morning,’ but there’s always an emergency – like he needs help on a lego build. that help usually consists of me doing exactly what he tells me to do while I try to wake up.) We’ll be doing a fun lego build this weekend, though, because the tooth fairy (who he absolutely knows is me) gave him enough money to supplement his allowance so he could buy the Sydney Australia skyline lego architecture set. My baby lost his first tooth!

    I did not take this photo, which is why it’s so terrible, probably. Sadly, he lost his tooth about 2 hours after I dropped him off at school last Friday.


Gotta Have Goals (November 2017)

Yeah, maybe it’s the middle of November almost, but bite me. The last two weeks have been wicked hard. The stress of being mid-divorce and facing unemployment have nothing on the stress of watching your child suffer* and not be able to help.

So, I’m a little behind on a lot of things. I have book reviews to write/publish for Mel Sterling as well as for Lit Buzz and a few others.

I am so fucking far behind on NaNoWriMo, which is unfortunate – not because I particularly care about winning (although this is the first year I didn’t buy my winner’s shirt in advance, and that’s probably why I’m not doing well), but because I do care about finishing Eleanor #4 and getting the beta-reading and editing process moving.

I am, fortunately, not behind on my editing projects.

I am super far behind on sleep, and as such have just been randomly falling asleep lately.

BUT – I have goals for this month (and a brief report on how I did in October).


October Goals

  1. I signed up for a thanksgiving 5K. My goal – to finish it without hating myself, whatever that means for me that day. – Ummm – I don’t even know why this was an October goal. Thanksgiving is totally this month.
  2. I need to be mostly done with Eleanor book 4 by the end of the month. – Oops. Not even close. Not even half.
  3. Stay on top of book marketing and don’t back out because of “hard” or “fear.” – Not bad for a newbie!
  4. Find a way to forgive everyone who made me angry cry today due to the colossal fuck-up that happened with my Bean’s after-school care situation. Note: this might be the hardest. Note 2: I think everything’s figured out. It was only two hours of Wednesday panic on my part. – This is so in that past. SUCCESS!
  5. Continue to eat 3x/day and get to bed by 11 on work nights. Work on popping out of bed a little faster in the morning. Meditate (with the bean). Moisturize. Self-care. – Eating = SUCCESS! Bed time = FAIL! Meditation & Moisturize & Self-Care = FAIL!

So – not that great.

November Goals

  1. Hit 90K words on Eleanor 4
  2. Finish all editing projects on time
  3. Find one new editing client
  4. Move 30 minutes every day
  5. Find a way to be present and let go of stress before I have a nervous breakdown


*Bean is okay. We are all okay. But sometimes life is hard, yo.

Three Things Thursday: mental health as told by Dean Winchester .gifs

  1. I’ve been at the new job for a month. Although there are some things I don’t like about the job (98% of those things are “having a job;” I’d prefer to be independently wealthy), I feel like a completely different person than I did two months ago. It’s kind of amazing how much self-worth is attached to “earning money” and “receiving the respect and appreciation of your colleagues.”
  2. Other good news on the mental health front: I’ve had two panic attacks in the last week. How is this good news, you might ask? I’ll tell you.There was a time when I was having panic attacks on a nearly daily basis. Starting about four months after Bean was born until almost a year ago, panic attacks were a part of my daily life. My only hope at that time was that I wouldn’t get one while driving over the Marquam Bridge. I tried a wide variety of medications to quell the panic attacks and get the anxiety under control. Nothing really worked, but I did get to take a lot of extremely addictive drugs and then wean myself off of them. (Aside: the other night, the Beer Guy and I were watching a comedy special and the guy was talking about being prescribed the same drug and how not fun the coming off it was. Psycho solidarity is a real thing.)ANYWAY – back to panic attacks. About a year ago, they mostly disappeared. There were times when my anxiety was higher than others, but the chest-crushing, can’t breathe, probably hyperventilating, maybe passing out, am I sure that it’s really just a panic attack and not a cardiac event this time? episodes were mostly gone. (Instead, I got a fun uptick in the number of aural migraines!) So why am I asserting that the panic attacks are good things (well, at least not awful things)? I think I’ve finally gotten back to a place where my general anxiety is low enough that my body can actually have a panic attack. Like for real-I was too anxious during the last year to have a panic attack because my body legitimately couldn’t work up any more adrenaline because it was all in use. (OMG, maybe I had adrenal fatigue. That’s a real thing, right Cat?) (Heh. She hates it when I say that. #science #psm)So, in short (’cause I am not a tall woman.), my mental health progression over the last year or so has been like:

Fake it ’til you make it…


And maybe someday, I’ll get here…


  1. One last piece of good news. I wear a fitbit that not only tracks my steps, but also my heart rate. I spent a number of years as a fairly physically fit person. I ran a marathon, did several sprint triathlons, more 5Ks than I can count, and thought nothing of heading up to Forest Park to run 10-15 miles on the trails. The last two years have not been good for my physical fitness. Stress and single parenting took a huge toll on my fitness levels (and my weight, obviously). My resting heart rate, which two years ago was about 54, was up to an average of 74 a month ago.  One month on the job (with the requisite leaving the house, walking about, and lowered stress), and now I’m here:


So much win! (Ha! I typed “so much wine” on my first go. SELF! It’s 8:30 in the morning. No wine for you!)

It’s a small step, but an important one for my overall mental and physical well-being. (Now, I just need to make it through my imaging appointment tomorrow without needing a paper bag, and it’ll be clear sailing…)

Have a great Memorial Day weekend, Americans! (And a great regular weekend, everyone else.)

There was no way I wasn’t sharing this once I saw it. I care about each of you too much.



Gotta Have Goals….

It probably comes as no surprise to anyone that I am extremely goal oriented. I like spreadsheets and gold stars and checking things off of lists.


In the last year, some of my spreadsheeting behaviour got a leeeetle bit OCD and some of my goals weren’t necessarily the healthiest. So I took off my fitbit, shut down my workout tracking spreadsheets, and tried to get back to a healthy mindset.

I am not going to lie, strangers in the internets, the last few months have been difficult. There has been stress hitting me from every direction. Job stress, home stress, divorce stress, (single) parenting stress. All in all, it’s been a distressing few months.

This might not be the best way to fight stress...

This might not be the best way to fight stress…

I’ve had a lot of insomnia, some not-so-healthy eating patterns (I would probably eat 0-1 times/day if I didn’t see other people), and decidedly too little movement. Those things, combined with a medication I’ve been on that apparently causes an average gain of 1-3 lbs/month (doing the math, have been on it since September, I am completely average), mean that I’ve gained a fairly significant amount of weight since September. This displeases me.

Things need to change.


My big four goals for the year are (1) more sleep (I’m hoping this will level out again soon), (2) more writing (this is seeing an uptick), (3) more movement (this is where I need the most work), and (4) more job satisfaction (there are plans).

I think I need to re-fitbit (or something similar) and start spreadsheeting again. I’m going off my (prescribed) drugs (totally keeping the recreational angel dust), so I should sleep better and hopefully be able to take off some of the weight immediately. I have a very active 4-year-old and I’d like to be able to keep up and pick him up when he wants me to, because I know that won’t last much longer.

How do I say no to this little face?

How do I say no to this little face?


It sometimes seems I’m caught in a vicious cycle. I am stressed, so I don’t sleep. I don’t sleep so I don’t get up early. I don’t get up early so I don’t write or exercise. I don’t exercise, so I don’t get the much-needed stress relief. And repeat.

That about sums it up.

That about sums it up.


It’s baby steps. Taking that 20 minutes to go for a quick walk. Actually going to the pool when I bring all my stuff to work. Being in bed and ready for sleep by 11 so I can be up before 6. Setting reminders to eat and giving it a go even when it seems too difficult. (I can usually manage to down something liquid, so having protein shakes on hand might not be the worst idea I’ve ever had.)

I imagine in just a few weeks, I'll look just like this.

I imagine in just a few weeks, I’ll look just like this.

In the end, though, it’s about looking at my life and deciding what the real priorities are. Changes won’t happen if I’m not going to commit to making them. It’s true that I don’t have a lot of leisure time for exercise during the week, but I have more on the weekend, and I can find time if I really value it. So what’s stopping me?

Once I can answer that question, then I’ll be in business.

If finding the answer comes with cash money, I might be slightly more motivated.

If finding the answer comes with cash money, I might be slightly more motivated.