Let’s chat.

Oh hey there. Today we are officially living in February of 2021. What does that mean? Well, it means that we survived the year of 2020. For that, I think we all deserve a pat on the back. Or do we? The cynical part of me says life could be hard any time. A global pandemic just made it a little more acceptable for things to be difficult, and difficulty to be more widespread. Sure, living in cities that are shut down, having full hospitals, thousands of people dying from the same cause in a short amount of time, adjusting to virtual schooling, thousands of jobs lost, and all of the other consequences of the pandemic are nothing to minimize. While it may be an unpopular opinion, I am going to go out on a limb and say many parts of life can be hard. So far, 2021 is still hard. The national difficulties have shifted ever so slightly with a vaccination for the virus being administered as quickly as possible, so the pandemic looks to be improving.  Things are looking up. Right?


What if you are someone that experiences mental health issues every day? What about the thousands of people who are not able to leave their home due to the fear of the outside? What about the thousands of people who die from suicide each year, the lack of mental health beds in hospitals, the lack of mental health services, the thousands who struggle to maintain a job? What if you were to experience constant stress from the consequences of those inadequacies in our society? Oh and then add a negative stigma on top of that. In other words, mind health issues that are out of your control chronically stress you AND there are very few people to talk to about it.

Mental health issues are often kept a secret. COVID-19 issues, on the other hand, are openly talked about, something to commiserate with one another about. Heck, even governmental assistance has been expected for the COVID-19 pandemic.  While oftentimes, mental health services are the first to be cut from public funding. Ironically, the impact of COVID-19 has actually increased the mental health issues in society.

So what’s my point?

Well, my hope and prayer is that as the viral pandemic crisis dissipates, our eyes can open up to the mental health pandemic that is plaguing our society. I know that it may sounds exhausting to go from one pandemic to the next, especially when the mind health pandemic seems to spread so silently. Life can be exhausting. Life is exhausting.  Nevertheless, the mind health pandemic must be prioritized. The first step is talking about it.

Join me in the conversation.


Oh hey. A while back I blogged about being concerned that my weight would be something that other children could use to make fun of my own kids for… you know “your mom” jokes and worse. You can read that initial post here, if you haven’t already. https://cleanlivingwiththecrazies.com/2019/12/05/tackling-the-big-one/

Yesterday, something that I hadn’t really thought to be concerned about happen. Yesterday, I was helping one of my children get ready for swimming lessons, she was saying different adjectives to describe me. Words like silly and nice were coming from her mouth and then came the phrase that has left me paralyzed in many ways ever since: “you’re kind of a big fatty”.

“You’re kind of a big fatty.”

I heard her, but did one of those “what did you say?” that happens when you want to make sure you heard someone and I think that my face must have shown some small hint of hurt and/or her incredibly empathetic and loving self thought maybe she had made a mistake and her response was “I said I love you”.

“You’re kind of a big fatty.”

It was said carelessly just like the more positive phrases of admiration before it. My six-year-old simply states the truth and is learning to navigate this world. She did not say it to be hurtful, it just came to mind as a way to describe me. As evidenced in the previous blog post, she knows how to be compassionate and think about how others may feel. Thinking before you’re speaking in all situations is something many adults have not mastered, so I am not holding anything against her. She could have said it even if I wasn’t overweight. She’s just a child. But I am overweight.

So, there it is. “You’re kind of a big fatty.”

This comment has thrown me off guard. I want to cry. I want to scream. I want to punch the wall. I want to punch myself. I want to start running and never stop. Although, clearly, you won’t really find me running anywhere at all. I am so incredibly disappointed with myself. I am so frustrated with my inability to take care of myself and be healthy. What in this world is going to be the “motivation”, the “last straw”, the “thing” that pushes me over the edge to improve my health? How many times more times am I going to allow myself to feel such disappointment and frustration? I honestly haven’t cried very much over this experience. My eyes well up and then I push down the sadness because I’m afraid if I start crying I won’t be able to stop. So I decided to write a blog post about it. That’s all. I don’t really have an ending. I’m still pretty paralyzed. My mind is trying to muster up the courage to devise a plan to go over the edge, for real, like over to the other side where I actually consistently work on my health.

If I have no conclusion, why actually post to the internet? Because I know that somewhere, someday, out there in the internet there may be someone who has had or does have similar feelings and experiences. It’s comforting to know that we’re not alone. So for now, I’ll just slowly let myself feel these intense emotions. For now, I will continue to love and care for my family as usual. For now, I will consider the next step. Once my legs start working again.

See ya Later, Someday

This past Sunday when I opened up my personal Instagram, literally every post had something to do with the tragic, sudden death of NBA legend Kobe Bryant. I honestly do not have much of an opinion on Mr. Bryant himself. Obviously I do not know him personally and as far as the NBA goes, I’m more of a 1990s Chicago Bulls (aka Michael Jordan) fan. Either way, a tragedy is a tragedy and they occur every day all over our country and the world. The only difference in the tragedy that occurred outside of LA on Sunday and every other tragedy is that the victim and their family are not usually of celebrity status. However, because this tragedy is high profile and all over all of my media outlets for the past several days, it has been a reminder that life is indeed short. Nothing new though, right?

Meet my new motto: Someday is today.

If you are anything like me, you have lots of ideas/items/plans, etc. that you have collected and put aside for someday. Until this latest motto realization, someday did not seem to have happened yet. So even though I have experienced sudden death in my own life, it’s almost as if I was selfishly hoping for someday to walk up to me on the street, wave enthusiastically, and announce its arrival. News flash: after a good 18 years of adulthood someday has not appeared. Weird, I know. Interestingly, today does keep appearing. So I have determined that it is time for me to focus on the today that keeps showing up and let go of the someday that has not shown up even once.

It is going to take many baby and possibly bigger sized steps for me to fully embrace today. Honestly, embracing the today is so out of the norm for me that it feels uncomfortable. Sure, over the last several years and my mental health training, I have spent some time working on mindfulness and being present in the moment. But fully running up, greeting, and hugging the today in my life has never happened. Today’s baby step was to challenge myself every time I thought that I could put something off to be dealt with later. I didn’t do too bad.

What I did today instead of someday:

  • cut back slightly on my sugar intake
  • carried items downstairs that I had been ignoring
  • wrote this blog article

What I did NOT do today instead of someday:

  • laundry
  • laundry
  • laundry

As you can see, these are very small baby steps…. and it isn’t rocket science… but it is different for me. It did make me feel more empowered to keep taking steps torward truly living for today. No matter how small those steps are, I am grateful for the reminder and the opportunity to live another day and focus on the someday that is actually disguised as today.

Expectations or Lack of

I did it!

The last couple of days I have been experiencing heightened anxiety, and/or increased depression. When more significant changes in my mood occur, it makes me stop to look and see if I can identify a catalyst. It’s been the holidays. For many people, that can increase their mental health symptoms. Overall, I feel like I have a pretty good handle on understanding my typical symptoms during the holidays, so I didn’t think that was the problem. It is the first year that I have had kids in school full time, and so winter break time is new, along with the anticipation of returning to school and a routine. So I thought maybe that was playing into my increased symptoms. In reality it probably was, but it didn’t feel like the catalyst I was looking for. So I kept soul searching, and by golly, I think I figured out a big underlying issue that is affecting my overall mood recently. Expectations.

Expectations (or lack of, as the title suggests). Now, I could write articles and articles about expectations, and I’m sure this will not be the last on the subject. But for this instance, I want to share my most recent realizations surrounding expectations. So here it goes.

For as long as I can remember, from the age of 3 or earlier, I have dreamed of being a mom. Becoming a mother was my biggest life goal. Yes, I know that can be considered “old fashioned”, and yes I know that it’s not that “hard” in most cases to become a mother. I know I have accomplished other great achievements that others only dream of in the realms of education and such. But honestly, all I ever wanted was to be a mother. Good news: as of January 2014, I’m a mother of two beautiful, smart, funny, and incredibly wonderful girls. In the simplest of conversations, mission accomplished. Check. I did it. I became a mother.

So now what?

Well, my expectation of myself and the continued dream was to be able to stay at home and raise my children until they became old enough to attend school full time. I would nurture them in the best way I knew how in order to attempt to counterbalance some of the less desired nature characteristics that could sneak up if not attended to. I would show them what unconditional love is, create an environment for healthy brain development, healthy attachments, and optimal growth. Good news: as of August 2019, my two pride and joys entered the world of full time public school. I did it. (We did it. I am grateful for my husband working hard so I could stay home. I’m not intentionally leaving him out, but this is my blog.) Another check mark on the list.

So now what??

I DON’T KNOW! !!! !!!

And here lies the catalyst. Yes, I do know that my parenting job is not over. It will never be over. I get it. For the most part, I know what I signed up for. What I don’t have is a predetermined expectation, from a younger age (maybe even my 3-year-old self) to tell me what I should be doing to feel somewhat successful. And for whatever reason, this lack of expectations has left me feeling anxious, depressed, lonely, frustrated, lost, and even silly. I mean really, I have plenty of adult responsibilities to tend to. It’s not like I’m bored. Again, in the simplest of terms, it’s more like I have accomplished all of my self expectations at the age of 36. So why don’t I feel more free? Why aren’t some new expectations that my older and somewhat wiser self can determine coming to mind? Why am I sitting here feeling completely lost in a very tiny corner of this world surrounded by my dreams come true? Why do all of my ideas that do come to mind seem like a bad fit?

I obviously don’t know the answer to these questions. However, I do know that even if I have somehow accomplished my one and only true goal in life by the age of 36, I’m not giving up. I’m going to keep on searching for the next goal or expectation that feels right for me. I’m excited to talk about this with my therapist. Although, the more I think about it, the more I think that this is what “they” have been meaning all of these years when “they” talk about “finding yourself”.

Here’s to a new year, same old me, whoever that is.

Blah, Blah, Ideas and Such

Alright, so I’ll be the first to admit that I’m really good at starting things and really horrible at continuing/completing tasks. Part of this can be explained by my ADHD, or anxiety, or even depression symptoms. Actually, I’m going to go ahead and say all of my seeming inability to complete a task can be explained by one or all of my mental health issues. This opinion/conclusion is brought to you by the fact that I cannot come up with any reason for my behavior that cannot be linked back to mental health. So there you have it. Seriously, the only accomplishments in life that I have fully completed have to be education related, and somedays I’m not even sure that I did those correctly since I am not using the skills directly in a career setting. The 2.0 version of Clean Living with the Crazies is something that I am determined to have feel like an accomplishment in the end. I will definitely be shouting it from the rooftops whenever it does feel like an accomplishment, trust me. 

So what can you expect to see while following this blog/vlog/social media experience? First and most basically: glimpses of our everyday lives. Part of my “why” for doing this project is to build community based on those mundane, daily events that can feel so isolating to those of us who experience a mental illness. For example, do you ever make small talk with someone just to walk away feeling like the biggest a$$ in the world? I do. All the time. So I’m going to talk about it, in hopes that being able to relate to each other will make us all feel less alone in this crazy life. Secondly, we will have a loosely followed blog theme schedule. Manic Monday, Tidy Tuesday, What’s that Wednesday, Think it Thursday, and Favorite Friday are my working goals for each week. Will each of these happen every week? If I’m being honest, probably not (see first paragraph rambling about accomplishments, etc.). However, I’m going to try my darnedest, so keep checking back to see what you may have missed! 

I keep mentioning community…. What does that look like? Well, engage with us. Watch our vlogs and leave comments. Read our blogs and comment. Follow us on social media and participate. This is how we build community in the land of Cyberspace. P.S. If you’re just going to be a hater, move on because it will not be tolerated. I have enough self-critical thoughts on my own to last a lifetime. If you’re going to hate, chances are I’ve already had that thought, so just save your time. 

Here it goes. Just a girl and a computer, with a supportive husband and a never-ending platform called the Internet. I mean, what do I have to lose? I could gain a sense of accomplishment. 

Clean Living with the Crazies 2.0

Greetings. Hello. Ciao. Bonjour. Aloha. Hi.

Here we are again. I have this constant nag in the back of my mind to go on this adventure of clean living and document it on the internet.  I kept up with this site for a hot minute a year ago, but quickly became distracted with something else (hello adult ADHD). I have a good feeling about Clean Living with the Crazies this time around, so join us on the ride and see where it takes us!

Who we are: We are a family of 4 who live in suburbia and are trying to figure out how to best navigate this life despite our mental health issues.  I, Emily, am a midwestern mom of twin girls who loves ice cream and true crime. The Hubs, Rick, is a computer geek (not nerd) who enjoys retro video games and hacking the internet. Blondie is our first born sass pants who loves to dance. Brownie is our 12 minute younger second born smarty pants who loves to make new friends.

What is Clean Living?: Clean living is everything from literally doing the dishes to mixing our own dish soap to avoid exposure to so many toxins. On this journey, I am hoping to not only increase our ability to live in an environment that appears clean to the eyes, but is also clean and clear of harmful chemicals. We also will explore clean eating and other aspects of “cleaning up” our life. There has been tons of research done by the professionals about the impact of environment and exposure to toxins on mental health. In this life where there are so many things that we can’t control ourselves, starting with our genetics, I am striving to control what is controllable in hopes that it will improve our quality of life as a family.

What are the Crazies?: In addition to the craziness that can easily become life of families, especially once children enter the picture, both myself and the hubs also deal with mental health issues on a daily basis. While I know it’s not exactly PC to call those dealing with mental health issues “crazy”, I mean no disrespect and only use that phrase when discussing my own family (and they’re cool with it). I have a M.S. in Marriage and Family Therapy, that I use to navigate daily life but do not currently practice professionally. The hubs has text book Bipolar I disorder, along with some PTSD just to make things interesting. (Did I mention that sarcasm is one of my coping mechanisms?) I personally have been diagnosed with a variety of fun acronyms; MDD (major depressive disorder), GAD (generalized anxiety disorder), PMDD (premenstrual dysphoric disorder), PPMD (postpartum mood disorder), ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) type inattentive, and who knows what else. We both are actively working with counselors, in addition to regularly meeting with psychiatrists to regulate our medication. It has been on my mind a lot lately, especially after the hubs’ most recent manic episode, that we need to take things a step forward and clean up our living in order to benefit our mental health. So here we go!