Friday, August 30, 2013


For a long time, art has been a therapeutic outlet for me. I have, quite literally, hung up the phone after a break up and immediately picked up paper and pen to start drawing. Since my hypothyroid diagnoses, I have focused more and more on artwork because that is where I am truly happy. It only took a failing thyroid to show me that.

So where is this going you may ask?

Starting today I have launched my own Kickstarter project! This small crowd-funding site allows me the opportunity to follow my dreams.

In no way am I asking for handouts. I am just immensely proud of myself for sticking to my guns and wanted to share the news! More information is available below:

Kickstarter: Classic Fairy Tales in Print

Thursday, August 15, 2013


     There is no way to sugar-coat this: I have agoraphobia. No, this is not self-diagnosed. This was noticed in others, and subsequently in a therapist I was recommended to see for my general anxiety disorder when I refused to take medication.

     Before I press on, lets go back to agoraphobia 101. It is a fear of being in places where it is hard to escape, or where help might not be available. It can be in a crowd, or wide open spaces, wherever you feel there is a danger. Agoraphobia sometimes occurs when a person has had a panic attack and begins to fear situations that might lead to another panic attack.

     This is what happened to me. When I went through about 4 months of panic attacks (which included chest pains, dizziness, and a feeling that I couldn’t breath) , I was commuting to and fro in a town where all my close friends were at least an hour away. My social life was at a low point and most excursions were solo. So most panic attacks were thus happening when I was by myself.

     I no longer wanted to be in a car alone. I associated the dreadful feelings of panic attacks with driving and couldn’t shake the idea that if I got behind the wheel it would happen again. To explain my thought process any further and utter fear of driving away from my home would sound totally irrational. Which is exactly what a phobia is (agora*phobia*), an irrational fear typically disproportional to the actual danger posed.

     In theory, I have nothing to be afraid of. Besides my thyroid issues, and some back problems, I have a clean bill of health. Those chest pains I feel don’t mean i’m dying, just that I’m panicking.

     Some days are better than others. A friend visited me once and we drove an hour to Nashville to a hockey game. About 20 minutes in, I started to panic and tried my hardest to remind myself that nothing was going to happen and she reassured me beforehand that we could always pull over. Despite that, by the time we arrived my legs were literally numb and I was walking around the parking lot thinking I was going to faint. 

But I did it. And that's what i’ve had to remind myself over and over again. I do those drives when I have to, and as stupid as it may sound, I am immensely proud of myself when I can handle any drive over 30 minutes.

     The largest hurdle is any attempt at a social life mostly because I let very few people know about my agoraphobia. Instead of being upfront and honest to friends why I can’t visit, I make up excuses. Ashamed that I am “weak” and unable to explain in an articulate matter why this is so hard for me.

     Just two years ago I could handle 10 hour drives alone, daily commutes into the mountain, solo its embarrassing to have to admit how much of a shut-in I’ve become. Its not something I want to be and I try, but some days I just don’t see any improvement.  Other days it doesn’t make sense. Today I went on a 2 mile walk alone with no issues, but getting a text inviting me to have lunch just 15 minutes down the road makes my heart race (for all the wrong reasons). 

I wish this was more motivational, and more helpful to others. Unfortunately I’m still figuring it out. I understand what causes my attacks, but not how to overcome them. It can just be terribly lonely sometimes and I wish I had let more people in on whats been going on sooner.

     Things have been getting better thou now that i’ve moved into an area that forces me to get out of the house. Seriously, who wants to be inside when Colorado is your backyard?

Thursday, August 8, 2013

The Price of being Gluten Free

     For the last two months I have been attempting to live a gluten-free life. Which is incredibly hard because im pretty sure I was put on this earth to eat all the bagels and scones I can possibly shove into my gluttony hole. But I know I need to stop, because when I am able to go 2-3 days without gluten I feel soooooo much better. I.e. A lot of my  joint pain goes away and my head clears up a bit. 

     But if your like me, I am, how you would say.... domestically impaired as a woman. I don’t know how to iron clothes, what cycle is best for laundry, I throw makeup at my face hoping it works, and most importantly: I hate cooking. Cooking to me is a last resort. Once all the ramen is gone and the forever-alone microwaveable meals are depleted, I turn to my pots and pans in mild disdain.

     So most of my gluten free substitutes are store bought and pre-made. If you are looking for tasty recipes, might I suggest: 

Zen Thyroid

     Today I ran out of my usual breakfast and had to leave my cave to get some gluten-free waffles from the store. In the process I decided to jot down prices of some ready-made gluten free goodies. This can give you a general idea of some prices if you too are considering to go gluten free (but hate to cook).

Udi’s Gluten Free Sliced Bread $5.69

Udi’s Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies $4.99

Udi’s Double Chocolate Muffins pack of 4 $6.49

Udi’s Pure and Simple Granola $5.99

Annie’s Mac and Cheese (6oz)  $1.67

Pillbury Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough/ Pizza Crust/ Pie & Pastry Dough  $4.49

Van’s Gluten Free Waffles $3.00 (was on a special)

Nature Path Organic Chia Plus $3. 69