Catching UP!


Happy New Year, Valentine’s and almost Spring of 2020!! It’s been a while since I’ve posted and it’s time to catch up!

My last post was in July, hard to believe that it’s been that long. I was coping with grief with losing my soul kitty to cancer. Cry, clean, create became my mantra to work through it. The loss of my furbaby triggered a bunch of stored grief for my mom. Having lost her to cancer also.

I am happy to say that even though I carried my grief like a wet blanket, sobbing and heavy, I continued to keep moving forward, another mantra I repeat in my mind, Deep breaths and baby steps!

I have been actively moving forward for years through my mental health recovery, with long breaks and pauses in between to process and release trauma and feelings. Those pauses reflect in my blog, unfortunately, I haven’t reached the point where I am organized enough with my thoughts and emotions to share them regularly here and while it’s happening; but it is the goal.

Last year I really didn’t post much but I feel like so much happened. The year began with that crazy lump sum of money that I found on What a blessing! This money allowed me to buy us bedframes, our mattresses had been floor-bound since our whole bedbug adventure a few years ago. I also bought another car so both my daughter and I have one now. Then, I stocked up on groceries, paper goods, and bought a printer and supplies of herbs, essential oils, and a massage/reiki bed, in hopes of beginning a business at some point.

Speaking of business, I began working with Vocational Rehab. I am taking a Self Employment program and am lucky enough to work with Dr. Deborah Osgood as my success coach! I started the blog/site Be YOUthentic. Check it out if you are interested@ Though I have some catching up to do on that blog too! It is a shared blog with my daughter and soon will have some herbal products created by yours truly!

I also completed a mentorship with a coven after completing The Witch’s Path class at Misty Meadows where I did my herbal apprenticeship. I will write more about this in a separate post. I am so grateful to have had this spiritual and magical addition to my life! And speaking of herbal apprenticeship, I just started another one at Blackbird’s Daughter Botanicals!  I am so excited to be continuing my plant journey!

2019 was a year of extreme ups and downs for me, with reunions, losses,  endings, and beginnings. It was a year of letting go of people and behaviors that no longer serve my highest good, to make space for the new and emerging life waiting to be born in 2020!

I guess that’s enough catching up for now.

Thank you for being here and allowing me to share my journey!🥰

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The Blogger Recognition Award


Some people don’t care for Blogger Awards or have mixed opinions. Personally I deeply appreciate being appreciated. It is encouraging to know people hear me and even though I am working on feeling worthy of awards, I know that my voice counts. Thanks so much to  Kat from, a Mental Health Blog, for this nomination and most of all her kind words. To be nominated for an award is wonderful; but, to be recognized for being “humble and honest” means even more. Kat writes about being a mom and taking care of her daughter who struggles with several mental health issues. Please check her blog out at you

I started my blog as a place to share my journey back from a severe mental breakdown in 2005. I got stuck on my About me page for 2yrs before I came back and moved on.  I took some blogging courses here on that set me on my path. I try my best to share my life and my struggles as a woman with mental illness. I am inconsistent and disappear for a months at a time; but, I always return and am always welcomed. It is a home to come in out of the storm. 

My advice to beginner bloggers would be not only to write about what you are passionate about; but, also what you know. I have tried to write about other subjects; but, having mental health issues is something I know about, therefore, I will always have something to write. Also, learn how to free write. This is something I am still working on. As you are writing your post, just let it out and then go back and edit. I have a habit of trying to perfect it as I go along and then lose my momentum. Lastly, read other blogs; it is good to observe what others are writing and how they have their blogs structured, and best of all, it is how to build your community.




My nominations are to people whom I’ve traveled through this blogosphere for a while now. I respect them, their creativity and bravery to share their stories. I wish I could pick more than ten, because everyone who shares themselves deserve recognition. ❤













To participate in the Blogger Recognition Award:

1. Show your gratitude to the person who nominated you and provide a link back to the person’s blog.
2. Give a brief story on your blog.
3. Share two or more pieces of advice for beginner bloggers.
4. Choose 10 other bloggers to nominate.
5. Comment on each blog, letting them know they’ve been nominated and provide a link to your award post.

Update: Chaos, Upheaval and Change


Happy 2017 Everyone!  I feel like I am still purging 2016. I hate that I haven’t blogged in so long; but, my life has been in a constant state of chaos.  If you read my last update, then you know last year was a rough one for me.  After my meltdown, I regrouped and started prepping for winter by going back on my antidepressant (Wellbutrin) and increasing my Vitamin D. I always get depressed in the winter, so I figured preparing better might help. The holidays were around the corner which has its own stress; but, somehow wipes away when family gathers and laughter and love fill my heart.

I had a few good months after my last update; but, then December hit me hard. My daughter was sinking into a depression. I believe part of it was because she was feeling anxiety and pressure becoming an adult. She turns 18 in June. She dropped out of her DBT group, and then her dance program. She loves dance, so this was a big red flag. We started talking about residential treatment; but, here in NH there isn’t much available, especially if you don’t have money. She decided to try medication. The psychiatrist put her on Seroquel. She hadn’t slept in weeks, and the first night on the medication she slept like a baby, and it warmed my heart. She also started seeing her counselor twice a week instead of once. Things felt better for a second. Then she started talking to and meeting up with a couple of older men she met on the internet. Talk about a mother’s nightmare. I absolutely insisted on meeting the first guy who was 22years old. I had them meet in the mall figuring it is a public place, got his full name, address and telephone number. The second guy she snuck out to meet.

I woke up in the middle of the night to a person laying on my floor with their arm outreached for what I figured out later was my purse. They had a black hat on and a flannel. I reached down and touched their head, and questioned, Serenity? I thought it was my daughter and she couldn’t sleep again, and came in to  curl up as she has so many times before. The second I touched their head, they took off swiftly, ran down the stairs and out my back door which was left open a crack. Not fully awake, I quickly assumed it was Serenity and she was sleepwalking on her Seroquel. I searched the neighborhood, calling her name. After about 15min of trying to find her, I knocked on my sisters door and she and her son came over my apartment as I called 911. Shortly the police were over taking her description. I said she was wearing a black hat; but, then I saw on our stand the only black hat either of us own, and her flannel was hanging in the hallway. Now, I was confused and unsure what she was wearing. The officer took my info and went searching with flashlights through the neighborhood. To no avail, they had to call in a dog to search. I gave the officer her pillow case to have the dog sniff out. Again, no Serenity. The fire department came and used thermal imaging to try to find her. No success. They finally concluded that she must have took off and they left. I remembered her saying she met a 25yr old online, and now I was terrified what may become of her. About 5am, Serenity came through the back door. By this time, I had picked up my other sister too. As hard as it was adjusting to both my sisters moving close to me, I sure was happy to have their support.

“Serenity!” I screamed and threw my arms around her. Where were you? Why were you in my room at 1am, on my floor? She admitted she had snuck out to meet this guy; but, she swore it wasn’t her on my floor, and that she had left around midnight. It dawned on me that there was an intruder in my room and was reaching for my purse. I called the police to report she was home. The officer came over and gave her a gentle lecture about the fact that nothing good can come out of a 25yr old man meeting a 17yr old girl in the middle of the night. He went on to tell her that I swore by her and believed she was sleepwalking, and that they used about $5000. worth of resources trying to find her. Serenity at this point was crying. She gave us the guys name, and my sisters and I went on the internet to search for him. He had a lot of dark stuff on his Facebook page. I was extremely concerned. I wondered if somehow the intruder in my room was connected to him. Regardless, I told Serenity that it IS connected; because of she left the back door open. I could’ve been robbed, raped or killed. I grounded her and we had an appointment the next day with the psychiatrist.

The psychiatrist wanted to increase her Seroquel. He explained that the medication isn’t at a high enough dose to help with her mood disorder. At this point I am a mess, and she is out of control. I know medication isn’t going to solve this. We saw her counselor right after the psychiatrist. She told us about an intensive outpatient program for teens. Great. Serenity and I were arguing and when we got home she ran up the stairs, smashed her full length mirror, grabbed a shard and cut her arm all up. I hear her screaming mama, and I see the blood, the mirror, I fall to my knees, and call 911….again.

At the hospital, Serenity is as sweet as pie. I am angry inside and not falling for it. I can’t believe this is where we are at. She hadn’t been this bad since 12-13yrs old, when she had to be hospitalized 5 times for self harming and suicidal thoughts. The good thing was she was ok. I was hoping she would get admitted somewhere so they could help her stop this path of self destruction; but, Serenity knew what to say to keep herself out of the hospital, and we agreed on trying the outpatient program that her counselor had mentioned.

At this point I am feeling distant, angry and hopeless. We are normally very close; but, I couldn’t even talk to her. On Christmas morning, she breaks down because I had been so closed off from her. I hold her while she cries, and outpours her emotions. I cry with her. Then we agree that we will try this outpatient program, and that we will get through this. First, we are going to have a great Christmas. After we have our Christmas morning we are all heading to my brothers and our family will be together.

My sister video calls me and says her son fell down the stairs and they’re going to the emergency room. All I can see is my little nephew with a neck brace on in the back of an ambulance. I honestly snapped inside and went on auto pilot. We got to the hospital and thankfully my nephew is okay. He got a staple in his head. My daughter and I are starving and went to the cafeteria. She looks at me and says she wants a turkey sandwich. We’ve both been vegetarians for almost 2years. Let’s do it I replied. Finally, we are all leaving the hospital and head to my brothers where we had an incredibly beautiful Christmas.

The day after Christmas, my other sister who wasn’t feeling well enough to make it to our brothers, says she is moving back to Pa. I was extremely concerned that she would move back and use drugs again. It was too much to handle and I told her to give me a day. The next day I managed to go say goodbye to her and hear her out. She explained that financially she could be making strides in Pa. and she had a safe, supportive environment to go to. She missed her kids. My daughter and I exchanged hugs and tears with her and she left.

The very next day pesticide control was coming to inspect my apartment and confirmed my fearful suspicion, bedbugs. We had less than a week to bag up every belonging, and were instructed to buy mattress covers, and get ready for treatment. I dug into my small savings to purchase the covers and then went into physical exhaustion bagging up and laundering our entire apartment.Not to mention I was already emotionally spent. My BFF/brother in law was now staying in the living room with us for a few days, because he was having trouble at home

The morning they came to treat, I was throwing up. I had to get my 3 cats into the car and stay out of the apartment for 6 hrs. I asked them if I should throw away my furniture, and she said she had no opinion and that they were going to treat it. On the third and what was supposed to be the last treatment, I am informed that both mattresses, and my living room chair and couch are infested, with adult, babies, and larvae, and that they had been feeding. Now, I had to throw away all my furniture. Plus, they said I had to relaunder everything, and my place was too cluttered. I had to move my things into a storage. I was exasperated. Why didn’t they tell me this before? How was I supposed to afford a storage? Even if I could afford a storage, I knew I had clutter that needed to be tossed. IMy sister made an appointment with the health inspector for me. I went in circles trying to get some answers. Basically, the landlord was doing minimal action in order to be legally compliant. In reality, they should be treating the whole building and preferably heat treatment. Regardless, it didn’t change the fact that I had 5 days to complete these instructions. I spent 4 days, from morning to night sorting, tossing, crying. They came to treat again last Monday.

Meanwhile, my daughter started the outpatient program. Because she refuses meds, the insurance won’t cover it, so we have to pay each day she goes. Last Friday, she called me from school with thoughts of self harm. I picked her up and she went to her program. A few hours later, I received a call that they feel she needs a crisis evaluation, she is having suicidal thoughts. We spent two nights in the ER and Sunday she was admitted to a treatment hospital in Vermont. I was hopeful that finally she would get therapy she needed; but, again because she refuses meds she is being discharged tomorrow.

This past Monday, pesticide control came to do an inspection and finally got the good word that they didn’t see any bedbugs. However, I am leery, and will be very careful unpacking our things. I am also wondering when I do get furniture again, will they resurface? Are they hiding in the walls waiting?

So, my friends, this is why I haven’t blogged in awhile, and these are just the highlights. Presently, I am sitting on my bean bag chair next to my air mattress with everything I own in clear plastic bags. I await a family meeting over the phone with my daughter, and the hospital staff. I am on my third cup of coffee, and feeling more tired than ever. Last year was hell, and this year feels the same thus far. Outside my personal life, it seems the country is feeling some radical chaos itself. President Trump and all the upheaval is felt by all of us.

I pray that soon the sun will shine on us again. That all this change will even out and life will be bearable. That the chaos and upheaval will pay off in a way that was never suspected. Here’s to 2017.


*~Five Magical Things About Today~*

Magic is in the air!! I feel it’s optimism and it’s urge for change.


Here are five things that make today magical.

1) It’s the Spring Equinox!

“Springtime is the land awakening. The March winds are the morning yawn.” ~Quoted by Lewis Grizzard in Kathy Sue Loudermilk, I Love You

It has been a horrendlously long and challenging winter here in New England, and even though the weather is not as warm as the thought of Spring, it is comforting to know that the hardest part is behind. Even if it snows it will not accumulate. The days are lighter a little longer, and daydreams of summer nights are stirred. Spring has always renewed my energy. It’s the season of my birth and my rebirth.

2) It’s a New Moon~*

New moons represent new beginnings. My mom and I used to light new moon candles. We would use a pen or a pin, and scratch into the candles what our wishes and desires were for the new moon cycle.

Click here for more info on the New Moon phase , and how to use it to manifest your desires.

3) It’s a Solar Ecipse

A Solar Eclipse is a natural phenomenon, and the fact that we have the kind of technology where we can witness it from across the world is absolutely incredible. Check it out,,,,amazing! 🙂

4) It’s my blogiversary!

Thinking about Spring made me remember my Spring Renewal post, and it dawned on me that I have been blogging a whole year!!!!! It maybe amateurish to celebrate; but, it’s an extraordinary accomplishment for me. It took me two years after completing my About page to actually begin my blog. I was too afraid to feel my emotions enough to write them and actually share them. I was too afraid of what people would think about me. I was too afraid to believe in myself as a person or a writer. Finally, I wrote my very first post Regroup, Reboot and Relaunch. A few posts later,  I took the Blogging 101 course and was [pleasantly overwhelmed with the support and encouragement I received from all of you. I’m not sure if I would have made it a year without the constant and growing connection I make here. I am so looking forward to continuing the journey. ❤

5) Its FRIDAY!!!

Okay, so it might be reaching to say that being Friday is a magical thing; but, it all depends on your prospective. When the week has felt long and treacherous and it takes all your strength to survive another day….you keep going only because you know that the week will pass; then Friday feels pretty magical!!!


*~Happy Friday~Happy Spring~Happy New Moon~*

to all of you and may this magical day rain gentle showers of blessings over you~

The Very Inspiring Blogger Award!!!


“When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.”
― Maya Angelou

Thank you!!! I am deeply grateful and honored to receive this award. When I was taking the Blogging 101 course,  I met an incredibly awesome and supportive community. The blogging course may have ended but the loving support continues.

I have met so many wonderful peers that are inspiring to me, including Nicole Davis whom bravely blogs about her life with lupus and antiphospholipid syndrome. I thank her for nominating me for this award. Check out her blog Triumphant Wings.

The Very Inspiring  Blogger Award is especially important to me. I feared for so long in beginning this blog. It took me two years to work up the courage. Various thoughts of anxiety plagued me; but I finally did it. I thought to myself if even only one person is inspired by my words, than I’ve succeeded. I did not expect this amount of encouragement. It’s  because of my “dream readers” and this award that I am evermore inspired to keep writing and sharing. Thank you and Blessings!

“All the effort in the world won’t matter if you’re not inspired.”
― Chuck Palahniuk, Diary

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The  rules in accepting this award is as follows:

  • Thank and link the amazing person who nominated you.
  • List the rules and display the award.
  • Share seven facts about yourself.
  • Nominate 15 other amazing blogs and comment on their posts to let them know they have been nominated.
  • Optional: Proudly display the award logo on your blog and follow the blogger who nominated you.

Hmmm, it’s a little challenging to come up with something new. I’ve previously stated 22 facts about me in accepting my Liebster Awards.  The facts in my first Liebster were heavy and intense; while the ones in my second Liebster were trivial and light. Let me see if I can come up with a happy medium 🙂

7 irrelevant facts:

1) First of all, one of my favorite numbers happens to be 7, along with 3, 11 and 13.

2) I have an addiction to books and magazines. I have stacks of them everywhere.

3) I have two tattoos. A dragonfly on my right shoulder and a black cat on my right ankle.

4) I am half Greek; the other half is French, Scottish, Irish, English and a splash of Native American.

5) My two favorite shows when I was little were Bewitched and I Dream of Jeannie.

6) I have a scar on the right side of my neck.  I was 13 yrs. old when I overheard the doctors talking about me possibly having cancer. When the doctor removed my lymphnode  he laughingly told me it was Cat Scratch Fever. I got several Ted Nugent albums during my recovery.

7) I have burn scars on my neck too. Embarrassed to say, they are from trying to use a curling iron with a broken hand.

Okay that’s enough of me, onto my nominees. I find many of my blogging peers inspiring, whether they are sharing their art, poetry, photos, stories or struggles. Here are 15 very inspiring bloggers:

1) This Sick Foundation

2) My Experience with Lupus

3) Maria Brinkley, artist

4) Perspectives on life, universe and everything.

5) Prayer For Anxiety

6) Living, Learning and Letting Go

7) 50 Shades of Me

8) Disordered Self

9) Otrazhenie

10) An Ever Changing Writer I am

11) Nitya Nata

12) Human Relationships

13) Kelzbelzphotography

14) The Bipolar Bum

15) Birth of a New Brain


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Another Liebster!!!


Wow! Another Liebster Award!! Thanks so much to Lyralla for the nomination who just accepted her third Liebster. Congrats! It’s great to be a part of each others journeys.

I can’t begin to explain how much it means to receive so much encouragement from my peers. This blog was in my mind for years before I ever had the courage to start it. If I had known that this wonderful community existed, I may not have waited so long.

Well, without further adieu; a refresher of the rules:

  • mention and/or provide a link back to the person that nominated you
  • state 11 facts about yourself
  • answer 11 questions by your nominator
  • nominate 11 other worthy bloggers that have under 200 followers

The 11 facts I stated in my first Liebster were pretty serious; so I’d like to be a little lighter this round.

  1. My full name is Maria Fairbrother.
  2. I am a proud mom of a teenage daughter named Serenity (whom isn’t always serene, lol).
  3. I love nature, I find it very healing.
  4. I am a big believer in holistic health and the necessary balance of body, mind and spirit.
  5. I love to write, but sometimes find it difficult and/or draining.
  6. I enjoy crafts such as, beading, dreamcatchers, drawing, painting, photography (basically any creative outlet).
  7. I am a cat lover. Though I love all animals, I have owned cats my entire life. Presently I have three.
  8. I am 46 years old. (ugh that one kinda hurt)
  9. I enjoy exploring metaphysical studies.
  10. I like to read. Though, I mostly read self help, philosophy, etc., I recently started reading fiction. I love the escape.
  11. Speaking of escapes…I secretly love the video game The Sims and play whenever I can.

Aaah, that wasn’t so hard. Now for the questions.

  1. What time is it where you’re at?   Ok, that is easy. It is now 9:41 am.
  2. What did you want to become when you were 6? – If you still remember…  How could I forget? I wanted to be a movie star. It was a dream I pursued for many years and ended up on many different paths because of it.
  3. Describe your best friend in three words!   I have two best friends which sadly I haven’t been in touch with lately. I will fix that! One I have had since 6th grade. I would describe her: Sweet, Funny, Supportive. My other best friend I’ve known for about 20yrs. We have the same birthday; but she is 11yrs older. She is Spiritual, Wise, Fun
  4. What has been your biggest challenge in life so far?  Another two part answer. I’ve been through several traumas; but, my mother’s death was the hardest. The biggest challenge has been putting my life back together since with a heightened awareness of my mental disorders.
  5. Are you happy?   Ironic, my daughter asked me the same thing last night. Yes. I am happy that I am living the best possible life I can and will continue to improve it.
  6. Do you have allergies?  Yup. I have asthma. I am allergic to many animals. (I know, I shouldn’t have cats), also pollen and dust.
  7. What is your favorite dish?   Well, a full one is always good! But seriously I love spanokopita. It’s a greek spinach and cheese pie.
  8. You’re in an amusement park: what ride are you afraid of?  Love the roller coaster but strangely enough on the ferris wheel I always get a little nauseous. I think it’s the height.
  9. Do you believe in love at first sight?  Yes, but unfortunately that stage of love doesn’t last long.
  10. Describe your first kiss!  Playing spin the bottle with my best friend and our “boyfriends.” Unfortunately, she ended up kissing my boyfriend and I ended up kissing hers for our first kisses!
  11. What is the first thing you think about when I say / write “Belgium”?   Mmmm. The Belgium chocolate stash I have in the freezer. Excuse me for a minute.

Okay, now that I got my chocolate fix, here are my 11 nominees and their questions:



  1. What is your biggest joy?
  2. Who is your favorite superhero? Why?
  3. If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?
  4. What is your favorite song?
  5. Do you have a hobby? What is it?
  6. If you could change one thing about your past, what would it be?
  7. If you had the chance to speak with any dead person, who would it be?
  8. What do you do to relax?
  9. What do you do to motivate?
  10. Describe in three words your future self.
  11. Why do you blog?

That shoud do it. Thanks again to Lyralla and all of my blogging peers! 🙂