"all aboard the antidepressant train." by Leah

Today will be the first day in over a year that I won’t take a little white pill from the prescription bottle on my dresser.

I’m halfway through the process of transitioning off my psychiatric mediation, and I think this milestone has prompted me to reflect quite a bit on what the last year has held, in the midst of valleys and mountains, triumphs and challenges, and strength in the face of overwhelming adversity…

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two thousand eighteen. by Leah

I’m sure I’m not the only one who finds freshness in the month of January, cleanliness of a new year, and the empty space after the holidays oddly satisfying.

After the holiday hustle and bustle, not to mention the rush from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Eve…the calm that January brings was a sigh of relief in my hurried soul. I watched the clock tick down to midnight from the comfort of my bedroom, wrapped up in layers of blankets, my cat quietly snoozing at the foot of my bed. There were no jubilant yells when midnight struck, no confetti drop, and no champagne toasts. Instead I quietly said a prayer of gratitude, closed my eyes and took a few deep breaths as the pops of fireworks from my neighbors began to strike through the silence…

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13.1 miles of gratitude. by Leah

A few weeks ago, I ran my first half marathon.

Completing a distance race had been a long-time goal of mine for quite some time, but never seemed quite within reach. It was in the back of my head, not significant enough to be warranted a priority, and yet still refusing to be forgotten. When I moved to Monterey, in the summer of 2016, I told myself 2017 would be the year I would run a half marathon, and complete my goal…

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the last frontier. by Leah

I had never been to Alaska before.

The farthest north I think I've traveled was with my high school chamber choir, up to Vancouver when I was 16. I remember walking around downtown, sun barely beginning to set at 9pm, amazed by the difference just traveling up the continent had. It was a warm summer evening, folks out and about enjoying the relaxed environment. The promise of unfamiliar sights and sounds was stirring in my soul. I remember feeling excited about what each day held on our trip…

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the new normal. by Leah

I’m settling into a routine.

If you know anything about me, you know that I function well with a set routine. I enjoy watching the “newness” of a season slowly give way to a sense of normalcy, solid expectations of what each day may bring, what the workload looks like, what my weeks may be filled with. Routine is like a blanket on top of a comforter, when you are settling into bed, it provides an extra layer of warmth, comfort, and weight. It puts me at ease.

There’s something about the month of September that seems to be the yearly mark for normalcy and routine in my life. The past few years, I’ve felt my routines begin to settle down in September…

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comeback kid. by Leah

There’s something comforting about counting repetitions.

It’s methodical, it’s predictable, and it provides a structure. When I walk into the gym, I am not thinking about anything else. I am focused on my workout, on my weights, on my repetitions.

1, 2, 3, 4.
5, 6, 7, 8.
9, 10, 11, 12

And repeat.

I had a breakdown last week. The feelings, the thoughts, the fears over losing pieces of my life that meant so much to me swallowed me up like a wave in the ocean. I felt like I was drowning, and began doing anything necessary to get back up to the surface. I cried on my couch for a few hours. I sent text messages I should have left unwritten. I prayed, I cried some more, I went to a place I haven't been to in a long time…

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