My pregnancy body and why I’m learning to love it.

Before I got pregnant, I used to find it hard imagining that I would be able to accept what my body would be like when pregnant, let alone like it.

It wasn’t that I wasn’t in awe of how a body can grow a whole, beautiful little baby from scratch, because that is incredibly amazing! But more so that I was worried how I would feel about my body with regards to my past experiences with body image. I was worried about how I would cope with a body that is growing in size, and that is out of my control, and not being able to deal with all of the thoughts that go along with that.

However, I am so pleasantly surprised! Since becoming pregnant, what my body is doing has truly left me in awe. And that’s so weird! That I am accepting my body and all it’s doing to grow this beautiful little bean! It feels strange to be so at peace with my appearance. I am so happy to watch my bump grow every week. This is such a massive shift in mindset, coming from years of absolutely loathing my physical self with every cell I had, and destroying it at every chance I got, to admiring what my body can do for me.

And growing babies it just one thing that makes bodies incredible. We have arms and legs and eyes and ears and noses and digestive systems and veins and hearts and brains, and oh my goodness each of these parts of us do such an incredible job! They keep us going, and they keep us fighting, in every moment of every day. And most of the time we don’t even acknowledge the amazing work that our bodies do, without us even consciously knowing what to do or how to do it. Every system, pathway, and stimulus in our body functions to keep us alive. What an incredible gift to have.

Taking care of both our bodies and souls is of upmost importance. After all, they give us the world, and most of the time we struggle to even think a positive thought about them. I feel so grateful for all that my body does, and I am so happy that it kept going despite all that it’s been through.

Here’s to our bodies, and the remarkable work they do every second of every day for us.

Lately…

Lately life has made me amazed and in awe. Absolute awe. I feel useless at describing how golden people and moments and animals and nature and the waves of life simply are.

We are laughing so much and spending time with friends and family and there are so many good things. Kind things. Lucky things.

I feel so thankful to be alive in a world with the depths of darkness, and the heavens of light too.

To be living. To be human.

So many things flow. And are in harmony.

Lately, we have celebrated me being self-harm free for two years. It’s wild, let me tell you, because for five years that was such an engulfing part of my life, and now… I can be without it. Somehow. I still have the same thoughts, yet the daily desperate urge to act on these behaviors has finally passed. They took well over a year of not self harming to go away.

Today I have these thoughts, but I tag them and move on. They are insignificant to my life today. They just float around in the empty spaces of my brain and they wheeze a bit, but that’s about it. They are just a tiny piece of me.

Lately I’ve been going for walks with the intention of being mindful, and these are so good. To take in the grass and the dew and all of the leaves. The universe really is extraordinary.

And to be writing for a job! This was such an unexpected surprise. I never knew that writing could actually pay, you know, like real life money. Writing was always something I had deemed as only a hobby, and definitely not something that you could support yourself with, unless you suddenly turned into JK Rowling overnight. It’s so crazy how things happen.

And I’m trying to not even care that my blog posts aren’t perfect, and my writing isn’t perfect, and that my photos definitely aren’t either. But all of these things are bringing me joy, and that is what matters.

Tapering off my SNRI has been interesting. I feel as though there was a big glass pane which has been removed, and now I’m all bare and exposed. The withdrawal side effects haven’t been as bad as I had expected, and following my doctor’s plan has definitely helped. Sometimes I swear that my head is floating above my body, and that my eyes are zooming in and out way too fast to be natural. It’s all very robotic. But these things will pass. Apparently it can take a while for your brain to adjust to doing it’s own thing. Something I won’t miss are the exhausting, brutal dreams. Venlafaxine dreams, anyone? A 20 minute nap turns into a horror movie every single time. Wild stuff!

Therapy is going and going and I think it’s going good, but it’s one of those things that you don’t really ever know how exactly it’s going because you’re not exactly the right person to be judging that. Using the skills that therapy has taught me is great though, because surprise! With enough practice they can actually help! I don’t know, I’m just so content at the same time as being all out of sorts because of the medication, or lack of, and it’s weird. But good. This is progress I think?

Lately I’ve just wanted to dwell in how the ocean sparkles, and how perfect the dew is, and how beautiful being by Cameron’s side is. There are so many good things when we are able to see them.

I’m grateful. I’m grateful.

Wired.

Every single second runs and runs and flies and I can’t keep up.

Every word sounds clunky and bumpy and these sentences don’t form how they feel and I just don’t know how to say it.

My brain soars at one hundred and one miles per hour and this is unfiltered. This is me.

I don’t know how to deal with it. It has been over 700 days since I’ve last been flying. Since the ground met my feet. Since these drugs have grounded me.

I have been saved. And now I have to save myself.

I had forgotten how fast and unbearable that everything could be. How I can crash and burn and crash once again before anything even happens.

My heart beats so, so ungodly loud and with every beat I swear I can’t do it again. It beats and my thoughts pound and rattle through my ribcage, and I feel gone from my skin. From myself.

When my thoughts fly and sail through the darkest night and this feels like before. This is when all the bad things happen. And life crumbles away.

Yet this is good and this is progress and this is what I want, right?

I am here. I am sprinting. I am still.

I said to the sun . . .

I’m going to begin with one of my all time, absolute favourite quotes – “I said to the sun, ‘Tell me about the big bang.’ The sun said, ‘it hurts to become.'” (Andrea Gibson).

And my oh my, that quote just fills me with so much power and so much strength; strength that it not my own but something that I feel as though I can be apart of.

These past two months have been a whirlwind. Everything has just been going and going, and these days have been all about hard work and consistency, and just getting stuff done. It’s exhausting, but a good sort of exhausting. It’s a normal kind of being to busy to breathe kind of exhaustion, rather than my mind is going crashing through the ground. It’s a refreshing change.

Some solid, concrete steps for the future are fitting into place. This morning I was offered a new job, and it has made our future far more secure and stable. It hasn’t sunken in yet really. It will change a lot of things, in a good way.

Lately my head has been doing so good. I feel burnt out, but not because of what’s going on within, but because I am able to do so many things beyond now. I have felt so confident and content. I don’t know what has changed. Maybe it’s all the therapy work. Maybe it’s all the pushing to change. Maybe it’s just a new season. But what I do know is that I feel more me than I can ever remember.

For years I was stuck within illnesses that took over my entire world. Every decision, perspective, and moment was controlled and dulled by their graces. I was never me. I was just trying to survive, and knew only how to exist just beneath the surface.

However today, I feel more authentic to who I am supposed to be than ever. It sounds cheesy but I don’t know how to describe it. I have been trying to stand up for myself and for what I believe is important. I am talking to people I would normally be afraid of, because I can think “what’s the worst that can happen?” and actually go ahead and do it. I’m trying to stay true to my values in all situations. Anxiety, where are you at? It’s weird but enchanting. It’s amazing how much life expands when anxiety lets you push it. I truly don’t know how all these things have changed, but for now, things are wonderful. Thinking to how things used to be – to hell and back – I don’t know how I am still in today. But heck, I am so thankful for it.

Right now I am living in these days where I don’t constantly think about and dwell on bad things that have happened, and it’s such a strange, yet absolutely amazing feeling. To have my mind not imprisoned with a reel that replays the worst on repeat – it’s crazy. I still think about these things, a lot, but they are not my every thought anymore. I’m trying to build new moments and thoughts to outgrow the old. Bad, triggering songs are being replaced with songs to make new, good memories with. My psychologist and I are working on my safety behaviors, and it’s horribly difficult but good too.

The sun has told me that I can cope, that I can survive and keep living, and today I am beginning to believe her.

Expanding the narrative of mental illnesses.

Today I’m writing about why your voice is important, and about why it deserves to be heard.

The stereotypes of mental illnesses portray a narrative; a story of what it means to be mentally ill. These stories are often limiting, damaging and aren’t the full story. They often don’t capture the experience of having a mental illness, and being a person beyond that.

The stereotypical story tells of what it should look like to be mentally ill, of what it should feel like to be mentally ill, and of who you should be if you are mentally ill.

A young, thin white woman who has a feeding tube and suddenly is miraculously recovered but is still very thin and doesn’t eat carbs, is the story of an eating disorders.

Self-harm is a lost, slightly confused teenager, who just needs to be requited with their crush and then they will be cured

Depression is a short stint with feeling a bit glum, but once you smile more and think positive, everything is sunshine and rainbows.

Need I go on?

These stereotypes aren’t just false, but they are also harmful. They spread the message that to be sick and to get treatment, your experiences have to mirror these stories.


That’s not to say that actual, lived experiences of mental illnesses do not contain some of these elements, as they certainly might. However they are so much more than these simplistic, one-dimensional viewpoints.

Eating disorders are messy. They can involve screaming, sobbing, your hair falling out, gaining weight, losing weight, eating, or not eating, isolation, obsession, disgusting ways of hiding and getting rid of food, pushing away those closest to you. They are definitely not a diet gone too far, or a supreme example of self-control.

Eating disorders can affect any person, of any weight, gender, race, socio-economic status, geographic location, sexual orientation, religion and age.

They involve food, yes, but they are also involve so much more. They are an accumulation of a lifetime of chemicals, experiences and circumstances. 

They are so much broader, and deeper, than a false impression of Anorexia.

And this is just with eating disorders.

There is a plethora of damaging stereotypes surrounding the lesser spoken about mental illnesses – schizophrenia, psychosis and dissociative identity disorder just to name a few. Stereotypes consisting of violence and fear, casting cowardly shadows on an already deeply discriminated community.

These false impressions do no good, and they do not serve a purpose in healing, in well-being, or in a society fighting the stigma against mental illnesses.

So this is what we must do, despite being afraid and despite not fitting in with what mental illnesses are deemed to look and be like. Share our stories, the messy, horrible and happy parts. The spectrum of emotion that goes with being a human with a mental illness, rather than a mental illness itself.

Share the good parts, the bad parts, the confusing parts. Share the parts that don’t fit in with the stereotypes, and those that may do too, to show that we are more than a singular, flat existance.

Share that there are many roads and paths to recovery, and that recovery does not look the same for everyone. For some, recovery is about eliminating symptoms, and for others, it’s about learning how to live alongside them. Some paths are short and others are long. Some are well-supported while others are not. 

All of these voices can, and should contribute to what being a person with a mental illness means. A myraid of perspectives, a full sky of meaning, a vast and brilliant constellation of being human, and of one that experiences hard things.

Try not to be afraid to share your voices my sweet friends.

More than an illness.

Sometimes mental illnesses can become so overwhelming, so all-encompassing and bold, that it can feel as though we have lost our entire selves to their entity.

During the deepest, most destructive stages of an illness, everything can feel subdued, isolated, and lacking in richness; colour. What would usually mean the world to us could become meaningless, or be a source of pain and guilt. Feelings of unworthiness and of not being good enough, to be worthy of good things in our lives, show their sneering faces.

It’s not as though any part of who we are is necessarily taken away, but rather that there is a heavy filter over ourselves and all we experience. A thick raincloud that buckets down abuse, regardless of if we are walking beneath the sun. 

Through learning how to live a full, rich life alongside whatever is going on in our brains, whether this be recovery, healing, or any word you wish to use to describe your journey, these filters can fade. They may always have a presence in our lives, but they will not always dictate our experiences, and who we become.

Something that both the stigma surrounding mental illnesses, and being deeply unwell with one, have in common, is that we can be told, whether it’s by ourselves or from others, that this is who we are. That we are depression, anxiety, self-harm, the whole shebang! That our experiences from a particular time, while being unwell, defines who we are. That our potential is tethered and capped by the arms of the mental illness. That mental illness is who we are, and who we will be.

The day that I asked my closest friends if they would like to be my bridesmaids was during my recovery. We went out to a cute little cafe, and it was the first time I had eaten out with them in about four years, and one of the first handful of times I had eaten with them at all. After we were done, I got a message from my best friend, saying that in all honesty, she didn’t think she would ever see that day come. She also said how proud she was of me, and how far I had come.

This is a person who had seen me at my worst, for years. Who saw me refusing to get help again and again, and saw how it tried to destroy everything in it’s path. Who saw me make up lie after lie after excuse as to why I couldn’t go to to certain events, and who saw my anxiety bubble over countless times when food was present. Her message meant so much to me, and to be honest, I didn’t think that day would ever come either. Of being able to do something as normal as going out to eat brunch with your best friends. 

That day gave me so much hope. And it still does, thinking back. Because when you are utterly consumed by a mental illness, it can feel as though you are the embodiment of it. That your entire past, present and future will be tormented. There is no light, there is no hope. Your horrors are all that you are.

Well I’m here to tell you that this isn’t true.

You are so much more than an illness.

Remember that the illness resides in your life, rather than you within it.

Here I am.


My name is Kaitlyn, and I experience depression, an anxiety disorder, and dermatillomania. I have largely recovered from an eating disorder and self-harm too.

This things are part of me, but they aren’t all that I am.

And that’s the same for you too.

There was a time in my life where they felt as if they made up so much of me. But it’s important to note that they weren’t everything.

I am so much more than some of the stuff that goes on in my head.

And you are too.

Think of all those little moments where you feel wonder to be alive, of all the songs you sing along to, of all the people that bring you joy.

Think of the flower that catches your eye, of what you gravitate towards, of what makes you laugh.

Think of all the times you have helped others, of when you have accomplished hard things, of when you have been honest.

This all helps to build up you too.

You can be everything beyond what mental illnesses say you can be.

You are so much more than a label.

Pain echoes.

Something that can be hard about blogging is making sure that you are only sharing your own experiences and story, when as humans, our journeys all become intricately intertwined with each other. Since beginning this blog, I have tried to be very conscious about not writing about other people and their experiences, as those are their stories alone to share how they wish. This can be a double-edged sword. In one instance, it can seem as though our mental health journeys are not affected by other people and theirs too, which is false because we all impact each other. No person is an island after all. Back in November and December, there was a person in my life whose behaviour had a really big effect on my mental health, however I didn’t want to write about what was happening because I would have felt too guilty. Secondly, there does come a point where the impact of others is immense, and thus it becomes your experience too, but obviously from a different perspective. In these cases, I’m trying to believe that it is okay to write about it, as long as privacy is maintained, and that where possible, permission is asked. However, I also get scared that it will appear like I’m making situations all about me, when that really isn’t the case (or at least I hope not! What if I’m blind to that? Shut up brain.).

Please take note that from here on out, this piece discusses suicide. Please put yourself first, and head to a different page if this is unhelpful for your present state. It’s okay to take care of yourself, and that’s what I want you to do.

Lately, there has been a lot going on, especially for my lovely husband. It would feel wrong not to address it. I have talked to him about sharing this on the blog, and he was more than okay with it. He is much better than I am at tackling stigma by talking about difficult things.

A lot of what has happened is pain. And how that pain echoes throughout the lives of everyone who is around.

Very recently, one of his colleagues died by suicide. It came as a shock to my husband, and for the rest of his workplace too. He wasn’t super close with the person, but they would see each other and chat daily. They would joke around with each other, and he liked her collection of figurines which spread across her desk.

For him and his colleagues, there is a gaping emptiness in their community now. The unbearable pain which she must have felt echoes.

What do you do now?

There is no manual for the people who continue living after suicide.

How can somebody be there one day, and gone the next?

There is no singular right way to cope with suicide, I don’t think. Both for the person involved, and those around them.

It’s just a really, really immensely horrible situation.

autumn, daylight, environment

And then, two days later, I heard about what happened to one of our WordPress mental health bloggers and advocates. Reading much later on what she wrote broke my heart. The desperation and pain she must have been feeling is indescribable. Thankfully because of a few very proactive bloggers, she was reached in time. I am hoping with my entire being that she will receive the help she deserves now, and both her and her family are in my thoughts.

In my little 22 years, more friends than I like to count have expressed their suicidal thoughts to me. A handful have attempted, and I am so thankful that they are alive today.

It is the most heartbreaking thing.

At 19, a friend attempted suicide at the New Year’s Eve party which I was hosting at my parent’s house.

The police had to kick down a door to get to her.

The pain of that night and day is insurmountable. I cannot describe how much it impacted everybody who attended, and also how much it must have impacted her too.

She hasn’t spoken to me since that day. But that’s okay. That’s not important in the big scheme of things. The main thing is that she is okay.

I don’t even know how, or what else to say. It kind of all speaks for itself.

Where to from here?

People care.

God, people care and love so incredibly much.

If one good thing is to come out of all of this horror, it’s finding out that people care and love, so immensely, so deeply. They care so much that their heart breaks as yours does too.

Secondly, if you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, please, please tell someone.

Share your struggles. Talk and cry and scream and talk more. Just tell somebody.

You will feel better than you do in the moment. It is possible for the pain to evolve into something good.

I don’t know what else to say. It’s all too hard.

So, I’ll just end with the honest truth – you all are cared about.

You all matter.

What is dermatillomania?

From writing a couple of little ancedotes about my experiences with dermatillomania on here, quite a few people have said that they hadn’t heard of it before, and didn’t know what it was. And understandably so! It’s a big, long funny sounding word, and it definitely isn’t talked about as much as other mental illnesses, such as anxiety or depression. So I thought it would probably be helpful to make a factual sort of post, explaining what dermatillomania is, and how it is generally expressed in different people. I hope this doesn’t come across as lecturing or condescending, or like I’m demanding that you learn everything about dermatillomania, but merely if you are interested, here you go! 

So first things first, dermatillomania is also known as skin-picking disorder or excoriation (another complicated sounding word) disorder too. It’s classified as a BFRB, which stands for Body Focused Repitive Behaviour, and that’s actually quite an informative acronomyn. There is also a big debate about whether dermatillomania is more closely linked with obsessive compulsive disorder, impulse control disorders, or body dysmorphia disorder.

From a technical perspective, dermatillomania is defined as the “repetitive and compulsive picking of the skin which results in tissue damage.”. It’s estimated that about 2% to 3% of people experience dermatillomania. This can present itself in many different ways across the population of people who experience it. For some, it’s all about removing anything that is percieved or deemed as a blemish or irregularity, regardless of how small, while for others it has a more obsessive nature. However, across all, the urge to engage in picking feels uncontrollable, and there is always physical harm as a result.

Most people pick with their hands, however tools after often used too. This happens can happen primarily during times of stress, tension and anxiety, and can also occur absent-mindedly, without the person even realising what is going on. The focus is generally on the areas of the body with the most percieved impefections, however once the skin becomes too damaged, other areas can be targeted too. The most commonly affected areas are the face, scalp, limbs, shoulders and chest.

It’s also important to note that most people do pick their skin from time to time, that it’s just something that lots of humans do. However it’s the significance of the effects of the picking, including physical, mental and social, and all the chaos going on in the brain surrounding the skin picking, which sets it apart as a mental illness – dermatillomania.


The physical consequences of dermatillomania aren’t too fun, and many provoke the continuation of the disorder. Picking, squeezing and scratching the skin, for what can be hours each day, has significant, long term effects. Scarring, both temporary and permanent, is really common, as is pain and skin discolouration. Infection and tissue damage is also prevalent, which can be a nasty surprise when you are convinced that your skin picking is nothing to worry about. A blog post over at Fkin Realistic, BFRB Put Me In Hospital, describes really wonderfully the severity of dermatillomania. It’s a great read.

From a mental perspective, dermatillomania rampages here too. The embarassment, guilt and feelings of shame that arise from skin picking are apparent, and it also really doesn’t help with self-confidence, self-esteem, or resilience either. It can also result in social issues, such as interfering with work and social lives, and having to hide the condition away.

Treatment for dermatillomania is a bit of a tough topic, as not a lot of research has been done. Also, it’s estimated that less than half of people with dermatillomania seek treatment. The embarrassment and shame can be huge. The physical consequences on the skin of dermatillomania can also mirror drug abuse in some instances, and the stigma surrounding both is harmful to accessing treatment in both cases. However, success has been found in the use of anti-depressants for reducing skin-picking severity and intensity. Behavioural therapies have also proved useful in many cases. It’s all about trying out as many options as possible, until the individual finds out what works for them.

Anyway, that concludes this little introduction to dermatillomania. I hope it didn’t come across as too boring, or like I’m some sort of expert, because that is definitely not how it is! I’m just an ordinary person who recently got diagnosed, and who is trying to learn more. If you got this far, thank-you so much for sticking through, and I hope that this has helped in some ways whether you are just interested in learning more, or if this is something that you identify with. It’s really important that if you see your skin-picking and thoughts around it as a problem, or if others have expressed concern, that you do get in touch with a doctor or mental health professional. They truly can help, and you don’t deserve to live all alone with no tools to use against dermatillomania. 

This article by SkinPick, Everything You Need To Know About Dermatillimania, does a superb, detailed job at explaing it all much better than I can. 

If you would like to read more of my posts about dermatillomania, you can check out finding some good in dermatillomania, dermatillomania, bees, and buttercup, and dermatillomania and self harm – twins or neighbours? All involve big old rambles and yarns, if that’s more your jam.

Finding some good in dermatillomania.

A couple of months ago when my therapist began talking about dermatillomania with me, everything clicked into place.

It all made so much sense. Why I find it near impossible to just leave my skin alone, and why I’m constantly running my hands down my limbs, face and scalp, searching for any imperfections to remove, regardless of if they are real or not.

Dermatillomania causes arguments in my relationship with my husband, because for him it’s painful to see somebody he loves and cares for, hurting themselves. And for me, what it really comes down to is that it’s an impulse control disorder, so it can be really tricky to mitigate and explain.

It makes me self-conscious. Right now, my face is a mess, not from acne, but because I remove anything I classify as “blemishes”. My legs also look rather bad, because I got a couple of mosquito bites while in the forest at the weekend. They would be fine, however dermatillomania mixed with insect bites does not go well. So what began as a few small bites have now turned into a nasty red, painful jungle, spreading over my legs and feet. I had to put plasters over all of them to try and preventing them being touched and to be given a chance to heal. But then all the plasters looked silly with the dress I wanted to wear, and I wanted to avoid questions from people I knew, so I had to wear jeans in this 27°C, 95% humidity weather. A weird little reminder to the many summers of having to hide self-harm scars. But different. Better, much, but still a bit of weird nostalgia.

I don’t know how to explain dermatillomania, other than all I feel is that I have to do it. Sometimes I’m aware of it, and sometimes I’m not. It can kind of be like a trance?

Anyway, all of this feels super whingy and complain-y, which doesn’t help anyone. I’m also not very good at explaining what dermatillomania is, why people with BFRBs do what we do, and what it all feels like.

So, I turned to tumblr for some help, and found some absolute gems which made me laugh, a lot!

I like laughing at how illogical and silly my brain can be. It helps me, and these follwing images describe perfectly what goes on inside my head.

I get worried that people will be offended that I can laugh about my mental illnesses or whatever, but I’m trying to push that aside. Mental illnesses aren’t funny and they aren’t meant to be the brunt of every joke, but it’s okay to find good, warm things in your own experiences. If laughing about your own mental illnesses helps, then by all means, go for it! Perhaps we could all use a little bit more silliness and light-heartedness sometimes. These following jokes help me cope with my experiences, and hopefully they will help somebody else out there too!

Therefore, instead of wallowing about in the I Don’t Know What To Do About Dermatillomania phase, I thought why not share what I found, because not only are they insightful (each one is literally how my brain works), but humorous too!


And I truly haven’t seen anything more apt than below (my favourite)!

The next ones are fabulous too!

And these are like my brain speaking into an internet microphone –

And to end with, here is a sweet, little bundle of hope.


I hope you got some light-heartedness out of this too! Let’s work on spreading flowers, on spreading hope, on spreading kindness. It begins with ourselves.

Losing all control.

Sometimes I wonder what would happen if I just lost all control.

If my mind completely spun into a whirlpool, and it just kept going around and around, and I went along for the ride too.

Sometimes I’m scared that’s going to happen.

Tonight while walking across the foyer at work, I suddenly thought “what would happen if I just lost it all, right here?”

Sometimes I just want to scream and self-harm and not use coping techniques, and just spiral and spiral and float away. Just to run and run and keep on going.

Sometimes I get so caught up in what I believe other people think of me, or in all the things I believe I have done wrong, and it’s hard to escape.

When I was a little kid, I used to see animals that weren’t really there.

Seals would curl around my bed, cheetahs would mark bedroom walls, and rabbits would hop across the footpath.

They wouldn’t harm me, and I wasn’t scared of them. They were just there, and I liked their company.

Tonight I wondered what would happen if I just went along with everything my mind would say to do.

To do all sorts of ridiculous things which I’m guessing would not end well.

It always gets better at some point, I know that, it’s just the very being in it which is hard.

What does all of this mean?

Am I going crazy? Am I losing my mind?

I know some people don’t like those phrases and words, and I can understand why. But this is how I feel right now.

I think I am.

Or maybe I am already there.


Some days are good days, and some days are tough. This was written a couple of days ago during one of anxiety’s rages, and I don’t usually write in the moment when things aren’t good. What matters now is that things are okay. There is rain, my husband’s arms, kind friends, a beaming sun. So many wonderful things. Life has many ebbs and flows, and we just have to find a way to keep on going.