Mental Health Struggles

It has been a month since
 our daughter's wedding
I feel like I'm finally coming up for air.

Her wedding came out so wonderful
and was
 such a truly joyful event
it was still one of the harder things I have done in my life.
Not in the work and money
the sheer  emotional aspect.

I knew  most likely there would be emotional ramifications
after the fact 
especially since I put much of my life/ business on hold
to be able to invest 110 % in the wedding
not wanting to miss a moment of the journey to the big day.

That and the whole idea of 
"giving our daughter away"
was a tough one for my heart.

I thought I was doing so well after the wedding.
I had been warned by many Mother of the Brides
to be wary of the "After".

I sailed on smoothly for the first week after.
So happy to be back to "my life".
I had a house to fluff and gardens to attend.
So much had gone without attention
in the last months leading up to the wedding.

That first week I was sure 
I  had returned from the wedding 
relaunched successfully into "My Life".

But then things felt like they began to slip
in what I look back and see
'as a perfect emotional storm'.

The quietness in my house began to set in.
Not only was our daughter married and onto her own new life
both of my boys have launched successfully
into lives of their own.

The fact that Jeff and I were
 definitely and completely Empty Nesters
set in like nobody's business.

Panic attacks began to set in.
At first I would wake up
with a heart clenching panic
several times a night
in almost agony
worrying about my kids
at the same time
realizing they were truly 'gone'
with lives of their own.
After parenting for so long
my life felt so unnatural to my soul.

Then the panic attacks
began to manifest while I was driving.
They began as impending dread
then full fledged fright.
Freeways began to be far too much to navigate.

I have battled depression and anxiety 
most of my life
but this had a frightening depth
that scared me like no other.

I began to think I might be truly losing my mind.
Being in the throes of menopause
only added to the emotional abyss.

After a lifetime of battling anxiety and depression
I realized maybe I was in over my head this time
decided to try an anxiety medication for the first time in my life.
At first it seemed promising
but after feeling progressively worse
I realized
it wasn't a good match for my particular body chemistry
at this time in my life.

But what I was reminded in the foray of trying  medication
was how absolutely important is one's mental health.
Nothing like thinking you are truly losing your mind
to be reminded of  the supreme importance of  ones own mental health.

I know I  will continue to navigate my own personal road
with peaks and valleys
of anxiety and sometimes depression.

But I also know now
that is one of the things that makes me, me.

I see it as having a different set point than some.
But with that set point
comes an ability
to see and feel things
I might otherwise miss.
As a creative
I realize 
I will take the good and the less than
that makes me who I am.

I no longer 
want to hide my struggles
I now know they are a part of who I am.

That doesn't make me less than.
It just means my life path 
might be different than some.

I also know I have the personal strength to navigate 
the waters that are my life.

I will continue to be open
to remedies that may help.

I will continue to invest in the very best quality
Self Care
I can manage.

But I will also give myself Grace
this phase where I feel a bit

I am sharing this today
in the hopes it might help someone else know they are not alone.

I have felt almost mute here on my blog
without the ability to be transparent with my emotional struggles of late.

Before the wedding
I didn't want to talk about my struggles
as I was afraid it might lead to me becoming completely unraveled.

But now with the wedding behind me
I know I can rise to the occasion when need be.
And now not to speak of my struggles 
for good mental health
would leave this space
just one of pretty pictures.

Where to me the real story is
  the ability to find a beautiful life
in the midst of real life struggles.

As always my friends

I wish you love and joy
as you style your life

Linking with
Visible Monday

Ellis's Wedding … Part 3

I am back today with my final installment of
 Ellis' Wedding.

Let me start off with a big thank you to our fabulous wedding photographer

Elyse from Plum and Oak Photo
who shared these sneak peak photos with me in crazy record time!

You can see more of Ellis and Elliot's wedding her gorgeous blog HERE
as well as many more love stories that Elsye
 has has captured so beautifully.

The ceremony for Ellis and Elliot 
took place outside in the Rock Garden.

Here's my beautiful Momma and Dad
walking down the aisle .

One of my highlights of the wedding
being walked down the aisle by my son Slater
stopping to touch hands with a dear friend
in a 
"this is really happening" moment.

In come the beauties in Ellis's wedding party.

And the bride makes her entrance
on the arm of her bursting with pride Dad!

The first glimpse our groom had of his gorgeous bride.

A moment that had huge emotion on all sides!

The final hug for his little girl
before she becomes a Mrs.

The vows were heartfelt and so full of love.

Elliot's vows left barely a dry eye anywhere.

Literally as soon as the ceremony concluded
the sun came out in a full shine!

Oh the joy in this shot …
why her Dad and I  did all we did!

I was so happy the bride and groom
took the opportunity  to walk across the street after the ceremony
for pictures on the beach!

The grand entrance.

Long awaited first dance.

Fabulous speeches were made.

A dance with Daddy.

Taking in such touching family moments
that will last a lifetime in my heart.

The groom dancing with his lovely Momma.

Then it was time for the party!

The dance floor was absolutely packed
so much fun!!

Some cake cutting.

How stunning is this cake
that our extraordinarily gifted florist
worked her magic on!

At the end of the night
Ellis revealed a surprise we had for Elliot …

A Cigar Bar 
out on the cocktail patio!
A perfect way to say thank you 
to a groom who had worked tirelessly on projects for the wedding!

Whiskey and cigars
were a perfect finishing wedding tribute!

And  then in what what seemed like a flash
the evening was done
Ellis and Elliot were off!

I am ever so grateful for these priceless photos
to be able to relive the love and joy
of an epic family event.

As always my friends

I wish you love and joy 
as you style your life