depression dogs mental health self care

Goodbye my sweetest friend

Lily Lil passed away on June 21st. My heart is broken. This sounds so cliche but my chest actually hurts some times. In psychology they often say that your environment is a reflection of your mental wellbeing or in my case severe depression, grief and shock( in other words a state of distinct absence of wellbeing). Time stood still for me that awful day and my apartment was proof positive I was not okay.

Now I am questioning the true feelings my boyfriend has for me. He came to my apartment to help me find my phone and flat out told me that if anyone saw the state of me and my apartment I would be hospitalized stat.

I didn’t need to be told what I already knew. I needed help but the kind of help from inside of me. He didn’t offer help anyway, but as a nurse he is a mandatory reporter and he was sure to remind me of that.  Knowing I could lose my independence couldn’t even inspire me to make the situation any better. It left me feeling alone and afraid, but that wasn’t even enough motivation.

Today, a little over two and a half months since my angel flew away, I  finally had a breakthrough. I was able to address the cleanliness  of my apartment. I smelled Lily’s blanket and made myself wash it. I faced my grief head on and pulled myself up to clean and scrub and sweat and break out of the hellish self-sabotage.

Some may see me as weak, but the strength it took to keep on working and acting “normal” when I just wanted to sleep to escape took a lot of strength. Am I embarrassed that I let it get that far? Yes and no. The shame of having my boyfriend see me at one of the worst moments in my life hurt like a bitch. However, I am not ashamed of myself today. I had to decide what I was going to do to help myself. There is no shame in doing everything possible to just get up, especially when your lacking love and support.

My apartment is immaculate and I am proud that I was able to find my inner fire. Sometimes  anger is a driving force! I am recognizing that my relationship needs to include an empathetic human who holds you tight when you need help. Am I that delusional to expect that from a significant other? I don’t think so and now I know that what I have is not a healthy relationship at all! The person I should be able to confide in was actually shaming me and he is a nurse who has had all the training to assist the mentally ill.

I am just surprised that I really thought my relationship was healthy. I am going through a lot of turmoil but will never just give up. That fire inside is empowering and I am surprised it took me this long to realize my relationship was dragging me down while I grieved. In memory of my beautiful angel I bought a peace lily.  She will live forever in my heart. To anyone else experiencing pain right now, whether it’s grief, fear or anger please always know you are not alone.

mental health

Angel face sleeping soundly makes me so grateful

depression disability mental health mental illness self esteem stigma Uncategorized


Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.

Albert Einstein

Lily Lil

Beauty is on the inside, but what's wrong with a little treat?? mental health self care

Goddess of dusk

Photo by Pixabay on

The Goddess of Dusk

The sun gracefully descends towards the edge of oblivion,
Shadows fall unhurriedly as the heavens turn stunningly crimson,
The sound of harps whisper in the distance, audible above the resonance of civilization,
Enchanted fairies flit from flower to flower, sparkling in their splendor,
Trees rustle in perfumed waves of nectar, the faint aroma of orchids permeating the air,
As dusk reaches her prime, the world comes alive with her glory,
Within seconds darkness sets in, the purplish haze suffocating,
Once again the sounds of civilization invade as night falls,
The enchantment, splendor, and shades of dusk subside,
But for certain the Goddess of Dusk will appear once again.

I am by no means a poet, so please have mercy at one of my favorite hobbies! If you even found this page, I am amazed. Of course I started WordPress back you know where lol.

Thanks for sharing my beautiful day with me!

Second Life in Research

Sleeping on the job 🙂
Festival of lights

I first started using second life 14 years ago when I found out my fiancé had cheated on me (I made him move out), I had no car (long story which we will get into later), and due to a friendly football game I caught my foot in a gopher hole making me pretty much incapacitated for 9 months. I had to have two screws and two pins inserted into my Lisfranc joint with bone from my ankle plugged in there to fuse. It was so painful. What was also painful was the lack of support I had at my disposal. I remember trying to walk with my crutches and boot to my podiatrist appointment and some kind soul stopped and gave me a ride. My mom found out about my surgery (original injury November 2006) date of surgery January 7th 2007, and flew home instead of staying two extra days to be with me/give me a ride to surgery. (My family dynamics are another topic we can get into later, but lets just say I am not the golden child but the loathed scapegoat).

Anyway Second Life became my only social outlet and kept me entertained and sane. So when I was offered a Research Assistant position on a study for physically disabled women to be facilitated in Second Life I couldn’t believe my luck. I had just moved from California to Montana (my foot was finally healed) and they happened to need someone with all the skills I had acquired during one of the bleakest periods of my life. All things happen for a reason.

Here is a synopsis of that particular study:

Self-Esteem in Second Life: An inWorld Group Intervention for Women with Disabilities

Margaret A. NosekBaylor College of Medicine
Susan Robinson WhelenBaylor College of Medicine
Rosemary B. HughesUniversity of Montana – MissoulaFollow
Erin PorcherUniversity of Montana – Missoula
Giselle Davidson
Thomas M. NosekCase Western Reserve University

Document Type


Publication Title

Journal of Virtual Worlds Research


University of Texas at Austin

Publication Date



We are developing and investigating the feasibility of a self-esteem enhancement intervention in Second Life for women with physical disabilities. We adapted the curriculum of a previously tested workshop intervention to include features unique to this environment. Results of the beta test were very positive. Everyone involved showed considerable enthusiasm for exploring the new world of SL. The group leaders were challenged to resolve technical problems on every occasion, but these diminished and were perceived as manageable as the intervention progressed. Beta testers gave positive ratings to the information presented, organization, and usefulness of the intervention and found it very enjoyable although fatigue and stress limited the participation of some. They appreciated the use of Internet technology as an accommodation to their disability, in place of requiring transportation and additional energy expenditure to attend face-to-face meetings. Research issues related to engagement, measurement, and participant safety, as well as future research directions, are discussed. We conclude that SL has great potential for delivering health promotion interventions to women with physical disabilities.


©2011 The Journal of Virtual Worlds Research

Creative Commons License

Since then I have consulted on a new Second Life study just this year involving self-esteem and women with severe spinal cord injury with TIRR Memorial Hermann, and University of Montana, Rural Institute. The women I work with are amazing and being able to work on something that I know works and teach others the many possibilities of both Second Life and the Research program is hands down the best most meaningful “job” I could hope for. I will tell you about some other awesome projects I have worked on in due course, but wanted to share the Second Life post now because with Covid lockdowns maybe, just maybe, you might take a look and decide to join this virtual world where millions of people login daily. No this is not a paid endorsement and I don’t have any other motive than to perhaps help even one person experiencing depression, anxiety, loneliness or despair. Please check it out, it is free to join!

self care self efficiency self esteem stigma

Meat eater

Thank you deer! I used to hate hunters until I was educated quite sternly on the topic. This beautiful animal had a good life, its meat is free of hormones and antibiotics. The circle of life is so much more meaningful when you are forced to look into the eyes of the animal providing food for your family instead of jumping into the Subaru to shop at Whole foods or whatever granola store that sells organic quality beef. I used to be a pretty typical Californian until years ago when I moved to Montana. I was shocked that Californians were pretty much abhorred here. Life is a crazy train sometimes so you adapt and mature and always keep learning to stay on board. Sorry if this picture offends you, but the reason I posted it was to perhaps provoke a conversation on self efficiency and how important some unsavory things are to actual survival. I promise that when I have land someday I will also plant a sweet garden!

Conspiracy Theories

I got an email today from Psych Central detailing the main traits of people who believe in conspiracy theories, namely:

“… personality traits such as openness to experience, distrust, low agreeability, and Machiavellianism are associated with conspiracy belief.”*

“In terms of cognitive processes, people with stronger conspiracy beliefs are more likely to overestimate the likelihood of co-occurring events, to attribute intentionality where it is unlikely to exist, and to have lower levels of analytic thinking.”*

*Lantian et al. (2017)

Now here is my problem with these assertions, first there is no need to add the word “conspiracy” to a THEORY. This is pure psychological smoke and mirrors. It’s quite brilliant, you see. To discredit someone’s opinion or THEORY all one has to do is tack on “conspiracy” and it immediately discredits the assertion made. Secondly, I would like to say that in my experience most people interested in so-called conspiracy theories are quite intelligent and have higher than average analytical thinking skills. The article goes on to name some major catastrophic events that people have questioned. My mind immediately goes to 9/11, the Boston marathon bomber, and the Aurora, CO movie theater shooting. Here is the deal, sometimes when you start pulling at a thread you soon realize that as official reports start completely unravelling you have gone too far to sew that thread back in. All you have now is a mound of something quite closer to the truth but also something that causes you major cognitive dissonance. You want to go back and leave that thread alone sometimes!

In conclusion, whether you believe a theory or not is up to you. But the label “conspiracy theory” was a major coup de tat psyops operation to discredit/invalidate without any further discussion needed on the matter. Like I said, it is quite brilliant but dangerously destructive.

disability mental health mental illness mermaid self care self efficiency self esteem stigma Uncategorized

Mermaids and Mermen Unite😍

When life takes you for a ride…paddle as fast as you can!!

Mermaid’s Delight

mental health self care self esteem

Recipe for a soothing bath!

Natural organic steelcut oatmeal, organic shredded coconut, lavender and powdered natural buttermilk. These soothing ingredients make a perfect bath soak and aromatherapy experience. Your body will thank you for this amazing experience. Everyone deserves a mental health break! Here at insanebutterfly we love to nurture our femininity and soothe our troubles away.