pat down the espresso,

turn the stove on high.

listen —

that beautiful sound,

espresso leaps as it boils.

breathe in that familiar smell.

heat the milk, make the bubbles.

a little sugar,

espresso on top of that,

melting together.

hold back the foam as you

add the milk, then

carefully spoon it on top.


just a dream

I dreamt of you last night,

but not the way you left this earth —

the way you were long before that.

You got to see me graduate college,

walking arm in arm across my university’s campus,

telling me how proud you were that I had done so well.

You got to see me start my Master’s program,

saying you always thought I’d be a teacher like you were,

so, so long ago – was it in another life?

You got to meet Landon,

laughing with him as you told him your

ridiculous stories from when you were our age.

You and I traveled together,

encountering strangers, something that was almost

foreign to you because of that spark in your eyes.


I got to tell you I love you one last time.


The thing about anxiety is that you never know how it’s going to hit you, at least that’s how it is for me. I’ve read countless articles that pop up on my Facebook feed, typically click-bait on “How to Love a Girl with Anxiety” and other crap like that. So I feel like I’m not the only one on this earth who is surprised by the form my anxiety takes day after day.

Some days it’s a gnawing hunger, an incessant need to consume as many kilocalories as possible. All of the carbohydrates I keep in my pantry, refrigerator, and freezer. I eat so much that I think I might get sick. Some days I do eat so much that I get sick. My body tells me I need to keep eating, never satisfied until I feel like a blob of a human, not wanting to get my lazy butt of the couch.

Some days it’s the opposite – vomiting over and over again. This happens more often than I would like, even in situations in which I know I am safe and comfortable. My body just rejects that feeling and requires nervousness. Some days it’s not eating anything at all, or eating sporadically – I’m unable to get a real schedule down.

Some days it’s waking up at 2 A.M. feeling completely rested. Other days it’s sleeping until 2 P.M. and feeling like I can’t get up, just wanting to shut my eyes again. Many days, it’s waking up with my heart pounding in my chest and my body vibrating from how quickly my circulatory system is pumping. It’s never knowing how my energy level will be, or how long it’ll last.

Some days it’s hours of berating myself. “I’m a terrible student.” “I’m the worst girlfriend.” “I’m such a flakey friend.” It’s not being able to shake those thoughts no matter how hard I tell myself that I’m not helping anything. It’s getting frustrated with the fact that I can’t stop these thoughts, which turns into berating myself even more.

Some days it’s the inability to breathe. The feeling that someone strong is pushing on my chest, pushing against my heart. It’s telling myself, “Breathe in… Breathe out…” as I sit in class, trying to soak up the information, but not being able to trust my body to do involuntary actions. My thoughts dictated by my need to survive.

Sometimes it’s anger. Doubt. Sadness. Hysterics. Overcompensation that takes the form of happiness or laughing a little too loud or too hard.

There are many things that I find frustrating about having anxiety, but the randomness of the forms it takes is what really gets to me. There are days I can’t understand what I’m feeling or why I’m feeling a specific way, and I take it out on other people or bring the mood down when I walk in a room. Some days are phenomenal, and then thirty seconds later, I’m fighting tears. It’s the not knowing what the day will hold that makes it an uphill battle.

not myself

I am not myself.

I am not this hunger

sitting in the bottom of my belly,

a concoction of

new medicine and a

desire to be pretty.

I am not this screaming,

this sobbing mess who

needs another to calm myself.

I am not this need for

affirmation from you,

telling me you chose me

over and over and over again.

I have not been me for

quite some time now.

a weekend

My heart has been oh so heavy recently. I’ve been struggling to focus on the good and have continually felt overwhelmed by the negative things going on in my life. But this weekend, I visited Illinois, and I sat on the couch with my boyfriend, all of the windows open, wrapped in a blanket, the most wonderful dog on the earth sitting on my lap, and I was reminded of the good. Some days it doesn’t take much. It just takes waking up in the same place as people you love, or it just takes the perfect breeze blowing in the screen door and out the kitchen windows. It just takes hearing a little extra laughter and seeing the way a family looks at one another with so much love in their eyes. It’s seeing that look extended to me.

I have a piece of paper next to my door in my little home saying, “leave what’s heavy behind” – lyrics from a favorite song of mine, but a fierce reminder that when I walk through the threshold (whether I’m coming or going), I can shrug off whatever is weighing me down. This weekend, I was reminded of the peace that can accompany being utterly and completely content. It’s allowing myself to stay in the moment and not think beyond it.

There are things I need to worry about, things I need to let my mind linger on. But, overall, I need to give myself a break. I need to let myself dive into a moment without fear or without any heaviness, bobbing up a moment later. I think I’m finally at a place where I can give myself the permission to do that. I didn’t even realize I was denying myself a sense of happiness until I was in it, completely uninhibited. With this new permission, I know the people surrounding me will be able to sink into this place with me – this place where only love exists, and nothing else.


In the creation myth that begins the Bible, God says to Adam, “It is not good for man to be alone.” While I’ve always agreed with this statement, I’ve never really grasped its importance. However, I have recently discovered its profound meaning in my own life.

This summer was marked by chaos. I struggled to figure out my post-graduate plans, and vacillated constantly between teaching, working part time jobs, and grad school. Finally, within a few hours on a hot Thursday in July, my plans became clear, and I was accepted into grad school.

I moved into my own apartment in a small town in Arkansas on July 14th. My parents and a close friend helped me move in, and I was so excited. The next week was full of trips to the store, hammering nails into the wall, and adjusting things here and there. Finally, my perfect space was completed. I was living a real adult life, and I couldn’t be happier.

But as the days went on, this perfect space became my personal hell. My anxiety peaked in a way I never expected, and too many nights were spent lying on my bathroom floor crying uncontrollably and making myself sick. Night after night, I relied on people to pull me out of this place because I couldn’t do it myself. It became an unhealthy routine. The day would be full of ups and downs, but as soon as the sun set, I’d be in the same place as the night before, and the night before that.

A few things helped me realize how poorly I was dealing with my mental health, and I finally took action. My mom came and visited me, my boyfriend helped me put things in perspective, and I talked to a doctor about what all had been happening. Things slowly got better and better until one day, I realized things were completely normal. I had fallen back into place and back into the life I had tried so hard to cultivate.

I kept telling myself that as soon as school started, I would be so much better. I would find a routine. I would be busy. I wouldn’t spend my days alone in my apartment, counting the hours and the minutes until I could go to sleep. So here we are. I began school. I began work. I began to feel better again. But I am far from perfectly fine. Some days are marked by laughing so hard that I cry, and others are filled with stark mood shifts and tears that spring from my eyes without warning. Some days I feel so stable, and some days I can barely put one foot in front of the other. Sometimes, I can’t sleep because I don’t want to be alone. Other times, I look forward to the moment I step through my apartment door into the quiet refuge that I’ve created. I’m slowly surrounding myself with people who understand me and can help me without relying as heavily on them. I’m learning that I can do things on my own, even when they seem impossible.

But there are still some days I make the phone call, “I just need to know that someone is there.” Humans were not made to be alone.

a week and a half

a constant need for noise, but

a constant desire for peace.

either too much or not enough.

i need you, but i need to respect your needs, too.

a lack of understanding, and

a push to see eye-to-eye

(because we desperately need to).

a need for both of us to hope

because it won’t work if we don’t.

not knowing how to change things, but

knowing they must.

i cannot bear to lose you now.

you are my soul.