I’m always sick. I’m sick now (I’ve having annoying thyroid issues). I had the flu last month. I get migraines. I have depression and anxiety, not to mention a few other mental health conditions. I’m sicker than I am healthy. But you know what? It’s just part of my illness.


I’m still on that grind more than I’m not.

I thought I was okay and accepting that I was sick a lot, but then a friend made a snippy comment about me getting sick when I was offered to help her with something for a big event I help plan. It hurt my feelings. It’s true that a couple of weeks ago I had asked for help getting things off my plate because I was so sick with my thyroid, and I felt terrible and fatigue. But looking at the calendar, and knowing the event was coming up, I couldn’t really do that. So I had to keep on truckin’. I made the decision to take a little break after the event.

I really should brush the comment off because I know I’ve been working hard. I sold all the tables myself at the fundraiser, wrote all the questions and answer for the game show — you know what? I’m going to stop there because I don’t have to justify what I do or did. I work hard – it’s not debatable. And I’ve done it all while being sick. I shouldn’t have to say that either.

Really I shouldn’t even be writing this blog.

But it bothers me sooooooo much. I’m getting all upset now even though I had let it go. Sort of let it go.

I’m always there when it counts. If I’m really needed. I’m dependable when it matters.

I am sick all the time. That’s just me. Lately, on some days, I feel like I’ve been hit by a truck. Others, I’m completely fine. I can’t predict whether sick Heather or on-the-grind Heather will wake up in the morning. But again, that’s okay. I know these two versions are really part of the whole me, and it’s my job to accept myself.

Through sickness and in health, lol.

My new therapist (my former one retired; I was with her for nine years) and I were talking about a comment someone had made to me, and she stopped me and said, “Wait, she said that to you. Why is that your deficit?” I had taken this comment (and others like it) to heart for years – there were multiple variations of it – and I had never thought about that. Why had I taken it so personally? Those words and ideas were not my own – just as the aforementioned comment is not my own – yet I’m ruminating and doubting myself when it’s really their bullshit that made them say it. They were hurting or being defensive or whatever and lashed out – I just happened to be there.

I know I’m sick a lot. And I’m okay with that (I say for the third time, lol). It’s not a flaw, if anything, it makes me more compassionate and understanding to others. It makes me appreciate and enjoy the times that I’m not sick. Some of my favorite times are being cuddled up in my heated blanket, resting with my husband next to me.

It’s not all bad.

And the good always outweighs the bad. What a good reminder from an unhappy place.

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The Power of No

by Heather Loeb

I have had a difficult time with my binge eating disorder lately — since October I’ve gained 10 pounds. It’s not just about the weight gain, it’s the way I feel: so sluggish, uncomfortably full, and I’m getting more stomach pain (I’ve had the sleeve surgery so eating too much causes a lot of pain) and acid reflux.


Normally I don’t each much because of the sleeve, plus my migraine prevention medication is an appetite suppressant. But I just can’t seem to stop eating. It doesn’t matter what it is — candy, Girl Scout cookies (which I don’t even like much) bread, chips, hell, even raisins. Whatever it is, I overindulge.

I’ve talked to my therapist about it many times. Of course I’m seeking comfort. This is my pattern. If I’m not compulsively shopping, I’m taking too many anxiety pills. If I’m not doing that, I’ve overeating. And this by far is the worst, in my opinion. I have so many body issues, and even though I’ve tried to battle them all my life, somewhere along the line I’ve learned the worst thing you can be in this world is fat (even I don’t think that way about my loved ones). LogicalIy I know better. But I just can’t go down that path anymore.

I don’t feel depressed at all, and my anxiety has been stable.

My therapist says I need to be mindful when I feel like eating. I agree. She says I’ll figure out what’s bothering me if I sit with my feelings and do some introspection. I know she’s right, but the urge to eat is too powerful. My need for comfort is too strong. She says I need to tell myself no.

But I never do. Well, rarely.

My loved ones rarely tell my no, except David — he’s definitely the best at it, and I love him for that. I need to hear no, not just from my friends and family. I NEED TO HEAR IT FROM ME. But it’s like I feel like I need a treat all the time, whether it’s food or something I want to buy. Nobody needs that many treats. I realize I deserve nice things, but that’s different. There are healthy ways to treat myself, like doing self-care. Logically I know that.

So my question to myself is not what am I eating, it’s what’s eating me?

I do have a lot going on right now at home, and of course, NAMI GCC is keeping me busy. I don’t feel too overwhelmed. I like to keep busy; I like to be challenged, and I definitely am being challenged. Maybe it’s too much and I don’t recognize that? I don’t know, I think I would feel it in my body if it were too much.

Good things are coming up. I’m getting a new car, NAMI is getting a new, bigger office and we’re preparing for Celebrity Jeopardy on April 27. NAMI is also offering new classes, and I feel that bigger things are ahead for NAMI. My therapist (who I’ve seen for 9 years) is retiring, but we’ve been preparing for that, and I have already selected a new one, and we have a transition plan. I feel good about it.


Why am I shoving food down my throat?

What am I punishing myself for?

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As you may know, I don’t believe in making New Year’s Resolutions for myself (but if you do, that’s amazing!). I like to work on myself 24/7 and make small goals every month. Sometimes every day if needed, lol. For me, the New Year, New Me idea was too much pressure and something I could easily give up on, so now I take baby steps and work on myself non-stop. Or I at least try.

2024 Goal, Plan, Action checklist text on note pad with laptop, glasses and pen.

Since 2019, when I went to a psychiatric hospital and started my recovery, every year has been better than the previous one. Yet when each year rolls around it’s hard for me to think it could get much better. It does, but still I fret. I guess when you’ve been living with a list of mental health conditions, you still live in fear of the other shoe dropping.

But if these past few years have taught me anything, it’s that if I work hard on my recovery and rely on my support network, everything will be fine. More than fine.

I also came up with a checklist on how I’m going to take care of myself in 2024:

  1. Make self-care a priority. When I get stressed and busy, this is usually the first to go, which is silly. This should be a top priority, especially when times get tough.
    • I’m going to get massages, facials and my nails done more
    • I’m going to read more. Just the other day my son asked me why I didn’t read anymore, and it kind of broke my heart. I love to read, and I’m also setting a bad example by not doing it anymore
    • I’m also going to write more
    • I’ll really try to unplug from electronics
  2. Reach out to friends. It’s hard to ask for help, but one thing I noticed this year is that when I did reach out and told my friends what was going on, they checked on me constantly and helped me stay on track with my self-care plan and reminded me to take it easy on myself. Always ask for help, especially if you’re having dark/intrusive thoughts or suicidal thoughts. Call 988 or 911 if you need immediate assistance or are in danger of self-harming or killing yourself.
  3. In December I talked about getting on the treadmill for endorphins, serotonin and dopamine. I’d like to continue that – not to lose weight but to feel better and healthier. Right now I’m just doing 20 minutes a day, and that’s totally manageable
  4. I’m going to try to complain less. I like to keep my mind positive, but I do notice I complain a lot, so I’ll focus on my positive affirmations and get rid of the complaints much like I do intrusive thoughts.
    • Note: When I have an intrusive thought, I say to myself, “pull back.” I imagine pulling on the reigns of my very beautiful unicorn who has rainbow-colored hair in braids and a sparkly horn. As I pull back, we go in a different direction, toward better thoughts. You’re welcome, lol. It works.
  5. I’m going to practice better sleep hygiene
  6. I’d like to do some therapy work on my eating disorder

Of course, I’ll continue to compliant with my medications, therapy, etc.

What about you guys? Do you have any resolutions or goals you want to share? And how you’re going to get there? Leave it in the comments!

And Happy New Year!

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Something amazing happened today, but let me back up. I’ve been struggling with depression for the past couple of weeks. Yesterday was pretty bad. So bad that I went ahead and called the clinic that offers ketamine treatments. Something told me they didn’t do them anymore and when I called, sure enough. They no longer offered them.


Panic, fear and just raw, raw pain rattled inside and made me groan. What was I going to do? I got through the day and fell asleep without answers.

The next morning I felt differently. I sang on the way to my kids’ school, which I’m sure they didn’t appreciate. I sang on the way back and danced. Then it occurred to me. Screw depression. I’m Heather Ann Loeb. I’m a fighter, and I’m scrappy. Every time my depression and other conditions have come at me, I’ve beaten them all, and I’m living proof.

Depression won’t hold me down.

So, I did a thing. I actually put on workout clothes and got on the treadmill. I’ve thought about doing this a million times, but it never came to fruition.

I grabbed my air pods, found my play list titled, “Work B*itch” (lol), and I walked. I walked for the dopamine and all those hormones that will make me feel better. My feet pounded the machine and every step I took I thought about how mad I was at my mental illness. Like this is my favorite time of year, and depression is trying to hold me back from enjoying it?

Hell no!

There are only like 20 something days left of December…I don’t know, I can’t count. But I want to soak up every minute. I’ve waited all year long for this.

I want to enjoy the taste of hot chocolate on my tongue and lips. I want to watch my kids’ faces as they look for their elves in the morning. I’m so looking forward to Christmas Eve and Morning when they get to unwrap their gifts and see what Santa brought them.

I want to hang out with my dad and watch football. I want to see my mom’s face when she opens a special present I got her.

I want to….ok, you get the point.

From now on, I’m being mindful every minute, and I’ll beat back depression and its stupid friends with all my might.

Because I’m a warrior.

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Judge Not, Recovery is Hard

by Heather Loeb

I was talking to a friend recently and we were talking about Thanksgiving and if we would see our families. She was in the mental health field and had an uncle who was mentally ill. My friend vented because that family member never seemed to take his pills or go to therapy. 


“You take your pills and go to therapy. You’re in recovery,” she said . “How hard could it be?” 

I let my friend vent then reminded her that it wasn’t easy for me. I detailed my struggles before I went to a psych hospital, then after: the ECT treatments, the medication changes, the therapy, road to recovery. Plus, her uncle and I have two different diagnoses. 

She blinked tears away and said you’re right, which doesn’t happen often. 

“I forgot,” she said. “I’m used to the you in recovery. and it seems easy now. I know better.”

She continued on about how her uncle hasn’t really come to terms with his mental illness and that he comes from a different generation where talking or having mental illness was taboo. 

That makes sense. Therapy probably scares him to death. And he probably doesn’t grasp the concept of recovery in terms of mental illness, I didn’t at first. 

It’s easy to get frustrated at someone with a mental illness, but you have to remember: they have a mental illness, and everyone’s different. They might not have the ability or capacity to understand their illness or recovery. You should never compare them to someone else, especially to someone who doesn’t have an illness. 

Also, the holidays can stress everyone out. It also can trigger those with a mental health condition so please be patient and know that it can be triggering and bring out certain symptoms. 

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Will It Ever End?

by Heather Loeb

Recently I’ve lost a bit of weight. I’ve never been this thin, except as a child. And while I’m enjoying it and getting to wear smaller clothes and being more comfortable in my body, I still don’t feel thin enough. 


I still weigh myself when nobody’s looking. I still try to eat less so I can lose. 

And so I wonder — will it ever end?

I’m in the 150s. I look good. I feel good-ish but what happens when I get in the 140s? 

I’ll be 40 in February — do I just grow out of this? Probably not because I know friends in their 50s and 60s who still do this. 

I mean it’s gotten better. (Has is though?) I still don’t weigh myself in front of the kids, and when we’re eating in front of the kids, I eat healthy things. But they also see me eat candy all the time, and I’m sure they’ve picked up on my disorderly eating even though they’ve never seen me binge. Ugh, I’m such a mess. 

I’ve been stressed so much lately so I’ve been craving junk food, candy and comfort food big time. So it’s making me see-saw to the high 150s to the low. Then I stress away and eat light then get stressed again and eat like crap. I’ve had some stressful events at work, but it all worked out in a very awesome way. But more stuff is coming up and now it’s the holidays so I’m assuming I’ll be stressed out until January. Or until I’m dead, so I have to figure out some stress relief that actually works and works long term. 


I mean hello, I talk about self care all the time. I gotta walk the walk. 

I just wish it didn’t have such a hold on me. Why do I care so much if I “gain” two pounds one morning to the next. I know it’s probably not even a real gain, and you’re not supposed to weigh yourself everyday. I know, I know, I know. But I don’t. So then I lift up my shirt and analyze how much my stomach is sticking out. How well my jeans are fitting. If one metric fails me, there’s always another. And another. 

This is torture. 

Will it ever end? 

Will I ever let it?

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Hair on My Head, Part II

by Heather Loeb

Not too long ago I blogged about whether I should stop my preventive migraine medication because I thought it was making me lose hair and changing the texture. I was hesitant to do so because it also helped me control my appetite, but I stopped anyway because I was so obsessed with my hair.

I didn’t think what it would do to my migraines, and now I’ve had a migraine for a week straight. Man, I’m stupid. So last Friday I started back on the Topamax again. Sigh. I honestly didn’t give much thought to my migraines because I’m on another preventive medication, but clearly I need both. I forgot how badly it sucks to have a migraine every.single.day.

I’ve had to leave work functions early. I couldn’t do anything fun on the weekend. I threw up multiple times. I basically lied around the whole week waiting for relief. And I’d get a few hours then the pain would bounce right back. It’ll take me a while to titrate up to my normal dose, so I guess I gotta be patient. My specialty, lol.

I can’t believe I used to suffer from chronic migraine, where I’d have 16 or more migraines in ONE MONTH. No wonder I had depression. No telling which came first. A true chicken or the egg situation. You just can’t live a live with that much chronic pain. Sucks.

Maybe the meds aren’t the reason for my hair changes. I mean, I’ll be 40 in six months. Maybe it’s hormones. It’ll be fine. It’s just hair. I’d rather have little to no migraines. I’ve lived far too good a life to go backward. I’ve seen the light.

I feel terrible for those who have chronic pain; my heart goes out to you.

And now I don’t have to worry about my weight fluctuating, which is also a huge struggle for me (because of my eating disorder). The only downside to that is the Topamax makes all carbonated drinks taste like crap, so I don’t enjoy my beloved Diet Cokes like usual, but that’s a bad habit I could stand to lose.

All I see is what I stand to gain.

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The Plunge

by Heather Loeb

For the past two-plus years, I have been the communications director for NAMI Greater Corpus Christi, and I have loved every minute. This organization has helped in my recovery so much that I now associate the two. You won’t find a more loving, judgement-free group of people in the world. We refer to our tight-knit group as the NAM FAM. We’re even presenting at a NAMI conference about how our NAM FAM works and helps us give others support and education.


When I was first approached about the communications position, I was a bit wary, but it wasn’t a paid position so I didn’t feel suffocated by the job. For some reason I didn’t feel like I was beholden to something if I weren’t paid. My therapist tells me that’s wrong, though. I’ve never held a job down for more than two years, maybe three, because something was always at play — severe migraines or my depression, anxiety, eating disorder, etc. I missed work. I felt guilty and unworthy.

But at NAMI is different. I don’t mind doing the work. I show up when I can, and I always try to do my best. At one point, I thought I might take the affiliate over in about five years or so should the opportunity present itself. I guess I imagined I would have all my stuff together then, but let’s face it — I might never have it together. But the idea of “5-year Heather” meant that I would be more responsible, consistent, mature, hard working and so on.

But as it turns out, five years has now turned into now.

My close friend, the affiliate leader and program director is stepping down because her husband got a new job, and they’re relocating. I’m heartbroken of course that I will no longer have my fearless leader and good friend, but I’m really happy for them because it seems like a good move.

Naturally, because I had mentioned taking over in the future, it made me the top candidate for the job.

But I’m not “5-year Heather yet!” I thought. I have chronic illnesses and two young children, all of which take up my time. A lot. And surely they’ve noticed that I’m not a Certified Adult yet.

Taking the position (I have to be voted in by the Leadership Team first) would mean that I HAVE to be more responsible. NAMI GCC’s volunteers will be looking to me to make sound decisions about the organization and represent it well in the public. I will have to show up, which is something I’ve never been good at, honestly. I’ll have to be a Certified Adult (does anyone know the process on this?).

As I ponder these new responsibilities, I’m reminded that this was something I asked for. Something I wanted to do.

When I was going through the worst depressive episode in my life, I felt alone. Nobody talked about the cruel and debilitating realities. My friends and family didn’t know what they knew then — they couldn’t have helped me even if I did tell them what I was facing. I spent each day hoping I wouldn’t succumb to the persistent voice in my head telling me to kill myself. I hated life, and I hated who I had become. That was before I received help at a psych hospital.

My husband always says that if you have the ability to help others then it becomes your obligation to do so. That’s what I want to do. I want to let others know that they are not alone, that recovery is possible, that the dark doesn’t last. I want NAMI GCC to be the top mental health organization that other agencies and community members think of.

I want to help in anyway I can. And I see now that desire is stronger than being inconsistent or immature.

I will be so humbled and grateful to the Leadership Team should they appoint me affiliate leader. I hope it is my calling, and that our small, but mighty, organization thrives. It assures me that our team of volunteers is the best of the best, and I want to reflect that.

Am I scared? Yes, but I know what it’s like to be brave even when the odds were stacked against me. I’ll tell myself what I tell my kids: You can hard things.

Sometimes the most difficult thing is to just jump in.

So it looks like I’m taking the plunge.

Update: Saturday, Aug. 26: The Leadership Team voted me in as affiliate leader, effective Sept 15.

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My little girl and I haven’t been vibing as of late. A lot of fussing and yelling has taken the place of usually polite and loving conversation. She has always alleged that I love her brother more, but I can assure y’all I don’t, but I make I still make a concerted effort to schedule mom and daughter time, pick up little things for her, etc.


Just a few weeks ago, my husband and I opened a checking account for both kids to get them to do their chores and keep us from spending millions of dollars in Robux. So now they have a list of chores. They do them begrudgingly, although I’ve found myself correcting Isla and fussing more about her not doing chores. And she called me on it. It’s not that I want to do Eli’s chores for him, I don’t, but as a first grader, I don’t think he’s capable of doing the same chores. Reasonable, right? But then I started mulling that I’m always harder on Isla. Not on purpose; I thought it was because she was older, I expect more, but now I’m thinking it’s because she’s a girl, and mothers are naturally harder on girls. Some mothers. I didn’t actually experience this with my own mother, but there were things she let my brother get away with that I couldn’t and vice versa. Seemed fair. But my mother was never, ever harder on me. If anything, it was the opposite. But my mother is perfection, and it’s difficult to duplicate. I have limitations.

So I decided to Google it because I was lacking personal experience. And yes, there were lots of articles on mothers being harder of their daughters. And even a study!

One article stated, ““Parents treating their children differently is common in families, especially those with children from both genders. For example, mothers tend to have higher expectations from and be more critical of their daughters over their sons, according to a Netmums survey.

It went on to say that often mothers formed a stronger bond with their sons, and mothers were more likely to describe their girls as serious whereas they’d describe boys as “cheeky” and “loving.” The report warned that girls grow up with more self-critical issues, and suffer as a result.

Reading that was like a blow to the stomach. I in no way want her to suffer from me being too critical. I don’t want her to suffer from anything I do! That has been established in several of my columns. But just the other day, I asked her to help me with something when the “men of the house” quickly disappeared. She balked, and in frustration, I said that women just do more. They’re stronger, and they’re expected to do more at times and that it just wasn’t fair. I didn’t think too much about my comment until I saw the Barbie movie with my daughter and husband. I started crying the minute I heard this line: “We mothers stand still so our daughters can look back to see how far they have come.”

Many have different interpretations of that, but I understand it that moms work so hard and are always moving forward, but eventually, moms have to let go of their daughter’s (or son’s) hand and let them live. Let them grow, and grow, and grow and grow. I also thought about how difficult it was for a woman to live in this patriarchal society.

I don’t think I treat her the way I do because I like my son more. Or that I don’t love her — that’s ridiculous. But maybe I’m trying to shape her, no doubt like my mom helped shape me, into a stronger person. A stronger woman. I want her to look at me and see a strong woman who battled severe depression and anxiety and an eating disorder, etc. I want her to have grit, to learn how to never give up. I want her to travel, to love herself, to be independent (as I am dependent on my husband).

I want her to be better than me.

But while I have good intentions, I should approach our feuds differently. She’s a wild, fierce being, and I know that sucks now because I’m raising her, but she has strength that I never did. She needs to learn how to be a good human, sure. But I could teach her how to be a good person and empowered woman in other ways. Looking back, that’s how I learned. Not with constant complaining and yelling. I need to provide a space for her to figure out who she is and wants to be.

Sounds like I could learn to be a stronger woman myself. And it’s lucky that she’s here to teach and shape me, too.

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What a Pain in My…Back

by Heather Loeb

So, about a month ago I was jump roping with my daughter. I bought the jump ropes to encourage us to have fun exercising. I talked about this previously, but bear with me. On the second day we were jumping, I was about 10 jumps in when I felt a sharp pain in my back. My daughter quickly went to get an ice pack, and I was horizontal for the rest of the day. Fast forwards a few weeks and an MRI, and it turns out I tore a disk in between my L4 and L5. My doctor gave me pain pills, which are long gone by now, and I started physical therapy last week, but I haven’t gotten any relief. None.


Actually, after Monday’s PT session, my back hurt worse than it ever has with this injury. It’s hurting right now as I type this in the carpool lane waiting for my children.

I’m used to pain. Mental anguish and pain from migraines. I’m definitely no stranger, but this is a different pain. It doesn’t always go away, and I fear that I will have back problems for the rest of my life. But maybe if I stick to the PT, I’ll get better. It’s only been a few sessions.

The chronic pain has altered my mental state. I get depressed and angry more easily. It really pisses me off when I’m limited to an activity because of my back. Then comes the overwhelming sadness. I tell myself that it just takes time to heal, but it’s so hard to remember when there’s searing pain in multiple places in my back. I totally get why so many people with chronic illness have depression and vice versa.

Lately the only relief I get is lying down on my right side. I even had to switch places in the bed with my husband to ensure I stay on that side (mainly because my son prevents me from lying like that on the other side). But I can’t just lie down all day.

I probably sound like a spoiled brat, but my pain is real and constant and cumbersome. I just hope it doesn’t throw me into a true depressive episode. And I pray that I find more relief. I guess there’s always injections, but I wanted to avoid that as much as possible. Really, I need to strengthen my core…well, strengthen everything….to feel better, and that will take time.

I’ll pray for patience because right now I just ain’t got it.

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