THE Real Life Never Ending Story

Okay guys. Here come the feels. 

I am not having the best day. In fact, I am in what I call a “funk.” I have low energy, I have little of myself to give, and I know I’m ready for a break. 

I have good insight and resources to help myself when I get in these moods though. So I was sitting at my desk starting to plan my pity party when it hit me… what if I didn’t? 

What if I wasn’t insightful? 

What if I didn’t have resources?

What if the funk never ended??

What if. 

Can you imagine it?? 

Take your time. 

Seriously. Take a minute. 

Imagine your worst day. When you’re exhausted and you have nothing left to give.
But you HAVE TO keep going. Your family needs you. 

Now add on anxiety. 
Not a little. Let’s go big and add the full shebang. You worry about EVERYTHING. 

So You’re depressed and guilty about it. And you worry about that. And you worry about the bills. And your kids. And your job. And your health. And that thing you said in third grade. And your hair. And your husband. And your mother in law. And the bananas that are going bad. And. Every. Other. Thought. That comes through your head. 
And then. You get more depressed because you cannot stop getting anxious about it. 

Anxiety and depression not your cup of tea? 

Okay, go back to that worst day ever you were imagining. Now imaging humming. All day. Loudly. Add a buzzing too. You know what, lets add voices too. Four. Three talking to each other. One to you. And they. Don’t. Stop. All day. And all night. 


And over. 

And over. 

They just keep talking. 

Can you imagine it??
What if you hated your body? Your beautiful body that helps your live life. What if, when you looked in the mirror, it didn’t even look like you? What if it was a scary monster you didn’t recognize and you would do anything in your power to change the mirror? What if that included starving or other forms of self harm?

Can you imagine??

Bare with me. 

Imagine your worst day. 

Imagine my funk. 

Now imagine it happening. Again. And again. And again. 

Mental illness is real. 

Whether people choose to talk about it or stigmatize it, IT EXIST. People are dealing with very serious issues. The more we talk about it, the more likely people are to reach out for help. 

Do your part and spread the word. 

This is 2017. It’s time people accept the reality that is mental illness. 

#suicidepreventionweek #endstigma #keeptalkingmh #sicknotweak #composmentiscounseling ❤️

Effort + Results 

Ever heard the first step is the hardest? 

Every great journey in life started SOMEWHERE. That great basketball player you admire so much had to dribble his first ball. That amazing scientist working to cure cancer? She had to learn to read. 

Everyone has a first step to their journey. 

That first step, the baby step, adds up. It may not seem important to you right now or it may be just the opposite. It may terrify you. You may be so scared of your journey that you keep pushing off that first step. 

My encouragement to you today is do it. Try. Have faith. Believe in yourself and in possibilities. 

Sometimes.. a little effort can lead to big results. 

Reality vs. Realities 

Realizing there can be more than one version of reality is probably the best thing that ever happened in my journey as a clinician. That realization allowed me to look at clients as individuals and help meet them where they were at with THEIR goals instead of trying to “fix” them and teach them “the truth.” 

Are hallucinations a symptom? 
Are they also a part of some people’s reality? 

It is naive to deny psychosis, delusions, symptoms of personality disorders, etc AREN’T a part of day to day life. 

Ultimately I found if you treat the person as a person and let them personalize their treatment plan, you should be good to go! 

Graduation Reflection 

Guess who graduates in THREE DAYS? 👊 That’s right! This girl right here! 🌻

Never did I imagine people would be coming to ME asking questions about getting their degree or careers in counseling! I’m “little ole nobody.” 


You’ve probably said it before.  I did

Week after week. 

Month after month. 

Until finally I decided to ignore or better yet reframe those negative thoughts to something positive





Ever since I decided to get out of MY OWN WAY, nothing has stopped me. 

Some days have been harder than others, but every.  single.  one of them have been worth it to get to this point. 

This is the point in my life where I show that insecure, doubting girl from 2.5 years ago that SHE DID IT! 🎉

Maslow’s Hierachy 

Happy Monday, y’all! 

After having pneumonia for a WEEK and missing much of my work week, I’m back today! Playing catch up on paperwork and calling clients. 

One fun thing I’ve worked on is updating my cork board. 

In my last clinical class, we talked about the need of involving case management in counseling. That the two do not have to be mutually exclusive and a good counselor SHOULD be checking on their client’s basic needs. Well, we referenced Maslow’s Hierachy of Needs and it stuck with me. 

Today for my board, I added this new posting. 

My hope is that it is clean and simple enough that clients can understand it and reach out as needed. I feel like I will probably ended up changing the way I phrase my writing or the way I display it all together, but I loved the idea so I wanted to go ahead and put it into play AND share with you guys. 

What do you think? Do you believe you can truly do counseling with someone about their interpersonal relationships, self esteem, etc if they don’t have food and water at home? 

I pride and market myself as being a holistic counselor. I think it’s good to take a step back and remember to look at the person as a whole. Really look. Ask if needed. What’s going on in their life. How can you help? 
Asking about basic needs and having a resource list ready seems to be a good fix  for this missing link. 
My thoughts for the day. 

Best, Tana 

Resource List 

Greetings all, 

I am currently working on updating my resource list to create a page to add to my webpage. If you have a business or organization that benefits persons that struggle with mental illness, substance abuse, anger issues, their caregivers, or the like, feel free to send me your information for consideration! 

You can post it directly here 👇 or you can email me on the Contact page. 

It is my goal to eventually put together a strong list of both local and global referrals that individuals can consider as needed. 

Little Things + Big Results

I’ve been looking for little ways to practice what I preach this week. 

I tell my clients it’s simple to make little changes and that they add up. Which I 100% believe

I do not think recovery is black and white. I THINK it’s a series of steps and it’s small progress, with days getting a little easier and a little easier. 

After a challenging appointment this week, this concept I preach, I decided to put into my own practice. Remember when I said EVERYONE can benefit from evaluating their mental health at a given time and assessing the tools / coping skills they are using? 

Well, I mean ANYONE! 

Obviously some people are more vulnerable for mental illness than others and some are under more psychological stress than others, but we could ALL benefit from a good self exploration and tune up every now and then. 
So why am I any different? This week was about self discovery and putting words into action!
Three new things I’ve done this week:

  • I am using brightly colored cups to drink my water during the day. Black has been my favorite color all my life, y’all, but black is not really associated with happiness and positive mental health so I’ve consciously chosen bright yellow cups (or pink or teal). Color can trick your brain into a more happy mood.  
  • Likewise, I bought a new toothbrush (it was time anyways #boringselfcare) in YELLOW. Again yellow is not my color, but I’m learning to associate yellow with sunshine, light, and happiness. I swear it’s working! Seeing something colorful first thing everyone morning flips a little trigger in my brain, “Oh yeah. We are going to be colorful today. We are going to be positive and happy.”

  • Last but not least, I’ve rededicated myself to morning workouts. There is a ton of research out there to suggest working out first thing in the morning is a great idea! It gets your body moving and it gets you on track for the day. I actually challenged myself and took it a step further this time. I chose to do an at home yoga practice. I found a disc online that I felt met my needs and so far, so good. Yoga seemed like a win, win for what I was trying to accomplish because IT IS a workout (for the doubters out there), but it’s also wonderful for stress relieving, relaxation, and mediation. Overall, it’s a good mental health tool! I’ll keep y’all update on how that goes. 

So I guess you could put this post under professional, but maybe it’s more personal. I really challenged myself this week to practice what I preach and see if it would benefit my day to day life. 

The results are in and The answer is…. YES

I even had one coworker comment that I looked “extra nice… and shiney” this week. Ha! I told her… “I think it’s happiness!” 

After brushing my teeth with my yellow tooth brush, fixing my hair, and putting my happy, shiney face on! 😂😊😍

So to wrap it up…

  • Clients: find something that works for you! The first thing may not work, but something will. 
  • Clients: counselors are humans too! Read above. We aren’t here to judge you, but help you. 
  • Counselors: you aren’t here to judge your clients, but help them. Remember and mean that. Think of creative ways to try it. 
  • Counselors: remember you are a person too! Think back to your training about self care and burn out and put it into use. We can’t help anyone if we can’t help ourselves. 


Surgery Update

‪#saturdaymorning = recovery. 

So to recap the surgery: they tried to push over my Deviated sceptum, but it wouldn’t move far enough. Because of this, the doctor had to “shred” some pieces of cartilage out (AKA CUT PIECES OF MY NOSE OUT). 

After he’d cut out enough of my septum that he could proceed with the procedure, he went into four different sinus cavities. Once he forced the catheter into each cavity, they would expand a “balloon” that would stretch the opening to my sinus cavity. He described this as expanding bones and correctly warned me that this piece would sound similar to a bag of potatoe chips crunching. 😳

Some cavities took more ‘balloons’ and stretching than others. The last one… was… the worst. The doctor explained my cavities had a long wall in my cheeks so they were harder to get to than the ones in my forehead. Well, the catheter got STUCK in the last one. He pushed and pulled and couldn’t get it out. 
Eventually he said sorry and YANKED IT OUT OF MY FACE. 

Have you ever seen blood and pus and infection cake on a LONG rod being pulled out of your face??? I HAVE. Let me go ahead and give a spoiler, it’s not pretty. 

—Did I mention I did this surgery without anesthesia? Oh yeah! They did give me pain killers, but it was going to be way cheaper in office without anesthesia so this working mom / full time grad student picked that option! ✔️
After the last cavity, he suctioned more blood and infection out and tried to clean me up. 

I’m not sure what I expected from working on my nose and face, y’all… but I didn’t expect to see so much blood

I sneezed. Blood. 

I coughed. Blood. 

I moved too fast. Blood. 

Now Saturday morning: My nose is tender and sore. Im still coughing up some blood, but already starting to feel better! 

Hoping to rest up today, catch up on some TV, maybe write some new blogs for you guys, and get ready for the week ahead of me!