Who I was and Who I am

in roadtosteemfest •  27 days ago

Amazing What 2 weeks can do - BEFORE AND AFTER STEEMFEST

Photo Taken by My Sister In Law April 25th 2019

The photo above was the beginning of the hardest, most terrifying months of my life. I have endured a lot of stuff in my lifetime, but this, by far...was the hardest.
Our beautiful daughter just lost a friend to suicide (14 yrs old) just weeks before this photo was taken. A week before this, we had found out she had suicidal ideation and was self harming. The day of this photo was her 14th birthday (she doesn't remember turning 14) Wes nearly lost his life to blood clots in his lung, very close to his heart. We were all in the beginning of survival mode.

The weeks following, we adjusted to our new normal. Wes started to go to many specialists, all of which brought him no where closer to knowing how or why this happened. Our daughter was admitted to the hospital for her mental health and started therapy 2 times a week.


We tried our hardest to get back to normal, but our life had shifted in ways we would have never imagined.

My mental health started to decline, I couldn't sleep, eat, or focus on anything I needed to. I was terrified of all the possibilities of loss. I lost all ability to be logical and sane.

When we got the opportunity to go to Thailand for @steemfest I was very excited, but afraid. I was afraid of Wes being on blood thinners, what if he gets more clots, what if our daughter mentally falls, what if our son gets in an accident while we are gone...on and on and on.


My family is my everything, and the fear of losing any of them was staring me straight in the face this year.

I knew that when we left for Thailand I needed to set my intention to not allowing fear to guide me and allow each moment to soak in as an incredible memory.

The Friday before we left my sister ended up in the hospital for her mental health, our son lost a friend to suicide. Then the Sunday before we left our daughter's best friend lost a friend to suicide...Then Monday we were flying and got a call from our Son's school. Another kid took their life. Survival mode was quick to jump in. I wanted to fall back into my overwhelm and panic...but I was heading to the trip of a lifetime with my love.

Photo by @derangedvisions

I decided I needed to face all my fears and not allow my overwhelm to take over this vacation.

I rode in and loved the tuk tuks
I rode in the river on a river boat
I ate stuff I wasn't too sure of
I swam into the ocean further than I was comfortable

Photo by DV

When we flew home, I was ready to see our kids and check in on my sister. My sister was at the airport to see us home, and looked so great. A few minutes after getting into the car to head home, our son called...he was in an accident (you see why my brain goes to worst case scenario??) Luckily it was a tiny fender bender, but none-the-less...an accident.

So, me before @steemfest = scared, apprehensive, tired, overwhelmed, and sure the universe hated me. Now, me after steemfest? I believe in my capabilities, know that even if I fear something, it doesn't make it come to reality (although...let's be real...it usually does for me). I am stronger, braver, happier, and more resilient than I was 2 weeks ago. I am so grateful for the opportunity to go with my husband to Thailand and meet all the steemians that we did!

I am proud of myself and the growth I had this past few weeks, I am glad I was able to be a part of this passion of traveling of Wes's and allowing bravery to come through, I truly felt the happiest I have in a very long time!

Photo by DV

Thank you for taking time to read this post. Thank you to the Steemfest team for putting together an incredible conference! And helping me see more culture than I have ever in my whole life :)

PS, I have slept over 27 hours since Friday Night (it is Sunday evening now) - I 'may' have had a bit of jet lag coming home! Finally not feeling like I am a walking zombie!

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Dear @faitherz33, I am very emotional when reading your post. When I met you at SF, I had no idea what you had endured both, because you were like a beautiful couple, smiling and happy.

I fully understand what you have experienced. Our family struggled for two years as our daughter suffered eating disorder. During these two years, I had several times to prepare myself for the worst, the loss of a beloved, with that terrible feeling of helplessness.

Today, our daughter is a beautiful young woman. These hard times have made us stronger, closer, more joyful, eager to live life to the fullest.

I'm so glad to read you changed your plans and moved away from BKK to enjoy some good time at Pattaya. Well done!

We lock ourselves up so often because of our fears. I call them "my little demons". And I have decided a long time ago to (try to) fight them, one at a time. When isolated, they are not so terrible. Sometimes they still win, so I laugh at myself... till next fight ;)
I'm telling you that because this is what you did: riding tuk tuks, riding a river boat, eating stuff, swimming away... Above all, do not diminish the greatness of these small victories, and bounce back with them to face the following ones.

Lol, such a long philosophical comment.

I will end by saying that I loved meeting you. I keep a precise memory of our first encounter, your smiles, the love that emanated from you both. And I'm looking forward to seeing you again next year.

Take care. Much love and a BIG hug! 🤗


Thank you for your great comment. I am sorry that you went through similar stuff with your daughter, but I am glad to hear that she is doing a lot better now.

It was awesome seeing you again this year and we look forward to seeing you again next year. Until then, here is a #proof-of-group-hug from the closing dinner. I am sorry to hear that you lost all of your images from your phone too. That sucks. Thanks for being a great friend.



Oh man!! I appreciate this so very much!! My heart is full from the love and grace I’ve received from all around the world!! I too loved meeting you, your personality resonates very closely to mine! Thank you so much for your comment, truly heart filled and beautiful! My heart hurts for all those having to face these terrible demons, but the more vulnerable I become, the more I realize I am not alone in this battle! So much love to you and your family!! We are already planning on being to the next one 😘 thank you again, this was a fabulous way to end my day.

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Wow, what a story. Or stories... I'm glad your son and Wes are OK. That must have been so scary...But so many kids taking their lives... it's just horrible. Unfortunately I live in a country (Ireland) where suicide is one of the biggest killers...and for some time I was really worried about my eldest daughter. I think there is something seriously wrong when our kids feel so depressed they feel like the only way is suicide. It's so so sad. Well anyway I am happy you guys made it to Steemfest and it was lovely meeting you.
You're one heck of a woman. Much love to you both.❤️❤️❤️


Thank you!! This past year has been the scariest I have ever faced in my life, and that is saying A LOT!! We are a tough family, and we will get through anything we get handed to us, it make take a lot of sweat, blood and tears...but we will do it!!! Your love and support help us know we are not alone in this life! And it is quite incredible to know we have so much support from all around the world! It was so great to meet you as well!!

Far out. What a year. Enough to make anyone a blubbering fearful mess (i kinda had one of those years too). Kudos to you guys for feeling it and doing it anyway. Much, much love and light!

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Thank you love!! I appreciate the love and support! We’ve gone through a lot this year, but are coming out stronger than ever!!


I find that really remarkable. We were a close family anyway, but when Dad got really sick, we all pulled together even closer. I have a closer relationship with all my family than ever before and I have learnt more about myself too. I really feel for the spate of suicides amongst your community - I'm a teacher, and i see the effect deaths amongst teenagers has on communities and how suicides can spread. It's always so devastating. Much love and strength to you to support your loved ones, and may you rest and repair on many more holidays together!


Thank you!!

Wow. I have been in contact with Wes for many reasons so, in a way, this touched me.

Stay strong, stay positive, stay brave, stay happy.



Thank you! I appreciate your love and encouragement!!

Damn that is a lot to move on there girl! What is happening there in you guys' environment (now I also understand the drift to move a bit more hehehe)

It was a pleasure meeting you both and hooray for your personal growth ! That is never a loss and always a beginning of more to come!


Yes, so much happening. Our environment stinks :( The desire to move grew 100% being there. And being at work for the first time this month, I am REALLY ready to disappear and never show up to work again. It was great to meet you!!

wow so much was happening to your family before you embarked on your SF trip! happy to know you enjoyed yourself and how SF has upped your confidence! we got to talk a bit on the morning i was about to go home to my country and i love your personality! it was really nice to know you and hope to see you on the next one! :)


Thank you!! It was so much fun meeting you and jamming out on the dinner cruise boat! I had a blast! Here’s to next SF!

I have so much admiration for you facing your fears head on, that is no easy feat and you done it. I also love how you are sharing your story, no one should ever have to suffer in silence and sharing your story really helps others to then share theirs, especially with the podcast you do with your sister. You and your family have been through so much and you are all doing so well. I am so happy to connect with you on here, thank you for sharing and inspiring us all to do the same xxxxx


You are sweet! Thank you! I appreciate the thoughts and love so much! Us having the support and love that we do helps us continue forward and do what we can to help others!! We definitely have a lot of growth left to do, but I am glad we are a tough bunch to do it together! Keep your chin up, you are doing amazing things!!

That is a heck of a lot to go through!
I'm so happy that you didn't let it stop you from sharing that love of travel with your hubby and took in SteemFest and that you actually got renewed and became stronger!
Sometimes a holiday and a break from all our sorrows can be the best thing going as it seemed to be for you!
Thanks for sharing and I hope you continue to be strong, resilient, brave and happy!


It is definitely more than most go through in a whole lifetime! HA HA! But, we were being planted in deep soil, so we could grow into beautiful plants!! Thank you for taking time to read, and comment!! I sure appreciate the love and support!

I love you so much! It was so awesome to travel to Thailand with you and make so many amazing memories. I can't wait until we can go back with the kids and show them how incredible it is there. I am so proud of everything you have done this past year!

People shilling Steemfest as a life changing event - it is 100% true though :D Having experienced that in SF3, I was able to just ride and enjoy SF4 even more.

PS. Tuk tuks are so much fun :D

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Glad you got a steemfest recharge good health to your family. These youth suicides are terrifying we had one in my community of a ridiculously young kid


They are awful!! It breaks my heart every single time one happens. It is getting to be too common and not much is being done about it. It is so sad!! Steemfest was a great recharge!

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I am so happy that you and Wes made it despite of what you went through.

Sometimes, that step of faith is what makes everything that meant to take place will fall into place.

So glad that Wes is OK with his blood thinners. Will be keeping you both in thoughts and prayers!

It was not a coincidence that we all made it to SF4. Let's call it, which I truly believe, a devine appointment

You know you both will always have big hugs from me and the rest of the SF extended family. 🤗

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Yes!! Devine indeed!! I am so grateful for the opportunity to meet you, and everyone else!! Truly, memories last much longer than things, I am so happy to have built amazing memories with you all!!

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Oh my God , that photo with you and your love in the water is just speechless
Of beauty in the heart , i had goosebumps .
You two can conquer it all ✨
Much Love ❤️