Hello Kevin

If you've followed along with this blog with any consistency (not imply that I write with any,) then you will have noticed that when my anxiety flares, so too does my ability to write about it. A hefty price for creativity if you ask me, but I think it has more to do with need than expression. When I'm sprinting through my thoughts at a feverish pace, writing allows me to stop and take a proverbial breather. Today I am in the weeds after yet another sleepless night. I've been battling myself all day and I'm learning that the less sleep I get, the more weapons my mind is able to wield against me. Or perhaps it's flipped and I just have less with which to shield myself against the sharp blade of fear. Either way, it...well, sucks. It takes monumental energy to pull yourself up by your bootstraps when you're ill at-ease. Throw in extended sleep deprivation and the energy to constantly do so is depleted to the point where there is no more elevation, just a fleeting

Float, Not Fight

I've been neglectful of myself. Not overtly; I tend to my needs and make sure that I make time for exercise and some small self care activities that I find comfort in. Neglect can be insidious, though. Residing under the surface of a calm sea can be a volcano vast and violent in its eruptions. So while I appear calm and collected to most people, my husband sees the volcanic side that is becoming increasingly active. After some reflection, I'm realizing that I've somehow allowed myself to stop truly processing my emotions. I've professed to be "doing the work" and fallen into the trap of equating working towards healing with actual healing. I have made great strides, accomplished goals, and even experienced growth in some areas...but the truth is I've also been shrinking back down in so many others.  I'm not sleeping well, or at all a lot of nights. It started when my son had Covid in the beginning of October, and hasn't abated since. My preoccupat

Walking in the Rain

I've started this blog post so many times, but just can't seem to finish it. I've actually started several different versions of it, each version trying to take a different path to its final destination...only there never seems to be finality. I have so much that I want, no, need to get off my chest but the words either dry up or, conversely, pour out of me at a rate too fast to capture meaning. I promised myself that this time, I would finish regardless of what it looked like. So, uh, buckle up because it may be a wild ride. When I think about it, we've all been on a wild ride for quite some time, haven't we? I feel like we have all spiraled into this pandemic-mired "normal" that's always shifting, never comfortable, and ever-present. No matter what is going on in your personal life, the pandemic has added logistical, mental, and emotional baggage to every decision we must make. Now that the safety felt from vaccinations and masks is being called into

Sean Higgins Kane

Yesterday, I had the honor eulogizing a man who I loved deep in my soul in front of his family, which also owns a large piece of my heart. Afterwards, I was asked to share my remarks by some who attended his memorial services and my blog seemed the easiest way to do so. I don't have the heart to say more now. Below is the eulogy: For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Jen Mulato and Sean was a brother to my husband and I in every way that mattered. He adopted us, as he did so many people, 12 years ago and we’ve been family ever since.  When sitting down to write this, I admit to being overwhelmed by the responsibility of trying to adequately honor Sean Kane. The breadth of his being was simply too magnificent to summarize.  As I sat listening to his Ultimate Spotify Playlist, his soundtrack for life, I struggled to think of the best way to approach eulogizing a man I still can’t bear the thought of losing. It took me several tries to get it right.  At first, I thought I wou

Living With Anxiety

Because I have anxiety, a lot of my time is spent managing fear responses. Fear is at the root of anxiety, and when you've got generalized anxiety, you find that you are afraid much more than your peers during your day to day existence. Being afraid is uncomfortable, but deescalating your responses to fear is downright exhausting. I always think people can see it when they look at me. What's actually pretty shocking, though, is that most people would never know that I have clinical anxiety. Despite the battles that rage in my head, I usually appear calm and pleasant on the outside. People very close to me know my tells, but for the most part, I carry this burden silently. I actually hid it from myself for a long time. Actually, I didn't know until I was 34 years old that I had anxiety, at all. I knew I was sort of high strung, but not that I was caught up in a cycle of fear and poor coping mechanisms. I've always been what I would call fearful, or nervous. I would fear

Toxic Positivity

I firmly believe that having a positive outlook is a choice. It is a choice we must make each morning to manifest gratitude and keep the goodness of our lives in focus. Last year after a battle with my own mental health that left me at the proverbial bottom, I swore to deliberately choose joy each day since climbing out of the depths. What happens though, when we force positivity? When we narrow that sunny focus to the point of excluding reality? I'd argue that, like with all things, positive thinking to excess becomes counterproductive at best and, well, toxic at worst. Toxic positivity, I'll admit, sounds like an oxymoron. Being too positive doesn't fit the usual profile of detrimental thought patterns. But if we examine it further, it does. Simply being optimistic is healthy.  Forcing ourselves to wear rosey-colored glasses in perpetuity, however, is not. Denying ourselves the opportunity to feel negative emotions as they arise organically leads to a compounding of suppr


I'm having a hard day, one of the hardest days I've had in a long time. It actually started last night, in the wee hours of the morning, when anxiety often likes to strike its vulnerable and exhausted prey. After a few nights of not being able to fall asleep and laying awake to swim around my head, last night became the crescendo to a song that's been building for a while, albeit beneath the threshold of my hearing.  Last night I had a panic attack while laying in bed next to my husband after what was a wonderful day.  Sometimes I feel the symptoms rising and can take measures to avert a full-blown attack, but other times I am taken by surprise and have to weather the storm as it whips and rages around my shaking and prostrate form. "Panic attack" is an apt description of what occurs when anxiety peaks and your body aggressively enters fight or flight mode. Simply put, you are attacked by every fear in your mind, all of which are magnified tenfold by the cortisol