A few taboo things . . . depression, anxiety, suicide

What am I going to tell you on this Journey?  

What will I share with you? 

How does it relate to you? 

It’s a typical Thursday morning. I wake up at 4:00 a.m.; workout at 5:00; make protein shake at 6:30, drink shake while cleaning up the dishes; shower off the sweat and gym germs; and prepare myself for the iPrime daily call at 7:00.

The iPrime call is where I start the day fulfilling my need for love & connection.

On this particular day, the wonderful and lovely Brie takes us on a wild ride called “The Laws of Attraction”.


This is so powerful that the group decides to make Thursdays a weekly “Laws of Attraction” call hosted by Brie.

How that relates to me, my life, and my ability to help you?

Personally the Laws of Attraction call was so fascinating for me that I immediately had to go and listen to the links that Brie posted; it leads to various conversations with family and friends; and I go deeper into the dark rabbit’s hole of my mind.

I’ve always been a believer of Everything Happens for a Reason and a Purpose.  Never considering that I was experiencing what I was attracting. As Vizzini would say that was “Inconceivable”.


Everything came full circle and I could see things that once I was blind to become clearer.

I started this walk on the Yellow Brick Road a year ago which lead to soul searching and starting a personal (somewhat spiritual) journey. I uncovered and encountered feelings and emotions I didn’t know existed but had lead me to where I was in life.

Some good childhood memories came to surface, wonderful memories of laughter, love, fun & family. But with the good, come the bad and the ugly.

Places and things I had suppressed came to surface and I was faced to remember the dark and taboo things no one talked about . . . or rather I didn’t remember or didn’t want to face.

Remembering times when I was depressed and strongly attracted and attached to perfection, anger, guilt, fear, shame, and remorse. I’d obsess on what I felt were mistakes I made.

I’d fantasize and obsess on reshooting the movie running repetitive loops in my mind of how I could change the outcome and look good in the finale.

I’d remembered daily feelings when I’d have to muster up the energy to go to work, get out of bed, parent, love, have a conversation. It was exhausting and took every ounce of energy I had.

Smiling and confused taking all my focus to come across as happy, fly straight and act right. I walked around dazed and confused but hidden where no one could see.


I’d always want to sleep but then sleep would not come easy since my mind would race and obsess over my “invented” mistakes; which lead to guilt; which lead to anger; which led to guilt of being angry and out of control; a vicious cycle.

The gym was no longer a happy place for my training. Learning, training, and helping others was top priority and where I felt whole but training and taking care of my own self wasn’t even a consideration.

I seriously believed I didn’t deserve to feel good and let myself go by expression, suppression and escaping through negative vehicles reverse dieting, overeating, misdirection and denial.

Healthy food tasted like crap. Only satisfaction I got was in alcohol, ice cream, and candy. All the while acting like I was on top of the world and helping anyone and everyone I could.

Life felt hopeless and I tried every self-help trick I knew to no avail. In fact, I finally went to my first TR seminar, which was full of anxiety attacks; not participating fully; leaving early; and a daily overwhelming urge to drive home.

I was a hot mess, so pitiful, crying, and angry that I couldn’t see straight. If it weren’t for the angels who crossed my path (Todd & Jalene), I honestly would have left the seminar and not gotten anything out of it.

Best choice I ever made was to go, stay and participate as much as I could. When I got home I wasn’t miraculously fixed but felt a calm and focus that I hadn’t in awhile.

I’d love to tell you that all my fantasies came true; the Prince rode up on his horse; came to my rescue; saved me and we lived happily ever after. But that’s far from the reality of it all.


I went home and tried to fix everything on my own. Huge mistake.

And the walls came tumbling down . . . but with a blink I finally had a long conversation with my DH; set a doctor’s appointment; scheduled another TR seminar; booked a flight; and booked a hotel.

DH decided to go with me this time to see what I had done that made me so calm, focused, and ready to fight “no flight” and face my issues.

No need to be anxious about anything when I had the perfect travel companion.   It was time to find to create my identity and live out my passion of helping others.

Some say 3rd time is a charm but 2nd time with my man Tony Robbins is what did the trick. I understood much more and with the help of a doctor, family and friends, every day is a step in the right direction; happy, healthy and full of hope; one day at a time.

But what worked for me may not work for others since everyone’s eureka moment is different, which leads us to . . .

So how does this relate to you?

We are all unique little snowflakes, yet we have one thing in common: our emotions a.k.a. our environment, and what meaning we give or how we react to situations.

My favorite way to get this point across would be an analogy:

  • Think of yourself as an air traffic controller.
  • The planes are your negative emotions.
  • The landing strip is your resolve.  Land those planes my friends.
  • If you do not notice, name & resolve your negative emotions, they will continue to stack or accumulate and you will have hundreds of planes circling the airport or eventually crashing.  No Buenos.

Take time to notice, name, and process negative actions such as:

  • Express
  • Suppress
  • Escape

Express: We know this action way too well: yell, scream, or death stare directed at someone who most likely wasn’t the cause.

Good examples would be (1) yelling at a loved one because your boss or a friend pissed you off or (2) road rage and getting mad at someone for cutting you off in traffic when you did the same thing to someone a mile back.

This stacks more negative emotions on top of the negative emotions that already exist. We feel guilty for losing control.  And we have transferred our negative energy on the person we directed our anger towards so we feel guilty for that.

Hence the snowball effect of anger, guilt, and more anger for feeling guilty . . . a neverending crazy eight.


Suppression: It’s like holding a ball underwater.  Sooner or later there is too much pressure and the ball gets loose and shoots out of the water similar to an explosion.

Ever have an out-of-body experience where you freaked out and ranted & raved and later can’t believe you did or said what you did.  I know I have too many times to count.

I remember times where I let anger take over and I’d break or throw things; bang my fist so hard on my steering wheel until bruised; dangerous high speed chases; or joy rides to feel the rush of out-of-control and then the feeling of control when I stopped or woke up from the daze. To be greeted by guilt, loneliness, shame and guilt for what I had felt or done.

Escape: through a negative vehicle –   checkbox

(i.e. alcohol, smoking, eating, distractions like movies, TV, casual sex, etc.), temporarily adding pleasure and forgetting the pain.

Only to rear it’s ugly head later ten-fold with a vengeance.

Emotions are biochemical reactions in the body. Happiness/Joy radiates through laugher, smiling, body language and can spread to others.

Just like negative emotions, so be aware, notice, and observe.

As my man Tony Robbins would say, “Shake the Body out” and resolve the negative emotion which will begin to dissipate since there is nothing left to fuel it.

This way you’re not adding fuel to the proverbial fire but instead utilizing a tool in your toolbox available to combat those negative emotions. Or in my case . . . walking across hot coals.


Wow TR is a genius.

I now have a way to resolve negative thoughts in the dark place of my mind.  I WILL think of the coals as negative emotions and when I walk across them, I MUST:

  • Observe myself
  • Notice & Name
  • Resolve & Replace with a positive emotion.

Step up!  YES!  YES!!  YES!!!

This is what I have been thinking and I have wanted but been afraid to share.

NOT to throw upon you or demand anything; merely because it has helped me and I’m excited about my resolve.

No more self sabotage for this Lady.

I am not the victim. 

I refuse to be the volunteer and surrender to negative emotions. 

This is my continuing journey I know, as is everything.

I don’t tell you because I’m proud.  That was my foolish pride; my people pleasing skills at work.

Helping everyone else and not putting my oxygen mask on first.  Yes, another plane analogy.

Hit bottom before I begin to recognize and resolve an issue.  Last time I shared something about my depression a friend told me

“You are always smiling.  You hide it so well.”

And I did.

I mastered the character of the perfect woman with the perfect husband, family and life.

stefford wives

Once again . . .No Bueno.

I was living a false or fake life while I was making bad choices in my mind and body.

Forcing myself to act happy and smile “put on a brave face” while my depression continued to gain control of my life.

But Thank God for negative emotions and I finally hit bottom.  Only then and continuing now did I realize my passion and my purpose.

past presentClose

Learn and help others in every way I can but only after I help myself.  Share what I learn and sprinkle it around like fairy dust or fertilizer (it’s more of a dirty, stinky job).

This is the beginning to a happier and healthier lifestyle in all aspects . . . mind & body.

Baby steps, toddler steps, children running and adult living no matter what age just take that step.

I started writing this blog a couple weeks ago . . . so much has happened since then.

I was scrolling through Facebook one day and something caught my eye. A post from one of my friends read something to the effect of “R.I.P. Billy”.

Shock came over me and my response “wait, what?”

A myriad of words and emotions sped through my mind like a loud racecar circling a track repeatedly:

Wait what? Billy, No! I knew Billy and he was so sweet and kind and giving.

He made sure everyone was comfortable and had what they needed and brought jokes and laughter wherever he went. He was a cut-up, a goof, always happy, always smiling. He would do whatever he wanted or thought.

Know someone like that? Know someone like that who committed suicide or contemplated suicide?

I can think of at least 5 off the top of my head that succeeded . . . teenager, young adults, mature adults (as they say) and everyone’s funny man, that alien Mork from Ork, Robin Williams.

Ironically Robin Williams made a living at making everyone else laugh and brought new meaning to the words comedy and laughter . . . not paying attention to fixing himself first.

Then there are people who attempt/contemplate and some say it’s just for attention. But I’m here to tell you until you have walked in someone else’s shoes, don’t judge.


There are very dark places in our mind when we don’t deal with the negatives that take us to another place. They are the gang in our mind, like in West Side Story that fights for what they believe (real or not) against others and themselves.

Easy to get lead astray and stack those negative emotions until you are standing at the edge of a dark hole looking down ready to jump.

What is the difference between succeeding and contemplating? Well I can name ways of friends I personally know that have attempted and/or contemplated:

  • chasing down prescription drugs and alcohol;
  • taking as many prescription pills as they had and only stopped due to lack of energy to drive and refill the bottle;
  • alcohol combined with loaded firearm;
  • prescription pills, alcohol, one single bullet in the chamber

What was the same with the “contemplated” that made the difference?

Either someone called or texted them with a need and they were quick to act to help that person because of course everyone else’s life was more important than their own.

Or the contemplated reached out to a love one or friend who didn’t judge, talked to them, helped them seek help and stood by them during recovery.

Regardless of the situation, this is real and it happens and at the Funeral I’ve heard people say or have said myself . . .

“He/She was so happy.” “He/she always took care of others and made them laugh.” He/she volunteered to help everyone . . . would give the shirt off their back or their last dollar to help someone in need” “I didn’t see this coming.” “I blame myself for not reaching out.” “I should have seen the signs.” “I keep thinking this is a bad dream and I’m going to wake up.”

So I implore you to please be nice, don’t bully or harass, and reach out, even if just a “hello” and a smile to a stranger.  Depressing Quotes (Depression Hurts) 0082-0084 (9)

You never know what’s out there. Just be there.

I’ve been on suicide watch and know how it touches you is with fear, anxiety, sadness, and an overwhelming energy alongside an obsession to help.

The feeling doesn’t go away and will be your first thought whenever a friend or loved one is sad and depressed for days, weeks, for whatever reason.

Some times it’s just comforting someone; some times it’s talking and distracting; some times it’s an all-nighther; or hiding the firearm until morning comes, reinforcements arrive; and darkness starts to fade.

But the only way I’ve seen the person live is with professional help and some times that’s not enough.

But we do what we can do and “Let Go. Let God.”

When my friends find out about my anxiety and depression; my struggles with overcoming; my experiences with Tony Robbins, my techniques, the “Hows?” “Whys?” “WTF were you thinking?”

The question I get most often? The Winner is “Why don’t you share your story?”

My response . . .

“I was a blank canvas until I reached out. I’ve started painting my canvas by putting on my oxygen mask; getting professional help; healing myself; reaching out with like-minded individuals privately and confidentially.

My painting is only strokes and sticks figures now, but it is colorful, happy, gaining ground, and growing daily.”

I’m still learning every minute of every day; I support and encourage whoever will listen to seek professional help. But I’m not a professional. Therefore, the ultimate goal is to get professional help and support.

Everyone knows I’ve followed and loved Tony Robbins since 1999. I’ve done his programs; watched his videos over and over at night to calm my mind and sleep, in the morning to start my day; quote him constantly; been to 2 UPW conferences this year; and as TR would say “Drank the Kool Aide”.

I’ve heard and endured the negative for years about it being a cult, blah blah blah . . . to the point where I just stopped talking about it, stopped listening and watching daily.

But I now realize TR, my husband and true friends are the reason I made it through 2 minor surgeries, depression, anxiety, and on the road of change.

I say minor surgeries but I’ve been told in the medical world they are classified as “major”.

I guess when a person goes through a year of physical therapy after rotator cuff surgery; or has to wear a urine catheter after a partial hysterectomy and bladder surgery; and re-potty train at age 51 while embarrassed and hiding it from friends and loved ones.

At some point it becomes comical and I could tell you some stories that would make you also pee your pants. I’ll save that for another day. Ha!

I’m rambling. . . but have one more thing to say. I watched TR’s movie “I am not your Guru.” twice on Netflix the day it came out.

I learned some things that I hadn’t learned before; understood further some things I already knew; took a lot of notes; but the one thing that stuck was moving every day while shouting incantations.

I’m adding to my daily routine that which I remind myself of daily. . .

I Jessica see, hear, feel & know I am worthy!
I Jessica see, hear, feel & know I am
I Jessica see, hear, feel & know I am
I Jessica see, hear, feel & know I am
loved unconditionally without anything expectations.
I Jessica see, hear, feel & know I freakin’ rock!

Now you will have to excuse me while I go and “Shake That Ass!”


My DH and TR friends who also didn’t eat or pee for 4 days; drank the Kool Aid; while chanting; were hypnotized; forced to crawl across hot coals of at least 1 million degree; burned and hospitalized in Dallas Texas; or abducted and probed by aliens in West Palm Beach will understand.

So I start my day on these iPrime calls and I resonate with so much. It’s like a “prime” example of the Laws of Attraction. If I’m feeling a certain way, someone else brings that subject up to discuss i.e. anxiety, depression, suicide, self-compassion, self-improvement, death. Pretty spooky sprinkled with reality.

It’s nothing for me to tear up and laugh in the same minute. Brings a calm over me and starts my day off with my mind right.

After the calls I feel so pumped and energized and ready to conquer the day.

Everything happens for a reason and a purpose.

I attracted the host Joe into my life through TR; he attracted me to this daily iPrime call; which attracted me to some wonderful, like-minded individuals from different cultures and backgrounds; people who I love and connect with daily; and who I trust and now call my friends. I love it.

This is where I was meant to be and what I was meant to do on this journey called Life.

It’s not like the Life board game: meet, love, job, marriage, dogs, kids, house, happily ever after . . . it’s so much more.

Loving the roller coaster ride; sharing it with the love and support of amazing family and friends.










Until next time, live, laugh, love often . . .