Kat Atwell is a freelance writer, blogger & stage presence telling stories that deliver laughs, validation & community.

Mental Health | Wellness & Self Image | Experiential & Reviews


Aside from missing my family today, and having an anxiety attack on the way home from work tonight, I had a pretty great day.

My morning and early afternoon were especially good. I slept in, and had such a good talk with one of my dearest friends on the planet over iced tea. I also got sunburned, but it'll fade. Must carry lotion. Anyway, I love trusting people. I love getting to talk through things and approaching them from a problem solving way instead of expecting the worst or feeling guilt. Getting it out there. Man, it was a great talk. I have to be somewhat vague about it right now, but I'm excited about what the future holds. That's not somewhat vague, that's totally vague. Suffice it to say, I feel like an already extraordinary friendship was strengthened today, and I'm looking at taking on a big challenge with the support of a lot of people.

I have good people. I'm starting to run out of fingers when I count the folks who I trust, who I've allowed to really know me, and who have really allowed me to get to know them. When we moved to Denver in 2005, my husband and I both felt like people were a lot more closed off than folks in Kansas City. People were more midwestern there - it had a lot more openness about it, speaking very generally about the population. Here, folks were quick to tell you things were OK, or great, but never expounded like they did in Kansas City. That was hard to wrap my head around for a long time. If you ask me how my day is, you get a full breakdown. I'm learning to ask before launching into details, but it's pretty ingrained in me to let a lot of stuff just be out there. The friendships I'm fostering now are more reminiscent of what my limited memory suggests I had years and years ago, and it gives me a lot of hope.

Honestly, the people who are in my life right now, both old and new, kind of astound me with their kindness. I am loved, and I get to love people, and that's awesome and something that shouldn't be tossed aside or taken for granted.

There is a part of me that feels like I'm rediscovering parts of me that I'd repressed for a long time. I'm becoming much more open about my personal challenges with some ingrained mental patterns. It reminds me of when I was first diagnosed with bipolar disorder seven years ago (whaaaat?), and my life felt like it was dictated by the illness. It was consuming. I'd equate it, sort of, with finding out you have diabetes. You have to re-learn how to deal with stuff. You have to change up your routine. You have to be more cognizant of what you're doing day-to-day. I don't want to wind up having a fully pre-meditated life, and it wouldn't happen even if I wanted it to, anway, but I do want to approach things with more awareness, which I feel I'm really doing right now.

I had an epic anxiety attack on the way home, as a tire slammed into a pothole I didn't even see and made a humongous noise, which had me convinced for about 15 miles that at any given moment, I was going to have a flat tire, or worse, have my wheel fly off my vehicle much like it had about a month ago. Despite the reminders that the drive was uneventful and no warning lights came on, I was still on full alert. I acknowledged how I felt and tried to go with my feelings and move to a better place emotionally, but once your brain has decided a crisis is about to occur, it's hard not to start problem solving about something that might happen. By the time I got home I was pretty knotted up inside. However, I walked into an absolutely clean house and the most beautiful piece of artwork ever from my daughter. And, my husband heard me come home, so he came down and talked to me while in a semi-stupor. He had a full day.

I'm really looking forward to spending tomorrow being low-key and spending it with my husband and my daughter. I want to relax, and not push myself to make money, do more, plan more, etc.

Something else I want to mention: A very dear friend is having a rough weekend because she misses her mom. I think she reads this. Honey, if you do see this, know that crying is OK. See all of the people who are reaching out to you. Your network of unconditional love is overflowing. If you want to come over and hang out with a bunch of crazy people, I would love to have you over. If you want to go to church with me, I'd love to take you. If you want a brunch at my house, let's do it. My daughter is an award-winning snuggler, and I'm not so bad at it, either. Let people in, because we want to help and be here for you.

OK, time for me to do the wind down thing and maybe watch a show before passing out. I'm a grateful person today.


Even when you think you are, you're not.