Author: Liz Wiener

Last Wednesday marked Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar. It's a day of atonement on which Jews pray, engage in a 25 hour fast, and ask God for forgiveness for any sins they may have committed in the last year. As a cultural...

Do you have a story you tell yourself? I’m not talking about that secret fantasy about the hot Starbucks barista. The story I’m talking about is the one that works like a Venus Flytrap, sucking you in and holding you hostage to some pretty negative and harmful...

The Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer, The CIBC Run for the Cure, The Weekend to End Breast Cancer; these are just a few of the very successful annual fundraisers for incredibly worthy organizations we’ve come to expect and appreciate. The odds are you know someone...

I remember when I knew was pregnant for the first time. I had this strange pulling sensation in my uterus, my boobs were beyond PMS-sore and suddenly the smell of my husband’s cologne made my stomach roil. The test confirmed what my body was shouting...

Nine years ago last night, I was in my father’s hospital room with my mother, my sister and brother waiting for my dad to die. We’d been with him all day in the hospital and I’d gone home to get some sleep, but almost as...

Just about one year ago, I’d come back from a lovely family vacation and began an emotional downhill slide that culminated in a psychiatric hospitalization. It was one of the most challenging periods of my life, and while I’m proud that I reached out and...

Twenty one summers ago, I was 24 years old and working as a unit head at a Montreal day camp. One afternoon, at dismissal time, I was handed an envelope by a staff member. I often got notes from the parents of my campers at the end of the day, and I was busy, so I handed it off to one of the counsellors to deal with. He opened the envelope and quickly handed it over to me. “I think this is for you,” he grinned. I grabbed it, read it, and started to cry. It was a marriage proposal and a ring. Seconds later, my then-boyfriend Lee popped out of the bushes, trailed by a friend with a video camera, and asked if I would be his wife.

Lisa and I have always been there for each other. We support and encourage each other’s successes, pick each other up when we fall and send one another texts comprised entirely of strings of emojis that somehow capture exactly what we’re trying to say. Lisa’s who I call when I’m not sure of the answer to the million dollar question, or when I’m just out of dinner ideas.

In retrospect, of course, I should have seen it coming. I hadn’t been feeling well for months; my appetite and sleep on a steady decline. A persistent feeling of impending doom. Frequent outbursts of panic-fueled crying. The night of March 29th, lying in my bed, inconsolable, wanting to not be here anymore. Waking up the next morning feeling worse. I couldn’t bear to be on this planet for one more second feeling this way. Fantasizing about the narcotics in my night table drawer, left over from surgery. A Google search: how many would I need to just make it all stop?

Last week, at the end of a yoga class, the teacher announced that one of the class members was expecting a new grand-baby that day. She asked us to join her in an Om to welcome the new addition to the world. As the class...

Have you heard of Blue Monday? It’s a phenomenon coined by a Welsh university professor, Dr. Will Arnall, who came up with a mathematical formula, factoring in, among other things, weather, post-holiday debt, pressure to live up to New Year’s resolutions, feelings of demotivation and the fact that most people regard Monday as the most depressing day of the week - to prove that the third Monday in January is the most depressing day of the year.

Last weekend, Lisa and I had the opportunity to speak at, and participate in, the Maddy K Inspires Retreat in St. Sauveur, Québec. As big believers in communication and authenticity, we were excited to let it all out; to share the stories of our pasts...

We've all seen the videos. Parents craftily surprising their children with news that they’re going to Disney---and the kids just about implode with excitement? Let's just say...I was not that kid.

The news of a trip anywhere filled me with such unease and trepidation that instead of counting down the days until vacation, I counted the number of days until I’d be back home.

Empathy is the true capacity to understand or feel what another being is experiencing from within. What started out as a yearlong social media experiment to inspire and galvanize empathy has ballooned into a widespread campaign to engage people to perform one act of empathy every day. Wise Women Canada...

When my twins were babies, the best way to get them to go to sleep was to swing them in their bucket car seats. I’d strap them in, pick them up, and give my arms a good work out by swaying them back and forth. It worked like a charm, and it was a trick I used often with two babies who didn’t like to sleep on the same schedule. Except for one day, when they were about four months old.

My daughter was particularly cranky so I put her in her bucket, started to swing her, and I watched in total horror as she ejected from the car seat and tumbled to the floor.

In the fog of sleepless nights and taking care of two babies, I’d totally forgotten to strap her in. Of course, I thought I’d broken my baby. Luckily, I had another one as back-up. (She was totally fine and I like to use the “It’s because I dropped you on your head” story when she’s having a teenage moment). [caption id="attachment_23765" align="aligncenter" width="500"]The one I dropped The one I dropped[/caption]

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about what it’s like to live with generalized anxiety. As one friend put it after my blog went live, “Now you’re really out of the closet.” It’s true. I’ve spilled my mental health secrets  - and despite some initial uneasiness about what the response would be, I’m happy that I have. Because just like when I wrote about living with depression, I’ve been touched and overwhelmed about how many people have reached out to thank me- for describing what they’ve been living with, for breaking the silence, for exposing a serious and debilitating disease that so few people understand. That is exactly my goal in writing about my struggles publicly - to create a community and let others know they’re not alone. Selfishly, it helps me enormously too, to know I’m in the excellent company of my fellow anxiety-sufferers. Together, I believe, we can help break the stigma and help each other cope when things seem dark.

Mental illness seems to be getting a lot of airplay these days. While we’re still far from a place where it is accepted and legitimized as a genuine health issue, at the very least we’re hearing more about it. Just the other day, we shared...

[caption id="attachment_20390" align="alignleft" width="295"]486870_10151211553601357_1290598133_n When it began. That's me on the left.[/caption] When I was a kid, I couldn’t go to sleep unless I completed a very specific set of nightly routines. I was inexplicably terrified of water dripping from the bathroom tap, so I worked at tightening the faucet until I was sure I was safe. The bathroom light switch had to be flicked on and off exactly 10 times. Each item on my shelves and desk needed to be perfectly aligned and I felt compelled to yell, “Goodnight Ma!”, from my bed at least a dozen times.