Selective mutism.


“Selective Mutism Overview:

Selective mutism (SM) is an anxiety disorder in which a child who is talkative at home is unable to speak in other settings, such as school. Parents often notice signs of SM when a child is 3 or 4 years old, and may spend a whole year in preschool without saying a word.


-Being freely verbal and even gregarious at home, but completely or mostly nonverbal at school or around strangers

-Seeming “paralyzed” with fear, or “shut down” when unable to speak

-Some use gestures, facial expressions, and nodding to get by; others have difficulty communicating even nonverbally…”


From the time she was a toddler, my (much younger) sister had difficulty speaking in certain situations. When she started kindergarten this trait showed more when she didn’t speak to any kids in her class.

In the beginning, we thought maybe she was just extremely shy and maybe would come around. She had a few friends outside of school, and she was your regular loud playful child at home. We as a family brushed it off as “a lot of children are shy, I was shy as a child and grew out of it, I’m sure she will too.”

Unfortunately, this “shyness” continued into the next school year, the year after that and around certain people outside of school. She continued to stay quiet at school, not making any school friends, and even being unresponsive to certain teachers.

The family doctor suggested extra curricular activities. Our mother put her in several programs/sports. Some she enjoyed, some she didn’t. But even if she followed instruction from coaches/instructors, she still remained silent to other teammates/fellow students. The doctor suggested she see the guidance counsellor at school. She has been seeing her on a regular basis. She has connected with her, speaks to her, but it hasn’t improved her overall issues with school.

This school year in particular, has been a nightmare. She is completely ridden with anxiety at the thought of going to school. Most mornings involve crying, tantrums, fake illnesses, fighting over breakfast & clothes.. sometimes starting the night before. She has missed more school days than she has in any previous years. To get her to school most mornings, she has to be escorted in by our mother, then mom has to leave her in the hands of the principal or guidance counsellor who try to help her go to class. Sometimes the principal meets her at the car because she refuses to get out. Her teacher, guidance counsellor & principal are all fully aware of her struggles and are working on an individualized education program for her. They already don’t expect her to speak in front of class or do presentations. The teacher is fully aware that he shouldn’t ask her a question in front of the class or put her on the spot in any way. She often communicates to him by writing down her questions.

She describes school as a really sad place for her. She said it “feels like she’s in a closet all day.” She cries about how she feels and doesn’t understand why she feels the way she does. She also feels really embarrassed about her mutism. She describes fear of the other kids staring at her, wondering why she doesn’t speak. She’s afraid of being taunted or surrounded by kids for being excused from speaking out loud. She’s afraid of them asking where she’s been when she’s absent.

She is on a wait list for the local children’s mental health program. She’s waiting for her first appt with her new pediatrician who will refer her to a child psychologist. She unfortunately lives in a small city without many resources. She’s seen different general doctors in the past. She went to therapy once but didn’t click with the therapist and didn’t feel comfortable to speak to him. There aren’t any doctors or therapists in her town that are familiar with SM. The closest option for a specialist somewhat close to this field is a 6.5 hour drive and the wait list is 18 months.

It has become a really stressful situation for the entire family. Her anxiety is causing her to act out at home in outbursts far worse than in the past. I’m being realistic with my mother. She knows that there is a high possibility she will have to be medicated. There is also a possibility there may be something else underlying, and she will most likely be tested for adhd/autism/anything else that may be causing these dramatic outbursts that are starting to worry us. In the past two weeks She’s gotten so upset in the morning about having to go to school on one occasion she punched her wall, and on another she flung her breakfast plate across the kitchen. She breaks down in heartbreaking, sobbing tears. Saying things like “why did god make me this way.”

I’m reaching out here, looking for advice from anyone who has been through what she’s going through. Reaching out to anyone with SM. I’m curious if there’s any form of help/treatment we haven’t already tried. So if you or a family member has been living with SM, what treatment did you find most effective to help live with SM? We have been reading resources online, joining facebook support groups, watching youtube videos by specialists. It’s just very frustrating sitting on wait lists and feeling like we aren’t receiving help fast enough.

Thank you



This is what binge eating looks like.

“Most people have had times when they ate too much, especially during a special occasion or holiday. Binge eating disorder is different. You feel like you can’t stop, even if you’re already uncomfortably full. You may eat a lot, quickly, even if you’re not hungry. You feel ashamed about it. Unlike bulimia, you don’t try to make yourself throw up or exercise a lot after a binge…”


At least, this is a form of what it can look like for some people.

I remained positive all week & looked forward to getting back into routine after a couple crappy weeks. Today was supposed to be day one of making healthy choices. As my hubby went off to work for the night and I got my toddler ready for bed, all I could think about was how badly I wanted to order food. Pizza. Wings. Anything that would satisfy me. Anything that meant I didn’t have to cook & clean up. I managed to talk myself out of it, but still ate a ridiculous amount of nachos that I made at home.

Why do we do this to ourselves? Why can’t I have more will power? Why am I so out of control? I don’t understand how I can eat this crap KNOWING how it makes me feel afterward EVERY TIME.

Bloated, guilty, disgusting, depressed.

Soooo like i’ve said a thousand times before, Monday will be “Day One” again. Like a hundred Monday’s before. I’ll aim to make healthy choices and get to the gym 3-4 times a week. Until something happens to throw me off again. Sigh.

I tried to think of an incentive, something to motivate me a little. Ive mentioned before that i’m not only trying to get my eating habits/exercise routine under control but i’m also trying to make myself feel better in anyway possible. I’ve slowlyyyy been getting back into make up again. So, I signed up for Ipsy tonight! If you don’t know what ipsy is, it’s a monthly subscription that sends you make up samples & a cute travel bag. My theory is, it’ll be my “reward” for staying focused and staying on track. If I fall off the wagon hard, if i’m making bad choices, if i’m not stepping foot in the gym for weeks at a time, I have to cancel my subscription. It’s a little pact I made with myself.


I’m going to binge watch trashy reality TV to distract myself from the gross amount of carbs I just ate.

And remind myself that tomorrow is a new day.

Annnnd drink 6 gallons of water.



Steps forward.

So I’m FINALLY feeling better.

After Two weeks of stomach bugs, headaches, nausea and just feeling awful I’m finally feeling “normal”. We just got back from visiting some friends (more like family) over the weekend and I’m feeling optimistic. Although it’s always a little sad to visit them (I was a close friend of their daughter who passed a few years ago from cancer) it’s always a super comfortable feeling to be around them, like being around my own family. It was also nice to get out of town for a few nights, do a little shopping (Costco!!!!❤️), eat at different restaurants, and take advantage of having a sitter! Date night! 🤗

I went to my therapy session yesterday and realized I am making small improvements. I had an amazing January, had a good gym routine going & my eating was on point. Lost some lbs. But then Life happened. obviously my routine went to crap when I felt awful for two weeks and then went out of town for 4 days. Normally I would feel soooo guilty about it. Beat myself up over it. “You ruined the amazing thing you had going! How could you do that?! Aughhh” but for once I feel Ok. It’s OK that I got thrown off. It’s ok that I probably gained a few lbs back. It’s ok that I didn’t work out for two weeks. I did my grocery run yesterday, have some of my meals planned out for the remainder of the week and plan on returning to the gym within a couple days. I’m ditching the scale until I’m back on the wagon for a few weeks. I feel like right now, in this moment, I have a healthy mindset about it. This can change at any time, but right now I’m staying positive.🤘🏼

So I’ve had a realization recently about one thing that has always contributed to my anxiety as well as self esteem/confidence issues, and that is that I never knew what to do with my life. Ive had two failed attempts at college. I was working an industrial sales desk job that I hated when I went on maternity leave three years ago. I’ve been home ever since. I love being a mom. I know that I’m so lucky and fortunate to be able to stay home and raise my little girl myself. To be able to go to music lessons, swimming lessons, drop in play centres on a daily basis. My husband works shift work so we spend half the summer camping. I know there are sooo many mothers who dream of being able to stay home and live this life. I do appreciate it and tell myself often how lucky & grateful I am to raise my baby and enjoy every day with her. But she is getting older. She will be 3 (3?!😲) in a few short months. It’s time to start thinking about what’s going to happen once she’s in school full time. We are still unsure when/if we want another baby. So I feel like it’s time for mommy to plan a career.

Today we went to view a preschool 🙈 she was SO excited about it. My little social butterfly often asks about school. I was against preschool at first, thinking I would enjoy this last year with her before sending her off to early entry next September. But if she was in this preschool for two hours a day, Monday – Thursday, that would be TWO hours per day I could have to do courses online OR attend a class at the local college. I’m going to visit the college here in the next couple of weeks and meet with an academic advisor so I can get more information on programs I’m interested in. I’ve always found making career decisions such a struggle. I did a semester of cooking school. A semester of hairstyling. I was attracted to hands on programs, obviously. But I’ve always had a interest in helping people. Either working in addictions or maybe social work. I think when I was young I didn’t have the courage to apply to university. I struggled with math & science in high school and feared I wouldn’t succeed at a university level. Now that I’m pushing 30 (😬) I’m starting to feel like it’s now or never. The thought of going back to a job I can’t stand when my daughter is in school full time in a few years makes me want to vomit. I’ve devoted the last three years to being a mom to her and it’s time to think about myself & my future. I know it will be a huge commitment and my hands will be full between preschool drop offs, school courses, her extra curricular activities, gym workouts, etc etc etc. I know the first month I’ll probably be a bundle of anxious nerves At the thought of leaving her for two hours each day, but that’s inevitable. For those of you who completed post secondary and are now working in your career choice, how did you know what you wanted to do for the rest of your life? Did any of you go to school part time while being a stay at home mom? What would you have done differently?


let’s hibernate

img_0800-e1518125176257.jpgThis week  S U C K E D. I mean, the past 6-7 days have been an absolute write off. For one, I’m completely over this extremely dry & cold winter we’ve been having (temps dipping to -40 degrees Celsius every other week) but this week has been EXTRA TERRIBLE. It has been a week of taking off dirty pjs to shower and put on clean ones.

My poor little girl came down with a bug and spent an entire night heaving into a bucket. She was sick for 2 days then started to come around just in time for it to hit me. Today is day 4 and I’ve been awake with a headache since 5am. Her daddy is working which means I’m on my own. I’ve taken more Advil in the past week then I have in the past year. It’s truly awful and I wouldn’t wish it on the devil himself. It’s definitely leaving my system though (THANK GOD) and hopefully I’ll wake up tomorrow with a bit more energy.

I did manage to make it to therapy this week before the plague hit our home. Some suggestions from my therapist;

  • Let yourself have one thing you’re craving/an off limit food/a treat per day. Just one serving (palm size or smaller). Of course my mind screams NOOO on this one. But I’m trying to eat a low carb keto-ish diet?? but I won’t lose weight?? I totally understand the concept, that it could keep me from binging/falling off my “diet” & losing control, but my concern is that of course i’m not only trying to sustain from overeating, i’m also trying to lose weight
  • Journaling; log my food intake every day so i’m more aware more conscience of everything i’m putting in my mouth. (maybe if I have to write it down i’ll be less likely to overeat??) and also keep this journal next to my bed. I’ve battled with insomnia my entire life, it comes & goes. Since I have been struggling more with it lately she recommends writing down whatever is keeping me from falling asleep. I would write down these racing thoughts that keep me up rather then stirring on them.

I did go out and buy a journal. I have no idea if it’s helping or not but it’s worth a shot. It got put on the back burner (along with everything else in life) the last few days while battling this stomach bug but I plan to start logging again tomorrow.

I’m curious what those of you who have battled with overeating/yo-yo dieting think  about the “once a day” technique she’s recommended. If you’re one of the lucky ones who lost weight, kept it off, and figured it all out, what worked for you in the beginning? Could this help me or sabotage me even more?

Hoping I hear from the dietician I was referred to this week. Fingers crossed.




The backstory.

You don’t know me, but i’m sure we have similarities. If you stumbled upon my blog, I bet you were searching blogs with the word “binge” in it. See, i’ve been where you are right at this moment. Feeling out of control, overweight, and unhappy. Not understanding why you feel so out of control. Searching online for answers, searching for someone that’s in the same position as you.

A few short months ago I had a realization. It took over 15 years (FIFTEEN!) of yo-yo dieting, restricted diets of losing 30-50 lbs in just a few months, gaining that amount of weight in a few months, eating once a day & going to the gym 6-7 days a week OR eating enough for 10 people in one sitting and getting zero exercise… it took FIFTEEN years for me to realize I have a problem. That yo-yoing back and forth to these extremes is NOT normal. That I have an extremely unhealthy relationship with food. That i’m either all in & completely obsessed with losing weight OR binging on unhealthy food and feeling disgusting & guilty.

This past fall, I went through a dark time that lasted several months. Something (still unsure what exactly) through me off. I’m pretty sure I went through some form of postpartum depression, two years late. I love being a mommy to a hilarious, gorgeous, silly toddler. But somewhere between August and September I lost myself and I fell deeper into this rut as fall went on. I lost all motivation. I became that mom who put any bit of energy she could muster up into her child & stopped taking care of herself. I went from being outgoing to a shut in. I wanted to stay home. I hated the thought of getting ready. My self esteem plummeted. Whenever I was home alone late at night I would binge eat. Binging would help distract me from feeling anxious. It made me temporarily feel better. The weight that I had worked SO hard to lose and keep off for a year piled back on in just a few months. My skin was horrid, I had breakouts every other day. I felt grumpy or emotionless most of the time. I was getting panic attacks again after not having one for several years. One day I just lost it. It was a somewhat stressful day at home with my toddler who I was potty training. I had so much built up over the past few months I was at my breaking point. I had to put her down for a nap because I NEEDED a mental break and felt the attack coming on. While she was sleeping I burst into tears. I felt extremely anxious, my chest felt tight, then I just couldn’t stop crying. My other half called me in the middle of this and as soon as he heard me on the other end of the phone he left work to come home immidiately (thank god he is in my life).  I knew after this happened that it was time to do something, I had to do something. I went to see my doctor & he decided after 4 years of being medication free it would be a good idea to put me back on a low dose of meds to treat my anxiety. Something to give me a boost & get some motivation back.

As December approached I started getting in the Christmas spirit which brought me back to myself somewhat. Except of course with Christmas comes food and LOTS of it. I overate the entire month of December. Cookies on cookies on cookies. Carbs on top of carbs on top of cheese on carbs. So once Christmas was over, I fell back into the pit I had been in all fall. but because I was back on meds, I was thinking a little clearer. I knew I could no longer mope around the house and feel sorry for myself. I knew it was time to do Something beyond a new years resolution that I would eventually fall off of some time in 2018. My doctor referred me to the free mental health clinic. I went there for an assessment and for the first time I was really honest with myself as well as the counsellor who was asking me 5000 questions. I actually said the words “I Binge”. She referred me to a therapist at the mental health branch at our local hospital. I’ve had two appointments thus far. Our sessions focus on goals for myself & making a realistic plan of how to achieve them. Breaking old habits. Stopping this cycle of yo-yoing. creating REALISTIC goals for myself instead of goals that I couldn’t ever keep up with for the rest of my life. Going to the gym 3 times a week instead of 7 so I don’t beat myself up if I miss a day. Small goals that can easily be accomplished each week which add up in the long run. It’s a start, I have to start somewhere right?

Aside from dipping my toes into seeking help for THIS problem for the first time, i’m trying to overall put an effort into taking better care of myself. Doing whatever I need too to make myself feel good. I’ve started a new skincare routine and my skin has improved tremendously. I tested out new make up and basically purchased a new face, but I FEEL SO MUCH BETTER leaving the house and looking like my old self again. I’m reading “The ripple effect” by Greg Wells. I just finished the first chapter on sleep & how important sleep is for your body. How important it is to get enough sleep because it relates to everything else in your day to day life. Throughout the depressive spell I had recently I really struggled with falling asleep and i’m learning tips on falling asleep from this book.

For the past month i’ve been trying SO HARD not to binge. For the most part i’m eating a low carb & low sugar diet. I’m not counting macros. I’m not following some crazy restrictive diet. I’m just trying to eat a lot of veggies. protein. Some fruit & dairy. drink a ton of water. I guess it would be similar to a lazy keto diet. I’ve lost 13 lbs in the past month. My clothes aren’t tight anymore. I feel less bloated. I am feeling a bit better about myself. HOWEVER, I still have cravings. I still have nights where I want to binge. I still want sugar. If I have a lick of something “bad” I get the guilt that comes with it.  I have NO idea if the way I’ve been eating will work for me in the long run. I saw my doctor again this week, he sent off a referral for me to see a dietician. Maybe she will want to set me up with a meal plan? Maybe she thinks a keto-ish diet is a horrible idea for someone like me?

Anyway, now that you’re pretty well caught up on the downward spiral of myself, i’ll leave this first post at that. I plan to use this blog to share my journey throughout this process of “breaking the cycle.” Hopefully finding answers on how to treat this uncontrollable horrible obsession. I plan on being honest about my challenges and treatment along the way.


– A