Notes from the other side of hell

You might have been wondering why we were quiet for a good chunk of 2014. Short answer: the beginning of 2014 was not good to the Badass Public Health duo. Here’s a little of what happened and what I learned. Next time we’ll hear from Briana about how she survived and thrived during tough times, while dealing with a schedule from hell.


“When you’re going through hell, keep going.” – Winston Churchill

The title may sound a bit dramatic or dark in a Black Sabbath kind of way, but sometimes we have to get dark to get right.

The last year of my life has been difficult. The last few months have been unbelievable. Within 5 weeks, one of my dearest friends and role models died, my house was burglarized, and my big brother died suddenly. I am still healing from the end of my 10+ year relationship, and figuring out how to live the life of a single working mom and share custody of my children. It has been the hardest year of my 38 years. I hope I never have a harder one, but figure I just might because life is unpredictable and I know better than to think I’m in control.

Life is suffering. But it is also beautiful and magical. In every moment you can choose to see the pain and darkness or you can see the light and the beauty.

I have had to keep making the choice to see the light, to feel grateful. Even in the moments of despair and extreme stress and confusion. I’m not going to bullshit you. I didn’t always succeed. Sometimes I self-medicated to make it through, whether that was a few beers or binge-watching Girls.

I am not a religious person. I’m an atheist; but I sure see the power and purpose of faith in human life. I wish I believed in a divine power, to help make sense of the incomprehensible. But my logic won’t let me. Whether that’s good or bad, I’ll leave to the philosophers and theologians.

The one thing that has kept me going has been utter belief in myself to survive and even thrive in these difficult circumstances.

So that’s what I want to tell you all. When life is full of pain or confusion, just keep moving forward. Do what needs doing right now. Focus on the present moment and the task at hand. Know with all your heart that you will make it through. Sure, you are going to be sad, afraid, stressed out, and lonely at times; but you will survive.

Badasses know that every single thing that comes their way is survivable. Even the most ugly or traumatic. You have it all inside of you. Everything you need you already have. *

“When we meet real tragedy in life we can react in two ways – either by losing hope and falling into self-destructive habits or by using the challenges to find our inner strength.” – Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama


*I recommend that any badass or wanna-be badass study Buddhism. What I have learned and put into practice has saved my life (and my sanity) on more than one occasion. Lama Surya Das is one of my favorite Buddhist teachers. He has written several great books. Awakening the Buddha Within: Tibetan Wisdom for the Western World is my favorite.


3 thoughts on “Notes from the other side of hell

  1. “In the darkest of hours, in the bleakest of nights, we must never forget who we are… And where we’re going.” – Anonymous

    In other words, keep on keeping on. Or…

    “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” – Jesus (Yeah, that Jesus)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s