You Are Not Alone

Hope you are having a great start to 2018!

In the last blog, I opened myself up. Transparency is something that I take great pride in.  You will see that I’m just a normal person who deals with some of the same struggles as all of you. This year, I will continue to talk about depression, share some laughs, and a peek into life as a married bonus mom. This is me letting you into this little life that will bring its ups and downs.  

New Years Eve was spent watching the Hawks with friends (sure hope we can do better next season), then wrapped up 2017 with the hubs and kiddo having fondue. I was laughing on our way home from dinner thinking about how many times we visited The Melting Pot in 2017. It’s odd for me since I don’t eat dairy, but this place has a grip on Kyle and Jess. We were there at least 5 times $$$. I couldn’t think of a better way to close out what was a challenging than with the 2 people who have my heart.

New Year's Eve Dinner at The Melting Pot

New Year's Eve Dinner at The Melting Pot

When we got home that night, the TV was already tuned into seeing the countdown to 2018. As I watched the countdown from 10 to 1, I made myself a promise - a promise to be a better person, wife, and friend and to make a difference.  But how?  My goal this year is to give more to my community; give back to those who gave me strength and hope. I will continue to support to the organizations that I so strongly believe in. Like Seattle Humane, Seattle Animal Shelter Foundation and Forefront.

Something that has weighed heavy on my heart and mind this week are the fans, friends and family of WSU Quarterback Tyler Hilinski.

I've told you my thoughts on suicide. My father and uncle both committed suicide.

This comes back to my feelings and thoughts about mental health. If you read my previous blog posts, you know about the struggle I have with depression.

The heartbreak is real.

The feelings are real.

My biggest pet peeve is when people tell you that it will be all ok, or "this too shall pass". While that may make sense to say to one who is having these feelings to you, it doesn't make sense to the ones that are feeling it. While I can't speak for everyone, I can speak for myself.

If you said to me that it's all going to be ok when I'm feeling lost, logically I know it will be.  My head would tell you otherwise. I sink into place of darkness, it's really hard to explain. If someone needs to cry, let them. Just comfort them, don't try to fix it. Let them be in that moment.

My colleague Kim Shepard wrote a fantastic story about this. Please take a moment to read this.

SEIZE THE AWKWARD... THAT'S THE MANTRA OF A NEW CAMPAIGN FROM THE AMERICAN FOUNDATION FOR SUICIDE PREVENTION AND "JED". A NON-PROFIT STARTED BY PARENTS WHO LOST THEIR SON, JED, TO SUICIDE.
THE CAMPAIGN IS GEARED TOWARD TEENS AND YOUNG ADULTS... AND IT TAKES A SOFT APPROACH TO A SERIOUS SUBJECT.  IT OFFERS ADVICE ABOUT HOW TO START A CONVERSATION ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH.
THERE'S ALSO A STAR COMPONENT.  SEVERAL WELL-KNOWN ACTORS AND YOU-TUBERS SHARE THEIR OWN EXPERIENCES.  LIKE TYLER POSEY, FROM MTV'S TEEN WOLF SERIES... WHO SHARES WHAT IT WAS LIKE AFTER HE LOST HIS MOM TO BREAST CANCER.
HE SAYS IT TOOK HIM A WHILE TO BE COMFORTABLE WITH OPENING UP... BUT HE'S GLAD HIS FRIENDS DIDN'T LET IT GO AND KEPT ASKING HIM HOW HE WAS DOING.  NOW, HE DOES THE SAME FOR THEM......
AND THE WHOLE SERIES REVOLVES AROUND THE IDEA THAT WE DON'T NEED TO WORK SO HARD TO FILL THOSE AWKWARD SILENCES.
IN ADDITION TO THEIR TIPS ABOUT STARTING THE CONVERSATION... AND KEEPING IT GOING. THE CAMPAIGN ALSO TALKS ABOUT WHEN IT'S TIME TO GET A PROFESSIONAL INVOLVED. YOU CAN FIND ALL OF THE VIDEOS AND INFORMATION AT SEIZE-THE-AWKWARD-DOT-ORG.


All I have been thinking about is how deep into the darkness Tyler was. My heart hurts for him and for his family. I will continue to pray for him and their healing.

You are not alone, and if you are feeling like you need someone to talk to I'm going to leave these numbers right here for you.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Call 1-800-273-8255

Text Crisis Text Line
at 741741

Or contact the organization that I fully stand behind.
http://www.intheforefront.org/
Telephone: 206.543.1016

While I may not be a Coug, I'm a fan. Tyler you will be missed and your spirit will live on.

 

What a Year!

2017 was one hell of a year.


It all started with the unknown.

Here I was unemployed, lost, depressed and just couldn’t find myself.  I have dealt with depression most of my life and have been able to manage it. This time was something that I just couldn’t pull myself out of. Kyle did everything right. He threw my 40th birthday party in hopes that this would make me feel better. While it numbed the pain temporarily, I found myself right back into a hole only a few days later.

I think what made me so depressed was the fear of the unknown. I had just lost something that I loved so much - working with some people that I cared a lot.  The fear was real. Would I ever bounce back? Will I land on my feet? Is it time to change gears when it comes to my career? These questions kept me up at night and clouded my judgement.  It was the constant support from my husband Kyle, my family, and all of you who kept me going.  After a few days of soul searching,  I picked myself up and got back on the horse. I spent hours applying to jobs in different fields, taking risks and hitting the pavement harder than I ever had before.  In hindsight, this was a very BIG blessing.

I lost a LOT of me in the last few months of 2016. I was so buried into work that I lost the work/life balance.  I would eat, barely sleep, and work. There was no time for fun. Kyle and friends would consistently ask me to go do things and all I could say was “I’m working."


This year I spent a lot of time re-establishing work/life balance and what makes me happy.

What is it that makes ME happy? It’s the old saying that you have to be happy and love yourself before you can love others.  I reconnected with friends and pounded the pavement searching for something in my field where work would never feel like working.  Most importantly, I spent more time with my step daughter and husband.  Things that made me extremely happy.  As for loving me, still working on that.

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2017 brought a new job. Or should I say jobs? KIRO 7 asked me to come on as freelance/fill-in back in April. KIRO Radio approached me in May to come on and do the same. In September, I signed a contract for both stations and I’m back to loving work.  Both  stations have some of the most amazing, talented people and I’ve never been happier. I’m appreciated and respected.  It’s a beautiful thing when I get to do 2 things that feed my passion: TV traffic and being back in a radio studio.

There have been several other high highs this year. One of my dearest friends had her first child. While she was very quiet about her journey, she finally opened up with her struggle to have a child. It’s a journey that many people go thru. It’s painful to watch your friend go thru the roller coaster of trying to have a baby. I prayed for her every day.  The great news is that her daughter was born earlier this month. While I have not been able to see her yet (we’ve had the plague run thru our home and continues to do so), I will be there soon to snuggle with her and give her some “Aunt Tracy” treatment.

Another high has been watching my step daughter come into her own. Finding her independence and mimicking her dad. She’s quite witty and super sharp. I love her more and more each day! I’m excited to be a part of her life and watch her continue to develop into quite the young woman.  

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This also brings me to my husband.

We have had some fun trips this year. The one that I love the most is our annual fishing trip. While I did miss a few trips this year with him since I was working freelance, the one trip for our anniversary will always be my favorite. Kyle grinned and beared it when asked to go do random things this year from Zoolights, concerts, and social gatherings that were more than out of his comfort zone.  He collaborated with friends to throw my 40th birthday party. He played in a summer softball league where I've held deep friendships for over 12 years.  He’s been amazing this year and I fall more in love with him every single day.

There were some low lows too.

Friends got divorced, friends/family passed away, and my best friend was diagnosed with breast cancer.

I know that you’ve seen the posts and pictures with her. What you don’t know is the history about our friendship.

We became fast friends thru the world of social media.  She has been there thru bad break ups, loss, and love. She has become like another sister to me.

When she was diagnosed this summer, I was crushed.  What was just a doctor visit for spider bites turned into a mammogram, which turned into a biopsy, and then the news.  While it wasn’t what she or anyone expected, she has taken on this horrible cancer head on.

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Strong is an understatement when it comes to Elaine. Superwoman is more like it. How she has managed composure thru this, I honestly don’t know.  I’ve seen the tears, seen the fear, and will continue to stand by her in this journey. She has been thru the worst when it comes to the chemo and has four of her 16 treatments left. Up next up will be radiation!

I’m proud of her more than I can put into words.


2017 has brought some challenges, but it’s also brought some amazing moments. While I’ve learned a lot about myself this year, I’m excited to learn more in the years to come.

Here’s to you friends!  Thank you for lifting me up for the 1st part of this year while I was at my lowest. I appreciate you following me thru this thing called a career and being great friends!

 

Where your heart is...so goes your time!

Can you believe that the year is almost over? I know that it's only October 11th, but think about it. Thanksgiving is 6 weeks away and Christmas is only 11 more Wednesdays away. You ready for some holidays?

I want to thank many of you who reached out about the last post on Depression. Something that I struggle with. Several of you have told me your stories; thank you for trusting me with your truth.

Speaking of truths. If you missed Ron and Don this week on 97.3 KIRO radio, please click here to read. Don shared how he is going to "enter the arena" and I find this to be such an inspiring post. 

This month continues to be very busy. This weekend I'm honored to emcee The Seattle Animal Shelter Foundation Raining Cats and Dogs Dinner and Auction for the 3rd year. Hands down, this is one of the favorite events that I do. I'm taking my mother in law & little one so they get to see the great work these people do. Tickets are still available if you'd like to support this organization. 

Next week, I'll be co-hosting with Scott Carty an event for Forefront. This is about Restoring Hope. This is about Suicide Prevention. I've shared my own story about suicide earlier this summer. Forefront is another program that I have, and will continue to dedicate my time to & for. The work that Forefront has done and continues to do is pretty damn amazing. So proud to be a part of their organization and will shout from the rooftops about the work that they do!

Raising awareness about mental health, suicide prevention, animals and breast cancer. All of these issues need our attention. Believe me, I know there are more. These are my focus right now - they are personal.  They have my heart.

I would LOVE to hear where you put your support. Please leave a comment below.

Fall is Full of New Beginnings!

Hello friends!

I can't believe that summer is almost over and the kids are all back to school!

Jessica didn't have much of a summer length-wise since schools got out near the end of June. I'll tell you though she made the most of her time off with:

  • trips with camping with her mom.
  • a mini vacay to Oregon with Kyle and his brother and sister in law.
  • Bruno Mars with Kyle and his mom.
  • and to wrap up the summer we took her to Silverwood in Idaho just last weekend and spent some time with my parents in Spokane.

Here's a little update on what's going on. 

After a few months away from TV,  KIRO 7 called in April. The News Director asked if I'd be interested in trying something new - Team Traffic.

I agreed to work for them as a freelance reporter. Over the course of a couple of weeks, I was taught VOSOT, VO, SOTVO, and all sorts of TV slang. Language that I was NEVER given the opportunity to learn before. 

So honored that people that I've looked up to and respected spent THEIR time teaching me. Never dreamed that I would be given a chance to learn anything but traffic. 

For most of my career, I was told I'd "only be a traffic reporter." Proud to say I've now through the opportunities given me at KIRO had a taste of general assignment reporting. This training has helped me be a better storyteller. 

As you've seen (or if you haven't) I've now accepted a permanent position with KIRO 7 as a traffic anchor/reporter. Real-time Team Traffic is now every morning on KIRO 7 from 4:30 AM to 7:00 AM. 

BUT WAIT! 

THERE'S MORE!!

The past few months I've also been working as a fill-in when needed on the Ron and Don Show at KIRO Radio 97.3. They have recently made a few changes. Candy has moved into the producer role for the show. Pete and Bryan have given me a chance to come back to my radio roots - I'll be working on a permanent basis every afternoon from 3-7 with the guys bringing traffic for your commute home!

You can follow my new work Twitter account at: @TracyTKIRO7

I'm ecstatic where this road has lead. To be honest, I never thought this would happen. 

Thank you all for the love and support over all the years, I wouldn't be where I am and where I continue to go without each one of you. I can't put into words how much I appreciate you.

Again, Thank you!