Mental Health Awareness Day 2019

I saw my first therapist when I was 9 years old. I didn’t want to. My mom pretty much had to drag me there. It was right after my parents told me that they were getting divorced. I guess at this point, I had been fed up with bottling everything inside and started to act out. I’ve always had anxiety since as far back as I can remember. When I was 4, I would climb into my brothers crib at night just to feel as if I wasn’t alone. I didn’t have the easiest childhood, but people had it worse than I did. Therapists told me that I was predisposed to anxiety and depression given my genetics. It doesn’t really make you feel better or help you cope.

Anxiety is something that has always been present in my life. I’ve always been anxious and feeling as if I can’t help myself. The easiest way for me to describe it is that someone is sitting on your chest, and you’re stuck. And you can’t relieve that feeling no matter how hard you try. The worst part is, there really is no reason for this feeling. It’s just there.

I had my first depressive episode after I retired from gymnastics. I would say it was more of a downswing. I was about 17 years old And I wasn’t making the best choices. I was always very responsible, but I guess you could say I was trying to fill a void That really wasn’t there. I had gone this long without a depressive state because gymnastics distracted me from how depressed I really was. I had an outlet to avoid addressing the emptiness that I felt inside. In a matter of seconds that outlet was stripped from me And I had to figure out how to cope. As if being a teenage girl wasn’t hard enough.

When I was in college, my anxiety got so bad I couldn’t function. It was causing my depression to spiral because I felt so alone and so distant from everyone else. No one understood what I was going through. The stigma around mental health was still there. “Oh, you’re being dramatic.” “Why don’t you just relax.” “You need to stop worrying.”

These are statements I constantly heard whenever I tried to express myself. I decided to make a decision. For myself, and for others like me. I put myself back in therapy, voluntarily, as an adult.

For me, making this decision was the first step in learning how to cope. Along with my therapist I was able to find new outlets to manage my anxiety and depression. At this point, it was purely therapy I was using to cope. honestly, therapy is great. You can talk about literally anything, anyone, and they cannot say a word! Some sessions were pretty intense, I would cry the entire time, possibly not go to work after because I was so drained. And others I felt empowered, and ready to conquer whatever was ahead of me.

I still wasn’t cured, I was maintaining, which at this point in my life was fine.

Everyone identifies their own traumatic experiences. A traumatic experience for one may not be a traumatic experience for another. You cannot compare and contrast trauma. I’ve had multiple traumas in my lifetime, all of which I have addressed through therapy. However, about 2 years ago something happened in my life that pushed me further into depression than I had ever been before. After this event I maintained for about 6 months by going to therapy and choosing how I wanted this next chapter in my life to be.

April 2018, I had hit the lowest point in my life. When you get to that point, it often feels like you don’t have a choice and I almost didn’t. I sat on my bedroom floor, contemplating whether or not it would be easier I wasn’t here. I didn’t want to continue; I didn’t feel as if I had the strength to or if anyone wanted me here. I just wanted the pain I was feeling to end.

While I was sitting there crying, my cat Mogli came over and sat on my lap, snuggled in – purring away and staring at me with so much love. He was just so happy I was late to work so I could snuggle him more.  I’m sitting here, deciding if and how I am going to end my life, and this little fluff has his own idea how this morning is going to go. I called my mom.

I asked for help. I straight up told my mother what I was feeling and that I needed help, and that’s exactly what she did. It has been over a year from that moment and I have been on medication to regulate my anxiety and depression since then. I have never felt better.  Yes, my cat at that moment showed me I was loved, but it also made me think. So many people commit suicide every day and are successful because no one is there to help them. They don’t have a little reminder that someone (or something) cares and why they are here.  Mogli may think I am only here to feed and snuggle him, I mean let’s be honest – that’s pretty much why.

Our society makes it seem as if something is wrong with you if you have to ask for help. Having a mental illness does not make you less than anyone else. It does not make you a burden, it does not make you weak. It is okay to be in therapy or on proper medication under the supervision of a medical professional. Sometimes it is temporary, sometimes it is a life-long solution, BUT EITHER WAY IT IS OKAY. There is help out there in many different varieties – one that will fit your needs. There are people that care, there are ways to cope.  You never know what someone is going through. If you need help, I’m here. If you need advice, I’m here. No judgment, I promise.

XOXO

Tay

My Favorite Boston Restaurants

This was at the night market last Saturday in Government Center
Canary Square
Lobster roll at Doyle’s 🙌🏻
Lobster Burger at Saltie Girl

This is a request I’ve been getting for a while now: what are your favorite restaurants? I have so many so I decided to break it down by neighborhood.

I don’t go out nearly as much as I use to, but I was a concierge for years so recommending restaurants is a must. You need to learn as many as you can and act like you’ve been to every one you’ve suggested. Usually you just go off or whatever your colleagues who had been said about the restaurant you were suggesting and vice verse. This list is of restaurants I have actually been to more than once and LOVE!

Back Bay

  • Buttermilk and Bourbon: I love me some good southern and Cajun style soul food! Buttermilk and Bourbon is the best of both worlds in Boston. They have such good small and large plates, I highly recommend them. Also, their cocktail menu is insane. Fun fact: a few of their bartenders are from Greeley, CO. (Not named after my family lol)
  • Saltie Girl: Right around the corner is a delicious seafood spot Saltie Girl. It is pretty exclusive so make sure to give your name in advance because they don’t take reservation and only have 4 tables and about 15 bar stools. Great seafood and their Lobster Burger is BOMB!

Beacon Hill

  • Paramount: If you wanna grab some mouthwatering breakfast delights, but don’t want to have the full sit down, this is your place. It’s structured kind of like an ——–

Cambridge

  • Za/Evoo: Farm to Table has hit the Cambridge scene big over the last 5 years, and these two have to be my favorite. Za has individual, gourmet pizzas, and Evoo is a contemporary American spot with some Italian flair to it. They are connected by a bar in the center, where you can order from both. I recommend Za for a casual night and EVOO for something a little fancier.

Charlestown

  • Pier 6: Seafood with a view! You can see the entire Boston Skyline from this spot and it is absolutely breathtaking. In the summertime, they do have an outside deck bar where you can enjoy the weather. Their Scallop plate is my favorite.

Chinatown

  • Q Restaurant: If you have never had hot pot this is the place to go! The Bartenders are AMAZING, especially Jason and Chanthra. Their drinks are bomb. You can get anything here from Hot Pot to Sushi. It’s conveniently located on the corner of Chinatown and Downtown Crossing.

Downtown

  • Sip Wine Bar and Kitchen: If you love wine as much as I do, go here. They have an amazing selection of wine, pretty much anything you want.
  • Back Deck: It is literally a Back Deck oasis in the middle of the city. You have to go here on a nice day during the summer, they open up all the windows and it’s such a nice atmosphere and an awesome spot for people watching. They have pretty much anything you can cook on the grill.

Dorchester/ Mattapan

  • Pit Stop BBQ: This is way off the beaten path but if you’re a local, so worth it. Pit Stop has the best BBQ I have ever had in my life, AND THEY’RE ON UBER EATS! They’re only open a few days a week, but they do have late nights, I’m talking 2am! You HAVE to try Pit Stop

Government Center

  • Anthem: Anthem is your typical American restaurant, BUT they do Gluten Free like no other. A significant amount of their menu can be made gluten free.

Fenway

  • Sweetcheeks: I love me some BBQ as you can tell. Sweekcheeks has an award winning chef and a crazy amount of combo options.

Food Trucks

I know these aren’t restaurants, but I love trying all of the food trucks! You can find the city wide schedule here. My favorites are Chik Chak and Moyzilla.

Jamaica Plain

  • The Frogmore: Again, Cajun food vibes. The Frogmore has serious southern food vibes and I have never been disappointing. Their brunch dishes are HUGE portions and their bacon is thick cut fresh from VT. AHMAZINGGG!
  • Canary Square: They have a smaller menu consisting of contemporary american food. Their burgers and Brussels are my fave and they have a very nice sparking Rose.
  • Doyle’sDoyle’s Cafe is a small Irish Pub with so much history. They were one of the first Pub’s in Boston, and are currently one of the only ones still supplied by the Sam Adams Brewery in JP (which you should also check out)
  • Brassica KitchenI found this place on accident one weekend, but let me tell you they have some of the best breakfast sandwiches around AND they can accommodate Gluten free and Dairy free.

North End

  • Antico FornoI’m half Italian and my family actually settled in the North End. This is my absolute favorite restaurant because it has authentic Italian food. Every dish I have had here has been amazing. This was always my number one recommendation as a concierge.
  • Bacco: The building this restaurant is located in looks like it’s right out of Tucson. You have to go here in the summer and request to sit on the second floor by the window. It is beautiful!
  • Florentine Cafe: If you know me, you know I’m not a salad person, but for some reason I absolutely love the salads at Florentine Cafe. Also, they have some of the best squash ravioli I’ve ever had! (Not gluten free)
  • Mamma Maria’sFine dining at its finest! The atmosphere here is so romantic and the dishes are amazing. It is on the pricier side, but you get REAL Italian portions. The wine selection is amazing.

North Station/West End

  • Boston Sports Grill: If you’re going to a game or concert, this is one of my favorite places to go before hand. It had a crazy sports vibe to the atmosphere and good traditional American bar food.
  • Ward 8: This is the cutest little spot. They have an awesome brunch menu and can accommodate GF. My best friend and I end up here a lot during our wine drunk dates.

Seaport

  • The Barking Crab: My favorite place for seafood! I have been talking about getting a lobster roll here in the summer for Months and J is prob sick of it at this point. It is right on a Wharf, you get shared tables, and it is accessible by boat! The ferry isn’t too far, sometimes it’s fun to just take a water taxi after.
  • Tezmecal: I love me some Mexican food! Tacos are life and so is Tezmecal’s guac!

Southie

  • Coppersmith: If you like the industrial look, this is your place! They have a Food truck in their restaurant and such a cute rooftop bar. I heard a rumor they’re closing, so get here quick. Not sure if that is accurate or not.
  • Moonshine 152: One of my best friend use to work here, and it’s such a cute spot. They have a decent size patio and great brunch on the weekends.

I hope you have the chance to at least try some of these restaurants! If you do, comment and let me know what you think! Don’t forget to email subscribe so you don’t miss a post. If you’re on a desktop, it’s on the top right, on a Mobil phone scroll to the bottom.

Thanks for reading!

XOXO

~Tay