Hello, and welcome to Okay in the Mess – my little corner of the world.
My name is Katie.
I am married to my best friend and husband of eleven years, Ben, and together we are parents to Ellie, Micah, and Silas… and three angel babies, as well. Add in a few dogs, cats, and a fish, and we have a houseful, and a heartful. We live in Indianapolis and are lifelong Hoosiers.
I first began this blog with a ‘faith, family, and homeschooling’ focus. We are an Episcopalian homeschooling family, and I thought this was perfect niche. However, I quickly discovered it was missing something. I live with mental and chronic illness, and though I have an incredible life that I love, I struggle immensely – every single day. As a lifelong writer, I needed a place to be an outlet, to express myself, and to also be able to minister to others who struggle similarly. So, this blog has become less of a “niched” blog, and more of a “me” blog… I still welcome you, and hope you can find hope in what I am sharing.
I have recently revived a blog and project I began in 2016, called Storybook Ancestor, which is all about family history for kids. I’d love for you to pop over there and take a look around. There are plenty of resources and recommendations, all centered around family history.
Just a little aside: I am not a mental health professional. My degree is in Elementary Education. I have a background in Special Education and ABA Therapy and am currently working as an online ESL Teacher. So, I am not qualified to give professional mental health advice – and I’m not going to pretend I am, either. I am just here to share my story, to be a shoulder to lean on, and to offer a safe place for others who struggle with their mental health.
And what is my story?
I’ll do my best to keep it short.
When I was in college, around 2004, I began struggling with severe depression. I didn’t understand it at first and suffered silently for a very long time. In 2007, Ben and I married, and a short while later, we had our first child, Ellie. Throughout this time, though I loved my life, I still struggled with depression, and very soon, anxiety as well. Things came to a head, however, the very week I graduated from college in 2010. Severe stress and anxiety overtook me, and I collapsed into a manic episode. Shortly thereafter, I was diagnosed with Bipolar I Disorder.
Doing my best to not be cliché, life has quite honestly been a series of ups and downs since that diagnosis. I have struggled through mania, hypomania, depression, anxiety and panic attacks. We have also gone through the immense grief of three miscarriages over the years, one which landed me in an Intensive Outpatient Therapy program at a local hospital after a mental breakdown. Then, after my third miscarriage, I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, and now also struggle with chronic pain and fatigue.
Today, life is far from perfect – but I am finding peace. I am on a stable medication regimen and have been in regular therapy with a trusted mental health counselor for several years. I have the support of my family and community. I have an optimistic outlook for the future – I have hope.
Simply… I am continuously finding ways to be: okay in the mess.
I aim for this to be a safe place, a place where you can come for encouragement and hope. Take a look at the resource library, and share with me who you are as well. We’re glad you’re here. Let’s do this together.
May God be with you, friends. Peace.
The Rest of my Family
Ben delivers bread for a living currently, but is studying Accounting and hopes to be doing remote accounting soon. He enjoys exploring cities and the outdoors, baking, sending Katie dumb memes, and tweeting about theology. His to-be-read list is ever growing and books never seem to come off of it unless they are available in audio book.
Ellie is a fun-loving inquisitive 4th grader whose favorite subject in school is Math. She loves Minecraft, YouTube, Roblox, Harry Potter, and playing with her kitten, Trixie Jane. She enjoys writing stories and spending time with her cousins… and even her little brother.
Micah is a joyful 5-year-old who also loves Minecraft and YouTube, and can often be found on the tablet beside his sister. He also enjoys playing with trucks and cars, painting, and making up stories about his very own movie, “The Dress-up Cats”. He is enthusiastic about balloons, waffles with peanut butter, will tell any stranger his life story.
Silas is our newest addition, and our rainbow baby. He just joined us in November. He is a happy boy, and is the pride and joy of his older brother and sister – not to mention his parents and the rest of the family.