The Zip Line Ride Over the Year 2015


Wow! Where has the year gone? There are only about 5 weeks left before the calendars we look at, in all their paper and techy formats we are so familiar with, change to 2016. How did this happen?

Somehow, 11 months have zipped by as if I was sliding uncontrollably along an inclined cable on a zip line ride over the year 2015 with the tips of my toes barely touching each month as they passed by. Some months I glided over, like the months of January and February, looked and felt like the rough and rugged terrain of Alaska while other months I glided over, like the months of June and July, looked and felt like the smooth and glassy waters of a calm sea. Regardless of how the past several months have looked and felt as I glided month to month, we are in November, and November is almost over. Yikes!

Now what happens since 2015 is almost over?

The ride is about over, and it’s almost time for me to unbuckle the harness of 2015, slide it off and put the harness of 2016 on, buckle up and once again ride over the year 2016. Important to note, it’s all good. I’m not complaining. I’m just sitting here typing these words in awe at how time seems to speed up the older I get. And I have so much to do like:

  • Finish unpacking from our move last April
  • Finally sift through, and organize, our family’s old and neglected photos from years past (mind you, the photos I’m talking about are in several different plastic totes as well as on the computer!)
  • Deep clean the house
  • Start, and stick to, living a healthy lifestyle including healthy eating and exercise
  • Clean our cars
And the list goes on and on, and of course it doesn’t include my work goals and aspirations! I imagine that you understand where I am coming from.

What I Realize After Reflecting Back on the Year

As I reflect back on the past 11 months, regardless of how quickly the months have flown by, I realize how fortunate I am, and my  heart is filled with gratitude for all I have including my beautiful family and friends. And I’m actually looking forward to the zip line ride over the year 2016. I hope you are too! Hang on tight because, ready or not, the next zip line ride is right around the corner!

Growing stronger…

Erasing the Stigma of Mental Illness | The Catch Phrase That’s Not Catching On

"I am tired of acting as though I have something to hide." Kay Redfield Jamison

“I am tired of acting as though I have something to hide.” Kay Redfield Jamison

A few posts back, I wrote about the goals for Stacy’s Flutterings blog, and near the end of the post I admitted my fear of stigma. It’s true. I am being honest when I say that I’m fearful of what others might think of the blog and my mission, and it’s in large part due to stigma. It seems it’s safer to hide emotions and thoughts rather than to be open and honest. By being open, I’m opening the door for others to verbally slay me with their opinions. It’s interesting to me that with all the advocating that’s occurring, and that seems so popular right now, that erasing the stigma of mental illness seems to be the catch phrase that’s not catching on. If it were, I don’t think I’d be as wary of being me.

How do I know that erasing the stigma of mental illness isn’t catching on? There are many examples in the media, especially revolving around the use of language. Time and time again, I see the word “commit” used in reference to suicide. It just so happens that last week I saw, yet again, the word commit in the news. Below you will find a copy of an email message that I sent to Elite Daily Tuesday, November 3rd, 2015, in reference to such stigmatizing language.

Letter to Elite Daily

I admire and respect Elite Daily! I look forward to seeing your newest posts on Facebook.

I just wanted to stop by and share, as Stacy’s Flutterings Facebook Page Manager, the word “commit” in regard to the sad news that Zach Efron’s look-alike has died, continues the stigma of mental illness. Sadly, he died by suicide. He didn’t commit suicide. Would you consider updating this news story?

Thank you for taking the time to read this message. I continue to look forward to future Elite Daily news.

Stacy King                                                                                          

And Where Did the Email Get Me?

My email message to Elite Daily got me nowhere. Since I’m being honest, let me ask you (be honest!), have you seen the word “commit” in the news pertaining to suicide? I see this type of language repeatedly, and what is being said, when we use the word commit, is that suicide is a crime. It isn’t. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), suicide is actually the 10th leading cause of death for Americans. This is tragic, especially since it’s preventable. Of course suicide prevention is another topic I’ll blog about in the future, but for now, I’m left questioning, “How can we begin to erase the stigma of mental illness if no one is listening?” and “Are efforts to erase stigma being ignored?”

Why It’s so Important That We Pay Attention to Efforts Being Made to Erase the Stigma

  • In order to erase the stigma we must learn what stigma is and what is considered stigmatizing. Do you know what stigma is? Can you give me an example?
  • We can learn healthier methods of communication. For example, have you heard someone say, “I’m so OCD.” That’s stigmatizing language. There are individuals living with this oftentimes crippling condition. It’s not something to be taken lightly. Can you give me an example of what we could say differently?
  • We can save lives. For example, knowing that it’s consider the norm to call and/or text for help can save lives. How can you express to your loved ones that asking for help is okay? How can we make this the norm?
  • Erasing the stigma can lead to proper diagnosis. When we erase the stigma, individuals will no longer feel like they have to hide their illnesses.
  • No stigma leads to healthier self esteem. If I can just be me, and it’s encouraged, then I don’t have to carry around the weight of trying to fit someone else’s mold.
  • We can create healthier environments for ourselves and our loved ones by applying what we learn about stigma such as the fact that living with a mental illness is not something to be ashamed of. I don’t know about you, but I’m not comfortable being around others who use stigmatizing language. Stigma creates an invisible barrier. Do you agree?
  • Ridding ourselves of stigma can lead to the creation of dialogue. If I feel comfortable talking with you about anything, you can bet that I will talk. If I feel at all uncomfortable, I’ll shut down. Does this happen to you as well?
  • Erasing the stigma, that is so embedded in the fabric of our society, will benefit our children.

Imagine a world free of stigma. It’s sounds healthy doesn’t it? We have the power to create it right now. Why wait any longer? If you’d like more information about how to erase the stigma, check out Bring Change 2 Mind. Lastly, listen to yourself when you talk to others. What words do you hear escape your mouth when you talk? Do you hear stigmatizing language? You have the power to change the way you talk. You are worth it and so are your loved ones! Let’s do this one word at a time.

Growing stronger…

You Have Permission to Relax and De-stress Now | Creating Moments of Respite

Chair with Wicker Back“The time to relax is when you don’t have time for it.”  Jim Goodwin and Sydney J. Harris

Do you make time for yourself to de-stress? What’s great is that if you don’t, you have permission to relax and de-stress now. Yes, you can relax and de-stress at this very moment. How? Keep reading…

Taking a moment to relax and de-stress is also known as respite. With this in mind, and in recognition of National Stress Awareness Day, I thought I’d share this post with you about respite care. So, what is respite care, and how does it apply to our lives? According to ARCH National Respite Network and Resource Center, respite is “planned or emergency care provided to a child or adult with special needs in order to provide temporary relief to family caregivers who are caring for that child or adult” (n.d.). defines respite as “an interval of rest or relief” (n.d). Hmmm…rest…relief…sounds wonderful doesn’t it?! Below you will find my story of how I discovered that we can actually create moments of personal respite on a daily basis. Yes, planned respite is needed and an integral part of care-giving. However, we can also intentionally create personal moments of respite throughout each and every day to help us survive daily stressors. How you might ask?  Well…

I recently saw one of my doctor’s for a follow up appointment. I asked him if the symptoms I have been experiencing could be brought on by stress. Before he could answer my question I anxiously blurted out that I have been experiencing a great deal of stress. As I busily talked with my hands, as I so often do, he politely took the time to listen to my story and he calmly said, “Stacy, while you are here at our office, use the time to relax and breathe.” I was kind of taken back. I didn’t expect him to say that. He gave me permission to relax. I felt a sense of calm wash over me. As his words sunk into my stress laden brain, I took a deep breath and exhaled. It was as if someone had taken a fresh, warm blanket out of the dryer on an icy cold December day and wrapped it around me. Any tension I felt left my body, and I felt a little less stressed.

As a wife, mother, grandmother, caregiver, friend etc…I oftentimes forget to take care of myself. Usually it takes me getting sick or hurt to realize that I need to slow down and refocus a little on myself. It is interesting that sometimes we need someone to give us permission to do something as simple as relax.

Since that day at the doctor’s office, I have to come realize that we have the power to create personal moments of respite. If we are at the doctor’s office we can use that time, as my doctor said, to relax. We can turn a sometimes unpleasant situation, like a waiting room, into a moment of respite. We can capture the moments that oftentimes elude us and recreate a moment to just inhale and exhale the stress. So, here’s to creating personal moments of respite in an effort to be the best we can be for the amazing people in our lives including ourselves!

Growing stronger…


ARCH National Respite Network and Resource Center.  Accessed on November 4, 2015 at

Merriam-Webster Dictionary Online.  Accessed on November 4, 2015 at

Oh No! A Blog About Mental Illness | Wah Wah Wah

Wah Wah Wah Photo for SF

Yes, I really went there. I said “Wah Wah Wah,” in reference to this blog. Of course, I don’t really mean it. In fact, this blog isn’t meant to be a Debbie Downer. It’s meant to be the opposite.

When I say Debbie Downer, what I’m really trying to say is that I don’t want anyone to think that the blog will be a depressing read or a woe is me. I’m not going to be writing about whether or not, in our house, anyone is feeling depressed, etc. day in and day out. What I will be writing about is everyday life.  

Yes, we do have a loved one who lives with bipolar disorder and anxiety, and some of us live with depression and such, but the reality is our illnesses don’t define us. We are just like everyone else. And I imagine that some of you reading this also may live with a mental illness or have a loved one who does. And it’s okay.

So, if this blog isn’t going to be a Debbie Downer to follow and read, what will it be like? It will be about a busy family and a house full of love. There will be times that I write about those things that affect anyone living with mental illness including: 

And that’s it! There’s nothing else to it. Now, don’t get me wrong. Of course there will be times that I will write about something that will inevitably evoke emotion. That’s quite frankly the hope. I understand this. However, I just want to share with you that Stacy’s Flutterings blog, in and of itself, will not be a drag to read. Yes, living with mental illness or loving someone who lives with mental illness can bring about depressing feelings. However, can’t we say that about other things in life as well? Relationships can be a drag. The weather can be a drag, etc. I think you know what I mean. On the flipside, relationships can be invigorating and beautiful, and the weather can be as well. Can’t we say the same about anyone living with mental illness? We are all beautiful.  

The overarching goal, for the blog, is that I will provide a real glimpse into the world of the King’s in the King house in an effort to raise mental illness awareness. Why? Because mental illness awareness matters. And why am I so concerned about voicing my goals? Let’s just say, stigma plays a role. Stick around! Stigma is what my next post is all about.

Growing stronger…

The Number 1 Reason Why I Started Stacy’s Flutterings Blog

DSCN5688As I get familiar with the landscape of Facebook, as Stacy’s Flutterings page manager, I find that I’ve been thinking about content and where to begin. Yesterday, I finally came to a decision. I’ve decided to repost one of my first blog posts so that I can share with you the number 1 reason why I started Stacy’s Flutterings blog.

Briefly, the blog post below was first published on September 25th, 2011, and it was originally titled, “Flutterings.” Goodness! That was years ago! I hope this repost sheds some light on why the blog was born. And another thought, I want to share with you that we’ve grown immensely individually and as a family since, and I think it’s important to remember where we came! Why? Because it shows growth of course and illuminates positive light where there appears to be none! Enjoy…

Throughout the years, I never really gave much thought to the special things that occur around me. I was so wrapped up in the big picture. However, last summer when Kim came back home for a spell, I noticed her looking at a rose bush Bill planted for me in the front yard. I saw her take pictures of the bright, magenta roses. I saw her look at the roses with great interest. I finally asked her one day what she was looking at. She said, “Haven’t you noticed? That rose just blossomed!” I was amazed it had just opened its tiny petals, and I had missed it!

I found myself wondering what else I was missing. I started listening to Kim as she pointed out butterflies gently swooping by almost as if they were floating by on a breeze to say, “Hi!” I started to listen when Kim said, “Mom! You won’t believe it! A hummingbird just flew by and stopped right in front of me!” “It just stayed in place looking at me and flapped its wings!” These moments became significant to me because days prior Kim’s heart had been fluttering from SVT’s after she had made another suicide attempt.

Kim’s sightings got me thinking about all of the times when she and I are together and the song “Apologize” by One Republic plays on the radio. Just last week when we ran to the gas station that song was on again! Wow! For some reason over the past four years, when I am with Kim, that songs plays! When we hear the song, we both look at each other as if we are saying, “Really?” I have taken notice.

When I was in Ottawa, Kansas, volunteering for the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition show, I saw large, brilliant blue dragonflies flying low around the crowd during the reveal of the Hill’s new home. I took notice. Also, while in Ottawa, Bill was out in an empty field picking up trash from the week’s event, and he found something that you would think would be impossible! He walked into the catering tent, where I was busy cleaning, to show me and said, “You won’t believe what I just found!” He reached out towards me with his hand holding something tightly. He unfolded his fingers, and in the palm of his hand was a dime! You see, Kim and Bill have had a running joke about a dime for years. Every time Bill finds a dime he gives it to Kim. They don’t recall how this started. Wherever Bill travels, if he finds a dime, he gives it to Kim. What a special dime this one from Ottawa was! I took notice.

When my kids come home to visit on the weekends, including my beautiful granddaughter, my heart flutters! I have taken notice. When my husband gets home from work my heart flutters. I have taken notice. When I think about mental illness and awareness my heart flutters. To me fluttering means:

  • life
  • energy
  • movement
  • fragility

Stacy’s Flutterings blog signifies my vulnerability as I continue to open up and speak about mental illness and awareness.

And that’s the reason I started the blog, simply to bring awareness to an oftentimes shunned topic: mental illness.

Growing stronger…

Gulp: I Changed Career Hats

Stacy's Sun HatI’m ready to share some scary yet exciting news! As of Friday, October 23rd, 2015, I became a full time writer. No more part time blogging for me! I literally changed career hats.

Yes. You heard right. I’m blazing new trails as a full time writer. I resigned from my position in Student Services at a state college where notable alumni like Jim Morrison, lead singer from The Doors, graduated. Even something as cool as that couldn’t keep me from gracefully hanging up my Student Services career hat and placing upon my head the full time writer career hat.

Just the thought of resigning from my job was a scary proposition for me because I had the comforts of a 9-5 job. For example, each work day was filled with pre-planned responsibilities. Therefore, I knew what I had to accomplish each day. I also had job stability in that I knew I would receive a paycheck every two weeks. Now, I’m responsible for planning and organizing my work days, and I don’t know if I’m going to get paid. Now, getting paid depends on if my blog and eBooks are successful and if I can garner the attention and backing of a publishing house.

By now you might be asking, “Why did you quit your 9-5 job?” Well, as my coworkers said so eloquently via a PowerPoint presentation at a special goodbye party, “Do What You Love – Love What You Do.” And that’s as simple as it is.

In regard to the concept of doing what you love, no matter what, I can’t seem to shake my passion for writing. For example, I had the privilege, as a Student Services employee, of helping get the college campus blog running full speed ahead. During those moments, while writing the campus blog, I re-discovered that I really am passionate about writing. It didn’t matter what topic I was blogging about, I got swept up in the writing process.

Getting swept up into the writing process isn’t a new experience for me. I’ve been very aware for years that writing is something I enjoy. I’m in flow when I write. I’ve written using a variety of formats and genres. I’ve written and sent query letters and emails, and I’ve submitted manuscript after manuscript over the years to various publishing houses all in an attempt to get published. However, I didn’t pursue full time writing because I thought I needed to be a published author first. I think I had it all wrong. Instead of thinking of writing as a hobby and as something to do full time after publication, I need to “Just do it!” like Nike says.

What’s exciting is that through writing I can:

  • continue the important work of Stacy’s Flutterings blog, finally write those eBooks I’ve been wanting to write, continue to seek representation from a traditional publishing house for our memoir and start other new writing projects I’ve been planning, and the list goes on…
  • support my loved one and anyone else living with mental illness
  • advocate for those living with mental illness
  • work to prevent suicide
  • help eradicate stigma
  • provide helpful, credible resources pertaining to mental illness and wellness

As you probably can tell, I will be very busy with my new job just like I was in Student Services. So with my full time writing hat now on my head, I turn my head to the side while grasping the back of the hat brim with the fingers on my left hand and grasping the front of the hat brim with the fingers on my right hand, and I adjust my hat by quickly tilting my head forward and pulling down on the brim as if giving a quick nod of approval and to say, “See ya next time!”

Growing stronger…

Guest Blogger Kim King: A Story of Self Hate and Learning to Love Myself

DCF 1.0

“Kim! You are so beautiful!” said my mom, friends, family, and strangers. What no one knew, when they said this to me, was that it hurt to hear those words. Any type of compliment was so painful that it started getting difficult to hide. I smiled for pictures, and I tried to dress up as often as I could handle so I could “feel” pretty. That feeling didn’t come until 18 years later.

In 1st grade I hopped on the school bus with all the other kids and was wearing shorts on this particular day. When I sat down I looked down at my thighs and noticed they were bigger than the other girls’ thighs. That’s when the self-hate began, and it snowballed as I got older. My hair looked ugly to me no matter what so I always wanted it short. No matter what, I felt ugly. Nobody could change my mind or make me feel better.

Eventually, the self-hate turned into self-harm, and I was hurting myself physically so I could feel the pain on the outside that I’d been bottling up on the inside. My wrists and legs became covered with open wounds and scars from me cutting. One day I felt comfortable enough with one of my teachers in high school to share my cutting struggle. He walked me down to the guidance counselors office, and I went to that office almost every day after that. Although I felt pain it felt better knowing that someone else was aware of what I was going through and could talk to me about it.

The hatred towards myself continued after high school, and right after I started classes in college I dropped out and began partying a lot and got involved in a poisonous relationship. That relationship lasted 3 years, but the emotional abuse lasted longer. Because I had so much hate for myself I accepted and welcomed hate unknowingly from others. The energy I was putting off was coming back to me, and even friends started showing negativity towards me. I lost a lot of friends in those 3 years not realizing then that others were a reflection of me and since I hated myself others hated me too.

It all started to unfold the day I looked at my beautiful newborn daughter. The thought came to me, “What if she grows up to hate herself?”. My mind started to rewind, and thoughts came to me in pictures. In every instance of my life I have always been beautiful on the inside and out. When I smiled for those pictures I was hurting, but here I am today looking at them and realizing I love myself and always have. I’m still not 100% sure why I hated myself so much…maybe because I was bullied, or because of society’s standards, or maybe just maybe I was embarrassed to love myself because I didn’t know anyone that loved themselves. Whatever the reason was no longer gets to me. I have embraced me for who I am. My daughter helped me see myself as worthy, beautiful, strong. I am a reflection of her as she is of me.

So today, I want to share this story because if you or someone you know is hurting on the inside or out they need support. They need love. Loving yourself doesn’t happen overnight and is a different process for everyone. Just make sure you look in the mirror and are loving who you see. There’s beauty in everyone. Sometimes we have to show others the beauty they possess before we can see our own beauty. But there are also times when we need to seek out help from a counselor or therapist. There’s nothing wrong with seeking help and knowing you are worth it.

If you are looking for information about self-harm, please check out the Self-Harm guide on the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) website.

If you are in crisis, you can text the Crisis Text Line by texting “Start” to 741-741. It’s free, 24/7  and confidential.