Hi! I’m Ashlie, the one whose words you’re reading here at Mind Over Mainstream. I live in Indianapolis with my husband, three kids, our Golden Retriever pup, Walter, and our cat, Ivy.
I’ve been passionate about writing since I was about 7 years old… journaling, short stories, poetry during my angsty teen years, pieces in my high school newspaper (of which I was the editor during my senior year). And now I have a blog where I can write about anything I damn well please!
In college, I majored in Sociology and minored in Journalism. My primary interests were criminal justice and social work. My plan was to be a probation officer for juvenile offenders. Or a counselor at a juvenile detention center. But then life happened. I got pregnant and left after three years of school to be a mom. It was certainly not what I had envisioned for myself, but I wouldn’t change how it all worked out.
Deep down, I think motherhood is the job that I always wanted, but could never admit until it was thrust upon me. Once my daughter was born, I dove in headfirst and decided that being a mom was the only job that I cared about. The moments with her were short and once they were gone, I could never get them back. So I wanted to be present for each and every one. And then more kids came along and I made the same promise to them. To myself.
I also suffer from both bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder. I am a very strong advocate for mental health awareness and the destigmatization of mental illness. I have been on this rollercoaster since I was a teenager, when I was first diagnosed with depression and anxiety. It wasn’t until my adult years that I was diagnosed with bipolar I and not until I was hospitalized after multiple suicide attempts that I was given the additional diagnosis of borderline personality disorder. I have done inpatient programs, partial hospitalization programs, intensive outpatient programs, and am now in ongoing outpatient therapy. I am also on a slew of drugs that I have a love/hate relationship with. To say that living with bipolar disorder is a struggle would be an understatement. But treatment helps. Acceptance helps. And it’s not something that I will allow to define me, even if it does sometimes control me.
Since you won’t only be reading about me, how about we put some faces to the names!
This is Daniel, the guy I married back in 2004. Like the nerds that we are, we met when we were 13 at a mutual friend’s house during a game of Dungeons and Dragons. We dated on and off until 2002, when we decided to get serious. We were married in 2004, and have worked our asses off to get to where we are as a couple. Daniel works in IT, is antisocial, and generally hates most people. But he loves me, so I guess that says something. This picture is old and you probably won’t see a lot of him because he is all about internet privacy. Being an IT nerd and all.
This is Delanie, our 15 year old daughter. She’s super brilliant, confident, independent, and marches to the beat of her own drummer. She has been playing the violin since she was 6 years old and now plays in the top tier orchestra at her high school. She used to participate in competitive cheerleading and color guard, but a serious injury to her elbow (which resulted in two surgeries) forced her to give up physical activities that would put a lot of strain on her arm. She’s also a Job’s Daughter at our local Bethel. She’s a busy girl with a boatload of friends and she likes it that way. She simultaneously cracks me up and makes me want to strangle her on a daily basis.
This is Elysa, otherwise known as Ellie, our 12 year old daughter. She’s the sweetest, most generous child that you will ever meet. She is extremely sensitive and wears her heart on her sleeve. She cries. A lot. She is also a mama’s girl through and through and I swear she would climb back in the womb if she could. She’s a violinist like her sister, a Job’s Daughter like her sister, and a Girl Scout. She also wants to give volleyball a try when the recreational league opens up again. Her favorite stores are Ulta and Home Depot, so we’re all convinced that she will grow up to either be a makeup artist or an interior designer. With her perfect shade of dark red/auburn hair, the smattering of freckles across her nose, and the most adorable cheeks in the world, I kind of want to eat her.
This is Calvin, otherwise known as Ninja Cal, our seven year old son and the kid who completed our family. He is wild and rough and fearless and makes my heart jump into my throat approximately 5,000 times a day. If I hadn’t already decided during my pregnancy with him that he would be our last child, I would have figured it out pretty quickly thereafter. He is like 10 kids in the body of one, always moving and always talking. But he has a head full of curly, red hair and a smile that will steal your heart, so I think I’ll keep him. He plays baseball and wants to play catcher as often as possible. He love Legos, Hot Wheels, video games, and insists that he is going to play the trombone like his daddy when he gets big enough.