My name is Tina Szymczak; the mom of two spirited boys.

Tina Szymczak is a proud graduate of University of Waterloo, both an undergraduate Psychology degree and Certificates in Social Work (General and Child Abuse). She has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to early intervention, advocacy, parenting children with disabilities as well as mental health (her own and her children) and infertility. As a mom and advocate, Tina is passionate about inclusion and her core intrinsic belief that she lives each and every day is that every individual deserves to live a full and engaging life in their home community.
Author Tina Szymczak
March 21, 2020

COVID 19 in the Year 2020

When I first heard of Coronavirus I brushed it off like many others. It sounded like SARS – serious and the need to be cautious for certain people but I didn’t feel it applied to me or my family. People began to panic and clear out the stores and I still thought they were over reacting. I mean, who needs that much toilet paper for a respiratory infection? What I wasn’t thinking about was a long period of self quarantine. I wasn’t thinking ahead to what supplies we did and didn’t have in our home. Then it moved to Italy and all kinds of people began to die including the Italian actor Luca Franzese whose sister died while they were […]
February 1, 2020

Bell Let’s Talk Day

I was honoured when Kim Willis, Director of Communications for CMHA Windsor Essex asked me to join her on the Dan MacDonald morning show on AM 800. I was nervous but immediately put at ease by Dan who shocked me by doing research and knowing about my blog and the Purple Project. If you have some time please listen to the podcast. Bell Let’s Talk Day 2020 am800 Round Table discussion (click the small arrow not the big red one). Many thanks to Dan, a knowledgeable and gracious host.
January 20, 2020

The Purple Project

A few months ago I wrote on my Facebook wall that I was struggling with my mental health and that it had prompted me to work on my Wellness Recovery Action Plan which is described on their site as “WRAP®, is a self-designed prevention and wellness process that anyone can use to get well, stay well and make their life the way they want it to be. It was developed in 1997 by a group of people who were searching for ways to overcome their own mental health issues and move on to fulfilling their life dreams and goals. It is now used extensively by people in all kinds of circumstances, and by health care and mental health systems all over the […]
January 5, 2020

Keeping a Marriage Together

My husband and I have been together since I was 19 years old. We have been married for 24 years. Until last year it looked good from the outside, we didn’t often fight, no one was cheating, and we slept in the same bed. We spent all our time alone together in our house. How then did we end up separated for 4 months in 2018? There are three sides to story they say. Over the years my husband grew more and more angry. Most of my days were spent trying not to make him mad. This was a fool hardy task as it seemed he was always mad. Lightbulb burnt out, rant and rave. Child spilled a glass of […]
January 1, 2020

The Path to a Bipolar Diagnosis for a Preteen

Note: my son has given his permission for this information to be shared here The year my son turned 12 years old he had to attend a residential treatment program two hours from our home. He heard voices, had racing thoughts and was getting very little sleep. He was out of control and we feared for his safety. All the sharp objects in the house had to be locked up and someone had to be with him at all times. We were exhausted, confused and worried for the future. We did not understand what had happened to our sweet boy who, while he had exceptional needs, had never been out of control like that before. Professionals working with us, who […]
December 31, 2019

The Wonderful Year That Was 2019

When 2018 was nearing the end I couldn’t wait to see it go. With 2019 it has been such a fabulous year of personal growth, adventure and change that I am in awe of all that has happened. Beginning the very first weekend in January 2019 I went away by myself to Retro Suites in Chatham and stayed in the Study to concentrate on my writing. It was a great couple of nights, so very productive. It was on this trip that I wrote my piece that would later be featured on the OC87 website. It was also the first piece of writing that I received more than just a stipend for – I Want to Live: Turning a Corner […]
August 10, 2019

When I Grow Tired

Below is a poem I wrote while on my retreat to Prophry Island. Sometimes humour is a useful tool to cope. When I grow tired I forget to take my pills When I forget to take my pills my thoughts race through my head When thoughts race through my head I rush to take action When I rush to take action I hit “add to cart” on Amazon When I hit “add to cart” on Amazon a million boxes arrive at our doorstep When a million boxes arrive at our doorstop my husband has a cow When my husband has a cow it makes me think of milk When I think of milk it reminds me to take my pills […]
August 4, 2019

Island Adventure

We were four strangers meeting at Pier 3 early on a Thursday morning. The sky was overcast and you could see the fog rolling in from the distance. Bags were strewn around, waiting to be place in waterproof bags to protect them during the trip. The Rocket power boat of Superior Sail was being prepared for the voyage including coolers of food to feed us for four days. I was the last one to arrive and stood awkwardly off to the side silently willing myself to take the first step and introduce myself. However, before I could act she moved forward with an outstretched hand “I’m Jean” and with that we all introduced ourselves. Momentarily it was time to talk […]
May 20, 2019

All They Need Is You

My husband and I tried for years to conceive a baby of our own. When it didn’t happen we moved easily to pursuing adoption. We had heard horror stories of waiting for years to be chosen to adopt. We decided early on that we wouldn’t ask for a baby or even a toddler. We would open our hearts and home to a preschooler and we took the required course, filled out piles of paperwork and completed several hours of interviews. We then were quickly matched with a little boy. We were given full disclosure through several meetings and reviewing his file. We decided that despite his rough start to life we wanted to become his parents.  We met him and […]
January 5, 2019

Trying New Things

I just found this unpublished on my posts page. I guess I got so busy I forgot to post it. I’m trying something new lately where I get out of my comfort zone to do something that ultimately makes me happy no matter how much anxiety happens beforehand. Today the boys and I (and Jeremy’s) friend drove 5 hours to pick a puppy. There were four to choose from and I had carefully chosen this breeder. (For anyone that wants to admonish me and cheer for rescue adoptions I agree but in this case after a year of unsuccessful trying I moved onto a very reputable breeder). Now back to happy puppy story. We expected to choose from 3 so […]