Blog 2017-08-30T17:30:57+00:00

Don’t Go On The Internet If You’re A Hypochondriac

Being a hypochondriac is fun because you’re always convinced that you’re dying. It was just today that I was talking to one of my best friends from New York and she was convinced that she had an STD. The likelihood is that she does not; she always uses condoms. Since both of us have anxiety we worry about catching a mysterious disease. There are so many things in life to worry about and it’s a drag to worry about dying all the time. Unfortunately this is my life with OCD . One of the worst things that you can do when you have an anxiety disorder is go on the Internet and try to figure out what’s wrong with you. People joke about going on WebMD and thinking that you’re dying of cancer but for someone with anxiety and hypochondria this is a reality. I try to stay away from WebMD because it makes me think that I am actually going to pass over to the next world immediately. Mayo Clinic is friendlier looking and a seemingly more benign source for information than its nemesis WebMD. Still, there are so many quizzes out there that tell you if you have [...]

By | January 31st, 2018|Categories: Uncategorized|Comments Off on Don’t Go On The Internet If You’re A Hypochondriac

Grieving New York City

I’m not sure whether I have to grieve the loss of New York or not. I have been in Portland for four months and it still feels weird. I don’t feel like it’s my home necessarily because I lived in New York for 37 years in both Manhattan and Brooklyn. The Pacific Northwest is new to me and I'm still figuring a lot of it out. In some ways, I am grieving the loss of my hometown because I don’t know when I’ll be back there again. I remember when I first moved to Portland, I was crying on the phone to my mom and I said: "I feel like I’m in prison."  I didn’t feel like I was able to leave this place and I was trapped. I chose to move here and I had to deal with the consequences of leaving New York. I should have been excited, it was an adventure that I was wanting to take for so long. Now that I finally got to the west coast, I didn’t feel the same enthusiasm that I once imagined I would feel once I made my exodus west. Portland was this utopia that I imagined and everybody [...]

By | January 29th, 2018|Categories: Uncategorized|Comments Off on Grieving New York City

She’s Still In There

I've worked so hard to get rid of her but she's still in there. When I'm fighting so hard, thinking that I'm strong, that I don't have the opportunity to break down, she screams and claws her way out of my chest and makes it known that she's hurting so bad that living is nearly impossible. She thinks that being sad and angry is sort of "cool." But it's not because it's actually cool, it's because it's the only way she knows how to be. Her life is suddenly tragic, but there is comedy going on all around her. She is continually in an existential crisis mode. People probably think she is an elitist snob, but she's actually stuck in her own head and can't get out to speak to you. She wrote a lot of poetry, most of it was overly emotional and stream of consciousness. She just wanted someone to save her, a boy, someone who cared. But she didn't realize that it was only her that could save herself. It seemed impossible to climb out of the darkness that she chose to consume herself with. All she knew was the life of being depressed. She didn't know [...]

By | January 27th, 2018|Categories: Uncategorized|Comments Off on She’s Still In There

People Who Call Themselves Empaths Aren’t Always Empaths

I consider myself to be an empathetic person. I care about other people and their feelings and I often make a conscious effort to place myself in the other person's position. I don't, however, refer to myself as an empath. I was talking to my friend Drew about this today. He said he noticed that people who call themselves empaths are often pretentious and bragging about how much they help people, which is counterintuitive to the term. If you love helping people, you love it because it feels good and you reap the rewards of seeing those people happy. Showing other people how generous you are and talking about it constantly doesn't make you look like you actually care about people. Also today, my friend Pepper had the same sentiment to share. She noticed that people were sharing quotes on Facebook that were "inspirational" and then claiming to be empaths. I think there is something about the word that's irritating. It's sort of like saying you're a guru or a prophet. It's like being an empath gives you some superpower. I don't actually think that's true. I believe as people we all have the capacity for empathy and (in fact) [...]

By | January 25th, 2018|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , , , |Comments Off on People Who Call Themselves Empaths Aren’t Always Empaths

Even Introverts Get Lonely, Like Me

As an introvert, I like to be alone, but there are times when this alone time doesn't feel great. This happens when I have been alone for an excessive period of time. There are people who intrinsically enjoy being by themselves because it's who they are. There is a significant part of me that enjoys being by myself. It's something that gives me joy. As a kid, I would sit on my bed thinking and that was actually a hobby. I feel the same way to an extent as an adult and particularly as a mom. I don't have the opportunity to think often. But, one thing happens when I start thinking is that thinking turns into worrying and that's when it becomes a less enjoyable thing to be alone. I don't like that feeling at all. Anxiety is the opposite of fun and it makes alone time unpleasant. When I start going into a worrying or overthinking mode, I need to get out of my head, out of the house (in fact) and start seeing people. I do like being around people a lot sometimes. But when I am around them for a social event, for example, I need [...]

By | January 24th, 2018|Categories: Uncategorized|Comments Off on Even Introverts Get Lonely, Like Me

Fluctuating Sense of Self

My "sense of self" changes frequently. There are some days where I feel like I’m on top of the world. And there other days when I don’t feel so great about me. Today I felt like a failure. And there is no logical reason for it. I felt like I wasn’t doing anything right and there was nothing that could salvage that life experience for me. I think we all have those days, and they are called "the human experience" but they are still not pleasant. As women, we can be critical of ourselves to the point where we destroy our bodies through eating disorders or other harmful measures that we do ourselves. Those are physical manifestations of how we are unkind to ourselves. But I realize that the language we use when talking to ourselves important. If you’re telling yourself that you’re a loser you’re going to feel like a loser. If you’re telling yourself that you can’t do anything then you probably can’t do anything. If you’re telling yourself that you’re lazy you’re going to feel like you were actually lazy. I just think that our sense of self is not something that is fixed and can fluidly [...]

By | January 23rd, 2018|Categories: Uncategorized|Comments Off on Fluctuating Sense of Self

Is it Needy or Is it Human?

I've wondered about "neediness." Is it "needy" to want people to support you when you're having an extremely trying time in your life and you already suffer from mental illness? I don't believe that it is. I already manage my OCD with reward-based exposure therapy, so I am working on being a healthy independent person. But, in addition to being independent, I tell other people when I need support and that's what I'm doing right now. Life has thrown me some serious curve balls and hit me right in the nose multiple times. Good analogy right? I obviously don't play baseball. I'm hurting and it's not because of me, it's because I am fighting for one of the small members of my family and my son needs me to do that for him. I am his person, I have armor, a sword, a shield and an arsenal of tools that I'm ready to go to war with for him. But just because I'm strong doesn't mean I'm not vulnerable and hurting. Just because I'm doing things doesn't mean I don't want to be taken care of and trust me, I do. I want someone to make me soup, I want someone to [...]

By | January 23rd, 2018|Categories: Uncategorized|Comments Off on Is it Needy or Is it Human?

I’m staying up until forever o’clock to get things done

As a new mother, you don't sleep much. You've got an infant who is always crying because they need something and it's understandable for you to be exhausted. Having a baby is hard work and you're up every couple of hours feeding, changing or soothing this little baby. There's a myth out there that once your baby gets older, you start to sleep more. People need to stop saying this because it's a lie. You do not get more sleep as your child gets older. That's just not true at all. My kids are six and nine right now and it's almost 2 am and look at me! I'm still awake trying to get this blog post done. I'm writing because this is the only "free" time I have. I have to stay up until forever o'clock to get alone time to do my thing. But, in reality, my life is so packed with stuff, that I can barely get an opportunity to pee or eat. Today, I had yogurt, granola and cookie dough for dinner; not all together, the cookie dough was for dessert. I'm not a barbarian, okay? I save the cookie dough for later. Anyway, I am trying [...]

By | January 6th, 2018|Categories: Uncategorized|Comments Off on I’m staying up until forever o’clock to get things done

Bobby McFerrin Was Wrong: I Need to Worry to Be Happy

I want to be happy with my whole body and soul. As much as I want to let depression go just “be happy,” I can’t force myself to stop being depressed because that’s not how depression works. Remember that Bobby McFerrin song “Don’t worry, Be happy?” I have always admired the simplicity of that song. I also loved the way that Bobby McFerrin was able to make music with his mouth like a bad ass. Whenever I heard the whistling in that song, I wished that I could follow simple instructions. It seemed like such a wonderful idea! It would be great if I just didn’t worry about things. If I could let go and be content, that would be wonderful and amazing. It would be a euphoric experience if I was able to just “be happy.” As much as I would love to be happy, snap my fingers and make that happen, I can’t do that. Happiness isn't a magical thing that occurs by willing it to happen. I can make the best effort to take actions that will help myself. I can learn and grow by being introspective and letting go of destructive thought patterns. Depression is fueled [...]

By | January 4th, 2018|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: |Comments Off on Bobby McFerrin Was Wrong: I Need to Worry to Be Happy

Facebook is the destroyer of people’s opinions

Do you have an opinion? Would you like it to be completely verbally eviscerated? Are you feeling great today? Would you like to stop feeling that way and have someone invalidate your feelings? Open your browser or get on your smartphone and head to Facebook! 1,2,3, your opinion is completely invalid. All you have to do is post something benign like "I love kittens!" Invariably someone will get uncontrollably angry or offended and say "I am allergic and I don't like cats anyway." Why is that necessary to say? I was so happy about my love for kittens and you fucking ruined my life. I hate you. Their anger is so potent that they could benefit from some serious anger management. If you ever have the thought "what is wrong with people?" look to Facebook and you will inevitably receive an answer to this age-old query. They want to fight, that's what's wrong with them. They want to be right, and they don't actually care what you just said. The "reply" feature on Facebook statuses was designed to facilitate arguments between users. I know they won't admit that to the public, but I am telling you that's what it's there for. I [...]

By | January 1st, 2018|Categories: Uncategorized|Comments Off on Facebook is the destroyer of people’s opinions

I found my voice and I’m not afraid to use it

For many years I was an introverted child. I grew up to be an introverted adult in my 20's in particular. In my 30's I realized that I didn't have to be silent or hold back anymore. If people don't like that, they can fuck off. I'm not here to please people anymore or walk on egg shells. I've embraced myself, the real me who has been in there the whole time. It took me being silent and internalizing my pain for so long and tolerating people who made me hate myself and my life to get to this point. I'm not ashamed of the mental and emotional processes I went through to get to this point, in fact if I hadn't gone through that journey, I wouldn't be the person I am today. I welcome whatever comes my way, because it is helpful on my life path. We don't choose what happens to us, but we have the choice on how to cope with those events. I didn't choose to have OCD, but I have it. I didn't want a neurological disorder that makes me obsess and worry about things that probably will never happen. But I am learning [...]

By | December 31st, 2017|Categories: Uncategorized|Comments Off on I found my voice and I’m not afraid to use it

Why Do People Self Harm?

Trigger warning - self harm When I was a teenager I used to have repetitive thoughts about cutting my wrists. They were intrusive and they scared me but I never engaged in self harm. I do have many friends who have self harmed and they've explained why they engaged in this behavior. Self harm is a response to experiencing an intense level of emotions, such as depression, loneliness, anger or rage. A person might self harm because their feelings are too much to bear. They want a break from the level of pain they are experiencing. Another reason for self harming is that seeing the harm on your body is an externalization of the pain the person is feeling. They want to somehow let out how they feel and seeing scars from the harm are a manifestation of these emotions. When people self harm they can also experience an absence of feeling altogether. They might feel completely numb, which is a distraction from the high level of pain they were previously experiencing. People who have Complex PTSD sometimes self harm due to their prolonged experiences of trauma. When the person is triggered, they want that intense feeling associated with their trigger to stop. Self harm [...]

By | December 29th, 2017|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , |Comments Off on Why Do People Self Harm?

The power belongs to the one who cares the least

The power belongs to the one who cares the least. This wisdom was brought to me by one of my best friends, Jen. She knows that I wear my heart on my sleeve and I care (sometimes too much) about what other people think. It's natural to care about what other people think about you, but when it's to an unhealthy degree that's when you get into trouble. I was getting so preoccupied with what other people thought about me that Jen decided to bestow some words of wisdom on me to help me out and they were: "the power belongs to the one who cares the least." So what does this mean? When you start to feel like you don't matter to someone else, that's when it's important to remember that you may be caring too much about the opinions of others. Your value is important, regardless of what other people think or feel about you. So what do you do? You care more about your feelings and less about what they think about you. If you start caring too much about pleasing other people, you will drive yourself crazy. Trust me, I have done this and has negatively [...]

By | December 27th, 2017|Categories: Uncategorized|Comments Off on The power belongs to the one who cares the least

Depression prepared me to be an emotional warrior

I have an invisible sword and shield. I carry them around and if anyone tries to mess with me, I am prepared to defend myself. The difficult thing is when someone tells me they are a safe person to be around when the person attempts to show that I could love them, and I put that shield on the ground, that's dangerous. It's emotionally extremely dangerous for me, as a sensitive person, and as someone who has been through trauma. I've been depressed and suicidal in my life. Despite having these intrusive thoughts I have been able to fight through them and live a beautifully productive life. It's extremely challenging to live with mental health issues and I wouldn't wish chronic depression specifically on anyone. It's a terrible feeling and extremely painful. What's one of the joyful human emotions in life? Love. Being loved, being in love or anything to do with love is a beautiful thing. Depression prevents us from seeing when we are loved. In order to see love, truly see it, you have to push the cloud of depression out of the way. I have become good at doing that because I've been depressed so often in my [...]

By | December 26th, 2017|Categories: Uncategorized|Comments Off on Depression prepared me to be an emotional warrior

The Dangers of Codependency

Codependency is a type of relationship that is one-sided and has the potential to be abusive. That's why you often here addicts who are actively drinking associated with codependency. It's like a relationship addiction. The dynamic is the addict is needy for support but doesn't actually ask for it a lot of the time, but sometimes that is not the case if they are trying to get well. The other person is the enabler and validates their feelings or continues to feed into their addition, which doesn't help them but makes them sicker. It's a vicious cycle where the caretaker isn't getting what they need, but they believe that they are appreciated because it's an illusion. It's hard to break this dynamic because it's addictive to both people but in an unhealthy way. Healthy relationships are built on reciprocity and codependent ones are unfulfilling because one person is doing the majority of the work to maintain a toxic dynamic. The trouble is that the caretaker feels valued when they take care of the addict. It's difficult to leave that relationship when the illusion is that they're wanted. The reality is that the addict doesn't actually care about the person who is caring [...]

By | December 24th, 2017|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , |Comments Off on The Dangers of Codependency
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