Finding the Help I Need

There have been times when I have been at a loss as to what was going to help me. I was depressed, having passive suicidal ideation, and feeling like things just weren't getting better. My panic attacks were daily, and nothing seemed to help. I tried everything from going to a Reiki healer to an acupuncturist. I saw a variety of different therapists including gestalt, psychodynamic and psychoanalytic ones. Nothing seemed to work. I couldn't figure out what I was doing wrong. Was it me or was it the therapy or both? I wasn't getting better and I needed to, desperately, but that isn't the way getting well from mental illness works. It wasn't like I could just snap my fingers and make things okay. In psychodynamic therapy, I was asked to recount my childhood trauma that could be influencing depression. I didn’t like rehashing my past and I wasn’t a fan of doing hippie dippy new age stuff entirely to make things better. I like hippie dippy new age stuff but it’s not the end all be all solution to mental wellness. I remember searching through my insurance provider's handbook and calling around to different therapists and asking what kinds of therapy [...]

By |April 22nd, 2018|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , , |Comments Off on Finding the Help I Need

The Face Inside

There's a face I wear outside like a mask. It protects me from pain, anger, and fear. It's like a suit of armor, but only for my face. I can't figure out why it's solidified on me. It's like melted wax on the oval of my visage. I wanted to peel it off but it sticks. It reminds me of the wrapping of the Baby Bell cheese. They are red wax circles that encompass pale yellow cheese. The red wax covers my face but you can't see it. It makes it so my emotions are invisible to most people. It makes it so that my family says "you don't seem depressed. I can never tell with you." The mask is solid. I want to rip it off, I want to feel like the "real me" again. I wonder if there's a way to get to her. Hypnotize me, put me under a spell and ask me who I actually am. I want to be in touch with the truest version of myself. The pain, the grief, and the trauma created a trifecta that was impenetrable by people asking me "are you okay?" I simply responded "yeah, I'm hanging in," which doesn't mean [...]

By |April 21st, 2018|Categories: Uncategorized|Comments Off on The Face Inside

Singing is My Catharsis

Catharsis in simple terms means release  I first learned the word when I was studying method acting at LaGuardia High School (The Fame School) in NYC. Acting is a form of catharsis because you are releasing emotions as the character and as you, the actor. Good old Stanislavski taught me something special about releasing my emotions on stage and in "real life." As an actor, I had to be in touch with how I was feeling on a regular basis. As a teenager, my emotions overwhelmed me to the point where it felt like they ruled over me. I wasn't able to temper them. I was depressed, anxious, and I was having panic attacks on a daily basis. Some of my feelings were based on trauma I'd experienced, but others were residual emotions that were unresolved from old childhood and pre-teen memories. I needed a way to cope with my overwhelming feelings They would build up in my mind and body to the point where I couldn't function. I was literally sick because of all the anxiety. I wanted to eat but I couldn't. When you are filled to the top with anxious energy, what's the solution? For me, it was [...]

By |April 19th, 2018|Categories: Uncategorized|Comments Off on Singing is My Catharsis

Acupuncture Changed My Life And Helped My Anxiety

Acupuncture changed my life. Before Acupuncture, my anxiety was extremely high. It was to the point where my life was unmanagable. I was having many panic attacks and I wasn't able to navigate them even while I was going to therapy and taking medication for anxiety. It was difficult for me to calm down my body and my mind because I didn’t know how to do it organically. I wasn't able to figure out what tools I needed to use in order to tell my mind to chill. I wanted to be cool with what was happening around me, even if it caused me to feel anxious, but it's not that easy. Anxiety doesn't care what you'd like to happen, it does whatever it feels like doing without consulting you because anxiety is selfish like that. The first time I tried acupuncture I was 24. I saw a holistic acupuncture and massage clinic on Henry Street in Brooklyn Heights and I walked in, curious as to what this was all about. My experience with it at that time was not that eventful. I felt more relaxed than usual, but it wasn't life-changing by any means. Years later, when I was [...]

By |April 18th, 2018|Categories: Uncategorized|Comments Off on Acupuncture Changed My Life And Helped My Anxiety

Emotional sundown

I don't want to look inside of myself right now. If I opened the doors to my heart it would be so painful that I would collapse. The liquid pool of emotions would pour onto the floor and stain the carpet bright red. I woke up this morning believing that things could change. I was hopeful that I could glue the fragmented parts of me back together but even with all the self-actualization that I have gone through talking about myself, I still don't have the adhesive to fix me. It's a bad feeling to be broken and not have the means to repair yourself. The day goes on and I believe things will improve. I am aware of the pain inside, I understand where it comes from: loss, grief, him, and him too. I will never know him, and I wanted to. I tried so hard to carry him but I couldn't. It's my fault, all of it, and he will never know who I am. We only spent those small moments together and then he was just gone. And the other "him," that's a different story. He's still around, but I don't know if I'll ever see him [...]

By |April 16th, 2018|Categories: Uncategorized|Comments Off on Emotional sundown

Sex, Love and Addiction

For me sex and love are interconnected. I suppose I would consider myself demisexual. This  means that in order to have sex with somebody I have to have an intellectual and deep connection with that person. I know many people who can disconnect from their brains and have sex with somebody that they don’t necessarily have an intellectual connection with but that’s not me. The person that I have sex with. I have to be attracted to the person’s brain. It’s difficult to find somebody that I connect with on that level and when I do find them I hold on tight. Because I love the intimacy associated with sex and someone I am in love with. Because I live with bipolar type 2, I experience hypersexuality. However I do not engage in risky sexual behavior in the sense that I’m not involved with multiple partners. I believe firmly in monogamous relationships and I don’t care to experiment with dating multiple people at once because frankly it overwhelms me. I find sex and love  interconnected, but there are people who do not as I mentioned before. There are individuals that have an addiction to sex and it causes them to feel [...]

By |April 13th, 2018|Categories: Uncategorized|Comments Off on Sex, Love and Addiction

I run from emotional pain

I don't like feeling pain, whether it's physical or emotional I have no tolerance for it. It hurts. When I am in physical pain, I just want it to end. I want medicine that will take it away. I don't want to feel the burning, the stabbing the cramping or the bleeding. I just want to feel better. That's a human reaction to not want to hurt physically. As people we are trained to understand that pain is bad. We dislike it and we avoid it at all costs. I can remember begging various doctors to give me medicine for some ailment in my body. Giving birth was horrendous. The pain overwhelmed my body. I didn't know when it would end and that frightened me. People kept saying that the reward at the end of giving birth was the baby. That's true, however it doesn't negate the excruciating pain you feel when you are bringing that baby into the world. Emotional pain is something I also don't like to experience. Heartbreak, rejection or feeling unloved are some of the worst feelings that I can think of. I want to be happy. I want to be snuggled, held, kissed and loved. [...]

By |April 11th, 2018|Categories: Uncategorized|Comments Off on I run from emotional pain

I mourn someone I never knew

How do you grieve someone you never knew? I never met him but I will always love him. How do you grieve somebody that you never knew? It’s the strangest thing; I saw him and I needed him. He wouldn’t stay. He passed away without my knowing. And it destroyed me. We were bonded in a way that you can’t possibly understand. It’s like I knew him all my life but he wasn’t meant to stay on this planet. I held him in my imagination while he passed through me into the next world. If you’re listening I want you to know that I will always love you and I wanted you. Please hear me: I wanted you. If you hear me now may angels bring you in and may they watch over you. I don’t know how to grieve somebody that I never knew but I will try because you deserve it. You didn’t ask for this and I didn’t know how to stop it and I’m sorry I’m not good enough to make this a reality for you. But I hope in the next life you will get to be here for more than just moments you didn’t [...]

By |April 10th, 2018|Categories: Uncategorized|Comments Off on I mourn someone I never knew

My OCD Meets My Son’s OCD

My son and I both have OCD and the other day our OCDs had a competition. They wanted to see who would be the stronger OCD. It ended up being a tie. We have similar personalities and are both quite introverted and anxious. It was 2 am, and I accidentally knocked over my almost 10 year old's Lego structure that he worked tirelessly to build. He has insomnia sometimes, which is why he happened to be awake at this insane hour. Don't worry, we're working on it and it wasn't on a school night thank goodness. There were some army figures on each side of the lego structure one side was the Germans and the other side was the U.S. troops. They were fighting against one another and he was determined to create an accurate scene. He has recently become fascinated with World War II and has been asking me many questions. I told him that his great-grandfather served in the army. I have to find the pictures to show him. So anyway, I knocked this structure over and he screamed and cried. He was so upset that his hard work was destroyed and he needed to fix it immediately. It [...]

By |April 8th, 2018|Categories: Uncategorized|Comments Off on My OCD Meets My Son’s OCD

Self Sabotage

Self-sabotaging it is an addictive behavior. It’s not like you don’t want to be happy. However, happiness can be scary if you've experienced it infrequently and it’s hard to accept that things are going well. If you're not used to your life going smoothly and you are more accustomed to chaos, things going according to plan can be jarring and terrifying. It's important to remember that life doesn't always have to be difficult. We go through challenging times, but it doesn't need to always be so rocky. There are periods of life that can be pleasant and even joyful. When you get a new job or get married or have a baby, these are happy occasions that we can cherish. It is tempting to sabotage a relationship, for example, if you are used to being in dysfunctional relationships and you've entered into a healthy one that brings you love and contentment. That doesn't mean it's a healthy choice for your life, just because it's a familiar one. When things going well and you're used to a life filled with pain and struggles, this is an aberration from the norm it can be frightening. If you are used to things going poorly [...]

By |March 14th, 2018|Categories: Uncategorized|Comments Off on Self Sabotage

You Don’t Need Them to Understand

I need you to approve my life choices and tell me that I'm making the right decision. Can you please tell me that this is correct and will make everything better? I don't know what I am doing and I need your reassurance so that I can make a decision. If you don't tell me what to do, I can't do anything. It's true! I'm waiting for your feedback. I want you to be the one to show me which road to take. There's 78 of them and they all look confusing. Relationships are confusing, whether they are labeled or not. It's okay "not to know," and to take things as they come, I know this, but I don't have anything in my brain that allows me to make choices. I'm not good at it and I don't know how to get that skillset. I've learned many skills but making choices has escaped me, like when you open the door and your dog runs outside without your consent. So can you make this decision for me, please? I know you're good at decisions and I'm sure this one will be easy for you. I'm telling you, I see a talent [...]

By |March 13th, 2018|Categories: Uncategorized|Comments Off on You Don’t Need Them to Understand

Judge or Accept

We are all judgmental in some way and if somebody says that they do not judge others, they are not being honest with themselves. When you meet a person for the first time,  you have an impression of them, whether it’s negative or positive. It's understandable that you might pass judgment on them because that is a reality of the human experience. If you were not judging people you wouldn’t be human. That’s not bad and there isn’t anything "wrong" with you; as human beings, we judge others and it can be harsh. That’s based on our past experiences and our insecurities. If you feel like you hate somebody it isn’t evil or wrong; it is because you’re having a visceral reaction to them. You are not evil or wrong, you are trying to assess their character and decide who they are as a person. Remember those first impressions aren't always an accurate impression of who someone actually is or how you'll get along with them. My son gave me a great piece of advice: "give everyone a chance." I try not to put too much credence into my first impressions of people. Sometimes those impressions are not accurate and [...]

By |March 12th, 2018|Categories: Uncategorized|Comments Off on Judge or Accept

Why We Can’t Keep Sheltering Them In This Digital Age

Why We Can’t Keep Sheltering Them In This Digital Age The hardest working parents take different approaches to raising their kids. They can be too strict, loving or somewhere in between. If I had the choice, I would never allow my child to get exposed to drugs or alcohol. But, in today’s digital age, we have no choice. Eventually, they can just go online and learn about it themselves. Now, we are faced with the new challenges of not sheltering our kids, but educating them before someone else does. Here are some ways to teach your kids about drugs or alcohol. Start Very Young At the ages of 3-8, children are very impressionable. You can make it clear how you feel about drugs or alcohol. They might not know what these concepts are, but they will be associated with “bad” or “negative” thoughts from when they grow up. Of course, I know one of my kids would love to know what is bad and run around screaming it. So, you really have to guage you child for the unique individual they are at the time. Monitor Their Activities As children grow up, you still have plenty of years to monitor [...]

By |February 22nd, 2018|Categories: Uncategorized|Comments Off on Why We Can’t Keep Sheltering Them In This Digital Age

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
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