Aging

One Year Later. Mom’s Still Dead.

Grief. It's a funny thing. I don't understand it and I don't want to, I just wish it would go away. One year and a half later and I still find myself crying mid-day because I can't call my Mom to remind me that everything is going to be okay. Sure, the impact of losing her has changed -- the first year I spent many nights dreaming about her, re-living the events leading up to her death, and wishing that I would awaken and somehow she would be there, here, with me. I cried and prayed that I would awaken and find out that this was all unreal, that she somehow miraculously came back to life! That she is still here, still alive, and still with me. Day after day, I waited, hoped, listened, for her return. Wishful thinking...and emotional exhaustion is all that I have been left with.
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Addiction

I Miss Booze

I was never a big drinker; certainly, drinking was never a problem for me.

I started drinking beer with my older brothers and hating it. It was not until I’d consumed it for a couple of years that I began to love it. We’d drink beer down by the river, standing around a huge bonfire, our fronts toasty and our backs cool in the fall air.
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Habits

3 Ways to Cultivate Happiness

I recently attended the Mindful Self-Compassion workshop with Kristin Neff and Chris Germer. There were a number of practices I took away from the workshop that resonated and ultimately could provide a foundation for living a happier and more peaceful life.

While self-compassion and mindfulness were at the heart of each practice the idea of there being 3 ways to cultivate happiness really stuck in my head. Three ways or practices seems rather simple, made it easier for me to remember and more likely for me to actually practice. Because, let’s face it, if it hard or not really enjoyable, it is less likely that one will do it. Keeping that sentiment in mind, below are 3 ways to cultivate happiness:
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Anorexia

Pickles, Mustard & Diet Coke: Self-Talk in Eating Disorder Recovery

Oh…and shirataki noodles. Anyway…

I am a recovering anorexic. Well... most of the time. Sometimes I'm just "anorexic." (Relapse is part of recovery, right??)

Regardless of how “evolved” I may be now, nearly every comment made about my physical appearance, or my intake, or my weight... cuts through me like a knife. People think that they are being kind, but they don't hear their words through the same ED filter that I do. 
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Autism

My Son is Autistic, Not Improper

It was Christmas day, 2014. My husband and I were planning to visit my best friend, Jan, in the morning and then head to my great uncle’s in the afternoon. We had our son, Sammy, with us.

We got to Jan’s house about 10:00 A.M. There, we opened presents and made cookies. Jan gave Sammy a big, red truck that lit up, complete with a horn that blew.
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General

How to Mindfully Fire Toxic Friends & Loved Ones: A Shrink’s Guide to Setting Boundaries

"Don't cling to a mistake just because you spent a lot of time making it" - unknown 

As a Manhattan-based psychotherapist working with a high-functioning adult population, I am always surprised to encounter a repetitive theme in my office. People, no matter how smart, successful, and savvy, find it impossible to break up with their toxic jobs, relationships, and friends. Clients repeatedly walk into my practice frustrated with their life-draining, dysfunctional relationships or jobs.
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Anxiety and Panic

Grit N’ Grind

“He’s here again,” you sigh.

Playing pickup basketball, there is always that tough as nails defender. He is relentless, contesting every passing lane. Playing to the whistle’s echo, his grit -- more than his physical talent -- frustrates you into submission.

Grit, though, is more than nabbing every carom or fighting through those bulldozing picks; it is persevering through life’s stumbles and, yes, self-inflicted wounds. According to a U.S. Department of Education report, grit is just as important as intellectual ability for success.
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Antidepressant

A New Development: Depression Mixed with Anxiety

Since I've been diagnosed with bipolar illness (1991), I've lived in lots of "states" -- I've been high; I've been low; I've existed in a horrible mixed state of high (mania) and low (depression), in which the key emotions were anger and irritability.

But recently, I experienced a new state--depression mixed with anxiety, and let me tell you, this might have been the most debilitating state of all.
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Ethics & Morality

A Fundamental Human Need

As odd as it sounds, survival in life parallels survival in wartime. World War II, to this day, maintains its place as the most popular war in American history -- as well it should.

An argument can be made that the Vietnam War should not have been fought. An argument can be made that the Iraq War should not have been fought.  
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