Personal Articles

The Importance of Having a Friend to Talk You Down

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

take-friendship-next-level-honestyI’m stable. At least that’s how I usually am.

In the eight years I’ve lived with schizophrenia I’ve managed to find a pretty strong footing for my life. I take my meds and go to therapy and practice my social skills and hell, I even have a job, which is more than a lot of people with schizophrenia can handle.

That said, there are times where the stars align for madness and you lose yourself in being overwhelmed with feelings or thoughts that confuse and delude you.

This past week was one of those times for me.

How the Strategy of Scheduling Helped Me Make a Habit.

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

In my study of habits, I’ve identified many strategies that we can use to make or break our habits.

The Strategy of Scheduling, of setting …

On Hating Yourself Less

Saturday, August 9th, 2014

Child punishmentIn her informative yet entertaining book, “Unworthy: How to Stop Hating Yourself,” Anneli Rufus tells this story:

Accepting his third annual Teacher of the Year award, Jeremy gazed out at an auditorium packed with wildly applauding children, parents, and colleagues. Silently he mourned. I was supposed to get my doctorate. I should be famous by now, not teaching fourth grade. I was supposed to have made earthshaking discoveries. It was expected of me. And I failed.

Depression in Common: Losing a Friend to the Sadness You’ve Silently Battled

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

depression-different-everyoneDepression is personal. It is this aspect of depressive thoughts that make them seem impossible to share. I let mine hold me in silence and agony for years. It had me convinced that nobody cared, nobody could or would help. It played into an overall sense of hopelessness.

I struggled for many years, reading books, going to therapy and soul searching, before I finally felt depression was a thing of my past — not something I was always just staying one step ahead of.

And then an old friend committed suicide. I had known him since childhood, during my darkest days and yet I had no idea he was struggling with depression.

Consequences of Emotional Abuse

Friday, August 1st, 2014

Consequences of Emotional AbuseI come from a family where abuse has had a generational continuity. My grandfather abused my grandmother. My grandmother abused her son, daughter-in-law and other people. (She threw food at me once.) My father bullies his wife and daughter. My mother is emotionally violent to me. I go crazy and can break stuff around my mother.

Overall it is a very disturbing home environment. No one knows how to get out of the situation and we continue to harm each other. At times it feels like a spiraling battle to death. My grandpa passed away recently, ending his part.

Is There a Cure for Bitterness?

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

newvoices.orgThe classic poem “Desiderata” says that if you compare yourself to others you will either become vain or bitter.

I don’t worry about becoming vain, as my self-esteem is still beneath sea level. But bitterness? That one had a hold of me last weekend.

Finding Your Way through Adversity

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

Getting to the Good PartOn my last day of inpatient psychiatric treatment, I nervously asked the hospital’s program director if I could apply for a position there. I felt a thousand times better than the day I was brought into the system, which was in an ambulance after a suicide attempt. I felt like I could help others who had been through the same thing. I felt scared too, because if she said “No,” that meant I was being sent into the world to make my own path.

She said no. It wasn’t what I wanted to hear, but it was what I needed to hear. Apparently many people recovering from a mental illness feel that treatment is also their calling in life, but they’re simply not ready yet.

8 Ways to Live With a Chronic Illness

Sunday, July 20th, 2014

nanis.it“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass…It’s about learning to dance in the rain,” wrote Vivian Greene.

“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow,’” wrote Mary Anne Radmacher.

These are two of my favorite quotes about living with a chronic illness, about the quiet conviction required from someone with a lasting condition to live gracefully, without getting bitter.

Delusions of the Codependent

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

Delusions of the CodependentOne of the most painful moments for a codependent is when he or she realizes that a relationship is not going to work out as imagined. Facing the end of a relationship is stressful for most people, and it is normal and natural to do whatever we can to keep a relationship going. But a codependent (and particularly one who is also a love addict) will typically go above and beyond what most people will do to help a relationship succeed, giving far more effort, time, energy, attention, and other resources than their partner does.

They often end up feeling angry, resentful, exhausted, lonely, and bitter. Sometimes they become martyrs, complaining about how much they’ve done and how little they are loved, appreciated, or getting in return. And every now and then they will do really desperate things to try to control the outcome.

Not the Man I Used to Know

Sunday, July 13th, 2014

Not the Man I Used to KnowEarly in my sobriety, I became friendly with a university professor who regularly attended my home group meeting. This person taught political science, and I enjoyed our conversations about current events, especially discussions around the Middle East, as Israeli and Palestinian tensions were peaking during this period. He was a supportive friend, and encouraged me to mentor another newcomer who later became one of my very best friends.

A short time into our friendship, the professor showed up late to our meeting and was disruptive throughout the hour. He stood up several times in the middle of other people sharing, washed his face in the small kitchenette sink, and had several coughing fits. It was odd, but I didn’t know enough to confront him or suggest he leave the meeting.

Take Charge of Your Health, One Appointment at a Time

Sunday, July 13th, 2014

beverlyhillsmagazine.com“Really, it’s not you. It’s me,” I said to my psychiatrist this morning at an appointment.

I felt as though I were telling a boyfriend that I needed space, that I had been having lunch with another guy and now I was confused about where to go or how to proceed or what I wanted.

10 Things I Do Every Day to Beat Depression

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

52kitchenadventures.comFrom the moment my eyes open in the morning until the second that I pull my sleep mask over my face as I go to sleep, I am engaged in battle: I must protect myself with armor against ongoing negative intrusive thoughts that flood into my brain, while sending my prefrontal cortex — the home of logical thought — the green light to make decisions and to take charge of my brain’s limbic system (the emotional hub). That is, before the amygdala (fear center) spazzes out.

Recent Comments
  • Fed Up: I am in a very similar situation. Except She admitted they kissed on a work night out, and I even showed her...
  • 50 and happy: I get out of an emotionally abusive relationship when I was 40. Thankfully, someone opened my eyes to...
  • Sadat Malik: I enjoyed this article. It had some helpful insight into the causes of love addiction, some of the tell...
  • Katie McCormick: This is a true reflection of my mother, I have struggled with scuicidal thoughts since the age of 5...
  • deborah: Will there be a replay of this webinar somewhere? It was very helpful.
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