Anorexia

Braving the Binge

It is 2 AM. The apartment is still. Empty jars of peanut butter, quarts of ice cream, and entire boxes of granola bars. Gone. Hundreds to thousands of calories consumed in just minutes. A food spread of shame. Of procrastination. Of emptiness. Of I don’t know what. Fast forward to the next day. On the outside, you see a petite girl who's joyous, who's positive, who's present. On the inside: severe stomach pains, body aches, chest discomfort. And those are just the physical effects. I am drained. I am disgusted. I am trapped. Cycles of isolation feeding isolation. Literally.
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Family

Life 2.0: Coping with Divorce

If there was one thing in my life I knew for certain, it was that my wife and I were going to be together forever. That was until Christmas Eve 2014 when suddenly my life was turned upside down and the previously inconceivable idea that we wouldn't be together, became a reality. This solid structure we spent years building together suddenly came crashing down.
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Anxiety and Panic

Dark Days: An Alaska Vacation

And you thought your kids were the only ones scared of the dark.

Think again.

Venturing to the Last Frontier last week, I braced for Palinesque politics, rampaging moose, and  brutal weather shrouded in Alaska darkness. While I was confident the scenery would dazzle, would the omnipresent snow and chill prove too much? Bundling up in my warmest fleeces, I could prepare for the foreboding weather. But mentally, well, we would see.
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Anger

Borderline To-Do List

To my psychiatrist…who questioned my motives…and was right.

I have had so many psychiatric hospitalizations. So. Many. It’s a hazard of being Borderline, and we both know it. What we DON’T know…is how to make it stop.

Several weeks ago, you and I had a talk about how I act in the hospital. We talked about the behaviors that I consistently display on the unit, and why oh WHY it is that I keep doing these “crazy” things.
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Anxiety and Panic

‘Tis the Season

The joys of the holiday season: the picture-perfect weather, the dazzling holiday displays, and the ugly Christmas sweater parties. Even SantaCon is worth a couple chuckles.

But amidst the holiday cheer, there is a percolating stew of resentment and anger. Past slights, buried deep in our mental recesses, foment in our minds. Family volatility: the gift that keeps on giving.
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Family

The Gift of Contentment During this Holiday Season

“Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.” – Lao Tzu
In a recent session, my client, Beth, explained, “The holidays are here again. I know I’m supposed to be excited, but it’s really just a reminder of how far away my family and friends are.” Beth had recently moved far away from her family for a job and really didn’t have anyone special to be with over the holidays. She was planning on spending them alone with a bottle of wine and a box of chocolate.
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Happiness

The Termination Olympics

I once read that therapy, like a poem, is never finished, but abandoned. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. When I decided to leave therapy after six years, I felt that my life’s narrative had been thoroughly excavated, and that significant internal shifts had solidified. Feeling psychically sated, I assumed that the wind-down would be a quiet and somewhat boring review of all the work that had brought me to this point. 

Turned out, there was nothing quiet or boring about it.  
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Anxiety and Panic

Productive Fidgets: 8 Ways to Deal with Anxiety and Depression

As a person with active and severe mental illness, for six months I worked with a service animal. When I weaned off of his care, I transitioned to things that would keep my hands busy, things that would keep me from absentmindedly scratching myself or picking at my skin. I tried things like Play0Doh, modeling wax, and rubbing stones, but none could engage my brain enough to keep me on track. I eventually found the missing link: they were not productive.

Once I had isolated this critical thread, I was able to pack myself a small bag of “productive fidgets” that I could carry around in a manner that is *relatively* socially innocuous while mitigating the symptoms of my anxiety and depression.
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