I caught the film Ruby Sparks on the airplane recently. A light comedy it was not. Instead, a movie about a young novelist named Calvin who brings his protagonist to life turns eerie. In my perspective it also brought to light the deep (often unconscious) issues we all grapple with.

What seems like a dream scenario, creating your own perfect mate (or life) actually doesn’t provide the type of satisfaction we’d think. As we learn through Calvin’s character, a truly flawless situation will highlight your flaws. For example, we learn through his relationship with this “perfect” partner that he needs to control and be constantly validated, and we learn for the first time that under the veil of shyness, Calvin is incredibly narcissistic.

While perfect situations like these don’t exist in real life, we can learn a lot from this movie. The monsters we’re most afraid of aren’t hiding in our closets. They’re the hidden aspects of ourselves we’re afraid to acknowledge and confront. Maybe your monster isn’t narcissism, but anxiety, depression or mania. Maybe you’re fearful of being judged or rejected. Maybe you hide behind a mask to keep what you’re scared of at a distance, but in doing so you’re also keeping away your life. If so, these posts will help you to not only understand your fears and anxiety better, it may also help you get through it.

{Flickr photo by Mari Z.}

Stress & Anxiety: In Plain English
(Therapy That Works) – How do you know if you’re just stressed or anxious? This post breaks down what anxiety is, how it affects your body and what it really feels like when you’re anxious.

Anxiety and Avoidance
(The Emotionally Sensitive Person) – If you find yourself repeatedly avoiding situations out of fear or anxiety, this will help. Learn why anxiety can rob you of the present moment and how mindfulness can bring you back to it.

5 Tips on Bouncing Back in Life From My 99-Year-Old Grandmother
(Bounce Back) – Living to an old age is a gift. Here you’ll discover five ways the elderly have learned to be more resilient despite loss and constant change in their lives.

Help for Anxiety in Teens
(Channel N) – Young, anxious and feel alone? This Tedx Talk by Anxiety in Teens founder Solome Tibebu, is informative, validating and inspiring.

Finding Value In Depression And Mania
(Bipolar Advantage) – Is there value in depression and/or mania? An interesting look at the way people interpret their experiences with both and what it has to do with bipolar disorder treatment.