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Creativity

Finding Your Creativity

Throughout my life, my most at peace moments were when I spent time being creative. Creativity, in my opinion is a gift from a spiritual realm, in my belief system, it is from God.

Have you ever had a new idea on a book you could write, business you could create or even a painting you could paint? This has happened to me often, and to be honest, these visions and ideas have been coming to me as early as I can remember. A pastor preached one Sunday on the importance of tuning into our gifts that we are born with or God might just give them to someone else who will use them. 
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Bipolar

Bipolar Woman Targeted, Flagged, Dragged and Deplaned

An recent article the New York Times reported that the "Big Three," i.e., Delta, American, and United Airlines have more consumer complaints on record this year than at any time in aviation history.

Judges on the United States Court of Appeals have directed the FAA to address safety issues related to ‘increasingly cramped’ conditions aboard the airlines.

Passengers are being pulled off of planes (or asked to give up their preselected seats) right and left.
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Anxiety and Panic

Personal Foul

College football: bucolic settings, pulsating stadiums, swooning cheerleaders. And, yes, hyperventilating coaches. From an enraged Woody Hayes to a shrieking Jim Harbaugh, apoplectic coaches are more common than Natural Light on university campuses. And, at times, even more biting.

As I Netflixed my way through a Saturday night, I stumbled onto the latest “Last Chance U” documentary. “Last Chance U” takes us into the college football netherworld, specifically Scooba, Mississippi. Here we are introduced to the inimitable Buddy Stephens, the red-faced East Mississippi Community College head-coach/full-time tyrant.
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Bipolar

Mania: The Side Effect of Genius

The first psychiatrist I had ever met listened to me prattle on for about 15 minutes before she interrupted me, scowling:

"You have bipolar disorder, type 1."

And there, that was it. I was 21 years old. I didn't even question her as blurry memories of months of chaos filled my mind. I already knew my own diagnosis. But I hadn't bothered to absorb it, or think about it, until she stated it, in terms that sliced the air like one of my pocket knives.
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Personal

On Seeking Counseling Before You Need To

Many clients I see here in private practice in the Midwestern area of Illinois are often very stressed. They come in appearing very calm and as soon as I get to the point on my questionnaire about what brings them their they tell me, often with tears and a sense of shame about how long they have been struggling due to their busy lives, lack of self-care and fears of the judgement might have about them. We talk about the stressors they have been having throughout their lives and although they often say none at first, the more we talk the more profoundly amazed I am that they are doing so well holding all their emotions in for so long.

I often find myself asking, “why didn’t you come to talk about all your stress earlier?” ... and “why now?” They often give me a list of reasons for not coming in sooner are: that they believed that God could get rid of their anxiety if they prayed more and or their fears if they truly admitted they were stressed/anxious it might get a lot worse.
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Addiction

Finding the Gems Among the Clutter

I am a professional de-clutterer, one who strives to give my clients the ability to find space in their minds, bringing them the peace we all seek and need to be our most productive selves.

Amongst everyone’s clutter are gems. Gems that my clients have been looking for, ones they have great stories about. In my work I've experienced both the crazy cluster of collected crap and that of treasured keepsakes, a brilliant trail of their history. I've learned more about people in my work with them than I would have through conventional, social means.
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Anorexia

Full or Fulfilled? Another Way of Looking at Eating Disorders

A young woman shared a brilliant insight into what she perceives as a long term eating disorder. She said, “I think I eat until I am so full that I want to burst, because I don’t feel fulfilled in my life.” She is talented, caring, devoted to family and friends, intelligent, creative and loving… to everyone but the woman in the mirror. As she said this, I was astounded since it so perfectly illustrates what for many is the doorway to food intake patterns that are unhealthy.

Over the years, she has binged and purged, as well as restricted food in an attempt to "have a perfect body." There was a time when she felt she had come close, but just like her emotional state, it would morph to fit the expectations of those around her.
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General

How to Overcome Rejection Like a Champ

None of us are immune to rejection.

It doesn’t matter where you are in life, or whether it’s ending a marriage or breaking up with a partner. Even the strongest of us can’t help but feel like we did something wrong when the person we loved and cared about and spent our lives with as a partner suddenly doesn’t want to be with us anymore.

“Why don’t they love me anymore?”
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Anxiety and Panic

Surviving Mental Health Issues: Am I Unique or a Freak?

Years ago, when I experienced debilitating bouts of anxiety, I would easily lose my perspective and feel like an outcast -- a freak. I momentarily transformed into a negative abstract of myself that possessed undignified emotional and behavioral idiosyncrasies. But, over time when I regained perspective, I appreciated my odd peculiarities as not only “unique” but as vital assets that helped me achieve some success in my life.

Perspective: Use it or lose it.

Got it. Seems easy. Not.
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College

The Sweetest Sound

“I am going to to do something I am passionate about,” I vowed.

Fresh off college graduation, I radiated a healthy idealism. From politics to policy to mental health, I was ready to saber rattle the status quo into submission.  

Six months later, I sat in a sterile office in a nondescript DC office analyzing legal psychobabble. From the crackling paint to the linoleum tiles, the office could have doubled as a psych ward. And as I listened my desultory colleagues groan in agony, maybe it was.
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Antidepressant

My Health Above All Else!

Life is all about balance, and as a person with bipolar disorder it is not something I am good at.

I struggle finding the balance in my life whether it be with my personal relationships or my work life. I struggle more than the normal person would but that’s because guess what? I am not normal.

Let me say that again in case I didn’t make it clear enough. I am not normal! And guess what? I am okay with that. In fact, it is something I have learned to love about myself. My individuality has come to be something I cherish.
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