living life palms up

finding the will to live amidst the trauma Photo by Victor Freitas from Pexels The first thing I learned in therapy was to validate myself--validate the past versions of me that were hurt, validate the parts of myself that are hurting now; another thing I learned while completing the 'Emotional Regulation' section of DBT theory, designed to help [...]

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This is what healing looks like

“But in the end, one needs more courage to live than to kill himself.” ― Albert Camus I always thought I'd end up killing myself one day; that's the way I'd go out--swallowing a bottle of pills, driving into a tree, or jumping out a window. So many ways to die; not enough time to execute them [...]

How to survive a panic attack in three acts

Prologue:  On the bulletin board next to my desk is a handwritten checklist from my therapist: is it truthful? Is it necessary? Is it kind? If no, let it go. .  .  . Act 1:  Hold an ice cube in your hand, squeeze it until all you can focus on is the pain shooting up [...]

I challenged her to write a post in which she doesn’t mention her past (stolen from my old blog)

I forgave myself today, kneeling at the altar. You can't move forward if you're angry at the past-- angry at yourself for things that are not your fault, for relapses you could've controlled if you had just. . . just . . . re  a   c  h  e   d   out, for relationships you purposefully sabotaged [...]

Letter to a suicide note

I found you tonight, tucked away amongst books I haven't read in years but love too much to throw away. I'm getting ready to move, packing books in suitcases and clothes in boxes because I can't stay here forever. I can't stay here forever: trapped in the past--but I can't move forward until I move [...]

Part 2- I’ll suffer, but at least I’ll have $40 in my pocket

"Honey, you ain't been to a funeral until you've been to one with 3 ex-wives," is not a sentence I'd ever thought I'd here in my life. But, here I was, in the trailer home of an 84-year-old woman who spoke "her damn mind." She was, of course, referring to her ex-husband number 2, who [...]

I’ll suffer, but at least I’ll have $40 in my pocket

Her name is Anne. I sit kiddy-corner from her in her trailer home's kitchen dining area. Beneath her purple glasses and her aquamarine knit sweater, her cloudy eyes shine. She has the classic, comforting old lady smell: mothballs and cats. There are books and cats everywhere--cat memorabilia and other mementos, that is. Her hands tell [...]

Apartment hunting in the age of depression

How does one even make a budget, I texted to my friend, a mixture of panic and frustration washing over me. Like, I know I need to move out, but I just don't know how. I don't know how to even begin apartment hunting, and besides. I have a crockpot and a mattress. Life has [...]

Time is a construct and emotions are fleeting: On New Year’s Resolutions

I'm not going to stop you from crying. Tears are good, healthy, a sign of healing, my therapist told me yesterday, as I sobbed across from him, unpacking the last sixteen years of my life. This is the missing piece, he continued, tears in his eyes, I've been trying to figure out why you have such a hard time [...]

How loving a dog with anxiety taught me to love myself

I have anxiety, but I don't go around licking things excessively. Unlike my dog, who constantly has her tongue out, as if her nervousness will follow the rules of entropy and move out into the room. I rescued a dog a few months ago. She has anxiety. She takes a while to warm up to [...]