Surviving a Crisis

I sat there in the mammogram room, awaiting the procedure that would pinpoint the precise location of the anomaly my surgeon was scheduled to remove three hours later. I’d been slipping in and out of depressions and anxiety over the past few weeks as the enormity of...

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Stigma, in All Its Damaging Glory

There are few topics that hit as hard within the mental health community as stigma. We have entire organizations, like, dedicated to ending stigma. There’s the #endthestigma hashtag on Instagram and Twitter. We hear people talk about stigma in...

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Healthy Relationships Are Possible

If there is a topic that comes up repeatedly in my support groups, it’s the role of relationships on the recovery journey. Some members have supportive relationships; some are co-dependent; others are downright toxic, including accusations of being...

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Community Helps Us Heal Faster

I grew up in a very strong church community. My parents were deeply involved in our parish, so everyone knew them and by extension, me. We spent a lot of time at church, and all my friends were from church (or our parish elementary school, which I attended). I would...

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Triggers: Understanding and Management

It was supposed to be a fun exercise. I was digging through pictures from high school, looking for some photos to match up with a funny story I wrote about my life. As I waded through the photos, I waded through memories until one brought me up short. It was a simple...

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Identifying and Managing Cycles and Triggers

One of the benefits of coming to acceptance with our diagnosis is that we get serious about getting better. Typically, the first thing we learn is to “control what we can control.” Often, this involves medication, therapy, nutritional changes and exercise. We learn to...

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The Grieving Process

If there is one thing I know, it’s that grief is a part of life. We can’t make our way through life without seeing or experiencing loss in some way. Loss is painful, and our natural inclination is to step aside it. Acknowledging loss on only a surface level, while...

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Grieving the “Little Deaths” in Our Lives

The year was 2011, and I was finally in a good job and on a solid career path. My boss was amazing, and my team was tight-knit. With less stress on my shoulders, my mood swings lessened and were further apart. Life was good. Then, the headlines hit the newspapers:...

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Meditation As Part of a Self-Care Plan

Meditation. It’s one of those words that brings up instant reactions for most people. For many, it brings with it a sense of spacey-sounding music and chanting. For others, there is an association with religion — particularly Taoist and “Eastern” philosophies. And for...

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The 411 on Coping Strategies

We hear a lot about coping strategies, and it’s not always clear what the term means. Eating better? Exercise? How are “coping strategies” different from “daily self-care?” Do we use them differently? All good questions. Let’s dive in, shall we?  Learning...

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