When the Word “Holidays” Stresses You Out

You know what my idea of a holiday is? A normal day. Laundry, hanging with my kids, and, by 9:30 pm, watching a murder mystery with my husband while I eat raisin bran. Even better: doing all that in slippers. Normal days are easy. On a normal day, I have a routine. I know what’s […]

What’s Your Trigger?

I know the panic which rises, gripping and pulsating, when a certain number flickers on the phone. I am a well-seasoned avoider as my heart races and I wait for voicemail, confident I am in trouble. I stall. Do laundry. Later, I listen. The same anxiety wakes me on days I meet with her. Well […]

Cleaning Up the Mess

“Now, what?” I asked myself a few months ago. After years, consisting of very long days, of  family struggles with mental and medical conditions, the season began to change. At first, I dared not believe it. So many times, there had been brief glimpses of light as we forged through the darkness. But those moments […]

Tasting Beauty in the Suburbs

It had been a string of days with too much noise—me, children, politics, social media—so I took to the neighborhood walking paths to work things out in my body, while my husband constructed things out of wood (his own way of working things out). I could feel myself hit walls, get to breaking points, pass the […]

The Power of Enduring

It’s Thanksgiving. I’ve been cycling through this mixed state of hypomania and depression all Fall. Relief came at the beginning of the month, like a release on a pressure valve, giving my mind and lungs the room I needed to breathe and just . . . be again. The cycling has slowed but has not […]

Dismantling Dark Emotions

I am one of those people that journal religiously. I have since I can remember. And I keep them (which is miraculous considering how much crap I throw away). I used to think that buying a new journal was like New Year’s Eve: A new chance at life. But now I’m learning that it doesn’t […]

The Crushing Weight of White Supremacy

This isn’t the post I had originally started writing for this month’s “Disquietude, Distress, and Dread” theme. Originally, I was going to share with you how I’m learning that Fall and this last quarter of the year are when I’m most vulnerable to the symptoms of my illness. I had written words detailing how my […]

Wearing the Word Brave

It’s dark in here, I told him, but all the lights in the room are on. It’s the first thing I can think of to explain my knees bouncing and my teeth chattering, even though I’m not cold. I am out of control. I am helpless, at the mercy of my brain. I am utterly […]

I Know Why They Chose to Sink

I came across a journal the other day with one of the only poems I’ve written in more than a decade. My college years were spent between literary criticism, philosophy papers, and procrastinating by writing poetry. But after life got increasingly full and more complicated, I let verse fall to the wayside. That fullness quite […]