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 […]

Wakefulness and Werewolves

My husband made me cry on our honeymoon. We rented a house that was set back from the road and surrounded by trees. The second night we kept hearing noises on the roof. Since we are people who consider the next block over from the ghetto the country, we were a little spooked. We were […]

Painting is My Sanity

Up until yesterday afternoon, I hadn’t painted anything since June. Three months; no painting. Perhaps that doesn’t sound like a lot of time, but when paint is your Savior, blood, and breath, being without it is like slowly losing oxygen.  When you go without what sustains you for an extended period of time you shrink […]

Finding Light in Dark Places

About two weeks ago it happened, again: I found myself crumpled on the floor sobbing with everything in me. A bottle of Z-Quil sat on my desk, standing tall and mocking me in every way. I knew in my heart of hearts that it wouldn’t do any good, knew that it wasn’t what I really […]

Unwanted Reality

  I had two abortions. They weren’t “crisis pregnancies.” They weren’t “unplanned pregnancies.” They were simply unwanted. I was a teenaged girl living with her boyfriend, playing house. Our “unplanned pregnancies” were nothing more than “not planning ahead and being responsible pregnancies.” I didn’t use birth control. So abortion became my birth control. 1987 was […]

The Night I Almost Stopped Being a Christian

The night I almost stopped being a Christian anymore, I sat alone, at midnight, in the living room of the house I shared with three other women. I was twenty-two, almost six months out of college, depressed, and despairing. I’d discovered I was depressed in my therapist’s office the summer before. The revelation was like […]

I’m Mentally Ill, but It’s Not My Fault

I’m meeting Alyssa for the first time. She is a First Access counselor for Behavioral Health and she is facilitating my intake. She calls me in and asks me some questions. The questions are easy and difficult at the same time. I know all the answers, it’s the saying them out loud that is hard. […]

Substance and Empty Space

For a couple years after my father died, his belongings continued to inhabit our home. A neat row of ironed dress shirts hung in his closet; a soldering iron rested on the workbench in the garage; his favorite books held their territory on the shelves. As the months passed, and I finished my freshman year […]

An Atmospheric Low of the Soul

cy·clone ˈsīˌklōn/ noun METEOROLOGY a system of winds rotating inward to an area of low atmospheric pressure, with a counterclockwise (northern hemisphere) or clockwise (southern hemisphere) circulation; a depression. Four months into the journey of motherhood, and my world is spinning. Sleepless nights, disordered days and the constant companionship of self-doubt swirl around me fiercely. […]