A Vicious Cycle

I’m in a revolving door and right now, I’m having a hard time finding my way out. I’m just going around and around in way that is self-sabotaging. I see a slice of light, I grab for it much like a child on a carousel grabs for the golden ring, but it continues to elude me. I need to, I must find my way out.

I'm Using The Technique of Journaling

I hadn’t kept a journal in a long time. The last time was my string of hospitalizations from 2005 to 2007 when I had an extended collapse. I’d take a notebook when I'd go into the hospital and the process of putting pen to paper and recording my thoughts helped contribute to keeping whatever piece of sanity that was possible to hold onto in the midst of all that insanity.

This Past Week Was A Real Test Of My Emotional Strength

The shock of having a heart condition hit me hard. Not only that but the coronary artery spasms are my third chronic medical condition, on top of the chronic obstructive asthma and the migraines, and the second to be diagnosed in 2015.It’s as though I fought so hard to become emotionally healthy only to be struck down by chronic physical illness.

Coming To Terms With The Experience Of Psychosis

When I was in the hospital for the second time last year following my suicide attempt, in April of 2014, I experienced psychotic symptoms. They were delusions, beliefs about situations that I believed in some respect to be true. They were not. For me, they were incredibly frightening and distressing.

It's Time To Terminate Therapy

I’ve made an earth-shattering decision in my therapy with my psychiatrist and therapist, Dr. Adena (not her real name). I’ve decided to enter the termination phase of treatment. Now before we all jump out of our seats, let me mention that I also determined that this phase will last between twelve and eighteen months.

Tattoo Art

It’s a little known secret but I have a tattoo. It’s a small, discreet design of a Shira symbol which represents the fluidity of water and its rough translation is that “everything’s gonna be okay.” I got the tattoo on my right shoulder in 2008 which was at the end of a three year run of a serious breakdown.

The Art Of Breathing

Pranayama is the yoga practice of breathing. According to Yoga Magazine, “pranayama begins with the regulation of the breath. Breath, like electricity, is gross prana, while prana itself is subtle.”

My Self-Destructive Pursuit for Perfectionism

I learned the hard way this past weekend about the connection — for me in particular — among stress, asthma and the pursuit for perfectionism. And I won’t even throw in the effect all this has on migraines.

I Feel Different

I’ve always felt different. Since I was a little girl and somehow I knew that I was the only child who kept her room pristine with everything in order. And made her bed every morning. And later, when I was a teenager and had to hide the fact that my father lost his job and that he was a drunk

A Response to "Why Patients with BPD Don't Get Better"

This post is in response to a post authored by David M Allen, MD titled “Why Patients with Borderline Personality Disorder Don’t Get Better,” published on June 15, 2015. I have several problems with this post and I’ll start with the title. Firstly, the title is a vast over-generalization.

Every Road Leads To A Lie

One of the corporate trainers coaches his daughter’s softball team. I mentioned that I was quite the jock in my youth, playing varsity basketball and softball in college and then on three softball teams in Central Park while I worked in the advertising and marketing industries in Manhattan. I couldn’t help but mention that one of the teams was a men's fast-pitch team.

Regret and Shame By The Fire Pit

When I started my prior job at the clinic seven years ago, I went shopping with my cousin Jamie. It was the middle of the summer in June of 2007. As I pulled long-sleeved blouse after long-sleeved blouse off the rack, she asked me “What are you doing that for? It’s June. You’ll sweat to death.” “My scars,” I said quietly. “I’m afraid they’ll see my scars.”

A Story of Reflection

I started a training for my new job this past Monday and due to several combined factors, the main one being stress, I was hit with a brutal migraine on Tuesday. The migraine lasted until Saturday morning when I was home and able to get a hold of some different medications which gave me total relief. Thank goodness.

Two Astonishing Works About Depression

In my recent perusal of the Internet, I had the good fortune to stumble across two different people’s interpretations of depression. They both are courageous and powerful in their own right and I related to both of these moving pieces. I wanted to share these works of art with you.

I Still Miss My Mother

Over thirteen years have passed since my mother died and I still miss her terribly. When our family learned that she had pancreatic cancer and that she had only a matter of months to live we embarked on a flurry of photo-taking. One of those photos — her standing at her kitchen counter, poised beside a vase of dark pink tulips — is the one I chose to frame.

When Excitement and Anxiety Come Together

After almost seven years at my current position at the outpatient mental health clinic In New York city I am leaving. I resigned a couple of weeks ago to the surprise of many of my colleagues and I think my boss as well. It has been a roller-coaster rise, with an initial rise in responsibilities, then a drop as I became ill last year, and a slow incline back to recovery.

Perfectionism Ain't All It's Cracked Up To Be

Through taking my yoga classes (almost) every Saturday morning, I am learning that yoga is one activity at which I will never achieve perfection. This realization is good for me as much of my life has been spent in the pursuit of this fruitless goal. The anorexia, the ultimate body, being the best at my job; each time I attempted to achieve perfection the world crashed.

Asking "What If?"

I have often dared to ask myself the question “what if?” What if I had not become so ill? What if I had not become anorexic which lead to such devastation in my life? What would have become of me? But I have not allowed myself to ponder the answers to this question and I have not allowed myself to feel the emotions that are associated with the response.

What I Did On My Spring Staycation

At 3:30 PM last Friday afternoon, as I signed out of work for the afternoon (Friday is a short day for me), one of the administrative assistants in the front office yelled "Gerri, you’re free." I haven’t had a real vacation — time just for me, time to spend how I please, time to do whatever I want, time to simply fritter away as I choose — since the spring of 2013.

The Vacation Dilemma

My psychiatrist, Dr. Adena (not her real name) has left on vacation. She is on the other side of the Atlantic for two weeks, unreachable. There is another psychiatrist covering for her, a kind woman that I’ve seen previously, but I would only call her in case of a dire psychiatric emergency which I’m not anticipating.

Anorexia, Yoga and Asthma (Part II)

Last week I wrote a post titled “Anorexia, Yoga and Asthma” about some of the efforts I have made to strengthen my mind and body in my first full year of recovery from anorexia and some of the obstacles I have encountered. This post is a continuation from last week because there have been new developments that I would like to share with you as I continue to forge ahead.

Anorexia, Yoga and Asthma

Saturday, March 7th started out great. Actually as I was driving home from work the evening before I realized that it had been over a year since I had succumbed to the temptations of anorexia. Well I had one bad week about six months ago, but quickly got back on track. My eating has been a little sideways due to limitations imposed by problems with my new dentures.

A Long-Time Secret Revealed

At the end of a meeting I had with her several days later I proposed an idea. “Tell me if this is crazy,” I said to her. Perhaps that wasn’t the best way to start. “We have a rather ill population here at the clinic. I want my co-workers to see that it is possible to live a full and productive life despite having a mental illness.

Reflections on a Very Personal Anniversary

March 1, 2015 will be one year since I attempted suicide. I have been doing a great deal reflecting back on this past year and even before, the events and the thinking that led up to the overdose and what ensued. I’ve been thinking about this past year in therapy and what I’ve learned about myself.

Taking A Second Look

I’ve had several interesting insights related to my issues with health anxiety and my fear of intimate relationships. Connecting the two, actually. Which is amazing to me. Although it shouldn’t be, because I think I've had some inkling all along that these two concerns are related. They continue to be at the forefront of my therapy sessions.

Philosophy Fights The Stigma of Mental Illness Against Women

There’s a new advocate in the fight against the stigma of mental illness. The Philosophy Brand of products which consists of skin care, fragrance and bath and body item has joined us in our fight. I am excited that a major company is finally recognizing that this problem exists and is taking action.

Fighting Back Against Illness Anxiety Disorder

There is a new term for hypochondriasis. It’s called illness anxiety disorder. I am someone who has great anxiety about my health and go to doctors a lot, though I’m trying to work on lessening my visits and I believe I’m succeeding. I like this new term better.

When Resilience and Acceptance Work Together

I have been told by many people that I am resilient. I have recovered from many setbacks that were posed by my psychiatric illness. When I am doing well, I am able to acknowledge that I am resilient. When I am down, I’m unable to see this quality in myself and I have a difficult time believing that I possess this trait.

Celebrating The Year Ahead By Reminiscing

As all of us approach a New Year, the year of 2015, some of us may be thinking about the year that is about to come to a close and some of us may be thinking about the year that is ahead of us. I’m thinking about both. I’m thinking about the tough year I’ve left behind and I’m thinking that the year ahead has to be better. I’m thankful that I survived this year.

My Fear of Abandonment

After my mother passed away in 2002 I adopted a two year-old cat from a shelter. I wanted an older cat. I felt bad for them because they never got adopted. Everyone wanted kittens. I named her Zoe. After two years I thought she might like some company so I returned to the same shelter and adopted another two-year old cat. I named her Lucy.

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