At the beginning of our relationship, my now-wife “Charlotte” came over to my place for the first time and my room was immaculate. The pens and pencils on my desk were organized in straight lines. You could have bounced a quarter off my bed. Even the photos and posters on the wall were a study in flawless geometric alignment.
Charlotte just thought I was a “neat freak” at first, which, honestly, isn’t such a bad characteristic when you start seeing someone. But as time passed, she realized that my neat and clean ways went much deeper than just about being organized. After we moved in together, Charlotte started noticing some odd behaviors. For example, if something isn’t arranged just the way I like it on the desk, my breathing becomes heavy and I have a mini panic attack until the disorganized piles became organized piles. The first time she witnessed this, she thought I was overreacting and told me to “calm down — it’s just a little bit messy.” Yet my mind couldn’t think of anything else but the books that weren’t perfectly aligned, the pile of paper that wasn’t neatly stacked, the odd objects — a pen, a lighter, and some sunglasses — that were strewn about without any care about their placement in relationship to all of the other objects. I couldn’t continue on with my day without organizing that desk. So I sat down and organized it as Charlotte looked on with consternation.
She suddenly knew that she was in a relationship with someone who has obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Keep reading »
Even if you’re generally a very “together” person, that doesn’t mean you’re not entitled to the occasional freak out, because LIFE. Maybe your hot water broke again right before work and you haven’t washed your hair for a few too many days. Maybe a friend had the bad sense to point out that really cute picture of your ex and his new lady on Instagram. Of course, it’s important to figure your major triggers so you can avoid any unnecessary emotional meltdowns, but sometimes things are out of your control. That’s why it’s just as important to figure out some ways to calm yourself down when life doesn’t go your way, because lord knows, there will be times when you need to curl into a ball with your hot water bottle and cry until you feel silly. Here are our approved self-soothing techniques that have helped us through panic attacks, meltdowns, and freak outs of all kinds.
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This time of year is tough. These cold months between the holidays and the first day of spring are like one giant, perpetual Monday staring you in the face. I’m generally a pretty happy-go-lucky person, but when the chilly months roll around, my personality changes. I get down in the dumps over just about everything.
This time last year, I was living on the Florida coast, where I experienced my first sunny winter in over a decade. I’d always known I tended to fall into a funk each winter, but experiencing a January without snow made me realize just how tough a time I had each year. That Florida winter, I had plenty of energy and optimism — just like I do in the warmer months. When I’m living up north, a typical January for me usually means sleeping late, feeling hopeless and getting close to nothing accomplished. When I saw how good life can be year-round when winter blues aren’t part of the picture, I knew it was time to change how I approach the cold, slushy season. Keep reading »
Comics have high levels of psychotic personality traits, according to a new study which should come as a surprise to exactly no one who spends time around comedians. In other breaking news, comics also have trouble paying their bills on time. Keep reading »
It’s no secret that becoming a new parent can be one of the most trying times in a person’s life. Seven years later, I can still vividly remember those first few hours and days together, despite the foggy haze of sleeplessness I was in. A plethora of hormones coursed through my body, screwing with my emotions. I’d be happy but I’d cry, I’d be sleepy but couldn’t quell the anxiety that gripped me. I had read countless books and taken a few classes in order to prepare me for this moment. I still felt completely out of my depths.
Welcome to motherhood.
Thankfully, I had an incredible support system: an equally tired husband who had managed to cobble together a month of paternity leave (through FMLA, using up paid vacation, and taking unpaid time off), parents and in-laws who lived no more than two hours away, a doting doula who helped me not only through labor and delivery but with breastfeeding as well, eager friends, and even a visiting nurse provided by the hospital via our insurance. I was fortunate and privileged. Besides many sleepless nights and some stained shirts, I escaped my son’s infancy relatively unscathed. Yet, the same can’t be said for everyone. Keep reading »
On Friday morning I had just sat down at my desk at work when I got the message: my friend Ned committed suicide the day before.
What? No, not Ned. No. No. What? Why? Why now?
I don’t have anything original to say about grief, other than that incredulity, anger and sadness are on rapid spin cycle.
Yes. Yes, Ned. Keep reading »
The negative experiences in life can help mold and nourish it. There is no light without darkness and no laughter without pain. Let’s pick apart those regrets that mold us into who we are on Cracked.com…
Being in a relationship with someone who has ADD presents some unique challenges. Conversations tend to jump rapidly from one topic to another. Shiny objects might distract them during important moments. And that pile of clothes on the floor? Yeah, that’s never, ever going to get put away. Of course, there are also many benefits to being with someone with ADD: a sense of spontaneity, endless intellectual curiosity, excitement, and creativity. One thing’s for sure: an ADD relationship is never boring. Here are some tips for loving someone with ADD, from someone who has it: Keep reading »
“There’s more to life than books, you know, but not much more.” Ah, the immortal words of my beloved Morrissey – they served as a kind of mantra for me as I stumbled and bumbled through adolescence and early adulthood. Books have been a vital part of my everyday existence for far longer than Moz, though (WHAT?! I KNOW!), serving as my nearest, dearest cultural companion for as long as I can remember.
Books especially saved my ass when I was young (as a super-shy, introspective only child, I got accustomed to spending a lot of time alone). Books swooped me away from my loneliness. They became one of my first Easy Escape Routes of Choice — later I’d add alcohol and men to the mix. (Fortunately, books are socially sanctioned escape routes that I never had to feel lame or ashamed about engaging in night after night — no hangovers! No awkward “Will he or won’t he call?” bullshit!)
Do you have books you turn to again and again, ones you rely on in times of fear, or anxiety, or depression? I do. So I thought I’d lay ‘em out for you here — some of the books I turn to as “medicine” for various precarious emotional states. Enjoy, and add your own picks in the comments. Keep reading »