I have struggled with depression and suicidal ideation for years. My darkest period was as recent as 2013. In fact, there was a day last September when I let my guard down for just a few minutes. It was enough time for me to walk into my kitchen, pick up a large knife, and touch the blade to see how hard I would need to press down to cut through my skin.
Sometimes that’s all it takes. If I hadn’t scared myself and snapped out of that headspace as quickly as I did, I might not be writing this right now. That’s the truth.
I’m not telling you this as a plea for sympathy. I’m telling you this because Robin Williams is dead, and like everyone else on the Internet, I am deeply sad about that. Yes, part of my sadness is because I grew up watching him in “Mrs. Doubtfire,” “Aladdin,” “The Birdcage,” and “Dead Poets Society,” and it’s awful to think of someone as talented as he is gone so soon. But another part of my sadness is because suicide is always heartbreaking. I know people who have committed suicide. I know people who have attempted and considered suicide. I am someone who has considered suicide. It is a serious problem that far too many of us know all too well. Keep reading »
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 »
My main goal for self-improvement this year is simply to be kinder to myself. I’ve realized that my stringent standards, constant self-criticism, and inability to say “no” have done nothing but suck the life out of me. Lately, I’ve been too exhausted to do anything at all. And I know that’s not good. I don’t want to stop being driven. I don’t want to stop growing as a person. But I need to learn how to ease up on myself so I have space to grow and achieve. This year, I’m endeavoring to cultivate more balance in my approach to my life. After the jump, some ways I plan on being kinder to myself. Keep reading »
Recently, I moved. Before I left my old place, I got rid of 90 percent of my stuff. So, in some ways, my moving experience wasn’t typical. But, I found, I did make a few common mistakes along the way. If I had it to do over again, there are a few pieces of moving advice I wish I’d had. Read on to find out what to keep in mind when you’re relocating and looking to maintain your sanity. Keep reading »