With election season upon us, the call is out for campaign volunteers, and many of us are hitting the pavement to help the candidates and causes we believe in. Besides phone-banking, the most common form of civic engagement is canvassing, which basically consists of hanging out on the street with a clipboard or going door to door talking to voters. I’ve canvassed to drum up support for politicians, gather signatures for Planned Parenthood, and spread the word about marriage equality. It’s not my favorite thing to do, but it’s an important job, and at the end of the day I feel accomplished–plus I always head home with some great stories to tell. Whether you’re an experienced canvasser or are thinking about getting in on the action, here’s a little summary of the people you’ll meet in a typical afternoon on the job… Keep reading »
I don’t obsessively wash my hands; in fact, I spend most of my time barefoot, germs faze me that little. I don’t feel an inexplicable need to count things. I don’t have any good luck charms, either physical (objects) or mental (numbers, letters, etc.). But I do have moderate OCD that has, over the course of my life, manifested itself in various ways at varying degrees of intensity.
OCD runs in my family; both my late grandmother and my uncle were/are incredibly repetitive people. My mom also has certain OCD behaviors; leaving her neat and orderly nest to go to college caused my OCD to emerge so I could instill a sense of order that I needed to feel safe. Looking back, my most extreme periods of obsessive compulsive behavior coincided with times when I was most unhappy, stressed, or conflicted about something. Attending to my various OCD needs gave me a place to focus all my anxiety and helped calm my mind. For a few years, I cleaned my apartment constantly, mopping the kitchen floor three times a day and fretting over whether my bedspread was laid perfectly symmetrical across my bed. I could spot a dust bunny from 30 feet away. It was maddening, but you could eat breakfast off my bathroom floor.
Nowadays, for a variety of reasons — medication that manages my associated issues with anxiety and ADD, general satisfaction with my life, ongoing therapy, a housekeeper who comes once a month, and new learned coping mechanisms — my OCD is much better. Sometimes I let dishes sit in the sink overnight. My remote control does not have to sit perfectly straight on my coffee table. I would vacuum less if Lucca didn’t shed so much. But my OCD does come out in some kind of random, less obvious ways. Here are some of them… Keep reading »
This piece is part of The Frisky’s How To Deal Week, in which we’re tackling mental health issues.
As an oldest child/perfectionist/control freak/Taurus, asking for help is one of my least favorite things. Whether I’m doing a crossword puzzle or weathering an emotional storm, I’ll handle it on my own, thankyouverymuch. Over the past year, though, I’ve been dealing with some pretty intense life changes and found myself in the position where I literally couldn’t get through it alone. I was drowning, and I had no choice but to reach out and grab the outstretched hands of my amazing friends, who pulled me to shore and gently guided me toward the office of a therapist, where I swallowed my pride and said, “You know what? I’m not doing so well.” In the process, I learned how important it is to be able to ask for help, especially when you’re feeling lost, overwhelmed, or alone. Here’s why… Keep reading »
Ahh, dorm living. For many a college student, sharing a 15 x 15 space with one window is an unavoidable reality of the higher learning experience. But your room does not have to be a dull, lifeless crash pad! It can be a warm and inviting space where everyone wants to hang out. And for the first time ever, you don’t have mom and dad’s silly rules to abide by — go buck wild! Make your dorm room your own little spot of heaven on earth, dangit. Here are 30 dorm room decorating tips we’ve culled just for you students who are headed back to school this month. Keep reading »
When the news broke last night that Avril Lavigne was engaged to be married to Chad Kroeger, lead singer of Nickelback, aka The Band That Everyone Hates, the world let out a collective, “Wait, what?” and the internet exploded with unanswered questions: Was this Canada’s version of a practical joke? What happened to Brody Jenner? Would their wedding colors be black and pale? But the question that ultimately drowned out all the others, the real heart of the debate, was just one word long, accompanied by an incredulous head tilt: “Him?” Chad Kroeger, it seems, was Avril’s Ann Veal.
As a lover of Nickelback, I feel it is my duty to clear some things up, because not only is Avril one lucky lady to be committing her life to Chad Kroeger, I am totally jealous that Chad didn’t ask me to marry him instead. Here’s why… Keep reading »
When a therapist hits you with a zinger, it’s the kind of thing that stays with your forever. Best case scenario: it’s sage wisdom or advice that changes your life. Worst case scenario: it’s so wildly offensive or off-the mark that you know you have to dump your shrink. After the jump, I canvased Frisky staffers and friends for their therapists’ very best and worst one-liners. Share yours in the comments! Keep reading »
I am presently in a relationship, and I hope it goes the distance. I’m 33, I like him, I’m ready. Before I reached this impressively adult position, however, I had my way with a series of gentleman across the fair island of Manhattan. I was a little late to the online dating game, and once I discovered it, look out! I had a date more than half the nights of the week. And, if I’m being honest, I slept with a decent number of them. What can I say? I’m a fan of the one-night stand.
One night stands, I think, are like that very, very rich piece of cheesecake: Delicious and a total treat, but if you had it every day, you’d be like, “Oh my god. I’m disgusting. I feel gross. I hate myself.” They’re not for every day, but they’re for sometimes. The key is in the approach. You need to practice moderation. You need to find the right guy with whom to do it. And the right guy is simple. He is someone you’re very attracted to and with whom you have zero interest in a relationship.
Now that I’ve laid the criteria for the gentleman with whom you want to have a one night stand, let me work to convince you further as to why you should indulge … Keep reading »
We all feel a little crazy sometimes (for me, “sometimes” means at least three times a day), and while we’re big proponents of therapy and other structured forms of mental health support here at The Frisky, there are times when limited funds or busy schedules make it tough to get professional help. In honor of How To Deal Week, I thought I’d round up some of my favorite simple, effective, and — best of all — totally free ways to feel better when the going gets rough. Check ‘em out after the jump, and please feel free to add your own tips and techniques in the comments! Keep reading »
It was two short years ago that I was moving from Texas to “Yankee territory” as a college freshman. Almost 2,000 miles from home, my goodbye was filled with unexpected waterworks from not only my Dad, an emotional man and frequent crier, but also from my thick-skinned mother and 16-year-old brother. While I was sad to leave my family, the first year of my college career would turn out to be an unexpectedly defining time for myself.
Now heading into my junior year, I care to tell you things I wish I had known when I was a little fish in this vast and treacherous sea of college. Keep reading »