Why I Stopped Taking Gabapentin

I am updating and republishing some of my early articles from this blog. Please enjoy this article, originally published under the title “Color” in March of 2017, about the early days of my chronic pain journey.  CN: extensive discussion of the experience of anxiety, chronic pain, medication side effects, and medical neglect. Duloxetine was the first pain medication my doctor ever prescribed me, an anti-depressant that can sometimes help with pain.  A year after I …Read More

What Does Dissociation Feel Like?

CN: extensive and detailed descriptions of what disordered dissociation can feel like; extensive discussion of Dissociative Identity Disorder, amnesia, and mental health management in general; specific examples of abuse; general discussion of trauma and chronic pain.  Added note of caution: Some people who struggle with dissociation find that reading detailed descriptions of dissociation can bring on those symptoms for them. Read at your own pace and take care of yourself.  For as long as I …Read More

Early Signs That I Had Dissociative Identity Disorder

CN: extensive discussion of the symptoms and experince of dissociative identity disorder, such as dissociation, trauma flash backs, amnesia, anxiety, and extreme emotional fluctuations.  Dissociative Identity Disorder is a really unique and amazing mental illness, or as we like to call it, a survival mechanism. In most of the media portrayals of DID, the separate identities are dramatically and obviously different, switches are highly visible, and the host is constantly disoriented by their blackouts and …Read More

Everything You Need to Know About Boundaries

The topic of boundaries comes up quite a lot during discussions about trauma and mental health but even therapists can skimp on the details of how to actually formulate, set, and enforce boundaries! It took me many years to learn that a boundary is not a tool to control the actions of others or to prevent harm from ever reaching me. It is an agreement that I make with myself about how I expect to …Read More

The Things Our Pets Can Teach Us About Self-Care

CN: General discussion of food and healthy eating habits, mental health, and the emotional impact of the pandemic, brief mention of bodily functions, and white supremacy. Extensive discussion of rats including photos! Everything happening in the world at the moment is a lot and it can be easy to default to just disconnecting from current events, or pushing through without taking care of yourself which can result in burnout. Neither of these extremes is ideal. …Read More

Article on Medium: Why Does Everything Feel So Hard Right Now If I’m Fine

When social-distancing first started, I figured, besides my anxiety about the virus itself, my life wouldn’t change a huge amount and the transition would probably be easy for me. My work is already remote, my financial situation is stable, and my partner and I are pretty used to co-existing in our apartment for long periods of time. Almost immediately, I found that if I didn’t work hard to use my systems and tools meant to …Read More

Coping with Covid: Learning to Find Comfort Amidst the Unknown

CN: Extensive discussion of the mental and financial impact of Covid19, mention of existing oppressive systems. I tend to have a pretty hard time during a national or global crisis. My primary method of deprogramming my anxiety that has been my baseline for as long as I can remember has been teaching myself that the external causes of that perpetual state of fear are long gone and I’m safe now. When something happens that genuinely …Read More

How Physicians Can Be Better Mental Health Resources

A note before today’s guest post: Today’s article was submitted and written before the Covid 19 crisis reached the US. At this moment, all medical health professionals are maxed out on what they are giving to the public to keep us safe, and we are deeply grateful to them for the risks they are taking and sacrifices they are making daily. This advice, as most things on this blog are, focuses on looking at longterm …Read More

Why Chronic Illness Makes it So Hard to Leave Home

CN: Detailed descriptions of the experience of pain and other health issues, discussion of chronic pain, disability, chronic illness. My chronically ill friends and I joke about the medicine cabinet worth of supplies we take with us on any trip that’s longer than an hour because we never know what we’re going to need. Going to an appointment: Water, meds, lip balm, hip-brace, sweatshirt. For work: All of that plus lotion, white flower oil (think …Read More

A Comprehensive Guide to Assisting with a Mental Health Crisis

Over the course of three months, guest blogger Lucy Merriman put together an amazing 5-part series entitled, How to Lend a Hand in a Mental Health Crisis. The series looks at the gaps in our current mental health care system and provides information on how to fill those gaps on an individual basis, even if you yourself have little to no crisis training. All five parts are published in the “What Can I Do?” section …Read More