I Get Knocked Down, But I Get Up Again

Chronic mental illness feels like fighting in a lifelong battle you can never win.  The exhaustion of getting knocked down, and knowing only you can get yourself back up again, and again, and again, feels like too much sometimes.  Depression lies to us time and time again.  Depression tells us that we should keep ourContinue reading “I Get Knocked Down, But I Get Up Again”

A Letter to My Younger Self

Do you remember all those nights you spent crying, but you weren’t really sure why?  Do you remember those days you couldn’t make it to class or to work, but you really didn’t know why?  What about the doubts you had about if you could even bear to continue living—the thoughts you were ashamed toContinue reading “A Letter to My Younger Self”

Willfulness: Personal Enemy Number One

As my physical anxiety symptoms make their unwelcome return, I have been reflecting on the last few weeks.  What were the triggers?  Why is anxiety increasing instead of improving?  Well I think there is one obvious trigger—the stress and uncertainty of the election.  Add to that continued worry and difficulty with my fertility journey, andContinue reading “Willfulness: Personal Enemy Number One”

My Dialectical Life

Therapy has changed my life by helping me transform rigid thought patterns I didn’t even know I had to more fluid and flexible ones.  When I first started, I was able to acknowledge that the world existed in shades of gray, yet I forced myself into a life of black and white, rigid and unforgiving,Continue reading “My Dialectical Life”

Finding Beauty in Imperfection

Perfect—a word that carries a weight too heavy to sustain.  Perfect is a crutch I have used for much of my life.  Imperfect and broken on the inside, I dared not expose the bruises to the outside world.  I feared rejection, embarrassment, isolation, and shame.  What I didn’t realize is that by denying myself theContinue reading “Finding Beauty in Imperfection”

Let’s Talk About Suicide Again

Here I am, floating above the real Ali, watching myself being told the rules regarding silverware—pick it up before you eat, return it when finished.  I am being told the rules regarding visitors, shoelaces, shower limits, and staff checks every 15 minutes.  I am thinking to myself, what am I doing here?  How did thisContinue reading “Let’s Talk About Suicide Again”

Arming for Battle Against Depression

Immersing myself in nature allows me to both disconnect from the problems of my small life while connecting with the power of the earth.  With my feet on the ground, step by step, I am reminded that I am not the center of the world.  I am merely one of billions of human beings luckyContinue reading “Arming for Battle Against Depression”

Risk. If Only I was Writing a Guide to the Board Game…

Making the decision to get pregnant was not an easy one, nor was it one that my husband and I took lightly.  Many mental health disorders have been diagnosed in my family, including my father, and relatives on both maternal and paternal sides of the family.  And obviously, I myself have bipolar disorder.  In additionContinue reading “Risk. If Only I was Writing a Guide to the Board Game…”

A Bump in the Road is Just That

We often grieve the loss of loved ones, but have you ever considered that we grieve the loss of our health?  Coping with the ‘loss’ of my mental health due to lifelong mental illness has been complicated.  I am still working toward reality acceptance and processing what this ‘loss’ means for me, my loved ones,Continue reading “A Bump in the Road is Just That”