Shifting a Depressed Brain Toward Gratitude

With the uncertainty of when the COVID-19 crisis in our country will resolve, making plans is difficult.  My husband, friends, and I have canceled an international trip twice, for which we spent months planning—something I’m sure many can relate to.  The evenings and weekends are blank squares on the calendar, except for an occasional hikeContinue reading “Shifting a Depressed Brain Toward Gratitude”

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”

Staying Hopeful in a Polarized World

This morning we wake up to a gloomier and more frightening world than we lived in yesterday, as the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg reminds us that our basic rights are being held in a tight squeeze by the government, in which the very people we elected to represent our voice seem to careContinue reading “Staying Hopeful in a Polarized World”

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…”

Leave Me Be, Anxiety!

Here I sit, on a beautiful Sunday morning, outside on the floating ‘zen’ deck my husband helped me build.  The air is still cool.  The birds are singing lovely melodies.  The warmth of the sun peeking through the trees is warm on my face.  I am surrounded by the green leaves of trees in myContinue reading “Leave Me Be, Anxiety!”

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”

Return To Work, Take Two

“What should I tell people when I go back to work?” “I just want to be treated normally by my co-workers.” “I’m worried I’ll get fired.” “How will I handle the judgment from my colleagues?”  These are just some of the concerns I heard from the amazing people in partial hospitalization who were preparing toContinue reading “Return To Work, Take Two”

Be Vulnerable? I Don’t Think So.

What does vulnerability mean to you?  For me, it’s stepping out of the shadow and removing the “perfect” mask to expose my full, authentic self. And it is both terrifying and amazing. Vulnerability does not come easy for me.  The diagnosis of two mental health disorders battled fiercely with my perfectionism.  And my concern regardingContinue reading “Be Vulnerable? I Don’t Think So.”