voices

It Has to be Your Own Voice

“Amanda,” my therapist asks, “what are you trying to tell me? You know I’m committed to working on this. What is it that you’re trying to say?” “I have all these voices in my head. I call them demons. They tell me that I’m better off dead. I have days upon days where these demons are unrelenting in their pull. It is so strong that I cannot hear my own voice. I cannot hear it.…

By virtue of diagnosis, you are not alone. We struggle together and within that collective struggle, yes, there is a fight within us.

Recovery for me? Well, I’m just starting to understand that my journey is not a failure. I’m starting to realize who I am: I’m someone who struggles… yet moves forward anyway. They are both a part of my identity. That’s the dialectic. I’m not passively waiting around for a cure or to magically get better. I’m doing what’s necessary to push me forward. Sometimes that’s all you can ask for.

Recovery is not only what treatment does to you but what you decide to do with the treatment you’ve been given.

Dr. Peggilee Wupperman on Mindfulness & Modification Therapy

I had the privilege of interviewing Dr. Peggilee Wupperman, a researcher and clinician who is associate professor at John Jay College/City University of New York, assistant clinical professor at Yale School of Medicine, and a senior psychologist at the American Institute for Cognitive Therapy. Before acquiring her current faculty positions, Dr. Wupperman completed a predoctoral internship and post-doctoral fellowship at Yale University School of Medicine, as well as a DBT postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Washington. …

change

Beyond Survival and into Change

It was my ninth day at the inpatient unit. The doctors noted my progress but a part of me still wanted to feel, as Agatha Christie described, “wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable.” I clung desperately to depression. At the time I didn’t know who I was without it. Any feeling, however awful, was better than no feeling at all. I was desperate to fill the void with something better, something else to keep me afloat. I didn’t…

anythinghelps

What Suffering Has Taught Me

It was a sticky evening in Penn Station and I was in a hurry to head back home. As I weaved in and out of the crowded subway station, a young woman sitting in the corner caught my eye. I glimpsed at her cardboard sign saying, ANYTHING HELPS in black marker. Unlike many homeless people I see, she stood out:  young, long silky hair, jean shorts. For a quick second I asked myself what a…

rain

Observing & Describing Triggers for What They Are

I brought the new therapist up to speed as we reviewed my diary card. An event happened, I was triggered, and the usual suspects made an appearance:  low self-esteem, the idea I should not exist, suicidal thoughts. They all fed off of each other; as one negative reaction surfaced, the other two followed suit. “There’s little hope for change,” I explained. “As difficult as all of this is to hear, Amanda,” my therapist said, “I don’t see…

dark

Feeling My Way Through the Dark

I wouldn’t call what I’m going through right now an episode. It hardly captures what happens on a day to day — sometimes hour to hour — basis. The difficulties I’ve been facing is a part of the reason I haven’t posted in a while. It’s hard for me to share what I’m going through while it runs its course. Oftentimes, those close to me have no idea the depth of my internal pain. But…

emptyspace

Mindfulness: The Space Between Stimulus & Response

I have an old friend that has been in my life for twenty years. He has always helped me sort out the many questions and confusions that constantly float in and around my head. What I do for him I sure don’t know, but I’m glad that we’re in each other’s lives. It’s been over a year since I sat in his office with his rambunctious puppy playing besides him. Today his puppy is fully…