When I was in high school, my group of nerdy and rather competitive friends liked to play the “how-little-did-I-sleep” game. It was as absurd as it sounds.
Every morning nodding off at our high school science class desks, we would humble-brag about how much homework we had done the night before, how many activities and hours of part time work we had managed to squeeze in, and how little sleep we got. We were hard workers, with cultural messages telling us that hard work was the only way to guarantee success. We figured all that sacrificed sleep would surely pay off in future happiness — right?
Continue reading Is it Okay to Walk Away From Your Career for the Sake of Your Mental Health?
He was ruthless in his race to the top, picking off his competitors one by one. When he defeated his rivals and finally achieved his dream, things were great — for a moment. But soon, he was haunted by his past, discontent with the position he’d achieved, and what he wanted all along turned out to be his undoing.
Continue reading How to Check Your Ambitions When They Affect Your Mental Health
The lights glow, the champagne fizzes, and the crowds gather to wish goodbye to a year well-spent, while ushering in the new. You should be happy, right? After all, it’s a celebration!
Continue reading 5 Ways to Outsmart End of Year Anxiety
For many, the “most wonderful time of the year” is less than jolly. While the holidays are associated with food, family, and celebration, this festive atmosphere can hide difficult triggers for people affected by mental illness.
Continue reading Dealing with Emotional Triggers During the Holidays
Like every other human in existence, you have hurt somebody. This could be relatively small: you made a joke about someone’s appearance that really didn’t land well. Or it could be really, really big: you sexually assaulted somebody. This raises the question: what can and can’t be forgiven?
Regardless of the scope or scale of harm, we all hurt people. But we can also all learn to practice accountability. Accountability doesn’t mean apologizing to save our reputations, or making excuses for our behavior. Accountability means taking a deep, long look at ourselves, what we did, who we hurt, and the consequences of our actions. Continue reading What to do When Someone Won’t Forgive You
Do you keep secrets from your family?
If you’re mentally rifling through all the skeletons in your family closet, you’re definitely not alone. Even those who pride themselves on openness probably have a secret or two that they’re not willing to share — even with the people they hold most dear. From issues as traumatic as sexual violence, to those as relatively mild (but still potentially contentious) as who we vote for, most of us have secrets we’d rather not share with our families. Continue reading How to Address Family Secrets Without Causing a Rift
You probably think you’re a team player. At least, you’ve white-lied that you are in job interviews. But even the most community-minded of us dig our heels in once in a while (because we’re right, darn it!). From our intimate relationships to our political process, why is it so hard to compromise?
Continue reading Why is It So Hard to Compromise
The anxiety starts in my chest and then blooms, smothering my lungs and filling my belly: a guy has just asked me out. Oh no, I think, panicked. Am I interested? How do I turn him down?
Continue reading How to Tell Someone You’re Not Interested
Recently, a man I know was outed as a serial sexual harasser. I say “know” in a rather unfortunate sense: I’d been approached online by, went on a date with, and even kissed the guy a couple years ago. His too-forward sexual advances had always left a bad taste in my mouth.
When the revelations went live, with dozens of women telling stories of his disrespectful and aggressive behavior, I felt happy he was exposed, yet ashamed I hadn’t listened to my gut instincts. I blamed myself for overlooking his boorish behavior and letting my hope that he could end up being a decent guy take precedence over the warning bells clanging in my head.
Giving that man the benefit of the doubt was not my fault. And if you’ve stayed with an abusive partner, or even given a guy a second chance after he harassed you, it’s not your fault, either. The pressure to be kind, generous, and forgiving — especially as women — is drummed into our heads from birth.
Continue reading Dealing With Complicated Feelings Around Abusers
The day after Dr. Christine Blasey Ford testified before congress about her experience of sexual violence in relation to Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN) received the highest number of calls in its 24-year history. More than 3,000 people connected with the network on September 28, part of a record-breaking increase in the number of survivors of sexual violence requesting services since the #MeToo movement began last year.
The outpouring of truth and support has been unprecedented. As countless survivors finally see their experiences reflected in the national conversation, we feel a moment of hope for renewed connection and healing. But this hope is accompanied by pain, as many survivors who do come forward experience backlash. Additionally, survivors have been increasingly exposed to potentially triggering, and seemingly inescapable news around recent, high-profile incidents sexual violence.
Continue reading One Year After #MeToo