Today’s quote – a reminder on spiritual poverty from Pope Francis

“We all have to think if we can become a little poorer, all of us have to do this. How can I become a little poorer to be more like Jesus, who was the poor Teacher?” – attributed to Pope Francis.

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The Shadow Self

I confuse myself sometimes. I long for peace and quiet, for love and compassion. Yet, there’s that part of me that’s also drawn to darkness, to morbidity, gothic stories, horror movies. I’ve noticed this more about myself since I’ve been in recovery and I’ve done intensive psychotherapy.

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The Tree in Paradise (a drawing)

I was never much of an artist, but decided to start drawing and coloring again about a year ago. The idea was to express myself creatively in a different way – not just through writing.

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What’s the new normal?

It’s been about two months since coronavirus changed the world, seemingly overnight. As the days and weeks drag on, I keep asking myself, “Okay. Now what?” I don’t think anyone knows the answer to this question, including the experts and world leaders. I think we’re all asking it, too.

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On the benefits of having a mental illness (and the power of music)

Most of the time, I focus on the parts of my mental illness that are bad. The mood swings, the depressions, the vigilance I need to keep to guard against mania and hypomania. But it’s not all negative.

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You Owe it to Your Future Self

I began using self-affirmations a few years ago. I write them down on little index cards and keep them posted in my room as reminders. My thoughts tend to turn toward the negatives, and the self-affirmations help. One of my favorites, which has become a mantra, is, “You owe it to your future self.”

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Doing the Opposite of How I Feel (DBT therapy technique)

Earlier this week, I talked about how Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) has helped me deal with difficult emotions. Another technique I’ve learned in DBT therapy is about taking opposite action. I was thinking about this technique this morning as I felt my laziness creeping in.

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A Bipolar Victory: Knowing the Signs of Mania

Soon after the pandemic began, I could feel my mind starting to speed up. I was reading too many news stories about what was going on. I was doing what some people now refer to as “doomsurfing,” which is reading all the negative and almost-apocalyptic predictions about what’s going to happen in the world because of the virus.

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Fighting Back Against Mental Health Stigma

I was raised to be tough. I played youth American football throughout my childhood and we were trained to hit and to hit hard. I had a coach who was an ex-U.S. Marine and we’d shout, “Semper Fi!” during practice.

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