Coping Skills: #74. Challenge Someone to a Friendly Match

Making Brazilian coconut beans

A cook-off can be another fun form of a challenge.

When I am down, my mom will often challenge me to a game of Bananagrams. Although I usually win (sorry Mom), her attitude is mostly cheerful which makes the competition friendly instead of intense.

Sometimes, we need to be challenged in order to distract ourselves from worries or prove that we can face something difficult. Competition also can teach us how to deal with life’s ups and downs. If we lose, we must learn to be gracious while thinking about how to improve next time. When we win, our response must still be gracious as we think of what we did right.

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Staying Safe is Not a Crime

It's Not You, It's My PTSD

Memories haunt, words remind, fears remain, but I will survive.

My heart began racing as he walked down the hall. Soon, the pounding noise filled my head as blood rushed through my tensed limbs. Although I hung my head low to avoid being seen, my eyes were trained on his every move as he knelt to tie his shoe right in front of the kitchen door. I was stuck with nowhere to run and hide. He was waiting, right in the way of my escape.

Sound frightening? This was just a normal guy who probably had no idea that I was in the same hall as him. However, all of my being was clamoring to bolt and find safety. PTSD can cause strong reactions like this where one goes into flight or fight mode even though the need might not be real. Continue reading

Listaliciousness: Waving Whales, Seeking Help, and World Vegetarian Day


My cat, Princess, ran right up to me the moment that my car drove up yesterday.

This weekend has been both too long and too short. Sweet moments at my job slipped away as did the few hours that I spent with my family on Saturday evening into Sunday morning. Meanwhile, the hours on end without an breaks on my feet running about dragging on for ions (or so it seemed).

Today, I stood up to myself at work. Someone above me scolded me for drinking some vitamin water on the job because we are no longer allowed to use big glasses. The small ones are disposable and not big enough for what I am supposed to drink during the day. Having liquid is a challenge already. When I was reprimanded, my first instinct was to apologize and beat myself up over breaking a rule. Instead, I looked him in the eye and said, “I need this for medical reasons.” Although a bit taken aback, he said that was alright then and left. Thinking back makes me wonder if I should have just nodded and listened or pushed back a bit. I am not sure.

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Can Someone Just “Get Over” Mental Illness?

Oxford in the morning

A morning in Oxford

One of the hardest comments that I have received regarding my mental health problems has been “Why can’t you just get over it?”

Other people I have spoken with throughout my treatment have echoed aggravations about similar responses from family or friends. Many variations of this question occur, and even more frequent are the people who treat me in this manner. Knowing how to answer is very difficult.

However, the more that I think about it, the more that I realize how often I ask myself the very same thing. My brain is constantly berating me for not “getting over” things. Anna Rose, why can’t you just be a big girl and ignore the pain? Can’t you snap out of the depression that you are in? Why don’t you just stop thinking about that topic and get a life?

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My Mom is Not a Therapist

Family upon couch
Family upon couch

My family

My mother is an amazing person. She cares for and loves me to the best of her abilities. However she is not perfect. In fact, she is not even my therapist.

Often times, I interact with my family as if they were my medical caregivers. When I self-harm, their confused and angry response terrifies me. Times when I need consoling, they might be warn out and unable to listen. The way my Aspergian brain works still bewilders and annoys them. Thus, I am left longing for therapy from people who (despite their love) do not have the training or energy to give me that.

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