They Tried to Make Me Go To Rehab, and I Said Yes.

Friends, do you remember back in March when I wrote to you – albeit indirectly – about the blizzard that hit my life? I’d prefer to keep that crisis vague and metaphorical; it suffices to say that I went through something tough. That’s one reason why I’ve been quieter than usual on the blog this year. (That, and writing a book.) When I wrote about the hard time, I described it as “a slow-motion train wreck with no end in sight”, and it was. But there was still hope. I just couldn’t see it. First, I needed to take a ...
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What To Do When A Blizzard Hits Your Life

Dear Caroline*, One minute I had a good life. I was happy, and my family was happy too. The next minute, we received some terrible and unexpected news. Without going into detail, I can say that it has been devastating … a slow-motion train wreck with no end in sight. Surviving the present takes everything I have. I was in shock for a while. In a way I still am, but I’m getting through the days at least. Even though I still have a lot to be thankful for – a steady job, a safe place to live – it ...
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When Hope Seems Lost, Remember This

When my brother Willie was diagnosed with autism, he was three years old and I was five. Neither of us had been to church yet, so I didn’t have much of a God concept. But somehow, I’d already arrived at a very clear idea of heaven. I used to lie awake at night and think about it, so eager for it to be real. I believed that heaven would be just this: a place where I could talk freely with my brother. It would be a place without the limits of autism on his part or lack of knowledge on ...
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Wanting to Leave is Enough

Let me guess: it used to be good. That job, that relationship, that volunteer position … whatever it was, it started out fine. But over time, things changed. Or maybe you did. Either way, you’ve got a secret: wanting to leave. …
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Stop Believing Shame’s Lies (and a Giveaway to Help!)

Let’s face it, shame is sneaky. You want to stop believing shame, but it engulfs you like one of J.K. Rowling’s Dementors, those terrifying wraiths that drain happiness. Soon you’re locked in what author and researcher Brené Brown calls a shame spiral. …
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What to Do When You Feel Not Good Enough

Don’t you love how every epic saga starts with the main character going through their usual routine for the millionth time? Cinderella sweeps the hearth and endures the same familial abuse. Katniss goes to the Reaping and faces the same brutal injustice. Lyra prowls Oxford and hides from the same protective grownups. (If you haven’t read the His Dark Materials trilogy by Phillip Pullman, please cancel your plans and remedy this oversight immediately.) And then something bizarre happens. A fairy godmother shows up, a familiar name is called, someone slips poison into a glass. In a moment, the journey begins. ...
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Feel the (False) Guilt and Do It Anyway.

You know what’s difficult? Questioning the ‘should dictator’ in your head. Standing up for yourself and your needs. Deciding not to let false guilt boss you around. If you dare to do these things, then you’re my hero. Seriously. It’s hard to be “selfish” enough for your own good. I’m quoting my own judgmental inner voice here. Whenever I consider making positive changes on my own behalf, she screeches, “But isn’t that SELFISH?!” …
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Do You Know What Keeps You From Thriving?

Have you ever had a friend make you a generous offer that you couldn’t accept … even though you wanted to? Have you ever stopped to realize that this is what keeps you from thriving? Well, I have. This past week, I’ve been dealing with some health issues, and when my friend Laura found out, she offered to bring me chicken soup. My first thought was that that sounded like exactly what I needed. My next thought, however, was that I shouldn’t accept. …
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The One Song that Changes Everything

Early in my life, I noticed a pattern. Whenever I’d meet older adults, those in my parents’ demographic, our interactions would follow a predictable course. We’d exchange names, and then I’d look down, both because I was shy and because I knew what was coming next. They would start singing. …
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Set Down The Strings.

I have this counterproductive dance I do with my long-distance loved ones. Here’s how it goes: when I don’t expect to see faraway friends and family anytime soon, I’m pretty good at keeping in touch. I make calls, write cards, and send care packages. But when I do expect to see people soon – say, in the weeks just before a family vacation – I slack off. I don’t call, and I hold back from sharing. My justification for this is that I’m saving up the best discussion topics for in-person interaction. …
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