Life can be messy, and you might be wondering if you should involve your friends with your mental health ups-and-downs. You might be afraid because your friends are undereducated and misinformed about people living with mental health issues. They might be in the dark.
Michelle was a three-sport athlete in high school. While there was a part of her that enjoyed the camaraderie with her teammates, the sense of accomplishment she felt when setting new records — there was another part of her that participated in the hopes of shrinking her body. Michelle, who is now studying to be a therapist, didn't know about eating disorders when she was younger. She reflects, "I had this idea that I wanted to become a professional swimmer so that I would be able to exercise even more. I would get many compliments on my body during swim season, even though that was when I hated my body the most."
The comments Michelle received on her weight and body when she was restricting and compensating fueled her eating disorder.
It's Week 21 here, and I am still here — sitting in my corner bedroom, typing away at a makeshift desk. And my children are here, too. Nope, they haven't gone anywhere. Can't you hear that howling in the background as I smile into the webcam and conduct our meeting, pretending everything is ok, and that I have smoothly embraced my new normal?
That howling, the wailing, the laughing, the shouting, the screaming — that's the soundtrack of the life of a working mother, now available for all of you to download and hear.
It's a scary time. I can't remember any other time when I felt this much panic in the world. But within this global fear, lies global union. We are all brought together by the need and hope to make it through this tumultuous period in our history. For the first time in a very long, we are all forced to be still and address our health and wellness in a very serious way.
I was heading down a dead-end path to nowhere. One night in February of 2019, I came home from my posh bowling birthday bash to depleted funds and depleted ambition. Drained by the idea that after all these years of living on this earth, not only was I not happy, but I also didn't seem to be moving or growing in the direction I'd always envisioned for myself. Since I was always raised to make a difference and not put limitations on myself, why had I succumbed to my circumstances? Why was I leveraging my time with men for money? Was I only here on earth to be a sex fantasy prop that any man could pick up and put down at will?
One of the few things I remember from grade school biology is the concept of tropism. In plain language, tropism is the reaction of a living thing, like a plant, towards a stimulus like sunlight or heat. You've likely seen this before but just didn't recognize it for what it was. If you've ever seen the leaves of a potted plant bending towards a windowpane, that's tropism in action. The plant is bending towards the sunlight. In our everyday lives, we are all inundated with stimuli throughout the day...
Growing up, my parents (particularly my mom) expected greatness. This helped me do well in school but it also had a negative side effect: I became a perfectionist. I think perfectionism is tied to pleasing others and trying to make sure people like us. If we are perfect, you have to love us right? We feel like we aren't good enough as is, so if we are perfect, it will make up for it.
Dr. Claudia Consolati is Assistant Professor of Film, Gender, and Sexuality and the founder of The Women Speak Up Project, a platform to help visionary women entrepreneurs overcome their fear of being seen & heard so that they can grow their business and income. She believes that finding your voice is the #1 business asset for women with big dreams and want to make a big impact in the world. She's regularly invited to speak at prestigious universities across the US and Canada.