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Just a little mental health reminder.


This is just a reminder to talk to someone besides yourself.

I learned the lesson AGAIN (and again and again and again) this past week when I literally almost blew up from the inside out from not saying things and keeping them inside of me.

I am still not sure how all of that works, apparently.

Keeping it in. Getting it out. Keeping it in. Getting it out.

It seems I’ll be doing a good job of getting it out as things come in and then OMG all of a sudden there’s something in there that gathered some traction and there’s nobody to tell about it because it’s too late to tell anybody because it’s too late for anything at all because OMG it’s too late.

But it’s not too late.

It’s never to late to make things better.

And making things better is always the general goal.

So talk to someone besides yourself.

Because you are not a good person to talk to.

You only know your side of the story.

And you have a tendency to only believe the negative.

And you don’t even know all of the creative options out there for how to make things better.

You know, there are probably some ways to make the situation better that you can’t even consider because you’re not even aware of them.

So talk to someone.

Talk to someone besides yourself.

The worst case scenario is that you get nothing out of it but you give them some practice in helping other people.

And that’s a nice thing to do. And maybe someone else can get helped. Even if it wasn’t you this particular time.

And be well.

Make things better if you can and be as well as you can be for where you are right now.

That’s the theme.


xoxoxo, dee (and bella)


A Tangle of things.

It was a week of intentional distractions from the stress of a situation that’s 100% out of my control.

Don’t you love those?

God, grant me the Serenity
To accept the things I cannot change…
Courage to change the things I can,
And Wisdom to know the difference.

Okay, God. I’m on it.  I get it. I can’t do anything about it.

Nothing. Nada. Zero. Not a thing.

So of course I only say “but maybe,” “if only,” “but just” and “but what if” about a thousand times a day.

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Then Came Ketamine.

I really encourage those with treatment resistant depression to explore the possibility of Ketamine treatment, whether it is through a clinical trial, hospital or provider. Those with dual diagnosis or co-occurring substance abuse and/or bipolar conditions need to seek the advice of professionals with specific expertise in those areas.

I personally had great success with Ketamine. I have Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) with suicidal thoughts. I had treatment with Ketamine over the course of 18 months. I am available to talk with anyone considering Ketamine treatment – whether it is for them or for a family member. I believe Ketamine is a treatment that can save lives because of its potential to effect significant change faster than current medications and other treatments.

The following article about Zoe Boyer’s success (YAY!) with Ketamine treatment is from the Sunday New York Times for May 30, 2021. Links to more of my writing about the Ketamine experience will follow.

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Great CBT Podcast!

All about CBT and how it works and how it can help you!!

Dr. Julie Osborn, a therapist specializing in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), shares her experiences in the field and helps her listeners; addressing the issues they face and the situations they find themselves in. CBT is a short-term, goal-orientated psychotherapy treatment that takes a hands-on, practical approach to problem solving. Dr. Osborn teaches how cognitive behavioral therapy can be used everyday in our lifelong pursuit of happiness.

  • MAY 28, 2021



Do other people get annoyed with you because you act or react a certain way?Do you feel like you’re always messing up or losing relationships because of certain behaviors?Do you feel hopeless and stuck in an endless pattern of negative thoughts and automatic reactions?In this episode, Dr Julie h…

  • MAY 21, 2021

How To Reframe Your Feelings

How To Reframe Your Feelings

Do you struggle with negative feelings – anxiety, loneliness, depression, resentment, anger, fear?Do you wish you could just make them all go away?In this episode, Dr Julie shares with you a CBT technique that will empower you to reframe your thoughts and feelings in a positive way, bringing yo…

  • MAY 14, 2021

Are You Judging Me?

Are You Judging Me?

Do you feel exhausted trying to keep up with other people’s expectations of you?Do you feel like you’re constantly being judged?In this episode, Dr Julie looks at the insecurities and anxieties many of us feel in response to other’s perceived judgement of us. She explains some of the reasons these in…

  • MAY 7, 2021

How To Assert Yourself

How To Assert Yourself

Do you struggle to communicate your desires and preferences?Do you feel like people walk all over you and you are powerless to change it?In this episode, Dr Julie talks about what it means to be assertive in a healthy way, how it can benefit you and how to do it. Using the power of Cognitive Beh…

  • APR 30, 2021

Understanding Personality Disorders

Understanding Personality Disorders

What is the difference between personality quirks and a personality disorder?Why do people have personality disorders?If you’re in a relationship with someone with a personality disorder, what is the best way to deal with that? In this episode, Dr Julie Osborn helps demystify personality disorders, ex…

Don’t you forget about me.

Very Good Pleasure To Meet You (w/ Andrew McCarthy)

Literally! With Rob Lowe

In which Rob and actor/author/director Andrew McCarthy discuss their lives in and out of the Brat Pack, Andrew’s new memoir Brat: An ‘80s Story, directing young actors, showing up prepared, sobriety, and the undying legacy of Weekend At Bernie’s. Plus: Rob answers a question about getting through high school in the LoweDown Line. Got a question for Rob? Call our voicemail at (323) 570-4551. Your question could get featured on the show!

Chuckie’s in Love

Wow. Two of my favorites! Marc Maron interviewing Ricki Lee Jones.

WTF with Marc Maron Podcast

1246 EpisodesShareFollow77 minutes | May 20th 2021

Episode 1228 – Rickie Lee Jones

Rickie Lee Jones is, first and foremost, a storyteller. She realized at a young age that she could process her feelings and tell her own story through the fiction of songs. As she tells Marc, that same impulse prompted her to write a memoir in which she could present her life story through the narrative of her extended family of vaudevillians. Rickie Lee and Marc also talk about her formative and tumultuous relationship with Tom Waits and why it’s hard for her to reminisce about her early albums and the hits that made her a star. See for privacy information.


Introverts win the pandemic!!

We did better! Yay for us!

Introverts Rule

I love Introvert, Dear ….the website that praises me daily for being the exact way I am.

Here’s some cool science that explains why INTROVERTS WON THE PANDEMIC!! Woo hoo!

Science April 23, 2021

Introverts Had an Advantage During COVID-19, Study Finds

by Tandice Ghajar Strausbaugh

An introvert in a good mood

Introversion provided a buffer for dealing with a major life stressor, and even allowed people to come through it “better” than before.

In the spring 2020 semester at the University of Vermont, a group of researchers and doctors began a study on nearly 500 first-year college students to obtain data on wellness activities and mental health. Then COVID-19 hit and the campus went remote.

As you might have guessed, the study didn’t go as planned, but what came out of it were some surprising findings about how personality affects resilience and well-being. Every day, the students in the study used a phone app to rate their moods and stress levels, as well as any wellness activities they did (like exercise, mindfulness, and sleep). 

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Visit Yourself.

I got this nice little list of tips from the amazing Tara Brach in my email this week! So good!

If you aren’t doing everything Tara Brach tells you to do (e.g., suggests or inspires), then get on it now. Her guidance is easy to implement and it is instantly helpful.

8 Essential Tips to Nourish Your Meditation Practice

1. Practice daily, even if for a short time

Mindfulness is a present centered, non-judging awareness. With practice, you’ll find you are increasingly at home in your life—peaceful, clear and openhearted. This allows for a natural connectedness and intimacy with others.

The poet Rumi asks: Do you make regular visits to yourself? Whether it’s 5-minutes, 15-minutes, or 45-minutes, what most matters is the rhythm of a daily practice. It’s helpful to have a preset time, rather than leaving it for when you’re “in the mood”; and to practice in a place that is quiet, protected and conducive to presence.

2. Attitude is everything

The biggest reason people quit meditation is because they judge themselves for how they are practicing. Please don’t turn meditation into a “should,” another domain of self-critique! Instead, choose to cultivate mindfulness because you care about living true to your heart.

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Favorite Listens

Spent the holidays catching up with @ScottAdamsSays at Real Coffee with Scott Adams on YouTube.

I like listening to Scott Adams. First of all, he’s funny. I guess it’s not a surprise that he’s funny, but not all cartoonists are funny in real life. But Scott Adams is funny in real life. He’s funny in a casual, conversational way that makes me wish I was sitting in his kitchen. And hanging out on his tennis court.

And he’s well-informed too. He’s all kinds of seriously educated and highly informed. The guy doesn’t sleep much so he gets to read a lot while the world is quiet. And it sounds like he talks to other smart, informed, well-read people. He gets fact checks with just a request. I’m guessing he has some good dinner conversations.

Best of all, Scott Adams has a white board. With all of this pandemic isolation, I didn’t realize how much I was missing presentations. Mr. Adams’ whiteboard lessons make me feel like I’m back in the boardroom. Or conference room. Or classroom.

Or any room outside of my living room.

But the thing that really draws me (pun only intended after editing) to Scott Adams is his focus on habits and the ability to reprogram the brain. I’m not sure all he’s been through or how he’s learned it, but the guy gets the relationship between mindfulness and behavior modification. I’m tempted to start diagramming Adams’ talks in terms of their CBT -traceable content, but that might be crossing an observer line. He uses different terms, different language, but the guy is a walking cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) model. It’s great to hear him talk about reprogramming the brain, since that’s my focus. It’s especially cool to hear a multimillionaire who hob knobs with high up smarty pantsies talk about how he learned to choose yams over Snickers.

Adams also posts at a locals site now. I hadn’t heard much about locals and I’m still figuring it out. But Adams promises he’s ‘extra-provocative’ over on locals, so I’m in. Because I need Scott Adams to be even more extra than he already is.

BTW, if you’re into Scott Adams, his 2015 interview on Tim Ferris’ podcast is good. Even fresh considering the date.

And also, BTW, Tim Ferris’ podcast is always amazing. But I’m still waiting for his Top 25 list of 2020. If anyone sees it, let me know.

xoxo, d

Play again?


Life since watching Queen’s Gambit has been colorful, swirling and bright.

For once, there is a Netflix miniseries about me. And girls like me. And he’s, them’s, it’s like me.

Granted, I don’t play chess.

And I don’t have issues with drugs and alcohol.

And I don’t have a history of extreme loss and abandonment.

But other than those small details, the miniseries is literally about me.

At least that’s what I took from it. Along with a bunch of other obvious and some less-than-obvious themes (i.e., feminism, gender roles, mother figures).

It’s about isolation. And about finding a language that enables you to express yourself and communicate in a way that’s understood by others.

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My first impeachment.

RAL 2017 (07-03) SOFA

I come from a family of news junkies.  I remember my mother’s father sitting in our living room devouring the daily papers. And my father’s mother lived long enough to become addicted to CNN and the 24-hour news cycle.  She was a 24-hour news devotee debating local and global politics with anyone who enjoyed a lively discussion.

I became a news junkie too. Mostly, I love tragedies and legal procedure. Tragedies provided me an outlet for all of the sadness depression dumped on me.  Legal procedure appealed to the other parts of my brain, eventually leading me to law school and then litigation.

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Remember the days you seized.

RAL 2019 (04-29) DOCUMENT

A good number of approaches to health and well-being focus on the use of a daily diary or journal. We’re urged to keep track of what we take in and what we put out. Or what we felt like when we did whatever it is that we did or didn’t do.

I was never a huge fan of the daily diary for myself.  I personally found that I would record the achievement of something I wanted for a few days and then lose interest once I failed to achieve the thing.

For me, daily diaries became failure diaries.

And yet, I kept keeping track of things because keeping track of one’s self is a fun exercise.  What other subject do you have so much information about?  There’s no end to the types of information you can gather and make much ado over.

So I keep track of myself and my life in non-burdensome and manageable formats like lists, in bursts on scraps of paper or sticky notes where I just want to think about what I’m doing or what I plan to do.  There’s not one book that holds all of my information. But there are a few notebooks and journals scattered about in my various bags, and now a bunch of electronic locations that hold information about where I’m going and how I’m getting there.

Perhaps not ironically for one trained as a lawyer, the greatest value in the information I keep has become its use as proof of what has happened.  Why do I need proof?  Well, one of the less fun habits resulting from my version of depression is catastrophization, which I’ve written about here before.

Catastrophizing is an irrational thought a lot of us have in believing that something is far worse than it actually is. Catastrophizing can generally can take two different forms: making a catastrophe out of a current situation, and imagining making a catastrophe out of a future situation.

On a day I’m feeling depressed, I have trouble remembering times I haven’t been depressed. On a day I’m feeling depressed, I can only remember being depressed and I can only foresee an entire lifetime of depression. So one day of feeling bad instantly becomes a lifetime of hell.

Luckily, I document my decent and good days now.  I take pictures and write notes to myself describing what my brain says on days I’m feeling well.  I borrowed the practice from a therapist who kept reading my own earlier statements to me when trying to prove to me I had felt well previously.  It occurred to me that I could do what she did for me, a practice that was proving invaluable. I could show myself the truth about a prior time even if I couldn’t readily remember it or feel it.

I also document on my bad days too now. I document so that I can be reminded that many bad days are not as bad as I recall or fear. Some bad days are actually days when bad things happen and I end up handling those things really well, especially for someone deficient in Vitamin D.

Try it. Keep track of information about yourself and your day that you think might be helpful later in the week. Develop a dialogue with yourself. Use today’s experience to shape a better tomorrow.

And if something works, remember to document it.

xoxo, d

If you had it, you can have it again.
Daily inspiration at GoComics/Reply-All-Lite

Has your joy been sparked?


I bought The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondō.  I was curious to see what all the talk was about.  I’m always in the market for an easy way to get an emotional lift, especially if it comes with a cleaner place.

I wanted to spark my joy, assuming my joy could be sparked.

Tapping into joy is something I have to practice when I can.  That might sound ridiculous, but my broken brain is used to tapping into pain and now it automatically chooses pain even when it doesn’t need to.  The rest of the time, even when it taps into something positive, like joy, my brain has the habit of twisting and torturing the joy into something negative, just out of habit.

So over the years, not surprisingly, almost everything in my life has become associated with pain.  Now I’m working hard to break those associations and build new, more positive and realistic associations.

So I bought Marie Kondo’s book, totally ready to clean up.  I hoped for a clean house and then a clean car.  And I hoped my joy would be sparked quickly.


Spoiler alert caveat: I feel like I’m a really bad writer for not being able to build up the suspense more, but maybe I’m just a decent writer with a bad subject (i.e., me).

Actual spoiler: Everything about Kondo’s book drove me nuts, including the fact that I hadn’t figured out how to make a billion bucks on a book about tidying up. Every mention of her KonMarie Method made me feel like I was getting taken.

But my goal had been to clean up and feel good, and tons of people were responding favorably to her, so I tried to ignore my bad attitude and focus on her apparently useful advice.

When reading the book failed to move me, I sought a positive connection with the neat freak via YouTube. I watched her visit people who had clutter situations they wanted addressed.

But watching Marie Kondo in real life (i.e., video) was even harder. Everything about her was so streamlined and simplified. And tiny.

She was tiny. And perfect looking. And simple.

And she wasn’t just a giver of advice or the master of a novel approach. She was a lifestyle. She was a brand.  She was the Ralph Lauren of organization.

And it would take an awful lot of “tidying” to make my life look like hers.

I gave up on finding joy once I realized I was happier watching Beverly Hills 90210 than I was watching or reading Marie Kondo.

I gave up on finding joy and chalked up my experience to just another mission for finding material.

Because when you write a cartoon, nothing goes to waste. Every scrap can be turned into something viable, whether or not it’s supposed to be funny.

Maybe one day I’ll be able to hold each of my items in my hands to determine which ones spark joy.  Maybe one day that process will lead me to clearing out my closets and drawers and enjoying a more minimal existence.

For now, though, I’m not ready to hold each object in my hands and experience the emotional connection. My brain isn’t good enough yet at discerning emotions to play that game.

For now, I can follow a simple rule like “if you haven’t worn it in more than ten years, donate it to charity.”

Even better, I can watch 90210 while putting donation clothes into piles.

xoxo, d

May your joy be sparked.
Daily inspiration at GoComics/ReplyAll

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