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What Did You Do Different?


Okay, folks. April starts in TWO DAYS. That’s just two sleeps. Let’s do things different in April. Let’s do something different every day.

For those of you ALREADY raising your hands, yes, you can do the same different thing several days in a row if you want. But don’t just do the same different thing for the entire thirty days and then try nothing else. Then you’re just boring. Try a few different things. Or thirty different things. It’s fun and surprising.

And, BTW, this is a great time to start a journal or blog habit, for those of you who need a simple blog prompt. You could just write what you did. If you’re fancy, write the time and date. If you’re deep, write about how you breathed, if you did, in fact, breathe.

So now, I have gotten a head start on you and have already been do this and I LOVE IT.

Doing something different pays off fast if you pick something easy. And pick something you will like. Remember, this is not a form of torture just because it’s an activity.

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Diagnosing Obsessive or Intrusive Thoughts


I posted this question on Dr. Andrew Huberman’s Ask Me Anything today. I hope someone else is interested too.

Is it possible obsessive or intrusive thoughts (esp of harm or violence) are easily misdiagnosed as MDD or BPD and not diagnosed/treated as OCD?

Could doctors be perceiving periods marked by higher incidence or severity of the individual’s obsessive or intrusive thoughts as mood swings and therefore evidence of BiPolar Disorder or Major Depressive Disorder (MDD)” and therefore treating the individual primarily for depression instead of OCD (where OCD treatment might be more effective)?

While we’re on the subject, I’m also curious as to whether they are they diagnosed more quickly in boys than girls? Are they diagnosed more quickly these days in the younger kids?

I’m dying to know. Pun intended.

Actually, I’m not dying to know.. My obsessions about dying are on hold now from TMS  – on hold for now, and hopefully for a long time.

Now let’s help other people get rid of theirs!!


xoxoxo, d (and bella)

Grab a Stick!

Mix it Up!

They used to say “Take the Stairs” to help people break the habit of riding the elevator three floors (or one floor, in my case).

Today I’m suggesting you find TEN new ways to MIX IT UP!

Not all in one day,  of course. But how about in preparation for Spring? In preparation for April? In preparation for a new life that’s better than the current life?


I have been doing a few things different so far and they are helping me shift my days from their former dark and dutifully productive to lighter and brighter and more fun.

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For All the Tired Brains.


Lying – not laying – on the sofa, resting the brain, looks suspiciously similar to laying on the sofa doing any number of other things that look like doing nothing.

My brain is overloaded and feels like it needs to shut down  Even though I still have lots of things I want to do.

My brain needs to take a night off. Even though I want to go out with friends and visit family and do some Zoom and draw some stuff and write some more.

But no, the diva brain is just not really having any of that. Diva brain wants to be horizontal and chill.

So me and my brain are relaxing on the sofa. Under the blankies. Under the dog.

Just doing a lot of nothing.

And it feels really good.

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The Death of Suicide

Let’s kill suicide.

Let’s kill all of it. Or at least as much as we can.

I have recently found major relief from chronic and near constant intrusive suicidal thoughts. But I will still have thoughts. And I will still have urges.

So  I still wouldn’t go into certain situations where a certain prompt, a certain look, a certain song, a certain feeling, a certain slight  could trigger an urge.

I have lots of plans in place. But plans have to be discussed. And figured out. And negotiated as circumstances change.

And negotiated in anticipation of circumstances changing.

Let’s kill suicide by talking about how to handle it when the thoughts and mages and urges rise up. Since we know they will.

We can have this conversation. It’s just about life. And how to live it.

It’s just about how to live life.

Let’s just talk about how to live life.

So we can live life.

Happy Friday Eve.

🤎 🤎 🤎

d (and bella)

Make a List. Or Two.

What words do you or would you love to hear?

What words do you want to hear the most in your day?

What words do you want to say most in your day?

What words are you sick of hearing?

What words do you want to stop saying so much of of?

What words do you want to stop hearing so much of?



Smiling. Part I.

If I told you smiling helps you live longer, would you believe me?

Well you should. Because I just pulled up like five interesting sources that I was thinking of talking about and then thought HEY! STICK WITH SMILING STORIES! NOT BORING RESEARCH!

So no research. I’m not writing a thesis.

Just know that if you smile you will live longer. It’s proven somewhere.

But seriously, you have to make yourself smile. You especially have to make it happen if it’s not been happening enough.

You know who you are.

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Could it BE More Easy?


Could this be easier?

It has always been this hard.

I understand that. But can’t we make this easier for you?

But it has always been this hard.

Yes, of course.


What if we simplify it?

Is that even possible?


But it’s been this way forever. 

So it’s a great time to try changing it.

But can I change it?

Well, you’ve got lots of practice so the transition to doing it easier shouldn’t be too tough.

I wish I had known it didn’t have to be this hard.

You were busy learning other things you needed to learn.

Oh yeah. I did need to learn those things.

Yeah. Look at how much you know! You know a lot of useful stuff!

This is kind of exciting! Let’s make everything easier!

Now THAT is a good addiction.

Be addicted to making things easier. And better.

Be addicted to getting there faster. 

But only if you’re getting to somewhere better from somewhere bad.

Otherwise, keep it slow and steady.

And remember to breathe.



Do You Have a Plan?


Anyone who has ever been back-up-against-the-wall in crisis has had to answer the question “do you have a plan?

It’s a question that doctors, nurses and therapists are taught to answer as they triage a desperate situation.

Do you have a plan” enables them to determine how far along a person might be in their desperation.

Because in the world of breakdowns and crises, there are critical differences between ideation, imagery, impulses, urges, and actions.

There are critical differences in how those doctors, nurses and therapists respond and what next steps are taken.

For the person in mental and emotional pain, it can feel like a threshold test of “will you be okay for now?”

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Things Will Change.



When you try giving hope to someone in pain, it only works if the hope is that something will change.

Generally, in offering hope, you must be saying “I have something – an idea, a piece of information, a source, a referral – something that will change the pain you are in.”

Because if you aren’t offering a change from the pain, then what is there to be hopeful about?

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Court’s In Session


Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi said that individuals were the most creative, productive, and happiest when in a state of flow. Prof. Emeritus Mihaly “Mike” Csikszentmihalyi taught at the University of Chicago and was known as the “father of flow.”

He described flow as “a state in which people are so involved in an activity that nothing else seems to matter; the experience is so enjoyable that people will continue to do it even at great cost, for the sheer sake of doing it.”

You know the flow state. It’s like when you’re in “the zone.” When you’re so into whatever you’re doing that everything else disappears.

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Just Another Manic Monday.

Like most normal people who live for the weekend, I’ve never been the biggest fan of Mondays. But tomorrow is different because I get to return to treatment.

It’s Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) and unfortunately Covid forced me to lose a few days last week.

But I am recovered from Covid and ready to go again! Dying actually (pun intended) to get back to the best treatment I’ve ever had.

If you’re new here, I’ve written about how TMS has pretty much completely changed my life.

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You “Worked” at Sheppard Pratt?


The next time you take a year off from college, spend it in a psychiatric hospital.

It was the B.E.S.T. experience of my life.

No question about it. Still. To this day.

After my second year of college, I was in need of a break. I had arrived at school so excited to proclaim myself pre-law, but once there I was really drawn more to social sciences and psychology.  Back home, I had volunteered in hospitals (anyone need a Candy Striper or Pinkie uniform?) and I liked the medical environment. So after my fourth semester of college, I left school, came back to Baltimore and got a job at the most beautiful psychiatric hospital around these parts, Sheppard Pratt.

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Nine and a Half Lives

How many lives have you lived in this lifetime so far?

Or chapters. How many chapters does your book have so far?

Do you come in around the suggested 10 chapters for a memoir? Or are you drowning in chapters?

I’m hoping you have a high number of chapters so I can feel better about my high number of chapters.

I think one of my less-than-helpful, sometimes irrational,  core beliefs or automatic thoughts is that other people live a low number of chapters where not too many chapters would mess up a straight-ish line if mapped out.

But I’m smart. I know that’s not true. I do.

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Adventures with Jimmy Carter

I barely survived high school.

I barely passed either. Because of gym.

Somehow I convinced somebody to let me take college classes early. Then I got permission to just move to Washington DC in my senior year.  Along the way there were notes about how I would fail if I didn’t make up gym classes and stupid things like that. But I always figured out how to do whatever was necessary to meet the gym class requirement that stood between me and an exciting, independent life.

Because I was not a big fan of high school. But I had big dreams.

So I left Baltimore and moved to an all-girls dormitory on 2nd Street near Union Station. It was run by nuns and no men were allowed beyond the lobby. It added to the outrageous surrealness of the entire fact that I tricked everybody into letting me just leave home.

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Stop It.

I looked through my journals to see if my notes from the first round of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) are similar to the notes from the second round.

I’m pleased to notice several positive similarities so far.

Just two weeks into each round, I started writing “Stop it” in my journal.

That was me telling myself to stop it.

Specifically that is me telling myself to stop after realizing I was engaging in bad (negative, unhelpful, unwanted, undesirable, maladaptive) behaviors or habits,

And that’s amazing.

Because usually, being quite the OCD-brain, I would obsess about the behavior once realizing I was engaging in the behavior.

In other words, I would meta obsess.

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Who Are You?

What do you do when you’re not sure who you are? Or when you don’t understand what you’re about anymore?

I imagine we all experience it at different points in our lives. Maybe some of us experience it multiple times, until we start finding our true selves.

Or until we start returning to our true selves.

And I guess a lot of us experience it in conjunction with the journeys of others, those we love. Or used to love.

I found myself again after a lot of years being lost. And I can’t believe it.

I wish I could bottle it. Or capture the formula so I could write the best selling book.

But the twisted path that got me here is too sticky and tricky and filled with details that nobody would understand unless they knew the whole story.

And that’s a bad pitch for a best selling book.

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Get There Faster.

Sometimes things take too long.  Fact.

Now sometimes it just feels like things are taking too long, We all know about that.

But then then there are times when things DO take too long.

Or maybe there are times when things too SOOOOOO long and we want to be sure they never take that long again if we can help it.

Well THAT is my new mission in life.

I have a few other missions, of course, but the mission that you might also benefit from is Getting There Faster.

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Why does it matter?

So why do I keep talking about my diagnosis?

Because it could change someone else’s experience.

And here is how it could do that.

For decades, I had horrible intrusive thoughts of death and suicide.

But once I mentioned suicide, I was ONLY treated for depression. And treatment for depression wasn’t enough.

But finally, a doctor connected my intrusive thoughts of death and suicide with OCD. And I was able to get effective treatment,

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