It feels surreal that just last year we had our world turned upside down. It has felt like a long road for many of adjustments, loss, feelings of grief, and for some life altering changes. These changes have led many people to upend their life to try to find meaning and pleasure. It seems that what was once important was suddenly inconsequential. It is not uncommon during these times of great shifts to feel waives of grief and for some feelings of being lost. According to Elisabeth Kubler-Ross (2007) there are five stages of grief that people often experience after a loss which are denial (It won’t happen to me), anger(why is this happening to me), bargaining (if I just go out this one time without getting this disease), depression, and acceptance. We have all endured this great traumatic event collectively of loss of family members, friends, or even of the freedom to move about in the world unencumbered. Traumatic events like the pandemic can cause a sudden bought of emotion or memory flashes of what you’ve endured that bring on feelings of sadness. It’s important to know that all of these feelings are normal given the circumstances. Validate what you have been through and acknowledge that there was no one perfect way to handle the pandemic. Try to remember to be gentle and have patience with yourself as you reenter life. It is normal to feel anxiety during this transition but don’t let it paralyze you. Reach out for help if you need support with this transition.
Author: Karen Speel, LICSW
Covid-19 Self Care
In this stressful time of uncertainty and fear it is important to focus on good self care to get through your day. This can be one way to add a sense of being in control of something. One such self care item is to both wake up and go to sleep at similar times each day. When we have more routine and structure it aids in feeling like life is more predictable and stable. In addition it is good to not isolate while you are social distancing. Reach out to family and friends by phone or zoom to keep in touch. Make sure you are taking good care of hygiene and getting enough exercise. Lastly it’s important to avoid dampening strong emotions with alcohol, drugs, or emotional eating. Look for hobbies and outlets that can help you stay feeling sane and at ease during this stressful time. Reach out if you feel we can help support you during this time.
According to the CDC, suicide is the leading cause of death in the United States. Often suicide is an attempt to solve a problem in ones life that is overwhelming. There are other ways to get through. Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) uses a skills based approach to learn new ways to tolerate life when things are difficult. Please reach out for help if you are having suicidal thoughts by going to your nearest emergency room or by calling a support line. Both operate 24/7. Don’t suffer by yourself. There is help and you are not alone.
National Suicide Prevention 1800-273-TALK (8255)
Samaritans-talk or text line 877-870-HOPE (4673)
Dating Red Flag’s
Dating in today’s world has evolved so much. Now people often search online to meet a partner. That gives you maybe a five second chance to make a great impression, before you are swiped away. Unless you have an amazing photo people may overlook you.
Once you decide to meet, it can be daunting to figure out what might be a red flag. Here is list of ten red flags that you should look out for:
1) They don’t ask you any questions about you. It’s important to notice if they are just nervous or instead more self-centered wanting to always talk about themselves.
2) They are critical of all of their ex partners and many of them are said to be “crazy”.
3) He or she expects you to do all of the work or invest the most energy in the relationship.
4) They are not respectful of your boundaries or your need for safety. Maybe they want to know where you live or very personal information too fast.
5) They are intense and move the relationship too fast.
6) Has too many things in common with you. Are they making these things up to manipulate you?
7) They often take a long time to text you back or respond to a telephone call with no explanation.
8) They complain about their life, job, family, ex’s, food, drink much of the time.
9) They are dismissive of your feelings or needs/wants.
10) Something feels off about them. It could be that what they are saying has inconsistencies or doesn’t add up. Always trust your intuition because the body usually is aware something is wrong before the mind catches up.
Any others that you have discovered?
Maybe you’ve experienced it. You’ve started dating someone and things get intense quickly. The person seems to be the partner of your dreams. You have so much in common. Over time you begin to feel depressed. You can’t pin point what is bringing on this feeling. Everything is so perfect, why do you feel anxious and sad most of the time. You start to become obsessive about the relationship. There is a push pull that keeps happening. Sometimes they speak to you like you are the most beautiful person ever, other times they ignore you. You never really feel secure in your place in this persons life. They complain often, sometimes about you. They are victims to be saved from themselves, their life.
You overlook when they stare at that imperfection on your face. The one you spend a lot of time trying to cover up with makeup. Or you notice that they will stare at other women in front of you. They call you paranoid or jealous if you bring it up. In fact you are not a jealous person but always feel insecure in this relationship. You may feel really uncomfortable with the “jokes” made at your expense (or friends or family). They intermittently put little seeds of doubt about your decision making. It can be a look, a statement, or a craftily placed body language. They deny all of it. It is you that is misunderstanding. You don’t remember it right or are being too sensitive.
When you get upset and cry they say you are overreacting, maybe acting crazy. They didn’t mean it, you always take everything the wrong way. When you look at them while your crying, you may see a small micro expression, a smirk that flashes across their face. They are enjoying your pain. Welcome to the world of a narcissistic relationship. You are being emotionally abused.
There is help and recovery from emotional and physical abuse. Therapy is a great way to begin the healing process.