I was 43 when I discovered I’m not lazy — I have inattentive-type ADHD

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One of the most helpful puzzle pieces of my life was getting the diagnosis of inattentive-type ADHD. It explained and validated so many things — one of the biggest things being that I have gone my entire life thinking I’m a lazy slob.

The “lazy” narrative started in the 6th grade when I tested into the gifted program. I felt I was smart, but could not make myself do well in school. I had creative ideas— so many goddamn ideas, people — but I could not figure out how to make them into a completed thing. I was utterly disorganized…

from a memoir on motherhood

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I was born in Pennsylvania on a snowy day in March to a 15-year-old mother. I have never stopped to think of how my mother must have felt that day — a child expelling another child from her still-growing body. How scared she must have been. What it must have been like to have only my often-stoic grandmother there for support. Another instance of wounded, traumatized women raising the next generation of wounded, traumatized women. A cycle that is no one’s fault and everyone’s doing. …

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December is a strange month for me. In some ways it’s warm and good because I’ve always believed in the magical nature of the Christmas season, and so every year I go into December hoping for that magic to show itself, even if only in spurts.

But December also represents loss for me. My husband passed away on December 3rd, three years ago, and we laid him to rest on December 10th. Those dates are never not strange. Even when I consciously try to take the charge out of them, those dates are marked. Peculiar. …

From a Memoir of Death and Rebirth

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The first dead thing I remember touching is the cold, hard hand of an elderly relative as he lay in his casket. I was young, maybe 5 years old, and the funeral home walls were covered in dark wood paneling. The energy of the room throbbed with depression, and the idea I had as I reached up and touched that bloated, yellowy hand was that this was supposed to be depressing. We were all supposed to be sad. …

A story of miscarriage and postpartum depression

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It is early January 2000 when my husband and I take a flight into Bozeman, Montana. We’ve left a 7-month-old son at home and, at Christmas just a few weeks earlier, we broke the news to our families that we are pregnant with baby number two. Everyone tried to act positive and excited about it, including us, but the truth is I am suffering from postpartum depression pretty badly and I don’t know it. I’m not even aware postpartum depression is a thing women can have — I just assume I am naturally…

Examining the Flawed Daydream of Unhappily Married People Everywhere

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Raise your hand if you’ve ever felt stuck in an unhappy marriage.

Since this is an internet article, I can’t actually see how many hands are in the air, but I’m willing to bet it’s a bunch of them.

Now for a more cringe-worthy call: raise your hand if you’ve ever daydreamed about your significant other dying, thus releasing you from your unhappy marriage.

I’m willing to bet there are fewer hands up now, but a bunch of you sitting there with your hands down are damn liars.

The truth is that so many people who feel stuck in unhappy…

Intentional or not, emotional manipulation is not ok

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2019 has been a year of intense emotional growth and repair for me. I did six solid months of weekly EMDR sessions and processed through some deep-seated issues and negative truths I had rotting at my core.

Childhood did a number on me, psychologically — and my story isn’t special. Most of us grow up with some kind of maladaptive thought patterns forming in deep little grooves in our heads. …

Making life’s course corrections without caring what people think

author of this post, with coffee

Once upon a time, my marriage ended, my husband died, and I had something of a midlife crisis.

The ensuing crisis played out on social media, because I unwisely put it there. I wasn’t exactly in my right mind, as you can imagine — what with the complicated grief and guilt and sudden freedom but also the sudden sole responsibility of three children.

It was a lot. A lot to handle, a lot to process, a lot of shattered pieces from two decades’ worth of stuff to try to reassemble into…

Are you the one not respecting boundaries?

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Boundary-setting is all the rage — as it should be. As far as mental health and self-care go, setting good boundaries with the people in your life is one of the best things you can do for yourself. Being clear, letting go of murky and passive-aggressive tendencies, and holding people to the limits you set are a game-changing combination. Keeping dramatic people at arms’ length — check. Saying no when you mean no — check. These are all great things.

Once you start doing it, it’s addicting. Setting boundaries is incredibly empowering —…

Breaking the writers’ paralysis of “I don’t know where to start”

Photo by Jessica Lewis on Unsplash

If you’re a writer, you’ve more than likely experienced (many times) the paralysis that comes with not knowing how to start a story. Maybe you have an idea for a novel and you’ve daydreamed about it and come up with all kinds of story details — you can even see scenes play out in your brain like a movie — but when you actually sit down to start writing, you find yourself staring at the blinking cursor. …

Suzanne Gale

Short fiction writer. Essayist. Women’s coach. Podcast host. ADHD’er. Former Mormon. Recovering underachiever. Optimist. Widow.

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