Invisible Illness
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Invisible Illness

This is an email from Mental Note, a newsletter by Invisible Illness.

Mental Note Vol. 24

Photo by Josh Riemer on Unsplash

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, everyone!

We just wanted everyone to know how much we appreciate everyone and how thankful we are for all our readers and writers here. We wouldn’t be anywhere without you, so thank you all for bringing informative, vulnerable, and important pieces that destigmatize mental illness and mental health.

Without further ado, here are ten of our top stories from last week, all of which were curated:

“Female Bullies” Rev. Sheri Heller, LCSW

“Just as the capacity to love and inspire is universal so is the capacity to hate and discourage. Irrespective of gender, race, age or religion none of us are exempt from aggressive proclivities. Those who are narcissistically disordered, and accordingly repress deep seated feelings of inferiority with inflated delusions of grandeur and superiority, are more prone to aggression and violence. They infiltrate our interactions in myriad environments from home, work, school and the cyber world. Hence, bullying does not happen in isolation. Although there is a ringleader she looks to her minions to either sanction her cruelty or look the other way.”

“The Life-Changing Magic of Being Honest With Strangers”Courtney McIlvoy

“Even though the circumstances that brought me here were sad and challenging, I’m grateful for how this program has changed my life for the better. I can’t help but imagine what life would be like if everyone learned to accept their powerlessness over other people, prioritize their serenity, and take life one step at a time. We’ll never know, but I’d bet the world would be much happier.”

“My Christmas on a Psych Unit”Martha Manning, Ph.D.

“The prospect of spending a horrible Christmas, locked in on a psychiatric unit, was one of the low points of my life. For weeks, the day room was festooned with cheesy decorations and a sorry pink aluminum tree. All of our “activity” therapies revolved around the holidays. We baked and decorated cookies. We fashioned quick-drying clay into ornaments that turned out to be too heavy for the tree. Crappy Christmas carols were background torture. It was hard to get pissed off at the staff because they were making the best with what they had.”

“I’m a Love Addict. Are You?” Kerry McAvoy, PhD

“Although I hate to admit it, even if my ex had never betrayed me, I still wouldn’t have been happy. I had set him up for an impossible job — to define me and make me whole. If I cannot find peace and contentment within myself, how could anyone else do it for me?”

“When a Family Member Has a Serious Mental Illness”Russ W

“On a personal note, significant feelings of loss and sadness can still flare up from time to time. That’s only natural; it’s no reason for self-critique. No matter how resilient we purport to be, we are all emotionally vulnerable human beings. Besides, we aren’t talking about some conceptual loss that we can just mechanically compartmentalize away — we are talking about the loss of our fathers, mothers, sisters and brothers.”

“What It’s Like Being a Hypochondriac During a Pandemic”Jacqueline Dooley

“The next six weeks will be hard as cases continue to explode and government leadership remains nonexistent. I can’t control any of this. The only thing I can do is take deep breaths, remain vigilant when it comes to limiting exposure to the virus, and let lots of stuff go. I may always be a hypochondriac, but now that I recognize the beast, I’m hopeful I’ll be able to tame it.”

“I’d Choose Pandemic Life Over Mental Illness Any Day” Jean Campbell

“From anecdotal news reports and informal surveys, there is evidence that for some of us, this pandemic-imposed isolation is a boon rather than a trial. One study on mixed emotions showed that those with lower emotional stability (“moody” personalities) are actually better at responding to uncertainty.”

“I Can’t Manifest My Chronic Illness Away”Lizzie Bestow

“Every day I wish in my heart and soul that I didn’t have ME/CFS. Unfortunately, I do. It’s a result of a virus I had; 10–12 percent of people who experience a serious infection go on to develop ME. I’ve visualized life without CFS for over a year now; I can smell life without it, I can taste it. It’s in the smell of the lavender fields that I can no longer run through. It’s in the taste of the meals from my favorite restaurant that I can no longer walk to. It’s on the tip of my tongue. It’s in the potentialities; all the things I could be doing, as a twenty-four year-old, that I can’t. I cannot cross the chasm between the potential and the reality. And that’s nothing to do with manifestation.”

“3 Ways To Stop Sweating The Small Stuff”Sandra Michelle

“Whether it’s cabin fever, redundancy, loss, or general Covid anxieties, this year has caused us to be exposed to more uncertainty than ever. Uncertainty creates unease and feelings of stress. Some of us may have taken this year as one to motivate — plan dream trips, and prepare and be inspired for what the future could bring. For the rest, it has caused us to become irrational, emotional, and reserved.

“3 Effective Ways to Cultivate Self-Compassion” Saarim Aslam

“To be more self-compassionate is a task that can be tricky because we always want to push ourselves and do better. Without realising it, this can lead to us being self-critical which can have damaging consequences.

It’s important to notice these times when we are harsh because we can easily turn it into self-compassion, which is linked to a better quality of life.”

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, everyone!

Ryan, Juliette, Marie, and Meredith



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Ryan Fan

Ryan Fan

Believer, Baltimore City special ed teacher, and 2:39 marathon runner. Diehard fan of “The Wire.” Support me by becoming a Medium member: