One of my favorite quotes is by Leonard Cohen and it goes, “There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.” This is a particularly good thing to remember if you have a mental illness.

I’ve lived with depression and anxiety for almost twenty years, and I know about the days when the light bursts through boldly, filling every darkened corner of the room. I also know about the days when the light is too faint to seep through the cracks, the days when putting feet on the floor is too terrifying to comprehend. Those are the days to grab hold of a light switch and hang on for dear life.

These are my light switches on dark days: a therapy appointment, a hot bath, a walk with my dogs, a hug from my partner, a mindless TV show, yoga stretches, a cup of tea, a good book, writing/journaling, deep breathing, meditation, taking my meds with a full glass of water, calling a friend, eating a nourishing meal (maybe with a glass of wine), singing along to a good song, crying it out, remembering all the times before when I made it out alive (and that I will make it out alive again), and rest, rest, rest.

In my early twenties, I started seeing a therapist for the first time, and it changed my life. Over two years of therapy, she gently pointed me towards the light while also teaching me how to find it on my own. Almost ten years later, I get to do the same work with my clients.

I live with my partner, our two dogs (Pancho and Kodo), and a small colony of feral cats. I’m an empath, animal person, fierce feminist, LGBTQ ally, and local activist. Writing is my favorite form of creative expression and I’m always looking for opportunities to do more of it. If you’d like to connect, send me an email, or follow me on Twitter + Instagram.

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