How Susan Merrill got to the bottom of her anxiety and depression

Susan Merrill had the perfect life on the outside – intact, midwest family growing up, straight-A student, married Mr. Wonderful right out of college, and a perfect job. But she was depressed and anxious. “My awakening started when I had my son,” she says. “I started to realize that here was this human being I brought into the world and in so many ways, I had been faking my life. I wasn’t that in love with my husband, I didn’t really like my job, but I was being what the American dream is – good job with benefits, marriage, buying a home in California – yet it was all kind of false. “It was the love for my son that made me realize I didn’t want to pretend any more. I wanted a more authentic life. I had no idea what that meant, but I knew at some level I […]

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Ready for raw honesty in your relationship? Find out why its the key to marital happiness

By Norelle Done How honest are you with your partner? My husband and I have been together for 11 years, married for 7 1/2, and I firmly believe that the most important thing that’s kept us together and happy has been the depth and openness of our communication. After all, surveys show that poor communication is the number-one reason couples break up.  We got married quite young: I had just turned 21, and he was nearly 22. This was nice for us because we had the opportunity to ‘grow up’ together, but it also meant that we had a lot of learning to do. We looked at the relationships of couples around us, with their varying degrees of success (and failure), and noticed some big issues to avoid in our own relationship.  For example, dishonesty was a problem for many couples, and not always to the extent of lying outright. […]

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How Kendall overcame her body shame and turned her lights on

How’s your life? Is it in vibrant color or kind of greyed-out? Are you filled with so much body shame and shame for who you are that you’re living as if you’re carrying a big, cement weight around? I know the feeling because I’ve been in both turned on and turned off mode. And what’s so awful about being in turned off mode is that you probably don’t even know it. You’re living a sort of grey life, you may feel like a victim, and you just don’t have the energy and vibrancy that you desire. You wish you felt better but you have no idea how to get there. I was inspired to write this after my dear friend Kendall shared her story with me. She had almost completely shut down after a two-year relationship with a verbally abusive boyfriend in her early 20s. This is her journey from being a […]

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If you’re tired of being stressed and anxious….

I decided I’d rather love than divide. Loving keeps my stress way down and dividing makes my stress go way up. But sometimes choosing to love rather than divide is not so easy, such as right now during our country’s current political state of affairs. People feel very, very strongly one way or the other, and I’m no different. But in the midst of a heated argument with someone I care about – each one of us taking a different political side – I stopped and took a breath. I hated the way I was feeling by being all heated up in an argument. Hated that I was getting angry with someone who means a lot to me. I really hated the way I could see this argument dividing us from each other. So I took a big breath and stopped. I said to him, “I’m sorry for not listening […]

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