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Last week, I read in the Daily Mail that Amanda Bynes‘ doctors are seeking to have her held in a psychiatric facility for up to one year and force her to take medication. ONE.YEAR! 365 Days of her life. Her doctors were planning to ask a judge to allow them to hold her for up to a year, during which they’d be allowed to keep her confined and, if necessary, restrained and force her to take medication

“A judge will only grant this type of hold if the person is deemed “gravely disabled as a result of a mental disorder or impairment by chronic alcoholism.”

So, hopefully the judge will find another way to help Ms. Bynes without needing to confine her to an institution for an entire year. Maybe they could make a stipulation of freedom be that she is medication compliant. A simple blood test could be used to check for compliance.

I feel like the media is reporting this matter of factly, as if having a mental illness diagnosis warrants immediately being locked up. Would we ever consider locking up a diabetic against their will, withholding sugar and forcefully administering insulin? I think not.

Media rubberneckers find this to be an entertaining topic of conversation. “Oh that “crazy” Amanda Bynes with her “crazy” antics, setting things on fire, tweeting out salacious photos, doing the most off the wall behavior for attention.” The thing is, this is serious and this is scary.

 

Amanda bynes, mentally ill, mandatory psych hold

When I see this photo, the only thing I think is maybe she looks a little thin…not crazy.

If you’ve ever had a mental illness diagnosis, as many people do these days, you know that our biggest fear, aside from outing ourselves as “mentally ill” because then everyone just attributes everything you do to being “crazy” and having it undermine and tinge every single thing you do for the rest of your life, we.fear.being.locked.away against our will. This is why mentally ill people keep their mouths shut, don’t take meds, don’t share with friends and family and don’t get better because if the price of help is being locked up against your will, it simply is not worth it to us.

Why the world thinks it has the right to banish her to an institution or condemn her to a life of being “crazy”, I don’t know? She is young. She has made some mistakes. She has exhibited some bad behavior but that doesn’t mean that she should be written off as a lunatic.

I was diagnosed at 27,with BiPolar 1. If you knew me then, you might have thought that I was “CRAZY” if you had spent any extended amount of time with me. In small doses, I could pass for funny and enthusiastic but if you spent a substantial amount of time with me, like my husband did, you would have quickly realized that there was no off button.

I was reckless, careless, I drove fast, I shopped a LOT, I was hyper sexual, I drank almost constantly, I did very outrageous things simply because I was bored, I was the life of the party and then I was the meanest bitch you’d ever have met. Luckily, I was not a celebrity nor were Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, SnapChat or Pinterest in existence or maybe I would have been the token crazy online.

I got help. I didn’t need institutionalized. I never became psychotic. I was able to control my mania with medication, reducing triggers like alcohol, caffeine and sugars, behavioral therapy and cognitive therapy. I made every effort to know and embrace my illness. I did this privately, with the help of my husband. My family knew but I didn’t live near any of them. It wasn’t something I told strangers. I was allowed the dignity of keeping my mental illness private and this allowed me to not let it define me.

Years later, I came out about my mental illness on my blog because I was ready to share my story in hopes that maybe it could help someone else know that you can get through it.

Maybe Amanda Bynes needs to be institutionalized for help but a year is a sentence. She’s done nothing wrong. She is being punished for a crime that she didn’t commit. Mental illness is not a crime, it’s an illness.

I understand  72 hours or 2 weeks to get meds stabilized  and make sure someone is not a danger to themselves or others but  isn’t a year a bit extreme? If this happens, this could happen to anyone with a diagnosis, including you or I. Consider that.

Do you think doctors should be able to ask for a mandatory 1 year psychiatric hold to a mentally ill Amanda Bynes or anyone?

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Stephen "tWitch" Boss, Suicide an insider's guide, depression

Estimated reading time: 11 minutes

My feeds are full of the news of the sudden death by suicide of Stephen “tWitch” Boss. Everyone is shocked that he’s dead. It’s a travesty. Simultaneously, the world is knocked off its axis by the idea that a seemingly happy man/father/husband/celebrity who appeared to be living his “best life” with everything to look forward to, in fact, committed suicide.

Stephen "tWitch" Boss, Suicide an insider's guide, depression

But, I’m not shocked that anyone commits suicide anymore. Life is hard. Many of us contemplate it, some of us go as far as to meticulously plan it, still others attempt and too many succeed. As someone with Bipolar 1 disorder, I’ve become intimately aware of the statistics that 20-60% of all people diagnosed with bipolar will attempt suicide at least once in their life and 4-19% will succeed.

Depression does not discriminate. It gives no fucks about what you or anyone else thinks your life should feel like. Mental illness doesn’t care how wealthy you are or how charismatic you are. It strikes and it’s a cruel, clingy and unjust bitch. Once she has her greedy hold on you, she doesn’t want to let go. Wave after wave of sadness, grief and melancholy battering every inch or your heart, soul and body. It’s no wonder we start to drown in the seas of sadness. Survival is not guaranteed. Only by the grace of the universe, holding on for literal “dear life” determination and the support system to keep fighting through immeasurable pain, self-doubt, loathing and loneliness until the storm passes do we get to see another day.

Stephen "tWitch" Boss, Suicide an insider's guide, depression

To the outside world, Boss seemed like a man who had everything; a beautiful wife and 3 lovely children, a loving marriage and a career that was glowing up in all the best ways. He looked his happiest when he was with his family. He literally seemed to radiate from within. However, the truth is that we have no idea what was really going on in his heart and his head. He was beloved on the internet for his big personality, devotion to his family and all the good he brought to the online world. He was someone we needed; he was light. But even the most optimistic person has worries and weight. Most importantly, who did he see in the mirror? How did he feel in his own skin? Who was the real him to tWitch? The public is left bewildered and maybe even a little scared because if “it” could happen to him, it can happen to anyone, right? I feel this deeply because I’ve been on the precipice of eternal darkness before and it’s a terrifying and out-of-control place to be.

In my weakest moments as an adolescent, I spend many hours lying awake in the night, quietly full of despair silently sobbing into a pillow because I felt trapped in an inescapable hell, completely and utterly alone. Part of me wanted to disappear and another part of me wanted to be noticed and saved but that other part wanted to cease to exist and quietly float off into the ether. I wanted the peace that could only be found alone in the silence and darkness. These were my constant, ever-pervading thoughts throughout my early teens my early 20s.

But if you were to ask 99%of the people who knew me then, they would describe me with words like “nice,” “sweet”, “smart”, and “FUN” (yep, bipolar mania, professional and consummate compartmentalizer skills), and “funny”. I laugh a lot and I like to make others laugh even when inside, I’m falling apart. I’m one of those people who always holds it together; the deeper the pain, the quieter I get about it, and the less I scream and yell about it. I retreat into myself. I hide in plain sight.  If you know, you certainly know what I’m talking about. Feeling sad sometimes feels shameful because where the hell do I get off feeling sorry for myself when so many others have it so much worse? That’s what I told myself.

In high school, I was the smart, quiet “girl next door”, the “most likely to succeed” type. I got up, went to school, did my best, and got through my days pretending to be happy and good-natured; friend to everyone. I was the type that teachers and other people’s parents loved. But my thoughts were dark. I was sad, scared, anxious and angry. No one knew what was going on at home. I never told them. I was ashamed. At home, I was the victim of physical and emotional abuse from an alcoholic father. Every moment, of every day was erratic and school was my solace. From 8-3 pm every day, I was safe. I was normal.

By the time I got to college, I had become comfortable with pretending. I was on my own for the first time in my life, I was away from my boyfriend and friends, everything was new and overwhelming. I felt out of control. In the beginning, I was scared and felt swallowed up whole by the experience but then I just let go or rather I broke under all the weight of bending. Let me explain, I pretended to be care-free. I pretended to be cool with a lot of things I wasn’t. I pretended that being completely alone in a new place, wasn’t scaring me to death. I pretended that waking up with a guy (I thought was a “friend”) on top of me, slithering off like a thief in the night while I slept…never happened. I pretended that I was tougher than I was. I pretended to be happy. I pretended to be the life of the party. None of that was true. It was quite the opposite.

What the world saw was not me. It was some version of me. She was the only reason I survived. She was the fake it until you make it Debi. Or maybe I was the push it til you break it Debi. Around this time, my eating disorders kicked into high gear. At one point it was so bad that I was consuming roughly 200-300 calories a day while purging (without the binging) sometimes up to as many as 10 times in any given 24-hour period. I felt trapped inside my own body and mind. Never free to be the real me. No. I couldn’t handle that rejection.

In those days, I survived on 3-5 hours of sleep a night, worked full-time, went to school full-time 1.5 hours away from where I lived and had to drive back and forth every day and still maintained a boyfriend and robust social life. I lived like a frat boy, drinking into the early hours of the morning, satiating my id and sleeping on the sofa at my best guy friend’s house. Pretending to be okay. No one met the real me then.

There was a Debi for school, one for work, another for the boyfriend, one who pretended to fearlessly sleep on the sofa of a house full of guys, and even one more Debi for nightlife. I felt like a little girl playing dress-up. I was not ready for any of this. The time I was the most myself was in the 3 hours I was in the car alone, blaring Alanis Morrisette and Mazzy Star, singing at the top of my lungs. No one knew me. I was a lot of people for a lot of people but I was almost never “me”.

I was tortured but when I was doing what I needed to do, when I was chin-upping it I could avoid reality and the reality was that I wanted to die. Living was too painful. Breathing was a chore. Slipping on and off personalities like comfortable coats was exhausting.

It felt like everyone wanted a piece of me but only the palatable pieces. No one wanted or cared enough to move past the “me” that they needed to really see the “Me” that I actually was. This explains how the body dysmorphia got so bad. My therapist once told me that my perception of myself is so skewed that I can never trust my own eyes to know what I really look like. So, the cost of the chameleon life I led, straddling reality and pretending to be everything to everyone is that I no longer get to see the real me. I’m gone, vanished from my own sight.

As you may surmise from the previous paragraphs, I was chronically and acutely depressed with suicidal ideation and I had a plan. I even had the opportunity and motive. My point is that to the outside world and even to those closest to me, I seemed okay. Some people even called me the life of the party. I was good at hiding the darkness. I was great at pretending to be happy and go lucky when inside I was breaking. I compartmentalized my life in such a definitive way that I built a fortress around my innermost me that cut myself off from everyone and everything I loved. I lost my joy. Even when I was smiling, I was probably actively planning how, when, and where I was going to give myself over to that eternal quiet darkness that I was longing for. I was done but I couldn’t share that part of me with anyone. I didn’t want them to console or stop me. At the time, I felt like there was no way out and I was destined to a fate of pretending to be alternate versions of myself to be loved by others. The burden was too heavy but I wore it like a dress with pockets and no one seemed to notice the gravity of it all.

In the end, we see what we want to see. We choose to believe that some people have it better than others. It’s the lie we tell ourselves to help us make it through the days. To be fair, we only see what people allow us to see of themselves and they only see what we give them access to of ourselves. In a world built on flawless filters where people are so busy that they seldom look up from their screens to see a sunset, how can any of us be expected to check in on our friends who seem to be okay? Or worse the ones who seem to be good? And that, my friends, is the problem.

We live in a world where we don’t have the time or bandwidth to care about others the way that we’d like to believe we do.  We’re a society saturated in our own woes and even when we want to, it can seem futile. But we put on our brave and happy faces and we soldier on until we can no longer endure.

I don’t know what happened Monday to trigger and escalate the situation for Boss. I don’t know what his “no longer can endure” breaking point but I know the pain it feels to be there in the thick of it. I know the sorrow and thick melancholy that makes it hard to breathe and even harder to live. My heart goes out to Boss and his family. It breaks my heart to think of how alone and desperate he must have felt in those final moments when no longer existing seemed the only option.

Stephen "tWitch" Boss, Suicide an insider's guide, depression

People always want to know how and why someone could do such a thing, especially when they seem to have it all. The thing is “having it all” is worthless when you feel completely alone and unworthy of your blessings; when you hurt so much that you can’t even find joy in the things that used to make you profoundly happy; you can’t function normally under the heaviness of the sadness. You begin to doubt the point of your existence and wonder if removing yourself might actually be better for your family and friends.  I’ve been there and now; my daughter is there. Sometimes, I think I survived just for this moment. I’ve been on both sides of the darkness as someone’s child and now, as the parent of someone mired in the darkness and it’s worse than you can imagine.

If you or someone you know is feeling alone in the darkness, having suicidal ideation and/or making a plan, reach out for help. You are not alone. There are so many of us who have survived. There is no switch to turn or pill to take to be all better. It’s painful to survive BUT it’s worth it. Take it day by day, hour by hour or even minute by minute. The pain seems unbearable and the crisis unsurmountable when you look at the big picture, so look for the tiny moments to get you through to the next.

If you’re in the United States, you can call the suicide and crisis lifeline at 988, available in Spanish and English language, 24 hours a day. Someone is always there to listen. You are worth saving. You matter.

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mental health awareness month, mental illness, bipolar, depression, OCD, PPD, Eating Disorders

You’re crazy! Oh My God, she is acting so bipolar! I can’t go shopping this afternoon, I am so depressed! Get over it. Take a chill pill! Don’t have a panic attack.

We hear these statements made almost daily. For some, they may seem harmless but to those of us who suffer from these diagnoses, it’s far from funny.  It’s serious.

My chemical imbalance is not your bad mood. My battle with eating disorders is not you trying to lose 5 vanity pounds. Someone’s deep depression is not the same as you having a bad day or being sad because things didn’t go your way at the game tonight. My inability to see myself as I am in the mirror is definitely not the same as being slightly concerned with the way your ass looks in your jeans.  Someone’s PPD is not the same as you being overwhelmed because you took on too many things. Somebody’s OCD is not the same as you wanting to wash your hands before meals. Being afraid to take a risk is not the same as being so terrified to be in a room with people that your heart races so fast that you are sure you are having a heart attack.

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I’ve never needed streaming television more than I do now. This coronavirus pandemic has begun to affect me in ways that I never could have expected. I’ve watched everything in English, Spanish, French, Italian, Swedish and Belgian that I could find. I’ve always loved Asian horror because it’s simply the scariest. What I never expected my heart would need is Asian Rom Coms, all Asian Drama, K-dramas, C-drama, J-drama, coming of age series and kPop soundtracks. I’m not even a Rom-Com girl. But Asian Rom Com series just hit in a different way than their American counterparts. They are pure and innocent. I find myself smiling a lot.

If you’re not familiar with this genre, acquaint yourself. These series can also sometimes fall into the categories of K-Dramas, J-Dramas and C-Dramas. If you’re wondering why I am out of the blue recommending these shows, I’m going to be 100% honest with you. I’ve been really stressed during this pandemic but I’ve been keeping it all neatly bottled up inside because this issue is so huge and insurmountable that keeping a lid on my feelings about it is the only way for me to mentally survive it.

As many of you know, I was diagnosed with Bipolar 1 when I was 27. I haven’t had a manic or depressive episode in over a decade. To be honest, the only “depression” I’ve truly ever experienced was the result of an overly stressful coming of age time in my own teens when my dad was a volatile alcoholic and again in 2012, when I lost our third baby. I actually feel like both of those instances were completely normal responses to the situation however, I am not trusted to assess my own emotional well-being. My point is that this pandemic has me terrified for my own mental health.

READ ALSO: Best Horror Movies to Watch with Your Teens

Rather than feeling like I’m depressed, at least not anything like I’ve ever known, I’m feeling anxious (again, I feel under these circumstances is a pretty normal reaction for anyone) but what’s scaring me is this walking a tightrope feeling in my gut that feels like mania is lurking right beneath the surface, just waiting to break through. That terrifies me because I’ve never had an episode since becoming a mom. But, I’m also not who I was in my 20’s, I know the disease I’m battling. I know it well. I’ve researched it, made peace with it and embraced it. I’ve had extensive training on how to move through it and how to get myself off the ledge. Still, it’s scary. The feeling that any wrong move can send me freefalling and crashing towards earth as my daughters and the Big Guy watch on. That scares me the most.

Luckily, I just had 2 weeks off of school (Oh yeah, did I forget to mention that I’ve gone back to school to get another Masters of Science (this time in Digital Marketing) during a pandemic?) but today, I went back. It gave me the time I needed to look more closely at the situation and realize what’s happening; to get my bearings. When I had my miscarriage, I had this same walking a tightrope feeling, I survived it with binge-watching the UK version of Shameless…all 10 seasons. I’m the kind of person who needs to feel her feelings and I write to process but when it gets to be too much, I start to short circuit. Recently, I’ve been finding it harder and harder to write. I can’t even will myself to commit my thoughts to keyboard. That means for my own mental health, I have to let go of the overthinking and I have to relinquish control and numb myself to relieve the pressure.

READ ALSO: The Last Goodbye

Before I knew what my diagnosis was, I used to drink to do this. I was in college so it seemed pretty normal. Didn’t every anorexic 100 lb girl drink 6-12 beers a night? I did. I don’t do that anymore. Seldom do I have even 3 drinks in a year these days. Caffeine and alcohol are on my “in moderation” list. Sleep for me is supposed to be 10-12 hours a night, to maintain normal. I live on 4-6, if I’m sick, I can force 8. My insomnia is my constant companion. I’ve noticed it’s gotten worse these past few weeks. My bedtime is frequently at 4 am. I know this is not normal but nothing brings the sleep, not even the sleep medication. This is a trigger warning for me.

My point to all of this is that Asian Rom Coms are currently saving my sanity. I need their quiet, sweet, romantic, coming-of-age endearing storylines to focus on and laugh and cry with to process my emotions in small quantities. These series are literally my emotional support series’. When I’m in a manic episode, I become obsessive so binge-watching is better than eating or shopping. The alternative is giving myself over to the erratic, reckless and self-satisfying darkness. Instead, I’m choosing to quiet my mind by anesthetizing it with the calm voices of Asia’s finest young actors. I’m enjoying them so much; I’m thinking of trying to learn Mandarin (because speaking 4 languages is not enough) …this could be the mania talking but I’m going to give it a try with no expectations (that’s how I know I’m still aware of my behavior).

READ ALSO: How to Love Forever

I know that the pandemic has brought about its own unique challenges for everyone, I’m not the only one whose mental illness has been reactivated in the wake of the world being on fire. I’m not special (look at me not having grandiose thoughts of self-importance). I’m not saying that Asian rom coms are the answer to saving the world’s sanity from the Coronavirus pandemic, but I’m not saying they’re not either. They are very entertaining, add levity, laughter and cathartic sobbing when needed and unlike the typical American teen dramas we are used to there is not any of the excessive drinking, juuling and sex scenes. It’s just endearing and thoughtful naïve first love, the kind we had in the beginning and wish for our own children to someday experience. Plus, the people, the music, the language and the culture are so beautiful to watch and learn more about. Right now, I’m truly thankful for Netflix and Rakuten Viki.

For me, I know that Asian rom coms can’t fix mental illness but just like psychiatric drugs, behavioral therapy and cognitive therapy, in my recovery, they definitely have their place.  Here are my favorite Asian Rom Coms for beginners. For reference, my top 4 are the first 4 on the list below. Also, this list includes Chinese, Korean, Japanese and Taiwanese recs. Don’t worry if you don’t know the languages, that’s what subtitles are for and honestly, even without subtitles, you can enjoy these shows. Seriously, Asian Rom Coms can help us all survive the pandemic. TBH, the worst thing about Asian Rom Coms is that they end and I want more seasons.

Top Asian Rom Coms to watch for beginners

 K-drama, kpop, c-drama, j-drama ,14 Asian Rom Coms that can Save You from Your Pandemic Pit of Despair, Dylan Wang, Shen Yeu, Meteor Garden, Guo Junchen, Amy Sun, Zhao Yiqin, Yuan Hao, accidentally in love, shy boss, Yeon Woo-jin, Park Hye-soo, Yoon Park, Love Alarm, Song Kang, Kim So-hyun, Good Morning Call, Shun’ya Shiraishi, Haruka Fukuhara, Yosuke Sugino, Darren Chen, Caesar Wu, Connor Leong, Sun Qiang, Hello My Twenties, Ryu Hwa-young, Park Hye-soo, Park Eun-bin, Han Seung –yeon , Han Ye-ri, Yoon Park, Shin Hyun-soo, Netflix, Rakuten Viki, My First First Love, Ji Soo, Jung Chae-Yeon, Second Twenties, Choi Ji-woo, Lee Sang-yoon, The Liar and His Lover, Lee Hyun-woo, Lee Jung-jin, Lee Seo-won and Hong Seo-young, Put Your Head on My Shoulder, Lin Yi, Xing Fei, Miss in Kiss, Dino Lee, Esther Wu, Riley Wang, Zhao Lusi , Zhang Jiongmin, I Hear You, Go Go Squid, Li Xian, Yang Zi, Hu Yi Tian

Meteor Garden

Chinese/ Netflix /2018

Dong Shancai is determined to excel at her dream university, where she encounters an elite clique of dashing, popular high-achievers — and finds love, Dao Ming Si. Starring Dylan Wang and Shen Yeu.

 K-drama, kpop, c-drama, j-drama ,14 Asian Rom Coms that can Save You from Your Pandemic Pit of Despair, Dylan Wang, Shen Yeu, Meteor Garden, Guo Junchen, Amy Sun, Zhao Yiqin, Yuan Hao, accidentally in love, shy boss, Yeon Woo-jin, Park Hye-soo, Yoon Park, Love Alarm, Song Kang, Kim So-hyun, Good Morning Call, Shun’ya Shiraishi, Haruka Fukuhara, Yosuke Sugino, Darren Chen, Caesar Wu, Connor Leong, Sun Qiang, Hello My Twenties, Ryu Hwa-young, Park Hye-soo, Park Eun-bin, Han Seung –yeon , Han Ye-ri, Yoon Park, Shin Hyun-soo, Netflix, Rakuten Viki, My First First Love, Ji Soo, Jung Chae-Yeon, Second Twenties, Choi Ji-woo, Lee Sang-yoon, The Liar and His Lover, Lee Hyun-woo, Lee Jung-jin, Lee Seo-won and Hong Seo-young, Put Your Head on My Shoulder, Lin Yi, Xing Fei, Miss in Kiss, Dino Lee, Esther Wu, Riley Wang, Zhao Lusi , Zhang Jiongmin, I Hear You, Go Go Squid, Li Xian, Yang Zi, Hu Yi Tian

A Love so Beautiful

Chinese / Netflix/ 2017

The ups and downs of school, family and growing up test the love between a budding artist, Chen Xiaoxi, and her handsome but indifferent classmate and neighbor, Jiang Chen. Starring Hu Yi Tian and Shen Ye.

 K-drama, kpop, c-drama, j-drama , 14 Asian Rom Coms that can Save You from Your Pandemic Pit of Despair, Dylan Wang, Shen Yeu, Meteor Garden, Guo Junchen, Amy Sun, Zhao Yiqin, Yuan Hao, accidentally in love, shy boss, Yeon Woo-jin, Park Hye-soo, Yoon Park, Love Alarm, Song Kang, Kim So-hyun, Good Morning Call, Shun’ya Shiraishi, Haruka Fukuhara, Yosuke Sugino, Darren Chen, Caesar Wu, Connor Leong, Sun Qiang, Hello My Twenties, Ryu Hwa-young, Park Hye-soo, Park Eun-bin, Han Seung –yeon , Han Ye-ri, Yoon Park, Shin Hyun-soo, Netflix, Rakuten Viki, My First First Love, Ji Soo, Jung Chae-Yeon, Second Twenties, Choi Ji-woo, Lee Sang-yoon, The Liar and His Lover, Lee Hyun-woo, Lee Jung-jin, Lee Seo-won and Hong Seo-young, Put Your Head on My Shoulder, Lin Yi, Xing Fei, Miss in Kiss, Dino Lee, Esther Wu, Riley Wang, Zhao Lusi , Zhang Jiongmin, I Hear You, Go Go Squid, Li Xian, Yang Zi, Hu Yi Tian

Go Go Squid

Chinese/ Rakuten Viki/ 2019

At 19, Tong Nian, a brilliant IT programming student with stellar grades and an equally impressive social media following, is winning at life. She never has a problem meeting new people. But all that changes the day Han Shang Yan walks into her life. Starring Li Xian, Yang Zi and Hu Yi Tian.

 K-drama, kpop, c-drama, j-drama , 14 Asian Rom Coms that can Save You from Your Pandemic Pit of Despair, Dylan Wang, Shen Yeu, Meteor Garden, Guo Junchen, Amy Sun, Zhao Yiqin, Yuan Hao, accidentally in love, shy boss, Yeon Woo-jin, Park Hye-soo, Yoon Park, Love Alarm, Song Kang, Kim So-hyun, Good Morning Call, Shun’ya Shiraishi, Haruka Fukuhara, Yosuke Sugino, Darren Chen, Caesar Wu, Connor Leong, Sun Qiang, Hello My Twenties, Ryu Hwa-young, Park Hye-soo, Park Eun-bin, Han Seung –yeon , Han Ye-ri, Yoon Park, Shin Hyun-soo, Netflix, Rakuten Viki, My First First Love, Ji Soo, Jung Chae-Yeon, Second Twenties, Choi Ji-woo, Lee Sang-yoon, The Liar and His Lover, Lee Hyun-woo, Lee Jung-jin, Lee Seo-won and Hong Seo-young, Put Your Head on My Shoulder, Lin Yi, Xing Fei, Miss in Kiss, Dino Lee, Esther Wu, Riley Wang, Zhao Lusi , Zhang Jiongmin, I Hear You, Go Go Squid, Li Xian, Yang Zi, Hu Yi Tian

I Hear You

Chinese/ Netflix/ 2019

Love blooms between a bubbly, aspiring voice actress and a cool, enigmatic violin-maker after they cross paths on a reality TV show. Starring Riley Wang, Zhao Lusi and Zhang Jiongmin.

 K-drama, kpop, c-drama, j-drama , 14 Asian Rom Coms that can Save You from Your Pandemic Pit of Despair, Dylan Wang, Shen Yeu, Meteor Garden, Guo Junchen, Amy Sun, Zhao Yiqin, Yuan Hao, accidentally in love, shy boss, Yeon Woo-jin, Park Hye-soo, Yoon Park, Love Alarm, Song Kang, Kim So-hyun, Good Morning Call, Shun’ya Shiraishi, Haruka Fukuhara, Yosuke Sugino, Darren Chen, Caesar Wu, Connor Leong, Sun Qiang, Hello My Twenties, Ryu Hwa-young, Park Hye-soo, Park Eun-bin, Han Seung –yeon , Han Ye-ri, Yoon Park, Shin Hyun-soo, Netflix, Rakuten Viki, My First First Love, Ji Soo, Jung Chae-Yeon, Second Twenties, Choi Ji-woo, Lee Sang-yoon, The Liar and His Lover, Lee Hyun-woo, Lee Jung-jin, Lee Seo-won and Hong Seo-young, Put Your Head on My Shoulder, Lin Yi, Xing Fei, Miss in Kiss, Dino Lee, Esther Wu, Riley Wang, Zhao Lusi , Zhang Jiongmin, I Hear You, Go Go Squid, Li Xian, Yang Zi, Hu Yi Tian

Miss In Kiss

Taiwanese/ Netflix/ 2016

A quirk of fate sends an ordinary, sweet-natured high school girl and her father into the home of the school genius, on whom she has a huge crush. Starring Dino Lee and Esther Wu.

 K-drama, kpop, c-drama, j-drama , 14 Asian Rom Coms that can Save You from Your Pandemic Pit of Despair, Dylan Wang, Shen Yeu, Meteor Garden, Guo Junchen, Amy Sun, Zhao Yiqin, Yuan Hao, accidentally in love, shy boss, Yeon Woo-jin, Park Hye-soo, Yoon Park, Love Alarm, Song Kang, Kim So-hyun, Good Morning Call, Shun’ya Shiraishi, Haruka Fukuhara, Yosuke Sugino, Darren Chen, Caesar Wu, Connor Leong, Sun Qiang, Hello My Twenties, Ryu Hwa-young, Park Hye-soo, Park Eun-bin, Han Seung –yeon , Han Ye-ri, Yoon Park, Shin Hyun-soo, Netflix, Rakuten Viki, My First First Love, Ji Soo, Jung Chae-Yeon, Second Twenties, Choi Ji-woo, Lee Sang-yoon, The Liar and His Lover, Lee Hyun-woo, Lee Jung-jin, Lee Seo-won and Hong Seo-young, Put Your Head on My Shoulder, Lin Yi, Xing Fei, Miss in Kiss, Dino Lee, Esther Wu, Riley Wang, Zhao Lusi , Zhang Jiongmin, I Hear You, Go Go Squid, Li Xian, Yang Zi, Hu Yi Tian

Put Your Head on My Shoulder

Chinese/ Netflix/ 2019

As Si Tu Mo’s graduation is nearing, she is confused about her future plans. She tries out all sorts of things all the time and is unable to make her own decisions. Starring Lin Yi and Xing Fei.

14 Asian Rom Coms that can Save You from Your Pandemic Pit of Despair, Dylan Wang, Shen Yeu, Meteor Garden, Guo Junchen, Amy Sun, Zhao Yiqin, Yuan Hao, accidentally in love, shy boss, Yeon Woo-jin, Park Hye-soo, Yoon Park, Love Alarm, Song Kang, Kim So-hyun, Good Morning Call, Shun’ya Shiraishi, Haruka Fukuhara, Yosuke Sugino, Darren Chen, Caesar Wu, Connor Leong, Sun Qiang, Hello My Twenties, Ryu Hwa-young, Park Hye-soo, Park Eun-bin, Han Seung –yeon , Han Ye-ri, Yoon Park, Shin Hyun-soo, Netflix, Rakuten Viki, My First First Love, Ji Soo, Jung Chae-Yeon, Second Twenties, Choi Ji-woo, Lee Sang-yoon, The Liar and His Lover, Lee Hyun-woo, Lee Jung-jin, Lee Seo-won and Hong Seo-young, Put Your Head on My Shoulder, Lin Yi, Xing Fei, Miss in Kiss, Dino Lee, Esther Wu, Riley Wang, Zhao Lusi , Zhang Jiongmin, I Hear You, Go Go Squid, Li Xian, Yang Zi, Hu Yi Tian

The Liar and His Lover

South Korean/ Netflix/ 2017

Love Story of a genius composer and a high school girl who sings. She falls in love at first sight but it’s never that easy. The drama is based on the popular Japanese manga Kanojo wa Uso o Aishisugiteru by Kotomi Aoki.  Starring Lee Hyun-woo and Joy with Lee Jung-jin, Lee Seo-won and Hong Seo-young

 K-drama, kpop, c-drama, j-drama , 14 Asian Rom Coms that can Save You from Your Pandemic Pit of Despair, Dylan Wang, Shen Yeu, Meteor Garden, Guo Junchen, Amy Sun, Zhao Yiqin, Yuan Hao, accidentally in love, shy boss, Yeon Woo-jin, Park Hye-soo, Yoon Park, Love Alarm, Song Kang, Kim So-hyun, Good Morning Call, Shun’ya Shiraishi, Haruka Fukuhara, Yosuke Sugino, Darren Chen, Caesar Wu, Connor Leong, Sun Qiang, Hello My Twenties, Ryu Hwa-young, Park Hye-soo, Park Eun-bin, Han Seung –yeon , Han Ye-ri, Yoon Park, Shin Hyun-soo, Netflix, Rakuten Viki, My First First Love, Ji Soo, Jung Chae-Yeon, Second Twenties, Choi Ji-woo, Lee Sang-yoon, The Liar and His Lover, Lee Hyun-woo, Lee Jung-jin, Lee Seo-won and Hong Seo-young, Put Your Head on My Shoulder, Lin Yi, Xing Fei, Miss in Kiss, Dino Lee, Esther Wu, Riley Wang, Zhao Lusi , Zhang Jiongmin, I Hear You, Go Go Squid, Li Xian, Yang Zi, Hu Yi Tian

Second 20s

South Korean/ Netflix/ 2015

Almost 40, Ha No-Ra’s son is about to go away to college and her husband wants a divorce the moment the kid’s out of the house. Ha No-Ra goes back to school and meets Cha Hyun-Suk, an old schoolmate who is now a professor. Unknown to her, Cha Hyun-Suk had the biggest crush on her in high school but she never noticed. Starring Choi Ji-woo and Lee Sang-yoon.

 K-drama, kpop, c-drama, j-drama , 14 Asian Rom Coms that can Save You from Your Pandemic Pit of Despair, Dylan Wang, Shen Yeu, Meteor Garden, Guo Junchen, Amy Sun, Zhao Yiqin, Yuan Hao, accidentally in love, shy boss, Yeon Woo-jin, Park Hye-soo, Yoon Park, Love Alarm, Song Kang, Kim So-hyun, Good Morning Call, Shun’ya Shiraishi, Haruka Fukuhara, Yosuke Sugino, Darren Chen, Caesar Wu, Connor Leong, Sun Qiang, Hello My Twenties, Ryu Hwa-young, Park Hye-soo, Park Eun-bin, Han Seung –yeon , Han Ye-ri, Yoon Park, Shin Hyun-soo, Netflix, Rakuten Viki, My First First Love, Ji Soo, Jung Chae-Yeon, Second Twenties, Choi Ji-woo, Lee Sang-yoon, The Liar and His Lover, Lee Hyun-woo, Lee Jung-jin, Lee Seo-won and Hong Seo-young, Put Your Head on My Shoulder, Lin Yi, Xing Fei, Miss in Kiss, Dino Lee, Esther Wu, Riley Wang, Zhao Lusi , Zhang Jiongmin, I Hear You, Go Go Squid, Li Xian, Yang Zi, Hu Yi Tian

My First First Love

Korean/ Netflix/ 2019

Due to various personal reasons, some of Yun Tae-o’s friends move into his house, where they experience love, friendship and everything in between. Starring Ji Soo and Jung Chae-Yeon.

 K-drama, kpop, c-drama, j-drama , 14 Asian Rom Coms that can Save You from Your Pandemic Pit of Despair, Dylan Wang, Shen Yeu, Meteor Garden, Guo Junchen, Amy Sun, Zhao Yiqin, Yuan Hao, accidentally in love, shy boss, Yeon Woo-jin, Park Hye-soo, Yoon Park, Love Alarm, Song Kang, Kim So-hyun, Good Morning Call, Shun’ya Shiraishi, Haruka Fukuhara, Yosuke Sugino, Darren Chen, Caesar Wu, Connor Leong, Sun Qiang, Hello My Twenties, Ryu Hwa-young, Park Hye-soo, Park Eun-bin, Han Seung –yeon , Han Ye-ri, Yoon Park, Shin Hyun-soo, Netflix, Rakuten Viki, My First First Love, Ji Soo, Jung Chae-Yeon, Second Twenties, Choi Ji-woo, Lee Sang-yoon, The Liar and His Lover, Lee Hyun-woo, Lee Jung-jin, Lee Seo-won and Hong Seo-young, Put Your Head on My Shoulder, Lin Yi, Xing Fei, Miss in Kiss, Dino Lee, Esther Wu, Riley Wang, Zhao Lusi , Zhang Jiongmin, I Hear You, Go Go Squid, Li Xian, Yang Zi, Hu Yi Tian

Hello, My Twenties

Korean/ Netflix/ 2016

Five female housemates and college students meet and live at the Belle Epoque. While strangers at first, they are able to bond and connect over the traumas they experienced while growing up. Together they juggle the perils of adult life. Starring Ryu Hwa-young, Park Hye-soo, Park Eun-bin, Han Seung –yeon , Han Ye-ri, Yoon Park and Shin Hyun-soo.

 K-drama, kpop, c-drama, j-drama , 14 Asian Rom Coms that can Save You from Your Pandemic Pit of Despair, Dylan Wang, Shen Yeu, Meteor Garden, Guo Junchen, Amy Sun, Zhao Yiqin, Yuan Hao, accidentally in love, shy boss, Yeon Woo-jin, Park Hye-soo, Yoon Park, Love Alarm, Song Kang, Kim So-hyun, Good Morning Call, Shun’ya Shiraishi, Haruka Fukuhara, Yosuke Sugino, Darren Chen, Caesar Wu, Connor Leong, Sun Qiang, Hello My Twenties, Ryu Hwa-young, Park Hye-soo, Park Eun-bin, Han Seung –yeon , Han Ye-ri, Yoon Park, Shin Hyun-soo, Netflix, Rakuten Viki, My First First Love, Ji Soo, Jung Chae-Yeon, Second Twenties, Choi Ji-woo, Lee Sang-yoon, The Liar and His Lover, Lee Hyun-woo, Lee Jung-jin, Lee Seo-won and Hong Seo-young, Put Your Head on My Shoulder, Lin Yi, Xing Fei, Miss in Kiss, Dino Lee, Esther Wu, Riley Wang, Zhao Lusi , Zhang Jiongmin, I Hear You, Go Go Squid, Li Xian, Yang Zi, Hu Yi Tian

Good Morning Call

Japanese/ Netflix/ 2016

A teenager has finally gotten her own apartment. The only problem is that she’s sharing it with the most popular boy in school, and they have to keep it a secret. Starring Shun’ya Shiraishi and Haruka Fukuhara.

 K-drama, kpop, c-drama, j-drama , 14 Asian Rom Coms that can Save You from Your Pandemic Pit of Despair, Dylan Wang, Shen Yeu, Meteor Garden, Guo Junchen, Amy Sun, Zhao Yiqin, Yuan Hao, accidentally in love, shy boss, Yeon Woo-jin, Park Hye-soo, Yoon Park, Love Alarm, Song Kang, Kim So-hyun, Good Morning Call, Shun’ya Shiraishi, Haruka Fukuhara, Yosuke Sugino, Darren Chen, Caesar Wu, Connor Leong, Sun Qiang, Hello My Twenties, Ryu Hwa-young, Park Hye-soo, Park Eun-bin, Han Seung –yeon , Han Ye-ri, Yoon Park, Shin Hyun-soo, Netflix, Rakuten Viki, My First First Love, Ji Soo, Jung Chae-Yeon, Second Twenties, Choi Ji-woo, Lee Sang-yoon, The Liar and His Lover, Lee Hyun-woo, Lee Jung-jin, Lee Seo-won and Hong Seo-young, Put Your Head on My Shoulder, Lin Yi, Xing Fei, Miss in Kiss, Dino Lee, Esther Wu, Riley Wang, Zhao Lusi , Zhang Jiongmin, I Hear You, Go Go Squid, Li Xian, Yang Zi, Hu Yi Tian

Love Alarm

Korean/ Netflix/ 2019

In a world in which an app alerts people if someone in the vicinity likes them, Kim Jojo experiences young love while coping with personal adversities. Starring Song Kang and Kim So-hyun.

14 Asian Rom Coms that can Save You from Your Pandemic Pit of Despair,Dylan Wang, Shen Yeu, Meteor Garden, Guo Junchen, Amy Sun, Zhao Yiqin, Yuan Hao, accidentally in love, shy boss, Yeon Woo-jin, Park Hye-soo, Yoon Park, Love Alarm, Song Kang, Kim So-hyun, Good Morning Call, Shun’ya Shiraishi, Haruka Fukuhara, Yosuke Sugino, Darren Chen, Caesar Wu, Connor Leong, Sun Qiang, Hello My Twenties, Ryu Hwa-young, Park Hye-soo, Park Eun-bin, Han Seung –yeon , Han Ye-ri, Yoon Park, Shin Hyun-soo, Netflix, Rakuten Viki, My First First Love, Ji Soo, Jung Chae-Yeon, Second Twenties, Choi Ji-woo, Lee Sang-yoon, The Liar and His Lover, Lee Hyun-woo, Lee Jung-jin, Lee Seo-won and Hong Seo-young, Put Your Head on My Shoulder, Lin Yi, Xing Fei, Miss in Kiss, Dino Lee, Esther Wu, Riley Wang, Zhao Lusi , Zhang Jiongmin, I Hear You, Go Go Squid, Li Xian, Yang Zi, Hu Yi Tian, K-drama, kpop, c-drama, j-drama

Shy Boss

Korean/ Netflix/ 2017

The quiet life of an extreme introvert is thrown upside down when his company hires a cheery and outgoing new employee who’s not all she seems. Starring Yeon Woo-jin, Park Hye-soo and Yoon Park.

14 Asian Rom Coms that can Save You from Your Pandemic Pit of Despair, Dylan Wang, Shen Yeu, Meteor Garden, Guo Junchen, Amy Sun, Zhao Yiqin, Yuan Hao, accidentally in love, shy boss, Yeon Woo-jin, Park Hye-soo, Yoon Park, Love Alarm, Song Kang, Kim So-hyun, Good Morning Call, Shun’ya Shiraishi, Haruka Fukuhara, Yosuke Sugino, Darren Chen, Caesar Wu, Connor Leong, Sun Qiang, Hello My Twenties, Ryu Hwa-young, Park Hye-soo, Park Eun-bin, Han Seung –yeon , Han Ye-ri, Yoon Park, Shin Hyun-soo, Netflix, Rakuten Viki, My First First Love, Ji Soo, Jung Chae-Yeon, Second Twenties, Choi Ji-woo, Lee Sang-yoon, The Liar and His Lover, Lee Hyun-woo, Lee Jung-jin, Lee Seo-won and Hong Seo-young, Put Your Head on My Shoulder, Lin Yi, Xing Fei, Miss in Kiss, Dino Lee, Esther Wu, Riley Wang, Zhao Lusi , Zhang Jiongmin, I Hear You, Go Go Squid, Li Xian, Yang Zi, Hu Yi Tian , K-drama, kpop, c-drama, j-drama

Accidentally in Love

Korean/ Netflix/ 2018

A popular singer decides to go back to school, becoming the center of attention there and meets an ordinary female student who is more than he ever imagined. Starring Guo Junchen, Amy Sun, Zhao Yiqin and Yuan Hao.

K-drama, kpop, c-drama, j-drama ,4 Asian Rom Coms that can Save You from Your Pandemic Pit of Despair, Dylan Wang, Shen Yeu, Meteor Garden, Guo Junchen, Amy Sun, Zhao Yiqin, Yuan Hao, accidentally in love, shy boss, Yeon Woo-jin, Park Hye-soo, Yoon Park, Love Alarm, Song Kang, Kim So-hyun, Good Morning Call, Shun’ya Shiraishi, Haruka Fukuhara, Yosuke Sugino, Darren Chen, Caesar Wu, Connor Leong, Sun Qiang, Hello My Twenties, Ryu Hwa-young, Park Hye-soo, Park Eun-bin, Han Seung –yeon , Han Ye-ri, Yoon Park, Shin Hyun-soo, Netflix, Rakuten Viki, My First First Love, Ji Soo, Jung Chae-Yeon, Second Twenties, Choi Ji-woo, Lee Sang-yoon, The Liar and His Lover, Lee Hyun-woo, Lee Jung-jin, Lee Seo-won and Hong Seo-young, Put Your Head on My Shoulder, Lin Yi, Xing Fei, Miss in Kiss, Dino Lee, Esther Wu, Riley Wang, Zhao Lusi , Zhang Jiongmin, I Hear You, Go Go Squid, Li Xian, Yang Zi, Hu Yi TianThis is just a beginner’s list of some of my favorites. There are so many more and I encourage you all to check them all out. I highly recommend you check them out and if you do, please come back here and leave me some comments. I’m fairly new to the genre but would love to discuss it with all of you, especially if you’ve watched them or have recommendations of K-Drama and Asian Rom Coms that I should check out, bonus points if they have Li Xian, Dylan Wang and Shen Yeu in them.

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World Mental health day, Mental Health is the Cure to Generational Trauma

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

Today is World Mental Health Day and I’m here for it. I’m here to tell you that I crawled on glass to get mentally healthy so that my girls could casually and nonchalantly get the help they need without stigma or hesitation.  You see, when I was growing up, everything was “rub some dirt on it” and “just calm down” and “ADHD? My kid doesn’t need meds for ADHD, she’ll outgrow it.” No one thought that mental health is the cure to generational trauma. Seeking mental health help was about as taboo as sodomization. Yep, I said that too.

Growing up the daughter of a depressed, introverted mother with a people-pleasing complex and an alcoholic father prone to fits of rage, tumultuous was an understatement. Most of my childhood felt like I was stuck on a tiny, deserted island prone to excessive erosion and every day was hurricane season and when it wasn’t hurricane season, it was surely typhoon season. Any wrong step in any direction could surely make this house of cards childhood crumble.

I was prone to stomach issues from anxiety, from a very early age. I remember frequenting the pediatrician’s office and even the emergency of our local hospital often because no one could get to the bottom of my constant pain and diarrhea. The kept up until high school and then I fell into a deep, dark hole of depression. Still, with six kids, a raging alcoholic and a depressed mom…no one really noticed and if they did, they chalked it up to teenage angst and hormones. My eating disorders went unnoticed for years, as did my body dysmorphia, depression and subsequent bipolar.

They say that people can be born genetically predisposed to mental illness disorders but without trauma to activate that illness, they may never develop one. I wasn’t that lucky because if there was one thing I had a plenty of, besides brothers and sisters, it was triggering trauma. Most people who know me today, think I am an eternal optimist. In fact, in my house, the Big Guy and my girls think I’m practically delusional with my “where there’s a will, there’s a way” attitude but when you’re raised with so little, you have to believe that you can to survive the despair.

But back to my depression, it was the kind where you feel like you’re so far deep in a hole that even when you’re looking up all you can see is more black. I was suicidal. I don’t say that lightly but with reverence and honesty. It wasn’t a cry for attention or help. I felt so helpless and hopeless and stuck that I really wanted to just go into a deep, dark corner and disappear. I had thought it out thoroughly. I had several ideas of how to do it quietly, without a chance to be caught before I was done and how to make sure that it was final. I wanted to be dead because living was torturous. It was so painful to live that I just couldn’t see enduring it any longer. That was my existence between the ages of 15-17. The only thing that kept me from doing it was my mom. She never intervened, in fact, she had no idea I was even thinking about it but I knew that if I were to kill myself; it was the same as murdering her so I could never go through with it. Her love, literally, saved me from myself.

Fast forward a few years later and at the age of 27-years-old, I was finally diagnosed with Bipolar 1 disorder. I was relieved. I know some people would be embarrassed or ashamed but I was just relieved to give a name to the brokenness I had suffered since I was in my teens because giving it a name, gave me the courage to face it, process it and move through it. My diagnosis was, in a way, the power to heal and the chance to realize that I was not broken, just bent.

It may seem from reading this that I was sick and then I was better. Obviously, that was not the case. The years in between were the things that drug-fueled nightmares are made of. I was out of control of myself and I couldn’t stop any of it. I was just along for the ride, as my brain chemistry held me hostage and nearly killed me in a myriad of ways while destroying many relationships, obliterating opportunities along the way and all I could do was hang on for dear life.

Meanwhile, I had no idea what was happening to me. I just knew I was impulsive, reckless and irrationally irritable and angry. I waxed and waned between manic elation and extreme irritability almost daily. I blew things up in my mind. I cried a lot. I got angry. I hurt the people I loved with my words, actions and deeds. I was selfish but I thought I was magnanimous. I was narcissistic. I was mean when I wasn’t the sweetest person in the room and you never knew who you were going to get. To be honest, neither did I. To the people who knew and loved me through those dark and twisty times, I apologize and for those who remain, words will never be enough to express my love and gratitude for your love and care.

It took multiple diagnoses, years of behavioral therapy, psychiatric care, a cocktail of medications, a lot of education, a handful of clinical psychology classes in grad school, a shit ton of self-acceptance, a healthy devouring of the DSM and learning to let go to become the woman I am today. I have been practically non-episodic for almost 20 years save for a couple of hypomanic episodes, the most recent during this pandemic. The Big Guy and I are constantly monitoring my moods and sleep habits because hormones and big life changes can trigger an episode. I’ll spend the rest of my life being the guard of my own mental health. To be honest, after recently speaking with a therapist, maybe mom should have treated that ADHD because you don’t just grow out of it. But that’s a story still in progress.

My point is that I had to do a lot of work on myself, really look inward, and learn about my illnesses, embrace them in order to become part of the solution. Knowing my own mental health challenges, I have always been very open and honest about mental health with my girls and, I am always looking for the signs because mine was missed for so long. Mental health is just as important as physical health in our family. In fact, in April of 2020 I put both of my girls in therapy because the pandemic was very negatively affecting their mental health and, to be honest, I’ve always thought that every single human being could do with some therapy.

My girls had no qualms about talking to a therapist. Though we are very open, I know that there are things that maybe they would feel more comfortable with, as teens, speaking with a non-biased professional and I’m fine with that because their mental health is more important than my pride. The goal is to be mentally healthy, comfortable in their own skin and happy. I never want them to feel shame and stigma about a very normal issue that so many people are affected by and avoid getting the help they need.

The thought of my girls lying in their bed at night alone in the dark, feeling such despair that it hurts to go on living like I used to, breaks my heart. So I talk to them about their days and their feelings, sometimes more than they want to and reassure them that I am here for them always and if it’s beyond my capabilities to help, I’m willing to do whatever it takes to keep them healthy in every single way.

I believe that mental health is the cure to generational trauma but it takes lots of work. How can we make it easier for our kids, and each other, to get the mental health help we need, when we need it?

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My (Mostly) Hilarious Journey with Mounjaro and Type 2 Diabetes

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Okay, so picture this: me, the queen of sass and self-deprecating humor, staring down the barrel of a diagnosis. Not just any diagnosis, mind you, but type 2 diabetes. Thanks, perimenopause, for the lovely parting gift. As if it weren’t enough to rob me of my fertility, now, you want to slap me in the proverbial face and call me ugly too? That’s when I found Mounjaro.

Let’s face it, sugar dragons are pesky. One minute you’re happily cruising along reversing the heck out of your diabetes, then bam! Blood sugar spikes, energy dips, and your inner sass monster starts grumbling. That’s what happened to me, thanks to the lovely combo of perimenopause, stress and type 2 diabetes. My A1C was doing a bad imitation of a roller coaster, and my glucose numbers danced the flamenco with a sugarplum fairy. It was glucose level insanity.

My (Mostly) Hilarious Journey with Mounjaro and Type 2 DiabetesEnter Mounjaro, the knight in shining (injectable) armor.

Now, I’m not one to shy away from a challenge, especially if it involves witty banter and slightly questionable life choices. But let’s be real, diabetes is no joke. My A1C just kept creeping up on me like some weird guy at the club who couldn’t take the hint.

Now, hold on just one minute, fitness unicorns, I’m one of you. Don’t come for me.  I’m not advocating for quick fixes or magic weight-loss potions. You know I don’t. If I did, I’d still be rocking that thigh gap instead of my current status of chub rub expert level. I battled anorexia for a decade, and trust me, there’s no sugarcoating the fact that sustainable health requires hard work and self-love. But when it comes to managing my diabetes and reclaiming my energy, sometimes a little help from modern-day glucose reducing magic (okay, medication) is a good thing.

Mounjaro is steadily lowering my glucose numbers and reversing my type 2 diabetes.

Now, before you get all “Ozempic is the new black” on me, hear me out. I’m not advocating for quick fixes. In fact, I’m firmly against them, and rejected the idea of a glp-1 for over a year. But when it comes to managing my diabetes and getting my health back on track, I’ll do whatever needs to be done. Numbers don’t lie and sometimes, you have to try a different route to get to your destination.

So, I finally said yes and embarked on this Mounjaro adventure, armed with my trusty dose of skepticism, crossed arms and a notes app full of witty observations.

Here’s the lowdown, sugar dragons:

In just 4 weeks, I’ve bid farewell to 12 pounds of unwanted baggage, paving the way to a healthier, happier version of myself. Sayonara, extra weight! With a starting point of 235.5 pounds, I’ve already crossed the 5% milestone, now eyeing that glorious 10% mark hovering tantalizingly at 211.5 pounds. And you know what? I’m not just shedding pounds; I’m reclaiming control over my A1C levels, determined to smash through that pesky 7.6 and bring it back under 5. Talk about goals, right?

From the moment I first injected Mounjaro, I felt things changing. Energy levels soaring, glucose numbers steadying, inflammation dwindling – the perks just kept on coming! And let’s not forget the shrinking waistline, bidding farewell to inches like it’s nobody’s business. Who knew losing weight could be such a wild ride?

But it isn’t all sunshine and unicorns. Mounjaro isn’t without its side effects. A little too heavy on the snacks? Cue the stomach rebellion, complete with a symphony of gas, burps, and constipation. Talk about a party pooper or party not pooper, as it were in my unfortunate case! Lesson learned: steer clear of high-fat foods and keep the fiber flowing.

My (Mostly) Hilarious Journey with Mounjaro and Type 2 DiabetesThe Good, the Bad, and the Gassy:

The Good:

  • Blood Sugar Tango? More Like a Waltz: My glucose levels have become a model citizen, rarely venturing above 150, and that post-meal spike? Gone like yesterday’s news. Hallelujah!
  • Energy Unleashed (with a Cautionary Label): Say goodbye to the afternoon slump! Mounjaro has me bouncing like a Tigger on espresso, but beware, fellow bipolar warriors, this energy boost can flirt with the manic side. Tread carefully, my friends.
  • Bye-Bye, Bulge: Let’s not sugarcoat it (pun intended), I’ve shed some pounds. Not a magic disappearing act, mind you, but a steady, healthy 12 lbs in 4 weeks. My clothes are thanking me, and so is my self-confidence. But it isn’t all the Mounjaro, I’m doing my part too; controlling portions, making healthier choices and moving at least 30 minutes 5 days a week.
  • Inflammation? Who’s That?: My dodgy knee, a souvenir from the “Great Break of 2015,” feels less like a rusty hinge and more like a well-oiled machine. Stairs, who dis?

The Bad:

  • Tummy Troubles: Turns out, high-fat foods and Mounjaro don’t mix well, at least in my experience. Bacon and I are currently on a temporary break (thanks, belching and constipation!). My body is clearly sending a message: “Lay off the grease, Deborah!”
  • The Great Vomiting Debacle: Now, about that dosage bump to 5 – let’s just say, it was a night to remember. A little too indulgent on the snacking front led to a gut rebellion of epic proportions. Picture this: stomach distended, burping, indigestion and praying for divine intervention. And just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse – bam! Oh, the horror!   Cue the projectile vomiting extravaganza. A cautionary tale, indeed. After upping my dosage and snacking a little too heavily, I experienced a night of projectile vomiting that would make Linda Blair blush. Lesson learned: stick to the lower dose and befriend fiber and water.

The Gassy: Well, let’s just say I’ve become intimately acquainted with the power of Simethicone. I’ve never been one to be gassy or burpy and I don’t want to be now so I’m doing whatever I need to keep that side effect at bay.

My (Mostly) Hilarious Journey with Mounjaro and Type 2 DiabetesThe Verdict:

Mounjaro is not perfect (not even close), but for me, it’s been a slow and steady game-changer. My diabetes is under control, my energy is up, and I’m feeling like my old, sassy self again. But remember, I’m not a doctor, and this is just my experience. Talk to your healthcare professional before embarking on any new medication, diabetes warrior.

Listen up, sugar dragons! Take control of your health. Get informed, talk to your doctor, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Remember, small changes can make a big difference. And hey, if you’re on Mounjaro too, let’s commiserate over the gas and share some low-fat recipe tips!

Bonus Tip: Start small! Instead of reaching for that extra cookie, take a walk around the block. It’s all about progress, not perfection. Now, excuse me while I go hug my pancreas and thank it for cooperating (mostly).

If you have any questions about my journey on Mounjaro please feel free to ask me in the comments. Or if you want to share your experience with me, I’d love to hear all about it. 

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love is, Difference between Love, like and Infatuation

I’ve spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to explain sex to my girls but what about how to know the difference between love, like and infatuation? It’s actually a very important discussion to have with your kids but how many parents actually have it? I’ve decided that honesty is the best thing to do. I want open dialogues with them about everything.

How many times have you been in love? Like really in love. I thought I was “in love” about 3 times before I actually was. You see, the problem was that I didn’t know what real love was so I kept thinking I was in love but really it was a crush, infatuation, and love but not true, unconditional, forever love. But each time it felt like “love” until I pulled my head out of the love fog and could see it for what it really was.

There was lots of casual dating but each “love” was necessary for the learning curve. If I hadn’t experienced each time I thought I was “in love” I wouldn’t have had any barometer by which to measure when the real thing happened.

Don’t get me wrong, they all had their purpose and I wouldn’t trade any of the experience. Our experiences make us into who we are and if it weren’t for all of those false love alarms, I never would have known when I stumbled backwards into a really good guy and a healthy relationship.

What is the Difference between Love, Like and Infatuation?

Remember when you were in high school, maybe even college, and you fell in love and it was all consuming and insatiable? It was all you could think about and all you cared about. Anytime day or night, all you wanted was to be with that other person. You would have crawled inside of that person and lived if it were possible. Making love was truly an other worldly experience. You could not satisfy your craving for that person.

Remember those days when you were so in love that it hurt your stomach? When seeing that person was the most important part of your day? Remember thinking to yourself, or maybe even saying it out loud, I would die for you? And you meant it. If someone walked into the room and it came down to you and him, you would surely jump in front of that bullet because you loved him so hard that if he died life wouldn’t be worth living any ways, so why not sacrifice your life for his?

Were we stupid? Or was our baby brains just too consumed and overwhelmed by feeling love for someone other than our parents and complicated by all of those hormones that we just couldn’t process it? We knew our parents loved us and they would take a bullet for us so isn’t it logical that we take a bullet for the person who we love beyond all reason and comprehension? I used to think so.

I was one of “those” girls. I loved being in love. I loved loving someone and I loved the thought of someone loving me. Someone wanting me. Wanting to possess me. Someone not being able to live without me. It thrilled me. I believed that was the measure of true love. Someone willing to die for me. Anything less was bullshit. But as most teenagers, I was delusional. I saw undying devotion in the simplest of tasks. He pulled the chair out for me and cupped my face when he kissed me. He must love me. He surprised me with a single rose and my favorite candy at the drive-in, this must be “IT”. Wow, it’s easy to believe bullshit when you’ve never had the real thing, isn’t it?

Anyways, that passion was electric. It was the kind of “love” that had you feeling manic all the time. Coming from an actual person diagnosed with bipolar, that is saying something. I lived in that high to the exclusion of all else. Nothing else mattered and that was the measure of “real love” to me, for a very long time. I thought if it wasn’t all consuming and in crisis and threatened, it couldn’t be the real thing because the real thing was messy and it f*cked you both up beyond all recognition because that passion fire burns hot and high and hard, all.the.time. What I didn’t realize it that it burns out and leaves you both in a pile of ashes. If it was really  intense, it could almost kill you both. But, adult me realizes that is crazy. I don’t want love that kills me. That’s poison.

I learned to live on that high. I craved it as much as I craved love. Then I fell in real love and I realized what I was doing up until then, was accepting what I had been taught to believe was love from the dysfunctional example of my parents and from movies. I believed that for it to be “love” it had to be “go hard or go home” at all times because love is work and if you love someone, you have to be willing to love them so hard that it might kill them and you have to be willing to die for them. I was a child and when you are a child, the world works in absolutes but as I grew up, I realized that real love doesn’t live in absolutes. It thrives in the grey area.

How important is it to distinguish the difference between love, like and infatuation?

For me, it wasn’t about dying for someone or killing for them. It was about being willing to live for them. Not in the “everything I do is for you” way like in all of those sappy love songs that we swoon over when we are kids. I mean in the “I love you so much that I want as many days on this earth as I can get with you” way.  As a mother, it’s important to tell your precious daughters about dating guys so they can have a wonderful relationship.

In the way that makes the stupid things you’re doing fall away and life get clear. When I met my husband, I was a hot mess, in every sense of the word. I wasn’t even living my own life. I was living other people’s expectations and I was basing my happiness on someone else. Then I met the Big Guy. He put me first (maybe for the first time I had ever been first in my life) and my thinking shifted. I no longer had to be on the defensive. I didn’t have to be the aggressor. I just had to be me.

Suddenly, I didn’t want to throw up every morsel of food that went into my mouth. I wanted to live and my 10-year slow suicide by anorexia plan wasn’t what I wanted. I wanted to live and I didn’t want him to know just how dysfunctional I really was. So, I started working towards getting better. I got help.

He saw the messed up ugly side of me almost immediately. I was an undiagnosed manic bipolar, anorexic with body dysmorphia and a self-medicating drinking problem. I was fun, then I was raging, mean and completely irrational. It was pretty hard to hide from anyone who was paying attention.

I had developed a bad habit of pushing anyone who wanted to get close to me away. I had long passed the wanting to crawl inside of someone phase. I was selfish and borderline and convinced that I was unlovable because up to that point, I had done everything right and none of it ever worked. I never passed quality control. I gave up and resigned myself to being detached. I basked in the position of being wanted, even if it was all surface.

Then the Big Guy came along and while his initial intention was to purely to hook up. We ended up talking all night after a couple ghosting friends left me stranded at a party at his house. Somewhere between our first disinterested meeting and that next morning, we connected on a cellular level without even trying. In that moment, we became each other’s person.

It wasn’t love at first sight. I don’t even think we were each other’s types. We would have never even have met one another other than a new friend I had met in my LSAT class who happened to grow up with this tall, gangly alt guy with black fingernails and a heart only rivaled by the size of his smile. It took a couple more weeks before we worked out the kinks. Falling head over heels doesn’t feel like what you expect it to. It sort of sneaks up on you and you suddenly realize that this person gives you hope and loves you unconditionally, through the ugly and the hard and the messy and the complicated and they never think of leaving because it’s not an option that even enters their mind or yours. You realize that you can’t imagine a life that doesn’t include seeing this person’s face every morning. , kissing them before bed each night, seeing them in the faces of your children. That is love. It’s a light that never goes out because you don’t let it. You both work at it. You keep it alive, even when it’s sick and sad. You love it back to life.

You realize that you can’t imagine a life that doesn’t include seeing this person’s face every morning, kissing them before bed each night, seeing them in the faces of your children. That is love. It’s a light that never goes out because you don’t let it. You both work at it. You keep it alive, even when it’s sick and sad. You love it back to life.

Maybe real true love isn’t what they write about in the story books or songs. Maybe it is sometimes. I want my girls to know that love can look like a million different things. What’s important is how it makes you feel when you’re with that person. It isn’t big and bold, though sometimes it is, it’s also quiet and steady and safe. It’s feeling happy just being still and not needing an escape plan or contingency plan. It’s not about being willing to die for someone, it’s being willing to work your ass off to live as long as humanly possible to share every day with your best friend.

The person you love as much as you love yourself. The person who gave you the children who you would take the bullet for because it’s the legacy of your love; the thing the 2 of you created. Real love is the kind that makes you want to risk everything to make the world better than you left it because it’s what he deserves. That’s love.

The real difference between love, like and infatuation is that when you find real love…that person can satisfy all of those things; love, like and lust.

How will you teach your kids to know the difference between love, like and infatuation?

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perimenopausal rage

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Lately, I’ve been a little sensitive, and by “sensitive,” I mean I’ve been wanting to rip my family’s heads off simply for chewing. I’ve wanted to blow up every single place I’ve ever been that has mirrors, food, or clothing. Sometimes, I’ve even cried because I accidentally called my puppy my recently, dearly departed dog’s name. But mostly, I’m fucking hot, and it makes me cranky. Hot for no fucking reason – just sitting here minding my own goddamn business, and “poof,” this bitch is on fire. It’s super fucking annoying. Thank you, perimenopausal rage.

I’ve been what I’d consider “moody,” and that’s saying something because I’m fucking bipolar so I should know. But this is obscene and excessive, even for my dramatic ass.

This is perimenopausal rage.

My point is I thought I was literally having an “episode” (I haven’t had a bad one since my mid-20s), so I consulted my doctors. And no, I am, in fact, not losing my battle with bipolar, but I am losing my battle with estrogen, it seems. To be honest, last year I had a spell of consecutive panic attacks, which is not ordinary for me, so I consulted my OB/GYN and my GP about anxiety and/or the “pause” (menopause if you’re nasty). After checking the hormone levels, I was told it was a false alarm. But this year, when I started having “cold chills,” I again consulted my doctors to see if this was in response to my double ear infections or if midlife had finally caught me in its butchering talons. This year, it was a silent alarm. While my estrogen is normal, my FSH was on the lower end of normal, signaling that I am, in fact, probably perimenopausal insert coffin emoji

I can tell you that getting this news hit me in a way that I had not anticipated. It momentarily made me feel shhh* “old.” Suddenly, I was like, “Oh shit! DO I look as old as my high school Facebook friends? Oh.God.NO!!!!” *** (It’s my inner monologue. God and I are roll dogs; he is not shocked by my sailor vocabulary, neither is my mother.)

My point is that for one moment, I doubted myself. Is this irrefutable evidence that I am closer to old than young? Fuck, do I have to stop wearing what those “what not to wear when you’re over 40” Gen Z fashion writers tell me that I’m not supposed to? Wait! Are my kids now the.boss.of.me???? I’m freaking out.

Who showed up to the party? Mother Fuckin’ hot flash to add fire to this fire.

Uninvited guest: Perimenopausal Rage

My point is that at some time during this mid-life, one surviving ovary post hysterectomy, hormonal imbalanced world, this mom started getting very irritable with everyone. Maybe it’s normal. I’ve been overworked and overwhelmed for a good long time circa 2005. I’ve put everyone else’s feelings, wants, needs, and expectations ahead of mine. I’ve literally been juggling everyone’s everything for almost two decades, and I am so fucking tired. When’s it my turn for someone else to juggle all the things? I don’t remember signing up for this shit when I was born with a vagina.

Look, I know being a woman comes with great power (conjuring up human beings, keeping them alive, raising good humans while dealing with some other woman’s supposed “good human”), and I know that is a great responsibility. But no one told me that I was going to be worked like a donkey until the moment I dropped dead. Why am I the only one who can change toilet paper rolls, do laundry, load the dishwasher, cook dinner, plan vacations, and handle the finances? I didn’t get that memo. The older I get, the more tired I get, and the smaller my threshold for this kind of shit is. As my hormones wax and wane out of balance, the less fucks I give, the less tolerance I have for stupid people, and the more irritable I get, especially dealing with randomly, self-populated hot flashes in this mother fucking surface of the sun heat.

My point is that suddenly, I am filled with rage for no apparent reason, and I want to go ham on most living creatures within reach.

Are you experiencing perimenopausal rage and feeling overwhelmed? You’re not alone! Join our supportive community of women navigating the hormonal rollercoaster of perimenopause. Share your stories, find solace, and learn coping strategies to manage the fury. Together, we can embrace this transition with humor, empathy, and a whole lot of rage-fueled empowerment!

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How to Keep Your Shit Together while Busy Taking Care of Everyone Else, how to protect your mental health while taking care of everyone else

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

These past few weeks of motherhood have been thus far some of the hardest ever. Shit has happened that no one teaches you about in the parenting books. I’ve studied the whole of the DSM and I still couldn’t have been prepared, as a mother, for the kind of emotional toll that has been taken on me. That’s why I’m realizing how to protect your mental health while taking care of everyone else is so important for parents.

You know there are things you expect, in the back of your head, in the bottom of your heart and right there in the pit of your stomach. Things that you know can happen, like all those terrible side effects they warn you of when you are taking the drugs that will save your life. You take them anyways because living is more important than having the shakes. Well, my friends, this shit was not on the warning label when I got pregnant. Or maybe it was and I chose not to believe it.

I have been struggling with mental illness since the teen years. There is a whole list of disorders and illnesses that I can speak of at length and in-depth. That should have been a red flag to me that maybe I needed to be a little more prepared for what could happen if the girls got triggered. But, I thought, I’ve got this. I found my way out of the darkness. It’ll be fine. And it was until it wasn’t anymore.

In my teen years, my mind was held hostage in a dark abyss. I couldn’t find my way out or at least it felt like I couldn’t but, true to Debi fashion, one step at a time, one moment at a time, I survived. Barely. Even though there were days when it was so painful to be alive that I prayed something or someone would kill me because I couldn’t do it myself and hurt my mom. She was my savior and she had no idea of the dark thoughts that were infiltrating my brain. It’s probably better that way. But I know.

In those days, it hurt to breathe because it felt counterintuitive and I cried more tears than I thought were even possible. But, my childhood was tumultuous to put it nicely. A lot of bad shit happened to me and when you’re a kid, you can only take so much before you break. Or so I thought. I’m more resilient than I ever imagined because I never actually broke, I just bent as far as my child mind and body could.

I promised myself that I would never allow that to be my daughters’ stories. They would live a “normal” life. As if I even know what that looks like. I promised myself they would never be triggered and I thought I could protect them from my same fate. But I was wrong. There are some things we can’t actually stop from happening, no matter how hard we try or how ‘good’ we are at this parenting thing. Maybe this is why I feel like such a fraud when people compliment me. I know the truth. There are simply some things that are beyond our control. That’s a hard and bitter pill for this recovering smother mother to swallow.

How to protect your mental health while taking care of everyone else is a hard, but imperative, balance to find

Today, I took my daughter to her first adolescent group therapy session. Never expected that to be a milestone. She almost cried when I left her. I almost cried when I left her in a room full of strange kids in their own turmoil. Is this a good idea? Is she going to get ideas or learn bad habits? But isn’t this supposed to help her live? All that matters is that she makes it through, by any means possible. She is the most important thing in my life. She and her sister are truly my entire reason why.

A couple of weeks ago, her depressive episode got so bad that I could see her slipping into that same dark abyss that I used to live in. I lived there for years. I honestly thought I’d never escape. I resigned myself to living there alone with my pain until it killed me. For me, it started at 12-years-old with body dysmorphia, then the major depression and suicidal ideations started around freshman year of high school, onto eating disorders beginning around 17 ( bulimia then anorexia with extreme exercising), and ultimately a diagnosis of bipolar 1 when I spent most of my college years and my mid 20’s manic AF. I didn’t have my first panic attack until I was 35-years-old but according to my psychiatrist, anxiety was there first.

As a child, I was prone to terrible stomach aches that landed me in the emergency room on more than one occasion. That’s how little Debi’s anxiety from living with an abusive, alcoholic father first manifested. But I learned quickly, around 7-years-old, how to develop my coping mechanisms. I’m a counter. It worked for years until my husband lost his job when I was 35. #mommysfirstpanicattack Yep, if I’m anxious and talking to people (pushing through my anxiety) I’m probably counting every word you are saying and all the letters in the words.  I know I’m an extrovert but I also have my limits. I didn’t even realize I counted or what it meant until about a year into my therapy. Did I mention now ADHD is on the table? Aye aye aye. Like seriously, what the actual fuck?

Anyways, most if not all of these things are in control ( save for a little mania that gets triggered when I’m under duress…you know like when you’re dealing with the guilt and pressure of passing along your fucked up brain chemistry to your children). You have not had mom guilt of this level if you haven’t genetically fucked your kids up. It is a special kind of hell because it is in fact my fault. I’ve been crying about this a lot lately.

Right now, I’m trying to keep my shit together while putting out a seemingly unlimited amount of mental health trash fires over here daily. It’s a lot. I’m overwhelmed. I’m triggered and I’m trying my best to do what’s best for everyone, especially my girls. I thought I was holding it together. I mean I know that on the inside, I’m falling apart but I thought on the outside, I was taking care of business. I think I am for the most part but I’m neglecting myself. I know this because the other days while I was sobbing about my daughter’s mental health crisis, I could hear my pressured speech and feel my pressured thoughts machine-gunning out of my head and my husband gave me a hug and said, “But Debi, you haven’t looked happy for a while.” And he’s not wrong. I’m too overwhelmed and exhausted and scared to be happy because what right do I have when my children are in pain?

That’s how I know that I need to step back, take inventory and do whatever I need to do to get my own mental health in order. Because skipping myself isn’t doing any favors for my children or my husband. In fact, I’m adding to the pile of neverending trash fires currently going on. Look, I’m not complaining. This is me processing. I write, that’s how I survive. If you’ve ever wondered why my feeds are not perfectly curated, it’s not because I don’t know that it’s what people want its because I refuse to live a lie. My battle with eating disorders made me a liar for about 8 solid years. You have to lie to hide the fact that you are slowly killing yourself from the people who love you. If not, they will stop you from your slow suicide. And I preferred to exile myself from everyone than to let them know how truly vulnerable and pathetic I was. I spent so many years striving for perfection and I’m still a fucking relentless overachiever. It’s just who I am. If I stop moving I die. But now, with years of therapy and doing the work to not only understand my disease but myself, I will never silently suffer again and I don’t want that for my daughters either. I never want them to feel that alone and afraid to live. So how do I protect my mental health while taking care of everyone else? I have to be vigilant that I take care of myself first or I won’t be able to take care of anyone else. I know from a mom’s perspective, it sounds very selfish but it’s not. It is giving myself permission to heal so that I can help the people I love the most heal and get the help they need with my full support.

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