Feeling Irritated? Try This.


I had an interesting emotional breakthrough with the help of the teachings of Tara Brach recently. It happened when I was about to visit someone. They were a good friend that I missed dearly, but over the recent months our friendship had been changing. We had many great memories, yet somehow when I thought of them I felt all at once nostalgic but also a bit melancholy and irked. Have you ever felt that with a longtime friend? 

Before going to visit them I recognized that it was very important for me to address what I was feeling it in my own heart before I was with them. I had been reading Tara Brach’s book Radical Acceptance and I decided to Radical-Acceptance-150invoke one of her exercises for dealing with annoyance and irritation:

When we first find ourselves in our irritated state, Tara says, we need to stop and be aware of our bodies (always #1 in an emotionally aroused state). Next, once we understand where our emotion is in our bodies and what exactly it feels like, we need to pinpoint exactly what it is that we are upset about with this person. With that in mind, she suggests we ask ourselves a simple question about the aggravating person or situation. Ask yourself: what is it that this person is doing that I don’t have permission to do myself? Continue reading

Furiously Happy: A Review


I mentioned a while ago that I wanted to start doing reviews on SPEAK OUT, so here’s my first attempt.

Reviews can sometimes seem like ‘fluff’ or filler, which I swore to never have on this site, but as well all know, representation in media is important. I thought that it might be a good idea to highlight some books, music, and movies in which mental illness is represented well, or that are thought-provoking in some way. My idea of a review is just to draw attention to cool things that I think you should also check out, and then talk about how I feel about it. So I guess really it’s more like a reflection.

Furiously Happy is Jenny Lawson’s second book – her first, Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, was probably funnier, but it sort of skirted the topic of mental illness. There were definitely parts of the book that discussed it, but the majority of it completely ignored it. (You should still definitely read it though.)

Lawson lives with depression, anxiety, trichotillomania, ADHD, and OCD, amongst a number of other things, but what she talks about the most is her depression and anxiety.

Specifically the concept that depression lies – the thoughts you might have like that you’re not really sick, that your life is just horrible, or that no one cares about you are a result of self-stigma, yes, but also depression itself. Because that’s what depression does. It lies to you for so long that you start lying to yourself. Continue reading

The Black Hole

By CHelsea ricchio

Originally posted on tumblr here on November 9, 2014.

I’ve been working on a book that features a lot of personal details about my life, and as you would expect, writing it has been interesting, to say the least.

As I’m writing, I’m forced to remember things in painstakingly accurate detail, and this is either excruciatingly painful or touching or hilarious or all of the above. And sometimes this sticks with me for a little bit, but then a funny thing happens – the memories disappear.

I mean, they don’t really, of course, but they become no longer my memories, real things that happened to me, but a fictional character’s memories. If I tried hard enough, if I went back through all the old pictures and documents and scrapbooks and gifts that I sifted through in the first place, in order to recall these things, I would remember. But assuming that I don’t do that, I remember things the way I wrote them. In third-person, about someone else, who is me but not me.

Continue reading