Grief is one of the most common experiences we have as humans. Just because it's common, however, doesn't mean that everyone feels like they know how to navigate their grief in ways that feel nurturing. From ideas about the Stages of Grief, to societally-imposed timelines about when one should "get over" a loss, our collective culture in the United States could likely benefit from a shift in how we talk about grief.
Grief is more than a period of intense sadness, or sorrow, and because of that, it's not entirely useful to thinking about grief as something you "get over."
When I talk about grief, I'm talking about the loss of people, and pets, and difficult moves to other states, and job loss, and miscarriage, and losing family heirlooms, and natural disasters, and I could honestly fill up this entire blog post with so many iterations of grief it would make your head spin.
So what happens if we shift to thinking about grief as an expression of how we experience (dis)connection to, or from, people, places, items, events, etc? Did your eyes get a little wider reading that?
Grief requires tenderness and care and part of that care is ensuring that we're comprehensive in our definitions of grief.
If you're interested in diving deeper into your own understanding (or experiences) of grief, I recommend the following:
The Dinner Party
The Dougy Center
It's Okay That You're Not Okay
What's Your Grief
It's Bisexual+ Awareness Week, which means it's time for a quick chat about bisexuality, queerness, and belonging. But first, let's revisit a caption from last year's post on Bisexuality Day:
"When I discuss bisexuality, I’m talking about folks who experience romantic or sexual attraction (in varying degrees) to people who are either similar to, or different from their own gender presentation and identity.
Bisexuality is valid and bisexual people deserve to have space in the LGBTQ+ community where they are not required to prove they are queer enough to be there.
Whether you are a cisgender woman partnered with a transman, a transman partnered with a nonbinary femme, a cisgender man partnered with another cisgender man, or any other beautiful combination, your bisexuality is valid."
I still stand by last year's post, because it's true: your bisexuality is valid and you belong here.
When folks come to me for therapy regarding concerns around their bisexuality, it's usually because of social rejection they've faced around their identity, which can sometimes result in internalized biphobia, or as writer Gabrielle Smith calls it, Queer Imposter Syndrome.
Here are some other reasons why people seek out therapy regarding their bisexuality:
For further reading on the experiences of bisexual folks, I recommend the following:
The Unique Challenges of Being Both Biracial and Bisexual by Caitie Gutierrez
Why I Don't Like Being Asked Which Gender I Prefer by Zachary Zane
Why Bisexuals Stay In The Closet by Emily Alpert
The Epistemic Contract of Bisexual Erasure by Kenji Yoshino
What comes to mind when you think of fall? Maybe you're thinking about Pumpkin Spice Lattes and cozy sweaters. Maybe Halloween is a months-long affair for you and you're already decorating your living space. Or maybe you're sitting at your work-from-home set up wondering how you're going to get through the next several months.
If you identify with the latter category, let's cover some basics and see what we can do to get you set up for a different fall experience.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that corresponds with changes in seasons. It typically operates in a cyclical fashion and can begin in the fall and end in the spring, or vice versa (shoutout to the Summertime Blues Crew, you're not alone!). While approximately 3 million people are diagnosed with SAD in the United States each year, they're not the only people who can have a hard time during the fall.
COVID-19 has drastically changed how most folks would plan for the this time of year. From interruptions in travel, to loss of jobs, and loss of loved ones, this fall season is saturated with grief.
With so much out of your control, what can you do this fall? Below are two mini-survival guides based on what you personally feel you have the energy for.
Fall Survival: Essentials Edition
Fall Survival: Explorer Edition
I know what you're thinking, Other people need therapy, not me. Therapy is only for people who don't know how to handle their lives.
Let's stop right there. Where did that thought come from? Where did you learn that therapy was only for people who "don't know how to handle things?" Maybe it came from your favorite TV show. Maybe it came from a conversation you had with a family member. Or maybe it comes from this pervasive idea in the United States that you're supposed to hide your struggles until you physically and emotionally can't function any longer.
What if I told you that most everyone struggles and finds themselves stuck sometimes? What about if I told you that you deserve to have a space where you can talk about what's happening in your life, free from fear that anyone will think less of you?
That idea, that you are deserving and worthy of care, might be new to you, but I fully believe in it. You deserve to feel comfortable in your own skin, and you deserve relationships that feel supportive and nurturing. I think it's really brave of you to even be considering what it might be like to talk with a professional like me. You've been in survival mode for a long time. If you're curious about what it might be like to thrive, maybe it's time to consider giving therapy a try.
If you've been on my website before and you'd like to work with me, request a 15 minute telephone consultation with me. You can also search Psychology Today, Therapy for Black Girls, Melanin and Mental Health, or Inclusive Therapists to find other therapists in your area.