group therapy

Day 2614: Hate’s a strong word

Whenever I use the word “hate” (which I have in blogs here and here), my husband Michael says:

Hate’s a strong word, Ann.

The other day, Michael used the word “hate.”  I said, “You always say that hate’s a strong word, Michael!”  He replied, “It is a strong word, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t things to hate.”

I hate when my memory doesn’t do justice to what somebody else said, like just now.

Last night, I said I hated something and Michael, as usual, replied, “Hate’s a strong word, Ann.”  I said,  “That’s going to be the title of my blog tomorrow.”

Let’s see if the strong word of hate shows up in the photos I took yesterday.

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I hate to be late for work, so I need to wrap up today’s blog quickly.

There are lots of songs about hate and here’s one of them:

Do you think hate’s a strong word?  I look forward to all your words in the comments section, below.

“Thanks” is another strong word and thanks to all who help me create all the words in these posts, including YOU.

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Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Day 2608: My readers

Yesterday, one of my readers (my bass-playing dentist Dr. Del Castillo) sent me this “for your blog”:

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Speaking of mugging, another one of my readers (my long-time friend Deb) sent me this wedding gift, which arrived yesterday:

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What do my readers understand about my other photos for today?

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Those last two photos are for my readers who like dogs.

I believe it would help my readers to change this very unhelpful thought …

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… to these thoughts instead:

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Another one of my readers sent me this, hoping it would help people:

 

I hope my readers will enjoy what I’m listening to, right now.

 

I don’t know what I would do without my readers, including YOU.

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Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

Day 2607: Battles

This has been an interesting week here at The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentallywith titles including Day 2605: I’m so done, Day 2606: Antisocial, and now Day 2607: Battles.

Is this blog turning into The Year(s) of Living Combatively?

I don’t think so, but I have noticed a lot of battles around me lately.  Do you see evidence of that in these photos?

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I fell asleep on the couch last night and missed the anticipated battle between Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders at the latest debate of Democrat Presidential hopefuls.

Here‘s “Cabinet Battle #1” from Hamilton:

What are your thoughts and feelings about battles?

I need to battle traffic to get to work on time, so thanks to all who help me create this daily blog, including YOU.

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Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism, politics | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Day 2603: Goodbyes

Good grief, readers, I CANNOT BELIEVE that in all the thousands of posts I’ve written here that I have NEVER written about Goodbyes before.  (I did, however, write a good enough post about “Closure” during my good first year of blogging and good closure is important for a good goodbye.)

It’s good that I’m writing about Goodbyes now because today I’m saying goodbyes to my good son Aaron, who is returning to his good school in Edinburgh and also goodbyes to his good girlfriend Widad who is leaving for the good city of New York before she returns to her good school in Scotland.

In my good work as a psychotherapist, I often ask good people how they tend to say goodbyes. Most people say, “I’m not good at goodbyes.”

Are you good at goodbyes?

I wonder if any of my good photos from yesterday relate to goodbyes.

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My good husband took a photo of good Aaron, good Widad, and good enough me last night when we were having some good goodbye gelato after our good goodbye dinner.

Here’s a really good photo of Widad’s good cat Casper, who is home in the good country of Jordan.

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Last night, my good husband asked my good son’s good girlfriend if he had told her anything about me before she met me and her good reply was this: “He told me that you were good to talk to.”

There are many good songs about goodbyes on YouTube and here is one of them, by the good Jorja Smith (who was featured in this post from a good two days ago):

Because some of my good readers (probably in Great Britain) can’t see Vevo videos, here’s another one of that good song.

 

What makes good goodbyes is expressing appreciation, so good thanks to all who help me create good posts, including YOU!

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Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Day 2602: What’s the matter with me?

What’s the matter with me, that I’ve written three posts  (here, here, and here) with the title “What’s wrong with me?”  over the last seven years?

What’s the matter with me, that one day after I lost and found my wallet, I dropped a New Yorker tote bag with my marriage certificate while I was walking to work in the extreme cold, even though that marriage certificate matters so much to me?

What’s the matter with me, that I was considering titling this post “What would Freud say?”

What’s the matter with me, that I’m explaining losing track of important things by telling myself that I’m so concentrated on not losing my wedding ring (which is too big) that I’m dropping other things?

What’s the matter with me, that I have SO MANY things to keep track of every day?

What’s the matter with me, that I’m sharing only these photos from yesterday?

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What’s the matter with me, that I’m losing track of so many things these days but can still hear this song in my head?

What’s the matter with me, that

  • I’m sad that Sam Cooke died so young,
  • I’m anxious about so many matters in today’s news,
  • I tell people in my therapy groups that anxiety about forgetting makes us forget even more, and
  • when people ask me “What’s wrong with me?” I answer “nothing.”

If you comment on what you think is the matter with anything, that will matter to me.

What’s the matter with me, that I always end every post with gratitude?

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Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

Day 2601: Lost and Found

Six years ago, on Valentine’s Day, I wrote another “Lost and Found” post, “dedicated to my boyfriend/inamorato/whatever Michael.” I’ve lost the need to use those words to describe Michael since we found ourselves calling each other husband and wife on December 27, 2019.

Yesterday, I realized I had lost my wallet when I was at a doctor’s appointment. I immediately lost all focus on everything else. I found the memory of looking in my wallet to make sure I hadn’t lost the card I needed for the doctor’s visit while I was walking by Fenway Park (where the Boston Red Sox lost lots of games before they found themselves in the World Series).  I figured I lost the wallet soon after that.

I found the phone number of somebody I thought might be able to help me find what I’d lost. Here’s the phone conversation of me trying not to lose it:

Person Answering Phone: Hello?

Me: Hello!  I need to reach the Ipswich Garage.

P.A.P.: This is not the Ipswich Garage. This is the parking office.

Me: I know!  I need to talk to somebody at the Ipswich Garage. I’ve lost my wallet!

P.A.P.: You can’t call the garage.

Me: I need to contact them.  I think I dropped my wallet while I was walking to the garage.

P.A.P.  I can call the garage. What do you want me to tell them?

Me: Tell them I dropped my wallet. I think it’s near the statues outside of Fenway Park.

P.A.P.: If your wallet is not in the garage, they can’t help you.

Me (losing the ability to express myself in words): Arrrghhh!

P.A.P.  Give me your phone number.

Have you ever lost your wallet?  I was thinking about all the time lost in the future, cancelling credit cards, getting a new license, etc. etc.  I lost the ability to be in the present as the medical assistance tried to measure my blood pressure (she couldn’t).  When I walked into my doctor’s office, I told her I’d lost my wallet and wanted to leave to look for it. My doctor, whom I luckily found eleven years ago (and whom you can find posts about here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here), found a lot of empathy for my situation and told me to go. At that moment, my cell phone rang.

Me: Hello?

P.A.P.: Hello. They found your wallet.

Me: I love you.

P.A.P.: Thank you.

Here’s the lost-and-found wallet:

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That wallet is made out of recycled billboards and I’m so glad it was found. (If you click on the link in the previous sentence, you’ll find that the wallet was lost and found before.)

Here are all the other new photos I’ve found on my phone this morning:

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I’m so glad I found

when “I” becomes “we,” “illness” becomes “wellness”

… which was posted on Facebook yesterday by a group therapist I love.

I’ve found a lot of tunes titled “Lost and Found” on YouTube. Here’s one of them, by Jorja Smith:

 

I’m hoping to have found comments about this lost-and-found post in the near future.

No matter what I’ve lost and found over the years, it’s always been easy for me to find gratitude. Thanks to all who helped me find what I needed to create todays post, including YOU.

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Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 30 Comments

Day 2600: Getting along

Yesterday, in my Coping and Healing group, the members talked about what’s going on in the world, expressing the wish that different people could be sitting down, sharing, and getting along.

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What’s the secret to getting along? According to the group members yesterday, it’s listening to each other with respect.

I need to be getting along to work early this morning, so here are all my other photos from yesterday:

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Here‘s “Getting Along” by the Swedish band Royal Republic:

 

What are your thoughts and feelings about getting along?

I won’t be getting along without gratitude to all who help me create this daily blog, including YOU.

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Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Day 2595: Other people’s pain

Dear other people,

Are you in pain? Are you in emotional or physical pain, here and now?

How does other people’s pain affect you? Does that cause you pain?

Yesterday at work, I talked to several people who were in extreme pain. That  pained me so much that I noticed moments when I wanted to turn away from their pain. It would pain me to tell you if I had turned away from other people’s pain, but I did not. I stayed with their pain and with mine.

At last night’s Coping and Healing group, other people in pain suggested that we focus on the topic “hope” as a way to ease the pain in the room.

I take pains to protect the confidentiality of all who attend my groups, so I’ll disclose only what I wrote last night:

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In case reading that is a pain, here’s what I wrote:

HOPE

Hope is the thing with feathers.

— Emily Dickenson

Hope is what we all need.

I believe that everybody has a spark

of hope somewhere even if they’re

describing themselves as hopeless.

I think of it as an ember of heat and light

ready to ignite.

 

The worst moments of my life

have been when I’ve lost track of hope.

I’m so grateful that somehow,

I have always found it.

 

If you have everything but hope,

you have nothing.

If you have nothing but hope,

you have everything.

 

Here’s the only other photo I took yesterday:

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Does that poinsettia in the group room look like it’s in pain? It did to me, last night.

Here’s “The Hopelessness Theory of Depression” on YouTube, about other people’s pain:

 

Here‘s  “King of Pain” by The Police:

 

I facilitate five groups every week because I believe sharing pain with other people reduces that pain.  Feel free to share any pain, below.

As I say at the end of every group about other people’s pain, I am grateful that you showed up here, exactly as you are.

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Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Day 2594: I just called

I just called this post, in its first draft, “Just Another Ordinary Day,” which is a lyric from “I Just Called to Say I Love You,” by Stevie Wonder:

But when I heard that Stevie Wonder song in my earmuff/headphones yesterday, it was NOT just another ordinary day. It was New Year’s Day, which I just called extraordinary as I was reviewing the 2020 visions I captured yesterday:

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I just called a few of those photos extraordinary (including the ones with Oscar and the vacuum cleaner) and I’m wondering which photos you’d call out in a comment, below.

Also, I just called today another extraordinary day, because I get to

  • facilitate a Coping and Healing group at work,
  • start using the 2020 Daily Bitch Calendar,
  • see people and other creatures I love, and
  • have more of Michael’s incredible eggplant parmigiana (which he spent much of the day yesterday preparing, without sugar).

 

What would YOU just call today, even though it’s

  • no New Year’s Day to celebrate,
  • no chocolate candy hearts to give away,
  • no first of spring,
  • no April rain,
  • no wedding Saturday within the month of June,
  • no summer’s high,
  • no warm July,
  • no harvest moon to light one tender August night,
  • no autumn breeze,
  • no falling leaves,
  • not even time for birds to fly to Southern skies,
  • no Libra sun,
  • no Halloween, and
  • no giving thanks to all the Christmas joy you bring?

I just called it another day of gratitude  — for all who helped me create today’s blog post and (of course!) for you.

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Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Day 2585: Changing the narrative

Yesterday, when I was visiting Right Turn, “an innovative substance use disorder program that makes use of both evidence-based treatment and creative expression” (which I wrote a narrative about in a previous blog post here), I saw this:

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That’s what effective, committed, and passionate healers and interventionists like Woody Geismann  do — they facilitate people changing the narrative of their life stories for the better. Woody has a lot of experience changing the narrative of his own life —  from the drummer of the Boston rock band the Del Fuegos to the founder of Right Turn and also from somebody who had a serious brain aneurysm in 2016 to a person who learned how to walk and talk again.

Do you see evidence of people changing the narrative in these photos?

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That’s Cynthia  (who as the new CEO of Right Turn is changing the narrative of the program while also preserving and expanding its power) sitting under a painting done by Woody, who changes narratives through music AND art. Cynthia and I had a great talk about how we’ve been changing the narratives of ourselves and others through different careers and through our experiences with different people.

Woody also changed my narrative of the Rolling Stones by telling me this story about them:

Ronnie and Keith were asked which of them was the better guitarist.  Ronnie said, “Of course, it’s me!”   Keith said, “Neither of us are particularly good guitarists, but together we create something special.”  Keith is a very wise person.

I’m probably changing the narrative of Woody’s wonderful story, because I didn’t write down his exact words.

Now I’m changing the narrative of this post by sharing my other photos from yesterday:

 

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Oscar is changing the narrative of who is interested in latkes on Chanukah.

Here’s today’s final example of changing the narrative:

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Michael (who makes latkes that are almost as fabulous as my late mother‘s) and I will be changing the narrative of our lives when we get married this Friday.

There are lots of videos about “Changing the Narrative” on YouTube. Here‘s one of them:

That Canadian Beekeeper is changing the narrative by asking for help and support, which we all need to survive.

I like changing the narrative through music,  so here is Eliza singing about changing the narrative in “Burn” from the musical Hamilton.

 

Now, you have the option of changing the narrative of this post by leaving a comment, below.

I’m not changing how I end every narrative in this blog. As always, I end with gratitude to all who helped me share all the narratives in today’s post and — of course! — to you, you, you.

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Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

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