I didn’t think that hard-won rights for women in the United States would be taken away, but I should have known better.
I didn’t think that greedy and dishonest men would take control of major parts of our government, but I should have known better.
I didn’t think I would ever be writing this post when I started blogging in 2013, but I should have known better.
I didn’t think the Daily Bitch would give me the title for today’s post, but I should have known better.
I’ve encouraged people in my Coping and Healing groups, who want to feel better, to keep a journal of “what helps” and “what doesn’t help.” In my Coping and Healing journal, #1 on my list of “what doesn’t help” is “telling myself I should have known better.” I should tell you that I created that journal before 2016, the year that a toxic narcissist became one of the most powerful people in the world. I didn’t think that was possible and I should have known better. I should have known better, also, what chaos and destruction would ensue.
I should have known better that on days that I’m feeling despair that I would have very few images to share.
I should have known better that my wonderful son’s father, Leon, would have his own day. Also, I should have known better that Summersgiving doesn’t mean giving to a vitally important organization, but I feel better on this day starting a recurring contribution to Planned Parenthood. If you want to join me, click here.
I should have known better when I wrote this song about the Supreme Court back in 2018 how many times I would have the occasion to share it.
My son Aaron thinks that’s the best song I’ve written, which I didn’t know but maybe he knows better.
I should have known better that sharing my thoughts and feelings with you would help me feel a little better (as it always does), so many thanks for being here, now.
I don’t want to be irritating, but have you noticed people experiencing and expressing more irritations lately?
Maybe I’m more keenly aware of trends in irritations because of all the people I encounter in my therapy groups and on social media.
This reminds me of something I read about irritations recently: “If you meet a jerk every month, you’ve met a jerk. If you meet a jerk every day, you are a jerk.” I’ve been quoting that in my groups, expressing my amazement at discovering that I am a jerk (which people don’t seem to find irritating).
What irritations can you find in my images for today?
People sometimes express irritation with the National Days (although most people seem to enjoy knowing about them). To celebrate today, I’m going to share a photo that demonstrates all of today’s National Celebrations.
Here’s what I find on YouTube when I search for “irritations.”
Feel free to express irritations or anything else in the comments section, below.
No matter what irritations I experience, I am grateful to spend another day on this earth with people who don’t irritate me, including YOU.
When introducing somebody new into my Coping and Healing therapy groups, I ask the other people to remember how it felt when they were new to the group. I also ask, when introducing the check-in, how people would choose to introduce themselves.
Meeting new people can be anxiety-producing and introductions can help ease the anxiety.
Do you see introductions in my images for today?
I think telling a story is a good way to make an introduction. Also, here’s a way I could introduce myself, “Hello, my name is Ann Koplow, and my first car was a blue Gremlin with a denim interior.”
Here’s what I find when I search for “introductions” on YouTube.
I look forward to reading whatever people introduce in the comments, below.
Thanks to all who help me with these daily introductions, including YOU.
I have the confidence to state that many people I see in therapy confuse confidence with conceitedness.
That’s why I have this on hand when the issue of confidence comes up:
People often confuse those two scales of insecurity-confidence and humility-conceitedness, fearing that they will quickly tip from insecurity into conceitedness. Indeed, I have confidence in predicting that discussions about gaining confidence will result in somebody saying, “I don’t want to be obnoxiously conceited like so-and-so.”
I also notice that people I work with are very worried about being overconfident but not so worried about being under-confident. I am confident in pointing out that being under-confident is at least as harmful to oneself as being overconfident, but I am not confident that people believe me about that.
I am confident that people will get something out of my images for today.
I’m confident that I will get to know my customers today (I facilitate two groups on Thursdays) and that I will give somebody a high five.
Here’s what I find on YouTube when I search for “confidence.”
I have confidence that I will appreciate any comment you have the confidence to leave, below.
Thanks to all who help me gain more confidence here every day, including YOU.
Yesterday, in my Coping and Healing therapy group, people talked about fear. The discussions included (1) the differences among feeling fearful, frightened, and afraid, (2) fear as one of the primal emotions, (3) the movie Inside Out (which I resolved to watch again before our next meeting), and inviting fear to come in and take a seat while we talked about it.
Do you see fear in any of my images for today?
I never fear sharing the Daily Bitch calendar here.
In my Coping and Healing groups (which bring me joy), people have been talking about being overwhelmed by the news, fears about the future, loss, medical issues, grief, uncertainties, tasks, unknowns, obligations, other people, and possessions. Regarding the latter, several people have brought up Marie Kondo and her advice to keep only the things that bring you joy.
During these anxious and depressing times, it can be very difficult to focus on the things that bring us joy, but I’m doing my best to bring it, every moment.
Do any of my images today bring you joy?
No matter how I’m feeling, Joan definitely brings me joy (among other things).
Here’s what I find on YouTube when I search for “what brings you joy.”
I am grateful for all those that bring me joy, including YOU!
At the end of my Coping and Healing groups, members are letting go by throwing things away in my magic wastebasket.
I’ve witnessed people letting go of anxiety, shame, toxic people, COVID, etc. at the end of every group.
Speaking of letting go, I have a story about Joan, seen above with the magic wastebasket. Yesterday, Joan ran into the magic wastebasket room with her favorite toy mouse in her mouth and something else, letting go of both of them. Letting go of our assumptions and expectations, we realized that Joan had captured a live bird inside our home!
Letting go of our disbelief, we watched as Joan kept letting go of the bird and capturing it again. My husband Michael grabbed the bird with some cooking tongs, holding it gently and not letting go (despite Joan’s insistence that he do so). Michael decided the best course of action was letting go of the bird outside the front door. Letting go of our worst fears that the bird was dead or grievously injured, we watched the bird fly away, seemingly okay, after Michael let it go.
Do you see letting go in any of my other images for today?
Here’s what I find on YouTube when I search for “letting go.”
Periodically, I give a talk about the healing power of groups. Here’s an excerpt from my latest one:
My first piece of wisdom to share is that human beings are built to need connections with other people. We all yearn to be understood by others, to be seen and heard, to realize we are not alone in our thoughts and feelings, and to feel safe enough to show all the different parts of ourselves. And the reality is that many of our patients are isolated, alone, unable to get enough of those connections, with the isolation only growing during COVID. So it’s even more critical and important to make groups accessible to people during a pandemic.
Last night, on Twitter, as I was thinking about the healing power of groups, I asked this question:
When I posted that question, I was thinking that I would want to join a group that could do SOMETHING productive about the horrible situation unfolding in Ukraine. Several people who responded on Twitter reflected my feelings about that, so I didn’t feel alone.
Some people responded to that question with the old Groucho Marx saying — “I wouldn’t want to join any club that would have me as a member” — and other people responded that they weren’t joiners and didn’t like groups.
Personally, I belong to the group that believes that most people need to feel connected to others in order to heal and to feel empowered. I was about to write “but that’s just me,” when I realized that it’s NOT just me. Which, again, I find healing.
Are there any healing powers in the group of images I’m presenting in today’s blog?
NATIONAL MULTIPLE PERSONALITY DAY National Multiple Personality Day on March 5th has two separate approaches to recognizing this day.
The first strategy takes an inward examination of our own personalities. This approach sees the day as a way to explore personality traits and examining the roots of those traits. Each one of us shows a different side of our characters at other times and in different places. Sometimes our personalities appear to be altered, depending on whom we are with and what we are doing. With these things in mind, the day focuses our thoughts on our own personality traits.
The other view of the observance aims to raise awareness of the disorder. Multiple Personality Disorder is better known as Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID). It is characterized by at least two distinct and relatively enduring identities or dissociated personality states that alternately control a person’s behavior. Someone with DID will experience memory impairment for important information not explained by ordinary forgetfulness. While the disorder affects less than .1 to 1 percent of the population, its impact is profound for that community and their family. The continued need for treatment, support, and research remains.
HOW TO OBSERVE #MultiplePersonalityDay While there are two ways to approach this day, you can choose to recognize both. Start by exploring your personality traits. Take a personality test and learn more about your personality. Invite a friend to take the test with you and compare your results. Learn more about Dissociative Identity Disorder. Please find out how it affects a person and how it is treated. Attend a seminar or read up about the disorder. Show support for those with the disorder by sharing your newfound understanding. Use #MultiplePersonalityDay to post on social media. NATIONAL MULTIPLE PERSONALITY DAY HISTORY National Day Calendar continues to research the origins of this multi-faceted day.
When I search YouTube for “The Healing Power of Groups” I find nothing that relates to this topic. That tells me that I should probably make a YouTube video about this.
Speaking of my YouTube videos, here‘s a video from my 2019 Edinburgh Fringe Festival show “Group Therapy With Ann.”
Thanks to all people who heal in groups and to YOU!
Yesterday, for the mindfulness exercise in both of my Coping and Healing groups, I invited people to access moments of inner peace. Then, last night, I asked this question on Twitter:
Somebody in group last night brought some moments of inner peace by sharing this: FEAR is Forgetting Everything is All Right.
It’s challenging to find moments of inner peace during times of conflict, stress, pandemics, injustice, and war. However, people somehow find those moments of inner peace through nature, meditation, music, animals, friends, family, self care, and love.
Can you find some moments of inner peace in my images for today?
Despite having an appointment to bring Harley to the vet today during a snowstorm, I’m still finding moments of inner peace.
This is what I find on YouTube when I search for “moments of inner peace.”
As I prepare another presentation about therapy groups, I know I need to talk about how to make safe spaces for people within a group, so that they’ll feel safe enough to share important thoughts and feelings.
Do you see any safe spaces in my images for today?
I’ll probably spend Global Movie Day in a safe space reading my birthday present — the wonderful autobiography of the amazing Mel Brooks (who’s aging like fine wine).
Here’s Joan in some safe spaces:
Here’s what I find on YouTube when I search for “safe spaces.”
I hope the comments section, below, is a safe space for you to express any reactions you have to this “safe spaces” post.
Thanks to all who help make spaces safe, including YOU.