Posts Tagged With: coping and healing groups

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.










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.


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

Day 2611: Do you dream?

Do you dream?

I dream and last week I dreamt that I was supposed to give a talk that day about a Tom Hanks movie that was similar to the movie “Big” in that he was a child trapped in the body of an adult but it wasn’t “Big” and I couldn’t remember the name or details about the movie and I was giving this presentation in a few hours and I was very mad at myself that I hadn’t prepared better and then I woke up and I was VERY RELIEVED that the dream was not true.

My husband Michael dreams and very recently he had a dream where somebody spilled lots of “chicken juice” on the floor and he was trying to clean it up and the cats were nearby and he was afraid that they would lick it and get poisoned by bacteria and people including his old girlfriend kept walking through the chicken juice and spreading it all around and he woke up feeling VERY RELIEVED that the dream was not true.

I dream and last night I dreamt that I was at a party with Pete Buttigieg and my sister and I wanted to leave because I was very tired but people decided that before you left you had to go around to everybody there and have some sort of ritualized and elaborate goodbye and I wasn’t really paying attention to the details because I was so tired but the first person I said goodbye to was Tom Hanks and he helped me through the first goodbye, which included fist bumps and saying something that authentically captured and reflected your interactions with them during the evening and then I tried to say goodbye to a group of three people but they were distracted and I didn’t feel like interrupting them so I snuck out and went home and then I woke up and forgot about the dream until a few minutes ago.

I dream that sharing dreams helps us realize how connected we are, so that’s why we sometimes share dreams in my Coping and Healing groups.

“Do you dream?” is something I saw yesterday at MiAlisa Salon in Watertown.






Do you dream? I dream about a functioning adult becoming President of the United States in 2020. In the meantime, I expect I will have trouble sleeping and will continue to have anxiety dreams.

Here‘s a clip from the movie “Top Secret!” in which Val Kilmer is VERY RELIEVED when he wakes up from a classic dream:


Do you dream and do you have dreams similar to any of the dreams mentioned in today’s post?

I dream about all my readers knowing how much I appreciate them, every day.



Categories: Dreams, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Day 2610: Failure

Yesterday, a girl told me she always felt like a failure.  I asked her, “What if the concept of failure did not exist?” —  a question I’ve asked before in therapy and in this blog (here and here).

She answered that question the same way many others have: “That would be GREAT.”  I said, “Welcome to my world.”

What would happen if we all pretended that the concept of failure did not exist?

I did not fail to find great quotes about failure here:

Failure isn’t fatal, but failure to change might be.  —John Wooden

Success is often achieved by those who do not know that failure is inevitable. — Coco Chanel

Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. Failure is delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead end. Failure is something we can avoid only by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.  — Denis Waitley

When you take risks you learn that there will be times when you succeed and there will be times when you fail, and both are equally important.  — Ellen DeGeneres

I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways which won’t work.  — Thomas A. Edison

Success is not final,  failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts. — Winston Churchill

There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure. —Paulo Coelho

Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm. — Winston Churchill

We are all failures – at least the best of us are.  — J.M. Barrie

You build on failure.  You use it as a stepping stone. Close the door on the past. You don’t try to forget the mistakes, but you don’t dwell on it. You don’t let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space. —Johnny Cash

Failure is so important.  We speak about success all the time. It is the ability to resist failure or use failure that often leads to greater success. I’ve met people who don’t want to try for fear of failing. —J.K. Rowling

No human ever became interesting by not failing. The more you fail and recover and improve, the better you are as a person. Ever meet someone who’s always had everything work out for them with zero struggle? They usually have the depth of a puddle. Or they don’t exist. —Chris Hardwick

With a hint of good judgment, to fear nothing, not failure or suffering or even death, indicates that you value life the most. You live to the extreme; you push the limits; you spend your time building legacies.  Those do not die.  — Criss Jami 

Whenever I write these blog posts, this message appears:

Saving of draft failed.

I don’t let that stop me.

Let’s see if failure exists in any of my recent photos:



















I keep failing at that very difficult level in Peggle but I keep retrying, which I find comforting.

I wonder what interesting failures are ahead for me today?

Here‘s Billie Holiday with “I’ll Never Fail You” …

and Bonnie Raitt with “You Can’t Fail Me Now.”


I’ll never fail to thank those who help me create this daily blog, including YOU.






Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Day 2608: My readers

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



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



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
























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

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


… to these thoughts instead:


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.


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:


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:














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.





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.


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:













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.



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:



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


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:


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.




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

Day 2593: 2020 visions

My 2020 visions include these:

  • My son Aaron, who has the best vision ( better than 20/20!), will be spending time with us in the USA and also in Edinburgh, Scotland.
  • There will be an important USA election in November with winners and losers.
  • Many people will worry about the results of that election, including me.
  • My Coping and Healing therapy groups will help and support different types of people.
  • The Northeastern Society for Group Psychotherapy (NSGP) will offer a June conference focusing on Diversity and Inclusion.
  • There will be an awesome new President (of NSGP).
  • My new husband and old boyfriend Michael (who is the same person) will make lots of delicious and nutritious meals.
  • There will be unexpected developments in technology.
  • Many pundits will share their visions of 2020.
  • Many of those visions will be  wrong.
  • I will do my best to live non-judgmentally, be healthy, and express appreciation to others.
  • I will share my visions with you daily, here at this blog.

Here are my final visions of 2019:














New Years Eve with pugs

In that last photo, my 2020 vision (corrected by contact lenses) sees my new husband and old boyfriend Michael, the current and future Presidents of NSGP, the future Treasurer of NSGP, and pugs.

My 2020 visions also include

  • wearing the awesome earrings the future president made for the current president and
  • dancing with my husband to music like this

… and this:


What are your 2020 visions?

I also see many 2020 expressions of gratitude to wonderful people, including YOU.




Categories: gratitude, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 31 Comments

Day 2592: New Year’s Eve

For a long time, my New Year’s Eve tradition has been to compile  a list of my personal ten best and worst of the year.

This year’s best includes

This year’s worst includes

  • the death of close friends,
  • how divided my country is and
  • all the time I spent on worry and dread.

Do you see any evidence of  my best and worst in these new end-of-year photos?

























I also put musician Jacob Collier on my personal best list for 2019 and it’s the best that I’ll be seeing him perform live in 2020!

It’s best to start planning for the best of 2020 and not to worry about a thing.

What’s your personal best and worst of 2019?

The best way for me to end this post is to express gratitude to all  who have supported me through another year of daily blogging, including YOU!


Happy New Year!



Categories: blogging, celebrating, friendship, gratitude, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , | 38 Comments

Day 2582: Celebrating with you!

For the past seven years, I’ve celebrated many things with you, including

Now, I’m celebrating my upcoming marriage to Michael with you!


That celebratory card is from my thoughtful and celebrated co-workers, who celebrated with me yesterday by giving me these cupcakes.



I am celebrating with you that cupcake ring, which I might need on Friday since one of the his-and-hers wedding rings we ordered online IS the wrong size, just as I feared.  I like celebrating  mistakes, but some mistakes can be a shock to the system. If I get the wedding ring resized quickly, I’ll certainly be celebrating that with you!

As usual, I’m celebrating with you many moments from yesterday:














Celebrate good times …come on!

Thousands of people are celebrating with each other on YouTube in the comments for that video, including:

  • celebrating because my mother has now been declared as cancer free
  • When your crush asks you out
  • Passing my exams that I didn’t study for brought me here
  • When you write one word for your 200 letter essay
  • When the weekend comes along
  • I was inspired to listen to this song because I saved my neighbor’s cat
  • Celebrating because my brother got accepted into college
  • When they are giving out free food
  • When you successfully make up a “when” joke
  • I finished the dishes. I freakin finished the DISHES!!

Please share what YOU are celebrating with us, in a comment below.

As always, grateful to be celebrating with you,




Categories: blogging, celebrating, group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , | 28 Comments

Blog at