Coping tools

The Misguided Coping Tool of My Teenage Rage

April 7, 2014 Coping tools

The first car I ever owned as a kid was a beat-to-shit 1983 Ford LTD wagon. It had a catalytic converter that always flooded and stalled the car. The power steering was gone. And it was the misguided coping tool of my teenage rage. Mood music: The LTD’s exterior was a toxic green, covered over in […]

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EddieTheYeti: Art as Mental Therapy

April 2, 2014 Coping tools

I sucked at a lot of things as a kid, but I could draw. It was the one thing that always got me compliments from people who otherwise ridiculed me. Those drawings were an exercise in emotion. There were pictures of my favorite rock stars, recreated scenes from my favorite movies (particularly the violent ones) and […]

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The Semicolon As Anti-Suicide Symbol

April 1, 2014 Coping tools

I’ve never been a fan of the semicolon. I always identify it as punctuation used by people clinically incapable of writing the short, crisp sentences I prefer. Who knew it would become a symbol of hope — a battle cry to resist suicidal thoughts and get on with life. Mood music: That’s the mission of […]

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Wherein I Run Afoul Of The U.S. Secret Service

January 24, 2014 Communication skills for the crazy

My resolve against the inner demons is tested regularly. Some are little tests, like being put in a room with all the food and alcohol I once binged on daily to see if I can resist the temptation. Some are bigger tests, like getting lost en route to Washington D.C a few years ago with my wife […]

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All I Want for Christmas Is to Get Through It

December 4, 2013 Coping tools

So here we are at that time of year when everyone is supposed to be happy and glowing with Christmas spirit. As for me? This time of year really fucks with me. Mood music:  The First NoelBlack Label SocietyThe Song Remains Not The Same This has traditionally been a time of year when bad things […]

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Flying on September 11

September 10, 2013 Coping tools

One of my biggest moments of shame came a week after September 11, 2001, when I scrubbed a planned trip to Arizona for a relative’s wedding. I was terrified to get on an airplane, and fear won out. Not only did I miss an important day in a loved one’s life, I also deprived my […]

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12 Years After 9/11: Six Grief Survival Suggestions

September 9, 2013 Coping tools

Like everyone else, 9/11 had a profound impact on me. I live in Massachusetts, the departure point for the two planes the terrorists hijacked and crashed into the WTC, and I work in the security community. Through those two worlds, I know many people who lost loved ones or were called into action that day. […]

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Songs That Mattered After 9-11-01

September 7, 2013 Coping tools

Like so many other times in my life, music made the difference between sanity and insanity. I focus a lot on the metal. But in the weeks after 9-11, I turned to a broader group of musicians to help me along. They did their jobs well, helping us all see that it was OK to […]

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Four Symptoms and Attempted Remedies for Nixon-itis

September 6, 2013 Coping tools

When my OCD was at its worst, fear, anxiety and paranoia crippled me. People who didn’t share my ideas were enemies out to destroy me. It was never true, but a damaged mind concocts crazy shit. Mood music: I call this Nixon-itis. Richard M. Nixon trusted no one. He saw conspiracies everywhere. Opponents were enemies […]

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Plot Twist!

August 7, 2013 Coping tools

Someone on Facebook recently suggested that when life hands us curveballs, we yell “Plot twist!” and adjust to the unexpected, often inconvenient scenarios that throw the days off course. Take it from someone whose OCD makes schedule changes seem like calamities, that’s good advice. Mood music: In more recent years, I’ve gotten better at quickly […]

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