Archives for Psych Central


Meet “Twitchy” – A Uniquely Inspiring Speaker With Tourette’s

Sunday night, a LinkedIn request from a chap named Stuart Ellis-Myers popped into my inbox.
"Hi Sandy - I just spoke at the Winnipeg Mental Health conference - May I Please Link In with you?

- Stuart Ellis-Myers"
After connecting, he immediately followed up:
"Thanks Sandy
Winnipeg . . . . icy cold brrrrrrr
the conference focus was on suicide
I live with Tourette's and the buffet table of disorders that comes along with the diagnosis so know the depression driven suicide experience well
The audience were awesome, everyone from parents, practitioners, government . . even a school district leader I shone the light of recognition for attending.
may I send you a YouTube shot from the conference? I just need your real email
mine is
cheers and all the best
would love to speak with you sometime soon
The first thing that jumped out was that Stuart said he "lived with" Tourette's rather than "suffered from" it. I loved that.

He signed his note "Twitchy." I loved that, too.

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Thanksgiving In The Great White North

Okay. It's not white and snowy up here yet, but if you're beneath the 49th parallel, Canada is definitely north and in many ways, great.

For one thing, today is Canadian Thanksgiving, a national holiday that always corresponds to your Columbus Day, and a great season for thanksgiving, too. Harvest Time.

All over my neighbourhood, walking my two Dandie Dinmont Terriers today, I've encountered people harvesting or clearing out their gardens, a little prematurely placing Hallowe'en pumpkins on their porches and celebrating the splendour of the autumn colours. You have to see them to believe them.

This Thanksgiving Is My Happiest Ever

Last Thanksgiving, I was starving, skeletal and anxiously waiting to start an eating disorder program.

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Day 14: Texting Away Our Humanity, Part One…

Today, I'm still pretty tired. Feeling "written out." Exhausted.

Overwhelmed by my commitment to blog for 31 days straight. I have another 17 days to go. (Eeeeeek!)

For some reason I cannot manage to get a few posts written and "in the can" so I can rest a bit. And breathe. But this might be that post.

Ideas are still flooding into my head

For example, I had considered posting about the heinous bullying of Karen Klein, the 68-year-old school bus monitor by four teenage boys in Greece, N.Y.

That repulsive story has already received too much air time and was well-handled here by Psych Central Founder and Editor-in-Chief John M. Grohol, PhD on June 21st in a World of Psychology post.

I have some other perspectives on this incident that feed into my discussion earlier this month about discrimination and prejudice. Right now, however, I simply do not have the energy to explore them, so I'm going to recharge before I do.

Something else is really bothering me...

So, I'm going muse about that. It's more than just bothering me, I'm worried. Seriously. Perhaps it's a social ill. Or just a social trend. I don't know. I don't even know if it's fair to call it "social."

I think it's anti-social. You tell me.

We live in an increasingly quiet household.

Besides our dogs who live to alert us to at any activity they see outside, our phones almost never ring. I've disconnected one of our two landlines because they are becoming obsolete. Most people prefer email or texting, besides my mother and my youngest step-daughter who do call us and we love to hear their voices.

Several years ago, I posted about this in my earlier incarnation of Coming Out Crazy. In that July 3rd, 2009 post, I asked "Is Texting versus Talking destroying the human dialogue?"

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Day Seven: On Living “Beyond Normal”…

I just read Jenise Harmon's enlightening Sorting Out Your Life blog here at Psych Central.

It's titled Live Beyond Normal and it's one of today's most popular.

It deserves to be and I urge you to read it...

Before I rhapsodize about her insights into that misunderstood word, normal, not one of my favourites, I read more posts by Jenise.

Thinking Outside The Box hit home for me.
"Everyone sees the world through their own frame, or box," Jenise says. "Early on in life, people are given labels, told who they are and what is expected of them. They are ‘put in boxes.’ A teacher may label a student as gifted or slow. Parents see one child as the athlete, one as the smart kid, one as the comedian. Peers give the labels of stupid, ugly, dumb, fat, or loser.""But boxes, no matter how ornate or beautiful, are limiting."
So true. So beautifully stated.

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My Own Personal Blogathon ~ Day One…

"Writing is like playing the piano. It takes practice."
Those were the unforgettable words of one of the brightest City Editors I ever worked with at The Toronto Sun. And he's right.

Lately, I've gotten out of the habit of writing and blogging, so I've decided blatantly to copy Margarita Tartakosky, an associate editor and Weightless blogger here at Psych Central, and blog every day for 31 days.

Margarita is my muse and my constant source of support and inspiration. Her blogathon ran during the month of May 2012 and was carried on her personal website here. It's definitely worth a gander.

Today is the first day of my Blogathon...

Mine is beginning today ~ Monday, June 11. There is no significance to this date. It's simply the day I'm beginning.

And I've already begun, with two posts that went up earlier today. About Attuned Eating. And being attuned to my body and myself. Two parts.

Some of these Blogathon posts will be short and spontaneous.

Writing to be another of my self-soothing activities as long as I don't get too perfectionistic .Perfectionism invariably blocks me and stops me.
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It’s Time for a New Model…

When I was a kid, a long time ago, long before I learned about feminism, pre-Betty Friedan, I remember my father joking with my mother.

Though on reflection, I don't think his joke was very funny.

My father would say to my mother, in jest, because I know he adored her, "Maybe it's time I traded you in for a new model."

Sometimes I wish I could trade myself in for a new model...

That's not a put-down, but given that right now in my psychotherapy with Dr. Bob I'm struggling with a few very old records that won't stop playing ~ that I cannot break ~ and I'm increasingly upset and disoriented by the values and dynamics of the medical model when it comes to emotional and mental health, I'm thinking it's time for a new model. A new belief system. A new hybrid, perhaps...

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Keeping Our Eyes On The Road…

We bought a new... well "pre-owned" car this morning.

It's not blue, like the one you see here. Ours is silver.

It's a 2008 Subaru Impreza 2.5i with All Wheel Drive ~ in mint condition.

We had invaluable help...

We couldn't have accomplished this without the expertise and enthusiasm of one of our dearest, closest friends who loves nothing more than "looking for, looking at and test driving cars," as he said.

"The fact that I can indulge this guilty pleasure and help dear friends at the same time is a bonus."

We're the richest, luckiest people in the world with such friends. And we're very excited as this car is exactly what we wanted and needed.

Now, we're closing this chapter in our lives...

This is how we manage, Marty and I. We have short memories and we don't dwell on the negatives ~ instead, we stay in the present, focus forward on the future and on the positives of our relationship.

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I Don’t Want to “Fat Talk”…

A word about my weight. I don't want to talk about it.

It an emotional issue. My emotional issue.

Directly related to my  emotional health, to trauma. Part of it is genetic, too.

I'm sorry I mentioned it at the end of my post the other day.

I regret this. It was an error in judgment. I'm deeply sorry.

My weight is my lifelong problem...

It's not simply that I do not like being overweight. However, I'm not going to spend a lot of time discussing this, right now. Maybe sometime later. I don't think it's wise or healthy to obsess about weight and I hate myself for doing it. I'm working on stopping it.

I detest "Fat Talk" and it should be stopped...

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A Letter to My Editor…

Dear Jessica ~

Please forgive my not keeping you in the loop.

Last week, my psychiatrist, Dr. Bob, told me simply "to write the year 2010 off."

Sounds pretty prescient, given what's happened since then, but in truth, he is up to speed and I am so sorry you and my readers are not. I am seeing him weekly these days because I'm having so many problems over which I have utterly no control ~ physical health problems. That could be serious.

I wish I knew something. But, I don't. No one does. Yet.

That's what's really driving me crazy. The "not knowing."

Last Monday, I was downtown at two different hospitals and a private radiology clinic ~ to speed things up.

At 7:30 a.m. I had two ultrasounds ~ pelvic and transvaginal ~ then I saw Dr. Bob for an hour, and then I had to have a "possibly cancerous" lesion taken off my face which had to be stitched up and which will leave a small scar.

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