It may go dormant for a while but is always waiting to run you over again.

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When you’ve lost someone that you love, life becomes a minefield. You hear someone say their name, hear your song, smell a scent that you associate with them, or your mind just wanders to a random memory and your day is ruined. Over time, things bother you less, but they never truly go away.

In a way, this pandemic was a blessing because I’ve been self-isolating so much that I rarely encounter unplanned things. Since I am not around people or their whatnot, I don’t get surprised with reminders as often. …


I’m still not back to normal.

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It has been a month since I was diagnosed with COVID-19 and I still am not entirely well. Before I continue, let me state clearly that I know how lucky I am to have only had a moderate case. Given what I’ve read about people with the health issues I have, I am grateful that my case turned out to not be as severe as it has for many others in my position.

I still have no idea how we caught this. Because everyone in my house got sick at the same time, we assume we all were exposed together…


A side effect of an abusive childhood can make you far too tolerant of chaos.

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I grew up with a neglectful and abusive mother. Because she was also hugely disorganized, my life was often chaotic. Everything was done last minute with no planning or organization. It was a running family joke that every holiday required at least one trip to the local drugstore to get things she forgot. Back then, the local drugstore was the only store open on Christmas. It was not even that unusual to have to go more than once because she would realize other things she had forgotten after the first trip was made.

While that seems fairly innocuous, it was…


Some weird stuff has been going on around here this month.

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In our family, we put up the Christmas decorations on Black Friday. This year being what it has been, we decided to change up our decorations and do more with lights. We went shopping and bought all new lights and then brought up some of our non-lighted decorations from our storage unit.

Decorating was uneventful and my son was happy with the results. He loves Christmas. It is the one time of the year he drops the serious teenager act and becomes a giddy little kid again.

Now, as I’ve told him, I have never been the jolliest of elves…


As shocking as it may seem, people live in their homes.

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Twice in less than a day, I have had to deal with the same lack of consideration issue. People loudly yacking outside their apartments with their phones on speaker.

When I first moved in here, I struggled with having to hear people’s private stuff.

But I’ve gotten used to it and rarely notice anything that is not exceptionally loud anymore.

Last night, I was trying to fall asleep early because I knew my cat would not understand the time change. I was facing down an ass-crack-of-dawn meowing attack that would be launched complete with 16 pounds of furry body balanced…


Your depression wants to make functioning as hard as possible, but here are a few tips to help make it a little easier.

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The world is very difficult right now for those of us who have depression and anxiety. If ever there was a time when outside factors are weighing us down, it is now. The pandemic with its fear, idiots in denial, sociopaths who don’t care who they harm, and economic destruction is gearing up for a winter return to the previous levels we saw in spring, if not worse. Politics with our fight for the future of our country. …


Two examples of selfish parents who probably think they love their kids.

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I have these neighbors who have a deteriorating relationship. Originally it was the husband, wife, and two kids living there. I guess now it is over now because just the husband is there.

I’ve lived here about a year and a half and their fights have gotten worse and the police were coming more frequently. Around a month ago the wife and kids moved out. The kids come to visit him on the weekends.

It has been really quiet since they left. I had not seen the police here at all. Until today. This morning I heard angry yelling and…


When something gets linked in your mind with a bad experience, it can be very difficult to unlink them.

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The year 2018 was a rough one for me. My boyfriend was diagnosed with cancer at the beginning of the year and he died in early November. As 2019 dawned, I was in a very sad place emotionally. I decided to try and make myself feel better by starting a gratitude journal. I had heard good things about the practice and decided to give it a shot.

I did it daily through January and didn’t see a change. Now, I admit I was in a bad place, so I was not expecting miracles or anything. I continued to plug away…


Your mind is going to fight you every step of the way.

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Despite the fact that novelty will draw your attention, consistency is what your brain craves. It hates change. Once your mind has settled into a pattern, breaking that pattern is very difficult. The beliefs fed to you by your abuser is just such a pattern.

Your brain is not great at distinguishing between what is good for you and what is bad for you. Repetition will convince your mind that something is true regardless of how awful it is. Regardless of how it hurts you. …


The road to healing is long, but here are some steps you can take to get started.

Photo by Jesse Bowser on Unsplash

I had an emotionally abusive mother. I have spent most of my adult life trying to heal from that. As a child, I didn’t really know it was abuse. I didn’t know other families were different. As I became a teenager, it was obvious she was fucked up, but I had already internalized some serious learned helplessness and I didn’t think there was any way out.

It is not a coincidence that my mother excused all bad behavior by herself and my siblings as “family.” She thought anything should be forgiven just because you happen to be related to someone.

Heather Ashman

Writer. Single mother to transgender son. Still grieving the death of my partner. Lifelong fighter of depression and anxiety. M.A. in Human Behavior.

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