Tweet from Mandalay Bay Resort saying they need crisis counselors

Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas Puts Out Call for Trauma Counselors


Prioritizing the mental health of those affected by Monday’s tragedy, Mandalay Bay Resort is asking for certified trauma counselors after the mass shooting that occurred earlier on its property:

The resort tweeted:

We are in need of certified trauma counselors. If you can volunteer your time, please go to Circus Circus – Ballroom D where you will be given an assignment. Ask for Tommy Gorbal. We are grateful for the support of our community.

While it’s clear what you can do to help if you are certified and in the Las Vegas area, you can still help if you aren’t nearby or a counselor.

The internet is a powerful place, which means helping can be as simple as sharing resource-based articles or the tweets like the one above within your social networks, increasing the likelihood those trained in crisis counseling see the post.

If you feel moved to do more, sign up today to become a certified crisis counselor. Many hotlines and hospitals look for volunteers — whom they then train — to help out with crises and in emergencies. If you want to help out on a more regular basis, the Crisis Text Line operates a 24/7 crisis line, where people can give — as well as receive — just by texting.

You can also help by donating blood. Nevada hospitals, as well as the city’s sheriff, are asking people within the state to donate, but out-of-state donations can help too. In times of tragedies, blood is often sent from out of state to places in need.

To find a blood donation center near you, visit United Blood Services

Update: On Monday afternoon, Mandalay Bay Resort posted an update stating that it has enough counselors for the day. 

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'This Is Us' Season Premiere Addresses Mental Health, Alcoholism and Obesity


Julia Wood is a Communications Fellow at RespectAbility and a senior at Emerson College.

In Tuesday night’s premiere of season two of “This is Us,” viewers were reintroduced to the Pearson couple, Rebecca and Jack, played by Milo Ventimiglia and Mandy Moore as well as “The Big Three” triplets: Kate (Chrissy Metz), Kevin (Justin Hartley) and Randall (Sterling K. Brown).

The first season dealt with issues of diversity, mental health and obesity by portraying various family members’ interactions. These themes are expected to continue through the second season.

Creator and show runner Dan Fogelman shed light on important issues that often go unspoken in today’s society: obesity and mental health. Metz struggles with her weight both on and off of the camera. In the first season, as the character Kate, she vows to lose weight in order to better her health. She falls in and out of love and addresses family drama all with the underlying story of her weight loss journey through a lens of body positivity. In the second season, Kate initially leaves an audition and then later does not get to the part, which she assumes is due to her weight. However, it is made clear that the director does not care about her weight but was simply evaluating her skills, which makes Kate happy.

Brown, who just won an Emmy for his portrayal of Randall, is making his way through fatherhood, his job and life with anxiety. According to The Anxiety and Depression Association of America, 40 million adults in the United States have an anxiety disorder. Brown’s character has a panic attack toward the end of the first season, and in that moment, he is representing almost 20 percent of the population. The second season shows that Randall has quit his job and is now home taking care of his daughters and running the house.

In the season two opener, another topic brought to light was something many viewers probably have never thought of as a disability – alcoholism.

This week’s show was largely a flashback to Jack and Rebecca Pearson dealing with last season’s cliffhanger – the fate of the couple’s marriage. The previous season ended with Jack moving out of the family home and this season’s first episode ended with Rebecca inviting him to return.

“I have been drunk for weeks, and I thought I had it under control, like the first time, but I have a problem, Rebecca. And I’ve hidden it from you for a very long time. And I’ve hidden it from my kids, and I need to get a handle on it before I can walk back into that house. I’m sorry, baby. I am very embarrassed, and I am very sorry. I need to fix this on my own,” says Jack.

This is the first time in the show that Jack declares he has an alcohol use disorder.

“An alcoholic is a person with a disability and is protected by the ADA if s/he is qualified to perform the essential functions of the job. An employer may be required to provide an accommodation to an alcoholic,” states the Americans with Disabilities Act. Statistics show 9.8 million men and 5.3 million women in the United States alone have an alcohol use disorder.

“This is Us” not only addresses the disorder but it also humanizes it by showing the internal effects that come with the disorder as well as the very real impact it can have on a family. “People hug me, people literally come up to me on the street and hug me,” says Ventimiglia in an interview with the Today Show.

Fogelman has assured viewers that there is more tear-jerking realness coming their way in just a week.

Hang in there gang. This will be a heavy and ultimately life affirming season. Love ya. #ThisIsUs— Dan Fogelman (@Dan_Fogelman) September 27, 2017

These portrayals in “This Is Us” help to break down stigmas about health, both physical and mental. Viewers can resonate with its story lines because they portray viewers’ lives every single day.

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Photo via “This Is Us” Facebook page.

When PTSD Is a Result of Leaving the Safety of the NICU


Nearly six years have passed since our family was first introduced to the NICU at Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis; I have struggled long and hard since with PPD/PTSD.

A year or two after our twins were home from the NICU, I stumbled upon the studies showing an increased risk for PTSD in moms who spent time in the NICU; I felt like I had found my tribe. Until that point, I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me. How could I continually feel worse when my boys were continually getting better? Why am I going downhill when they seem to be making strides forward? I should be elated. I should be grateful. I should feel blessed. But as I read on about PTSD from extended NICU stays, I found familiar voices in other moms expressing the same exasperation and I started to feel a little more “normal,” as you do when someone reaches out and says “me too.”

Where I start to differ — although I suspect I’m not alone — is in feeling symptoms of PTSD upon returning to the hospital. I will often read stories of moms who’ve gone back with their children for follow-ups and are still triggered by sounds of alarms, monitors, the smell of antibacterial soaps and sterile environments; the site of other medically fragile children. Five years of follow ups at the same hospital and I have yet to experience this unsettling feeling. Instead, I feel like I’m back at the safest place in the world.

If the isolette was meant to mimic the womb for the boys, the NICU, and Children’s in general, also mimicked a womb for me. All my basic needs were taken care of. I was fed by the chefs at the cafeteria who made the best omelets, the volunteers at the Ronald McDonald House who provided warm meals, the staff at the parent resource center who always had fresh cookies on hand. I was clothed — by prayer shawls, gifted sweats of the softest fabric, aroma therapy slippers. I slept in a private room at my best friend’s home just a short drive away. I could breath. There were no demands on me from work or home and I was able to completely focus on giving my emotional energy to the twins. My husband was back home getting our oldest son off to daycare and providing him his daily routine. He then went off to work to keep us financially afloat. Back at the hospital I could do what I was good at; I could research and learn. I could ask detailed questions about their condition and be fully engaged in their progress and care. I could find creative ways to connect with the twins. I could write; I had time alone every day to journal our story thanks to Caring Bridge, which was therapy in and of itself.

I had daily access to the best chaplain who provided a safe and understanding place to vent my frustrations with faith, religion and the unending questions of why — why did our sons have to endure this? Be subjected to this? Lay alone in an isolette for days and weeks before they could be snuggled? Why did I have to see my one son turn grey half a dozen times, holding my breath until he finally remembered to take his? No one should have to see this. How am I to open up and love my other son with no guarantee of his survival? Why do some babies make it through and others never get to go home? The Chaplain provided me the gentle presence in these moments of anger, fear and sadness. And for the nurses who witnessed these types of events every day — they were my steady support team.

The nurses who cared for our sons were wickedly smart and alert and equally compassionate and caring of not just the boys, but me as well. Nurses were there for every breath the twins took, every poop they made, every ounce of IV nutrition or breast milk they received; they were aware of their temperatures, their sats, the medication doses that were constantly tweaked. All of these things were diligently monitored by these heroes every minute of every day. If something was off, they were going to catch it. I was never alone in caring for my boys.

All that changed the day we were discharged.

 

Coming home should have been the happiest day of our lives. We waited just over four months to be reunited under the roof of our home. But there was little joy. There was, however, a lot of terror. After being constantly watched by the best medical professionals in the country, we now found ourselves two hours away from the experts. Both boys were on monitors to alert us should they stop breathing. One was on oxygen. We were now fully responsible for administering medications, checking oxygen levels, tracking wet and soiled diapers, taking temperatures, making special formula so Will wouldn’t aspirate and cause further damage to his already fragile lungs. The job of nurse, and now back to the job of running a household and trying to give the deserved attention to our active, social 3 -year-old, too. My husband returned to work, our closest family was one to two hours away and visitors were supposed to be kept at bay as much as possible. It was a ridiculously isolating time and all the supports that kept me sane in the NICU during a very trying time had disappeared just as the demand for my presence increased substantially.

I remember during the NICU days feeling so guilty for getting full nights of sleep just miles away from the hospital while nurses tended to the twins and my husband tended to our oldest son at home. Oh the guilt. But once back home those days were over as we juggled feeding the twins every two hours and consoling a 3-year-old with night terrors. If only I could have banked those sleep hours in some reserve.

It’s not that we didn’t have any help upon returning home. My mother in law would come one day each week and more if needed. My mom came for an extended stay to get us settled into our new routine. Our Rocking Grandmas — “adopted” grandmas — would come one morning each week to allow a trip to the store or just some one-on-one time with our 3-year-old. And I just came across an old email today from a friend offering to come clean for me. But asking for and receiving help was really hard. Things were so unsettling, so chaotic, that I couldn’t possibly let anyone in. My nerves were shot and the thought of having anyone see me in this state was really unbearable. I didn’t want anyone to know how bad I was at this. I did not want to be judged. How could I be so disorganized when my sons’ health depended on me being on my game? How could I keep a sterile house when it was always such a mess? I was angry, afraid, tired and not myself. I no longer knew how to be around people. And I felt completely incompetent when it came to the job at hand.

It’s unsettling to me that NICU Awareness Month overlaps with National Suicide Awareness Prevention Month. The link between PTSD/PPD and suicide are alarming, and the thin line between these is a terrifying place to be. I have learned to reach out for help, but I wish I would have known how to do so sooner. I have the most amazing boys who went through so much to be here and an older son who had an innocent childhood interrupted by events he couldn’t understand. They deserve the best I can give them.

It has been a long journey to gaining any sense of confidence in my ability to care for my sons and keep them safe; providing them some sense of normal amidst my struggle with PTSD and depression. The amount of love, support and attention we received during our NICU months were life-sustaining to all of us, and still, six years later I marvel at the support we had. My biggest wish this NICU Awareness Month is that in coming years we could also have post-NICU Awareness Month because the grief, the sadness and the fear don’t end once you walk out those doors.

For you moms who are experiencing this and wondering why you aren’t feeling more relief, more joy, more good days — please know you’re not alone.

For those who have friends or family who’ve been through the NICU — please don’t assume it gets easier once they’re home. Coming home can in fact be the scariest part of the journey.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or text “HOME” to 741-741. Head here for a list of crisis centers around the world.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

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October's My Mighty Month Challenge: Realistic Apologies


A few years ago, I unexpectedly got sick. At the height of the doctor’s appointments, hospital visits, blood tests and scans, my mother called me and told me she wanted to send a message to my family, updating them as to my current health woes.

“Fine,” I sighed, as I’m not usually one to share. “I just have one request,” I told her. “I don’t want anyone to tell me they are ‘sorry.'”

There are two reasons I hate apologies when I’m not feeling well:

1. The person saying “sorry” has nothing to apologize for. Unless they poisoned my food and are the reason I am sick, they did nothing wrong.

2. I then feel like I have to console them, which likely isn’t what I want to be doing at that moment.

Person who cares about me: I’m sorry you don’t feel well. 

Me: It’s OK. (Except it’s not OK, I’m in pain, but now I feel bad that you feel bad that I feel bad.)

From a psychology standpoint, it makes sense that these apologies make me feel uncomfortable. According to Allycin Powell-Hicks, PhD, a California-based therapist, apologizing is a “prosocial behavior,” meaning we do it to stay in the good graces of our community — be it friends, loved ones or peers.

“In order to apologize to a person, you have to align yourself with a person on an emotional level,” Powell-Hicks told The Mighty. “So you experience this shared emotion with someone and then you’re able to identify that they’re experiencing an emotion that maybe you wouldn’t enjoy, so you sympathize with them and you experience guilt.”

In cases where you genuinely feel guilty for something you’ve done wrong, apologizing can be great for your health. “Apologizing can decrease levels of stress and anxiety, and clearly, stress and anxiety can have a lot of negative impacts on health,” Powell-Hicks said.

However, when you apologize for things you don’t think you’ve done wrong, it can have the opposite effect. “Sometimes we can experience unrealistic guilt,” Powell-Hicks said. “Unrealistic guilt results in this kind of anxious apologizing, where you’re apologizing for being alive, you’re apologizing for existing, for being sick, for being the person who you are, for being a burden.”

These “anxious” apologies not only increase anxiety, they can lower your self-esteem, too. “If you feel guilty for something you actually didn’t do, like be born… you can’t feel guilty for being born because you didn’t do anything wrong,” she said. “So there’s no way to actually apologize and feel better for something like that.”

Which brings us to this month’s challenge: realistic apologies. For the month of October, we’re asking you to apologize only when you mean it and only for things that are within your control. 

It’s important to differentiate between realistic and unrealistic apologies. Before apologizing, try to ask yourself, “Did I do something concrete to harm this person?” If the answer is yes, apologize. If the answer is no, come up with an alternative. In the example I gave above about my family apologizing for my poor health, the alternative I’d want to hear is, “That sucks you aren’t feeling well. Let me know if I can do anything.”

You can also dedicate a journal or space in your phone’s note-taking app to documenting cases where you offer a quick “sorry” without thinking it through, like forgetting to take out the trash or missing a phone call. Reflect on those instances and whether they were realistic or unrealistic. For times where an apology maybe wasn’t the best response, brainstorm some alternatives you can use next time.

But, you may be wondering, what about times where it’s the social norm to apologize, like if you bump into someone? In cases like this, Powell-Hicks uses “pardon me” instead.

If you find yourself apologizing because you are late or you messed up something at work, trying saying everything after the “I’m sorry.” For example, if you handed in an assignment late at work and your boss says something, instead of saying “I’m sorry, I meant to have it to you sooner…” Start with everything after the “I’m sorry.” “I meant to have it to you sooner. It was a busy week, I’ll do better next time.”

Want to make October a Mighty Month? Join us on Facebook at My Mighty Month, and don’t forget to tag any social media posts with #MyMightyMonth. You can also sign up for our weekly email, (select “Mighty Monthly Challenges” from the newsletter options), which includes tips and reminders designed to keep you motivated. 

How Helping People in Moments of Crisis Healed My Body and Mind


I was sitting in an infusion room at a hospital in Boston when the nurse, who was trying to insert my IV, asked me about the Crisis Text Line sticker on my laptop. Infusion rooms in hospitals are not fun places. Basically, they’re a bunch of sick people trying to get as comfortable as possible in reclining chairs while medications are fed into their blood stream — all in hopes of recovery, or, at the very least, remission. I come to this place often. I am a regular in the lab and know the techs by name.

I have a rare autoimmune disease that, at times, leaves my immune system so broken that I have to wear a mask to be in public. Or, more likely, admitted to the hospital under isolation. Today though, as I waited for this new medication to get my white blood cells moving, I used the staff’s printer and, with the nurse’s help, printed out Crisis Text Line flyers and rolled my IV down the halls of the infusion unit, posting our info for all who need to see.

My Crisis Text Line story started the winter before this. It was a particularly difficult time, as the medication that had been keeping me stable began to fail. I was ordered to stay inside, limit visitors and keep all germs away until the doctors could come up with a new medication regime.

My husband travels for work, my two youngest kids are teenagers, so they’re not home much, and my two oldest children are away at college. I was experiencing a time of incredible isolation and uncertainty with my health. I was scared and dependent on the help of my kids and friends to get food bought and disinfected before coming in the house. It was like Groundhog Day. Every day: wake, shower, read, watch Netflix, try and gather energy to eat, sleep. Wash, rinse, repeat.

Then one night, my oldest son called me to check in. He was in his senior year of college and was looking for volunteer opportunities to buff up his résumé for medical school. He started telling me about Crisis Text Line and the incredible work they were doing. As soon as we hung up, I Googled Nancy Lublin’s TED Talk, and applied to become a Crisis Counselor on the spot. I dove headfirst into the training and finished the course weeks before it was due. I loved what I was learning, and I was excited to be able to do something from my limited, sterilized world. My very first texter was difficult. They were so stuck in their head that it seemed nothing I could say would help them shift their fatalistic thinking. But I stuck with what I had learned in training and leaned in harder to help them. It took a while, but we were able to find them a safe place and solid coping skills to get through the rest of the night.

I finished that shift elated! Yes, I was still stuck alone in my house for an unforeseeable amount of time, but now I had a purpose beyond keeping my white blood cells happy. I was at one of the lowest moments in my life, yet with each texter I touched, I could feel healing. With every “thank you” I received, I could see my purpose becoming clearer and clearer. Every time I helped a person in pain, I felt less ill and stronger. These lost, beautiful and real human beings helped me heal by allowing me into their lives. Helping people in crisis became the ultimate gift I have ever given myself. As my texters healed, so did I.

My very first high risk situation was, astonishingly, with a person who struggles with an incurable illness. Hitting so close to home, it was an agonizing conversation.

Listening to their story, I soon understood that it was not my job to “fix” their situation or convince them that everything was going to be OK. What I could do, though, was support them and help them consider every angle and outcome possible. I was going to find a place where they were able to cope with the first and loudest issue in front of them: which was how to say goodbye to their children. I learned that night that as a crisis counselor, I am called to meet the texter where they are — not where I want them to be.

Ironically, this is exactly what Crisis Text Line had done for me. It met me where I was. In my house, in isolation, living in fear. And it followed me into that infusion room in a Boston hospital, where, I am happy to say, the medication worked.

Learn how to become a Crisis Text Line counselor. 

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15 'Adulting' Truths You May Relate to If You Struggle With Mental Illness


As a therapist, I’m privileged to be invited into the hearts and minds of many people. One thing I’ve come to believe over the years through my work as a therapist is this: we’re all struggling with “adulting” in some way.

But most of us believe that no one else is having as hard of a time as us. And yet that’s just not true — many of us are struggling with the same kinds of issues and feeling just as challenged.

Because life can feel really hard sometimes. And “adulting” is just not that easy.

But too often shame, isolation or lack of outlets to safely and vulnerably bring this up — the fact that being an adult isn’t easy — can leave many of us feeling lonely and defeated.

I want to share 15 hard “adulting” truths that I think most of us wrestle with based on my experience as a therapist (and as a fellow human).

My hope in sharing these is that you might feel less alone in your particular struggles and maybe just a bit more self-compassionate, knowing what you’re dealing with is natural for most of us.

1. “Adulting” is hard for most of us sometimes (or a lot of the time).

Between commutes, work demands, student loan debt and daycare expenses, the pressures of dating or marriage or children, let alone remembering to keep toilet paper and olive oil stocked in your house; the responsibilities of an adult life can often feel overwhelming, stressful, and chaotic. This may make you feel like you’re just barely cobbling it together as you go along.

When you add any anxiety, depression, unresolved childhood trauma or health challenges that you may be dealing with onto this, being an adult can feel especially hard. If you’re feeling like you’re the only one having a hard time with being an adult and making it in the world, you’re not. It’s hard for most of us sometimes (or a lot of the time).

2. There comes a point where you have to grieve the paths you didn’t take.

There may be a day (or days) when you wake up and look around at your life and wonder how you got here, wonder what happened to those dreams you had back in your post-college 20s, wonder how you ended up single or with the partner you have.

As we age and make choices, doors close to us that had previously been open. There may come a time when you see the doors that are no longer available to you and become sad and frustrated about the paths you didn’t take. It’s perfectly natural to feel this way!

Your life is a sum of your choices up to this point and while it doesn’t mean you can’t make different choices moving forward, there may be some paths that aren’t choices anymore and you have every right to grieve those.

3. None of us are experts in romantic relationship — we’re all novices.

Even if you had the most wonderful, healthy, functional relationship models in your parents, it can still feel like a struggle to figure out how to be in a long-term romantic relationship. And if you lacked healthy relationship models, it can often feel harder.

Most of us know how to fall in love, how to be infatuated, how to daydream over new love, but when the fires of passion die down, most of us struggle with what comes next: how to be cohabitant with another human being day after day, year after year, trying to love them, trying to resolve differences while putting up with all their quirks, preferences, triggers, temperament differences, weird noises, etc..

We might all struggle in our relationships from time to time. We are all novices. If you’re struggling right now to find, keep, heal, or cope with your romantic relationship, I guarantee you that you’re not alone.

4. Life is mostly composed of really mundane stuff.

Between the highlight reels of Facebook and Instagram are the never-posted snapshots of real daily life: laundry on the floor, dishes in the sink, fights in the kitchen, mail piles and unwritten thank you cards, end of the day brain-dead exhaustion, painful chore dates with bills and budget, constantly picking up the clutter from the rooms of your house.

I think a lot of us in adulthood are surprised by just how much mundanity life is composed of! It’s not that this stuff can’t be beautiful or even special — it absolutely can be. But if you’re saddened that “real life” doesn’t feel more like a social media highlight reel, this daily mundanity will likely feel doubly hard.

Please don’t beat yourself up over believing that everyone else is having better sex, keeping a cleaner house, better at managing their finances and pantries with plenty of time and money left over for travel and adventures. It’s likely not true. Most of our lives are filled with mundanity. It just doesn’t make it onto social media.

5. Being an adult can feel really lonely sometimes.

It doesn’t matter if you’re partnered or single, loneliness can find you in either of those contexts. And loneliness can feel so hard.

It’s a constant tension we navigate as humans, longing to be in contact, but ultimately being separate and trying to cope with this often painful reality. So whether you’re in conflict with loved ones or colleagues, circumstantially isolated or isolating yourself; loneliness is a far more common adult experience than what you may imagine based on sitcoms, social posts, or even what you imagined life may feel like.

Take heart if you feel lonely. This is one of the feelings we all must face as humans.

6. It’s often harder to make friends as an adult.

Many of us feel sad or confused by how much harder it can feel to find and make friends as an adult. I say this not to diminish the challenges you may personally be having with this, but rather to normalize your experience.

This seems to be a struggle for a lot of us in our late 20s and 30s and onward. This doesn’t mean it’s impossible, of course, and, in my experience, it takes a combination of emotional and logistical work to do so (something we didn’t have to do when we were all lumped into dorms together), but it’s totally doable.

7. Double binds, tradeoffs and hard choices get more common.

For many of us, life begins to feel more complex as we become adults. Decisions that seemed easier when we were younger are no longer so black and white. Choices — about who and if to marry, where to plant roots, what job to take, to have or not have kids, how to spend money you may or may not have — take on an added complexity as we likely assume more responsibility and gravity in our lives.

We may have more freedom as adults, but with it comes its attendant responsibility and this —the responsibility and hard choices — can often feel quite challenging for many of us.

8. Every career (even your dream career) comes with drawbacks.

No matter how wonderful your job or career, no matter how carefully you plotted and crafted it, every career comes with drawbacks.

Be it mundanity in the administration of it all, the commute you have to make to get to your dream job, the time away from your family, the vulnerability of putting yourself out there and risking rejection; every job and career on the planet comes with some tradeoffs (see point number seven), and that’s OK. You will have to find the set of tradeoffs you’re most willing to tolerate when crafting and pursuing the job or career you want.

9. You’re not alone if you don’t feel close to or want to have contact with your family.

Contrary to what religious institutions have promulgated for the last 2,000+ years, you don’t have to feel close to or have contact with your family if it’s not healthy, safe, or fulfilling for you to do so. Period.

You get to define what family means to you (and this may or may not include being blood-related or raised with them) and you get to craft your own family of choice as an adult. This isn’t something we talk about too often in society so sometimes many of us can feel alone in the struggle of being part of or removing ourselves from a family system we don’t want to be in. If you’re struggling with this issue, know that you’re not alone.

10. It’s up to us to craft a life of meaning and fulfillment. It’s not just going to appear.

I believe it becomes our responsibility as adults to define what gives our life meaning. No one else can tell us what this will be or look like. This is your responsibility and the enormity of that can sometimes feel hard to figure out for most of us. If you feel lost and are struggling to find your path and define what gives your life meaning, remember that you’re in good (and vast) company.

11. You can love your loved ones and resent them at the same time.

You can love your spouse, partner, kiddos, friends, family, coworkers, neighbors, etc. and still resent them or have hard feelings towards them at the same time. Life is not either/or, it’s both/and. And so are our emotions. Often the people who we love the most will be the ones that trigger us the most, too.

So if you’re struggling with even allowing yourself to feel your feelings of resentment towards the people you love, understand that that’s OK and it’s natural. It may, of course, be a clue or signal about something you need or want to shift or address in that relationship, but it certainly doesn’t make you a “bad” wife/mother/sister/friend/colleague if you’re experiencing a both/and feeling. And please remember, there’s no such thing as a “bad” feeling.

12. “Adulting” involves a lot of unlearning and relearning when it comes to food, money, sex and relationships.

We don’t come into this world pre-programmed like computers. We form in relationship to those around us and we learn what we’re modeled (whether that’s intentional or not).

Because of this, we come to develop certain kinds of patterns and behaviors around food, money, sex and relationships from those early experiences. And, for many of us, those patterns we learned may one day stop working so well (if they ever did at all).

So then adulthood becomes a journey of unlearning those older patterns and relearning newer, possibly more functional habits. If you feel frustrated or overwhelmed with the fact that you’re still learning how to date or manage your money or understand sex, join the club. Most of us in adulthood are in a constant journey to unlearn and relearn patterns around these and so many other subjects.

13. There’s often a quickening of pressure in your late 20s and 30s.

So many of us — particularly women — might feel a quickening of pressure from seemingly all sides in their late 20s and 30s. Whether this is marriage, children, career, buying a home, rocket-fueling your retirements, hitting self- or other-defined goals, for many of us, can become more pressing in this time period than in any other. And that can feel really hard and stressful and confusing!

14. You won’t be Beyoncé.

I mean, obviously, there is only one Beyoncé. But what I mean by this is that, in our younger years, many of us may have had dreams of being famous, saving the world, or being incredibly rich.

But the reality is that few of us will strike it rich, make it big, or become world-renowned. And that’s OK. There’s nothing wrong with an ordinary life (and really, the ordinary can be extraordinary), but there may be a day (or days) in your adult life when you feel sad or frustrated or angry about those unrealized life visions.

Like with point number two, you get to grieve this. It’s a process to release the dreams we had for our life and come to grips with the actual reality, with the ordinariness of life. It doesn’t mean that, as an adult, you get to stop working towards dreams. It’s just that they may be tempered with time and more reasonable expectations now. And it’s our job to process this and come to accept this.

15. Adulthood involves layers of loss.

Whether this is loss of our dreams and grief over the roads we did not take, loss of partners, parents, friends, money, direction, loss of some abilities in our bodies; loss becomes a more frequent companion for many of us in adulthood. It can wear us out, hurt our hearts, force us to reinvent and pick up the pieces of our lives. Loss is inevitable and it can feel so hard. If you’re dealing with this, know that you’re not alone.

This post was not meant to be a somber, negative perspective on adulthood despite how the “hard truths” may read. On the contrary, adulthood can be absolutely amazing and joyful and fulfilling and adventurous. And these experiences can co-exist alongside all of these hard truths.

I just didn’t write about the joyful, wonderful parts of adulthood because those likely aren’t the parts we’re shaming, blaming, or isolating ourselves over. When it comes to the hard truths, many of us may think we’re the only ones having such a hard time, wondering what’s wrong with us that we’re struggling so much. But that’s just not the case. Almost all of us probably struggle with these same issues in some way.

So my hope is that, as you read through the list, you felt even a little bit seen, a little less alone in your struggle, a little more relaxed in your heart knowing that your experience, while still painful, is something that others are sharing in.

Take very good care of yourself and remember, you’re doing a great job.

Warmly,

Annie

What’s another hard truth about “adulting” that you would add to this list to help our community feel less alone in their struggles?

Read more from Annie here

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