What I Want to Tell My Friends About My Recent Social Isolation

July 7, 2017: This post has been featured on The Mighty as “To the Friends I’ve Pushed Away While Working Through My Mental Illness.”

Lately, I’ve been feeling very guilty. I wish I didn’t feel that way. I wish I could easily tell myself that I’m taking care of me, and that I’m not responsible for how other people feel, or what other people are doing, or how other people react to me. But I can’t. Not yet, anyway. I’m working on my ability to separate my own feelings from others’, and as someone who has internalized others’ feelings my entire life, it isn’t an easy process. Continue reading “What I Want to Tell My Friends About My Recent Social Isolation”

My Mental Health Begninning

by-nicole-helbigI’ve decided that before writing about mental health, I want to be open and honest about my own mental health narrative. I often feel that I am open and transparent about my mental state, but upon talking to some people—people close to me, they are very surprised by my situation. I guess I’m not as open as I thought I was, or I just don’t think about how startling it might be to hear that I, a fairly well-functioning person, have struggled, and do struggle a lot with mental wellness. So, I’ve decided to write my story, and to articulate in the best way that I can the things that I deal with on a day-to-day basis. I know that it helps me a lot to learn how other people manage their stresses. Knowing that other people in the world deal with issues similar to my own has been very liberating, and I hope to pass that feeling onto someone else. Continue reading “My Mental Health Begninning”

Forgiving Oneself as a Writer


In eighth grade art class, I made a stained glass window. I cut shapes out of a piece of black construction paper to create the outline of the windowpane and glued tiny bits of colored tissue paper over the spaces to mimic the glass. The assignment was to fill in the parts of the rectangular paper window and suspend a silhouette in the middle. I went to Catholic school, so a lot of the shapes we got to choose from were spiritual symbols: doves, crosses, the holy Eucharist. (I believe it was an Easter-time art project.)  The silhouette I chose to create was a butterfly, a symbol of new life. Instead of making the butterfly a black shadow on the colorful background, I decided to make it bright and real. I cut soft patterns in the wings and filled them with light spring colors while the window itself had a hard, angular design with dark blues, purples, and reds. Continue reading “Forgiving Oneself as a Writer”