Craving connection


“When I leave here, I wish I could have a friend like you.”

This is what MH* longed for as he prepared to be discharged from his long hospitalization at an inpatient psychiatric facility for the severe and chronically mentally ill. I had worked with MH for many years and I had seen him change from an impulsive, id driven, instant gratification seeking, aggressive person who developmentally was stuck in a teenager’s mind to a caring, slower version of himself, facing old age and infirmity with regret and a desire to live out the rest of his years “doing things right.” It had not surprised me to hear that he desired a friend like me, because in his words, he had never known someone to care for him without wanting something in return. He would say, “I don’t have friends, I have associates, who I trust as much as I can pick up your truck and throw it.” In the years we had worked together, I had slowly earned his trust. I had let him down many times, as had he, yet we had enough respect for one another to admit our transgressions and to continue to show up to therapy even when angry or disappointed with one another. And now, as our therapy came to an end, he longed for friendship, someone to trust, and someone he could depend on to care for him even when he failed to be perfect.

When I first met MH, he longed for many things, but friendship was not on that list. “Friendship was for wimps,” he announced and stated that he would do anything to not be seen as a pushover. He longed to get high and proudly reminisced about the many times he had sneaked in drugs to the locked forensic facility he was previously at without getting caught. He longed to smoke cigarettes, and constantly looked for opportunities to sneak in a drag in the bathroom or in a dorm room; even though cigarettes were deemed contraband and getting caught smoking could set him back in his progress towards discharge. He craved to assault the many individuals who daily disrespected him and acknowledged that the impulse to act on his urges was at times more than he could bear.  He desired sexual release, and constantly looked for a willing companion to sneak into a closet for a few moments of heavy petting or sex if time allowed. He craved to feel something, anything.  But most of the time, he felt very little, he felt empty. He described how the urge to act out impulsively overtook him and for those brief moments when he stopped thinking about consequences, he felt something. He stated that the feelings he felt were no longer good feelings, no longer a rush, just different enough from feeling nothing that he settled for them, despite the risks acting on his impulses often entailed.

I sought a lot of peer supervision in the years I worked with this client. I often became frustrated at his slow progress and self-sabotaging behaviors. I became his biggest cheerleader and when he had setbacks, I couldn’t help but feel the impact as a personal defeat. I wanted him to thrive and I saw so much potential, so I could not understand why he would often succumb to immediately gratifying a need, when in the long term the gain felt so insignificant. Why give in to a craving, when the future holds so many more opportunities for real happiness and longer lasting pleasures? Although I tried to understand him, I often failed to really empathize with his reality. How did he know that the future was going to be any better? He had never known genuine love, happiness, or friendship. He had never experienced the joy of hope, unconditional understanding, and a belief that he could truly change.

I don’t know when he started to believe that it was possible to change. I don’t recall an instance or time when his self-perception shifted, and yet the person sitting in front of me was not the same person I had met all those years back. He had adopted the idea that there were other things to look forward to out there. My partner once told me “Craving is trying to fill a void with whatever your environment has to offer.” This made sense to me. If MH’s environment offered cigarettes, drugs, and thrills, he would try to fill his void, his emptiness, with those pleasures. It would work for some time, until even those things lacked to bring him any real satisfaction. Once I understood that I was no different than MH, that I also craved to feel pleasure, then I became better equipped to help him strive to seek different joyous experiences. Luckily, my environment afforded me different ways to feel fulfilled, and thankfully I never felt quite as empty as he chronically felt. But at our core, we were the same. Two individuals wanting to feel understood, feel connected, feel fulfilled.

*Names and other identifying details have been changed

Author: Gladys Valdez

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Craving an outlet


Parenting is a whole lot of sacrifice.  I’m not saying that’s bad.  It just is.  

It’s been ten years since I started having kids.  I knew going in that it would take sacrifice, beginning with my body.  “Here’s a home for you, growing fetus,” I offered.   And here’s a way to enter the world.  Here’s some milk from my breast and a nice squishy belly to rest on until I can retrieve some semblance of my former ab muscles.”  I did this with gladness and passion and a sense of purpose I had never known.  Three times.  I will admit the words “I don’t feel like doing this today; I’m tired,” did escape my lips during my last delivery.  But love brought my baby girl forth, nonetheless.  With the help of an epidural.  

And so it began.  The sacrifices would mount, the feelings of passion and purpose would sometimes wane, and a decade of giving would fly and crawl by.  

I used to waste time.  Used to think I was soooooo busy – in college, in my twenties.  Thought I needed to relax a lot.  And then I had babies, and relaxing became something only possible between putting them to bed and falling in bed myself.  Not much brain activity or energy left to do anything worthwhile.  Just enough to plop on the couch, watch a show and eat a bowl of cereal.  Good times.  I know there are incredible people who do amazing things in that window.  Or stay up half the night working toward some impressive goal (writing a book, editing a film, starting a company), but I am not one of those incredible people.  I am an average, tired, make-it-through-the-day-and-call-it-a-success mom.  With a bunch of pent-up creativity aching to get out.  

And so, I would sew a Halloween costume once a year, hand-make birthday invitations, decorate overly ambitious pirate ship/choo-choo-train/Spider Man cakes.  It was something, but it wasn’t enough.  I craved a creative outlet that was mine, not just an extension of something I already needed to do.  I wished I could write.  Like I did in college, when I didn’t know time was precious.  When I had the freedom to walk to the library overlooking the whole town, out into the blue, cloudy distance, and let the juices flow.  Give my brain space to think a technically unnecessary but actually wholly necessary thought.  And leave feeling filled up.  Those days that seemed so busy then, seemed so lovely now.  Not that I wanted to go back – I loved my children, my marriage, my life as a whole in the present.  I just wanted to tweak it.  Add a few moments to the 24 hour day in which I felt rested and ready to create.  

And then I’d have another baby.

I know, boo-hoo.  There are many worse troubles in the world.  But in my privileged, first-world life this was an issue.  All my basic needs were being met; I just wanted to find my groove.  Which is probably impossible in the early baby years.  When making dinner and feeding an infant and bathing a toddler need to occur simultaneously.  Yeah, there’s no groove.  Finding peace amidst the chaos, making friends with the crazy.  That’s the goal.  

But now, ten years in, with two in elementary and one in preschool, the crazy is shrinking.  A groove is more plausible.  The craving to do what excites me, instead of laundry or planning a week of dinners or playing Hi Ho Cherry-O, is just as strong.  Or stronger.  But there are glimpses of opportunity.  A few hours a week to do what I want to do.  A little less time of hands-on care of others.  Not enough to satisfy the craving, but it’s a welcome start.  My blog was a first step, then a painting class I took.  They weren’t accomplishing anything mom-related, just acts of being a person with interests.  Not exercises in multi-tasking; they were just for me.  A novelty and a blessing. 

Let me be clear.  The investment of time and effort in my children over the last ten years has been worth it, despite the sacrifice.  My kids’ development, joy, and safety has been my main purpose, and time well-spent.  My greatest creative project, in fact.  But as in most situations of sacrifice, some pay-off is always welcome.  I wouldn’t trade my years of diaper-changing, A-B-C-singing, and playing with Lego for a thousand hours of Me Time.  But I’m glad to be getting a decade-in-the-making gift of choice.  And a little freedom.  Happy 10th anniversary of parenting to me.  Let the next decade begin. 

Author: Jenea Havener

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Virtues and vices


I have an addictive personality. I know this about myself. I’ve never been much of a drinker, and fortunately, I’ve never tried drugs. I feel that, under the right (wrong) circumstances I could quickly have a problem with both.

Not all of my addictions are bad. I’ve been known to be a running addict. When the show LOST was on the air, I was a super fan! I sometimes binge-bake, if I haven’t done it in awhile.

The destructive addiction that I have cultivated quite well, though, is an addiction to sugar. It’s full on over here! One of my Facebook friends recently posted an article that, according to the title, compared sugar to cocaine – in the way that it affects a person’s brain. I did not read that article. I honestly don’t want to know.

The number of times I’ve tried to quit is too many to count. The most recent was a few months ago. A good friend of mine gave up sugar because of a medical condition. In an attempt at solidarity, I decided to join her. Here is our conversation via text:


Me: “I’m going sugar free today. One day at a time! :-)”

My friend: “Yay sugar free!”

Me: “Thanks!”


Me: “I’m no longer sugar free! :-( I did my best! Lol”

My friend: “Oh, I love you!! Sugar is awesome!”

I lasted 3 1/2 hours. I must come to terms with this fact. I may never be able to give up sugar. I know cutting down is always a possibility, but I kind of have an all or nothing personality (addictive!!). I’ve decided that I will give myself grace about sugar. I know it’s bad for me. I know my brain is on sugar-drugs. But, for now, I’m going to hope that my virtues outweigh my vices and move on.

Please pass the conversation hearts!

Author: Laura Pierson


Craving connection


Today I lost a five dollar bill in the change machine at my office in attempt to buy chocolate in the middle of the afternoon from the vending machine. Stress, hormones and an unending to do list had sent my sweet tooth through the roof and so I stood in front of the vending machine with no change and no way to get a fix for my craving.

What could be more frustrating than staring at unreachable chocolate through a vending machine’s window? To crave something is to want it so badly that it is really a demand. I demand to have chocolate! I demand to have a glass of wine! But what about the deeper cravings? What about the craving for attention or the craving for love.

Mother Teresa said “Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the most terrible poverty.”

The month of February brings to light so many of our cravings. Valentine’s Day has turned from a Christian holiday in remembrance of a martyr to a modern day holiday that celebrates excess. I spent a lot of years a single girl before I got married. There were plenty of Valentine’s Days that passed when I felt lonely and unwanted. While those feelings might have been magnified on February 14, they weren’t constrained to just one day a year. At our deepest point of who we are I believe that we crave connection.

We crave to be known and accepted for who we are in our most significant ways. Sometimes that looks like romantic love served with a helping of sex, but more often deep connection looks like time-worn commitment.

On Valentine’s Days I often tell the story of my mom’s old heart-shaped cake pans. Those pans were a couple of decades older than me and had seen plenty of birthdays and holidays. Every February 14 they would come out again and mom would bake a two layer cake with them. Usually it was a cherry chip cake with chocolate frosting – my dad’s favorite. But the cake wasn’t just for the two of them. The cake was for a family celebration. While I don’t make a heart-shaped cake every Valentine’s Day, I have tried to carry out the tradition of celebrating Valentine’s Day with my family because it’s always worth celebrating love.

No matter the day or the occasion, love of all kinds is worth recognizing and celebrating because what we call feelings of love is our soul being stirred to create the connections that make us human. The feelings themselves will come and go – circumstances, time and distractions will always impact our feelings. But the connections we create can continue to grow and deepen as we feed them.

Author: Julie Martinez

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CRAVE – February’s Monthly Edition


Change for the better


A year and a half ago I found myself sitting in a coffee house across the table from  a good friend, announcing that in 6 months,  my partner and I were having a baby. She was happy for me, she said, and she genuinely seemed to be, yet there was something else in her congratulatory words. Worry? Disapproval? In those early months of my pregnancy, this scenario would play out over and over again, and some friends were more candid about their concerns. Some close friends thought it was too soon after my divorce to be having a child with another man. Others thought my partner was too old, and I wasn’t thinking rationally about my future. Some friends worried that my life would change drastically, and questioned whether I was ready for what this change entailed.

The years that preceded my pregnancy were not the most stable, that was for sure. And this was exactly why I knew I could not only handle this welcomed change, but hopefully thrive in the new role.  I was used to change. I wasn’t afraid of change, if it meant being happy. Change was what helped me leave my marriage,  even knowing that it would bring financial hardship and societal disapproval. I lost friends because they could not comprehend why I would leave such a “handsome and kind” man. I knew the change would be destabilizing, and yet the chaos I was living in was not really much more stable. Facing the unknown, although frightening, was my only option because it meant that I would reacquaint myself with me. Confident, fearless, self-respecting, self-loving, fighter me.  That change proved to be worthwhile, for it reminded me that I was capable and lovable, and most importantly that I deserved respect.

Thus, when my partner and I decided that we wanted to have a child together, I was afraid of the change it would bring to my newly stable life, yet I knew I was as prepared for it as I was ever going to be. More importantly, I had the support of a loving, smart, caring partner, who was also weary of the change, yet excited to face the challenge as my partner.

We had a healthy, beautiful baby boy in June of last year, and the critics were right, his arrival has turned our lives upside down. My partner retired a month after our love was born and he is now a full-time dad. I went back to work at the end of September, only to realize that more change was necessary to accommodate my new important role as Mom. So I found a more flexible, completely different line of work which has been a big adjustment. I now work from home with mostly mentally healthy individuals, and my mind is being challenged in ways I have not experienced since high school calculus.

Other things have changed as well. My body has been through the ringer, and when I look in the mirror nowadays, I don’t quite recognize the more mature gaze looking back at me. There are aspects that are surely familiar, yet not quite the same.  My body has morphed into one of a woman who can no longer pass for a 20 something year old. I have loose skin, wrinkles, gray thinning hair, and permanent bags under my eyes.  My breasts are lopsided and my back constantly aches.  And yet, what has changed the most is my heart. Its capacity to love truly has grown exponentially. When I see my son’s gummy smile or hear him babble out a mama or two, I know I am transformed. I am no longer just me. I am me 2.0, a better upgraded version, skilled at the arts of soothing, nurturing, and loving a human being unconditionally, willing and happy to protect him no matter what sacrifices that might entail, and capable of moving mountains if necessary. I anticipate more changes as our adventure continues and I nervously and eagerly anticipate these changes, hoping that they continue to mold me into bigger and badder versions of me.

Author: Gladys Valdez

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Be the change


This month’s theme is “Change”, and when I pondered what I wanted to say, I kept coming back this Ghandi quote: “Be the change you want to see in the world.”

Be the Change You Want to See in the World.

I live in St. Louis, and in October, I wrote about my experience in Ferguson, following the shooting of Michael Brown. This event, and much of what happened since, changed our society, changed our community, changed my family, changed me. Change is hard and never comes easily, but many times change is hastened by necessity. Our society and community, as well as my family and me, need to recognize where change is necessary in addressing the racial tension, the economic disparity, and the inequality of opportunity happening here in St. Louis, and all over our world.

But…Wow! Change like this seems too overwhelming to contemplate, much less facilitate. When I think about the Ghandhi quote, though, I feel like I can’t turn away. I have to ask myself: How can I be the change I want to see in the world? What can I really do? On the other hand, the idea that I can actually make a difference regarding racial relations in my community and in our country seems almost crazy. Maybe you feel like I tend to – that whatever I do is insignificant compared to the real work that needs to be done. And I wonder, Do I really have the time and energy it takes? I think about the fact that I have a job. I have many responsibilities in my daily life. I have three kids….

But…Wait! I HAVE THREE KIDS! One thing I can do is help my kids see the world as a place to BE THE CHANGE! I don’t know what my kids will end up doing in this world, or who they will become, but right now they are goldmines of potential! Right now they can do anything when they grow up! When I think about the fact that what I’m doing is raising people – citizens – not just kids, I can get overwhelmed, but I can also get excited. Part of my responsibility, as their mother, is to raise them to care about others, to care about change, to want to be change. Obviously my kids will grow up to be who they are. I can’t make them into certain types of people… but I sure can try! Influencing them now, is some of my real work – work that I believe will make a difference and facilitate change.

My 13-year-old son asked me recently, in a conversation about Ferguson, “Mom, what can I really do?” What a great question – with both not-enough and too-many answers! I didn’t immediately know how to respond. After a lengthy discussion, he and I decided that what we can both do is respond to the opportunities that come our way. We didn’t make a specific action plan, but we decided to seek opportunities to serve others, and to be open to the needs that find us. And it worked. Gregory and I have and are serving in ways that we weren’t before our conversation about Ferguson. Our idea of “being the change” constantly looks different, and the conversations he and I have must be on-going. While we could easily think that each small act of ours is not very impactful, we have to believe that all of these small acts, put together, done by all of us, will make a difference. Together, by caring about our communities, and looking for opportunities, we can “be the change we want to see in the world”!


Author: Laura Pierson

Change of relationship

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I’ve struggled with my weight my whole life. I can’t remember a time in my childhood when I wasn’t self-conscious about being the chubby kid. I had pretty much tried every diet from the time I was 12 through my 30s. I want to eat when I’m happy, sad, frustrated, angry, lonely, or when I feel like celebrating. My weight has fluctuated up and down more times than I really care to admit.

When I was depressed, I would eat to numb my feelings. With each bite, it felt like I could somehow keep the feelings stuffed down inside a little longer. (This of course, doesn’t work, just in case you were wondering.)  My head and heart felt disconnected from my body, and I didn’t even really care that I was gaining weight… a LOT of weight. In two years time, I had gained a hundred pounds. Not 5 or 10 or even 20. One hundred. After I started to become more emotionally healthy, I thought that I would fall back into regular eating habits and the weight would naturally come off. (It’s ok, you can laugh.) But more than 6 years later, I am still carrying it.

In October, I finally had a “come to Jesus” moment and admitted to myself that I am an addict. I am no different from anyone else who struggles with another substance abuse. My stints in rehab (Weight Watchers) hadn’t changed me. And I started to understand why someone who has gone through the program of AA still considers himself an alcoholic; no matter how long they’ve been sober.

I realize that a food addiction may not seem as serious as being addicted to something like methamphetamine or even nicotine. It might not be as destructive to relationships; I am still able to hold down a job and be responsible with my money and time. But it is hard on my health. And if I truly want to love myself well, I must be good to my body.

But eating is still required to live, so I needed to figure out a way to change my relationship with food. I started with a 21-day nutritional cleanse. I followed a program called CLEAN by Dr. Alejandro Junger ( and highly recommend it. You remove any foods that are known to cause digestive irritation (dairy, gluten, red meat) or are toxic triggers (sugar, alcohol, caffeine). You have liquid meals morning and night, take a variety of supplements and avoid all processed foods.

Since I had made it through Halloween unscathed, I decided to give myself a challenge. I would continue to cut out gluten, dairy, sugar, caffeine and alcohol through January 1st. All the way through the holiday season: no stuffing, creamed spinach, or pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving, no Christmas candy or cookies and <gasp>no New Year’s toast. I posted my plan on Facebook. A few people thought I was crazy, but wished me good luck.

The great thing about starting with CLEAN was that it had removed my cravings for junk. I was waking up easier WITHOUT a morning cup of coffee, my energy level was staying consistent throughout the day, I wasn’t feeling deprived, and my mood was more level. When someone would say, “Would you like to have a piece of [chocolate, cake, pizza]?” it became easier and easier to say no. “I’m an addict” stops the “But a little bit won’t hurt you” responses. Because people don’t offer a beer to an alcoholic or a “little bit” of heroin to a drug addict.

I completed my challenge and learned a lot about myself. In no means do I feel like I have overcome my addiction, but I do think I understand it and am learning how to live with it in a way that is healthy. I’m down 30 pounds. And for the first time, in many years, my New Year’s Resolution wasn’t to change my diet.

Author: Wendy Hinkle

A constant in the midst of change


A light gray, tattered sweatshirt sits on a chair in my bedroom, waiting for me to yank it over my head, as I often do. Although laundered frequently, it has some coffee stains on it that will be noticeable forever, in much the same way that scars stay visible on human skin. The small holes and frayed edges of the shirt cuffs could fool you into thinking that a mouse chewed on them at some point. I can reassure you, however, that this is not the case. Quite simply, this poor sweatshirt has survived 24 years under my care, and its ragged appearance is simply a consequence of living with me for almost a quarter of a century. Despite its condition, the word Kentucky is boldly emblazoned across the front in big, blue letters, a reminder that pride in one’s home state never declines with age.

This long-suffering sweatshirt has had to endure many stages of my life. First it had to withstand the regular suffocation of being plastered against the frames of teenage boys. Within a few years, it was sitting through dozens of late-night college study sessions in the company of bug-eyed young adults who were trembling from caffeine abuse.

My veteran sweatshirt was also worn during the first trimester of my pregnancy, gradually becoming tighter across my belly with each passing week. Like a hero, it tolerated the spit-up and tears shed by a newborn baby. Later on, it was victimized by a toddler’s sniffly nose. My washer and dryer, tired from over-use, would roll their mechanical eyes every time they saw my sweatshirt approaching them. As the years advanced, it weathered more late-night study sessions, but this time with an older child’s head snuggled against one shoulder. Yes, this sweatshirt has experienced many rites of passage and, in some ways, symbolizes the spirit of my will to survive.

I admit that my beloved Kentucky sweatshirt has become something of a security blanket over the years. We live in an age when technology is mutating and evolving faster than most of us can adapt. For example, I’m convinced that a new version of the iPhone comes out every time someone sneezes. And I still have a hard time believing that I must actually guard against the possibility of identity theft, a crime that sounds more like a science fiction movie than reality. Lastly, I never thought I would worry about the “shelf life” of libraries – pardon my pun – but now I’m beginning to resent the role of the Kindle in the declining popularity of printed books.

On a more personal level, I have experienced a multitude of life changes in recent times. Just within the last 180 days, I have moved to a different town, bought a house, gotten engaged, gotten married, started a new job, and watched my only child start middle school.

For these very reasons, I need to make sure that my old Kentucky sweatshirt is always accessible, because wearing it somehow reminds me that I am who I am, even in the midst of a rapidly-changing world.  Some things never change….and thank God.


Author: Casey Miller

Some things don’t need to be changed


Choosing to be OK with being a beaver

I have recently discovered that the most powerful tool I have—as a pseudo well-adjusted adult—is choosing to change how I think and feel about the things I am powerless to change. Like the fact that I am an introvert.

I have despised and regretted this all of my life. I felt shamed every time a 1970s-era personality test based on the “four temperaments” came up. In a nutshell, these are melancholic (emotionally sensitive, perfectionistic introverts), phlegmatic (submissive introverts, people pleasers), choleric (proud, extroverted “alphas”), and sanguine (boisterous, openly emotional, social extroverts). I always registered as a melancholic phlegmatic. The “worst” of all possible combinations.

A year ago, I was sitting in church with my mother and husband. The pastor was using some absurd variation that uses the more modern Myers Briggs test to match your personality type to one of 16 animals: owl, fox, sloth, lion, deer, octopus, cat, otter, wolf, dolphin, honeybee, beaver, dog, meerkat, parrot, and elephant. Look it up, you’ll be amused. (I think this was the pastor’s way of recruiting volunteers who have the proper bent to be parking lot attendants.)

My animal match was a beaver.

As the pastor begins to describe the beaver, my mother jabs me in the ribs with her elbow, hard. Sure, a stroke took away her capacity to speak, but she didn’t need words to get her point across. My husband chuckled, knowing I was getting angry.

Beaver: logical and hard-working conservative types. They enjoy organization and regulation, and have a reputation for being serious individuals who take a practical approach to everything. They are dependable and thorough, sensible and earnest. Like a beaver hard at work on its dam, they are known for being incredibly dedicated workers who will do whatever is needed to get the job done. On the negative side, they have good intentions but can sometimes have a difficult time understanding the emotional needs of others.

I DON’T WANT TO BE THE BLASTED BEAVER. Why can’t I be something “fun” like the dolphin or the otter?

But if I’m really honest, I am the beaver. I find comfort in following directions to accomplish a task. It really rubs me the wrong way that my husband refers to “directions” as “corrections” and only uses them after an attempt to figure it out on his own, usually after something is installed backwards or upside down.

I’m not “normal” with the touchy-feely stuff. Emotions are meant to be safely tucked away beneath a crust of sarcasm.

I think I get this from my father. He’s the one who taught me how to collate, which I thoroughly enjoyed even as an eight year old. I spent many an hour at the dining room table, picking up one sheet from each stack and stapling his sales materials together. I felt a sense of accomplishment when all of those stacks disappeared, everything was in the proper order, and each staple was properly placed.

My father was the one who never liked mixers, and he abhorred “getting-to-know-you” games. He had a lovely singing voice, but wouldn’t dare join the church choir because he’d have to interact with people. On holidays, after a big meal around the table or opening presents together in front of the Christmas tree, he’d happily retreat to his office to watch TV alone, even if guests were still there.

This Thanksgiving I had an epiphany moment as an introvert. I listened to the conversation before the meal—I was prepping, cooking, setting the table—and I was glad I wasn’t expected to make small talk with my family in the living room. Then the worst possible thing happened. The turkey wasn’t cooking and it was my fault.

Inexplicably, I put the turkey in the roasting pan upside down. Juices pooled, rawness persisted. We ended up slicing off a few pieces and roasting them separately. We had ham, too. Nobody went hungry.

This event, that should have thrown a perfectionist, people pleaser into full meltdown, was an error I let melt away. I didn’t feel the stomach churning despair I usually get when I make a mistake. It was as if I had finally accepted the fact that I’m human. I felt unusually well adjusted. I’ve come to realize introversion is not bad. It doesn’t mean I can’t effectively manage the social interactions that are necessary in my job. It doesn’t mean I’m doomed to be emotionally shut off from my family. It just means I need to choose to make the effort. Choose to smile more, share that absurd observation that is relevant to the conversation, tell my family I love them, and spend time with them. I’m not defective. God made beavers for a reason.

Author: Alicia Gregory

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