All posts tagged: Depression

Discussing Mental Health on a First Date

The New York Times recently shared a question that was sent to their “ethicist.” The reader is back on the dating scene again after ending a lengthy relationship. The reader also lives with a complex mental health past and is uncertain about when if/when to discuss this past when entering new relationships. What I love about this short little piece is that it acknowledges the grey area of getting close and intimate with another person. It explains: “on dates, convention holds, you’re not obliged to lead with your weaknesses. The best way for someone to see that you’re doing O.K. is not to assert it but to show it. AKA walk the walk, yo. Show what you are capable of on a day-to-day basis, let them see your best self. While you may feel your shadows are bigger than you, the truth is they only feel this way from your perspective. Remember you have a say in how you are perceived. You are writing your own story; make sure you’re the protagonist of it. However, the …

Get Yer Gratitude On

Not just today. Every day. Forcing myself to slow down and acknowledge there is more abundance in my life than I might think has been one of the most powerful habits I’ve learned. It is the first thing I do when I can feel the clouds of depression rolling over distant mountaintops. It’s what I do when I feel the scratching claws of anxiety in the back of my throat. It’s a easy as it is hard. Rewire your thought patterns. I’m grateful for dogs. A hot cup of tea. Fog in the morning. People who allow me to be me. Peeta Mellark. The written word. Hugs. Comedy. Personal growth. Personal patience. Cats. But really, cuddling with my cat is the best. Blankets. Freedom of speech. Compassion. Mac n’ cheese.

What Hattie Cooper's at knows about anxiety and depression and mental health

What My Cat Knows About Overcoming Anxiety & Depression

I adopted my cat Scout in 2008. Since then he has moved with me from college in San Luis Obispo, CA to Sacramento, to Spokane, and finally to Seattle. He’s been around for a lot of emotional turmoil, a lot of Hattie-feels-lost-right-now moments, and a lot of different crushes and heartbreak. Scout stared at me when I waited by my phone for that musician with the lazy eye to call in college. He sat next to me as I emailed my crush who lived two states away who eventually would reflect on our time together by saying “you have nice boobs.” He warily met Jared and eventually grew to love him more than he loves me (or so I fear). And Scout was even featured as a small cartoon drawing on the back of our Save the Dates. All these moments have given me anxiety and spiraled me into phases of darkness and he’s been present for every one of them. He’s handled it all with both affection and apathetic distance. His general attitude has always been, “whatever, I love …