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Emails to my Therapist:
On Love, Death, Life Changes, Fears, Desires, Spiritual Yearning, Writing and Anything Else on My Mind

Emotion Undisguised

June 30, 2021
Dear Nicholas, I’ve often thought it would be easier to have ordinary straight-up bouts of  anxiety now and then–emotion undisguised– than to deal, as I do, with the long-running twisting anxiety-evasion strategies of OCD.  I rethought this stance on deflected emotion recently while reading the gorgeously well-written and quite moving memoir by Irish actor Gabriel […] Read More

The Many Delights of Breathing Air

June 17, 2021
Dear Nicholas, At least once a day I feel greeted by a faceful of new air, air that feels so freshly different from whatever I was used to and already taking for granted. Oblivious though I am to so much, I take regular delight in breathing air. The new air will be crisper or heavier […] Read More

People Scattering Like It’s Graduation

June 7, 2021
Dear Nicholas, I never knew until now that reaching “a certain age” would lead to one’s people scattering in every direction.  This happened at the end of high school and the end of college, and those experiences felt like normal expected transitions, welcome next steps. However, there was no ceremony and no diploma for this […] Read More

Did I Talk Too Much?

May 27, 2021
Nicholas–It’s a family tradition of Bob‘s and mine that when we leave a social gathering and get in the car, I say, “Did I talk too much?” I asked him again today after we attended our nephew Franklin Payne’s high school graduation (summa cum laude, salutatorian at Wake Early College of Health and Sciences!)  Afterwards, […] Read More

The Vile Test Prep Liquid That Is Ruining My Life at the Moment

May 19, 2021
Dear Nicholas, I am a total wimp about bad smells and bad tastes and right now I’m trying to drink 32 ounces of vile medical test prep liquid that is making me miserable beyond all reason. I hate this. I’m having a terrible time getting the vile liquid down. And I’m running behind on the […] Read More

Some Bad News and Some Good News: Medical Test Results

April 28, 2021
Well, Nicholas, my beloved husband Bob has come down with a particularly fierce brand of prostate cancer. And the good news is that it hasn’t spread to the rest of him. These last few weeks have been lots of doc appointments and lots of waiting. Waiting for the next medical test. Waiting for medical test […] Read More

meditative coloring

Instead of Meditating…

April 12, 2021
Dear Nicholas, Right now (and perhaps forever) I’m coloring instead of meditating. For me, for the moment, it works better. I’d been dutifully and impatiently, sometimes resentfully, doing the meditative mindful breathing routine every morning for a while. Then I realized I was getting a more relaxed, free-of-mental-buzz experience out of the time I spend […] Read More



February 26, 2021
Dear Nicholas, This past Tuesday, I not only thought it was Wednesday, I bullishly insisted it was. This morning I poured adhesive remover on my head thinking it was dry shampoo. And I recently tried to brush my teeth with hand lotion. I thought I had invented the word “pandementing” but then did a search […] Read More

I Have What Prisoners Call Gate Fever

February 22, 2021
Dear Nicholas, A week after my second shot, with greater freedom close, I’m at the pit of my pandemic year. It’s like what prisoners call gate fever, the barrage of feelings before expected release, emotions shooting in surprising directions. My case is no doubt quite different from an actual prisoner’s, because I’ve been living comfortably […] Read More

worse side effects

A Fierce Immune System Means Worse Side Effects?

February 18, 2021
Nicholas–I had my second shot (and hope you’ve had yours) and I now have new respect for sufferers of full-blown Covid-19. A few hours of the side effects of the vaccine–and that’s all it was, about 18 hours–were a shock. I’ve read that the stronger one’s immune system, the worse side effects may be. Apparently, […] Read More

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