Image for post
Image for post

The Speed of Americans

When I consider the life of a typical American, I think of the game Mario Kart. Remember this old-fashioned 1990’s Nintendo’s hit?

Here, as you may recall, Mario and his friends race around a seemingly never-ending track competing for a first place prize. The characters continually speed off into the abyss, dodging banana peels and pursuing their magic mushrooms in an effort to reach that sought after finish line — as quickly and efficiently as possible.

How often do we, as Americans, get caught up in our own “race” towards a never-ending “finish line?” …


Image for post
Image for post

The struggle is real

To my fellow perfectionists in recovery,

How often do we give up on new opportunities or interesting ideas because we’re afraid we’ll epically fail? How many times have we strained ourselves to the point of physical and mental exhaustion in our efforts to achieve certain standards or outcomes, only to find we can’t ever reach them?

Can you relate to getting lost in the details, spinning your wheels so fast when trying to achieve, control, or perfect, that you lose sight of your goals or motives in the first place?

Perfectionism, what a nasty thing it is -sucking the life out of its weary victims, pushing and demanding more, even when there’s nothing else to give. …


Image for post
Image for post

The Struggle to Keep Up

We live in a fast-paced world that thrives on productivity, efficiency, and innovation. Things move fast, and many of us have grown accustomed to having what we want, when we want it. In this day and age, it’s easy to plow through life without tuning in to our quieter inner worlds. We can let life’s craziness drown out the cries of our bodies as they voice their needs for rest or relief, often through lingering physical aches or pains. Our minds rapidly shift from one thing to the next, often without us being able to discern their patterns, thoughts, or fears. …


Image for post
Image for post

In the presence of silence, does your mind tend to drift? If so, where might it take you? Grocery lists? Never-ending piles of laundry? Exams or the next project for work? World-wide pandemics?

How draining this can be — to constantly live in anything but the present moment. Many of us crave peace, but so often find ourselves ruminating on what has or hasn’t been done, the many choices or decisions that await our future, or the need to control or perfect whatever is actually in front of us. …


Image for post
Image for post

Is life really like a box of chocolate? Nah, it’s more like a pair of water skis.

Let me show you how:

For starters, you’ve ever water-skied before, you’re probably familiar with how it starts off rather awkwardly. You start in the water, crouched in a small ball with your two skis wobbling around, knocking and crossing each other while trying to tame the twisted ski rope. After you’ve battled the wakes from the obnoxious wake boarders passing by, you hesitantly give the signal to your boat driver to ramp up the engine.

Life connection? Sometimes, we’re not too graceful and we find ourselves bouncing along with whatever comes our way. Yet, we can’t just sit in these clumsy, stagnant places forever; we have take chances and choose to try, even when things feel shaky.


Image for post
Image for post

What runs through your mind when you’re having a bad day? What kind of voices do you hear, and how do they sound?

Most of us are familiar with the distinct voice of the inner critic. This voice can undermine our efforts while reminding us of every little mistake or failure. Some people experience the inner critic during certain parts of the day, while others may hear it as never-ending chatter constantly re-playing through the mind.

When tamed, the inner critic can serve as a helpful guide and motivate us towards making positive changes. But if left on its own, the inner critic can become quite harsh, and even lead to or exacerbate symptoms of depression or anxiety. After all, this is the voice that might scream, “you’re such a failure” or “you’ll never succeed” after that embarrassing presentation at work, or in response to seeing a particular number on the scale. …


Image for post
Image for post

Can’t sleep? You’re not alone.

Up to 30% of the population report sleep disruption, and roughly 10% of people present with significant impairment in daytime functioning due to sleeplessness (National Sleep Foundation, 2020). Sure, there are some who decide to stay up either by choice or necessity. I’m thinking specifically of the overwhelmed single mom or procrastinating college student. Here, however, “sleeplessness” will refer to those who give themselves the opportunity for sleep, but cannot easily achieve it.

The Complexity of Insomnia

Insomnia itself is a complex condition. Most people experience short-term insomnia at some point in their lives due to common reactions to stressful life events. These might include health problems, relationship difficulties, recovery from surgery, etc. Mental health challenges, such as depression, anxiety, or psychological trauma may also trigger the onset of insomnia. After the initial stressor or psychological problem is resolved, many people find themselves able to sleep well again. …


Image for post
Image for post

Insomnia: The Force You Can’t Fight

As a child and adolescent, I wrestled with sleep here and there, but was generally known within my family and group of friends as the “sleepy head.” I was always the first among my friends to fall asleep during sleepovers, and I hated having to stay up “late” to watch the ball-drop on New Year’s Eve. Insomnia and I never crossed paths, even throughout college and grad school . I could always count on a solid 7–8 hours of sleep a night, and perhaps a nap or two during the week. …


Image for post
Image for post

The Struggle is Real.

Given the media we consume, our culture’s lingering, unavoidable preoccupation with “weight loss,” and this chronic drive for perfection and order amidst our broken, chaotic world, it’s no wonder that more and more people are turning to food as a method of control and distraction. When pushed too far, these behaviors and mindsets can shift from something innocent to a serious and potentially life-threatening condition. Pair this with America’s epidemic with processed foods and massive confusion over what to actually eat, and we have ourselves a bit of a mess.

Eating disorders are on the rise, and they present an enormous challenge to our society. For they impact not just the suffering individual, but parents, families, and society at large. Characterized by abnormal or disturbed eating habits, eating disorders wreak havoc on one’s physical and emotional health, and at least 30 million people of all ages and genders are believed to suffer from an eating disorder in the United States (ANAD, 2019). …


Image for post
Image for post

Have you ever been in a position where God seems so distant? Where you come to question His very power or benevolence, or both? Many of us find ourselves in this place after a tragic event or intense period of suffering. We cry out to God, but we can’t seem to find answers. We scream and wail, only to encounter silence.

C.S. Lewis once articulated a problem related to human suffering:

“If God were good, He would wish to make His creatures perfectly happy, and if God were almighty, He would be able to do what He wished. But the creatures are not happy. Therefore God lacks either goodness or power or both. …

About

Elizabeth Dixon

Clinical social worker, Anglican Christian, autoimmune patient; seeking wholeness in mind, body, & spirit — www.elizabethanndixon.com

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store