I couldn’t stop from rolling my eyes the first time I heard the word cheugy. The made-up term at that point had already turned into a viral sensation on TikTok, sparking feverish debate and reigniting the millennial-Gen Z culture war.
I’ll admit that after listening to my roommate deliver a Cliffs Notes version of the controversy, I immediately jumped to the millennial’s defense. I mean, how dare Gen Z try to tell us that our skinny jeans and side parts are outdated. Millennials have already been charged with killing everything from department stores to Applebee’s. …
“Place your hand on the doorknob.”
“Okay, now the soap dispenser.”
I do as she says. Though I’m hesitant and somewhat fearful of what could come next.
It’s my fifth session of ERP therapy, which stands for exposure response and prevention. For the last four weeks, I’ve met with my therapist for an hour over Zoom. Each time, she asks me how I’m doing. If there’s been any changes since we last talked. And then we get to work.
I woke up from a dream recently where I encountered one maskless face after another while walking through my neighborhood. Why is no one wearing a mask anymore? Is the pandemic over? I remember thinking. In an exchange between my conscious and subconscious, or maybe a message from Dr. Fauci himself, a voice reminded me that those who are fully vaccinated no longer need to wear masks. But that wasn’t enough to ease my worry. …
The house still. Citrus and Lysol
in the air from a day spent cleaning
cabinets and floors. Candles
flickering in newly shined windows.
A pause on the CD player, then
her voice. Accompanied by
a melody on black and white keys.
And the swift, synchronized
massaging of violin strings.
My mom beside me, teacup in hand,
eyes closed. She sways, humming.
I do the same.
Velvet with modest sequence, I imagine
her. Tall. Poised with a gentle smile.
Shoulders back, gaze ahead. Skinny.
Legs like branches of a birch.
Arms dangling in similar fashion.
A nose that sticks out too far.
“We could fix that,” they…
I’ve experimented with dozens of tools and tricks to quiet my mind and overthinking: meditation, essential oils, breathing exercises, yoga. These have worked to an extent, some better than others, but my thoughts often still find a way to slip in.
The more I try to force my mind to go blank, the more it seems to retaliate. Not every thought is an intrusive one. Sometimes it’s just the passing question of what I should eat for dinner. But even still, this is not what I want…
It was on the canvas of New York City that I sketched the portrait of my youth. I envisioned an older, more confident version of myself existing here as compared to the quiet, self-conscious girl I was growing up in Pennsylvania. With glistening images of the city streets posing as my muse, I painted this fantasy in a rosy hue that outshined the softer pigments of reality. And for much of my adolescence, I believed wholeheartedly that my future could glow just as bright.
When I arrived in New York in my early twenties, there were times when the enchanting…
My first gynecologist was no other than the man who delivered me from my mother’s womb. The way in which our relationship had come full circle was, well, ironic to say the least. He had pulled me out from my mother’s vagina and now, here he was looking straight into mine.
Needless to say, my experience of going to the OB-GYN got off to a bit of an odd start. It was awkward. Uncomfortable. And despite patient confidentiality, I couldn’t help but feel that anything I told…
2020 was not a year for love. At least not in my perpetually single opinion. I turned off all dating app notifications, settled into sweatpants and happily let my makeup accumulate dust during the early months of the pandemic. Now a year later, I’ve grown accustomed to spending Saturday night, not dressed up in a downtown bar, but at home with a $10 bottle of wine and a playlist of Broadway showtunes to keep me entertained. But as more people are becoming vaccinated, I’ve started to wonder…
For years, I’ve been showing up to doctors’ offices prepared to present my own diagnosis. A good number of times I’ve even been right. The reason? Health anxiety. On a good day, this means I may get stressed out if I think I have a cold. On a bad day, it can mean spending hours obsessing over whether the cramp in my stomach may signal a rare disease. It also means that I’ve been a painstakingly perceptive germaphobe well before COVID ever existed. I mean, it was…
I was in college the first time I experienced anxiety — the kind that hollows out your stomach, making you feel a stranger to your own body. I became weak. I ached with hunger but could not eat. At night, my heart would beat with vigorous intensity as a storm of overthinking consumed me. “Breathe in. Breathe out,” I would whisper to myself. But my chest would continue to pound as the hours went by. This was just the beginning, or what I thought at the time…
Writing about mental health, OCD, women’s health and other musings. Columnist of Overthinking Everything at She Explores Life. Twitter: @warrington_kate