A Better Understanding

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The term ‘narcissist’ gets tossed around these days as an insult used against anyone who takes a lot of selfies or talks about himself too much. Thankfully, due to this new popularity, this pathology is being studied now much more than ever before. New understandings and treatment options are being discovered. The term originated from Greek mythology where a handsome young man (named Narcissist) falls in love with his reflection in a pool of water. …


The Ongoing Battle for Healthy Relationships

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Since the late Eighties, we have become familiar with the concept of codependence. Of course, this idea was born from generation X’ers in viewing our giving, doing and putting-others-first-natures in comparison to the self-centered, I want to make millions, I’m number one decade of the “me” generation. The pendulum swings both ways. If you are unfamiliar, codependence is more than simply being overly dependent on someone else. It is an abandonment of the self in favor of fixing someone else’s problems.

Children observe their parents and make choices about what ways of being they…


Do you believe you should be feeling happy?

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When I was in my twenties, I was fairly lost and confused. I had grown up with that feeling that everyone else knew things that I didn’t and had it all together. At twenty-four I quit drinking and my life changed, dramatically. But this is not an article about drinking or sobriety. For the next few years, I began to mature and learn about myself and the world I lived in. I found a career I loved. I had friends. I discovered who I actually was and that most people, especially those…


What happens in the mind

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The family I grew up in was not loving, nurturing, and safe as a family is supposed to be. It was chaotic, violent, and filled with addiction. I first became aware I was depressed when I was twelve. I wanted to go to therapy, but this was not possible. By the time I was 18, I was an alcoholic.

On two occasions I attempted suicide: once at age 16 and once at age 21. Though I got sober, like alcoholism, I have never been “cured” of depression, but rather keep it in remission. I have…


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Domestic Violence and Conditional Friendships

We moved to North Carolina right after my first daughter was born. We attended a local church and liked it immediately. There were many couples our age with young children and we bonded quickly with them, especially after I suggested starting a playgroup.

We had a solid group of stay-home moms that attended playgroup every Thursday morning. The group took off quickly and evolved into holiday and weekend family events and vacationing together. We were happy in our new home with our new social circle.

Time went by and we had a second child. My…


Her Suffering is Over. Ours has just begun.

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The US has one of the highest rates of suicide among wealthy nations with about 123 people killing themselves each day. It’s a national health crisis. How could we not have saved her?

I want to scream at her to take it back. I want to run to her house as if that will put me back with her. I want a rewind. I want her not to have murdered herself. Maybe another chance to talk to her would make it better, lessen her pain, convince her that outside of her mind…


When you take a Leap of Faith and Miss the Landing

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“Go for it!”

“You got this!”

“You only live once.”

We hear inspiring stories from friends and media about people who take a great leap of faith and start something new and amazing or achieve an astonishing goal. These courageous people sometimes face and overcome great fear and doubt before reaching and succeeding.

But what about when we miss and fall on our faces?

The company we started fails and we are broke. The relationship we pursued tanks. The move to another country leaves us lonely, disappointed and lost…


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Given that everything we do is an attempt to satisfy our five basic human needs, I have learned that I can live without love. At least, the romantic kind of love.

We hear many things about love. It is the condition that has most fascinated poets and songwriters and eludes lovers of love. Freud says it is merely neurosis. A reflection of our unmet expectations. It is a source of euphoria and heartache. But what is it REALLY? Is it even a THING? It sounds like a place when we talk about “falling in love”, like falling in a lake…


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If you are not here to make money or “Become a Writer”

No, I don’t want to be a Writer. Well, not really. There are many good articles on medium about how to be successful here, achieve a large following and make money. What about the rest of us who are not necessarily here as a career move or to earn a living? Why are we here and how should we do this?

I don’t want to become a Writer. I have a really good job and I earn a decent living. I am well into mid-life and content. My…


Days of Hate and Psychosis

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When I was eleven years old my mother had a psychotic break. She grabbed me from the front yard of our home where I was playing with my older brother and shoved me into the car and drove away. I cried for my brother as he disappeared behind us. I saw him hang his head. I never saw that home again.

We stayed in a hotel for several nights. Then we moved into an apartment. She told me not to use the phone. She told me I needed a new name and that I would…

Dawn Stergin

Former addictions counselor, empty-nester, activist, animal lover, writer and lover of what it means to be human.

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