Survival Secrets

Unless you are selling Thin Mints, go away. This is what I want to say, when I hear the knock on the front door.

I think you can tell a lot about a person by the way they approach a locked door.

Are you one of those people who knocks and yells? I have to admit, I sort of love those people.

I, on the other hand, am the kind of person who really, really hopes for a door bell. A working door bell. I like a door bell that works, and I like it even better when I don’t have to use it. I like it best when the person I’m visiting is not only ready and waiting, but is in fact already flinging open the door, already sweeping down the steps.

I used to be that animated, that energetic. I used to barrel down stairs, I used to race right into outstretched arms. Those are for me!

I am subdued, now. Sluggish. I don’t know if I want you here.

I should want you here. I do, except I also want to take three bites of cookie, in peace. And I sort of want to sit on the couch. I never sit on the couch.

Half of me wants you to show me where we keep the blankets, and half of me wants you to shake me awake. Wide-awake. Half of me wants you to hold me, just hold me and never let me go. And half of me desperately, does-not, want to be touched. Don’t touch me.

I don’t understand why you won’t give up, don’t give up. I don’t understand why you don’t get up and leave. Or maybe I do, and I love you for it. I love you so much, and I love you too.

And then, because I am ugly, there is a sound even sweeter — softer — than those ones.



“Survival secret: it gets worse before it gets better. Try not to panic.” -Unknown

“Depression is such a cruel punishment. There are no fevers, no rashes, no blood tests to send people scurrying in concern. Just the slow erosion of self, as insidious as cancer. And like cancer, it is essentially a solitary experience; a room in hell with only your name on the door.” -Martha Manning

“Commit to loving yourself completely. It’s the most radical thing you will do in your lifetime.” -Andrea Gibson

“I never felt open in any way. I would never impulsively ring people and assume that they’d want to see me, or just go ‘round. I always had to sit down and think very hard before I knocked on anybody’s door. And consequently, I never really knocked.” -Morrissey

“Trust yourself. Create the kind of self that you will be happy to live with all your life.” -Golda Meir


“Crazy isn’t always what they say it is. It’s not always the old woman wearing sneakers and a skirt and a scarf, wandering around with a shopping cart, hollering at no one, nothing, tumbling through years in her head. No. Sometimes it is a girl wearing boots and jeans and a sweater, arms crossed in front of her, shivering, wandering through the streets, tumbling through the strange unreal dimensions in her head.” -Marya Hornbacher

“I am sorry to all the people I hurt while I was hurting.” -Unknown

“We talked for hours. He talked and I listened. It was like wind and sunlight. It blew all the cobwebs away.” -John Fowles


“That’s the thing about love — it’s full of possibilities. It can lead you down so many different paths. Love is the most possible thing in the world.” -Melissa Brow

“I will not wait to love as best as I can. We thought we were young and that there would be time to love well sometime in the future. This is a terrible way to think. It is no way to live — to wait to love.” -Dave Eggers

“He used to say things like all that glitters is not gold. And you catch more flies with honey than vinegar. Money doesn’t grow on trees. Never trust a man a dog doesn’t like. Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise. Beggars can’t be choosers. Where there’s a will there’s a way. A closed mouth catches no flies. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. The squeaky wheel gets the oil. An apple a day keeps the doctor away. Don’t count your chickens before they hatch. A leopard cannot change its spots. The early bird gets the worm. Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. A watched pot never boils. Good things come to those who wait. Never trust a skinny cook. A rolling stone gathers no moss. Waste not want not. Cloudy mornings give way to clear evenings. Two heads are better than one. Make hay while the sun shines. Into every life a little rain must fall. Finders keepers losers weepers. It goes without saying he was a good man.” -Rebecca Puig

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“I don’t think people realize, when they’re just getting started on an eating disorder — or even when they’re in the grip of one — that it is not something that you just “get over.” For the vast majority of eating-disordered people, it is something that will haunt you for the rest of your life. You may change your behavior, change your beliefs about yourself and your body, give up that particular way of coping in the world. You may learn, as I have, that you would rather be a human than a human’s thin shell. You may get well. But you never forget.” -Marya Hornbacher

“Forgiveness is a long dark walk to a quiet room.” -Clementine von Radics

“I let it go. It’s like swimming against the current. It exhausts you. After a while, whoever you are, you just have to let go, and the river brings you home.” -Joanne Harris


“Hiding your hurt only intensifies it. Problems grow in the dark and only become bigger and bigger. But when exposed to the light of truth, they shrink. You are only as sick as your secrets. So take off your mask, stop pretending you’re perfect, and walk into freedom.” -Rick Warren

“Living well is no grand gesture. It is waking up. Trying to be reasonable and kind. It is making a phone call, a loaf of bread, a visit, a bowl of soup. It’s going easy on yourself so you can go easy on everyone else. Some people need a lot more help than they look like they need, and some people are a lot stronger than they look. You just never know about people. Don’t forget that.” -Beth Kirby

“Confidence is the only key. I know a lot of people who aren’t traditionally ‘beautiful’ — not symmetrical or perfect-bodied or perfect-skinned. But none of that matters because all that shines through is their confidence, humor, and comfort with themselves. I can’t think of any better representation of beauty than someone who is unafraid to be herself.” -Emma Stone


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