Sign in

Writing about mental health, personal development & relationships. Love cats & birds.

“The only thing to fear is fear itself” — Franklin D. Roosevelt

Photo by My Foto Canva on Unsplash

Distracting myself has been one of my best coping mechanisms when it comes to fighting an anxious thought or an upcoming anxiety attack. Watch Netflix, bake bread, go for a run. It cleared the way to deal with my issues one by one. To slowly work on the things that were important to me at that moment, instead of trying to juggle it all. However, the distraction itself has perhaps turned into another harmful pattern. Here’s what I tried to do about it.

Distractions as a coping mechanism

When I was 21, my mother passed away. Only a year later I lost my father too…

Prose poem

Photo by stefano manzini on Unsplash

The buyers of the house removed the mustard yellow curtains and the carpet on the stairs. We were going to take those off someday. The previous owners could be reselling the house as if we had never lived there.

We s̶a̶v̶e̶d̶ wasted effort.

We replaced the upstairs doors with wooden ones, covered with one layer of soft yellow paint. The wind howled through the hinges; the wood hitting the aluminum frame. At night I had to put a sock in between the door.

We s̶a̶v̶e̶d̶ wasted money.

On some days loud familiar voices filled the house, seemingly indifferent about the…

I am allowed to feel unhappy with the way things turned out

Photo by Josh Applegate on Unsplash

I am disappointed.

And I am allowed to feel disappointed. I am allowed to feel unhappy with the way things turned out. I am allowed to wish it had gone another way.

These are the thoughts that have been going through my mind for the past few days. Ever since I watched an Instagram video from a woman opening up about her own childhood, her words have been wandering around in my head:

“I am allowed to be disappointed in my childhood, I wished it had gone a different way. I accept it has gone the way it has, and…

To fail is to grow

Photo by Susan Q Yin on Unsplash

A friend of mine once described her fear of failure as spot on. She would rarely go over her essay, paper, or any other assignment one last time so that she could blame a possible low grade on her lack of effort. I failed to recognize my own behavior at that time, but lately, it has been on my mind a lot. Here’s what I learned from my fear of failure.

Competence vs effort

I am a star in procrastination, especially when it comes to writing. I think of writing every day, but the days I actually sit down and do so, are…

Humanity in its simplest shape

Photo by Christian Lue on Unsplash

I love listening to the radio, probably because my mother used to do it a lot. It provides some sort of extra dimension to the living room. It is also a perfect pastime. Listening is one of the easiest things to do, as opposed to reading a book, for example, and since there’s no screen to look at it doesn’t make your eyes tired. I like to be surprised by the music that passes by, hearing songs I haven’t listened to in ages, being caught up with the news, following conversations about all kinds of topics. It’s effortless. Your brain…

Photo by Jennifer Griffin on Unsplash

Learning involves trial and error, an expression I have always taken for granted. I never wanted to do anything wrong, yet I now know that there is not much to learn if you don’t make any mistakes or allow yourself to do so.

Sometimes the lesson is clear instantly: not wearing gloves while it’s snowing outside? That probably won’t happen again any time soon. Other lessons can take a lot longer to learn. Sometimes a fox does get caught twice in the same snare. How we learn fascinates me tremendously. …

Grief never ends

Photo by Sebastian Vacca on Unsplash

It comes back when I’ve forgotten what it’s like how much it can hurt. It’s there when I need someone to love me unconditionally. It’s there when I feel lost, unable to make a decision, unable to leave things the way they are. It’s there when I need my mother.

Grief never ends. It’s there when I need to tell my mother about my day. When there are so many questions I have to ask her. When I long for her comforting words, telling me I don’t have to be afraid of anything. …

Emma Kemp

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