My fear-fueled journey to getting back on my bike

Photo by Rikki Chan on Unsplash

I always viewed my anxiety as a nuisance. It was this annoying voice I had to deal with to do the things I needed or wanted to do. In the past I could push through the fear, exposing myself to the trigger to lessen the reaction in the future. But this tactic stopped working recently, and I had no idea how to handle the dread I was feeling.

I had been struggling to get back on my bicycle after a two-year hiatus. Pregnancy forced me to take a break, and afterward, the baby needed all of my time and energy…

I answered honestly, and it didn’t go well.

Photo by Des Récits on Unsplash

As a society, we ask people, “How are you?” as part of basic small talk, but we don’t usually expect an honest answer. As we enter year two of battling COVID-19, a study conducted in January found that over 41% of U.S. adults reported anxiety and/or depressive disorder symptoms, a 30% increase compared to 2019. That means that more people than ever want or need to talk about how they’re really doing.

Like that 41%, I am also feeling isolated and having a tough time managing my mental health. …

If you can’t say something nice to yourself, don’t say nothing at all.

“Be Kind” sign on wall with black and yellow graffiti
Photo by Randalyn Hill on Unsplash

I learned from a very young age how to be kind to others. Growing up, when I said something rude, the adults in my life often responded with that old adage from Bambi:

“If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing at all.”

That niceness training helped me to make friends, and as an adult, form productive working relationships.

But for some reason, those skills never translated to my self-talk. My inner voice had never been kind, always pointing out my shortcomings and calling me names. …

Becoming a parent during a pandemic has taught me that I’m stronger than I ever thought possible

Woman wearing mask holding baby in carrier
Photo by Marcin Jozwiak on Unsplash

This isn’t how I pictured my first year of motherhood. When I found out I was pregnant in June 2019, I imagined my days would be filled with playdates, baby classes, and breastfeeding support groups. But COVID-19 has left me stranded on an island, away from everyone we know, and without the ability to make new connections.

I thought the hardest part of this first year would be my capacity to be maternal and loving, but that turned out to be the easy part. The last year has, without a doubt, been the hardest I’ve ever endured, but I’m enduring…

How COVID-19 has made it more acceptable to reschedule that Zoom call and get some quiet time

Woman bent over looking at phone
Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

I’m an introvert, and after years of over-scheduling myself and then burning out, I finally learned to honor that part of myself. There have been plenty of times when I agreed to attend a gathering or meet up with a friend, but asked to reschedule (if possible) or cancel because I just needed some quiet time at home.

Before the pandemic I would receive mixed responses to rescheduling or canceling plans. I learned who understood my situation and who didn’t by their response to my request for a rain-check. Most of them knew I wasn’t blowing them off because I…

Make Facebook Good Enough Again

Photo by tzahiV on iStock

We’ve all got them: those relatives, usually of a certain age, who seem like perfectly normal people in real life, but spew hatred and disinformation when they’re behind a computer screen. Or maybe you, like I, also have those relatives who have no qualms about saying offensive things in real life too. These keyboard warriors can turn any innocuous post into a days-long event involving content moderation, self-defense, and apologies to those who got caught in the middle.

While those relatives could attack users on any social media network, Facebook is by far the most popular platform for users 56…

Photo by Vladimir Fedotov on Unsplash

This year I decided I won’t be making any New Year’s resolutions. Every December 31st I set some version of the same goals for myself with renewed enthusiasm, truly believing that in the upcoming year I will finally reach my goal, but every year I fail before January is even over. This year, the enthusiasm that usually motivates me to become a better version of myself is sorely lacking. The thought of putting any more effort into self-improvement only to inevitably fail, makes me feel exhausted before I even start. …

Molly Coyle Shibley

American living in Ireland. New mom. Mental health advocate. Also writes for The Mighty and Molly Does Adulting. Just trying to get my sh*t together.

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