Fat Girl,

The Process of Being.

By Dani Ward April 16, 2017 0 Comments

This Saturday, April 22, I will turn 30 years old. (Want to help me celebrate?)

Frankly, this terrifies me.

All my life, I never envisioned myself living past the age of 28. I figured that either the rapture would have occurred, or I would have killed myself. So you’d think 29 would have been my all-out panic year, but I spent 29 dealing with a lot of other things.

Now, with 30 at my doorstep, I’m caught in its headlights, awaiting its impact with an ever-increasing sense of dread.

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Haikus With Dani: overwhelmed; overwhelming.

By Dani Ward February 28, 2017 0 Comments

Brought to you by intense introspection during a season of traumatic anniversaries. I’ve been thinking a lot about how to describe my mental health struggles, and I think I touched on a couple of things pretty well here.

i do not mean to
overwhelm you. i simply
overwhelm myself.

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As dumpster fires go.

By Dani Ward December 31, 2016 0 Comments

I’ve been sitting here for a good 10 minutes, just staring at the screen. Occasionally typing a sentence or two, then deleting. The words I want to say aren’t words I feel I can say yet, and so I choose to be silent. Much like I have most of this year, if you’ve noticed. On…

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Cognitive distortion and taking up space.

By Dani Ward November 3, 2016 2 Comments

My brain is spinning with thoughts and conversations over the past weeks, the culmination of almost a year’s worth of introspection and mourning. “I looked through the journal section of your blog and noticed you haven’t really written lately,” a friend noted. No. I haven’t. I’ve been afraid, frankly. With some good reason and probably…

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Haikus With Dani: JerkBrain Edition.

By Dani Ward June 21, 2016 2 Comments

There’s a lot going on in my life. I’ve deactivated my Twitter for a little bit. Vulnerability is terrifying, but it’s easier to be vulnerable to an amorphous mass of people than talk to anyone in particular about what’s been happening, even the things that are only happening inside my own head. Therefore, you’re getting more of my depressing fragments of dialogue, this time brought to you by my very own JerkBrain.

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On treating depression.

By Dani Ward August 3, 2015 8 Comments

I’ve been on anti-depressants for about 2 months. On the one hand, I’ve been far more productive than I’ve known it possible to be in my life. I’ve been able to work on cleaning and organizing my house. I’ve been able to do laundry. I’ve been able to write and make art and live a…

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Celebrate the little victories.

By Dani Ward July 3, 2015 2 Comments

These are such small things. Such little victories. What right have I to celebrate them?

The same right I have to celebrate the victories of all of my friends and family who deal with chronic illnesses, physical and mental. Small victories are victories. Medication that allows me to escape the never-ending cycle of panic is useful. Wrapping myself in soft, warm cloth is calming and soothing. Touching my skin and putting makeup on with gentle, loving hands is crucial on days where I struggle to love myself. Such a short amount of time of my day, and yet now I am calm. I can think. I am okay.

Celebrate the little victories. Always, celebrate the little victories.

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Introspection: the impact of religion on personality.

By Dani Ward December 11, 2014 10 Comments

When I first took the Myers-Briggs personality test, still thoroughly embedded in the fundamentalist Christian tradition of my youth, I scored as an INTJ, rather than an INFJ. In retrospect, it’s no wonder I skewed more heavily to Thinking rather than Feeling, since I was taught to fear and distrust feelings. Feelings were often considered sinful, bringing guilt and shame, whereas Logic (According to the Word of God) was holy and true, bringing stability (supposedly). I didn’t understand that divorcing feelings from thinking the way I had been taught to do was utterly damaging both to myself and others, not to mention ripping conversational rhetoric out of its context and reality.

The thing is, I could never totally eradicate my Feelings.

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Lessons learned at the Fortress of Faith, Part 1.

By Dani Ward August 8, 2014 0 Comments

What started as a survival tactic to escape the paranoia that Bob Jones University instilled in me turned into a confident determination to control as much of my life as possible. It revealed my independent spirit, and for that I am thankful.

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Lessons learned at the Fortress of Faith: An Introduction.

By Dani Ward August 6, 2014 4 Comments

I thought that the hardest thing about being at BJU was going to be just learning how to follow an amazingly ridiculous set of rules — and frankly, I thought I had that covered. I grew up in a conservative Christian school where BJU groups visited for recruitment purposes. I was usually one of the good kids, so I thought BJU was going to be a college-version of my high school. No big deal.

Boy, was I wrong.

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