Grateful Just Where I Am

I’m sitting at my kitchen table, eating dinner and staring past my balcony at the dreamy sunset, the ocean glowing almost purple. The Santa Monica pier in the distance, the Ferris wheel lit up in neon. A chill AF playlist is on in the background, and some dreamy singer-songwriter is strumming his guitar.

At this exact second, I feel like I’m in some cheesy movie or show about the girl who moves to LA after her life falls apart.

When I meet someone new here, and they ask me why I moved here, I tell them that the short answer is that I’ve had a tough few years and LA was my happy place, so I moved to my happy place.

I’m three months in, and the novelty is just starting to wear off a little. I live here now. I go to the beach everyday, because that’s my new normal. It’s as normal to me as getting on the subway was in NYC. (Hi, upgrade.) I look out and see both mountains and ocean. But I also go grocery shopping, pay through the nose for gas, sit in traffic and run errands.

And, as my therapist keeps reminding me, wherever you go, there you are. I haven’t been immune to feeling intense depression or anxiety since I moved here. I’ve still had some dark thoughts, though they’re more fleeting than they used to be. For about two weeks, I was having panic attacks nearly every day, to the point I was getting afraid to leave my apartment.

The difference? I have more space to relax (both literally and figuratively). When I walk down my street, it’s uncommon to see more than two or three people in a block, rather than the crush of people just crossing the sidewalk in NYC. I have a car (that I am obsessed with) where I can belt out 90s music to my heart’s content. (So, I am listening to the same music I was the last time I drove regularly, really.)

Some days, it feels like I’m on vacation. Some days it feels like I’ve lived here forever. I’ve had a few times in the past week or so where I’ve run into a friend, and that makes me feel like a part of this fabric, rather than a thread sitting awkwardly on top of it.

This may be incredibly naive, but I underestimated what a big change this would be. I’m so glad I made this change, though. Who knows where this will take me, but right now I am grateful to be just where I am.

This May Be Oversharing, Episode 14: Hormones + Mood with Dr. Carly Snyder

Y’all. This is an episode I’ve wanted to publish for awhile. I struggle with PMDD (basically, intense depression just before my period—I got my period two days after both times I ended up in the ER…not a coincidence.)

There is such a strong connection between female hormones and mood, and I wanted to understand more about this connection and WTF our hormones are doing at different points in our cycle, so I interviewed Dr. Carly Snyder, a reproductive psychiatrist. I’ve used her as a source for things I’ve written in the past, and she’s awesome—smart, but talks in a way non-docs can understand. Also, she’s a marathoner, so clearly I love her.

Dr. Carly Snyder is a reproductive and perinatal psychiatrist with a unique approach that combines traditional psychiatry with integrative medicine-based treatments. Dr. Snyder received her medical degree from NYU School of Medicine and completed general psychiatry residency at Mount Sinai Beth Israel Medical Center with additional reproductive psychiatry elective training at the Payne Whitney Women’s Program at NY Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center.

She maintains a private practice on the Upper East Side in NYC where she serves as Director of Women’s Health for Family Health Associates, and is voluntary faculty at NY-Presbyterian Weill Cornell and at Mount Sinai Beth Israel Medical Centers. She is on the President’s Advisory Council and was a board member and chair of the research committee for Postpartum Support International.