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Image: a cheerful orange blob monster is chatting to a friend using a speech bubble containing a question mark and exclamation mark. The friend is a grumpy grey blob monster who looks away expressing grumpiness. Its speech bubble contains a grey scribble.

Hello friends! It’s Elodie Under Glass here with a guest post on Low Moods.

I particularly want to thank Quisty, Kellis Amberlee and TheOtherAlice  for their kindly help in reading and editing this piece. It would not have existed without their care, support, compassion, and wonderful editorial abilities. They are truly remarkable humans! (edited: And thanks to the radiant and patient NessieMonster, who let me come to her city and follow her around, burbling insensibly about this post, for far longer than most people would have.)

So recently, I went on a Stress and Mood Management course, and I thought that you all might enjoy sharing what I’ve learned.

This post is something of a correction/update to Adulthood is a Scary Horse, a post for the Captain which I was never quite satisfied with. It really crystallized for me on this course, in our discussion of the Low Mood Cycle. It’s a concept described in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and I thought it would be useful to share.

I am not a mental health professional (more caveats on that at the end). But I felt that if these resources had been usefully presented for free on the Internet – especially during times where taking a train and a bus and a taxi to get to a day-long course seemed like organizing a picnic on Venus – it could have helped me that little bit sooner. Maybe it will help others.

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Hiya Captain,

I need some help putting myself back together again.

Maybe they’ll be charming in 100 years? Right now they’re jerky and awful.

Basically, my partner and I moved into his parents’ house for about a year and a half after the birth of our second child owing to some financial complications we hadn’t anticipated. This was very kind and generous of them, and I want to acknowledge that. However, living with them was painful and destructive in ways I had thought I could handle, and it turns out I was wrong. They’re pretty right-wing, Fox News-watching types, and are unconsciously racist and homophobic to boot. That year and a half of living with them was filled with micro- and macro-aggressions enough to have thoroughly sunk my spirit – I spent so much time holding my tongue and gnashing my teeth around them that I’m finding it really, really difficult to recover the me that I was before I lived with them. It’s like I sat so hard on all the parts of myself around which I was the most vulnerable that I may have actually permanently squished them, and now I’m a person that I don’t really recognize.

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