Welcome to How to Live, my newsletter for Facebook's platform, Bulletin.
I am honored to be included among a roster of such incredible writers, thinkers, and activists as the Nobel Peace Prize–winner Yousafzai.
Thank you, kind readers, for joining me.
Once you subscribe, you'll receive this newsletter in your inbox every Wednesday morning.
In this space, I'll be sharing my thoughts, ideas, and experiences about mental health and psychology, while also introducing you to new therapeutic modalities, historical figures from the psychological archives, and undertaking some experiments all in the name of my lifelong quest to free myself from anxiety and trauma—the mediums inside which I've existed from the time I began speaking to this moment.
While I am no stranger to email overwhelm, what I offer will (hopefully) help you think about yourself, your loved ones, and your life in different ways.
Often when our pain becomes unbearable, the goal to feel better demands action. The first 25 years of my life were spent living with an undiagnosed panic disorder. (If you want to read more about all this, you're in luck! I wrote a memoir called Little Panic: Dispatches From an Anxious Life.)
By the time I was diagnosed, I was so far gone that I hadn't left my apartment in three weeks. Since then, I have been driven by an almost obsessive need to face every experience that feels too scary for me: Love, intimate relationships, publishing books, performing live onstage, public speaking, and now, writing this newsletter. I have read, researched, undergone decades of therapy, talked, thought, watched, and learned so much about how to be free from acute emotional pain, and now I want to pass along everything I've learned and continue to learn, to you.
As you can read in my inaugural post, I'll be writing about all issues related to psychology and mental health. I'll be exploring the difference between feeling and emotion; mining mathematics in a quest to answer the philosophical question, "Who am I?" I'll introduce you to Christiana Morgan, a nearly erased historical figure who helped pioneer personality testing, and was an early muse to Jung and the patient who inspired his four-year Vision Seminar. I will also acquaint you with other crucial historical figures from the psychological archives. We'll dive into attachment theory, somatic experiencing therapy, trauma, the inadvertent ways well-meaning parents harm their children and reveal how IQ testing can alter the self-esteem of the children who take them.
While there are things I am devoted to exploring and expressing, I want to hear your interests as well. When it comes to your mental health, and to the mental health of the world, what issues preoccupy you? What would you like to read more about—and see less of?
Do you wonder about the trauma of childhood? Are you curious whether celebrities have an obligation to the public regardless of their psychological state? Have you wanted to know more about who invented the Rorschach inkblots and why? Tell me. What do you think about in the cracks of your everyday life? What gnaws at you? I want to know.
Until then I remain,