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The Alexandria Papers Newsletter

The Alexandria Papers
The Alexandria Papers Newsletter
By Dr. Alexandria Szeman  • Issue #5 • View online
It’s almost the end of the season for one of the most important annual events up here on Big Rock Candy Mountain. Already, we can feel the loss. It’s time for the hummingbirds to fly south, and their numbers are diminishing. The feeders hang on the porch outside my office window, and I love seeing – and hearing – the birds all summer long. In September, their numbers start dwindling until, eventually, there is only a straggler or two. Then they are all gone. Till next year, when some of the same birds seem to return: they look in the windows to tell us they’re back, and we grab the feeders and start filling them up. I miss them when they’re gone and look forward to their return each year.

It’s been very tough staying “present” this week, if only because of chronic pain. I think I mentioned previously how I’ve tried to be mindful during pain, and it’s very challenging because, for me, the pain increases. I guess that’s how this entire week was: painful and challenging.
So far, seated meditation triggers anxiety for me, and mindfulness is the only kind of meditation I can practice.
Interested in Meditation? Here Are the Basics | Mindful
I’ve tried all sorts of Omega oils – 3, 6, 9 – and they don’t seem to help very much with the pain during migraine attacks, but these oils obviously work for many people. ALA (alpha lipoic acid) does help reduce the pain of the atypical trigeminal neuralgia, but nothing has helped reduce the migraine pain so far.
It seems so individual with migraine disorder, both with what triggers the attacks and with what relieves the pain. During an attack, I crave dark chocolate, and it actually helps reduce the level of pain, but many in the migraine community have told me that dark chocolate triggers attacks for them.
I can’t imagine living without dark chocolate…
Science Says: Omega-3s Can Help Relieve Your Migraine Pain | Migraine Again
Trauma and Sexual Abuse
I always knew I was being abused when I was a child, but I never realized the extent of some of the abuse, like that the lack of dental care or appropriate medical attention is parental abuse. It’s scary-sad what some parents, step-parents, guardians, and other family members do to children, and I, for one, am glad to be free of my abusive family.
13 Reasons People Didn't Realize They Were Being Abused as Kids Until Adulthood | The Mighty
Mental Health
When I was a professor, we were told that if we used our insurance on mental health services, we wouldn’t get tenure, so I always paid for therapy myself. By the time I got tenure, the university had changed our health plan, and mental health coverage was no longer included. I’m guessing I paid over $20,000 for therapy over the years, and that was 30 years ago. (I don’t even want to know what that equals now.) I’m just glad to learn that there are more services available and much less stigma in getting help.
Need Help Finding Mental Health Services? Start Here. | Healthline
I really do like Lucy Fuggle’s booklists, and I’ve read many books she’s recommended over the years. I appreciate Lucy’s honesty, too, telling you things like “there are some heavy themes in this book.” Sometimes I’m up for heavy themes, sometimes I’m not.
6 books to read during burnout when you feel exhausted | Tolstoy Therapy
Cooking and Baking
I made more sourdough bread this week – still too doughy in the middle – but I didn’t get much else cooking done. Too many other things to do around the house and with the cats, I suppose, and I just stuck to cooking the basics: boiled potatoes, corn on the cob (the last of the season), sourdough bread, banana bread, muesli. Gosh, it sounds like I had a pretty boring diet this past week, but it was very satisfying.
My Books
You can read all my books free with Kindle Unlimited. If you want to keep them in your library, the ebooks are only 99¢ each. Enjoy. Alexandria Constantinova Szeman: Books, Biography, Blog, Audiobooks, Kindle
Till Next Week
The best place to reach me is Twitter, but you can also contact me via my blog/website: The Alexandria Papers. So, what have you been reading lately, and how do you feel about the end of summer?
Did you enjoy this issue?
Dr. Alexandria Szeman

Alexandria shares articles on Mindfulness, Migraine, Trauma & Childhood Sexual Abuse, Mental Health, Books, and Cooking & Baking.

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