Coffee Break: ‘Liquid Station’ Desk Organizer

Desk Organizer: Eugene Quitllet Liquid StationCall me a sucker for cool office supplies, but this “liquid station” pen and pencil holder looks beautiful as well as functional. And it’s $43! I think it would make me happy at my desk. Eugene Quitllet ‘Liquid Station’ Desk Organizer



  1. Too many LBDs? :

    I’ve been an eastcoaster all of my life. It shows in my closet: more black than a Smiths concert. And every dress I see, if it comes in solid black, then solid black is what I’ll get (it works with tights in the winter and legs in the summer; other solids don’t work so well with black tights). It’s more work-like, it works for a funeral, it is easy to accessorize; if I quit BigLaw and sell makeup or work at Victoria’s Secret, I’ll have something to wear.

    How can I break my black habit?

    • Anonymous :

      I think solid non-black colors work just fine with black tights. Navy might be tricky but I wear all shades of gray and purple, cobalt, green, burgundy, etc with black tights (and black shoes).

    • I don’t know how to break it either. I too don’t like solid colors like grey, purple etc with black tights. Prints ok.

      • Too many LBDs? :

        I do have some prints (black-based, of course) that I can wear with black tights. All other prints are relegated to bare leg weather and largely are casual or DVF. But they are hard to layer with (unless the layer is black!).

        I kinda with hose would come back. That made it easier to wear non-black in the cold months. Plus no feet blisters.

    • Anonymous :

      Do not break it. Black is chic, stylish, and slimming. I love black.

    • I like to wear patterned/colored cardigans with my black dresses. I also wear patterned tops with my black pants and usually pair them with a black cardigan.

    • I got my colors done and started with 1 or 2 bright colors per outfit – shoes, scarves, handbags.
      Then I broke into colored blouses (still with black pants/skirts).
      Now I’m getting into patterns, and even (gasp!) mixing patterns.

      It helps that I see things very seasonally – – I try not to eat baked casseroles in summer – why would I wear a black dress with short sleeves?
      Just a thought process.

  2. Shirt help - :

    I’m nursing and things are out of control up top (36I). I’m looking for a short or 3/4 sleeved shirt (v or scoopneck) with stretch (so not the Ravello or the Pleione split neck). I want a nice enough fabric to wear under a suit, but everything I’m finding has no stretch – the L is way too tight on the bust but the XL is just overwhelming on the rest of me. For reference, this is my backup: It’s okay, but the neck is a little high on me and I’d like something a little lower to make my chest look less massive. Help?

    • Anonymous :

      I have not tried them, but have you looked at Pepperberry? They make clothing for large busts with different bust measurements, though I don’t know how formal they are. Otherwise, I have had some success with Vince Camuto tops in the past. Shapes like these: and

      • Anonymous :

        whoops, the second link should be:

  3. jealous bword :

    I just moved into my fiancé’s house. I have, and always have had, issues with jealousy and trust. I’m in therapy and working through it, but it still comes up from time to time.

    On Friday, I was home alone and cleaning/finding space for my things. He has two dressers with several empty drawers and I was looking for somewhere to stash some clothes. I came across two things that upset me.

    A long time ago – maybe 7 years – my DF lived in this same house with an ex. There were a bunch of reasons for their breakup, including the fact that she had an abortion after which things weren’t really the same. I admit having some hangups about this woman, since the house used to be “hers.”

    In the drawer I found an empty pill bottle from medicine used during the abortion and a framed photograph of her. WTF. I freaked out and texted him at work. He said to throw away the pill bottle, but didn’t address the photo. Later, I asked him to please throw away the picture. I said that time in his life was over, recognized that maybe it was a large request to demand he throw away the picture, but said it would mean a lot to me. Long story short, he wouldnt throw away the picture because it seemed “disrespectful.” Things escalated and I in my childlike temper tantrum ended up smashing the picture frame.

    I get why people save mementos. But it felt cruel and wrong that he would rather disrespect me and my feelings than disrespect her memory.

    Here’s where it’s extra weird. We made up, he apologized and I apologized and we talked through it all. The next day his phone buzzed – and he said, “this is too crazy.” This same ex had texted him. She said she had found herself thinking about him and wanted to know how he was. They hadn’t spoken in over a year. Spooky. I said that he should tell her that he is engaged, but he wouldn’t do so – he didn’t want to “start a whole conversation.” That upset me, as it felt like he was being resistant to closing the door to her. we fought again, he ended up telling her the news, blah blah.

    I am just still feeling really uneasy about it all. I admit I did something terrible and looked at his phone (I know, I know) – it was true they hadn’t spoken in over a year. Just bizarre timing. But I feel weird and like he still has a bunch of stuff to work out with this woman.

    For what it’s worth, we rarely fight and have been together four years. I do trust him, and this was the first time I questioned that trust. I feel awful for looking at his phone. I feel uneasy about this woman – I had no idea this was any kind of issue/sentiment for him and feel blindsided. He is tired of talking about it and says we need to “let sleeping dogs lie.” Can I just get some perspective? How do I let this go and move on? Do I have to tell him I snooped? And yes, I know I am being insane and dramatic like a high schooler. I’m not used to having any drama with this man, but this has really escalated into something awful. Therapy tomorrow, help in the meantime?

    • If you are doing the dirty deed regularly with him now, and I assume you should be since you moved in, then you are right to be annoyed with him. Do NOT let him poo poo this one away. Otherwise cease all sexual activity until he addresses this with his ex.

      • This is the worst and most sexist advice I’ve ever seen on this s*te.

        Tell him you are still worked up about it and keep to yourself until you talk to your therapist tomorrow. Go to the gym tonight! take a bubble bath! Just give yourself permission to take time to cool off and stop making this worse by retreading the argument again until you are in a calmer place.

        • Should have said- I don’t really have an opinion on whether or not you are over-reacting on this, or if he is being unnecessarily dismissive of your needs, or any of that. I just think you should have a better sense *for yourself* of how much of what you are feeling now is part of your ongoing trust issues, and how much is really about this situation.

        • Diana Barry :

          I think “Amanda” is a troll (one of ELLEN’s minions).

          • That’s a new personality to me but I think you’re right. (I recently realized that while I kept adding Ellen’s IP addresses to the moderation queue, I had never added the name “Ellen” (I know, facepalm) — so more of these personalities may be coming out of the woodwork now. She seems to have a neverending supply of IP addressses.)

          • I suspect many regular commentators moonlight as Ellen. At least, Ellen has given some fairly solid tax advice at some points, punctuated by girltastic commentary.

    • Anonymous :

      Girl, get your house in order before you get married. He should tell you that after all this and call it off.

      • Anonymous :

        Right. The only person who should have trust issues here is fiance. Because you aren’t trustworthy

    • Friendly anon :

      I don’t think you have a right to ask him to erase memories. Having one picture of an ex stashed in a drawer is not excessive. They had a history. It was part of his life.

      I also think his choice NOT to engage with an ex was taking the high road, and you forcing him to communicate that “you’re the one” is not really your business. You don’t fully know if her getting that information will make her crazy, or be hurtful. The main thing is that they don’t speak often and they’re over–you’re the current gf.

      I think you need to keep working on therapy. You are dangerously in “my crazy finacee” territory here. It’s time to reign it in or you are going to destroy a good thing. You created drama and fighting in both instances here where there was none. Have some faith in your current relationship! He chose you. Now don’t drive him away.

      • Diana Barry :

        +1. Slow your roll and calm down, if you can. Go exercise or knead some bread dough or something to get the aggression out. If you can write everything out, try to do that and then take it to your therapist tomorrow.

      • +2

        Also, no do not tell him you looked at his phone. All you accomplished was verifying he’d told the truth. Just don’t do it again. Telling him would be selfish — you’d be relieving your guilt but putting the burden of forgiveness on him, all for no particularly good reason.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Yup. Not one single bit of your behavior as you have described it reflects well on you, or is anything your fiance should put up with on an ongoing basis. Double down in therapy and vow not to behave like this ever again. It is not even remotely acceptable.

    • Anonymous :

      Stop it. Get a grip. He had a big important thing with this woman. It had an impact on his life. He isn’t pining over her, he isn’t communicating with her (and ignored your silly suggestion- he’s doing a good thing to limit contact and discussion) and just doesn’t feel right completely annihilating any memory of her. In response to that, you behaved like a total child. You broke the picture. You snooped his phone. He does not have stuff to work out with her. He has worked it out. He just doesn’t feel right trashing her photo. Apologize for overreacting. Let it go.

      Then apologize again. And get help. Temper tantrums and breaking his stuff aren’t okay. For tonight Id go with “I’m sorry. I obviously have a lot to work through here and I’ll be discussing my overreaction with my therapist tomorrow.”

    • I don’t read anything in your post which suggests your BF/F did anything wrong. He kept something from his past in a drawer. You found it and when you didn’t get your way, you smashed it in a fit of rage. You then violated his privacy by checking his phone without asking him. He hasn’t been with this woman in SEVEN years and he’s been with you for four. He actually told you about her text-he did not hide it. I would ask myself, why am I feeling so insecure? You want a trusting relationship with your fiance but you are not not really acting like a mature adult. I think yes, you should tell him you snooped, but only in the context of: I’m so sorry, I don’t know why I acted this way. I don’t mean to sound harsh, I know you said you realize your feelings of jealousy and lack of trust, but again, marriage is a big commitment and I’m a firm believer that you have to own up when you have done something wrong. It happens to all of us, the question is, how do you own up to it and move on?

    • I have, and I know my former partners and current boyfriend have, a box of momentoes from prior significant others – photos, ticket stubs, little trinkets. Because I/they keep things, it doesn’t mean there are feelings there. There can be memories without feelings.

      Now, I agree that keeping the pill bottle seems crazy, BUT…look at it from his side. That was his CHILD. Maybe he always wanted to be a dad, maybe he dreamt about having a family with her, maybe it was a startling life moment for him that really put life goals in perspective for him.

      I’m not a jealous woman, so I don’t know how to calm your fears. But hopefully thinking of the rational reasons he could have for keeping those things will help you.

      • Anonymous :

        From the original post, I don’t know that he kept the bottle intentionally, or at least not long term – it was in a drawer that he never used. He probably forgot about both things. So it’s even less of a non-issue (if that’s possible)

      • He also may not have known what to do with the bottle. It can feel weird to throw stuff like that away. And sometimes its easier to put things in a drawer and try to forget about them.

    • Anonymous :

      Also your feelings aren’t worthy of respect. Irrational jealousy is not something that has to be indulged or respected or he is cruel.

      • Wow, that is crazy harsh!

        Emotions are caused by unmet needs. OP has some unmet need that’s causing her to act this way. Once she identifies it, she can work to overcome it. But having feelings is natural and OP needs encouragement, not blame.

        • Anonymous :

          She called him cruel. He is not. He does not bear the blame for her unmanaged irrational emotions. She is worthy of respect, and it sounds like he does respect her, but her jealous demands are not.

      • Agreed. He didn’t “disrespect you and your feelings.” He refused to give into an unreasonable request. You don’t get to erase his past. You don’t get to manage how he chooses to remember his past. You don’t get to destroy his stuff.

        I get it. My husband had done a crappy job of cleaning out his ex-wife’s stuff before I moved in. I used to stumble upon stuff, and I was not amused that he hadn’t done a good job of cleaning out unused rooms. But I always knew he had a box stashed of mementos, just like I have them for my prior relationships. But if you don’t get your temper and jealousies under control, this will be a prior relationship, too.

    • Anonymous :

      Oh boy. This is a lot to unpack. My first thought is that because the photo was saved with the pill bottle it might be a way of honoring or remembering the child he might have had more than a memento of the ex (you didn’t say so explicitly, but it sounded to me like she had the abortion against his wishes). I don’t think it’s weird to have a picture or two of an ex somewhere in a drawer (I think I have some in the basement and I am completely devoted to my husband), but I do think it’s generally disrespectful to refuse to get rid of a picture of an ex when the current SO tells you they’re uncomfortable with it. However, this situation is a little more complicated and his nostalgia may be for more than just the ex.

      I think you’re both behaving badly. Smashing picture frames and going through someone’s phone in secret are not healthy relationship behaviors. It sounds like you know that. However, it’s a red flag to me that he wouldn’t tell her he’s engaged now. Maybe they have a dynamic such that he knew this would set her off and he thinks it’s healthier to ignore her completely. But I would be very upset about his refusal to tell her about the engagement too and I’m not generally the jealous type.

      My advice is therapy, separately and together, and postponing marriage until this is resolved – even if you’ve already publicly announced a wedding date.

      • Anonymous :

        He does not need therapy. That’s a stupid suggestion. It’s not clinical that he kept a photo and it’s not a sign of anything other than being a decent person and not inviting drama that he didn’t respond to her text with BTW I put a ring on it.

        • Anonymous :

          This. He does not need therapy. Please, stop with your endless therapy suggestions. Stop projecting your own issues on other perfectly normal people.

        • Agreed. The way I read it was that he didn’t want to engage with the ex at all and that the OP was demanding he respond to her by saying the OP is his fiance. Him ignoring the ex’s text is a perfectly reasonable reaction. The OP insisting he respond to her when he doesn’t want to is not.

    • Anonymous :

      1. The fact that he told you about the ex contacting him is a good thing — he was open and honest as soon as she reached out to him. He didn’t want to communicate with her, that’s great.
      2. The photo is allowed. You’re also allowed to be uncomfortable about it. It doesn’t mean he would ever cheat. It means he’s acknowledging his past. He may feel that he lost a child with this woman, and that may be a loss you will never know (g-d willing, you won’t have a miscarriage). It’s a momento of a death, of sorts.
      3. Good on you for being in therapy. Ask your therapist about coping mechanisms in the moment.

      • Piggybacking off #2 – The photo stays, you’re allowed to be uncomfortable about it, and you should drop it.

        It sounds like your fears boil down to being betrayed by someone you love and let your guard down for. You’re snooping to try to shut down any hints of cheating (and getting your heart hurt) before you’ve even unpacked. Your digging and flipping out because you’re operating out of fear.

        The only way to protect yourself from betrayal is to not be in a relationship. You can’t control him, you can’t police his thought life, and you can’t engineer his social life so ex’s and attractive women never interact with him.

        You can’t be in love–and show loving behavior–when you’re scared and suspicious and anxious about losing his love. We all gamble with getting hurt when we have relationships (even friendships!) but there comes a point where we choose to trust and love in faith.

        Hand the picture back to him, and never ask about it again. Choose to go forward in faith that the man you’ve dated for the past 4 years can be trusted with your heart.

    • This is not just run of the mill drama. You are close to abusive territory here. If a female friend came to me and said that her bf found a picture of an old bf tucked away in a drawer, smashed it out of anger, and had started both checking her phone and dictated her conversations with other people, I would tell her to start making a plan to get out of there ASAP. Talk about this in therapy but I think a first step is to stop brushing it off like “high school drama.” You’ve escalated it to way more than that – don’t get married unless you can make significant progress on yourself.

      • Anonymous :


      • Anonymous :

        You need to get a grip.

        You smashed a picture. If a boyfriend did that to me, I’d be seriously questioning the relationship and his (in)ability to manage his anger.

      • SuziStockbroker :


        This is not OK. And OP knows it is not OK, and clearly feels bad about her behaviour.

        OP, drop this now, talk to your therapist, and please do not get married until you have worked on this.

        Good luck!

      • Anonymous :


      • Killer Kitten Heels :


        It’s fair game to ask your partner to do something that you need/want, and fair game to want to talk with your partner about why they won’t do it, and even fair game to leave the relationship if the thing you need/want is that important to you and your partner won’t provide it/do it, but it’s never, ever fair to try to impose your need/want on your partner by force (which is what you did when you smashed the photo and searched his phone). You didn’t have a childlike temper tantrum – you used your rage as a weapon against your partner’s belongings (and, implicitly, against your partner) – that’s not high school drama, it’s actually deeply scary and a red flag for abuse. I don’t think you meant to be abusive, OP, but clearly something about this guy’s past is triggering your worst self, and you may want to talk with your therapist about whether you can really handle living with him/being engaged/etc. at this point in time.

      • Anon for This :

        This is what I thought. As someone who’s been in an abusive relationship, these would all be red flags. Gigantic, enormous, bright red flags. And characterizing it as high school drama is incredibly manipulative- it’s not high school drama, it’s her causing a problem and trying to blame it on her poor fiancé.

  4. Dealing with cancer side effects :

    Does anyone have any tips for working with doctors or health care providers to effectively manage the side effects of cancer and chemotherapy? My aunt has recurrent ovarian cancer and is in what could be a very promising immunotherapy clinical trial, but I’m worried that she might get sidelined before the immunotherapy part starts (in a few weeks) due to extreme fluid retention and constipation related to the cancer and two chemotherapy drugs that are a part of the trial. She was admitted to the hospital twice within one week and I feel that she’s only just now getting a little bit better outpatient care (a visiting nurse checking in, her husband is setting up the feeding tube, etc). I’m worried that if there are more setbacks for conditions that should be managed better on an outpatient basis, she could be forced to stop the trial. Does anyone have any tips for communicating with doctors and health care providers to ensure that she gets the care she needs at home? She and her husband are kind, quiet people who are not likely to push back or even really know what to ask, which is making this doubly hard. How can you tell the doctor “hey, you need to make sure she doesn’t get admitted to the hospital for the third time for this same issue that you’ve known about for months?”

    • “Doctor, I have had x,y,z side effects. How can we minimize those? What should I expect? What is considered normal and what is considered abnormal?
      ” “Doctor, this is the level of care that we can comfortably manage at home. What resources are there?” “Home health agency, since your last visit, I have experienced a,b, and c?”
      Write down the questions before the visit so she doesn’t get distracted and forget, write down the answers and ask people to repeat themselves.

    • Would she be open to you going to some appointments with her and acting as her advocate? You’d have to be careful to really listen to her when you broach the subject, to hear if she’s happy about the idea or just going along with what you want. But this can be a really powerful approach.

      • Dealing with cancer side effects :

        I wish – I’m 3,000 miles away. I’m really close with the whole family (her two daughters are two of my best friends/sisters) and I help with researching options and side effects and things like that, but my ability to be there for appointments is pretty limited. It would be a good option otherwise, though.

    • Having a journal of symptoms is really helpful. “I’ve been constipated for a few days” does not carry as much weight as “My last bowel movement was x days ago, I’ve been feeling discomfort (scale of 1-10) for the last y days” etc. Repeat as new ailments appear, and check in with old ones as they get better managed.

      This should be part of the adverse event surveys for the trial anyway, so it’s a good habit to get into documenting it.

      • Anonymous :

        Yes! Actually you could build her a spreadsheet (weekly or monthly) and if she prefers print outs get them bound into a little book so she can just check off the frequency of each symptom on each day. Also, doctors vary so much in thier understanding of medicine and thier response to patients so she might need an advocate of some sort especially because there is a huge gendered issue in health care about not believing women in hospital regarding pain symptoms. If marijuana is legal where you are (or you are comfortable with the risk, which I know is different for lawyers) it might be worth considering even if the doctors don’t suggest it – I used it while being honest with my doctors in a conservative area where prescriptions are not available

    • As an insider in the oncology world I would advise to use the nursing staff as a resource and an intermediate. Does she have access to a Nurse Navigator? Many programs have them now as they are mandatory to get certain accreditation. Their mandate in general is to assist patients with any gaps in symptom management, access to resources and advocate for the patient within the healthcare team. Alternatively, the nurses doing her infusions should be skilled in making sure she understands her side effects, how to deal with them and speak with the physician if it’s not the case. It’s a huge ding for physicians to have patients readmitted within 30 days for an unresolved problem. They might step up their game now but it’s really unfortunate it works that way.

      • I am late to this, but just in case: My boyfriend’s mother was being treated for ovarian cancer last year, and I second, third, and fourth getting the nursing staff on board. Sometimes there are also patient coordinators or social workers who can help with making sure everyone is talking to each other.

        Best wishes to your aunt.

  5. Help for Anxious/Depressed Child :

    Can the hive give me some suggestions for my (adult) college aged child? S/he has suffered from anxiety and depression for a number of years. Has a good relationship with therapist but refuses to take medication. Has withdrawn from school in the past due to same. Over past few weeks, child has been non-responsive to calls and texts. Today, child answered phone and admitted s/he has not been going to class, has been avoiding caring professor and has not responded to school’s attempt to get a letter to child (presumably, letter is related to absence from classes). Child is within driving distance to parents, but has typically overreacted/escalated situation when parents get “too involved”. Dad and I have tried to avoid driving to school to discuss with child or calling/texting friends and roommates to find out what is going on, but I’m at the end of my rope and am very worried for child. Child has completely withdrawn and is not asking for any help from me or Dad. I would like child to accept some kind of help but don’t know what to do. Should we drive down there and see if we can talk? Should we wait until child reaches rock bottom and reaches out to us? To add to child’s problem there is a pending criminal case and lawyer advises that child should be engaging with health professionals on a regular basis, so this withdrawal/avoidance is not helping from that perspective either. Thank you in advance for your help.

    • Anonymous :

      Pull child out of school for a medical leave of absence, bring child home, get a new therapist who will push meds better.

      Who knows if that’s right, but it’s something else to try?

    • My reply posted below— TLDR version: please get the child a medical assessment immediately.

    • When you say that the school has been trying to get a letter to child, do you know what precise measures they are taking? Has someone from a relevant office (student services, Dean of student affairs etc), gone and literally knocked on the child’s door? Have they spoken with roommates or friends? I’d push the school to take more proactive measures if at all possible.

      • Public Safety has been calling child’s phone, no answer and going to classes to see if child shows up. Also caring professor tried to meet child at class. Child seemed distraught by those interventions. Good suggestion on asking them to speak with roommates or friends. I have roommate’s cell phone but am concerned that child will be volatile if we start calling or texting people. Maybe the only thing to do is to go down there and try to speak with child and convey we are concerned and only care about child’s well being. In prior situations where we have tried same, child has run away or lashed out physically or verbally.

    • LondonLeisureYear :

      Is the school aware of your child’s needs? Are they registered with the disabilities office?

      Does your child have a social worker?

      If yes to both of those. I would communicate to the child and to the child’s social worker your expectations of them in the context of school and communicating and your suggestions for help and how you can help them (ie pay for therapy etc) Once you have done that, back away…your child is 18+ and its okay to let them hit rock bottom.

      If no to any of the above things, then yes tell the school about the situation and get your child a social worker and then let your child be an adult as HARD as that is. It really is the best thing for them.

      • LondonLeisureYear :

        I sound a lot more harsh than I mean in this. I just have dealt with this with so many family members and close family friends children. I think that as long as you have proper supports set up, its okay for your child to fail. I have seen many kids hit rock bottom (living out of their car) and now are super successful, getting married, have great jobs etc. Sometimes it takes that reality hit.

        I would also suggest that you and your husband see a therapist to help guide you in your decisions, as somewhat of a case manager. If your child sees a therapist and would allow perhaps to sign a disclosure form for your therapist to talk to their therapist that might help with coming up with a coordinated plan.

    • lawsuited :

      I have a sister like this who is in college right now. It’s really tough and I am sending my love to all three of you. If you’ve not received any response to calls/texts, either you, or Dad, but not both (for my sister we always send one family member at a time because she gets overwhelmed easily and feels she’s being “ganged up on”) should drive to the school to intervene. In the immediate term, just focus on daily routine (getting out of bed, showering, eating a meal, going outside to get groceries or coffee), then talk about treatment (going to therapy, taking mediation), and only talk about school once the rest is sorted out.

      You may also need to let the therapist now what is going on so that he/she understands the level of dysfunction and can recommend/not recommend medication accordingly. My sister reports to her therapist very selectively depending on what outcome she wants, so that may be a factor here too.

      • oh my gosh, lawsuited, that sounds like the exact same situation we are in. Child can definitely portray as competent to deal with issues and often lies or does not reveal key facts to therapist/others. Feeling “ganged up” is definitely an issue for child. Thank you for your kind thoughts!

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I was the anxious/depressed child in your scenario (minus the criminal case). My parents were partially paying for my school and I generally obey what they ask of me, so it may have been easier for them that it is for you.

      My parents required me to come home every weekend for about a semester. The drive wasn’t terribly far so it was easy enough to do. this had a couple of benefits. They were able to see me regularly and have some sense of how I was doing. It also gave me the opportunity to pull myself out of my college situation weekly. My depression wasn’t tied to school or where I was living, but simply changing my environment did help some.

    • Maybe stop referring to your adult as a “child?” I totally agree with LondonLeisureYear above. Provide your adult with the resources needed, which it sounds like you may already have done, and step away.

      • Thanks, mean Anon. I only referred to him/her as my adult child to protect his/her identity by not revealing whether it was my son or my daughter. I think referring to him/her as my “adult” would sound weird, but thanks for the harsh reply. I’m guessing you have never had a family member with a mental illness. If it were so cut and dry that I should just step away, I guess AEK and others who advised me not to let him/her hit rock bottom or Sydney Bristow’s parents who required her to come home every weekend were just wrong?

        • lawsuited :

          Don’t take it too hard, OP. People who have been in this situation know that “stepping away” is often not the right choice, and even when it is the right choice, it feels absolutely impossible to the family. My sister has a history of self-harm and suicidal ideation, so I don’t think “stepping away” will ever be an option for me, and would not take seriously anyone who suggested that it was.

        • Anonymous :

          My sister has similar mental health problems and my heart goes out to your family, it’s not easy and the work and focus on it can destroy other relationships so my advice is to get support for yourself and your partner.

          Also, my parents used money to control us somewhat which helped somewhat because she lived across the country and wasn’t well enough to work and doesn’t have friends who would take her in indefinitely like my folks have so basically she came home and did online school. This has been a disaster and I do not recommend it :) I also have always been grateful that her dysfunction seems to be focused on being alone so we haven’t had to deal with pregnancy or running away or anything. The main difference that I think my parents should have made was setting expectations in the home as her ability improved – she should be responsible for chores and have to wake up and be alive during the daytime and contribute to the household (she is not responsible for anything including cleaning or shopping or cooking, and is only delegated small tasks infrequently depending on mood). My parents have also stayed out of dealing with her therapist which is a mistake because the mental illness makes her unable to asses situations accurately so there is no way it’s possible she’s communicating with her therapist what actually was going on or she would have been in a facility getting appropriate care) so I would make it a condition that she has at least one person on her medical care team who you also talk to – even if it’s for family counselling or similar. Also, when it’s not so dire, take some time with the well members of your family to decide limits and boundaries for her so you can present a united front – she will need external consistency to help her learn to calibrate internal consistency.

        • I have, in fact, been in this exact situation. Treating the “child” as an “adult” after making sure they had access to the appropriate resources was, in fact, the answer. I’ve dealt with more mental health issues in my family than anyone should ever have to deal with. Much like addiction, mental health is something where you can only help so much – the last “step” must be taken because they want it. Not because you’re shepherding them to it.

          I’m also heavily involved in orgs that help vets with PTSD / that are suicide risks. So that risk isn’t one I’m unfamiliar with, either. Sometimes stepping away is the only answer. It took a lot of therapy for me to get there – I didn’t see if any other posters recommended this, but you may want to look into therapy for yourself, as well. There may be a codependent cycle going on here. Stepping away may sound harsh, but it MIGHT be what the situation calls for. Might not. We’re just random people on the internet, even if we have dealt with this exact situation before.

    • No advice but I’m so sorry for the trouble you are going through. Sending good wishes your and your child’s way.

    • Some thoughts: things are snowballing for your child, and not just psychologically. This went from depression to a criminal case + potentially failing out of school.

      Solve the latter via medical withdrawal. Talk to the school about it, get all the information you need, and walk your child through the procedures.

      Take your child home (if possible with pending criminal issue). Tell him/her to focus on criminal issue, then completing degree, then whatever else.

      Go for therapy for yourself to help to deal with this.

      Develop a plan for getting your child to finish college. Sleep-away, full-time school is not for everyone, and (anecdotally) kids with mental illness do better in other situations.

      If I were your kid, I would be stressed out about failing school and the criminal case, ashamed about both of those, and wondering if my life was going to get better. I would probably feel very overwhelmed. And that’s without lifelong depression.

    • This is an adult, unless you are bankrolling the education/rent step back. If you are, make financial support conditional upon personal care. The end.

      • Coach Laura :

        Really? You’d give up on a 18-25 yo adult offspring (unless you’re putting up the big bucks)? And if $$$ then give ultimatums? There’s no way I’d do that, as a parent of adult children and as a relative of those who’ve had mental health issues, even if the offspring was 40 and I wasn’t paying expenses. I certainly wouldn’t want my friends/family to give up on me in that situation. From what the OP said, the offspring hasn’t said “leave me alone mom f-off” so that’s why the OP is asking for ideas. The hell of not knowing if a loved one is suicidal or gone forever is something I would wish on no parent/family ever.

      • Of course we are bankrolling the education, off campus rent, car insurance and food! And whether it is a correct decision or not, we have not given adult child an ultimatum. No clinical provider has recommended that, and my gut says it won’t work. He/she has to decide that he/she wants and needs help. Thanks to those above who “get it”. We do have a therapist, one who works with teens/young adults, so the hope was that she could guide us through “what to expect”. In one case, however, she was so concerned about adult child’s behavior that she began counseling me as to what s/he should do, which did not seem helpful since there is no way we can force adult child to do anything (short of cutting off the cash, which I’m sure some will recommend).

        • Anonattorney :

          I went through serious depression and anxiety in college. I skipped my classes and withdrew from my family, and spent the bulk of my time partying heavily with my friends and ignoring my problems. The only way I got out of it was when my parents made me withdraw from school and move home. You can make your kid do this. After I moved home I got a job waitressing while we figured out next steps. I ultimately applied to a residential americorps program and volunteered for a year. Taking a break from school was the best thing for me. Changing my environment and group of friends cleared my head, gave me a much better work ethic, and helpd me figure out how to be an adult. I would look into these options and give your child a way out of their current situation. They may not realize it yet, but they need to leave school. Be compassionate, listen, but be firm that as their parent, you have a good idea of how to make this situation better.

    • I can speak from the perspective of the child in this situation, and unfortunately the primary guidance I can offer is an example of something that didn’t work. My mental health issue was a severe eating disorder. I was otherwise fully functioning and received no financial support from my parents. My parents were contacted by student health and came and got me with no warning, out of the clear blue, and told me to pack up because I was being checked into an inpatient facility the next day. Shouting and locking them out of my apartment coupled with threats by me to leave town ensued and I did not speak to them for months. To this day (after being in recovery for over a decade), I feel the way they handled it was a huge betrayal — they never so much as acknowledged my illness to me until they day of the “intervention”, which, to be frank, didn’t work–after returning to school I continued to be symptomatic but hid it well enough to stay in school through graduation the next year, and went on to a successful career at which point I entered recovery.

      Obviously every person and every mental illness differs and you know your child best, but for me a more collaborative approach that treated me like the very ill but otherwise responsible adult I was would have avoided the long term harm to my relationship with my parents that was caused by the intervention-style approach.

  6. I have experience with this in my family, and I beg you to please, please not this get all the way to “rock bottom.” Sometimes there is nothing after rock bottom.

    Pick up the kid, take them straight to the E.R., and have them assessed. There is a protocol. It might result in a pysch admission. If it doesn’t, at least you have had it checked out and brought to bear on your child how seriously you are taking this. You can also urge your child to do this him/herself, but it does not sound like it would happen.

    If you don’t want to do that (please do), contact the therapist directly and report your concerns, with urgency. The therapist cannot discuss your adult child with you, but can listen to your concerns and act accordingly (assuming that your child is going to appointments).

    • Thanks, AEK. Child has been to psych ED twice (once in connection with criminal matter) and it was of zero help. Unless you are suicidal or planning to hurt someone else, they will not admit you. I don’t think it will communicate to child how seriously we are taking this because we have already gone that route twice. I agree with advice to contact therapist and I have done so. Therapist is contacting child to try to meet with child tomorrow but if child does not respond to call or request, what else should/can we do?

      • Wellness checks (by the local police) are an option, but if your child reacts poorly to interventions, that won’t go over well. If child is in a dorm, there should be a resident assistant you can contact; you can ask for some additional oversight and perhaps get information about other on-campus resources.

        Can you convince child to contact you with at least a text at regular intervals? You could inform him / her that if you don’t hear every X hours, you’ll be getting in the car, no questions asked, to come check in person?

        Also, regarding school, I’m not into helicopter parenting, but you need to find out what is happening. If child is in danger of being failed or de-enrolled due to attendance issues, it’s in everyone’s best interest that you arrange for whatever kind of medical withdrawal is available. A kid in the throes of anxiety / depression is not likely to navigate this to a good outcome; just thinking about it is probably extremely anxiety provoking.

        This is so hard. I’m sorry that your child and you are going through this.

        • +100 to identifying how to let the child take a break from school without causing permanent damage to their transcript.

          • Anonymous :

            I agree except that the damage is irrelevant if she’s suicidal or deteriorates and ends up further in the justice system. Health first. Work/school second.

          • Anonymous :

            It’ll be almost impossible to do that (keep from having damage to the transcript), so just let go of that as an important factor right now. I’ve seen it in different schools, public and private, and you would be surprised how difficult to it is to do that. Let that go as something important right now.

          • I posted above about my parents’ intervention and I can say that the transcript issue worked out fine. At my college I was shown as having withdrawn while passing. In my interviews for a competitive position after graduation, I was asked and explained that I had taken media leave to obtain treatment of a condition that was no longer an issue. No follow-up questions and I got the job. It also wasn’t an issue in law school admissions.

          • My family had a bad experience with letting a student get into an academic suspension situation instead of pursuing medical leave. The impact on the actual transcript grades wise would have the same, but the parents wished they had pushed the school a bit harder to explore all the choices and minimize the fallout for an already struggling student (school wouldn’t release transcript for student to enroll in community college classes and then wouldn’t re-enroll student because they did not pursue credits/take initiative while sitting out the semester).

  7. Does anyone have any suggestions for good shorts for cusp sizing (closer to 16/18 and 0/1X than anything)? I’m trying to avoid too much “chub rub” this spring/summer (though I’m in D.C., so that’s unlikely given how much I walk.) Ideally they would be mid-thigh length. Thanks so much Hive!

    • Anonymous :

      Also, body glide. It changed my life.

      • Body glide has saved my life! Arm and Hammer (I think) makes a good one you can pick up at CVS on the go. Also, Monistat has a great one too, but isn’t as long lasting as body glide.

    • Have you looked at the Lands End 7inch Chino Shorts? They go to size 18 and then restart at 16W.

    • These might be a bit short for you, but I thought they were really cute and the softer fabric might be less chafe-y.

    • Anonymous :

      I love Old Navy’s shorts, they come in lots of different lengths and sizes.

  8. DisenchantedinDC :

    For a lot of reasons, I’ve kind of been in a dating rut since finishing grad school. Last week I met a guy at a work event and we have a couple mutual friends and are going to get together. Regardless of whether it works out, I’m feeling pretty optimistic at the moment just to be reminded that there are people out there who make me feel fuzzy.

    And, a casual friend reached out to me to ask about the status of one of my best friends, who I really think will be interested.

    Just feeling very positive about relationships right now and after spending the last 18 months jaded, it feels nice.

    Now back to your regularly scheduled cynicism.

  9. Can anyone tell me about their experience with medication for anxiety and depression?

    I’m in therapy, and I’m realizing there really are two tracks – there are the things talk therapy helps, and then there are the things that don’t. Constant worry, even when things are ok; feeling like I have no hope, then willing myself to Have A Plan through mental grit. I thought these things would go away with therapy, but they’re still here, even as I gain understanding of my issues intellectually.

    I’m worried about myself, but I’m so, so scared to start a prescription. I don’t want to be “crazy” (and getting a prescription admits that); I want to be able to control my own moods and emotions and thoughts on my own like a “normal” person; I don’t want to be like all the horrible women in my family who need “happy pills;” I don’t want to be a zombie who doesn’t feel things; I don’t want it to change who I am. And I don’t know what my boyfriend will say.

    But I don’t want to face another bout of darkness, either. And I wish I could just turn my mind OFF.

    • Anonymous :

      Medication in no way means you’re crazy. That’s highly offensive. Medication is support for an illness like antibiotics for an infection. And here’s the thing: once you find the medication that works for you, you WILL feel like a “normal” person. Who you are right now, in this dark place, is not the real you. There are downsides and side effects of every medication, but you have to decide if they outweigh the benefits.

      • Anonymous :

        Yep this- medication does not mean you are crazy- it means you are a responsible adult who is taking care of their mental health with all the tools at their disposal, ensuring that you are in a position to be your most highly functioning self. Once you find the right stuff, you will not feel like a zombie, you will just feel like yourself again.

        You also don’t need to tell anyone else that you’re taking something, why does it matter what your boyfriend thinks? If he’s against you being mentally healthy, then drop him like a hot potato.

    • Anonymous :

      I think you should tell your therapist all of that. Specifically about your reservations about taking medication- how it makes you feel, that you’re afraid of what others might think, your fear about becoming a zombie. Your therapist is the person best-suited to discuss these concerns with you.

    • Help for Anxious/Depressed Child :

      See my post about anxious child above. I urge you to talk to someone about medication. Only an experienced physician/psychiatrist can tell you if meds will work for you or whether CBT or DBT therapy will help you address your symptoms. I can tell you that in my child’s case, the psychiatrist was very clear that the constant worry could be ameliorated with meds. Not all meds make you a zombie or change who you are. They also don’t take away ALL the worry, they just give you some reserves to deal with it so that you are not always on the edge of your rope. Please consider a prescription, for yourself and your loved ones. I can tell you that I would amputate my right arm if it would help my child feel better. It kills me that people demonize mental health-having an issue does not make you crazy no more than having cancer means that you are a failure in some way.

    • Mrs. Jones :

      If you needed medication for a physical problem, would you take it? It’s not really any different from taking medication for a mental problem. All meds can have side effects, of course, but you and your provider should discuss whether it’s worth it. There’s no shame in trying to get better with medication.

    • Mrs. Jones :

      And saying that people who take depression meds are crazy, abnormal, and horrible is offensive and completely untrue.

    • Wow. The first thing you need to address in therapy is your wildly erroneous and frankly, offensive, assertions that medication means that you are crazy, or that people who do not need medication are “normal” or that medications are “happy pills” or any other derisive term. If your therapist is encouraging these ideas, that that is not ok. A person who takes medication to lower blood pressure is ok, right? or antibiotics? or vitamins d in the winter time? Brain chemistry is interesting and powerful and dynamic- it varies from person to person and within a person’s lifetime. But that’s the point- it’s chemistry. If something is “off” and it is preventing you from functioning at your best, then you owe it to yourself to fix it. I remember having those feelings, too, before starting medication to treat fairly light depression. They’re the stigma talking. You are going to have a harder time addressing your mental health if you keep wallowing in the stigma attached to mental health issues. I feel 1,000% more like myself with the tiniest dose of anti-depressants than I ever did in my depression fog, dragging through the work day, waiting until I could get at home and just wallow in sadness and anxiety and fear and paralysis. I bet the constant worry and fear isn’t the real you either, but you’ve been feeling so low for so long that it feels normal.

      Good luck to you. Share your concerns with your therapist. And don’t forget, decisions aren’t permanent. If you try meds and you hate them, you can always stop them.

    • I put crazy and normal in quotes. We’re all highly educated here and know what usage in quotations means. I’m talking about the very real stigma of mental health issues and they’re real fears for me. I did not call anyone crazy or abnormal.

      As for horrible, yes, that I did use: the women in my family are truly wretched (mean, unkind, bad tempered, b1tchy) people, and if there’s a cause and effect between mental illness and their behavior, wouldn’t you be scared to turn into them, too? I’ve spent my entire life trying to erase every scintilla of them from who I am – the idea now that at middle age, after working so hard my entire life to erase them, that I share a trait with them beyond DNA that I cannot erase (chemical deficiencies) is terrifying.

      • Anonymous :

        Sure, but perhaps they are a little wretched because they didn’t take care of their chemical imbalances- if you take care of yourself, you won’t turn into them, you’ll be a balanced person instead. You’re not a failure for taking care of yourself, quite the opposite.

      • You may have put them in quotes but it’s very obvious that you’re allowing the stigma of mental health to dissuade you from seeking treatment. We all just want you to a) get past that for your own sake and b) watch language and ideas that perpetuate that stigma.

    • lawsuited :

      I’ve struggled with anxiety, but not depression, so that this with a grain of salt. My worst symptom was my mind racing at night worrying about what had happened that day and what was going to happen the next day – it interrupted my sleep and being overtired made it difficult to respond well to the stress of the next day. I was very nervous about being on psychiatric medication, so my doctor recommended a low dosage sleeping pill so that I could sleep properly. That seemed to be the boost I needed to be able to manage the rest on my own – maybe discuss with your doctor whether it could be an option for you?

  10. Anonymous :

    Ladies, long-time lurker here and I am bummed out about dating. I went out on several dates with a guy and we really hit it off. So well in fact that I said I thought things were moving a little fast. After we went out again he called me and said he thought he was ready for something serious (divorced) but he’s not, and he didn’t want to string me along while he figures stuff out. We decided to potentially touch base in a few weeks and see if we wanted to get together casually. I appreciated the honesty but am really disappointed. Also I’m tired of guys thinking you want to jump into something serious right away – I want to DATE you so I can figure out if I want something serious with you! Any advice or doses of reality would be helpful. I want to not let this get me down but it’s hard.

    • Dating is so frustrating. But I’m actually impressed that he was upfront about what he needs. Maybe that speaks to the types of guys I’ve dated but usually they just freak out or ghost

    • Anonymous :

      Don’t get together casually, don’t keep this guy on your radar. Move on to someone who actually wants to be with you.

    • This happened to me 2 years ago. Guy divorced in December. He and I went out on several dates starting in March, he said he could definitely see a future with me, then out of nowhere he says he wants to date another woman. We stayed friends and communicated occasionally as friends while he was dating the other woman. After a couple of months, he decided that he missed our relationship and we started dating exclusively. When I asked him why he seemingly freaked out when we were doing so well, he said that he thought he was ready to have a serious relationship so soon after his divorce but just wasn’t. He was worried that we were getting too serious too fast. We have been together since in a committed relationship but whether that is a good thing or not remains to be seen. My advice, FWIW, is continue to live your life, continue to date or simply spend time with friends, enrich your life and if it is meant to be, he will be back. If not, someone better is out there for you.

    • I hear you. “I’m tired of guys thinking you want to jump into something serious right away – I want to DATE you so I can figure out if I want something serious with you!” is exactly how I feel about dating, but for some reason, it seems the options are SERIOUS RIGHT AWAY or DEFINITELY CASUAL. Don’t know if this is a byproduct of online dating or just the times we live in.

      (And the ones who seem super-interested at first don’t always stay that way. I sometimes think a sense that things are moving a little fast is actually your gut telling you something’s amiss).

      • Anonymous :

        My experience (firsthand and through friends) with the ones who seem super-interested at first is that they are immature at relationships. They are often, but not always, recently out of a relationship and are just trying to find a warm body to fill the void. As a result, they want to jump immediately to acting super committed and coupley, because they’re seeking the familiarity they had with the ex. They are very affectionate and talk about things far into the future that are not normal to plan for after a few dates when you don’t even know each other that well. They just generally advance the ball forward way faster than you might like, and you have to be careful not to get swept away by this rush of attention and fall for the guy when you’re otherwise ‘meh’ about him.

        Then after about three weeks, you’re getting to know each other enough that the guy starts to realize that you are not in fact his ex (but a more perfect version! his rose-colored glasses nostalgic version without any of the flaws!) and starts acting a little distant. At a month, he’s gone and uses the classic line like “I’m sorry, but I realized I’m not ready for anything serious.”

        I’m sorry you had to deal with this. I agree with January that when you feel like the pace is off, you’re probably right and should be wary of these guys. They’re Peter Pans.

    • Anonymous :

      No, what he really told you is that he is just not that into you. He just tried to be nice about it. This is a classic line.

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