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Authentic Insider Magazine February 2022 Issue

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InsiderZOLOFT, PAXIL, &PROZAC: A LOVE STORYHow one woman's rocky relationshipwith pharmaceuticals helped her DON'T F*CKING KILL YOURSELFHow one man's anxiety led to his purpose to help othersHAPPY SELF, HAPPY HEALTHHow channeling happiness can lead to wellnessFEBRUARY 2022Black HistoryMonth: Racial Trauma

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Dear Readers,When I think of February, I think of the month of Love and Black History Month. When I wasyounger, I would don an outfit of pink and red. It would also be one of the only times of theyear I’d wear red lipstick. In choosing the cover, and the contents within the pages, Iimmediately thought of lip service. We always say we want “something,” whatever that maymean to you, but it’s often met with some inaction. In relation to this issue, we may say we wantto be happy but how often do we put in the work to be happy. Or we say, “we are not racist,”but what are we doing to help the cause of racial justice? “It’s not enough to not be racist, thework needs to be done to be anti-racist.” In this issue, we can learn about racial trauma, thedisproportionate way Black women are affected by sexual assault and HOW we can help from aprosecutor’s POV. In our GenZ POV, Sarah Correa-Dibar shares the importance of channeling happiness and youroverall mental health. She also provides a road map to tangible ways to do so.After multiple sexual assaults, Andrea Mack shares her healing journey in her piece, Live LifeOut Loud. Jeff Romig shares his own experience of losing his dad to suicide and how he helpedhimself out of the darkest moments of his life in his article, Don’t F*ucking Kill Yourself. Everyone finds relief from anxiety and depression differently, Jessie Kanzer discusses herdifficult relationship with medication that eventually blossomed into her perfect love story. This month, Joy Larkin, not only provides February’s Twin Flame Readings but as a NarcissistAbuse Coach, she gives us 5 ways to spot a narcissist. All that plus your Healing through Artprompt and this month’s recommended readings for children and adults.Like many of AIM's content, this one is very heavy and includes topics of abuse and suicide.Please be mindful of your own mental health. If you or someone you know is struggling, pleasecontact a mental health professional or call the suicide prevention hotline at 800-273-8255.Authentic Insider | Page 02Lorilee BinstockAlways,

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Authentic Insider | Page 03Joy LarkinTwin Flames Readings ContributorKathryn MarshProsecutor POV ContributorCali BinstockArt DirectorLynn BinstockCopy EditorMonthly ContributorsSara Correa-DibarGen Z POV Contributor

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Jessie KanzerContributor"Zoloft, Paxil, & Prozac - A Love Story"Authentic Insider | Page 04February ContributorsFebruary ContributorsAndrea MackContributor"Live Life Out Loud"Jeff RomigContributor"Don't F*cking Kill Yourself"

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IN THIS ISSUETABLE OF CONTENTSBlack History Month: What is RacialTrauma?27IN EVERY ISSUEProsecutor POV: Sexual AssaultsAgainst Black Women14AIM Playlist: Radical Self-LoveRecommended Books48Joy's Readings49How to Spot A Narcissist32Authentic Insider | Page 05Healing Through Art Prompt: Grateful Art40Zoloft, Paxil & Prozac - A Love StoryLive Life Out Loud51Don't Fucking Kill Yourself271432Living in Uncertain Times with anOpen mind38071822Gen Z POV: Happy Self, Happy Health44

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Authentic Insider | Page

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Racial trauma, or race-based traumatic stress (RBTS), refers to themental and emotional injury caused by encounters with racial bias andethnic discrimination, racism, and hate crimes. Any individual that hasexperienced an emotionally painful, sudden, and uncontrollable racistencounter is at risk of suffering from a race-based traumatic stress injury.In the U.S., Black, Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC) are mostvulnerable due to living under a system of white supremacy. What is racialTrauma?*Experiences of race-based discriminationcan have detrimental psychologicalimpacts on individuals and their widercommunities. In some individuals,prolonged incidents of racism can lead tosymptoms like those experienced withpost-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Thiscan look like depression, anger, recurringthoughts of the event, physical reactions(e.g. headaches, chest pains, insomnia), hypervigilance, low-self-esteem, andmentally distancing from the traumaticevents. Some or all of these symptomsmay be present in someone with RBTS andsymptoms can look different acrossdifferent cultural groups. It is important tonote that unlike PTSD, RBTS is notconsidered a mental health disorder. RBTSis a mental injury that can occur as theresult of living within a racist system orexperiencing events of racism.Authentic Insider | Page 07*Source: Mental Health America

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Racialized trauma can come directly from other people or can be experienced withina wider system. It can come as the result of a direct experience where racism isenacted on you, vicariously - such as where you see videos of other people facingracism - and/or transmitted intergenerationally. Trigger Warning: The followingincludes discussions of abuse, assault, and violence.Where Does It Come From? Examples of Individual racism In 2018, 38 percent of Latinxpeople were verbally attackedfor speaking Spanish, were toldto “go back to their countries,”called a racial slur, and/ortreated unfairly by others.Following the COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S.,there were nearly 1,500 reported incidents ofanti-Asian racism in just one month. Reportsincluded incidents of physical and verbal attacksas well as reports of anti-Asian discriminationin private businesses. Over the course of one year, Twittersaw 4.2 million anti-Semitic tweets injust the English language alone. Thesetweets included anti-Semiticstereotypes, promotion of anti-Semiticpersonality or media, symbols, slurs,or anti-Semitic conspiracy theoriesincluding Holocaust denial.Authentic Insider | Page 08

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Examples of SystemicracismBlack people make up 12percent of the country’spopulation but make up around33 percent of the total prisonpopulation. Thisoverrepresentation reflectsracist arrests and policing aswell as racist sentencingpractices in the criminal justicesystem. Previous and current policiesof racial displacement,exclusion, and segregationhave left all BIPOC less likelythan whites to own their homesregardless of level ofeducation, income, location,marital status, and age.The erasure of Asian PacificIslanders (APIs) in the “Asian orPacific Islander” category byU.S. Census data severelyrestricts access toopportunities in thesecommunities by concealing theunique barriers faced by APIsthat are not faced by East orSouth Asian communities. Historical occupationsegregation has madeBlack people less likelythan Whites to hold jobsthat offer retirementsavings which areprioritized by the U.S. taxcode [10]. This helpscreate a persistent wealthgap between White andBlack communities wherethe median savings ofblacks are on average just21.4 percent of the mediansavings of whites. · Lack of culturalcompetency in therapytraining, financialincentives, andgeographical isolationhave created barriers inproviding appropriatemental health resources inNative Americancommunities. Rates ofsuicide in thesecommunities is 3.5x higherthan racial/ethnic groupswith the lowest rates ofsuicide. Justice forBreonnaAuthentic Insider | Page 09

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Vicarious traumatic stressors arethe indirect traumatic impacts ofliving with systemic racism andindividual racist actions. Vicarioustraumatic stressors can have anequally detrimental impact onBIPOC’s mental health as directtraumatic stressors.For example, viewing videos ofbrutal police killings of Blackpeople, such as the videoassociated with the murder ofGeorge Floyd, can causetraumatic stress reactions inthe people who view them -especially in Black people. Many Native Americanchildren are vicariouslytraumatized by the highrates of societal homicide,suicide, and unintentionalinjury experienced in thesecommunities.Vicarious TraumaticStressors Of Latinx youth that immigrateto the U.S., two-thirds reportexperiencing one traumaticevent with the most commontraumatic event reportedduring and post migrationbeing witnessing a violentevent or physical assault.

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Examples OfTransmittedStressorsThe descendants of Holocaustsurvivors display an increasedvulnerability to developingpsychological disturbances inaddition to stressors related toHolocaust loss. Thisvulnerability is in directrelationship to the negative lifeexperience of the previousgeneration.The chattel enslavement ofAfricans in the U.S. and othercountries continues to serve as asource of traumatic stress forblack people today. In fact, thissustained collective trauma makesBlack people highly vulnerable todeveloping mental healthdisorders. Transmitted traumatic stressors referto the traumatic stressors that aretransferred from one generation tothe next. These stressors can comefrom historically racist sources ormay be personal traumas passeddown through families andcommunities. · Historical trauma shared byNative Americans includingboarding schools, massacres andforced violent removal from theirtribal lands represents a severecommunal loss and source oftraumatic stress. NativeAmericans today continue toexperience symptoms ofdepression, substancedependence, diabetes, andunemployment due to thepsychological impact of thetrauma. How Do You Know You Have rBTS?(race based traumatic stress)If you identify as a BIPOC and have experienced racism, you may be able to self-assess for many of the symptoms of RBTS. Formal diagnosis of RBTS requiresassessment by a qualified mental health professional.If you believe you may be suffering from race-based traumatic stress injury, it isimportant to seek therapy from a multicultural or racial trauma-informedtherapist. These therapists work to create an open, culturally affirming,empowered space for you to heal from racialized trauma in all its various forms.Authentic Insider | Page 11

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Check outS1Ep1with CrystalMcLeodA Trauma SurvivorA Trauma SurvivorA Trauma SurvivorThriver's Podcast coversThriver's Podcast coversThriver's Podcast covers Generational TraumaGenerational TraumaGenerational Trauma & Microagressions& Microagressions& MicroagressionsAuthentic Insider | Page 12E3Ep41with D. JohnJackson

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“I refuse to accept the view thatmankind is so tragically bound tothe starless midnight of racismand war that the bright daybreakof peace and brotherhood cannever become a reality…. I believethat unarmed truth andunconditional love will have thefinal word.”—Martin Luther King, Jr.Authentic Insider | Page 13

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“The most disrespected person in America is theblack woman. The most unprotected person inAmerica is the black woman. The most neglectedperson in America is the black woman.” MalcomX said this in 1962. The question I must ask in2022 as a white prosecutor is -Is there equaljustice for our black female victims? The answer,according to the statistics, unfortunately is no. The question is why are the numbers so muchhigher for black women? The root causes fordomestic violence are generally the same for allvictims– power and control, objectification, rapeculture, gender stereotypes and genderinequality in pay gaps and employment. Whenwe consider the root causes are the same forintimate partner violence and sexual assault, wemust then ask, why are there these drasticallydifferent statistics. “It’s a combination of thingswe’re not given. We’re just not givenopportunities in education that generally wouldbe made available to other populations,specifically white populations. And it’ssocioeconomics. Typically, the higher you are inthat socioeconomic strata, the greater accessyou have to education and resources where youcan get some of this information, where you canreceive services.” Cecily Johnson, director ofstrategic initiatives at the Domestic ViolenceNetwork.Sexual Assault &Domestic ViolenceAgainst BlackWomen BY Kathryn Marsh, Host of No Grey Zone Black women disproportionately experienceviolence in the home, and in the community, athigher levels than their white counterparts. Onaverage four in ten black women experiencephysical violence from an intimate partner. Thisis about 13% higher than other women in thecountry. Even more shocking is the finding thatblack women are two and a half times morelikely to be murdered by men than their whitecounterparts (2015 Violence Policy Center study).Further, more than 20% of black womenexperience rape in their lifetime.Authentic Insider | Page 14

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BLACK WOMEN &SEXUAL ASSAULTSFAST FACTSAccording to the U.S.Department of Justice,1 in 5 Black womenare survivors of rape.This estrangement of our black sisters from equal access toservices, opportunities, education, and fair treatment in thecriminal justice system begins in adolescence. According to a U.S.Department of Education report, Black girls are suspended orexpelled six times more often than white girls across the country,and the numbers are even higher in larger cities. This directlyimpacts a young girl’s access to higher education and technicalclasses. Further, these disproportionate rates can erode a youngblack girl's trust in systems that are supposed to assist, aid, orprotect them. It doesn’t take a lot for a child to notice they arebeing treated unfairly.These disproportionate rates of discipline don’t end with education.Studies have found that black girls between the ages of 18-19 arefour times more likely to be incarcerated than white girls of thesame age. These incarceration rates can further reduce a youngblack girl’s access to education, good jobs, and economicindependence while at the same time eroding their faith in systemichelp.If a person doesn’t believe they will be treated fairly, will they reachout to a guidance counselor or social services for assistance? Willthey feel comfortable seeking housing assistance? If a young blackgirl sees that while she is in school, she has an over 40% chance ofbeing arrested for an incident than her white fellow student. Is shelikely to call the police when there are issues at home? “Byintentionally denying Black people access to economicopportunities, the ability to build intergenerational wealth,healthcare, education, and a sense of safety from governmentalsystems, racist policies increase the prevalence of risk factors fordomestic violence,” According to the National Coalition AgainstDomestic Violence.We talk about creating a sexual assault culture that starts withbelief, but if what you see in practice is that you are less likely to bebelieved than your white counterpart, why would you actually thinkyou would be believed by prosecutors when you report a sexual 40% of confirmed sextrafficking survivors in theU.S. are Black. 1 in 4 Black girls will besexually abused beforethe age of 18.Authentic Insider | Page 15

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assault? If you were raised in a household that wastold to not contact the police, or to deal with asituation within the family, would you feelcomfortable asking for help?Serial abusers are master manipulators and areprofessionals when it comes to knowing what theycan get away with and who is most vulnerable tobeing a victim. The color of your skin doesn’t makeyou stronger or weaker, and the color of your skindoesn’t make it so you are more or less likely to beabused. However the systematic racism that haspermeated our systems does make it less likely forblack or brown victims to seek needed services orassistance. So, what can we as a community do? First, we needto acknowledge that the problem is real. As aprosecutor, and more importantly as a whiteprosecutor, I need to make sure that I am takinginherent bias classes and cultural competencytraining and be willing to work with communitypartners. The community at large needs to worktogether with our communities of color to have in depth conversations about intimate partner violenceand sexual assault, which involves asking what do youneed? What problems have you seen? What solutionswould you like to see? The conversation can’t begin andend with a call to the police. “If we aren’t intersectional,some of us, the most vulnerable, are going to fall throughthe cracks,” says Kimberlé Crenshaw, pioneering scholarand writer on civil rights at Columbia Law. We need to encourage our schools to teach healthyrelationships and consent education. We need to teach allour young people to set their expectations and know thatthose expectations should be met. If we talk about “familyproblems” in the education setting, we can help ensurethat these “problems” don’t stay in the home. We need toengage our faith communities and ensure that they areequal partners in community education, and in holdingthe community accountable when we fail ourmarginalized neighbors.The community at large needs to ensure that everyindividual knows the services that are available. Onaverage, a victim of intimate partner abuse, is abusedseven times before they leave the relationship. When Ispeak with victims, too often they had no idea that therewere services available in the community, outside ofpolice and prosecution, such as: daycare voucherprograms; housing assistance programs; literacy oreducation programs; assistance in looking for jobs; writingresumes and transportation. By making these servicesknown and available to everyone, especially thosehistorically marginalized, we can help lower the numberof victims significantly. These changes must start at theelementary school level and carry on through every local,state and federally funded program.Black History Month is a time to honor and recognize all ofthe amazing black Americans who have contributed toour country, but at the same time we need to make surethat we are paving the way for future generations andfuture greatness without leaving any woman behind.“If we aren’t intersectional, some of us, the mostvulnerable, are going to fall through the cracks,”says Kimberlé Crenshaw, pioneering scholar andwriter on civil rights at Columbia Law. Authentic Insider | Page 16

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“The cost“The costof liberty isof liberty isless thanless thanthe price ofthe price ofrepression.”repression.”—W.E.B. Du Bois—W.E.B. Du BoisAuthentic Insider | Page 17

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Zoloft, Paxil,Prozac — ALove Story “Are you off your meds again?” he asks. “F**k you,” I snap back, always astoundedthat he knows. At this point, though, how could henot know? “You’re nothing like yourself, that’s why,” hereplies to my silent question. Unless the sucky version is the real me, I think. This Groundhog Day of an exchange is onethat my husband and I have had ad nauseam. Andit’s not just my husband. My dad, after spendingan evening with me and my kids, also wonderedwhether I’d stopped taking my meds. (Newsflash: Ihad). And here I thought I was keeping it alltogether so well. The kids, meanwhile, might betoo young to understand mental health, but I’msure even they notice when I can’t help but snapmore and coo less, as if some imaginary mommyseam has come undone. So the question beckons:why the hell do I not just stay on myantidepressants and live happily ever after? For me, like for many, a person dealingwith depression and anxiety…it’s complicated.BY: JESSIE KANZER The first time I experienced “the darkness” I waseight years old — a proud, clueless little refugee fromthe Soviet Union. I remember its sensation as I sat in acramped ESL classroom in Brooklyn with kids from allover the world, no common language, and a really reallyexhausted teacher. God, I wanted to wail. Instead, Iswallowed back the tears for my friends back home(most of whom I’d never see again) and for my knownworld, my confidence, my comprehension. This muffledangst had followed me around Europe while we soughtasylum and it took root in JFK, finally wrapping itsstrands around me in the roach-filled housing thatfollowed. I couldn’t put the feelings into words backthen — not to myself and not to the stressed-out adultstrying to build a life here from scratch. So I swallowedthem and swallowed them until they turned into a hard,jagged ball inside my chest. And I moved on.Authentic Insider | Page 18

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The next round of mental health woesinvaded my life when I was a teenager with a newname and a self-created identity. As my bodysoftened and changed shape without mypermission, I starved it. When I lost control andstuffed my hungry face with food, I stuck myfingers in my throat and temporarily found release.This battle of wills — me versus food, with its scentand life-force — continued on and off into mytwenties, until a car crash rattled my already-rattled brain. Home from the hospital with aconcussion, I gobbled up the dinner my parents’friends brought over, happy to be home, to be alive,and then I rid myself of said dinner the one way Iknew how. It was no easy feat, given my bruisedbody and sewn-up face. I guess you might call thatmy rock bottom. After therapist hopping — which included ashrink who fed me trays of cookies and fell asleepwhile I talked — a library full of self-help books, asupport group, and my own decision for a betterlife, I got healthy. I thrived, but I would be remissnot to mention that, after trying severalmedications, I settled on Paxil as my temporarycrutch. That’s definitely how I thought of it then:temporary. And so I went off it as soon as I got thebulimia in check — only to find myself sobbinguncontrollably a few years later, now in my latetwenties and unable to form a solid personal orprofessional life. So back on I went. And then offagain once I felt steady. Following the birth of my first daughter, Idescended down a spiral of postpartum depressionthat was so cunning, I forgot medication couldhelp. I forgot what non-despair felt like. That’s thething with this darkness — when you’re in it youdon’t remember that anything else is possible. "When I lost control and stuffed my hungryface with food, I stuck my fingers in my throatand found temporarily release.”

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For a spiritual writer/practitioner like myself, itcan seem powerless to be reliant on medication,which is antithetical to the self-empowerment Ipreach. And yet, I also want to provide a reminderthat self-empowerment is whatever it takes toempower yourself — it is not an either/or game, it’s a“yes, and.” I take my antidepressants and I meditate. Mybeing does not produce enough serotonin withoutpharmaceutical help and it brings joy, exuberance,and motivation to anyone that needs it. Emotionalvulnerability is my Achilles’ heel and it is mysuperpower… And right now, Zoloft gives me wings. I’m going to spare you the rest of my litany of on-and-off medication usage because I think you get thepoint. I might admit, though, that until recently Iremained lackadaisical in my regimen, letting the pills slipfor days until my husband would start his inquiry — oruntil the brain zaps began (a lovely symptom of suddenwithdrawal). If you’re wondering, not only a) Why would I everstop taking my meds?, but also b) Why do I feel the needto tell you all this?, the reason is simple: if I do B, I will beless likely to impulsively do A (I think), because the morewe talk about this, the less shame we collectively carry. It is estimated that 20.6 percent of U.S. adults experiencemental illness each year, with 6.7 percent having at leastone major depressive episode — a number which Isuspect is higher in actuality. Yet, even as therapy hasbecome fodder for entertainment, psychotropicmedication can still feel taboo — think “Mother’s LittleHelper.” It’s as if we’ve given ourselves permission to bemessed up but not that messed up. "My being does notproduce enoughserotonin withoutpharmaceutical helpand it brings joy,exuberance, andmotivation to anyonethat need it."Jessie Asya Kanzer was born in the Soviet Union. At the ageof eight, she emigrated with her family to Brooklyn. She is awriter and former reporter and actress. Her work hasappeared in the Washington Post, New York Daily News,Wall Street Journal, The Independent, the New York Times,Los Angeles Times, Huffington Post, Ravishly, and Romper.Jessie lives with her two daughters and husband in DobbsFerry, NY.Authentic Insider | Page 20

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“Hate is too great aburden to bear. Itinjures the hater morethan it injures thehated.”—Coretta ScottKingAuthentic Insider | Page 21

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“When a toxic personcan no longer controlyou, they will try tocontrol how others seeyou. The misinformationwill feel unfair, but youstay above it, trustingthat other people willeventually see the truthjust like you did.”– Jill BlakewayHow to Spot ANarcissist

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help people overcome, move on, and heal after dealing with anarcissist in their life. Back in 2006, I hadno clue I would ever be in contact with anarc until I suddenly discovered my Auntwas one. It was such a surprise and veryhurtful to know the person I grew to love,never loved me back. And she neverwould. While living with my Aunt for 5 years, Imet a guy online. We dated for 4 years.Turns out he was a narcissist as well. Itwas super disappointing and eye-opening. I soon realized that I had to setboundaries and decided to have nocontact with either person because theywere never going to change. There wasnothing I could do for either of them, so Ihad to learn to love myself. It was hardbecause I didn't know how to. Later, Ispent a great deal of time with myselfand my creator. Finally, I began to healand started my self-love journey. It was a great feeling. In order to beginyour healing journey you have to beable to recognize and/or spot anarcissist . (Continued)IAuthentic Insider | Page 23

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5 Ways to Recognize a NarcissistOnce you find out that you are dealing with a narcissist, you shouldbegin severing contact with the individual. Distance yourself andstay far away from these people as possible. These people can ruinyour life if you let them. Don't let this be you. If you would like to learn more, you can contact me at my website,, my email,, or anyof my social media platforms.Authentic Insider | Page 24

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AdvertiseHereE M A I L : L O R I L E E @ B I N S T O C K M E D I A G R O U P . C O MT O A D V E R T I S E W I T H U SA U T H E N T I C I N S I D E R M A G A Z I N EA U T H E N T I C I N S I D E R M A G A Z I N E

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L I V E L I F E O U T L O U DBy Andrea Mack,Founder of One Word AtA Time Coaching

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s a victim of sexual assault, I’ve beenplagued with depression. Days pass without ashower, and nights drag on without sleep.Hours spent on endless crying mixed withboiling anger leading to bouts of self-harm.Fear and anxiety kept me uncomfortable in myown skin. I spent many times being horrifyinglyalone in a crowded room. When you admit to yourself that you need helpto get to the other side of depression andtrauma, you give yourself the very best gift.Working alone in isolation sets you up for abreakdown, to truly guide you throughdepression and rage requires assistance. Over the years I’ve gotten help to heal thewounds to my heart, my spirit and my soul.Writing letters to my abuser was one thing thatdefinitely helped me get to the other side ofthe pain. I was able to express my anger, fearand rage. My heart had been too filled withsadness for too long, I started taking back mypower by raising my voice in truth over thetraumatic event that had held me hostage andexpressing my side of what happened. I wasn’tthe powerless kid any longer receiving theabuse, hurt, and trauma, my trauma that hadeventually penetrated every area of my life. Another thing that I did to heal, and recover,was to call my abuser by name. Too many timeswe say “attacker” or our “abuser” or “thatperson”. However, when we bravely call themby name they are humanized instead of anunnamed monster or lurking ominous creature.Humanizing them levels the playing field. Thisempowers us to get the healing we deserve. Wecannot defeat a monster, but we can defeatanother person and diminish the power theyhold over us.Another way to recover is by acknowledgingthat the sexual assault or abuse was merely anevent in our lives. It doesn’t have to consumeour entire existence or be the sum of our being.It used to consume me, a song would triggerme, a smell or anything at all. I learned to seeWe cannot defeat a monster,but we can defeat anotherperson and diminish thepower they hold over us.AAuthentic Insider | Page 28

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the event as just a moment in time, one of athousand events. This removes the power fromwhat happened, alleviating the sting from theevent and makes it less powerful and lesstraumatic. You will be able to categorize it andput it in its proper place so it can be dealt withand left where it belongs. You won’t ever forgetbecause it certainly is a part of you but you’ll beable to recognize it for the microcosm in timethat it is. We heal to a point of being able torecognize and reflect on it as a period of time,instead and eventually advertising it assomething that happened. When I held it in, itinfiltrated and penetrated every relationship.Releasing it prevents it from taking up everymoment of your day. The greatest form of healing comes when wecan forgive and stop blaming ourselves. We getstuck in repetitive thinking, asking ourselves“what was I wearing, was I drunk, did I leadthem on or send mixed signals?” You mustforgive yourself. I implore you as you walk thishealing road, do not take responsibility forAuthentic Insider | Page 29

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someone else’s horrific and criminal behavior.We did nothing to cause this abuse. There isnothing you could’ve done differently toprevent this. Do not carry this burden. This isn’tyour responsibility. It’s your responsibility toheal and recover and love your best life. Another important way to heal and recover isto report it. Tell the school officials, localauthorities or a trusted family member. Tellwhoever will listen. I’ve survived my sexual assaults and havegotten to an emotionally well place. My mentalhealth became my priority which allowed meto seek help and live my life out loud. The fearand shame that covered me, like a familiarblanket, is gone. Today, I’m covered with amulti-color coat and I’m living my life out loudand free from shame. My life is amazingbecause I turned my horrific experiences into ajourney of wellness. My journey is not for mealone. My mission is to help and heal themasses. My life is amazingbecause I turnedmy horrificexperiences intoa journey ofwellness. Authentic Insider | Page 30

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By Jeff Romig, Author of "Don'tF*cking Kill Yourself"There’s a very real, very sobering truth facingAmerican men: we are more than 3 times aslikely to die by suicide than women. And,while I don’t claim to understand exactlywhy this is, I do know that after losing myfather to suicide – and living withgeneralized anxiety, depression, and suicidalthoughts myself – it’s absolutely vital thatmen living with suicidal thoughts andbehaviors get help.Over the past 25 years, I’ve found myselfnavigating various types of adversity. In myefforts to fight through those crises, I’vefound tools that help me stay alive throughmy darkest moments. Collectively, these tools—sharing my feelings;medication and therapy; and connecting tomy people, passions, and experiences—havegiven me the ability to hold on and keepgoing. Living with AnxietyDon't F*ckingKill Yourselfit’s absolutely vitalthat men living withsuicidal thoughts andbehaviors get helpAuthentic Insider | Page 32

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My dad never talkedabout his feelingsor his struggleswith anyone. As aresult, his suicidecompletelyblindsided all of us. On the day my father died of suicide, I vowedthat I would be different than he was and notkeep everything bottled up inside.My dad never talked about his feelings or hisstruggles with anyone. As a result, his suicidecompletely blindsided all of us. And, as avisceral reaction to the pain of his death, Ivowed that I wouldn’t do what he did. I wouldbe different.Little did I know at the time that my decision tobe more open would lead to another incrediblypowerful tool: connecting to my people,passions, and experiences as a way to pullthrough those dark moments— but that’sexactly what happened.Becoming More OpenAuthentic Insider | Page 33

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I needed to find a therapist. I couldn’t keepeverything bottled up inside (which is what myfather had done his entire life, until dying bysuicide at 47). I eventually found a woman whospecialized in trauma and anxiety issues,adding another tool to my toolbox. And, like my medication, it’s a tool that Icontinue to use to this day. Some sessions, it’sabout maintenance, and in others my therapisthelps me navigate a crisis or climb out of thedarkness surrounding me. But always, therapyis one of the essential tools that keeps me alive.In 2002, I started having panic attacks. Ididn’t understand them at the time. I had noidea that I had an anxiety disorder sincemiddle school. And I didn’t even have aname for what was happening to me.My panic attacks generally happened late atnight, and because of that, I didn’t feel like Icould call anybody and ask for help. Instead,I just felt like I had to hang on through thestorm. But eventually, I needed to do morethan just hold on. I needed guidance andsupport. And that became my second set oftools: getting an official diagnosis andstarting to take prescribed medication,which for several years, was enough to helpme get through the dark times. But eventually—and this is key when you livewith anxiety, depression, and suicidalthoughts—it became clear to me that thesetools alone weren’t working as well as theyonce did. The Power of a DiagnosisConnecting With My People,Passions, & Experiences I have spent a lot of time thinking about whatmy dad’s final minutes were like. Did his lifeflash before his eyes before he lostconsciousness? If my life were to flash beforemy eyes, what memories would appear forme?These thoughts led me to see that the people,passions, and experiences I might rememberare the very things I can connect with toremember what’s possible. And, if I canremember what’s possible, I can pull throughthe darkest moments in my life.Remembering your people, passions, andexperiences is such a valuable tool if you livewith suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Whenyou’re fighting the darkness of suicidalDid his life flash beforehis eyes before he lostconsciousness? If mylife were to flashbefore my eyes, whatmemories would appearfor me?

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things that bring you joy, love, and connection. I alsohope you’ll be able to take what’s in your head andshare it, whether with a therapist, a friend, or even onsocial media.If you can do that, then when you’re in those darkmoments, you’ll be more likely to anchor yourself andremember that joy has existed in your life and canagain. Experiencing hope and perspective can be anantidote to suicidal thoughts. Ultimately, by gathering these tools into your toolbox,especially by connecting to the people, passions, andexperiences that bring you joy, I believe you can fightand stay alive.ideation and trying to survive, if you can connectto these three things you can anchor yourself inwhat’s possible. This helps me stay alive, and itmay do the same for you.Finding the AntidoteOf course, this is not to say that all ofthese tools will help you. I’m alwayslooking for new tools because thingschange, and what works today mightnot work tomorrow.I hope that if you or someone you knowis living with suicidal thoughts or anymental health struggles, at least one ofthese tools will help you to find the For more advice on how to find helpduring your darkest moments, you can findDon’t F*cking Kill Yourself on Amazon.You can find more information about Suicide SurvivalStories and Don't F*cking Kill Yourself on Twitter andInstagram at @sharewithsss and @dfkybook.Authentic Insider | Page 35

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ADHDTIMEsuck&fixes Tv shows1.2. instagram3. video games4. YouTube. 3. Doing it all ourselvesWe ADHDers waste HUGE amounts of time trying to do things at whichwe suck – or just needn’t be doing ourselves. Things that people aroundus can and will do FOR us – if we are WILLING and ABLE to hand themoff.REFERENCES:adapted from Fix: start simple Think of one or two EASY things you could delegate, even ifit’s just a trial run. Keep it simple like assigning laundry to oneof your kids or paying a laundry service. Think of it aspracticing your delegation skills so that you can learn to takethings off of your plate and ask for help when you need it. Barriers: ADHDers can struggle with delegating bc 1) instructing others clearly toward acompleting tasks can be complicated and we aren’t awesome at that anyway 2) if peoplepleasing is your struggle asking for someone else’s time and energy can feel really hard.Top 3 Adhd time wasters & fixes But first1.You start but don’t fully engage in an IMPORTANT TASK then say->“but first I gotta . . .” then boom it’s midnight and you’re in thebasement organizing Halloween costumes without any headway onyour very important task and possibly (probably) multiple half-doneprojects from jumping around to different tasks. MASSIVE TIME-SUCK! solution? . . . The Fix: Re-label Label your big important task or highest priority as ”what I’m doing now”and every possible distraction as”what I’m not doing now” 2. Screensucking(coined by Dr. Ned Hallowell) wasting time in front of electronic screens. ADHD adults are more likely tohave addictive attachments to TV – and all electronic consumption.So for anything with a screen –TV, social media, video games, YouTube, etc.we must ask ourselves – what is the VALUE of the time we spend with screens vs the VALUE ofdoing other things? NowNowNotnowNotnowThe Fix: LIST & rank reduce & eliminateList your top electronic behaviors, rank bytime spent, circle biggest offenders. Pledgeto reduce or eliminate one of these! Cali Binstock

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“Hold fast todreams, for ifdreams die, life isa broken wingedbird that cannotfly.”—Langston HughesAuthentic Insider | Page 37

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Living in UncertainTImes with an open mindAuthentic Insider | Page 38

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For the new year, I decided to post a poll inmy Instagram stories asking, “Are you makinga new year’s resolution?” To my surprise,100% of respondents voted no. This had methinking about the last few years and how themajority of the world has been forced to stopand pivot in so many ways. When we arebound by rigid schedules and are able to stickto them, it can provide a sense of safety,however, when we are constantly forced tomake changes and “figure it out,” it can feellike a loss of control. I found the answer to this poll as a positiveand realistic approach to the new year, whichby many accounts seemed uncertain with therise of Omicron and snow days (at least inWashington, DC). Even I decided any specificresolution would be unnecessary and wouldnot benefit me in the long run. However, Iwanted to make a conscious effort to put mymental health above all things. After all, thedecline in people’s mental health has onlybeen exasperated by the pandemic and eventhe absence of it is uncertain. The Centers for Disease Control andPrevention (CDC) reported that at least 40percent of adults in the United Statesstruggled with anxiety, depression, trauma,and substance use disorders since thebeginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. This datarevealed that symptoms of anxiety and depressionquadrupled in the beginning months of thepandemic.So how do we prioritize our mental health in anuncertain world? I choose fluidity. I understandthat not everyone has that privilege. However, I dobelieve that asking for help, whether it is a mentalhealth professional, friend or family, is the answer.Once we are able to ask, we can take the firststeps in caring for ourselves, in turn, taking care ofall the other stuff. Because when we can do that,we have more reserves for the uncertainty thatcomes with life in 2022.Read on to this month’s Gen Z’s POV with SarahCorrea-Dibar to find out how you can channelhappiness.So how do we prioritizeour mental health in anuncertain world? Ichoose fluidity.Authentic Insider | Page 39

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By Sarah Correa-Dibar appiness goes a long way. It’s the Yellow Brick Roadto success, and I’m talking about more than yourprofessional success. Leading a positive life will push youwith more motivation, fill you with confidence in yourselfand in what you do, and have you flowing with morecreativity than ever before. In the US we have been conditioned to live to work, whichleaves little to no room to process our feelings orunderstand our behaviors. Emotions are put on thebackburner and happiness is treated as a luxury “we don’thave time for.” Pressure and stress are the power coupleof corporate America, or college, or high school. Workthrough the night to get the promotion or to be praisedby your boss, compare yourself to your other friends whogot a high-profile internship before you did, never dare toget a C in high school to get into the shiniest universityyou can’t afford. I get it, I’ve been there too. I’ve putprofessional success before my own happiness only tofind out the opposite works even better: put yourhappiness first to then find true success. Clinging on to the things in your life that make you happywill get you through the obstacles that come into your life.Life isn’t a utopia and there are going to be days whenclimbing into a hole seems like the only solution, but it’snot. Life is passing you by every day, with opportunitieswaiting to be taken advantage of. Everyone gets stuck intheir own quicksand, and the branch that pulls you out ofit is the one thing that makes you happy, whether it besomething within yourself or something you look forwardto.Positivity pushes you forward and negativity keeps youwedged in one place. A positive mindset is a steppingstool that helps you see over the problems and tangledsituations. It helps you step out of the box and elicitscreativity. Negativity magnifies problems – blamingyourself or others for the mess, complaining how muchmoney or time it will cost you, crying about the damagesdone – all this keeps the same ugly picture lingeringlonger than it needs to. Positivity elevates you beyond theissues to learn from your mistakes. A positive thought a day keeps thenegative lifestyle away!HAuthentic Insider | Page 40

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The Tortoise and The Hareis the perfect example of apositive versus negativemindset. The Tortoise kepton going at the pace thatmade him happy and didn’tcompare himself to hisspeedy opponent. TheHare, on the other end,was too vain and negativeabout his opponent, whichcaused him to lose the racehe was made to win.Finding confidence withhappiness isn’t about beingthe best compared toeveryone around you, it’sabout finding the happiestversion of yourself. Whenyou are happy with howhard you’re trying, how fastyou’re learning and thepace you’re at, you havethe confidence to get youthrough any competition.There’s happiness in everystage of your life and ineverything you do, all ittakes is focusing on theparts that make you happy.The end of any stage isalways the hardest to find happinessin, but after every end is anew beginning. Instead offocusing on the stress yourjob is putting on you, youcan focus on theachievements you’ve gottento get to where you are.Being stuck in anuncomfortable situationseems unmovable, so focuson what’s waiting for you onthe other side. Go forward with a positiveattitude, and a positive pathwill guide you to yourhappiest self. Happiness isnot a luxury. It’s a factor thathas to be incorporated intoyour life. And yes, youalways have time forhappiness. Authentic Insider | Page 41

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01020304Road Map to HappinessSometimes reframing negative thoughts into grateful affirmations can be thedifference between a good or bad day.Instead of thinking: Why does this always happen to me?Try thinking: This is just one bad day.Instead of Thinking: Everything is always my fault.Try thinking: I can't blame myself for everything.Instead of Thinking: I always fail.Try thinking: I will learn from this failure.Instead of Thinking: I feel guilty asking for help.Try thinking: I am grateful for the support I have.Sarah Correa-Dibar is a Miami native who is passionate about writing about the culture thatsurrounds her. She studied Journalism & Communications at the University of Florida and nowuses her creative skills to pursue her career in public relations, social media, and digitalcreation. Her main interests lie in the world of fashion and art history. Follow her on her socials.Authentic Insider | Page 42

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Healing throughthe ArtsArtistic Affirmations: PromptAuthentic Insider | Page 44by: Cali BinstockEven though I’m struggling with (fill in the blank), I love myself. I accept myself. I forgive myself. My mistakes help me grow. I can shed shame and guilt for my pastbecause I was growing and I’ll never stop evolving and with that I willfail. Failing doesn’t make me a failure, it makes me brave. What is holding you back from loving yourself? How can you be gentler on yourself? How can you come to accept yourself, flaws and all? What do you need to remind yourself of on a dailybasis? A mantra of sorts that will help you rememberthat you are worthy of love and abundance and joy! Whatever the answer, could be your perfectaffirmation for this exercise.. It could be a simplereminder to “breathe” or more specific to your currentsituation or mindset. The words are enough so playaround with your lettering and ifyou feel inspired to create imagesalongside them that is an addedbonus! Feel free to make manyversions even of the sameaffirmation, they will evolve muchlike you always are. Start with journaling: validate your struggle, acceptyourself anyway and then see where it takes you . . .Check out my sample artwork on thenext couple of pages >>

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Healing throughthe ArtsAuthentic Insider | Page 45by: Cali BinstockArtistic AffirmationsIeasily findthingsto appreciateinmylife RootedinGratitude

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Healing throughthe ArtsAuthentic Insider | Page 46by: Cali BinstockArtistic Affirmations

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“Have a vision. Bedemanding.”—Colin PowellAuthentic Insider | Page 47

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There's no better way to celebrate themonth of love than with a radical self-loveplaylist. So turn up the music and danceand sing like no one is watching. Authentic Insider | Page 48 “After the Storm” by Kali Uchis ft.Tyler, The Creator, Bootsy Collins“Unpretty” by TLC“New Rules” by Dua Lipa“I Love Me” by Demi Lovato“Scars to Your Beautiful” byAlessia Cara“Soulmate” by Lizzo“Feeling Good” by Nina Simone“Brave” by Sara Bareilles“L.E.S. Artistes” by Santigold“Obsessed” by Addison Rae"Who Says" By Selena Gomez"Love Myself" By Hailee Steinfeld"DYnamite" By BTS

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As we celebrate black history month and our differences, we want to teach ourchildren that our differences are what make us all special. There is so much about eachand every one of us to love .teaching children about love and acceptance is the firststep in raising strong, confident children and these books do just that.This gorgeous, lyrical ode to loving who you are,respecting others, and being kind to one anothercomes from Empire actor and activist Grace Byersand talented newcomer artist Keturah A. Bobo.We are all here for a purpose. We are more thanenough. We just need to believe it.What do you see when you look in the mirror?Often we notice the things that make us feeldifferent or we don’t like. But self-love can help ussee what makes us uniquely awesome! This bookteaches kids how to choose their thoughts, managetheir perspectives, and feel comfortable and happywith themselves, even when hard things happen.*I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.Authentic Insider | Page 49A girl named Zola realizes that people have differentskin colors and discovers the most beautiful thing:Everywhere in nature, you can see different colors.Each Butterfly has its own color, each dog, cat, bird(and the list goes on…) has its own, beautiful skincolor. Zola and her best friend travel to differentplaces where they see all the different colors innature. They realize that different skin colors arenot only very normal but also the most wonderful,unique thing the world could have. We are all thesame, yet beautifully different.

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Mental Health, Memoir & EmotionalSupport Books(Adult)Until that moment, there was no sign that his father had been contemplating suicide.Steve Romig was always so driven. Hard-working. Successful. No sign of the innerturmoil of anxiety and depression Jeff was also feeling at 18 years old.In Don't F*cking Kill Yourself, Jeff Romig details his own battles against anxiety,depression, and suicidal ideation while sharing his stories about the people, passions, andexperiences that have kept him alive through mental illness, divorce, alcoholism, cancer,and the legacy of his father's suicide.From bestselling author, mental health expert, restorative justice advocate, and traumasurvivor Shannon Moroney comes a transformative tool to guide and support you alongthe life-changing journey to forgiveness.Informed by over a decade of work providing individual therapy and facilitatingforgiveness retreats and workshops across a wide spectrum of settings―from largecity conferences to tiny fly-in Arctic communities―Heal For Real walks you through aproven curriculum that has helped thousands to make peace with the past, and achievepost-traumatic growth.Timea Nagy was twenty years old when she answered a newspaper ad in Budapest, Hungary,calling for young women to work as babysitters and housekeepers in Canada. Hired by whatseemed like a legitimate recruitment agency, Timea left her home believing she would earngood money to send back to her family. What she didn't know was that she'd been lured bya ring of international human traffickers--and her life would never again be the same.*I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.Authentic Insider | Page 50

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I see many in the collective moving on from the past. In a mission to seek something new, people, places,things, and environments will be left behind. There is a need to do some self-reflection and introspection.Maybe there were mistakes that were made and I feel like you could be spending time trying to see how tomake better decisions in the future.The future could bring big success, including a financial boost for many of you. Others are manifesting thatand are moving towards abundance. However, be sure that you are not overspending during this time as well.Take time to make a budget for yourself. The key to your success is loving yourself and knowing your worth. You can achieve anything you put yourmind to. Many of you have been through tough times and it's been hard to love yourself. But many of you aretruly gaining great compassion for yourself and others. Few could be getting into new relationships andsingles, be mindful of the past trying to come back to distract you. Don't fall for anyone in your life who hasalready shown their true colors. That is a lesson I feel many have already learned. If you mess up and goback you might repeat that same karmic cycle. I'm hearing that patience is a virtue right now. There are goals and dreams you have set for yourself. You willachieve them, but it’s all in divine timing. A person in your life was there to teach you a spiritual lesson. Youmay meet this person soon or this person may be in your life already. The collective may have been feelinglike life is a mess with no clear end in sight. Never be afraid to reach out and talk with your God, creator, theuniverse, or whatever higher power you turn to. You are exactly where you need to be.Now is the time to really trust in your intuition and make some big relationship decisions. It may be time toleave a relationship. Others are really taking time to connect with their partner. Take this time to spend morequality time with kids and family etc. Timing is everything in a certain situation. Do keep that in mind. Try not tomake erratic emotional decisions. Inner healing is much needed and if you are healing from a relationship orfamily situation, take your time. With Valentine’s Day in February, some could be feeling lonely and depressed.Do something to focus on yourself. Start a hobby or go for a walk. This can help greatly.Always remember you are not alone. Reach out for help if you must. To conclude, patience is needed in yourlife. Don’t give up on yourself and your dreams. You can heal and recover from whatever it is you are dealingwith. Go easy on yourself. Good things are coming for you very soon. Give it time and trust yourself. Monthly Collective Readings for All Signswith Joy Larkin (February 1 - February 28, 2022) Joy is a Narcissistic AbuseSurvivor who has made it herlife's work to help others throughlife coaching. She is also a healer,earth angel and psychic medium.If you would like coachingservices from Joy and/or getyour own personal reading,please scan the barcode belowwith your smartphone camera.READINGSPersonalINFOCoachingAuthentic Insider | Page 50