A Simple Coping Mechanism Became My Purpose

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“I can shake off everything as I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn.” — Anne Frank

I was sitting in my car after another terrible day teaching at a school for at-risk students who were expelled from their previous school. An unpaved road behind the school gave me more accessible access to the highway I needed to get on for my commute home. Every day of work was worse than the last, so I’d speed out of that parking lot like a bat out of Hell. Not that day. …


The most important lesson from the most influential book

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The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo is widely considered one of the most influential books ever created. Every page includes nuggets of wisdom that can help shape our understanding of the world around us and inspire us to follow our dreams.

Set mainly in North Africa, the story follows a young shepherd, Santiago, who believes that his destiny is to find a hidden treasure at the base of a pyramid in Egypt. His journey is long and tumultuous, but he learns about life and his connection to the world along the way.

The book is set in a mystical alternative past…


Acknowledging mental health days is life-changing

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Have you ever worn a smile for a day? It’s exhausting. Whether your day was stressful or work was demanding, pretending to be feeling something you aren’t can put you on your ass.

We currently live in a world where taking off for any reason is frowned upon, but Covid is changing that. We are normalizing workers taking their sick days when they’re sick. That’s a big deal, but it can’t end there.

Discussions about mental health aren’t yet universally normalized, so taking mental health days isn’t even in our vocabulary yet. …


I couldn’t just “toughen up,” and it nearly destroyed me

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I’ll never forget driving back to my college dorm room crying, shaking, and bleeding. I went down the turnpike with shards of glass still in my hair and blood on my knuckles and head. My girlfriend spent the entire ride trying to calm me down to no avail. I dropped her off at her college and retreated into my dark bedroom.

My roommates despised me for whatever reason and didn’t care to ask what happened to me. I spent the night alone, staring down out of the window of my fourth-floor room. Darkness shrouded me. Deep down, I knew I…


Life rewards you when you overcome tragedy.

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The path to success and happiness is forged using the broken pieces of the roads of hardship.

A short YouTube documentary changed how I perceived every difficult moment in my life.

When I’m not writing, I’m a Social Studies teacher. When I was teaching about the Korean War, I showed a short documentary about a veteran named Arden who returned to South Korea for the first time since the war with his great-grandson. The two of them toured the country, and you watched their bond grow on camera. It was heartwarming.

Through each town and village, we learned more about…


I’ll save you some time: yes.

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In order to understand how it affected my mental health, it’s important to understand what my family endured.

For most of my childhood, my mom struggled with severe depression from a traumatizing sexual assault when she was a teenager. After the passing of her mother, she took a nosedive. Slowly but surely, my mom developed a severe alcohol addiction.

When I experienced her first depressed binger, I was only ten years old. My dad tried to take us out to eat and act as if nothing out of the ordinary was occurring, but it was impossible. She yelled at my…


Four words could save your life

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It was my second year of college, and I was full of immense hopelessness. At the time, it seemed like I was drowning without any chance of survival. I was hurting because my roommates hated me and actively showed how they felt; I struggled with my “pointless” courses, my friends seemed distant, and my mom’s alcoholism was tearing my family apart. The winter months were dark both outside and within. A voice in the back of my head kept asking, “If there’s no point to it all, why should I continue?”

That voice didn’t stick around long for me. I…


Tim, I’ve been reading your work since I first joined Medium. I’ve found enormous amounts of help in regards to writing and inspiration to life. This is my favorite article by far. Thank you for putting how I’ve felt my entire life into tangible words I can refer back to.


It will be like lifting a weight off of your shoulders

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It was Christmas night, 48 hours after I got engaged. My mom missed the engagement party, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day. As she was finishing up a week-long binger that cut right through the holidays, her emotions overcame her. Sober, she finally understands the damage she caused.

My mom pleaded and cried for my forgiveness. After fifteen years of dealing with her alcoholism, I refused to accept. As she silently sobbed, I told my mom that I didn’t want her to be a part of my wedding. I told her that I no longer wanted her in my life. …


And the truth as to whether it leads to sobriety

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I had a dream last night that my mom decided to check herself into rehab for her alcohol addiction. She’s been sober for three years now, and it’s been four years since she was last in rehabilitation, but I felt that same rush of emotions I felt that last time. Nothing came over me more than relief.

I will answer the internet’s top asked questions about the necessity of rehabilitation centers and will give a short guide to what it can do for your loved one.

Is rehabilitation necessary for you and your family?

If you are asking this question, the short answer is yes. If your family…

A. T. Micalizzi

Author. Poet. Teacher. Mental Health Advocate. My life experiences shape my writing. Check out all of my work ➡

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