Let’s Talk About Avoidance in Anxiety

Ok, let me count how many persons I’ve met today, on the suburbian parisian transportation, who practice cognitive avoidance … 1, the lady in the corner, listening to mp3, perhaps reading her telephone, … oups reading a phone? then 2, 3, 4 … ok, next step … exposure time, yes!!!! I have officially quit listening to mp3 during my trip to work, and walking in the nature…… ( I know, but I felt more confident, all alone, in my comfort zone ) it’s a kind of mindfulness, and I love saying hi (bonjour) …I am the one who say “aurevoir, bonne journée” to the bus driver, too….. perhaps you can spot me as a white fly. I am. and I like it. keep it up!!!!!

The Bipolar Writer Collaborative Mental Health Blog

I wanted to share what I have learned in my ongoing work with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. This blog post is about avoidance strategies that we use in the different levels of anxiety. I tend to use avoidance in my own struggles with social anxiety. I am learning at the moment how to recognize the subtle behavioral avoidance that I use in my life. What disorder is most associated with the subtle avoidance behavior, the cognitive avoidance, and the safety signals. I share this with those that can’t see a therapist (I am working through this with my therapist on this project) and it would help to do this with a therapist.


Why do we Use Avoidance?

Avoidance strategies are often used by many of us in situations that cause anxiety or depression. While avoidance has it uses it’s not very good for mental health in the long run. Two important…

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Yoga for moody weather.

For those out there who are slightly moody, and bipolar, …try this 🙂

Today not only in California, but also in the eastern Parisian area, weather is really into spring time. Rainy, sunny, windy, rainy again .. not so cold, not warm yet, but most important, I finally did my Spring Time cleaning. And so my quite old and proud bycicle is on the courtyard. No, not ready to go, but to leave (in pieces) to bycicles heaven. My flat is small and I have more space, now. My board is getting ready for some handcrafts and soon for the giftshop, it’s time.

Did you know? House cleaning is very powerful, I’ll keep it for another post. I am tired lol  

CID warns about social network Scams.

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The Army’s Criminal Investigation Division posts a long-overdue article at army.mil about the scams we see almost daily at TAHHQs in regards to people pretending to be members of the military in order to separate you from your money;

Be extremely suspicious if you are asked for money for transportation costs, communication fees or marriage processing and medical fees.

Many of the negative claims made about the military and the supposed lack of support and services provided to troops overseas are far from reality, check the facts.

If you do start an internet-based relationship with someone, check them out, research what they are telling you with someone who would know, such as a current or former service member.

Be very suspicious if you never get to actually speak with the person on the phone or are told you cannot write or receive letters in the mail. Servicemen and women serving overseas will often have an APO or FPO mailing address. Internet or not, service members always appreciate a letter in the mail.

Be very suspicious if you are asked to send money or ship property to a third party or company. Oftentimes the company exists, but has no idea or is not a part of the scam.

Be aware of common spelling, grammatical or language errors in the emails.

Be very cautious when placing your personal photographs on social media sites.

I’d add that real members of the military will never scan and send you their ID cards.

CID strongly recommends that Soldiers, civilians and family members who come across any known suspicious social networking or dating site profile or are solicited in this fashion from a person posing as a U.S. Soldier, immediately email CID at Army.CID.Crime.Tips[at]mail[dot]mil.

With courtesy of This ain’t hell 


In january 2018, I got surgery and spent two weeks home. At Christmas time I usually go for some volunteering, and my choice, for this year, went to US Forces Penpals.co.uk.

Not bad. I could tchit tchat a little bit with welsh vet soldiers, but it’s quite exploited worldwide. And what makes it more interesting, it’s their fund raising, for Combat Stress Foundation.

To be honest, I wasn’t there to flirt with men in Uniforms, despite I admit their charm on my girly psyche, which sometimes believe still in the Unicorns. Forget about it.

My research on military websites was kind of a revelation. First, it’s full of scammers and that’s a fact. Second, how about all those lovely warm hearted ladies looking for their hero? Not only, I guess this comes from our nature as women, it’s this compassion living and driving force which lead us – remember the Red Cross nursery and Vera Lynn – to support the troops moral.


From 40s in Britain to 50s in the US the step is a little one.


So, basically this post is not devoted to military, this time, but to us as massive supporting and leading forces to this world’s macho-oriented global world. To that nigerian scammer I have been penpalling with, suspiciously enough, I say “good job” ! Pity that you use your talent to fraud vulnerable and caring ladies positively sharing their unconditional love, and this explains me also why all those black women, who I met in 90s while going to school, on the train, in the morning, on the Adriatic Coast, came from Nigeria. Poor women, … poor men. Wait, I am not a kind of racist, since my best jobmates ever come from Ghana, Senegal, Congo and Mali. Got it?

You are poor men because your mind is so talented and clever that you put your skills on a scam business which give you certainly money and power, among your Country, but at the cost of your moral integrity. Now, go and wear proudly your Nike, put your classy tshirt on and live a happy life, preaching God on the mess. And don’t forget to ask for pardon, because these women are so kind that they will surely allow you. Don’t you know that we, the so-called white westerners, are the first victims of this capitalist crazy state of mind?

How do you feel right about now? how about when you look into Your Eyes when looking in a mirror on the wake up call (if you have any)?

Deep in my heart, I know, that you are better than this. You only failed to prove it.

Until now. Blessings, to all Romance Scammers. Amazing grace, it’s Easter Time.


If you want more, check also this website where you can report scammers and find many suggestions on how dealing with Nigerian scams 


HSP retreat for therapists in California. You can register here.


First time, I’ve heard of HSP, it was thank’s to my inmate penpal who was and still is struggling with depression, and following a psychoterapy during his journey in Chino, CA.

By the way, today he’s getting pretty better, since he got a job, as inmate, in the “local” library.

Since then, not only I’m aware of being HSP, but of course I am supporting Elaine Aron’s activity, by subscribing to her mailing list, on the HSPerson.com and here you get her message for the first retreat for HSP therapists, which I find a great opportunity to spread out her validation of HSP around the world. If you live in California, and you know any therapists who might be interested in this retreat, please, forward or reblog. I appreciate it.


Dear HSPs,

This is for the therapists among you — a quick message about a retreat for you because of the April 1st “Early Bird” price. I will send an email for all, with a blog, in a few weeks. 



An educational and restorative experience, organized by Beth Dawson and April Snow, to learn more about yourself as a Sensitive Person, discover ways to thrive in your work and connect with other Highly Sensitive Therapists (HSTs).

Speakers include Dr. Elaine Aron and other HSTs discussing topics such as self-compassion, perfectionism, and using our Superpowers to build our businesses. Created specifically with the needs of HSTs in mind, the retreat includes single-occupancy rooms, all meals, access to nature, yoga classes, CEs and more.

Early-Bird Registration is open through 4/1! 
For more information and to register visit: http://www.hstretreat.com/http://www.hstretreat.com/#hst

About Elaine Aron,

Sexuality and bullying at 16. We shall protect our teens.

When I started this blog and did my research on the topic, I believed that I I would talk about different kinds of traumas, except one, rape. While “Me too” movement is spreading around the globe, I admit this subject scares me just to think about. Sexual harassements are quite familiar as far as I am a Lady and have been growing up in a macho culture like Italy, from 80s to 2000. Unfortunate encounters on a deserted street, in the early morning, with a drug addict who put his pants off, and tried to take my hand in order to touch his nudity, at 18. He was so into drugs, and perhaps alchool, that it was very simple to push him away and run. This event impressed much. Of course, my mum came with me to the Police Station in order to report, with no consequences.

At 14, I was walking on a sidewalk, in a blue fashionable mini skirt, when a man on a car stopped right beside me, on the street, and opened the car door to let me in. Nobody around. I just kept walking and arrived safe at work (babysitting). But it took me a long time before I put on a skirt again. Except if a man was with me.  My grandmother used to yell at me if I wore one when going for a visit to granddad’s house. Mary Quant was british. Actually, I can’t say that my education was that strict, but catholic oriented, for sure.

At primary school I remember so well how I could gain boys respect beating them. Once they took me in four against one, two gripped my feet, the others tried to block my hands, even though they were joking, I felt in a real danger, and I became such a fury. They never tried again. Yes, I very proudly kicked their ass.

Back to today, fortunately I live in a safe area, despite the surrounding Parisian suburbs and their teen gangster bands reality. The fact that I am no more a teen helps my sense of boldness, of course. Going gray has got its advantage, and tae kwon do and self defense make me feeling more secure and self confident. Also Yoga, believe it or not, makes you stronger.

What if you were 16, today, and two guys of your class took a picture of you in a sexy attitude, and started to blackmail to get sexual favours by threats of publishing your photo on Facebook. What if they endured this deal for months, and you fear so much anybody finding out, especially your parents, mates and teachers. It’s happening now, in a small village nearby, she is a school mate of my colleague’s daughter, and her 16 yo girl is also involved and starting feeling guilty. In addition, the father of the victim, put part of the responsability on her. “If you only told me”. “See, what kind of guys are you hanging up with?” Part of the worry of the girl was her father’s reaction. She knew that he would take action against the two guys. Because they are so young I guess that french law will not take it very much seriously. The Policeman agreed with my colleague, if it was him, he wouldn’t go to any Police Station, but he would solve the problem his way.

Now, I voluntarily, omit details, but what I want to say is this. These girls will take a whole life to recover, of course, and there are more who are in the story. The fact is simple. Consider your teenage time, … do you remember the first time you found out porn stuff? My age, I was a little girl, when I found a comic with porn drawings, in black and white. It was in the backyard of the primary school, I was shocked and I remember that scary feeling like something really bad, dirty and dangerous could happen to me.

The very first hot movies started in 80s, at least, from the american movie making, with the erotic romantic comedy with Kim Basinger, “Nine weeks and a half”. Starring with a young, bold and beautiful Mickey Rourke at his early career.



This image was iconic and although I never watched this movie, the soundtrack spot “You can leave your hat on” is still there. In 1986 I was only 12. Time to wake up in a romantic meaning. By the way, that stuff of being sexy didn’t appeal me at all. As tomboy, boyscout and volleyball/soccer player, sure prince charming was already my obsession but in a despair. A shy girl who liked timid boys. Go away.

Sexuality spread on tv screen not earlier than a certain late hour (midnight?). Until a tv melting blob popped up all trash scenes from movies at 8 pm while having dinner with my family.

Let’s move in a quick time lapse from 90s to today. 


Did you recognize it? My hairdresser was reading this cult book and told me about fans writing sequels of similar soft sexy novels ( one reason why I’ve started doing my hair by my self lol ). “Fifty shades of grey.”


Underscoring the discrepancies in social mores throughout Europe, “Fifty Shades of Grey” was judged much more strictly in the U.K., where the movie has been given an “18” certification for “unusual behavior and graphic nudity.”

In France, however, teenagers will get to see the movie, which features numerous sex scenes. In fact, Jean-François Mary, who presides over the French ratings board, said “Fifty Shades of Grey” was nothing more than a “romance.”

“It’s really a romance, we could even call it a bleuette — a sentimental tale,” said Mary of the board’s decision to allow adolescent moviegoers into the movie.

The Gallic board even considered not restricting the movie for audiences under 12, according to Premiere magazine. “The director handled the sex scenes very skillfully and limited them to the bare minimum. It’s more the subject itself, this SM relationship, which pushed us to restrict the movie for audiences under 12.” —

Shall I add something?

Yes, …one of my fave Ted Talks ever.

The School of Hard Knocks.

ca72bee78374ac0036dece6e097ce182--cool-facts-awesome-factsThe “School of Hard Knocks” is an old-fashioned idiom referring to the unofficial and accidental course of study available via life’s tough experiences.

The wisdom one gains through this alternate approach to education may be equal or even superior to the knowledge that comes from a formal university or training program.

In case is there any aries, this is taken from weekly Rob Brezny horoscope on his inspiring website Free Will Astrology.

If you wonder, I just felt like adding some fun to my blogging. Since I watch all the videos that I put on this blog, I am having a hard time to get asleep.

Well, let’s have a break.







The Pursuit of Happiness vs Search of Meaning.


When I started to look for my purpose, I was recovering from occupational burn out, and PTSD ( except I didn’t understand it ). My doctor played a mentor’s role in the story and he pushed me to my life questioning. Before that, I was completely unaware and in so-called hamster wheel.

In february 2016, I lost a camerade, at work, for a stroke, at 7 am. He was, apparently, quarelling with his manager when he fell down on the ground.  They brought him to the hospital by a first aid helicopter, but it was too late. A stroke requires fast help, and perhaps, unhappily, it was not the case. When I arrived in the morning, I passed by the direction office, and heard the executive director preparing his speech for the team talk.

He was calling, on the phone, for all the team staff and occupational doctor, in order to announce that R. my brit camerade, aged 43, was lying in a hospital bed, waiting to cut his hoxygene off. They were just waiting for his parents to come from the UK. He left 4 children and a wife. Sure, you first wonder how it would be like if you were at his place. The fact is that in the early morning, at wake up, 6h45 am, I did my routine mindfulness meditation, and I remember addressing my Self to “above” to submit my service into something bigger than my ego, and my own will. If you see what I mean. We often ask and beg for what we want for us and we never put our selves in a humbling position.

Don’t ask what your Life can do for you, but what you can do for your Life“.

As soon as I stepped into the corridor of the management office, I had the gut feeling that I got my answer or, at least, for just that day. No more excuses, I needed to talk.

So, for the very first time, fearless, I crossed over the door of my executive director, in order to speak out loud and we finally had a powerful, understanding, conversation.  He was in dispair, it was his third loss in a few months, and right after the november attacks, which had such an impact on our workplace, and our spirit. To minimize, my manager tried to tell me that all of us have personal situations which put our health in danger. Work issues wasn’t concerned. Invisible wounds and stress disorders cannot be taken seriously – at a work environement – as a proof of stroke, heart attack or any other health disease, because if you survive, there is a clause of confidentiality. They keep it as a secret. You’d better not talk about. That’s how people get depressive and suicidal, what the hell.

“They say that your purpose is what you struggle with.”

So, the promise I have made to my Self, in that dark upsetting morning, was precisely to take responsability for Me and My own Life. To be honest, from 2015 to 2017, I’ve been writing a memoir in my mother language, that I have tried to get published, but no one showed up unless ahaha! some editing publisher from Rome who complimented me and, as offer, asked me 1500 euros to get my work published. Never mind. What’s the main purpose of all this writing, I wondered, if not healing and sharing? 



In her book “The Power of Meaning,” Emily Esfahani Smith rounds up the latest research — and the stories of fascinating people she interviewed — to argue that the search for meaning is far more fulfilling than the pursuit of personal happiness.


Our culture is obsessed with happiness. Even though we devote vast amounts of time and resources trying to be happier, many of us feel aimless and alienated nonetheless. With depression and loneliness trending upward for decades and the suicide rate rising around the world — recently reaching a 30-year high in the United States — it’s clear that something is wrong. In recent years, social scientists have been trying to understand what exactly the problem is. What they’ve found is striking. What predicts the rising tide of despair sweeping across society is not a lack of happiness. It’s a lack of something else — a lack of having meaning in life. In fact, chasing and valuing happiness, the way our culture encourages us to do, can actually make people unhappy.

This set Smith on a journey to understand what constitutes a meaningful life. After extensive research and reporting, she came to see that there are four pillars of a meaningful life — and she lays them out in her TED Talk. Ultimately, she discovered that the search for meaning is far more fulfilling than the pursuit of personal happiness — and we all have the power to build more meaning in our lives.

With courtesy of Ted Talk’s Ideas worth spreading

Message to Veterans from Dan Nevins.

Yesterday, it was my birthday, and while in southern France we lost another Iraq vet, Arnaud Beltrame, in a sort of pointless attack to a supermarket, who swapped with a lady, in order to do his job, and then lost his life after injuries, I sent a message to Dan Nevins. And I mentioned that it’s my honour to promote his mission as warrior to help other human beings to heal.

Here is his reply: “Hi Anto! You’re welcome to include my story 🙂 Thank you! 🙂

He called me like friends usually do. Shall I tell you more about how I feel? It is a honour for me to spread out his message. Not only to vets, but whoever is suffering from PTSD.

My unique experience with a french Afghanistan vet wasn’t lucky. He was 29, a nice guy with spanish origins, who was very much likely to feel shell shock. We met just once, and then chatting almost during two years, and never met again.  He lived in Paris, and I felt like we were living overseas from each other. His early pictures were quite different from his last pics, after he spent 4 years in the army, as helicopter sniper.

We crossed our path during 2015 attacks, and I thought he would be my hero, but he definetely couldn’t. Nobody’s fault. Self-growth is not suitable to anybody.

Never mind, this post is really meant to focus on who still give a damn to humbly seek for help and want to rehabilitate back from any war missions. And that’s all I want to say about it.