Posts by Christen Johnson

Helping you navigate through life


A Different Depression

I used to believe that depression meant lying in bed all day with the covers pulled over my head. Or not going out with friends or smiling during a funny movie scene. Over time, I have come to the realization that depression is more a suppression of feelings. It can look like trying to hold it all in. It becomes more of a stature of trying to hold in your heart. Saying things like “I can do it,” or “No thanks, I don’t need any help.” Slowly, the weight of depression can push down my desires  and make me believe

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How to Heal from Traumatic Events

When scary things happen to people we know, in places we have been, like a church or a school, or at concerts we might have attended, or airports we’ve traveled through — there is a quietness of disbelief. An echo of these questions... Why did this happen? Was there a motive? How could something so heartbreaking happen so close to home?  Am I in danger?  When traumatic events occur, they stay frozen like a snapshot in the mind. In these moments, we go into a trauma response — whether it's fight, flight, or freeze. The story gets lost from the narrative

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Do You Deny Yourself Joy?

My grandmother’s jewelry hangs in an organizer in my closet. I recently pulled it out from behind coats to find dust inside the pouches that neatly hold the precious metals, stones, and colors. I touched a couple of the pieces she wore often, and that most reminded me of her. My chest ached and my eyes watered at the memory, wishing it was now, and feeling sad that it could no longer be. Gladness and sadness both were present in that moment. And I’m finding that both of these feelings must be present in order to experience true joy. Unfortunately,

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