Discussion of news topics with a point of view, including narratives by individuals regarding their own experiences

As a young kid, I used to love to sing a specific folk song during camping trips. I learned it during a preschool lesson: It was called, “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt.”

In the song, a troupe of confident adventurers sets out to track a bear, but environmental obstacles pop up along the way. During the trek, our protagonists hit a deep, cold river; thick, oozy mud; a big, dark forest; a swirling, whirling snowstorm and a narrow, gloomy cave.

They face each impediment head on, saying, “We can’t go over it, we can’t go under it oh no, we have to go through it.”

In my eating disorder recovery, I thought of this children’s song constantly. When I was learning to eat again, I’d sit down and stare at my plate for an hour, thinking of all the ways I could excuse myself from the situation. But the reality was that I just had to eat what was on my plate, as hard as it was, because that was the only way I could press on with my life.

In accompanying therapy sessions, I adopted the same technique when I felt a difficult emotion or intrusive thought clouding my mind. I couldn’t push it aside, I couldn’t let myself feel bad about the way I was feeling and I couldn’t pretend like it wasn’t happening. I had to confront it, because that’s the only way I could learn to cope and heal when it inevitably happened again.

It’s such a perfect metaphor for pushing through the uncomfortable and demotivating bits of a journey to reach the end.

I couldn’t go over it, I couldn’t go under it — oh no, I had to go through it.

All my life, I’ve been teased for using pads instead of tampons. But it’s more common than you think.

What’s more, some people with periods don’t have a choice

In the age of the Internet, everyone constructs an outward-facing identity. What does that mean for our inner, private lives?

As my book release looms, I’ve been reflecting on how we construct ourselves socially and privately