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Naming makes real.

"The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their proper name." - paraphrased from Confucius's Anal

Beautiful Voyager

May 4 · Issue #14 · View online
Helping people feel less weird for being more sensitive.

“The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their proper name.” - paraphrased from Confucius’s Analects 

Dear friends,
It probably doesn’t surprise you to hear I spend a lot of time choosing the right words for Beautiful Voyager.  I test out word choices to see if they get a physical reaction: Does this word make my stomach turn? Does it make me feel invincible? I prune the site down to words that generate power (e.g. “riding the wave” not “enduring a panic attack”).
It's not unlike this designer who created her own superhero illustration.
In conversation, however, I don’t always have the time to explain my way around a lifetime of preconceptions, though. There are times when I cut to the chase:
“I have generalized anxiety. I get migraines when I don’t take care of it and myself.” 
Straightforward, concrete language brings its own set of complications. Some of my loved ones still get a little queasy around my diagnosis. Others aren’t entirely comfortable that I take medication to regulate my brain chemistry. 
I might have felt the same even 5 years ago. I don’t anymore.
Marvel's Captain America, Chris Evans, has been open about his anxiety.
I had a great conversation with a best friend who has known me a long, long time. She said, “Meredith, you’ve always had these symptoms, even when you didn’t have words for it. Now that you can describe what’s happening, you’re more integrated. But I can understand why hearing the words can make some people uncomfortable.”
Being deeply understood by one evaporates the frustration of being misunderstood by many. Hello, superpower.
How has language affected your relationship with mental health? Are there words that you’re afraid to use in “mixed” company? Here’s a great place to talk with others about this topic.
Love, Meredith
Reading Nook
Why “I Beat Anxiety” is a Terrible Title
Experiment of the Day
#24: Tell Yourself a Pump-Up Story (with Soundtrack)
Hangout and Talk
Nostalgia: Good, Bad...Neither? - Discussion - Beautiful Voyager Forum
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