Overcome by what has been lost, we can no longer retrieve what was once cherished in its original form

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Photo by Kiwihug on Unsplash

Act 1

Me: What happened? I don’t see you anymore. Where are you? All my life, you filled me with your wisdom, your vitality, your direction. I heeded your guidance, and I wish to heed it still. I need it, and you left. Where are you? I don’t know what to do without you here. Why did you leave? I followed you. I listened to you. I obeyed you. I was a loyal servant. Where have you gone?

Light: Come, seek me still. Look harder, open your heart, and you will find me again. I’m faint, but I’m here, waiting. Look and…


Solo dining can feel like personal neglect unless you take steps to do it with care and attention

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Photo by Pablo Merchán Montes on Unsplash

For those of us who live alone, it’s easy to practice neglect at mealtimes. We prefer not to go to the trouble of setting a place for one or preparing meals with food choice variety. We prefer not to spend more than an hour cooking a meal that one person can eat in less than 15 minutes. We prefer to order in or eat out and avoid meal preparation altogether.

When we live alone, we often choose convenience for our meals. We open the pantry, grab a box of salty crackers, and eat directly out of the packaging until we’re…


My freedom in making a conscious decision not to have children is weighed down by an unsettling fear underpinning my choice

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Photo by Jenna Norman on Unsplash

It hasn’t escaped my notice that I’ve made an inalterable life choice: the one not to have children. I nearly regretted this choice a handful of times, only to be relieved later that that regret didn’t lead me to make a baby.

I would have made a bad mother anyway.

In my 20s, 30s, and even early 40s, I barely considered the full weight of motherhood.

These were, for me, emotionally perilous years. Stupidly careless and dangerously naive, I tried to rescue people who couldn’t help themselves and I sought love from the wrong partners: a psychologically manipulative and cheating…


Your timing was impeccable and I’m eternally indebted to you for it.

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Photo by Denise Karis on Unsplash

It was early March. Easter was on the horizon and I was figuring out how to avoid celebrating this upcoming holiday with my family. Anxiety and depression were setting in.

You see, my Dearest 2020, in late 2019, I made the difficult and painful decision to distance myself from my brother and his wife for the harm they had brought into my life. It was an unpopular decision in the family, but it was necessary for me. …


A bit of self-empathy goes a long way in moments of darkness

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Photo by Jackson David on Unsplash

I recently published an article describing how Covid-19 saved me from family during the holidays. The article offered four reasons for appreciating the holidays with limited family and social gatherings due to the pandemic restrictions. They were inspired by my strained relations with family members and stressful memories from Christmases past. It was an unusual expression of gratitude in the midst of a holiday pandemic when many people around me were groaning and cursing about this year’s cancelled Christmas. Quietly, I was rejoicing.

Joy also invited sadness to the Christmas party

With Christmas Day behind us, I confess that feelings of loneliness, resentment, and sadness still crept in…


Consistency and quantity help, but other things will keep me here first

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Photo by Justin Peterson on Unsplash

Let me be clear: Consistency, which produces quantity, is essential for success on Medium. It can, however, be on your terms; not on those of the writers who insist on publishing daily or even two to three times per day.

For some Medium writers, my publication schedule of two to four articles per month is ghastly low, but it’s a rhythm that works for me right now. It’s created a momentum that enables me to write and publish decent work regularly enough. I count this as a personal success. Right now.

The question of success

When I first joined the Medium Partner Program (MPP)…


ADVICE

There are good reasons for being grateful for canceled Christmas plans

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Photo by bruce mars on Unsplash

The Christmas holidays are not a joyful occasion for everyone. Rarely is this fact respected. Mainstream culture ignores it with its incessant focus on the anticipation and excitement of the holidays, and the media denies its existence with overwhelming pictures of cheer, family, and abundance.

I belong to the joyless-Christmas club. My ideal Christmas includes ditching holiday traditions, reducing gifts, and avoiding family members. As the holidays approach, I grow anxious about their looming arrival and I cringe at their forced obligations. …


ADVICE AND ATTITUDE

Focus on the abundance and the supply will follow

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Photo by Darío Martínez-Batlle on Unsplash

Don’t mock! Don’t scorn! Show some gratitude, please!

Since joining Medium’s Partner Program (MPP) in April 2020, I’ve earned — drum roll, please — a combined $8.43 US. (Don’t people like reading about stalkers and voodoo dolls?!) At current conversion rates, that’s about $11.03 in Canada and an average of $1.38 CA per month ($1.05 US/month). My MPP earnings have afforded me one item including federal taxes (5%) at the dollar store per month. That’s something.

Proudly, I’ve never made zero cents on an article. Each one has earned a little something, from 3 cents to $2.33 US. …


PTSD symptoms hide and surface at any time until you catch them

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Photo by Larm Rmah on Unsplash

Being stalked is not a simple feat to overcome, and I’d argue that you never “accept it” (what a police officer once told me) if it’s a current part of your life, as it has been in mine for the last four years. You just become better at managing its stressors and adapting to or rising above them. Even though the management and adaptation are signs of resilience, being stalked is at the root of my situational depression and my symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

As the prefix “post” suggests, PTSD centers around relived distress from a distressing event(s)…


As a stalking victim, I reserve the right to say this.

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Photo by Jen Theodore on Unsplash

A man on a bike with a slingshot and backpack has been stalking me for four years. He’s not a teenage boy, despite the description, but a “grown” 50-year-old man — a suspected ex-partner, rejected four years ago and still having a hissy fit.

He rides by my house in the middle of the night to assess the area for people. (The security cameras in the neighbourhood don’t faze him.) If no one's around, he rides back and hides behind a tree or fence, where he’s partially hidden but still has a view of his target: a window.

Once at…

Fabiola Gallerani, Ph.D.

I write with heart, humanity, and integrity. Fave topics: emotional journeys & landscapes, life & its sticky lessons, relationships, & travel.

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