FRIDAY OPEN THREAD: Let Me Make You a Motivational Poster

Happy Friday, peaches! You made it to the weekend! It was fully springtime here in NYC for almost two whole entire two weeks, but now it’s back to being beanie weather again. It is very easy for me to wake up and hop out of bed and tackle life when the sun is shining and I can wear a t-shirt around town with no extra layers. Other weather, though? Not so much. I just want to stay under the covers in a blanket fort with my cat/dogs/girlfriend and read a book.

We all need a little extra motivation from time to time to do the things we need to do. Do you? Need some extra motivation today, I mean? What do you need? A reminder that you’re loved? A push to get outside a take a walk? Some courage? Some hope? Tell me what kind of motivation you seek and I will make a customized motivational poster for you and post it right here in these comments.

For example:






Talk to me, daffodils and tulips. And also, let’s help motivate each other!

How To Post A Photo In The Comments:

1. Find a photo! This is the easy part. Find a photo on the web, right click (on a Mac, control+click), hit “Copy Image URL” and then…

2. Code it in to your comment! Use the following code, and use a DIRECT LINK to the image. Your image link should end in .JPG or .GIF or .PNG or .CallMeWhateverYouWant even. I don’t care, but it should be an image suffix! KINDA LIKE THIS:

If you need to upload the photo you love from your computer, try using imgur. To learn more about posting photos, check out Ali’s step-by-step guide.

How To Post A Video In The Comments, Too:

1. Find a video on YouTube or Vimeo or WHATEVER and click “embed.” Copy that code, but first make sure it’s for 640 px wide or less. If your player is too large, it will not display properly.

2. Copy the code and paste it directly into your comment.

3. Go forth and jam.

Before you go! Autostraddle runs on the reader support of our AF+ Members. If this article meant something to you today — if it informed you or made you smile or feel seen, will you consider joining AF and supporting the people who make this queer media site possible?

Join AF+!

Heather Hogan

Heather Hogan is an Autostraddle senior editor who lives in New York City with her wife, Stacy, and their cackle of rescued pets. She's a member of the Television Critics Association, GALECA: The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics, and a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer critic. You can also find her on Twitter and Instagram.

Heather has written 1718 articles for us.


  1. Happy (late) earth day!

    Right now, I need to know that the world is mostly good, or at least has more good than bad, and that there are lots of nonjudgmental people in this world. I need positivity. This seems like a very positive thread. That’s one thing I love about the community here. Everyone is just so loving and accepting to complete strangers on the Internet. I know this is completely sappy, but it’s what I’m feeling today.

    The theme of these past few weeks has been to be thankful, both for the big and small, the material and immaterial things. Nothing really in particular triggered this. I’ve just been noticing that dwelling intensely on a mental list of gratitudes is one of the best ways to stop rumination on negative thoughts. It’s so simple and cliché, but I didn’t realize how happy it could make you.

    I recently read “hand to mouth” and it made me really realize how good I have it. I may not be rich, but I have enough. I don’t need to worry about my heat being turned off because I can’t pay the electric bill. I’ve worked a minimum wage job before, I’ve been unemployed before, and both were scary places to be. I’m so grateful for my life right now, and I just wish (even more after reading that book) that everyone had access to a living wage and affordable health coverage. Anyway, it’s a really good book, and the author is so honest and witty and insightful (and at times really hilarious), and I’d highly recommend it.

    And on a related note… ugh, relatives on facebook. I have a (very rich) aunt who nice for the most part, but she also tends to be a bit… blind to her privilege. She’s constantly posting photos and bragging about all of her exotic vacations, which is fine. Lots of people use FB to brag, and that doesn’t bother me. What DOES bother me are her posts railing about minimum wage increases. Or backhanded insults at people in the service industry. Dude, you’re literally visiting to tropical beaches every other week. You have NO IDEA.

    I avoid conflict on facebook as much as possible, so I just keep quiet. I really don’t think she is intentionally lacking compassion or empathy. I just think she is really clueless. As my mom described it “she has a good heart, but really foggy glasses.”

    Anwyay, speaking of gratitude, another thing I’m forever grateful for is the beautiful Pacific NW. And saltwater and sun and rain to clean the air. And my strong legs and my feet that I walk miles and miles on without aches or pains. And an immediate family that I’m close to. I went hiking with my mother last Tuesday, and it was lovely.

    Spring photos!

    Sun through maples:

    Bleeding Hearts

    Dash Point State Park (ALMOST warm enough to go barefoot in the water…)

  2. I really need a motivational poster to help me get through the rest of the day. I’m going pretty much non-stop from 9am-9pm today and I am badly in need of coffee because I stupidly stayed up until 4am last night. My hair looks great, though, so I don’t need any help there.

    This is such a gift, this FOT.

  3. This weather is ridic, Heather. I want spring back! I have to go meet my professor in an hour but I don’t want to get out of my PJs. Finals are coming up. I could use a motivational poster to get me through that. :) Here, I found a cool image you could use:

  4. I could do with a motivational poster that reminds me we are all inching (or millimetering) toward a more accepting, loving and wise set of humans on earth. Or, at least, we’re not getting any worse as a species? Like, there is hope, isn’t there? anyone? help me out here.

    • I think we are. I hope we are. The bad side of humans tends to make the headlines, and sometimes I’m really worried about our planet and our species too. But we’re making a lot of improvements I think. I believe that as a whole, humans are becoming more aware of the world, more welcoming of diversity, and more empathetic.

  5. Ugh ugh ugh, I need a whole lot.

    One of my friends said I’m the worst lesbian ever? And not as a joke.

    Also I’ve been feeling super undeserving of love and attention from others lately so I need to slap myself in the face with some self-love apparently.

    Also my hair looks like shiiiit lately.


    But it’s nice to say hello to you all, so hey <3

    • I sincerely doubt you are the worst ever. Whoever said that definitely has room for improvement in the “being a good friend” department.

      *virtual hugs*

    • sorry you had to hear such discouraging words! *virtual hug * Of course you’re deserving of love.

      Also, well-behaved hair is overrated. You can use today to wear an awesome hat ! :D

    • I hated The L-Word, I don’t care much for Tegan and Sara, I’m allergic to cats. I recently was getting dressed for a costume party when I had to text my friend and ask “how many buttons are you supposed to button when wearing a tie?” (The answer was “all of them, are you serious?”)

      Don’t worry, friend. I am the worst lesbian ever. And your friend is an idiot.

  6. I’ve never done a Friday thread before, so here goes: I need the motivation to tell my horrible boss to shove it in the least reprehensible way. And I need the motivation to get myself back to school and finish a higher degree in order to get a better job. I’m not good a planning ahead/working towards an unforeseeable goal.

    Those are the most important life changes needing changed as of late.

    • I just started grad school in September for the exact same reason you listed: I needed that higher degree to get a better (read: full-time, not seasonal) job. It took me many, many years (I got my undergrad in 2006) to finally decide to go back to school, and while it’s difficult and I’m going to be in debt from loans for a long time, it finally looks like there’s light at the end of the tunnel. So if you need a push to get back to school, take it from me, if you know what you want out of life and all that’s holding you back is a degree, school will be worth it!

  7. I need to energy to carry on marking all these essays even though it’s so nice outside and I know I’ve got limes, ginger beer and a bottle of vodka in the freezer.

    (On the plus side, all of my students have spelled ‘Khrushchev’correctly this time – Score one teacher!)

  8. I don’t need a motivational poster because I am DONE FINALS OMG SWEET RELEASE OF SLEEP. Seriously though, I know I am tremendously privileged to be able to be in university but is it just me or is it like a really mean system? Mean and cruel and scary. I rocked all of my exams but do I know anything, like really? Absolutely not. I memorized things for long enough to do well and then whoosh, out goes the history of medieval India.

    I love you all and if anyone is still in the thick of their final exam season – you can do this, you will do this. And if you can’t, that’s okay too, because your mental and physical well being is a thousand times more crucial to success in life than an A+ on an exam.

    • The university system is the worst. I had so many friends who had nervous breakdowns in their final year and I feel like that’s just not effective educating in any way.

  9. OMFG YOU GUYS!!!! THIS WEEK HAS BEEN THE BEST EVER MOTIVATION-WISE!!! Long story short: FINALLY went on a date(?) with this friend of mine who I had always assumed was straight, but she totally isn’t. She asked me to be her +1 to this event and we almost kissed afterwards, after an intense conversation about kinsey scales, feminism, scissoring and other awesomely queer stuff. OMG!!!!!!!!!!

  10. A motivational poster sounds like EXACTLY what I need. I need to get through 56 days of studying for the biggest, stupidest multiple choice test I can imagine, all while living within 30 feet of my lying ex-girlfriend. Thanks in advance.

  11. I need motivation to finish modeling a grocery store that I have been working on for the past two days for a client. Sometimes I just want to work in 2D.

  12. Heather, hi! I was recently accepted into graduate school to become an English Teacher. Even though I think this is what I want, I’m suddenly really scared to actually do the thing and go back to school! I need motivation to make this decision, starting with going to one of their admission events… I just feel sort of frozen right now.

    • If you have a passion for English, reading, writing, the whole shebang, and you have a passion for teaching, this will be the right thing for you and your future students! If you attend one of your school’s events and talk to other prospective students, I bet you’ll feel a lot better about things.

      When I got accepted to grad school last spring, I felt the same way: what if I was wrong? what if it’s been too long and I don’t remember how to be a student? what if I don’t find what I want out of this? what if what if what if? And I still have those questions sometimes, but at least I know I’m working towards something that can only enhance my future career.

      Good luck!

      P.S. I like your name. ;)

    • That’s so exciting! Huge congrats. I’m sure you’ll do wonderful if it’s something you’re passionate about. That’s such an important quality for a teacher to have: excitement about the subject matter and a genuine interest in their students.

    • I think that what if thinking never stops when you are at a place where a decision needs to be made. I am going through a situation where I am constantly “what if-ing” everything. I have been having a hard time finding a job since I graduated from grad extremely hard, it has knocked my confidence level down so much that I am even questioning my abilities to do a job effectively. I get what you mean about feeling frozen, i have felt that way for the last year. I was offered a job today, but it is contingent upon my licensing exam scores, which I am not sure if I passed and won’t know for 8 weeks! I keep thinking what if this is the wrong decision, what if my whole educational choices up to this point have been wrong decisions..where do i go from here if that is the case?..I guess i could use a lot of motivation this week! But, my original point to this reply was, you will always somewhere think what if? but in the words of my wise wife, at some point you need to take a step in a direction to see if the path is the right one for you, if not you can always change paths.

    • I am an English teacher trying to go back to grad school to do anything but.

      It’s a tough world out there in public education. Good luck.

  13. For you, darlings, I bring prince quotes as motivational posters:

    I’m fine. This week ends many full time + work weeks, and I have fun plans and much studying ahead of me for my big licensure exam.

    Motivational posters work! My friend who’s a therapist and her partner is a graphic designer so she has really great images that she posts like “talk it out Thursday” and this week she had “make out Monday” that basically like “yo if you’re in an ltr sometimes you forget about making out, why not circle back and remember how great that is” so there has been make out renaissance at my house this week.

    And I decided that I don’t actually like knitting sweaters and have frogged this big boring cardigan and am back to knitting enormous lacework scarves, which is really in y wheelhouse.

    And I started this book called spindles end that’s like fairy tale reimagined with lesbian subtext, I thought it would be like extra extra cheese, but it is not!

    • But I def need motivation to study and not like make croquembouche and clean behind the stove in avoidance of studying.

  14. Does the poster offer extend to the need for a push to get groceries, Heather? Because it is way too fcking cold to have to go to TJ’s but it is also too cold to be left at home with Cheerios and no milk.

  15. I guess I need to be reminded to keep calm and not take shit personally when … well, whenever and generally. Cause that’s been hard lately.

  16. Wow this is incredible.

    I needed this motivational poster last Friday because I just turned in 30 pages of academic papers in the last two days, but I’ll take it now too. I’m currently sitting in an airport on my way to Greece for vacation. I’m also going to Istanbul and Stockholm. I feel like I deserve this vacation even though I probably don’t because I don’t feel like I worked as hard this semester as I usually do. But the opportunity to spend a week and a half traveling alone was too good to pass up so I will happily reward myself for mediocrity.

    I’m really excited that these are all PLL themed because Paige McCullers is my heart and soul and the fact that she will be returning to the show warms my heart.

    I made the beautifully terrible mistake of watching all of Bomb Girls recently and I’m too afraid to watch the movie. If it’s horrible I will not be okay. I have never cried at a TV show before Bomb Girls but it WRECKED me. Damn you, Betty.

    Can I just say the you’ve all been killing it lately content-wise? I am hella impressed with this website and spend a lot more time reading it than I should.

    Does anyone want to talk about Greys? I’m not going to lie, I have always hated Derek and I don’t care about his death.I feel like the rest of the show will just be Meredith slowly descending into madness (again).

    • Huh, never hated him but also don’t feel any attachment. I do think it is a harbinger of the end (at last?), and there won’t be enough episodes for Meredith to go mad.

  17. A week ago today I mustered up the courage to come out to/break up with my boyfriend of 5 years… I have SO MANY FEELINGS, guys. I’ve been wrestling with this for so long and it feels so surreal to have finally followed through.

    Also I saw Sleater-Kinney this week and it was fucking incredible.

    Bonus: my mostly hairless old man is beyond stoked that winter is over.

    • I just want to give you a hug or a high five or whatever.
      Life is new and full of adventure and it only gets better from here on out.
      Day by day.
      Take Care

    • I did the same thing about 1 1/2 years ago (breaking up with a guy after a five year relationship) Congratulations!
      I hope you won’t mind a word from someone who has been in a similar place. You may feel compelled to rush out and prove your homo-ness, but you don’t have to. Do what feels right to you. Give yourself permission to take whatever the time you need to process and feel whatever rises out of that.
      High fives and hugs :)

  18. I’m doing okay! I got a few results back from my uni projects last semester, and I passed all but one, which I can retake. I have been doing quite well at uni so far – I get pretty good grades and I really feel at home! It’s not entirely certain I will be able to finish the year yet, but… I am hopeful, and considering I dropped out of two different universities so far, even if I don’t this will have been an improvement.

    This uni also has a gay-straight alliance, which is something I thought I’d never see in the netherlands. It’s not very active though. I kind of wish I had some way of meeting other queer women that is not going to a bar that’s probably just full of gay men, you know? Where are the lesbian book clubs.

    Though I did get a 7.5 for a project (a 3d model of a spaceship of my own design) that I worked reeeaaaally hard on, which I am slightly upset about. I mean, it’s a pass, I passed the course, but I wanted a great grade, you know? And then the day after I hear I got a 10 out of 10 for a different class, a mandatory art history-type class that is just… entirely inconsequential and I don’t care about one iota. PLEASE SWAP THOSE GRADES.

    • You’re taking this experience with courageous steps…. It’s harder to go after what you want with every relapse experience. Which means you’re stronger for it :)

      Why not create a lesbian book club? Go ask for a better grade, fight for it!

  19. I am going through a breakup or a break or something with my partner or ex or something. At work we just learned that 30-50 people will be let go and definitely some from our department. So I am feeling pretty unstable security wise. I need motivation to keep getting my grad school work done and also to know that it is okay to feel unstable and sad and scared sometimes. I am usually a super positive person, and I tend to feel guilty when I’m bummed out, because I am weird I guess.

    • Seconding the need for some post-breakup motivational posters.

      I was dumped unexpectedly on Sunday by the first girl I’ve ever dated. I’m doing okay but could use some encouragement that I will meet other wonderful ladies who will “get” me, you know? I’m totally worthy of love and loveable — the two of us just weren’t a good match — but it’s such a bummer that being crazy attracted to someone and caring about them deeply are not enough.

      • I feel you so much. A little more than a month ago, my first love broke up with me. It’s tragic that two people can be so in love and they can still not be right for each other.

    • Oh sweetie, here I was wondering whether n how to ask for motivation around figuring out a very complicated work/life/goals situation at an overall pretty cool 61 years, and here you are with awfuls in the BIG 3 or maybe 4 — love, work, money survival and how to keep on with grad school’s demands through it all. Brittany’s moustache, please hear this: short of death itself, she will find ways to get through all the scary times, all. She will find strengths she didn’t know she had, although they’ll mostly only be recognizable after the fact. Sad and scared times are doable, and even motivating, if she accepts them — they only destroy the people who don’t. So, telling the Autostraddle world about being bummed guarantees she’ll get love from the universe. O tell her, Brittany’s moustache, since there you are, at ear level.

  20. Hey everyone….. remember all of us are pretty to some special woman out in the world. You are all filled with your own special blend of wonderfulness!!

  21. I need a kick in the ass, basically. I keep putting off making my music out of fear. Fear that it will suck. Fear that it will only be mediocre. Fear that I’ll try to do it and realize I can’t. All those tricky fears that hinder an artist. I just cannot sit and do a desk job for the rest of my life. So, I need something that will remind me to suck it up and get going.

    • Think about how silly it is that people will go into art museums, look at a particular piece, and say; “My three year old could do that.” Or those who go to karaoke and never sing but feel free to have a scathing, albeit witty, critical commentary for all those who do participate.
      The thing is, the three year old may be a better artist, and the peanut gallery may have a better voice, but if they don’t muster the courage to go out there and try to make it happen, they’ll never be on the wall of a gallery, or selling out concerts.
      It’s scary, because art is an expression of self and so much more, but that is what makes it glorious and unique. And the world needs more of that. Good luck and embrace mediocrity, it only gets better with practice.

  22. I need a poster to relieve the guilt of turning people down, and telling me it’s okay to live according to my own desires

  23. Heather, aren’t you already overextended over here? Why just the other day you were listing all the recaps coming our way that I am so grateful for and excited about. So with my acute perceptiveness you’d think I’d employ my compassion too, and not take you up on the offer of a customized motivational poster… right?

    The thing is, I could really use one. One that combats procrastination but is not fear-based. You know, not like those – your life is precious and time is running out, OMG you’re DYING, get a move on! One that’s not like that, maybe. A gentle, wise one, like these illustrations by Elle Luna.


    • I woke up from a nightmare that some one forced me to get a bowl cut. If my cold sweat and terror at that thought is half of how you feel you have my complete sympathy. Recently my gf had a hair panic after the hairdresser added “a little blonde”… 3 huge chunks…which is not her usual style. It grew on her after a week…literally and figuratively…maybe yours will? Best of luck with it.

  25. Something along the theme of “may the bridges I burn light the way” would be lovely, please and thank you, because if my Saturn Return had a theme that would be it.

  26. I posted this a while back, but I thought it would work here again.

    I took this one back in January. Let’s all hope we can look this majestic & soar free like the powerful Osprey(fish eating hawk).

    So, if you have been reading my posts, I’ve mentioned there is a thief hitting my store frequently. Well, it happened again and I chased him(not sure why). I kept thinking in my mind this angry queer is going to get you. But, that slowly turned into, damn what is he on, to finally I don’t think this angry queer will get you. I probably chased him 3-4 city blocks. There is nothing really one can do as thieves like this person slowly crawl in when your busy/not paying attention, and slowly crawl away.

    I am also feel pretty down that my queer feelings were suppressed in college. If I could do it over again I would have a trans or genderqueer flag in my room, and be more free about being queer. I am thankful for a friend for introducing me that trans isn’t what I thought it was, and that it’s okay to buy adult toys. But, still has me down I suppressed my feelings. Also, I really wish schools at the very least teach kids about trans people, even if it’s in a historical standpoint, like Two Spirit & Trans native Americans. It wasn’t until college I learned about this, would have been really useful to if I was taught this at the very least in high school.

    Thank you for viewing and reading.

    • “I am also feel pretty down that my queer feelings were suppressed in college.” I can really relate. Going to college was my first real change from the conservative environment I grew up in. And even though I did a huge amount of growing and changing during that time, I was deeply closeted all 4 years, largely even to myself. And of course, I look back whistfully sometimes, wishing I could’ve done things differently (less anxious, less isolated), but college isn’t the only time for these things. We’re still young (well, I assume you are – I don’t actually know your age), and there’s still so many life experiences to be had.

      Sorry to hear about the thief! :(

      • Of course we are still young. We are young as we feel. I feel like a 19 year old who discovering their lesbian/queer side(still years after coming out to myself), though I am just turned 30 years earlier in the month. Thank you.

    • I’m sorry your place is getting robbed. :( Your story made me laugh out loud, though! I wanna rob your store so you can chase me! I’m slow and asthmatic, so you’d for sure catch me, and then you’d feel better about being a thief-catcher!

      • Well isn’t that adorable of you to say. If I caught you, would it be acceptable to buy you a cold drink?

        Side note, I think I mentioned this the other week, but I did catch him(grab him by his bag). He was whining about his toothpaste in his bag, really odd for a houseless person who got caught stealing. My father/business partner threw his bag into the street as a warning, but that didn’t work.

        • Oh man. That brings to mind Pretty Woman/Julia Roberts getting caught flossing. Poor sod. Both of you, really. Societal stress impacts… Well, society. Maybe if you see him again, you could ask him what his needs are, and explain your own financial issues, and try to connect him with social support. It would be an efficient way to resolve your issue, and it would be a mitzvah, which is good for your karma. ;)

          Also, cold beverages are my jam. Especially ice cold water with muddled mint and fresh lime. Just sayin’.

          • Yes ice cold mint water would sounds nice. You have good idea, but I wish it was that simple. He is more than likely stealing to feed a habit, and he doesn’t want to talk it out. Most thieves in the area I work at don’t want to. I’ve seen people try it, I even tried it with a criminal who was stealing from a construction site on property I’m technically part owner of. He resorted to name calling.

  27. 1. You should write a book of motivational posters with all the great PLL quotes.
    2. I need some motivation to help me put myself out there. I’m finally accepting who I am and I’m working on the beginnings of a relationship but I’m so afraid to open up to people. I’m afraid I’m going to sabotage myself.
    3. You’re awesome.

  28. HH how did you know I needed that Spencer Hastings quote poster. The culmination of a years worth of Dayjob work is this weekend and the jist of my feelings towards it are expressed in that poster. Can’t wait for it to be done. I have glitter in places…I just can’t. At this point I may be part unicorn.
    That quote will get me through this weekend. Hope to be awake and functioning and catch up on this thread properly on Sunday morning pre work.
    Thanks again HH.
    Have a great weekend folks.

  29. I’m hoping to get back into the work groove and start researching for my thesis tomorrow.
    (I was too busy drinking prosecco with a friend and getting a mild sunburn by the water today.Spring! is making a guest appearance this week and isn’t it wonderful!:-)
    After two months of slacking off I could use some “Get up and off the couch/Have the courage to face life again” motivation, preferably by a kickass gay fictional character.
    But as I’m request number 112 probably, I’ll be totally ok with trying to kick my own ass off of that couch.
    Or rather, out of bed.
    For that,though,I need to get into it, asap.
    Good night or good evening to all of you, wherever you are!

    • Thank you for being my long distance friend crush. Or my spirit animal. I can’t tell. :D I hope you find the motivation. Odds are, it is under your couch, but you have to get up and look.

  30. Today I came to the realisation that the bad spell I’ve been going through lately is almost definitely the return of depression and not just a normal temporary mood dip. I was just starting to pull myself out of it a few weeks ago, but then my cat died unexpectedly and I fell right back down again and this time I feel a lot more stuck. I’m worn out and scared about the future and feeling a little bit abandoned by my family and friends and just generally very insecure and vulnerable. Except for when I just feel numb to everything, good and bad, which is happening more and more.

    So I don’t know what I need. Some energy? Some hope? Some strength? Something that’ll help me find the courage to open up to yet another new therapist?

    My head knows that I’ll get through this. I’ve been here before, I know how to hang in there until it gets better. But better feels a long way away right now so some reassurance that it does exist and I will get there would be nice.

    • Better exists and you will get there!
      You have been there before, so you know that the feelings you’re having now are the depression, they’re not you.
      At least not all of them!
      You’re feeling vulnerable and insecure right now,and that’s ok, but you’re tougher than you think!
      Your family and friends are there! You need to reach out and tell them what exactly you need,though!
      I was crashing something bad at the beginning of last year and getting therapy is a bit of an issue because of infrastructure where I’m at, but I did manage to open up to a friend and tell her that I was in a bad place, and she sat me down and we made a list.
      Stuff that just helps with the Neurotransmitters, stuff that helps me, personally.
      Daylight: 30 minutes a day means the world to your neurotransmitters.
      Exercise: Go for a walk. Just get up and move, do something! It’s a gargantuan effort, just try to incorporate sun and air into everyday things.
      (I switched most of my shopping to the weekly open air farmer’s market.I meet up with friends for walks, I try to ride my bike everywhere, whenever I can.I take the subway station two stops away, if I can’t.)
      Other people always help me get out of my own head.They might bore me to tears, I might bore them to tears, but I’m seeing other people. (Especially when I stop feeding myself, sitting down and /or cooking with other people helps a lot with eating.)
      The new therapist: You don’t need to open up to yet another new therapist, you just need someone to check in with right now, someone to guide you through this.
      But you do need to make an appointment. With anyone.Right now.
      It’s ok. It’s ok to feel numb, it’s ok to feel vulnerable and like crap, but get up every morning anyway, do things that you know will make you feel better,even if you don’t feel them right now.
      Make a list, try to follow it, be kind to yourself if you don’t.
      It’s a damn struggle, I feel you, but the good part? It does pass.
      Every day is one step closer to feeling better.
      Depression is just…like genital herpes.No one needs that either, totally inconvenient, socially awkward and hurts like a bitch. Something you wouldn’t wish on anyone.
      But once you’ve got an episode, you hang in there until it passes, even though it seems like forever,but you know it will. And you hang on to that knowledge.
      Hang on to the things you know, instead of those you feel, just for a little while.
      Stay strong, friend, you got this.
      *bear hugs*
      P.S.:I don’t have genital herpes. I just wanted to make that clear. Ahem.
      P.P.S.:Sorry for the advice column.I do hope you find something useful in there.

      • Thank you. And an extra thank you for the herpes comment, because that made me laugh. I’ve seen depression compared to a lot of things, but I think that’s a new one!

    • Good luck, Aiofe! Sending you positive thoughts. My wife has depression and it can be so difficult to see the good. May your brain be kinder to you sooner rather than later.

    • Amidola hit the nail on the head. All I can add is that I have been there. I visit it for 10 days once a month thanks to premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). But nothing like living in it, which I did a year ago. A messy breakup, failure at school, and family health concerns had me teetering on the edge of sanity. Then my dog had to be put down suddenly. After that, oblivion. Heaviness followed by emptiness, which lasted for so long, just months of it. But slowly, it got better. It’s gotten a lot better, and in fact the therapy helped me survive my depression and has even gone beyond that and helped me cope with life issues that have plagued me for decades. It gets better, I promise. I promise. Keep coming back here every week, keep sharing, keep connecting. You will be okay, and we are here for you.

  31. Tonight is the night I wear my crop top in real life (aka not in my apartment). I’m super nervous about it. I’ve never exposed my tummy like that before, but I’m going to look HOT, or at least I hope saying that will make it a reality. I’m currently at a hair salon getting my hairs did.

    I need a motivational poster to tell me that I’m hot and that wearing a crop top is totally a good thing, and nothing to have a panic attack over.

    • I’ve never felt so sexy in my life. Ever. Wow, I feel amazing…and not because of the beer. Because I feel sexy in my own body.

  32. My good straight friend just told me she fancies me. And my university finals are in 5 weeks. She is very dear to me. I can’t deny I quite want to have sex with her. But… I have a very, very strong self-protective “don’t mess with straight girls” complex which I’m not sure I have the energy to dismantle right now (or even the desire tbh)… she seems straight… I don’t think we’re really relationship-compatible… my finals are in 5 WEEKS…

    Heather, please help.

  33. heather, can i get a motivational poster for being a round, brown, loverboi? something charming, upbeat, and absurd? i leave this in your v capable hands.

  34. So it’s Saturday in Australia but I hope I’m not too late!

    I’m at this point in my life where I’m sort of in a holding pattern until a few different things (mostly) out of my control are done.

    I’m looking to change careers. Leave my stable, sort of fine but not exactly inspiring government job and go back to school to be a teacher because I’m 99.99% sure it’s what I want to do, but dear Lord Vanderjesus what if it isn’t? At the moment I’m waiting to hear back about some applications and waiting, and not knowing is something I struggle with (for this reason I am shocking at reading TV spoilers).

    I’m also waiting for my girlfriend to tell her very traditional parents that we are together so we can start thinking about the next stage in our lives together,getting married if it’s ever legalised here, or eloping to Harry Potter World in Florida or Hobbiton in New Zealand to get married and thinking about starting a family. At the moment they think we’re KStew-esque live-in galpals. I’m trying to apply the right amount of pressure, which she sort of needs without being an arsehole about it.

    I have anxiety so not being in control of my life and being in this state of purgatory can almost be debilitating at times.

    Thank you for these motivational posters. They are great.

  35. Heather, you are a jewel of a person, and if you aren’t completely sick of making posters yet I would like one that is something about taking care of yourself before you can help others.

    ALSO does anyone know of good links to free inspirational-poster-making websites? I sometimes need/want to make them for my volunteer tutors at work (or snarky ones for my blog).


    I managed to make decent progress on several things last night (I was up until 5am and then had to get up for a 10am presentation that did not go well–at least it was practice for the real thing on Wednesday but my PI is currently Not Amused with me). I have a pchem test monday, one grant proposal and also a lab report draft due on thursday, the take-home portion of the pchem exam due Wednesday, a huuuuge paper due Thursday that I haven’t started, and then the final draft of that lab report due on Friday. And then I have another grant proposal due next Monday and two take-home finals due next Tuesday.

    But I am ALMOST DONE WITH MY UNDERGRAD DEGREE I HAVE LESS THAN TWO WEEKS and I’m taking next Friday at least somewhat off of work to go boating for the first time in like three weeks and it’s been killing me to not be in my boat so that will be great.

    And my boss wasn’t calling me back, making me concerned that someone had outed me as trans/queer and that I wasn’t going to have a job anymore but no, it’s just because he’s terrible at calling people back. So I still have a job (for now), which is good.


  37. Try number three to make a fetus with my parts and my wife’s parts didn’t work. So we have one vial left and not enough money for IVF. We were getting close but then my wife lost her job because of her depression and I currently and looking to change jobs after almost ten years of being self-employed. So there is more instability than usual. It will be interesting to see where our lives go, and also rather terrifying!

  38. I love Friday Open Threads, and this is an awesome idea!

    I moved away from my family about a year ago, and as the peacekeeper, and only sensible one, they are still having a tough time transitioning without me. As much as I would love to cut the cord, it’s just not in me to do so, therefore trying to constantly help these child-adults find their own way in life has been a bit taxing, especially since I’m at a distance now.

    A motivational keep trudging might be useful. :)

    • I can’t make a poster, but I can definitely identify with your role in the family. I was raised to basically be the mediator in any family conflict. Recently setting up boundaries (so that I can actually choose to get involved in family drama) has been one of the hardest things, but also one of the best steps I’ve taken to improve my own quality of life. Surprisingly, my relationship with my family members has also improved, probably because I don’t have as much resentment or take on as much responsibility for other people’s feelings.
      It sounds like you are frustrated with the current situation, so I just wanted to say that you can redefine your relationship to your family, even when their patterns seem totally set in stone. But also, you do you!

      • That was part of why I moved away! To do me. And now, thanks to my insistence before I left they all become aware of technology, it hasn’t really helped, ha! I do, however, believe they are starting to get the hang of being on their own, and learning how to “deal” with each other, but I still get the phone calls. I have been secretly training my mom to take care of her children and teaching her what to say to them when they work each other up. So far, this plan is not working either. Oh well, I love my family even when they stress me out. Hopefully a trip back home soon and face to face talk will help.

  39. Well this week, the girl from Tinder who I’ve been talking to for a while called me for an hour and a half and said a lot of biphobic and transphobic shit which made me feel really shitty. And then yesterday she Facebook stalked me and added ALL of my friends- like we both play rugby on opposing teams so it makes sense that she might want to add rugby players, but she added MY FRIENDS FROM HOME! THAT’S SO CREEPY!!! And now we have to spend 6 hours together at a tournament together tomorrow, which I’m obviously not at all excited about.
    The only good thing is that I got to see B Steady perform twice this week ( , this song also describes how I feel about the creepy girl).

    ALSO this girl stalked me right after I told her that I’ve been stalked before and how it made me super depressed and how shitty it made me feel. WHAT THE FUCK, GIRL??

    • Every girl I’ve talked to in tinder has waited an excessive amount of time to mention she is married to a man. I deleted the app right before I read this because I can’t deal with that kind of crazy.

      Be careful out there. Sorry people suck.

    • I am sorry to hear that. I sort of know the feeling. In HS my friend was dating a woman who would come to my house like literally 5 minutes after I came home and drive around my block a few times honking the horn for a month straight. She lived walking distance from our HS.

      If you can maybe try to have a friend with you as a buff so maybe she gets the hint?

  40. Today my high school students wrote in their journals.

    The prompt: “If you had out of town guests, where would you take them? What do you think is special about our city?”

    The first sentence of the response I read: “I would take them to the circle k [gas station] to get a pop.”

    Jesus take the wheel.

    • Aren’t kids great! My students were writing about what their futures would be like. The first one I read said that she wanted to do lots of charity work and help the poor: after she bought her own private jet, and house, went to university and got a dog.

  41. Life’s not supposed to be such a slog, right?
    It feels, though, as if everything I do is in anticipation for the future.
    1) In school, I feel so rushed though academics, not stopping to really, deeply understand or enjoy the coursework…. uggg.
    2) Long distance relationships are SO difficult sometimes. I am done with words and screens and late-night phone calls and “just making it through this year”.
    3) I’ve got a horrible cold, and just finished my sixth cup of tea.

    • I relate to this so much!
      Sometimes I feel like I have such a vague understanding of what I’m studying that it actually makes me feel bad about myself! But I try to tell myself you can’t be an expert in 5 months time.

      Also feeling the long distance relationship issues, too. It has been almost 2 years since we lived in the same city!!!

  42. I could use allllllll the motivational posters.
    In the past week (seven days! wooooo!), I have done the following:
    *Broke up with my significant other of two years.
    *Moved out of said significant other’s house on our two year anniversary
    *Spent an entire weekend with my parents and aunt/uncle
    *Spent three sets of four hours with unhappy children in a windowless room (sometimes my job is great like that)
    *Cried in front of my employer
    *Got in a fight with the aforementioned significant other because, despite this being originally her idea and her having pushed for it on and off for a year+, and our decision to make this amicable as possible, she decided that this was all my fault and that *I* was using her and how dare I hang out with friends this week and why wasn’t I more upset about this whole situation and how dare I decide to go camping.
    *Told the significant other for the first time in the entirety of our relationship that she’s a dick, and that our relationship problems are not entirely my fault.

    Anyway, it was a shit week, but I still feel better than when I was living in that house and still together with her. She was my longest relationship by like a year and a half, and most of it sucked, to be quite honest. But I didn’t know what a long term relationship was supposed to look like. And I was so goddamn complacent–I just kept holding onto hope that I could fix it, that it would get better. But I just kept feeling shittier and shittier about myself and my future. I made plenty of mistakes in that relationship–I was depressed for most of it and not really getting help, and that affected my energy level/my sex drive/my contribution to housework/all sorts of shit. But it most assuredly was not all my fault, unlike what my significant other kept drilling into my head. For one, she would treat me well, and then later that same week, tell me it was all a lie, that she’d been faking it, that she wasn’t attracted to me, that I was gross. She didn’t like any of her “friends” and complained about them any time I tried to hang out with them. She was controlling of who I hung out with. She made me feel stupid. She’d ask me to do something with her, but when I asked her to do something with me, she’d tell me she couldn’t stand being in a car with me. She smoked weed constantly–constantly. Like, from the second she woke up, on the way to work, once she got off of work, all the way until she went to bed. And it made her asthma worse, which resulted in me not having a decent night’s sleep in a year and a half b/c she’d wake up hacking up a lung every single night. She was insanely negative. I’d come home and she’d immediately just complain about people until I went to bed, but she never really wanted to hear about my day. She’d yell at me for not getting help for my depression, but she didn’t take her antidepressants or see a therapist despite her clear depression. She made fun of my family. She never forgave me for not hugging her father and brother, despite my making it clear to her that in no way did I feel comfortable hugging strangers, especially men, no matter their relation to her.
    It just sucked. It really sucked. And I was pushing so hard to make it work, because I kept thinking it was all my fault, because that’s what she kept telling me, and so if it was all my fault, then I could fix it, right?
    I know now that whoever I date needs to be a good person, who loves others strongly, who is active and social and positive and a light. Someone who lifts up others and has a servant’s heart. Someone who isn’t arrogant. Someone who is committed to doing some good in this world.
    I just hate that I wasted two years.

  43. Bless you, Heather. I am sorely in need of motivation right now. I have two exams on Monday! I’m taking my ACT on Tuesday! My show opens in a week and I don’t even know what I’m doing and all the projects and papers are stacking up and making my brain feel like sludge! At the beginning of the week I was coasting, I didn’t care what I had to do, I was riding my wave of stress and owning it, but now I’m floundering again. Junior year is a curse and also do you know they make you take the ACT for five and a half hours without allowing a break for lunch. This is a monstrosity.

    Bright side, I finally got my hair cut! It was getting outrageously long, like flapper long, and now it’s back to it’s short stylish little self and I feel so good about it. Other bright side, I’m going to my first ever queer prom tomorrow! I’m really excited/terrified because I don’t do well in dance situations under any circumstances but I thought it’d be a really great way to meet queer youth. Also, the fact that something like this exists and I can go to it is so amazing and I want to take advantage of that. Plus several of the cute girls I swoon over on a regular basis at school will be there. It’s space themed and I’m wearing a really short dress that’s black with blue sparkles in the light that I cut and stitched a bit, plus handmade star earrings and a flower crown. They’re space flowers?

    Anyway, I hope everyone else’s week is going wonderfully well, and if it isn’t, that it at least didn’t snow for you on Tuesday because really isn’t it supposed to be spring now what is this. (Unless you live in an area where you expect snow this time of year. In which case, snow!)

  44. I’ve spent the last 2 hours working on a Calculus take home exam that’s due Monday. My whole weekend is just going to be Physics and Calculus, which I’m okay with.

    I’m also stoked on getting this shirt in the mail today!:


  45. I’m just sitting here reading through all of these comments and motivational posters and crying out of empathy and sadness and hope and all the feels. I’m in the depths of heartbreak right now, and I never knew how much one person leaving my life could totally destroy me. It’s nice to be reminded that I’m not the only person who has ever felt this terrible thing before.

  46. I’m not really sure that I need motivation, more like support. I have been talking to this AMAZING girl online and last night we were supposed to finally meet. Well turns out her ex is crazy and beat the shit out of her! So she’s currently in the hospital with 32 stitches, a broken nose, fractured ribs and a punctured lung! I know I should not be involving myself in this, but she’s just so awesome!
    So… A motivational poster to stay strong and not get too emotionally invested in all this, I guess…?

    (The thought that I’m being ‘catfished’ has crossed my mind, but it’s just so ridiculously crazy, how and WHY would someone make it up? But if I am, well jokes on me, I guess…)

  47. So you guys, I have been sick. Awaiting diagnosis. Treating symptoms. I’m finally getting some decent sleep rather than waking from my sleep weeping in pain. Stomach pain that has lasted over a month. I <3 my doctor, my employer, my support system, and my life. I'm not worried that it's cancer, but for sure there is something up with my upper GI. Nausea, vomiting, severe bloating and pain, no lower GI issues. Anyway, FODMAP diet is relieving pain but not the low energy and easy fatigue.

    In my absence from the Autostraddlosphere, I have celebrated my 6 months of sobriety. Still single and celibate, working my recovery and getting involved with my community by volunteering for Capital Pride. I'm so grateful for gratitude. If that sounds backwards, it's because forward made me hit a road block and I had to go back and start over with a new attitude :P

    • Congrats on the 6 months.
      I feel you on low energy and fatigue, vomiting takes a lot of a body and combined with all your other symptoms…damn.
      You have things to hold on to and some relief with the pain at least.

  48. Hey guys!! Sorry I’m late to the party this week, I had work! -.- but it was pay day so yay! =) How is everyone doing? I hope you’re all doing great and that your hair is amazeballs!

    This week feels a bit busy for me, still working on bits and pieces for the car. I’m really really really hoping to get a Metal Earth done on Monday! The Transformers ones are going to be available soon which is so exciting!!

    The motivational posters are great!! I have a tank that I wear to the gym that says DETERMINED on the front and grrrrl do I live up to that every time I’m hitting the iron. Also, you guys! I know how to swim! It’s the best. I got to go to my level 2 class on Sunday and at the end we got to jump into 14 feet of water! There was a SCUBA class going on under too. It was so cool!

    All I basically have this week to share is my extremely clean car that is detailed (washed, clayed, polished and waxed) by hand. It’s something I do every 4-6 months. Next to going to the gym, this is the best therapy I do for myself.

    This is Jessy waking up and hearing the birds. I told my wife he probably said “BIRDSES” in his best Gollum voice. LOL.

    Going to the window to ‘look’ at said birds. My wife said it later escalated to him climbing on the curtains and the window screen thinking said birds would be reachable.


    • Congrats on the swimming! Also your car is looking stunning! The work totally paid off. I had my vanniversary this week so washed and hoovered my van but in the process of jet washing great chunks of paint came off revealing a tonne of rust :'( so I’ve rust treated her all over, leaving loads of black and brown patches, short term but I have to consider either a sand and clear or full respray. Eek. Kitties are adorable as ever. Have a great weekend.

  49. I’m a professor. It’s the end of the semester. This is my desktop, and I often ask myself, “What Would Minerva Do?” I find it helpful. Hopefully you will too.

  50. I need a motivational poster that helps me not cry on public transit on my way to work everyday. Even though that is only a small part of the bigger picture, it would be nice to not be so self aware and insecure because I’m so sad.

  51. I have to say that Bruce Jenner’s interview about being a transgender female was exactly how I felt when I realized I had always been female gender , and how happy inside I am to know I am female!

  52. Howdy yall!!
    I’m doing really well :)! Finals are going to stress me out =/! I also made two new friends at school :)

    My sleepy hippo and I

    Ha This is how i describe my self sometimes

  53. Y’all I just feel too much, too little or just wrong lately. Last weekend a specific part of my back decided to make everything agony and I’m the sort who calls discomfort what most people would call pain. Strange matrix of ballet, baby militant feminist agoge philosophy, and growing up with stomach migraines to blame for that.
    This weekend I think I had food poisoning or the medication I was given to try to alleviate the back pain upset my stomach because maybe some crackers and an apple weren’t enough to food before taking a prescription strength NSAID. I dunno I’m not a doctor but I’m scared to take my medicine in general now. The muscle relaxer caused me to sleep for oh about 17 hours one day during the week.
    I’m not sure which I hate worse puking or that lead limbed feeling of way to much sleep.
    The tie breaker might be how wasteful puking makes me feel and how pissed off yummy foods not going where I fucking intended them to go.

    The only silver linings I’ve got right now are creativity.
    No matter how much of the Destroyer I feel I’ve always got my creativity.
    Last night before I got a pukey my creativity and good listener of a partner made sex happen without upsetting my back. All the positioning of pillows ect and teamwork made us so proud of ourselves once we got to the sweat cuddles stage of sex we fist bumped because Fuck Yeah Good Job.
    So what if I slipped into Helena speak for bit, there totally was “much leg rooms”

    Also I had a brilliant idea(s) in the wee hours of Friday morning.
    In my brain there’s a queue of t-shirt ideas and design, finally got some good basic roughs for a badass t-shirt in support of transwomen and what I could do with it.
    That’s part I kinda need some help with once I have some passable digital roughs.
    One of my roughs blocks like: Remember the Dead with 10/20 under it, next line Fight For the Living and what would go under that is the info to a charity that does something heavy duty like housing or spearheads legal fights against discrimination.
    Something that fights for the living.

    Just uh I feel like I’m columbusing a bit because I’m not trans and how would I get in contact and know which charity could use such a t-shirt. Also would any of it really be useful at all? Would the costs of manufacturing break even enough to be a benefit beyond advertising? Would it even be useful as advertising?

    Help me out here o someone older and more experienced then mine self, is what I think I’m saying.

    Also look at Scar-Jo

    Holy Sheeus I died a little of joy and my left over tween crush on this woman.

  54. Let’s do a fun but honest poll . Riese and I have “disagreed” on some issues. Read that as I am now “Bad Sarah” I guess.

    But……the poll is this…..who of you members would really love to give Riese a good lovey cuddling?

    I’ll go first……me.

Comments are closed.