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Thank you all so much for all your questions! This is one of my favourite features we do in our little Substack community and I really appreciate all of you being vulnerable. If your question wasn't answered today, there will be another one next month and make sure to get it in early for a greater chance for it to be answered. Or head back to last month's AMA to have a read of previous answers. Lots of love! M xx

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Jun 4, 2023Liked by Michelle Elman

Hi Michelle! I've always been an overthinker but I've found that over the last year or so it's gotten to the point where I struggle to switch my brain off and relax / focus on what I'm doing - I feel like I'm constantly thinking back on different situations or relationships I've been in and making up scenarios for how they could have gone differently, or worrying about things that haven't even happened yet. I was wondering if you have any recommendations on how to calm / soothe myself in those moments where I realise I'm getting lost in my head again?

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Hey Michelle 👋 do you have any wisdom to share when it comes to having sex with someone new after being out of the game for a while, particularly sober?

For context, I’ve been single for about a year and had a sexless relationship with my ex for about a year before that. The last time I was single I loved dating and having new experiences, including sex, but that was 5 years ago - I was 26 and not chronically ill, so I feel like a different person now! I’m getting back in touch with my sensual side alone but I definitely feel nervous about sleeping with someone new. I’ve recently met someone who might be a possibility, but I know I want to take my time (I’ve rushed into bad situations before and learnt my lesson). But I’m cautious of building it up in my head into something big when it doesn’t have to be! I’ve also historically always been drinking during my first time with someone new and I don’t think I’d want to do that this time around, not least because drinking leaves me pretty unwell for a few days after.

Me and this guy have already had some open convos about our opinion of sex workers (very accepting) and he’s shared that he’s on antidepressants which impacts his desire, so I feel comfortable being honest with him which is great but I also don’t want to overshare before it’s appropriate (another mistake I’ve made in the past).

Feeling a bit in my head with it all which is very counterproductive to having good sex 😂 send help!

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Jun 4, 2023Liked by Michelle Elman

Hi Michelle! I was recently diagnosed with ADHD at 30 and in the middle of a PhD in genetics. I find it difficult to get over the time and opportunities I’ve lost due to this, and to accept the fact that I can do less in a day than others, that I will always have slow or even no-work days, that I reach my goals with more effort (because my brain doesn’t form habits and doesn’t reward me with dopamine for completing a task) and that it will not relent. It’s a lot like not having control over what you do in a day or at any time, and trying to trick yourself into doing what you know you want to do. This applies to fun things too, not just work. Medication is helping a huge amount but it’s not fully fixing it. The stigma is also debilitating because it’s easy for people to “do stuff” so they think you’re lazy or unmotivated. Any advice about all that, or ways to be kinder to myself about my disability or how to look at it? Thank you! (I hope this is the right place to comment! Sorry!)

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I’m currently looking for a new job, and dealing with the knowledge that I’ll be rejected over and over again is really hard for me. Do you have any tips on how not to take it personally and therefore not letting it stop me from applying to a lot of different positions?

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Jun 2, 2023Liked by Michelle Elman

I've been with my partner for about six months now, and I'm so so happy, but every now and then, when I'm particularly stressed, I wish I could take like a 1 week break from the relationship, just so I don't constantly think about someone else along with my own stuff going on. I know that realistically it wouldn't even work, even if we did agree to take a week of break, cause I'd still be thinking about her. And I know I don't actually want to break up. I think it's just the stress, and having or wanting to take someone else into consideration in my plans is just sometimes a bit too much for me. But I wonder if this is "normal", or rather common? And do you have any recommendations on how to cope with that? I haven't talked to them about it, because I worry it would scare them off, though we generally have really good and open communication

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Jun 4, 2023Liked by Michelle Elman

A wedding question! At my both brothers weddings my grandma (assisted by my auntie) has taken it upon herself to do a speech without being asked and without asking consent. They’ve been between 20 - 45 minutes long!!! I am getting married in October and I don’t feel comfortable with this happening. Especially without my permission. We’re not particularly close either. How do I bring it up? She won’t ask me for my consent so do I just assume she might do it and straight up tell her I don’t feel comfortable? She’s 95 she may well forget too, so worth adding in my auntie?! I’m fully prepped for family comments about being ‘mean’ to a 95 year old woman 🙃 but it’s *my* wedding!

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What are your tips for getting better at feeling/properly acknowledging your own feelings? I am (subconsciously) a real bottler when it comes to emotions, especially negative ones, and it ends up with me bursting into tears and having a big emotional outburst. Any tips for regulating and acknowledging my emotions more rather than repressing much appreciated. ☺️

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I have just finished ifs therapy after 18 months. Do you have any advice about supporting myself through this transition? My brain keeps over analysing every feeling to see if it is a part and if it needs help. For context we finished our sessions because I was able to do the work between our sessions and so didn’t have any parts that needed help during our time.

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Hi Michelle

So I took time out to raise my two boys. I was, am a secondary school English teacher but I’ve been out of it for 7 years now. I’m keen to do my conversion to primary school teaching but I can’t decide.. I have two competing parts of my brain..one says do it let your boys get used to you working and maybe not always being super available all the time. The other says leave it til they’re older, more mature?!?!? I also don’t believe when the school id train at says they’d love to have me. I’m sure they could certainly do better and what do I actually have to offer anyway?!

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Hey Michelle, hope you're doing well :)

I realised only recently what a people pleaser i am. Honestly i didn't know for so long. Over the last two years i'e had seriously issues with hormones imbalances and i'm sure a lot of it is due to stress. I constantly strive to be a good friend and never let anyone down, even if it ends up being detrimental to my own well being.

This weekend there is a family party coming up. I said i would go months ago. Thing is, with my family everything turns into a bloody party with them. I don't drink, and i really dont want to go. But how do i cancel without feeling like i have to justify it? And how can i i future actually think about myself first rather than keep doing this to myself, i'm fed up of it x

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