The Freedom of Dependence

Two years ago I stepped back into “normal” life after brain surgery.  In May of 2018, I was in a hospital room needing help to sit up in the bed. In August of 2018, just two and 1/2 months later, I was walking back into work as if nothing had happened . . . but […]

Untangled

My mom has a particular story about me that she likes to tell: As she was doing dishes in our kitchen, she looked out the window and saw me in the backyard trying to catch frogs and kiss them. While it’s rather cute to think of a porcelain-white toddler with black curls and thick baby […]

Another Thorn, Another Rose (Mental Illness as a Blessing)

I fight against harm perpetrated both by the myth of the Strong Black Woman and the stigma my culture attaches to mental illness every day. Since 1619, America nurtures me to mute my emotions, my pain, and my fear.

Hello, I’m Weak

 “You may want to consider going on antidepressants,” my counselor says at the end of session. My eyes widen in shock and fear. And shame. Lots of shame. This bomb continues to reverberate in me as I leave. I have no problems with people taking antidepressants. I have many family members who do and I’ve […]

Why Bad Self-Care Is a Kind of Sin

“This author really pissed me off,” I told my husband the other day. I brandished a book called Soon: An Overdue History of Procrastination, by Andrew Santella. My anger surprised my husband. He enjoys a heated debate while I tend to shy away from black-and-white argument. But this book? I ranted about it for fifteen […]

I Switched Husbands

I got off the plane and in the car with 6 other women, perfect strangers. I was in Nebraska, a state I’d never been before nor expected to ever go. I was there as the keynote speaker for the women’s retreat, Jumping Tandem. Given the nature of my previous three years, keynoting was also unexpected. […]

When I Am Bipolar

I hold the small red pill between my thumb and forefinger. It’s miniscule. Maybe a third the size of a breath mint. I’ve already taken my antidepressant faithfully, as I always do. I habitually gulp down the rest of my pills but this one I take last, because it’s so small. There was the time […]

Coloring In Christmas With My Favorite Things

  Raindrops on rooftops and polka dot mittens Bright lights that flicker and Big Momma’s kitchen Brown chorus angels whose robes look like wings These are a few of my favorite things. Buttermilk cornbread and crisp chicken drumsticks Hotels with stairwells and greens that are handpicked Wildflowers that spread in dry deserts I’ve seen These […]

Tiny Steps Towards Greatness

“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” – 1 Thessalonians 1:5, ESV. “You’re so brave,” she said admiringly as she slipped the receipt across the counter. I fought back the urge to laugh or cry, I wasn’t sure which. She saw me one side of me—the foreigner in […]

Abortion: Unwanted Reality

I had two abortions. They weren’t “crisis pregnancies.” They weren’t “unplanned pregnancies.” They were simply unwanted. I was a teenaged girl living with her boyfriend, playing house. Our “unplanned pregnancies” were nothing more than “not planning ahead and being responsible pregnancies.” I didn’t use birth control. So abortion became my birth control. 1987 was the […]

Healing from Depression

When the moon rolls out of the sky And you are strangled with darkness.   When the trees have lost their leaves And stand in surrender to winter.   When every word is a suicide note And your face is dry from crying.   This is when hope arrives Like a hurricane of joy   […]

Without Hope the Soul Is Unwell

I told my husband I felt like shattered pieces of glass lying on the floor with no one to help me, no one who knew how to put me back together. The cracks in myself, in our marriage, in my parenting had come to a pressure point, and the pieces that were held in tension […]