The Spirit Finally Moved Me

Right before I turned 45, I met Steven, a man who was more open and honest than anyone I’d ever dated. At our first meeting, my new companion told me about vulnerability and learning to feel his feelings. As he talked, I registered a fleeting thought about whether or not I could trust this person who was seemingly so transparent. On the heels of that thought, I heard a voice. To be honest, it sounded like Ving Rhames saying, “We have the meats” in an Arby’s commercial, only there was more than o

How Cannabis Keeps My Bipolar Condition in Check

A friend suggested I try cannabis. We downloaded a cannabis app onto my phone, through which I learned about different classes of marijuana and their mind and body effects. I researched what seemed like millions of cultivated strains, along with the clinical data that supported medical marijuana for depression. By then, I’d done a lot of research on brain chemistry, and I learned that antidepressants and cannabis worked on the same brain receptors. And I was willing to do anything to stabilize m

Granny Panties

There was a time, long ago, when all you needed in your underwear drawer were clean panties, in case you got into an accident. Then, there were regular undies and “date” undies that were usually cuter, daintier, and would make a lover want to take them off, or at least look at you in them for a while. Those were fun times, but now it’s time for something different. The time now is perimenopause, otherwise known as that stage of life that involves the simultaneous loss of hormones and giving a

Why Dads Make Better Dates

I wasn’t meant to be a mother. I never really liked kids, even when I was one. I turned 45 last year with nary a pregnancy scare or marriage proposal in all my years. So, somewhere in my 30s, I resigned myself to being child-free and never gave it a second thought. Jay was smart and funny, the way I like my men, and emotionally expressive, which I liked in general. Jay also had a son, a 24-year-old who seemed to live with his father out of genuine affection rather than laziness or convenience.

Our New Relationship Makes Our Parents Feel Left Out

I’ve been dating my boyfriend for 3½ months, and every time I see his mother, I’m not wearing pants. It’s not really every time, but it’s probably every time that she comes to his apartment, and that’s several times too many for me. Let me give you some more context. My boyfriend, Rob, lives around the corner from his 85-year-old widowed mother, Mary. She has a key, and she lets herself in to drop off food, or cold medicine, or anything else a mother might give her unmarried, childless, younges

My Bipolar Disorder In Five Dates

My first real date was with Bryant. I was a junior in high school, and I met him, a senior, in marching band. Yes, it was as geeky as it sounds. He hung around me a lot during band practice every Saturday, and he had the kind of body that middle-aged women fantasize about. Bryant hung around me and my friend Rachel. I was so clueless about dating that I couldn’t tell he was interested in me instead of my tall, gorgeous, self-assured friend. Eventually, he asked me out, and my parents let me dri

What to do when someone you follow on social media seems like they need help

According to the CDC, suicide rates in the U.S. are up 25% since 1999. It’s a grim reality, made even more public after the very high-profile suicides of Avicii, Kate Spade, and Anthony Bourdain. While we can’t always know who is suffering or struggling, one window into people’s lives is social media — and while not everyone will use it as a tool to knowingly or unknowingly cry for help, we must always be aware in case those within our social media communities do require assistance.

What Do Interracial Relationships Really Mean To Black Women?

Black women have given interracial relationships a lot of attention in the last few weeks if think pieces and Black Twitter are to be believed. First, we lambasted Donald Glover over the audacity of releasing a racially conscious video while having had children by a white woman. Then, we changed our tune completely, welcomed self-proclaimed biracial woman Meghan Markle into the fold, and swooned over her wedding to a white man. The shift has less to do with royalty and money and status than it

I Was a Single Woman Addicted to Planning My Wedding

The first time I thought about my own wedding was after I graduated business school. I’d just turned 30, and figured that I should start thinking about marriage. I had a boyfriend at the time, a nice guy who I liked a lot but didn’t love. Still, alone in my bedroom, I started visiting a wedding website to look at wedding gowns and bridesmaids dresses. It seemed like harmless fantasy, so I made an account and started to save designs that I liked. Besides, I’d never really thought about my own wed

Finding My Power In An All-Women's Psych Ward

In 2015, when I was 43 years old, I was admitted to New York Presbyterian’s inpatient psychiatric hospital. It was my third time at the psych ward; my third time being strapped onto a gurney and driven in an ambulance from Manhattan to a mental ward in Westchester; my third time standing shoeless as a security guard checked my clothing for metal, strings, and mirrors. Every time, there was a new item on the contraband list. This time, it was hard plastic — so my water bottle was out. The nurse
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