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Note to readers: This article describes in graphic details the issue of cancer, the side effects of it, and other medical problems. Reader discretion is advised.

The clock ticks.

It moves along, whether or not I want it to. Tick-tick-tick…

Whether or not time is relative, whether or not it actually exists or something we invented to make ourselves feel better… it moves. Seasons come and go, marking a few predictable changes to our lives. We grow, we get older, lines on our faces, grays in our hair… even our animals, our beloved pets, will show signs of time’s passage.

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It’s been 13 years… And every so often, my dreams are haunted by memories of my mother. Every time I think of her, I get that familiar ache, knowing she wasn’t around to see me graduate college, see me get married (and divorced). She wasn’t around to see me have her first and only grandchild. She wasn’t around to even give me advice on how to deal with a colicky baby or how to soothe the pain from teeth coming in.

It’s been 13 years… And I’ll never forget how her health dwindled. I’ll never forget all the doctor appointments…

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Every year, on June 27th, I’m reminded it’s National PTSD Awareness Day. Every year, I share that notice, sharing symptoms, my personal experience, and remind my friends that we should never be silent on our mental health issues. It’s a stigma that needs to go away.

We’ve learned a lot about PTSD in the last forty years. Initially we believed it was something only war veterans experienced, and that only officially acknowledged in the ’80s. Before that, we would call it ‘shell shock’ or some other term.

Later, in the 1990s and beyond, we began to realize PTSD — post-traumatic…

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I’m sure you’ve seen the viral stories about cats being tolerant and loving with young children. Particularly as cats are notorious for being frightened of children, annoyed at being dressed or cuddled if they don’t want to be. These stories are heartwarming and often make me smile.

Then I think of my son and his feline buddy, Chasey. I can’t help it, the recollection makes me smile, warms my heart. A difficult decision, a hopeful choice, and it turned into four years (and counting!) of beloved feline companionship.

About four years ago, I made a decision. I weighed it for…

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I’ve been in and out of therapy since I was 15 years old. The first few times were pushed by my mother, as she sensed something was wrong with me and wanted me to get help. In therapy, it mainly works if someone has a good connection with their therapist and feels heard.

The first few times… I really didn’t feel a connection. I didn’t like how the therapist approached the sessions, and so, they were dropped. Then money and insurance became an issue and I was struggling to get by without any mental health help.

Entering my 30s was…

Copyright @Vail Henry. Used with permission.

Dear White People:

Consider this an open letter from another white person. A woman, in fact. I consider myself a cis-woman, which means I was assigned female at birth and I consider myself female. I am white. You can tell from my author photo too.

So why the open letter? Because my gods, we white people are infuriating.

A few weeks ago, an unarmed, unresisting Black man named George Floyd was killed. Murdered, in fact, by a police officer. And it wasn’t accidental, no matter what that officer may say. I mean, Mr. Floyd kept saying over and over “I…

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It started with a Yahoo article. It was the headline that caught my attention. “High-functioning depression.” I thought, was this just another version of trying to separately label mental disorders, like Asperger’s and Autism? Or was this a legitimate thing?

Deciding curiosity won over, I read the article. Within a paragraph, I realized it wasn’t just legitimate, it was me. A while back, when I was getting an assessment done for bariatric surgery, my therapist outright stated I had Persistent Depressive Disorder (PDD). We had only just met, and already I was getting labeled.

However, that was all he pointed…

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I’ve been seeing it everywhere. Candace Owens’ rant got her kicked off and blocked by GoFundMe, about how George Floyd was a criminal and that it was a shame he was turned into the matyr for Black Lives Matter.

Maybe he had a conviction or two. Maybe he was a felon. Maybe he really had a counterfeit $20 bill.

It. Does. Not. Matter.

In all honesty, it’s likely we will never have the perfect role model to use for Black Lives Matter and the ongoing protests right now. What comes along with the dark skin is often poor education, racism…

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It happens every summer.

Suddenly, it’s swimsuit season and we try on our favorites from last year… only to notice that they don’t fit, or there’s bulges that weren’t there before, or whatever we’re feeling, it all boiled down to we’re heavier than we were last summer.

Swimsuit season seemed to incur the sudden rush to lose weight so we can look ‘thin’ and ‘sexy’ in our outfits! Often times, we reach a nesting stage during the winter, eating comfort food and happily building up a little extra padding. …

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I am certain we know part of the story surrounding Johnny Depp right now. How his lawyer responded to Amber Heard’s accusations, claiming with photographs and written statements that she was the one being abusive, not Johnny Depp. How he lost part of a finger, that she lied about being punched, and the whole dirty mess.

As a survivor of domestic violence, I was inclined to believe Amber first. As more evidence came out, some switched sides, some felt Johnny was lying, and some essentially said both were bad, as both abused the other. I hung back, feeling uncertain. Why…

Esther Olson

Owned by four cats. Wanna-be writer. Currently living in the Midwest of the United States of America.

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