I think I can pinpoint when it happened, when I became a caretaker. My parents started having irreparable marital problems when I was 19 (they divorced when I was 20), directly brought on by a drug problem my dad had, somewhat suddenly, developed. One night when I was home from college for the summer, when it still wasn’t clear whether my dad would clean up his act or if my mom would be forced to leave him, they were sitting around the dinner table with a family friend who had stepped in as a sort of mediator. I was sitting in a chair in the living room, watching them. Keep reading »
Melissa Rycroft is perhaps best well-known for being proposed to and then dumped by “Bachelor” Jason Mesnick in favor of his runner-up. Since then, however, Rycroft has made the most of her unfortunate initial 15 minutes of fame, finishing third on “Dancing with the Stars,” marrying the boyfriend she had before “The Bachelor,” Ty Strickland, and, in 2011, starring in a reality show on CMT about their life together with baby daughter Ava, born in 2009.
But in the new issue of Us Weekly, Rycroft opens up for the first time about her battle with postpartum depression, telling the magazine that it started as soon as Ava was born. “Almost immediately I didn’t feel right,” she says. “I had just given birth to this perfect baby, but absolutely nothing made me happy anymore. I had no idea what was wrong. I had these great blessings, but I felt empty. I’d put Ava in her crib and go outside and scream for a minute.” Keep reading »
Last week, my mom and I were on one of our regular “dates,” headed to see the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit at Discovery Times Square. Times Square is definitely an area of NYC that most New Yorkers try to avoid unless necessary — it’s overrun with tourists, who make it difficult to get to your destination. I figured I’d get over the annoyance, like I usually do. Boy was I wrong!
As we made our way across a busy and crowded 45th Street, a woman about my age shoved me out of her way. Without thinking, I shoved her back. And she shoved me again. At this point — and I’m assuming here, as I don’t remember consciously making any of the decisions that follow — I reached out for her with my right hand and began swinging my rather large and heavy handbag at her head. I don’t recall deciding to hit her with my bag; I just remember seeing my bag fly at her head and thinking: Oh, good idea! Keep reading »
When I first started taking Adderall, it wasn’t prescribed to me — it was my boyfriend’s. It was 2006, and I had a fun but creatively unfulfilling job at a men’s magazine. On the weekends, I was determined to grow a freelance career that, god willing, would allow me to quit. Freelance writing, especially when you’re starting out, involves a lot of pitching, in particular pitching editors who don’t know you. It’s a lot of coming up with ideas, proposing those ideas, and waiting, hoping and praying, that someone, anyone bites and is willing to pay you a decent sum to write it. To be a successful freelancer writer, you have to be extremely motivated and focused.
I had the motivation. But focus was out of my grasp. I felt stuck literally and mentally. And being stuck make me anxious. Keep reading »
What do you do when one of the things you used to like about yourself the most, looking back, becomes one of the things that you like about yourself the least?
From as young as I can remember, a rocket ship of ambition propelled me forward in all that I did. I didn’t — and still don’t — have a wide variety of interests, because writing was where I excelled. I threw everything into it. My parents, of course, fanned the flames of this. They loved having a daughter who made them proud.
And I loved getting some attention. My older brother Eliot*, his bipolar disorder and his drug and alcohol addictions, consumed most of my parents’ energy and nearly all of their attention. I wrote a poem when I was 13 or 14 that I can remember to this day because it still applies to my life sometimes. It was called “Measuring Cups” and it was about parents struggling to measure out love and attention equally amongst their children, but failing. When I was that young, the best way I could find attention, short of developing a heroin addiction myself, was to impress my parents with awards and articles and prizes and accolades. There was no confusion about this lifestyle, no hard choices to make. All I had to do was whatever made me look the best. Keep reading »
There’s nothing quite like spilling all your secrets to a complete stranger. It can be liberating … or it can be terrifying. Plus, going through your HMO’s provider book isn’t going to tell you what you want to know about the therapist you’ll be working with. I’ve been seeing therapists on-and-off for a decade and a half now, and I’ve learned a bit about shopping for a new one on the way. Here’s how it goes… Keep reading »