I never really considered myself as someone with a life calling until one day I woke up and thought, “I’m going to save the world — as a porn star.”

Source: Lisa Fotios on

Historically, I was never one to be so public about my sexuality, so it was a confusing surprise to my family and friends when I started posting things like, “$4,000 FOR PUSSY PICS!” on Facebook. In just a few days, I gotten requests for hundreds of new social media friends, who I assumed were “leads” for my entrepreneurial porn business. …

Living with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is like living in a haunted house. Intrusive thoughts are like the ghosts and monsters that pop out to startle you and cause you to lose your breath. Even though the scenes scare you, you can’t look away or close your eyes because you have to keep an eye out for danger. The hypervigilance, the tightness in your chest, the sweats, the terror — they’re both chilling.

Atul Choudhary on

OCD is much more than cleanliness, turning light switches on and off, and organization. While those are common, there are many other “content areas” that revolve around “what…

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I started showing signs of anxiety when I was around 6 or 7. My parents had lovingly bought me a Tamagotchi, which was all the rage in the 90s. I absolutely adored my little amorphous blob on a keychain, cleaning up its poop diligently and feeding it whenever it gave me an attitude. Little did my parents know, I’d have a complete anxiety attack whenever I had to go to school; I couldn’t handle the fact that the Tamagotchi might die in my absence. In response to my panic, my mom promised me that she’d take care of it during…

“I found this place in the Netherlands that euthanizes people with severe mental health issues,” I said plainly during a therapy appointment while in the throes of the darkest depression of my life.


I used every rational argument I could think of to get a referral to the program: I was in excruciating pain daily. Tormenting thoughts swarmed my brain, mostly about how I should be dead and how worthless I was; I saw no way out of that. I had been battling depression on and off since age 8. I figured that’s how it’s always supposed to be, that…


For years, I brought myself unnecessary trauma by ignoring that I was, in fact, disabled. I suffered from Generalized Anxiety Disorder, OCD, and Bipolar Depression since I was very young. Instead of kindness and sympathy, my symptoms were met with shame, from my family and my peers, 10-year-old me battled with comments like, “Nothing in your life is that bad! Snap out of it!” or, “You’re such a waterworks,” even, “There goes Ms. Perfect, worrying about everything.” My neurodivergence was a burden, a downer, a destruction from the things that needed to get done. …

“First question,” I asserted. “How hungry are you?”

“Famished,” Bandersnatch replied dramatically, with a smile.

“Interested in taking dinner upstairs to the roof?”

“It’s kind of cold,” Bandersnatch replied hesitantly.

“No worries, I’m flexible. Let’s eat in here. I’ve attempted to make Thai coconut milk soup and it turned out okay, so that’s what we’ll eat. Please, don’t judge my cooking skills.”

This was actually the most nerve-wracking part of the night for me. I’m not a great cook; somehow I over or underuse spices to a degree that could ruin a meal. In the case of this night, I…

“Hey, cool pin!” I noted as I sat down on a rickety wooden picnic table bench across from my date. He was wearing a round pin with the iconic image of Rosie the Riveter on the left pocket of his jean jacket.

“Thanks, it’s my favorite,” he replied with a genuine smile. He greeted my dog Anchovy with affectionate scratches while simultaneously wiping the frothed milk from his upper lip. This was the first time I brought Ancho with me to a first date, and I figured it would be a good way to immediately vet the guy. …

His name rhymes with Jerry. Therefore, let’s call this guy Jerryoke.

Witty banter? Check. Fun date idea? Check. Jerryoke and I set up a date and time. Then, we were off to the races.

By the time we made it to the karaoke bar around 9:30 pm, the place was already wall-to-wall packed, and there were three friends passionately singing “No Scrubs” by TLC — a song that hits home for many San Francisco women out there, I’m sure. Jerryoke found a table away from the crowd but with a solid view of the stage, and I excused myself to…


“Who wants to give the cats some treats?!” exclaimed one of the cafe employees, cheerily handing out handfuls of food pellets to the other cafe-goers. Grateful for the interruption, I eagerly held out my hands to catch the treats, ready for my popularity to skyrocket with these felines. When the lady offered the cat treats to Meow Mix, he declined.

“Oh, no thank you. I have a cat at home.”

I stared at him blankly. Why would having a cat make you averse to feeding any other cat? Was he like one of those parents that only likes his kid…

TW/CW: suicide

Photo credit: Polina Tankilevitch on

It’s a question I need to consider every time I put off drafting a blog post. Every time I feel like giving up on my writing because I worry about what you think. Yes, I do worry what YOU think. Here is the truth I’m afraid to out: I used to think about suicide. A lot.

I’d struggled with severe depression, tracing back all the way to age 11. I cried nearly every day. Cut to me, 18 years later, and I’ve made such giant strides. …

Rae Shane

An intuitive storyteller with a vision to reduce shame through blunt essays on mental illness. I’m a survivor of Bipolar, Complex PTSD, OCD, and GAD.

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