Perfectly Imperfect - Our Body Positivity Stories 2021

Perfectly Imperfect - Our Body Positivity Stories 2021


As swimsuit season makes it's way back into our lives, WeTalkRadio Network wants to show people that it's okay to wear whatever you want and be confident in yourself, no matter what you look like! We asked our staff members to tell us about their body positivity journey. Read below to hear about why our Press Release Manager, Keely, and our Marketing Content Manger, Kaitlin, joined the body positivity movement!


Keely's Story

By: Keely Messino

I never thought I was beautiful until I decided to live by my standard of beauty. So when I 

look at a Hollywood starlet or the cover of a magazine, I see someone who looks nothing like me. 

As a kid, I looked up to the woman I saw on TV. I remember hating my short, curvy figure and wanting to be tall and have a flat belly and a massive bra. 

I never got any of those things. Instead, what I got were several surgeries, which left me with huge scars. To lengthen muscles, scars, and calluses on my hands, from having to rely on my hands and arms because my legs don’t work correctly. And a lazy eye that the doctor tried to fix to no avail.

For a long time, I hated the thing I saw looking back at me when I had to look in the mirror. So I would try to cover myself with baggy sweat pants and oversized hoodies.

One day I decided to love myself, and my body, all of my body. So I have started wearing bright colors and showing off my curves wearing low-cut shirts and shorts. I love the way I look, and I love my body, as flawed as it may be. 

My body is strong. My body has fought many battles and won. But, my eyes are shining, and I love them.

Love your body. You only get one.


Kaitlin's Story

By: Kaitlin Graham

When I look at models and movie stars, I don’t see myself. I’ve never been as skinny, I’ve never had flawless hair and skin, I’ve never been perfect. But no one is perfect.

I’ve struggled with confidence my whole life, and it has taken years for me to even begin to love my body as it is, but I am proud of how far I’ve come. I’ve learned that it’s okay to have fat. Just because I have fat doesn’t mean I am fat, and even if I am that’s okay, too.

It’s also helped me to realize that a lot of the photos that I see and used to compare myself too are photoshopped or posed in a way that makes the model look different than they do on the average day. Every body is different. Even if two people eat and work out the exact same way, their bodies will look different, and different isn’t a bad thing.

Just because I do not look like a model or movie star doesn’t mean I am not beautiful!

10 Amazing LGBTQ Small Businesses in Dallas, TX 2021

10 Amazing LGBTQ Small Businesses in Dallas, TX

By: Geoffrey McMain


It’s Pride Month! Which means this month is a time to celebrate our LGBTQ friends and neighbors, and one of the best ways to do so is by honoring local LGBTQ owned businesses and entrepreneurs. Here are 10 LGBTQ owned small businesses in the North Texas area that you can support.


Isla Veterinary Boutique Hospital

14380 Marsh Lane Suite 110, Addison, TX 75001


(972) 738-1111   

Founded by Puerto Rican American, Dr. Josh, Isla Veterinary Boutique Hospital offers a unique client-centered approach to veterinary care. Visits to the vet can often be stressful situations for pet and owner alike, and Isla Veterinary Boutique Hospital keeps this in mind for all their patients: providing not only exceptional state of the art veterinary care but also a relaxing tropical-themed environment to soothe the nerves of clients. The option for Spanish-speaking services, as well as a commitment to respect, inclusion, and pride makes Isla Veterinary Boutique Hospital a go-to place for owners and furry friends alike!


Candy Marcum Counseling

4228 N Central Expy #225, Dallas, TX 75206

(214) 521-1278

“Helping People Bring Meaning to Their Lives,” is Candy Marcum’s motto when it comes to providing quality counseling and therapy to individuals and couples who need help. With experience stretching back to 1981, Marcum is well-known around the Dallas area for being one of the region’s first out-lesbian professional counselors, as well as an influential social reformer. Currently focused on utilizing and developing the Gottman Method for couples in therapy, Candy Marcum is on the forefront of counseling, and is a great choice for people in need.


Wendy Krispin Caterer, Inc.

528 South Hall Street, Dallas, TX 75226

(214) 748-5559

Since 1992, Wendy Krispin has run her catering company and lended her services to straight weddings, gay weddings, corporate brunches, and other organized events. On her website, Wendy has sample menus for several occasions, but she also has the option of tailoring menus to specific client interests and tastes. If you have an upcoming event and need catering, Wendy Krispin Catering is a great option where you’ll find only excellence and quality service.


Goody Goody Liquor 

3316 Oak Lawn Avenue, Dallas, TX 75219

(214) 765-6878

Founded in 1964 by Joe Jansen, Goody Goody Liquor has been providing a wide-selection of alcoholic beverages to both consumers and wholesale purchasers for more than half a century. Their low prices, qualified experts, and friendly environment are the biggest draws of Goody Goody Liquor, and has made them famous throughout the state. So whether you’re a person looking for something for a special occasion, or a bar, club, or restaurant in need of a reliable supplier, Goody Goody Liquor is one of the best choices in Texas, with 21 locations throughout the DFW area, Houston, and Longview.


Hammer & Nails Grooming For Guys

11901 Dallas Parkway Suite 700, Frisco, TX 75003

(214) 940-7799

If you’re a guy looking for some beautification, whether it be a shave, haircut, manicure, pedicure, or something else, Hammer & Nails Grooming For Guys might be the place to go. At Hammer & Nails, every appointment or walk-in includes a free consultation with a technician, a complimentary drink (including beer, soda, or water), a personal TV, and a hot towel finish. Since their appearance on Shark Tank in 2014, this salon has given men a shame-free and relaxed environment where the customer is king and beauty comes first.


Casa M Spice Co

3822 Market Street #101, Denton, TX 76209

(469) 293-4400

Influenced by a Ph.D in chemical physics, twenty years of food experimentation, and a trip to Cozumel, Mexico, Casa M Spice is one of the best places in North Texas to pick up spice mixes and rubs for every eating occasion. Started by husbands, Mike and Manny, Casa M Spice was inspired by Mayan chef, Maria Felipa de Jesus Pool Chale, and her intimate relationship with the region’s spices on a trip to Cozumel. Now with a dozen spice blend options and a host of recipes available on their website, Casa M Spice is a premium option for anyone looking to add some spice to any meal, whether it be a 4th of July barbeque or a Saturday night dinner.

Dallas Voice | OUT North Texas

1825 Market Center Boulevard Suite 240, Dallas, TX 75207

(214) 754-8710

Dallas Voice is the premier magazine in North Texas for LGBTQ readers, providing news, advice, and entertainment in a sleek, high-quality magazine. Readers will find a wealth of LGBTQ resources in this newspaper, as well as a wealth of interesting stories and pieces to dive into. So if either you’re a member of the LGBTQ community, or just an ally, Dallas Voice is the place to go if you want to read about LGBTQ news or learn a fascinating story from the community.


Perky Poodle Dog Grooming

4560 Mockingbird Lane #126, Dallas, TX 75209

(214) 526-3243

Since 1965, Perky Poodle has offered full service dog bathing and grooming done by specialists trained in-house who have mastered and developed techniques to keep dogs healthy and happy. With breed-specific products and procedures, Perky Poodle is the place to go for dog bathing and grooming.


Scott Carnes, Realtor® | Dave Perry-Miller Real Estate

6025 Luther Lane,Dallas, TX 75225

(214) 490-6895

Although originally from Houston, realtor Scott Carnes has over 20 years of experience serving the Dallas community, and has witnessed first-hand the rapid growth of the area. This experience has given him intimate knowledge of the housing market, allowing him to connect clients with the homes they want. If you’re looking for a home in the Dallas area and want a qualified and friendly realtor to help smoothen the process, then Scott Carnes is the agent for you.


Food Dance Films

4748 Algiers Street Suite 400, Dallas, TX 75207

(214) 630-7228

Food Dance Films is a company dedicated to providing quality advertisements to corporations and organizations with their skilled production crew of photographers, lighting experts, directors, and sound designers. With an emphasis on diversity and respect, Food Dance Films has emerged as a frontrunner of advertisement design with services in both English and Spanish. Over their years of experience, Food Dance Films has produced for companies such as Nike, Verizon, and Toyota, so if you have a business or organization that needs an advertisement done, Food Dance Films might be the company to help.


LGBTQ Representation in Movies and TV Shows 2021

Representation matters. According to a poll by Gallup, 5.6% of Americans identify as something other than heterosexual. Due to this, queer representation in the media has increased in recent years. Here are 10 movies and TV shows featuring LGBTQ+ characters that you can watch on Netflix and Hulu.



Atypical TV-14

This teen sitcom follows Sam, a teenager with autism, as he navigates high school and dating. Along the way, his sister, Casey, questions her sexuality.


Julie and the Phantoms: Music from the Netflix Original ...

Julie and the Phantoms TV-G

This family musical show is about a teen girl, Julie, dealing with the loss of her mother with the help of three teen ghosts, Luke, Alex, and Reggie. They help reignite her passion for music, and she helps them find their unfinished business. Alex is gay, and was not accepted by his parents before he passed. His friends gave him their unconditional support, which goes with the theme of found family that encompasses the show.


Schitt’s Creek TV-MA

“Suddenly broke, the formerly filthy-rich Rose family is reduced to living in a ramshackle motel in a town they once bought as a joke: Schitt’s Creek (Netflix).” David Rose is queer, and he is still loved and accepted by all. It’s wonderful to see a queer character live through the same struggles the rest of the characters and not struggle because of his sexuality.


The Half of It PG-13

“When smart but cash-strapped teen Ellie Chu agrees to write a love letter for a jock, she doesn’t expect to become his friend - or fall for his crush (Netflix.)” Ellie Chu tried to work out her feelings for her newfound crush while grappling with the question of how to come out to her father.


Sex Education TV-MA

“Insecure Otis has all the answers when it comes to sex advice, thanks to his therapist mom. So rebel Maeve proposes a school sex-therapy clinic (Netflix).” This ensemble comedy follows teenagers as they discover who they are.


Modern Family TV-14

Sitcom Geek: Readers' Qs - How many scenes should there in ...


Today's American families come in all shapes and sizes. The cookie cutter mold of man + wife + 2.5 kids is a thing of the past, as it becomes quickly apparent in the bird's eye view of ABC's half-hour comedy, which takes an honest and often hilarious look at the composition and complexity of modern family life (Hulu).” This family mockumentary comedy includes married couple, Cameron and Mitchell and their adopted daughter Lily.



Love, Simon PG-13

“A closeted gay teen deals with coming out to his family and friends in this charming coming-of-age tale (Hulu).”


Love, Victor TV-14

Set in the world of the original 2018 film “Love, Simon,” the series follows Victor, a new student at Creekwood High School on his own journey of self-discovery, facing challenges at home, adjusting to a new city, and struggling with his sexual orientation. When it all seems too much, he reaches out to Simon to help him navigate the ups and downs of high school (Hulu).”


The Society TV-MA

This dystopian teen drama is set in a small town with dark happenings. After a smell invades the town, the teens are sent on a camping trip while it is cleaned. However, when they get back, the town is abandoned and they have no way out. While all this is going on, one teen struggles with being the only out gay person in town.


Workin’ Moms TV-MA

“Four very different thirty-something working mother friends try to balance their jobs, family lives, and love lives in modern-day Toronto, Canada (IMDb).” One of the main characters is a lesbian mother who struggles with raising children with her girlfriend that are not biologically hers.

Resources for LGBTQ+, National and Local

June is Pride Month! We know that members of the LGBTQIA+ community face discrimination in several ways. Here are 20 national and local organizations that have been created to help members of the LGBTQIA+ community. 


National Resources

  • Amnesty International -
    • Amnesty International states on their website, “We work both at home and abroad to tackle the most pressing human rights violations.” This is a good resource for people all over the world to use when their human rights have been violated.
  • Family Equality Council -
    • Family Equality Council advocates for LBGTQ+ issues. They educate families, speak out about equality, and fight to protect LGBTQ+ people.
  • National Center for Transgender Equality -
    • The National Center for Transgender Equality educates transgender people about their rights and takes action by supporting legistlation that protects the rights of transgender people, like the Equality Act
  • National LGBTQ Task Force -
    • The National LGBTQ Task Force is a great tool for members of the LGBTQ+ community. They use their resources to mobilize their members to take action and to stay informed
  • The Trevor Project website states, “Our trained counselors are here to support you 24/7. If you are a young person in crisis, feeling suicidal, or in need of a safe and judgment-free place to talk, call the TrevorLifeline now at 1-866-488-7386.” This is a great place to reach out to if you or a loved one needs help.
  • OutServe-SLDN -
    • OutServe-SLDN is “a united voice for the LGBTQ military and veteran community - and our modern military families.” Their mission is to make a real difference in the lives of LGBTQ servicemembers, military spouses, veterans, and family members through advocacy, education, and support. 


National Resources for POC

  • API Equality - LA -
    • Their mission is to empower “Asian and Pacific Islander communities to achieve LGBTQ, racial, and social justice.” Their campaign aims to increase access to mental healthcare and holistic community wellness for LGBTQ people.
  • Audre Lorde Project -
    • The Audre Lorde Project focuses on creating resilience uplifting the LGBTQ community in the New York City area. They have events multiple times a year to bring together LGBTQ+ people of color and heal as a community.
  • Black Transman Inc -
    • Their website states, “Black Transmen, Inc. provides positive and affirming support to enrich the lives of transmen thru EmpowerHIM. The EmpowerHIM program offers self empowerment through mentoring, access to resources, and financial assistance to support his healthy transition and leadership development.” This is a good resource for transgender people of color across the nation.                                                                                 Graphic by Renee Garris
  • Incite! -
    • Incite is working to end violence in their homes, communities, and states to create a safer world for women of color.
  • Muslims for Progressive Values -
    • Muslims for Progressive Values has a goal of reflecting Islam as “a source of dignity, justice, compassion, and love for all.” They have counseling services and use their resources to advocate for human rights.
  • National Black Justice Coalition -
    • The mission of the National Black Justice Coalition is to “end racism, homophobia, and LGBTQ+/SGL bias and stigma.” This organization is working to create policies that advance equity for black individuals, families, and communities. 
  • Trans People of Color Coalition -
    • The Trans People of Color Coalition creates visibility and safe space for transgender people of color.


Resources in North Texas

  • North Texas Pride -
    • “North Texas Pride advocates unity, equality and community integration for LGBTQ and allies through forums and events that promote pride and self-acceptance, education and awareness, and social interaction.”
  • Coalition Aging LGBT -
    • “Our Mission: Improve and protect the quality of life of older LGBT adults in North Texas through coordination and collaborations for health, housing, advocacy, financial security and social services.”
  • Trans-Cendence International -
    • “Trans-Cendence offers peer led support for transgender/gender diverse individua

    • ls as well as peer support for those surrounding them.”
  • PFLAG Denton -
    • PFLAG is the first and largest organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) people, their parents and families, and allies.”
  • Transgender Education Network of Texas -
    • “TENT is an organization dedicated to furthering gender diverse equality in Texas. We work to accomplish this through education and networking in both public and private forums. Through our efforts we strive to halt discrimination through social, legislative, and corporate education.”
  • Dallas Voice -
    • “The premiere media source for LGBT Texas.”
  • GALA North Texas -
    • “Celebrating diversity & enhancing equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer North Texans.”

How to Celebrate Juneteenth 2021

What is Juneteenth?

Juneteenth is an unofficial American holiday that is celebrated each year on June 19th. states that it is the day American troops marched to Galveston, Texas in 1865 and announced to all slaves that they were freed.


Why do we celebrate Juneteenth?

The day honors the end of slavery in America because, even though the emancipation proclamation was signed two and a half years ago, slavery was still allowed in the South. Confederate General Robert E Lee surrendered two months prior to June 19th, but the news didn’t make it to Texas and other southern states until then. 


We celebrate Juneteenth today to remember the pain slaves went through and to honor the progress that has been made for African Americans.


How can I celebrate Juneteenth?

Educate yourself.

Educating yourself further about the history of Juneteenth and African-Americans is a great thing to do any time of year, but especially as a way to celebrate Juneteenth.

Listen to a podcast or read a book about the struggles that black people in America face everyday. I recently read a book titled Dear Martin that was an excellent read. It's about a teenage student who is the only black kid in his high school and how he chooses to navigate the world.

Good Housekeeping Magazine recommends watching an independent film titled Miss Juneteenth to learn about the historical Miss Juneteenth beauty pageant. The film will premiere on June 19th, 2021.


Educate your peers.

Unfortunately, many people still do not know about the history of Juneteenth. It’s important for those who do to educate their friends and acquaintances on this important event in American history so our country’s past is never forgotten or repeated.


Sign a petition.

Even though Juneteenth has been celebrated for hundreds of years, it is still not considered a National Holiday. If you want to do more to celebrate Juneteenth than have a cookout with friends, signing a petition is a great way to show your support for the holiday. You can sign a petition to make Juneteenth a National Holiday at


Patronize a black-owned business.

Supporting black-owned businesses is a wonderful way to show your support to the black community any day, but Juneteenth is an especially good time to visit a black-owned business. You can feel good about indulging in a delicious cheesecake when you buy it from Val’s Cheesecakes, a bakery located in Dallas, Texas.


Thank you for taking the time out of your day to educate yourself about Juneteenth and for supporting WeTalkRadio Network!


UPDATE 6/16/2021

Today the US Senate unanimously passed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act. The bill is heading to the House of Representatives for a vote. Juneteenth will become a National Holiday if it passes.


UPDATE 6/17/2021

The house passed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act, and President Joe Biden signed it, making Juneteenth a federal holiday.

The History of Gay Pride Month

The History of Gay Pride Month

June is pride month. Pride month is celebrated by members of the LGBTQIA+ community and their allies.


Pride day is celebrated on June 28th each year, and it’s main event is the Pride Day Parade in New York City


How did Pride Month begin?

It began in 1970, as a tribute to the Stonewall riots. The Stonewall riots occurred June 28th, 1969 after police raided a gay club. 


People nearby saw what was happening and began rioting in the streets.The protests continued over six days.


While the Stonewall riots weren’t the first gay rights protests, they had a large impact and made headway for today’s gay rights activist groups.


Immense progress has been made since the Stonewall riots.


What's changed?

Gay Americans were not allowed to join the military until 1993, when President Bill Clinton introduced his “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. This policy only allowed gay Americans to serve in the military if they were not open about their sexuality.


In 2011, President Barack Obama repealed this policy and let gay Americans who were out about their sexuality join the United States military.


Then, in 2015, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of gay marriage in the landmark Obergefel v. Hodges case.


Why do we still celebrate Pride Month?

Even though leaps and bounds of progress have been made in regards to gay rights in the past century, the fight for equality still remains. Many individuals in the LGBTQ+ community still face discrimination in many ways.

According to Global Citizen, “Hate crimes against LGBTQ individuals are still shockingly prevalent across the country.” Several states still do not include gender or sexuality as hate crimes, and therefore do not have protections in place for when these hate crimes occur. 


Employment and housing discrimination still happens, as well. As of 2017, 20 states have passed non-discrimination laws. More than half of the states in America still have not.


Keep these things in mind this June as the country celebrates Pride Month. We should be grateful for the progress that has been made, and optimistic that things are still getting better.





The History of the Pride Month

Celebrating LGBTQ Pride

It comes across as a moving question – did you choose your sexuality? If not, then why to object on others. The gay rights movement has seen genuine progress and change in the last century across the world, especially in the United States. Pride Month celebrates commemorates the struggles, the sacrifices created awareness of the deep-seated prejudices, problems, and inspired people to bring out the significant change.

The Stonewall uprising

Throughout history, periods of upheaval moments have often given birth to genuine progress and change, but the Stonewall incident or Stonewall Uprising proved to be the catalyst for achieving the “pride” in the movement.

A series of violent confrontations started on June 28, 1969, between police and gay rights activists outside the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in the Greenwich Village in New York City. As the riots continued, an international gay rights movement was born.

Before 1969, homosexuality or solicitation of homosexual relations was an illegal act in New York. Gay men, lesbians, and other individuals who were considered “suspects” were not allowed to mingle freely, so the bars were the only haven for them.

On June 28, people in and outside the bar did not retreat or disperse as they always did in the past. On this evening, however, the bar patrons fought back. It started when Marsha P. Johnson cried “I got my civil rights!” and threw a shot glass into a mirror (now known as "the Shot Glass that was Heard Around the World").

People started throwing bottles and debris and pushing the policemen. This was spontaneous united action by 400 people who fearlessly breached police barricades and set the bar on fire.


The crowd was scattered eventually. The riots outside the Stonewall Inn waxed and waned for the next five days. There have been many other protests by gay groups but the Stonewall Incident was the first time when the LGBTQ community witnessed the power of unity for a common cause.



Stonewall: the symbol of resistance 

What happened at Stonewall bar was the first, but this incident became the symbol of solidarity among the LGBTQ community and sparked a new fire of activism for the new generation.

Older groups such as the Mattachine Society, which was founded in southern California as a discussion group for gay men and had flourished in the 1950s, soon made way for more radical groups such as the Gay Liberation Front (GLF) and the Gay Activists Alliance (GAA).

In addition to launching numerous public demonstrations to protest the lack of civil rights for gay individuals, these organizations often resorted to such tactics as public confrontations with political officials and the disruption of public meetings to challenge and to change the mores of the times. Acceptance and respect from the establishment were no longer being humbly requested but angrily and righteously demanded. The broad-based radical activism of many gay men and lesbians in the 1970s eventually set into motion a new, nondiscriminatory trend in government policies and helped educate society regarding this significant minority.


How Pride month started

A bisexual activist Brenda Howard, who was known as “the Mother of Pride” organized Gay Pride Week and the Christopher Street Liberation Day Parade a year after the Stonewall Riots. This turned into the New York City Pride March and became the catalytic event for similar parades and protests worldwide.

A talented designer Gilbert Baker designed an all-encompassing flag on the request of a gay politician Harvey Milk to be presented in the Pride March in 1978 in San Francisco.

President Bill Clinton was the first to officially recognize Pride Month in 1999 and 2000. Then, from 2009 to 2016, President Barack Obama declared June LGBT Pride Month. In May 2019, President Donald Trump recognized Pride Month with a tweet announcing that his administration had launched a global campaign to decriminalize homosexuality.



Depression in mothers: a growing crisis

Maternal depression is a major public health problem in the United States, with an estimated 1 in 10 children experiencing a depressed mother in any given year. Professionals who work with mothers and children should be aware of its prevalence and its detrimental effects. (NCBI Resources)

I believed for 9 whole years that I am not a good enough mom.  I kept telling myself repeatedly that being a stay-at-home mom may not be the best thing for me, it’s best for my family, for my child. I must be able to stay happy with this job or others, especially my husband thinks of me. Still, I could not help burying that deep-down desire to have some individual identity of my own outside of motherhood. A mom friend of mine used to wake up crying every morning and always thought that she was just having a bad day. She tried medications and communicating. She finally saw a therapist and joined a school to dig herself out of the darkness.

Like me or my friend, too many American women experience emotional crises as they navigate motherhood. Hormones are often considered the key reason for compromised mental health in moms, most of the challenges come from society’s gender expectations and responses to motherhood. Following are key reasons responsible for impacting the mental health of new or old mothers.

Sleep deprivation

Lack of sleep is the second name for motherhood, and moms contended with the years of interrupted sleep. The fact that no one wants to acknowledge that they are exhausted. This certainly leads to mental health issues, anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem.


Mom guilt

Believe it not, moms are the most judged by society, by themselves. This guilt starts in pregnancy and grows only worse as family, in-laws, partners keep finding out flaws in mothers. Anything that goes awry with the child, mothers are to be blamed.  Moms are susceptible to feeling guilty all the time because they want to believe that they are the chief architects of their children’s lives.


Work-life balance

I read it somewhere that women are supposed to work as if they don’t have to mother, and they are supposed to mother as if they don’t have a career. These clashing and contradicting expectations take a psychological toll on women as millions of working moms sacrifice to balance each day. And whatever they miss, adds only to their guilt stock.

Discrimination at work

Women often face unequal pay or treatment. Work-life balancing already takes a toll, then mansplaining, and barriers to upward mobility create further mental health issues. Most organizational cultures reward men out of proportion, which can be very subtle and difficult to fight.

Those stretch marks and that unfit body

Body shaming is another challenge that moms face. Instagram is full of pictures of celebrity moms stunningly fit and without stretch marks. The whole world tells them with a grin - if they can, why cannot you! This whole scenario contributes to a lack of self-worth, self-loathing, and eating disorders.

Domestic violence and abuse

A significant number of moms face domestic violence, and financial, sexual, and emotional abuse every single day. Even if they decide to leave a toxic relationship, the psychological trauma lingers, and they may be easily triggered.

Single motherhood

Millions of American children are currently being raised by single mothers. Most single mothers accept sleep deprivation, stigma, conflict with an ex, and financial insecurity as a part of the deal. Minimum wage keeps many single moms below the poverty line – even if they are working full time! These hardships often trigger anxiety and depression. Single moms are doing a great job but at the cost of their mental health.

Living With Severe Anxiety

Living With Severe Anxiety

By Autumn Faggett


Imagine that its Saturday night. You are perched on the most comfortable piece of furniture in your house doing the thing you love the most. Then suddenly, your chest tightens. It becomes harder to breathe even though you were not in a state of activity. Your heart is racing as though you have just run a marathon. You start feeling as though you are in danger. Like there is someone out to get you in your own home. You know that the only people in your house is the people you love, but somehow the feeling of danger still lurks in your mind. The extremity of these physical and emotional feelings continues for what seems like a lifetime, and you start to feel as though your world is ending. 

Then just as quickly as those feelings began, they disappear. You are baffled by what just happened as your body calms down. Without a diagnosis, you go about your business doing what you were doing before, hoping that those feelings do not return. 

You have just had a panic attack. 

Normal people may experience panic attacks one or two times in their lifetime as a response to extreme amounts of stress such as the loss of a family member, or major life changes that involve uncertainty. However, for people like me, who suffer from severe anxiety under a condition called, General Anxiety Disorder (G.A.D), panic attacks happen often without the proper reason to occur. Because anxiety is the body’s natural response to stress everyone at some point will experience anxiety. Anxiety can occur from excitement or somber occasions, but regardless, it will happen. The only difference between normal anxiety and severe anxiety is the rate at which the anxiety occurs. 

In hopes that my story will help someone, I am going to share my story below from the perspective of a southern, African American woman in her early twenties. 

I had my first panic attack when I was thirteen years old. My grandfather was just admitted to the hospital for the first time, and I was in school when my mother first sent me the dreaded text. She was coming to get me out of class early, but at the time, I was eager to leave school just so I could see my grandfather for perhaps the last time. At that moment in time, it was not going to be the last time I saw my grandfather, but my anxiety plagued me with all kinds of worries of what could happen in the hospital while I was not there. I worried so much about not being there when my grandfather died that my body thought that I was in a state of danger, and the panic attack came as swiftly as my worries. My teacher thought that I was having a heart attack and sent me to the nurses that could not figure out what was going on with my body. Eventually, the attack subsided, but the memory of that attack resonates with me today. 

That single attack makes my stomach churn because if I had sought out mental help sooner, I would not have suffered from my anxiety as long as I let myself suffer from it. When my mother picked my twin and I up from school that day, I was too embarrassed and ashamed to tell her that I had an incident with the nurses. I could not bring myself to tell her while her father lay in the hospital. Worrying about the health of my grandfather was only the beginning of all the worrying I would do through high school and my college years. Worrying about things out of my control, about social activities, how I looked, and the perception others had of me prevented me from living my best life during the times I should have been having the most fun. 

My anxiety prevented me from being able to relax and enjoy the things I formally would spend hours doing. My anxiety prevented me from pursuing relationships from people who had a genuine interest in me as a larger woman. My anxiety caused me to stray from the tight relationships I formed in middle school with people who I talked to well-into college because I worried that not talking to them for an extended amount of time made them hate me. My anxiety made me quit jobs over minor mistakes that were easily forgettable, yet I would stay up all night crying over those simple mistakes because I believed that I was bringing everyone down at my workplace. 

And finally, after 12 years of letting my anxiety rule and ruin my life, I finally sought out help at the end of 2020. As a black woman of an emotionally unavailable mother, I was too afraid to seek mental help since my family always had a stigma against mental health. Seeking therapy took the greatest amount of courage I could ever muster from myself. Getting the diagnosis of why I always felt the way I was feeling felt like a boulder was being lifted off my shoulders. Even though my mother teased me over my condition at first, she became slightly more understanding as I educated her on GAD. With the help of antidepressants and calming pills, I now feel like I have the freedom to do things I never would have imagined myself doing. 

I can say with pride that seeking help changed my life for the better. Although I have a long way to go to recovery, just the simple step of seeking help dramatically changed my outlook on life. 

For anyone who is doubting that they may have severe anxiety, I encourage you to look at what your anxiety is making you miss out on. Ask yourself; is this anxiety affecting my relationships? Is my anxiety causing me to ruin my performance at my job or school? Is my anxiety making me miss the best parts of my life? Is my anxiety consistently infiltrating my day-to-day activities? If you have said yes to any of these questions. Please, do not wait to seek help and let your anxiety get out of control the way I allowed mine to.

 You should consult your everyday doctor or licensed professional therapist to help you work through your anxiety, and the symptoms that come with anxiety. Do not wait because you feel embarrassed or ashamed of these symptoms. You cannot help how you feel, and you will only hurt yourself further if you do not seek help. 

If you’re still wondering if you have severe anxiety, please use the link below and use this free quiz provided by Rogers Behavioral Health below.


Thank you for reading my tale. Have a wonderful day and I hope this has helped you understand anxiety a little more!


Taking Care of Me: A story of overcoming anxiety, depression, and trauma

Taking Care of Me

A story of overcoming anxiety, depression, and trauma.

By Keely Messino

I started therapy about a year ago for anxiety, depression, and the effects of past trauma. The journey to wellness has been a roller coaster; there was so much more involved in the journey than I ever could have foreseen. I’m really involved in the process of learning about myself, getting to know all the things about myself, the good things about myself, the things that I like about myself, as well as my flaws and the things that need to be worked o., Everyone has something about themselves that they want to change.


I wanted to work on some deep-seated fears. I struggle with many anxiety triggers due to my disability as well as my past trauma. As time passed, I dealt with the fact that I will never fully “heal” while I am getting better, but instead, I would learn to cope with my mental health struggles. 


Hearing the words “You’re never done healing” was both a gift and a curse. Those words made me feel so conflicted. I know the purpose of those words was to make me feel like I didn’t have to be hard on myself if I were struggling or if I experienced a setback. On the other hand, I’ve been a student for my entire life, all classwork has a deadline, and I wanted to know when I “was supposed to be better” or “how long therapy was supposed to last.” There is no deadline to healing. 


When I was at my lowest, I was sleeping very little, and I was eating sweets to cope with the unpleasant feelings.


The lack of sleep was taking a huge toll on my body and my mind. I would cry myself to sleep at night, and the pain in my body was never-ending. Sometimes I would drink a few glasses of wine just so that I could fall asleep. I finally went to the doctor, and he offered me medication for my pain and my mood. I had so many mixed emotions. I was scared—some people in my family struggle with alcohol abuse. I questioned if the medicine was additive. The doctor told me that addiction was not a risk. 


Within a few weeks, I started to see an improvement. I was calmer, and the pain was almost completely gone. In addition, I was sleeping through the night.


I went to visit family recently; my family noticed the little yellow medicine bottle in my purse and asked what it was for. At first, I didn’t answer; I was worried about being judged for taking these meds. But eventually, the questions became too much, and I talked about my medical issues with my family. There is no shame in taking care of my needs and putting myself first.