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I have a serious mental illness. I was diagnosed about a year ago and will have it for the rest of my life. There is no cure. I fluctuate between times of euphoria and deep depression. I have moments where I seriously want to hurt myself or others. I have moments where I am fine and I can function in society. I feel things deeply. My mind races at 300 miles per minute and seemingly no amount of meditation can slow it down. I spent upwards of $160/mo to be on an online therapy platform. I am grateful that I…

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I work for a startup. This is a statement I thought I would never say. However, being a senior in college once the pandemic hit left me with very few employment options, and I saw the value I could add to the growing company. So I accepted the position and quickly got immersed in startup culture. A lot of things are typical. It is based in San Francisco, it is inherently laid back, and you probably will do a lot of things outside of your job description. …

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I woke up a few days ago and there was a news story that had been released showing that Sandra Bland had recorded part of the traffic stop incident.

On the tape, you can see and hear the cop telling her to get out of the car, ignoring her inquiries as to why she was being stopped. He opens her door and points a taser at her face and says “I will light your ass up. Get out!” After she gets out of the car, he demands that she stops recording, even after she explains that she has a right…

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The erasure of my being in this house is my own fault

the file scraped at my rough edges

into a smooth glossy finish of a person i do not recognize

i get caught up in the swings of torment disguised as inconceivable beauty

and forget to check in with my being

to knock at the now porcelain door where raw arteries once lived

they say they miss me

and the black joy i used to exude

my memory fails me over and over again

in trying to recollect the last time the laugh from my lips was embodied


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My uterus and me go back

way before the first shedding at age 11

but years before when the bellows from my sisters pink frosted room

signaled the end of her childhood and

agony became her cross to bear

i wept on my knees and prayed to god

for a chest so flat

and a body undeveloped and

a uterus that wanted nothing from me

my mother always said I didn’t know how to pray right

always asking for ridiculous miracles, never to be fulfilled

my uterus and me never see eye to eye

i feed my being with nutrients…

I have never been a big breakfast person. Mornings in a Nigerian household of 6 consisted of a lot of yelling and rushing to be late to school anyways. Quick, on-the-go processed food items were the norms. Hot Pockets, Pizza Rolls, you name it. Plates were forgotten on the car floor as we made a run for the classroom before our mother’s tongue or belt could get us. Weekends were bizarre; I vividly remember Saturday morning bowls of mushy oatmeal that had to be eaten before punishment ensued. …

Whenever I walk outside of my small 2-bedroom Brooklyn apartment, I take a deep breath. Not because I am eager to get “fresh air” into my lungs. No, rather a deep breath that doesn’t get let out fully until I step back into the space again. It is a breath similar to when you know a terrible ending is going to happen in a feature film. My therapist calls its “anxious anticipation.”

To be black in America is to live in a constant state of anxious anticipation; any and every moment can be your last.

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Walking out with black skin…

Tobi D.

Passionate Storyteller. Lover of the Unknown.

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