When You Know It’s Not A Coincidence

When You Know It’s Not A Coincidence

25 days. Count them. Watch them slip through your fingers like water.

25 days will not last forever. Your life here will not last forever. Family dinners, family jokes, family movie nights will not last forever.

You are leaving. You are leaving the room where you grew up, the room with clothes and books strewn in piles on the floor, the room where you don’t have to share anything. You are leaving your cozy bed and your bookshelves and your art on the walls.

In 25 days you will pack your things and move into a new room with a new friend. You will start a new life at a new school. Colby College is waiting for you, hopefully with a good on-campus job and the classes you requested. But you don’t know. You have no way of knowing now, and the information comes slowly, and the pieces are fitting together even more slowly, and you just aren’t ready yet.

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Where Mental Health and Jesus Meet

Where Mental Health and Jesus Meet

I’m pretty sure that if I wasn’t a Christian, I’d be fully immersed in the mental health awareness movement by now.

I’d be fighting for the rights of people with depression and anxiety, focused on the benefits of medication and psychology, stamping out the stigma.

But as it is… part of me hesitates.

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On my twelfth birthday, my dad took me out to breakfast and told me that I have Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. I didn’t tell him this at the time, but I’d already guessed. I’d seen the books on the shelf: Your Anxious Child and What to Do When Your Child Has Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. I’d just been too afraid to ask who they were for.

My dad told me he had the disorder, too. It felt like a big secret had been imparted on me—something I’d never known before, something he never talked about. As far as I could tell, he just went about his life as though it didn’t affect him. I certainly wouldn’t have guessed that he had it. It must have been something he wanted to keep hidden—a shameful weakness.

So I did the same. I kept those three letters tucked deep inside me, my own precious, terrible secret: OCD. I am, I thought, I am OCD.

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To a Screaming World: Time to Listen and to Heal

To a Screaming World: Time to Listen and to Heal

My hands are shaking as I stand at the sink. I pause with the sponge in my hand, try to breathe. I don’t know if I can say anything right, just now, don’t know if I can speak without the words crumbling as they fall out of my mouth. So I listen.

“She’s hating people! And she says ‘God’ is the one telling her to do it. Right here, in the paper!”

He’s spouting words like these, and he’s angry. In his eyes, this is discrimination—this is hate. The clerk refused to sign same-sex marriage licenses because she’s bigoted and hateful and homophobic, like all Christians who use the name of God to tear down other people.

I turn and I look at him and the thought ripples across my mind: Do I tell him I’m one of them, one of the Christians? Do I make my new boss even angrier?

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