It has been about twelve years since the relationship that I once had with my mother, transitioned into the crumbled shell that it is today. I will admit that, now, the status of this non-relationship is not a bother to me, and I know that many people wouldn’t understand that.

I remember the way that it started as vividly as if it was just a couple of days ago. We (my mother, three siblings, and I) had only emigrated to the United States just a few months prior. It was now around mid-October, and I was preparing dinner with my…

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Have you ever read an article, a book, or watched a movie that spurred you to do some great reflections on your own life? I have been there. Often, I go through periods of evaluating my current mental and emotional state. Identifying the gaps between where I once was, where I am now, and where I would love to be, has become a regular occurrence for me. No matter how often it is done, I find that there is always something new to uncover. I will probably be talking about self-reflection a lot on Witted Roots because it is a…

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How many times a day do you find yourself making statements similar to the negative self talk examples below? Whether it’s about how non-attractive you believe you are, the intelligence you think you don’t possess, or your feelings about your rank in the world, leaning towards a negative perspective is a common trope.

I’m not important enough to make a difference.

I only received recognition in class because the professor seems to like me.

I doubt I’ll win that scholarship because I’m not smart enough.

I can never do anything right.

I’m not pretty enough for anyone to like me.

Negative Self Talk Habits

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If 2020 has taught me anything, it’s that the kind of spaces that I’ve been trying so hard to create for the past 3+ years are so very necessary. Like everyone else globally, the introduction of a pandemic threw a wrench into our plans. Whether it was personal or professional, many of us felt more or less like a fish out of water, with no idea about the first step to take for just mere survival.

It wasn’t any different for me. Nothing that was planned or expected came to be. Very rarely was there a glimmer of hope that…

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I was recently diagnosed with bipolar disorder. I’m not ashamed of the reality, personally, but I’m not sure how to approach my family with this information.

My mother tends to scream and cry for everything, and my father…is a whole other story. They don’t “believe” in mental illness, so I’m not sure how to address my diagnosis, especially since I may have to move back in with them in a few months.

What’s the best way to ease them into it without causing too much drama?

Diagnosed in Norfolk, VA

Greetings Love! It is common to find that some families…

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A little over two years ago, I found myself in the midst of what some may refer to as a ‘pit’. A deep, dark hole with no clear path which made an exit evident.
I had just finished my Master’s program in Psychology, Health, and Behavior in the UK. A year wrought with challenges at every turn, yet I found a way to make it through to the other side without failing. At least, not completely.

As a small aside. I have always been academically proficient. I was able to complete my undergraduate studies in two majors, graduated with honors…

1:25 AM

I lay with my back pressed against the soft cotton sheets, noting that it’s willing itself to spasm itself into oblivion. I’m staring up at the ceiling, watching the occasional glimpses of light trickle through the curtains hanging at the windows. I pick up the starving yowls of a dog in the near distance, pausing only to catch his breath in the cold wind that is whipping ferociously outside. The trees outside of my window are trembling.

So am I.

Well, to put it more accurately, my body is weak and having chills, partly from the dip in…

My legs swing in slow-motion, my bare heels hitting the concrete wall with the whisper of a thud. I lean my back against the old, rusty pole used to keep the clothesline in place, positioning myself in the furthest corner of the yard, willing the dripping-wet school uniforms to keep me hidden from any eyes. I’ve been sitting here for three hours, my first attempt at circumventing my usual Sunday morning chores seem to be a rousing success. I only had to shoo my youngest sister, Clara, away twice, afraid she might reveal my location. …

Absence makes the heart grow fonder.

At least that’s what they say. I will admit that I’m a bit on the fence about buying into this phrase. As common as it is to repeat in a variety of contexts, I feel like it doesn’t even begin to chip away at the complexities of a serious, long-distance relationship. Space and distance have the ability to transform the way that we navigate any serious relationship. No, I’m not saying that everyone should text their significant other a “See you in a couple of months”, when you live five houses down from each…

I am tired of being afraid.

That is what I definitively stated, out loud while sitting in a corner of the verandah while at home in Jamaica in November 2015. I had just completed my Master’s program in England, birthed from a longtime dream to see a side of the world that I never have before, and a fear that I may never have the opportunity to do so again. At this point, I could feel the stirrings of the anxiety and panic that I have spent the majority of my years on Earth battling with. …

Shanice J. Douglas

StoryTeller. | Mental Health + Emotional Wellness Entrepreneur. | Founder, Witted Roots ( | E:

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