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You work as a line cook for a wrap, salad, and panini station in a university food court. You take orders, make small talk, earn tips. Needless to say, you interact with a lot of people day in and day out.

It’s your job to smile.

It’s your job to be pleasant.

Being nice isn’t a problem. Your coworkers are cool, you like to cook, and take care of people. The issue comes in when people mistake your niceness for interest.

There’s a guy who started appearing at your job. Let’s call him Tom. Tom found out where you work…

Opening up to someone else helped each of us feel less alone.

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Hypomania, according to the Harvard Mental Health Letter, is usually described as a mood state or energy level that is elevated above normal, but not so extreme as to cause impairment — the most important characteristic distinguishing it from mania.

Aside from my writing, I don’t make a habit of telling people about my neurodivergence. I like familiarizing others with my personal experiences, especially when so much media gets bipolar wrong. But I also want to protect myself.

I don’t want people in my day-to-day to look at me differently if they already got in their heads that bipolar people…

5 Observations To Help You Navigate the Page

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  1. differing in mental or neurological function from what is considered typical or normal (frequently used with reference to autistic spectrum disorders); not neurotypical.

2.“there are some things that neurotypical people just know or can figure out and that neurodivergent students may need to have a model for”

Definitions from Oxford Languages

The other day my friend asked me about my creative process. And honestly? I couldn’t answer her, not in a few neat sentences anyway. As a person with Bipolar Type 2, my process changes up a lot, thanks to the chemicals in my brain. …

8 Tips for 2021 Socializing

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It’s been over a year since we’ve started quarantining, and the ways in which we socialize have changed. I only talk to my friends and family via messenger or voice chat. On the rare occasion when a loved one is in the area, we’ll shuffle with the muscle memory of wanting to hug, only to settle with a wave. And in public, I give a wide berth to anyone, mask or not.

But these are just the big changes. There are details that I’ve come to notice over the course of this year that I’d like to share with you…

For Seeking Comfort in “Silver-Linings”

You’ve been feeling guilty for still being here, for being alive and safe in your home. You’re fortunate enough to have, food, water, shelter, and a support system.

And whether my Facebook history makes me a bad person.

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For a while now, I’ve considered deleting my Facebook account. The thought plagues me before bed. Instead of sleep, I’m hit with a barrage of embarrassing actions I made back in high school. Back then I wore Tripp pants and fishnet shirts and made controversial statements without knowing the full weight of my words while also integrating anime convention lingo in my day-to-day speak. I’m thankful that those days are long buried in the past, available only via the deep recesses of my mind —

Except, not really, because I’ve had my Facebook account for over a decade.

I like…

Ways to Stay Sane Without Mindless Scrolling in 2020

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The time for mindless scrolling is over. Back when the quarantine topic first ramped up, my feed consisted of COVID-19 news and memes. But you can’t, nor should, want to joke about the protests, the Black Lives Matter movement and the systemic oppression in our broken society. Now, every post is of weeding out injustice, about raising black and brown voices and contributing to the cause in any way you can.

In such a serious, proactive time with no levity in social media, how do you find ways to recharge? …

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  1. My passions ebb and flow like waves. For weeks at a time I’ll breeze through hundreds of pages of Young Adult novels. Then the urge to read fades as I’m overcome with a surge of writing. Then I lose interest in my writing, but I keep filling pages and pages of my sketchbook. Then another passion takes the reins, and so on and so forth. Without an enforced deadline, my brain obsesses in cycles.
  2. Even though I thrive at 3AM, my brain gets skittish. A dark corner or negative statement send chills through my spine. My boyfriend could say something…

7 Ways to Combat Your Inner Critic

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What if your work never graces bookstore shelves?

You never get out of that initial draft. You never find an agent who loves your work. A publishing house never picks it up, and you never get that awesome book cover reveal.

“Overnight Success is almost always a myth. Half of the industry is luck, and half is the refusal to quit.”

— Victoria Schwab

I feel like I’ve been spoiled by the accessibility of information in today’s world. I can look up whatever I need and results will pop up on my phone in seconds. …

From One Depressed Mind to Another

“If you’re out there and your drifting in space, the one thing that I want to tell you… Is just the thing that I wish someone had been there to tell me, those two nights that I tried [to commit suicide]. It’s the simplest most powerful phrase in the English language I think: I understand how you feel.”

— Oliver Thorn, Suic!de and Ment@l He@lth | Philosophy Tube

I saw myself in a car, stuck in the mud and sinking. Stepping on the acceleration spun the tires out, splattering my surroundings with sludge and grime. …

Bronté Bettencourt

Graduated with an MFA in Writing Children and Young Adult Literature. Full-time D&D and YouTube connoisseur. I also love coffee ~

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