Let’s talk about a truly good side of social media.

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For a long time now, I’ve known that I want to be much more vocal about my experiences as a fat woman in America, and as a woman with lipedema. When it comes to our biggest struggles, I believe that the greatest healing happens when we drop the shame.

There are many different ways to drop your shame, of course, but for me, I find it works best to write about it. In writing about my issues, I get to acknowledge and process them — usually in a healthy way. …

How I'm navigating treatment as a newly-diagnosed adult with ADHD.

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Photo by Krishh on Unsplash

Back in January, I was diagnosed with inattentive ADHD. I never knew too much about the condition, so I can’t even put my finger on the moment I knew I should be tested. It was more of a desperate guess to make sense of myself and my increasingly poor habits. Or my lifelong inability to build a routine. I was sort of at the end of my rope in terms of basic, executive tasks, and it seemed that all of my issues kept snowballing.

But things have been “bad” for a while.

I already knew I’ve struggled with depression for…

Well, here's an awkward thought.

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Image credit: cookie_studio

When I was young and first embracing feminism, boys and men would often wave my ideas away with one hand. “Feminists don’t want equal rights,” they’d say. “You just hate men.”

Even as I grew older and we began talking about equity over equality and various intersectional feminist issues, so many boys and men said the same damn thing. “Blah blah blah. That’s not true. You just hate men.” Or, “You just want to be the men. You want to control us!”

Hating men — it’s such a common and quick accusation to try and shut up a feminist. People…

That's not how fashion works.

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Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

When I was young and first struggling with my weight, I used to play the “at least I’m not that” game. At least I’m not that fat. At least I still have a cute face. At least I can walk fast. At least I can cover up my legs in wider jeans. At least nobody seems to be able to guess my real weight when my legs are hidden.

At least, at least, At least.

A lot of people play word games like that with themselves. In a way, you almost feel like you’re doing a good thing. As if…

I can’t be the only person right now who feels like they’re at the end of their rope… and that makes me very nervous to even bring up any of these thoughts.

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Photo by Julian Hanslmaier on Unsplash

Suddenly, I feel as if I am at the end of mine. I’m struggling with my work because my concentration is such a battle. Which drives me up the wall because my passion to tell all of these stories certainly hasn’t died down. But my ability to get the words out? Gone. (At least for now. )

Tonight is the first time in months, maybe even years, where…

People are losing their minds over a Black professor’s admission of enjoying heroin, and I’d like to talk about the racist double-standard of such angry energy. So, there’s this story in Insider about Professor Carl Hart. Carl has written a new book that explains why believes drugs should be legalized, called “Drug Use for Grown Ups.”

Many people are — unsurprisingly — upset that a Columbia professor would recommend drug use to others, but to be fair, his story is an interesting one. Professor Hart has studied drugs for more than thirty years. …

Confusion about 'Honest Abe' does more harm than good.

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Rachel Bostwick / Pixabay

This is a story I’ve been meaning to write for a few months now, but I’ve been dragging my feet a bit because I know it’s going to bring out a lot of feelings for many readers. Back in December, when I read lots of angry comments from people who were up in arms over the removal of a famous Lincoln statue in Boston, I realized that far too many Americans don’t know — and don’t care — who “honest Abe” really was.

The Boston statute was a copy of the “Emancipation Memorial” in Washington D.C. It depicts a formerly…

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Photo by Anita Jankovic on Unsplash

As an online writer, I get a lot of mail. Comments, emails, DMs, message requests — things like that. Some folks are totally benign and only want to tell me “thank you” for talking about a certain topic, or, they want me to help them with their own writing endeavors.

There are other people, however, who only reach out to me because they want to shame me about something I have said in my work.

Last night, I woke up briefly in the middle of the night to turn the heat down, and I regrettably checked Facebook. Oh, friends. I…

And I know, I’m not the only one.

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Author, today

This is something that I typically keep inside, all to myself — especially over the past year. Staying home with the pandemic has been tough on my mental health and it’s contributed to some deeper depression which tends to make me more reclusive and uncomfortable with my appearance.

I don’t look in the mirror if I don’t have to. I hate it. I don’t take photos either. I don’t like to admit how much I hate my appearance these days. Or more to the point, I hate the rising shame and disappointment. …

Valentine’s Day weekend calls for a few of my current thoughts about love. First of all, I love Valentine’s Day. And I love it even more as a single woman. It’s amazing how much you can enjoy the holiday when you quit worrying about appearances or expectations and actually invest in yourself instead of pining for romance.

Love is love, though "romance" is NOT the greatest love of all. Love that endures and carries you through is the best kind of love. You want a love that helps you grow into yourself. Sometimes it’s family. Sometimes it’s friendship. It’s not…

Shannon Ashley

Single mama, full-time writer, ex-vangelical. It's not about being flawless, it's about being honest. Top Writer. shannon.ashley.medium@gmail.com

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