How my mental health put a pause on my creativity

I was a recent graduate. I had completed the internship that was suppose to launch my career. I had found a somewhat decent job in my field at a local newspaper. I was living at home, saving money. By all accounts, I should have been full steam ahead, taking on the world by 2025. But the next half year would seep the love out of writing until I finally laid it to the waste-side, unsure of when I’d pick it up again.

My book on pause. My reporting on pause. My grant pitches and story pitches on pause. My desire…

How editors taught me the cruel trend of ghosting

The meeting had gone well, or so I thought. Getting to meet with an editor in-person is a rare occasion so I did my best to ensure a smooth and productive meeting. After exiting the cafe, I felt fairly relaxed, the editor asking me to email him some follow-ups. I thought that request guaranteed a response.

Evidently not.

Freelancing in any profession can come with its pros and cons. One con I find most difficult is the growing trend in ‘ghosting’ people. …

Retreating into an extreme introvert mindset can sometimes mean no interviews for days…

Becoming a freelance journalist has had some advantages. I get to be more particular about what topics I write about, I have more time to film and grow my skills as a videographer and photographer, and I can chase after those passion projects that I never had time for during my 9–5. But as someone who struggles with PTSD, depression, and anxiety, I also find myself going through periods of time when conducting basic interviews or attending meetings can be extremely difficult.

Social anxiety has been one…

How two TV shows impacted my career

I’ll never forget stumbling upon a West Wing clip on Youtube, thoroughly mesmerized by the world playing out on the screen. Josh was talking fast (or at normal speed as I’d come to learn) and something was happening in Cuba. I then spent Lord knows how many hours scouring the internet for episodes and other clips, wanting to watch as much as possible of this intellectual universe that I so badly wanted to resemble reality. Thus, my interest in politics began.
Fast forward several years to my sophomore year at university. I was…

A poem for the girls

You say my words mean nothing

That they are as empty as they are vast

My answers never meet

The invisible standard you have set

I’m not invited to most tables

So I must carve my own path

I must speak loud enough for you to listen

But quiet enough to not be considered brash

I’m told to cover up my body

But that does not stop the looks

Or the uncomfortable feeling I get

While walking home from work

My pepper spray ever sitting

Right within my reach

Have you ever worried about that?

The fear of rape or…

I swore off counseling after several bad experiences, but then I found myself trying it again…

What is it about counseling offices? They all look the same. All the same long hallways, the same minimal decorations, and that couch. The couch where we pay money to pour our souls out to strangers in hopes for some assistance with this thing called life. We all go for our own reasons. Some like it, some don’t. And for the longest time, I was on the side of ‘hell, no.

I went to counseling as a child… or rather I was forced to go to counseling. We had just moved to a new state following Hurricane Katrina in 2004…

OKCPS announced almost 20 school closings, leaving faculty and families devastated with plenty of questions about what’s next

It was another regular Tuesday morning when Amy* got the news that her son’s school would be closing next year. Having just returned to school from the New Year, Amy was shocked to hear that they only had five months left, and even more shocking to her was that they wouldn’t know where her son would go next year till March. The same news rocked Taylor*, a single mom of six kids, all who go to school with Amy’s son. …

Recovering from eating disorders can be its own kind of hell…

My eating disorders began during middle school, a time in my life you could not pay me to return to. I was an athlete, playing volleyball in the fall, basketball in the winter and soccer in the spring. By all accounts, I was really physically healthy and strong, but I wasn’t stick thin like some of the cheerleaders. I knew I never would be, it's just now how my body is built. I can’t even touch my toes so I never gave one thought into becoming a cheerleader. But, for unknown reasons, one of the head cheerleaders decided I’d make…

Begging only gets you so far…

When you’re an only child, you become an expert at entertaining yourself. You also get really good at speaking to adults… until you become an adult and you realize how unenjoyable it can be sometimes. But, from a young age, my parents had no problem telling me I’d make one hell-of-a lawyer because, well, I’m incredibly stubborn, will argue with anyone, and I can be very persuasive. When I want something, I go after it wholeheartedly. And my 9-year-old self wanted a dog.

Record scratch. Rewind to 2004.

I was an odd child. I blame this partially on the fact…

A response to the question I keep hearing…

Photo by Thomas Charters on Unsplash

I graduated college in 2017, an arguably inauspicious time to be entering the field of journalism. There have been plenty of people that have asked me since, “Why would you want to be a journalist right now?” Well… I suppose I‘d like to know when a good time to go into journalism would be? I could even argue that now is a fantastic time to be a reporter because you’re likely never short on content… Especially if you cover politics.

But, to answer that question more seriously, I put on a press badge every day knowing the value of the…

Alyssa Sperrazza

Multimedia journalist and photographer | Avid bookworm and coffee-lover | Writing about politics, culture, health and more | Currently based in OKC ⚡️

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