The 2020 election is approaching quicker than I feel comfortable with, and if you’re living in one of a handful of states, one of the many issues on the ballot may be if you can light up legally. Weed, I’m talking about weed. Already, 33 states and the District of Columbia allow marijuana for medicinal use, and 11 of these states (including D.C.) have also legalized marijuana for recreational use. Coming up on November 3rd, five more states will vote on whether not to legalize recreational cannabis and to allow it for medicinal use. As of now, the polls indicate that this measure will pass in these five states below, but here’s everything you need to know about which states are voting to legalize weed this cycle.
Since 2011, medicinal cannabis has been legalized in Arizona, but now they are looking to see if it will be legalized recreationally. I mean, nine years later you would think this would get passed by now! If this goes through, The Smart and Safe Arizona Act will legalize the use of cannabis for adults, and residents will be allowed to have up to one ounce of cannabis and five grams of THC concentrate, AND grow up to six cannabis plants in their household. Back in 2016, the polls were 51-48, and recently 62% of Arizonians support legalization. If you ask us, the polls are looking pretty good!
Being one of the most conservative states in the country, Mississippi is looking to legalize medicinal use. This seems like a long shot, but it looks like the polls are doing well. According to the state, Initiative 65 will allow cannabis to be prescribed to treat many medical conditions. The polls now show that 81% of residents are supporting this, so we’re thinking it’s going to pass. This support is probably bolstered by the fact that not only are there medical benefits, but apparently there are also economic benefits!
Montana voters accepted medicinal cannabis back in 2004, but now we are going to see if it will be approved for recreational use. The deets on this, according to Montana I-190, would be to permit selling and possessing for adult use. Residents would be allowed to have up to four cannabis plants and up to four seedlings in their homes. While some of the polls are pointing to a yes vote, a recent poll from Montana State University found that only 49% of voters support the recreational legalization—only time will tell.
New Jersey will be looking into recreational use, as it has already been approved for medicinal use since 2010. If it’s approved, the New Jersey Public Question 1 will legalize the sale and possession of cannabis for adults (21 and over). Even though this measure failed to pass in 2018, it’s looking like it’ll pass this time around since recent polling has found that 65% of voters are in favor, while just 29% are opposed. Second time’s the charm..?
This state in particular is looking to approve cannabis for both medicinal and recreational purposes. According to a poll released back in September, a majority of voters support both measures. The ballot will have two legalization measures: the South Dakota Initiated Measure 26 will allow doctors to prescribe cannabis to patients for many conditions and will also allow recreational use for adults. It’ll be interesting to see how this one unfolds!
As more people continue to vote in the coming days, we will see which of these states will pass on legalizing weed. So on November 3rd, we will be finding out which states will be weed-free AND who our president will be for the next four years…yikes!
Images: ImagePixel / Shutterstock.com
I have bipolar II, so I knew, even before I got pregnant, that I would have postpartum depression. It was a foregone conclusion, like your iPhone slowing down as soon as the new one’s announced, or y’know, a depressed person getting postpartum depression. This was not going to be a shock.
When I did get pregnant, it was ON. My therapist and I started to prepare for my inevitable transition from Depression Classic™ to Depression New—Now With 100% More Child™. We trained for it like a depression marathon, only there was zero exercise, but still a whole lot of carbo-loading. We talked about medication, self-care, and building a support system. We talked about how our sessions would work in the first few weeks and maybe there could be a few home visits too. But we never talked about it being anything other than PPD. There were mentions of postpartum psychosis and anxiety, because PPD was the goal—it was the darkness at the end of the tunnel.
Throughout my pregnancy I was reminded to “watch out” for signs of postpartum depression. The problem was, I didn’t know the difference between PPD and regular D. I’ve lived with manic depression for years, one could say I was quite the depression maven, but that would be extremely weird and unhealthy, but I was! I assumed the key distinction between the two would be the amount of crying.
When it came to postnatal mental health, the main focus during my appointments was the “Baby Blues” and how it makes you cry a lot. But what we really should have been talking about is how the term “Baby Blues” is bullsh*t and should be renamed to “The Crying Out All The Moisture In Your Body Oh God Please Make It Stop Reds.” It felt as though most of these materials and classes were aimed at people who didn’t have a mental illness or had never experienced clinical depression, both of which I find deeply disturbing. The point is, as an already severely depressed person, I didn’t know which “signs” to “look out for.” That’s like telling a nineteen-year-old me to look out for red flags in the men I dated. How do you expect me to do that when they’re all one giant red flag?!
I went off my medication for my pregnancy. I regret it now, but at the time I was scared and confused. There were no official guidelines for lithium during pregnancy, and every time I thought I had a handle on what to do, a new study or classification would come out and rip the handle out of my hands. The medication goalposts kept changing, so I decided to wean off under the careful monitoring of my psychiatrist. I fell into a deep depression early on. From there it just kept getting worse, and as my stomach grew so did my feelings of guilt and shame—how could someone LUCKY enough to get pregnant now be DEPRESSED and NOT WANTING TO BE PREGNANT?
I felt confused and ridiculous, but more than that I felt lonely. There’s not a lot of information about pre-natal and during-natal depression. And when it came to discussing PPD, the most I’d received during my entire pregnancy was a one-sheeter and a leaflet. I also took a childbirth prep class where the instructor played a video on postpartum depression, but before doing so, polled the class on whether they wanted to watch it because it may be a “bit of a bummer.” The issue with PPD isn’t the lack of information, it’s the distribution.
I’m lucky to have a therapist who I’ve been with for years, who understands my mental state and manages my medication. And I’m lucky I made it through most of my pregnancy without anything dangerous happening. I spoke to my therapist a week before giving birth—by that time I was experiencing suicidal ideation and we agreed I’d get right back on my meds after birth, maybe even a higher dose. This seemed like a solid plan as it was clear PPD was on its way. But we’d been training for the wrong thing and I was in for a shock.
The first day back from the hospital I cried. I cried more in that day than I’ve ever cried in my life. I cried so hard I gagged. It felt endless, and at some point, I thought “I guess this is my life now. I will go through the rest of my life suffocated by tears and overwhelming grief.” And that was all perfectly normal. Two weeks later, it all went wrong.
I woke up feeling wired, like I’d already had a gallon of caffeine. The baby was crying so I fed and changed her. I put her in her (now massively dangerous and recalled) rocker and watched her from the sofa. I’d only left the apartment once for a short walk with the baby and my husband. I couldn’t bring myself to leave alone. I felt safe inside. Outside was evil. People were outside. I had started to develop agoraphobia but everyone, including myself, put it down to “just being a new mom.” My husband would drive me to a postpartum group every Tuesday and I’d ask him to stay and wait outside because I was vibrating with anxiety. Every moment in that group was torture. The other moms and babies with their talking and crying, I hated it and them. It’s important to note here that this venomous behavior is not my modus operandi. I am normally a kind, funny, generous person and you’re just going to have to take my word for it.
I knew how depression felt, I knew how mania felt, but I couldn’t quite grasp what was happening to me. I felt different but I couldn’t describe it. A couple more weeks passed. I had quit the group and spent all my time indoors. But in a few days my husband would be returning to work and every time I thought about it, I cried. These weren’t hormonal, “normal” tears, these were terrified tears. I knew something wasn’t right, but I’d also convinced myself this was just a “new mom thing” and that everyone had fantasies of murdering or being murdered by someone trying to kill their baby. I was filled with so much anxiety and paranoia it felt like I had electricity for blood. I was deathly afraid of being left alone with my baby for fear of something bad happening to her, and for that something to be me.
I cried and begged for my husband to not go back to work. I told him I couldn’t look after our baby and I was scared of myself. As much as he sympathized and understood he still needed to go back to work because, money. I don’t have any family here and we didn’t have any childcare, so I decided to join another postpartum group; this one was a fifteen-minute walk away. Before my husband went back to work, we decided to do a dry run of the fifteen-minute walk. I still hadn’t left the apartment by myself with the baby and, unbeknownst to me, was deep in the throes of agoraphobia. But once again, I assumed this is how every new mother feels and acts – like they want to rip their skin off and carry out a murder-suicide on every person who walks too close to them. For me, if it wasn’t PPD then it was “just mom things.” The only mental illness I’d been somewhat “educated” on for postpartum was depression, so if I didn’t have depression, then I didn’t have an illness.
We did the dry run and I was ok. Sweaty, but ok. The overwhelming anxiety had me sweating profusely. Once again, you’ll have to take my word for it, but I’m usually not a sweaty person. When the day came, I felt stable but nervous. I asked a friend if she could talk to me on the phone as I walked there because I needed to think of something that wasn’t dying defending my baby’s life or bursting into flames. My friend had a five-year-old daughter and had been to postpartum groups. I panted at her down the phone “did you hate the other babies when they screamed because it would disturb your baby?” She said, “My baby was one of the screaming babies.” I made it to the group, drenched in all the moisture in my body. Everything was going fine, but towards the end I felt it, a madness, surging through my body. I grabbed my baby, who was sleeping in her car seat, put her in the stroller and bolted. I was so panicked I didn’t even buckle her in. I ran, jostling my tiny baby from side-to-side. I prioritized getting home over her safety, and as I ran, I thought (and I don’t say use this word lightly) “I’m fucking crazy.”
Going to doctors didn’t help because they’d see “bipolar II” on my chart, and it was easy to dismiss my erratic behavior as a hypomanic episode. But I knew what those felt like and this wasn’t that. I cried and begged doctors to see me. I was told it would be a month before the next appointment, “I don’t have a month, I don’t even have a day” I cried down the phone. They said there was nothing they could do. I had now been in, what my therapist diagnosed as, a state of high-functioning psychosis for seven months. I finally saw an endocrinologist, a very old, white man who had previously claimed my issue was that I wasn’t taking my meds because I was mentally ill and prone to that behavior. He’d made this assessment before he’d even met me. I didn’t want to meet him in person, but I had to. There was no one else. After several blood tests and neck scans, it turns out I had a relatively rare postpartum thyroid condition that was set off by Hashimoto’s disease which apparently, I also had. And there was no cure. I just had to wait for the psychosis to go away on its own, which is the wildest sh*t I’ve ever heard. Waiting for PSYCHOSIS to go away on its own like it’s a wart, or hopefully the spider that’s currently chilling in the corner of my bedroom.
After feeling literally insane for seven months all while being gaslit by doctors and looking after an infant, I decided to do my own investigation. I borrowed a book from the library called The Thyroid Solution by Ridha Arem, an endocrinologist based in Houston, Texas. In it, Arem talks extensively on how this postpartum thyroid condition affects people’s mental health. There were countless stories of women who, like me, had lost their minds and not been believed. Women whose husbands had left them because they were “crazy” or because their personalities had changed, and they weren’t “the woman I married” (side note: why are men?) These women had no idea what was happening to them, they’d just given birth and now they felt completely out of control. It was heartbreaking, but they only knew about postpartum depression and maybe postpartum anxiety, so in their minds, this was them. And that was me.
At no point during your pregnancy does someone tell you there is a chance of a total personality change; they do but only in terms of like “you’ll be born a mother” to which I give a hearty Logan Roy style “f*ck off!” I’d spent seven months getting gaslit and scrambling for answers. I knew this wasn’t postpartum depression and I knew it wasn’t my mental illness, but I also knew this birth had changed me on a cellular level .
We will always need a wider and more honest conversation about postpartum recovery, both physical and mental. And even though PPD is the most talked about postpartum illness, it’s still not talked about enough. There’s more to postpartum than depression and anxiety, there’s psychosis, OCD, bipolar, PTSD, Hashimoto’s, and a lot more. We need just as much care and attention put into postpartum recovery as we do during pregnancy. The pain doesn’t go away after we’ve given birth—for many of us, it’s only just begun. We need better access to maternal health services, better maternal mental health care, and most urgently, better black maternal health care. We need medical professionals to give us more information and options for postpartum recovery, but most of all, when we tell them we’re unwell, we need them to believe us. Especially black women who are three to four times more likely to die during or after pregnancy than white women.
My child is now thirteen months old, and while I may not be as sweaty or paranoid, I still have agoraphobia and, of course, still have depression and hypomania. I get regular blood tests to monitor my thyroid and haven’t had any flare ups since. Some days I wake up scared that that switch will flip again, and I’ll have to walk around out of my mind for god knows how long. But even if that did happen, at least I have a diagnosis and this time I’ll know that that’s not me and that I won’t be like that forever.
Images: Alex Pasarelu / Unsplash
The following is an excerpt from our new book, “When’s Happy Hour? Work Hard So You Can Hardly Work”, on sale NOW.
Job environment plays a huge factor in whether it would be a good fit . Say you’re really good at beauty tutorials but you wouldn’t ever want to work in a big gray-carpeted corporate office, then maybe the right route for you is freelance makeup artist. On the other hand, say you need deadlines to work, love brainstorming, and seriously care what people comment on each other’s Instagrams, well then, maybe you should be in media. Let’s discuss popular industries and what it’s like to work in them.
Exactly as The Devil Wears Prada led you to believe this job would be. Even though fashion is starting to be a little more accepting of sizes above subzero, people are still quite focused on appearance. They praise Ashley Graham on Instagram but talk sh*t about her thighs behind her back. This industry is harsh, self-important, and doesn’t really pay that much. Why are people in it? Because they care about seeming cool, or maybe because they actually give a sh*t what Pantone’s color of the year is.
If we learned anything from Silicon Valley, it’s that this world is changing faster than your tampon on a heavy-flow day. This can be highly stressful but if you’re a really skilled developer, coder, or engineer, then this is fine for you. If you’re not that good, you’ll know right away because you won’t get work or you’ll get eaten alive. If you’re a female techie, now’s the time to swing for the fences, as tech companies are needing to even out their ratios
for press purposes because they believe in diversity and being socially conscious, of course.
If you’re personable, outgoing and looking for a bullsh*t job where you get to do very little but have the opportunity to be paid more down the road, find a media job in a a large corporate company. All media companies are competing with one another, so they’re all spending a sh*t ton of money on pointless employee perks like beer on tap, expensive beverages that claim to be healthier than water, and the ability to work on a couch in a different room from your desk. Gasp.
You have to do an incredible amount of bitch work, ass-kissing, and sliding into people’s DMs to move up in this industry. Like, if you even want to write on a show, the amount of coffee you need to retrieve in your career will surpass the amount of alcohol you drank in college. If you really want to be the next Ava DuVernay, though, know that it’s going to be a lot of rejection and disappointment, but it is possible to get there, so keep going.
Rewarding AF. Not financially, though. And the only time that philosophy degree will help you is when you’re discussing Game of Thrones fan theories.
Even though the two are different, we grouped them together because they’re similar in that you have to put in a lot of work and hours—and also money—with very little sleep or salary to make a lot of money at some point very far in the future. Plus, you have to be really into reading to succeed in either field.
You’ll have to deal with a lot of bros and douchebags to be in this industry. Everyone talks really fast and assumes you know what they’re talking about when they use terms like EBIDTA and vested equity. Couldn’t care less about changing interest rates? Then don’t go into finance.
All The Other Sh*t, Like Agriculture
Honestly, this industry is the hardest to write about because we know very little about it. Aleen went to the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell, yet still, not much info from us. Farmers have one of the most important jobs in the country, and do you know what they have to rely on? The weather. That’s right, the weather. And then they have to deal with these huge corporations forcing them to accept buy-outs or kicking them off their land.
Yes, we left out a lot of different industries because, you know what, there are way too f*cking many, and you know what else? You’ll get over it.
Want more amazing career advice? Order our new book, you won’t regret it.
Images: Giphy (5)
It’s time we get real for a second. Your mental health might be an area of your life that you’re neglecting, but it shouldn’t be. It can feel difficult to talk to someone about your mental health, so that’s why we enlisted Dr. Jenny Taitz to answer some of your most common mental health questions. Dr. Taitz is a clinical psychologist and author of How To Be Single And Happy: Science-Based Strategies For Keeping Your Sanity While Looking For a Soul Mate. Dr. Taitz has already given some great advice on how not to let being single depress you; now, we’re talking to her about anxiety. Read below for how to tell if you have panic disorder (what most millennials refer to as “having anxiety”), or if you’re just feeling temporarily anxious, and how to cure it.
Remember that time you had a barely noticeable pimple that you tried to “fix,” leaving your face looking worse? The way people handle anxiety reminds me of attacking a minor blemish to the point that you have a scar. I don’t want to minimize—it’s so frustrating to feel like you want to relax and can’t calm down. Yet, there are so many ways we make ourselves much worse. If you notice that worry is stalking you, you’re not alone—millennials’ biggest mental health complaint is anxiety. The good news is that if you truly have panic disorder, your life isn’t over. While you may think you belong in the E.R., the problem is so treatable that cognitive behavioral therapy frees 80% of people from symptoms in as little as 8 sessions. If you have other forms of anxiety, evidence-based therapies that teach you mindfulness, acceptance, and ways to approach your fears will empower you (studies have found these therapies work as well as medications) and won’t entail investing years lying on a therapist’s couch.
What’s A Panic Attack?
If you’ve been freaking out for more than 30 minutes because you have so much to do you and you don’t even know where to start, you are—technically speaking—anxious. As panicky as you feel, by definition, a panic attack hits people out of nowhere and lasts less than 10 minutes. Some symptoms of panic include sweating, shortness of breath, nausea, and fear of either losing control dying. While anxiety can include physical symptoms, panic is briefly terrifying and your stress is about your physiology (e.g. I’m going to pass out), not issues in your life. Some people feel so nervous about being overwhelmed by panic that they develop agoraphobia and try to skip any situation that they can’t easily escape (e.g. subways or concerts).
Anxiety is annoying—of course you don’t like worrying, feeling restless, uncontrollably tensing, or struggling to restfully sleep. Generally, if you worry excessively about others judging you, that’s known as social anxiety, and common fears include sounding stupid or introducing yourself in a big group (if you think you have this, 15 million American adults meet the criteria). If you have general anxiety, lots of topics from money to health run wild in your mind. Specific phobia, the most common anxiety disorder, describes irrationally fearing a specific situation (e.g., seeing rats or flying).
How TF Do I Get Better?
Action is the way out of anxiety, so please don’t wait to feel better in order to realize your goals (especially if your goal is feeling better). Avoidance literally maintains your fears, so therapy will cheer you on to approach what you want to postpone. Life is hard and learning skills to accept uncomfortable feelings (yup, that means skipping self-medicating with weed or wine) will set you free, since we all get screwed over when we won’t tolerate less than feeling comfortably. I love the quote, “the price of security is insecurity.”
Btw, do you know what you do in therapy if you have panic attacks? Your therapist will help you do things like hyperventilate so you realize that you can cope (on that note, more than 80% of what you worry about never actually happens). You got this, betches!
If you feel trapped by anxiety, you can find a therapist who specializes in evidence-based therapies by visiting www.abct.org.
Images: Kyle Broad / Unsplash; Giphy (3)