Sign in

LEVEL
Higher Learning. A publication from Medium for the interested man.

Mental Health

In LEVEL. More on Medium.

In the midst of a pandemic, alcohol was an all-too accessible coping mechanism. But putting down the bottle brought about a newfound clarity.

Photo: Thomas Park/Unsplash

Earlier this year, I went on a 30-day run without drinking. It was supposed to start when the ball dropped — a dry January to match the ritual that kicked off my 2020. Yet several factors, including the stress of quarantine and the aftermath of the 2020 election, led me to postponing my dry run by one week. Naturally, I started the day that insurrectionists stormed the Capitol. Here’s how I got there.


This is not a vacation day. This is sick time.

When the police killing of a Black person makes the news, I call off work the next day.


Life changes hit the rapper hard — and shows like ‘Tokyo Ghoul’ helped him process it all

Photo: Jeff Hahne/Getty Images

Since the ’90s, with Toonami curating anime for TV audiences and classics like Fist of the North Star circulating on VHS, Black America has been enamored with the Japanese medium. Just as martial arts films had in the decades before, anime turned its back on the redemptive narratives American media usually peddled, captivating viewers with stories of courage and willpower in the face of existential threat and internal conflict. It was hard not to find parallels; RZA once famously declared that, “Dragon Ball Z represents the journey of the Black man in America.”


Photo: Micaiah Carter/August

The LEVEL Man at 30

As he heads towards his thirties, the electrifying actor is laying himself bare — and finding a new sense of balance

For nearly a decade, LaKeith Stanfield has used his screen time reveling in the bizarreness of America’s racial consciousness. Whether Atlanta’s quippy street mystic Darius, or the code-switching sardonics of Cassius in Sorry to Bother You, his characters have always seemed to be in on the joke — and in his latest, Judas and the Black Messiah, Stanfield is closer to the secret than ever before.


After a life of struggling with my weight and self-esteem, I was on track. Then Covid came.

Photo: John M Lund Photography Inc/Getty Images

“You know you look skinny, right?” The words felt like a too-tight hug that was starting to hurt.


Whether early-onset puberty or my thighs being too fat, I hated my self-image

A photo of me when I traveled. Photos courtesy of the author

I come from a family that shows love through food.


Contrary to what you learned, you don’t have to suffer in silence

Photo: Maskot/Getty Images

We all sat bug-eyed around the living room of my sisters’ tiny two-bedroom apartment, shocked at my father’s unexpected outburst. “I would rather die!” he shouted again. “Go on ’head, leave me here to die!”


Truth is, we’re all fighting our inner demons

Shadowy portrait of a Black child with shaved hair.
Shadowy portrait of a Black child with shaved hair.
Photo: Lutendo Malatji/EyeEm/Getty Images

How long did it take you to accept your weirdness? Have you ever accepted it?


Walking through the day means nursing a universe of emptiness cradled between the chest and stomach

Photo: Jonathan Knowles/Getty Images

I’ve dealt with chronic depression and anxiety my entire life. The earliest memories of feeling “down” or having suicidal ideations started when I was 13 years old — around the time many people with a chronic disorder begin to experience symptoms.


After Oregon legalizes psilocybin, a new study adds to a growing body of literature that psychedelics can be useful for psychiatry

As mental health care continues to be destigmatized, new treatments, including hallucinogenic mushrooms, provide therapeutic effects.

LEVEL

Higher Learning. A publication from Medium for the interested man.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store