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Malika Haqq Quit Xanax For This Natural Alternative To Manage Her Anxiety

Living with mental illness is a marathon, not a sprint.

Celebrity News

When I was little, my anxiety manifested in the form of stomach aches. Birthdays, Christmases, funerals, and first days of school were often accompanied by packs of Alka Seltzer and indescribable pain. As an adult, these stomach aches evolved into behavioral challenges and for the first time I was prescribed anti-anxiety medicine.

Klonopin, a pill that I later learned is a common drug in the prescription addiction world, was everything I didn't need in my life. First came the panic attacks, then came the blackouts, and finally, I decided that I was done with pills.

That is, until I took my very first ride to Xanny land and fell in love.

In college, I became dependent on unprescribed meds, namely Adderall and Xanax; one lifted me up while the other brought me back down and soon my addiction became the only way to feel normal. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, my experience is not unique and anxiety disorders affect nearly 40 million people across America. One of those people is 35-year-old actress Malika Haqq who recently said that after years of battling anxiety, she was able to trade in her Xanax for CBD oil.

In a recent interview with People, Malika got real about suffering in silence and the mentality shift that ultimately led her to ditch prescription pills:

"A lot of anxiety is very much about the way you process things in your head. So for me, I actually am processing that I'm doing better and feeling better because I'm doing something that's better for myself. It's crazy, but the truth is it really does help. It honestly has done a world of difference for me where anxiety is concerned."

The Keeping Up with the Kardashians star said that while seeing a therapist for her anxiety issues, she discovered the Boston-based full-spectrum CBD line, beam, which has changed her life in more ways than she could have imagined. Malika says that since starting this new wellness practice, she's become the candy lady in her circle of friends, except her "candy" just happens to be CBD oil. CBD, which is legal across all 50 states, is now included in a number of natural beauty, skin, and health products, and for Malika, has been a game-changer when it comes to her perspective on anxiety for the better:

"It's almost like hitting a reset button that makes your body go back to a balanced state. It has been the reset button for me that balances everything out. It's not a heightened moment, it's not a dull moment, it's just right. And it's instant. I would relate it to if you're thirsty and you drink water, however long it takes to feel hydrated is how long it takes for the CBD to kick in, in my personal experience."

Don't get it confused, chemical imbalances are real, sis; Malika is NOT telling you to trade in your psychiatrist for a bag of weed and some CBD oil. The actress says that while Xanax is no longer how she chooses to manage her anxiety, there was a point in time where medication was totally necessary.

"It isn't that those things didn't help me, but I actually needed to be on medication. But the older I've gotten, I've gotten wiser and more protective of myself and the things I put in my body."

As a reality star that is constantly in the public eye, Malika says that initially it was difficult to open up about her struggles with mental illness publicly. Nobody can lie to you like you can, but as you get older, denial gets old, too. Malika said that ultimately her decision to talk about her anxiety came out of a need to be honest with herself:

"I think that the more you mature and become self-aware, you spend less time caring about what people think about what you're doing and spend more time actually taking care of yourself and your well-being. What I've learned is the best way to handle or deal with your discomforts in life is to be honest about them."

She said that although it isn't necessary to spill all your tea, sometimes the strongest thing you can do is find the courage to ask for help:

"It doesn't mean you have to scream them from the rooftops, but it's almost impossible to get help with something that people don't know about. So often we struggle with things out of fear that someone will judge us. There are so many people that are afraid to say, 'I'm struggling.' I'm going, 'I struggled, and I still do with stress on a daily basis.' I'm happy to be someone that's out there going, 'You don't have to speak up, I'll speak up for us.'"

Anyone with anxiety knows that living with mental illness is a marathon, not a sprint. Although every day is a new battle to become free of fear, she's headed into her newfound lifestyle with a warrior's mentality:

"Some days are better than others.Those days that I'm not doing that great, trust me — I'm CBD oiling it down, in the morning in my tea, then I'm going on about my day, just doing the very best that I can."

Read Malika's full interview here!

Featured image by Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock.com

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
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Featured image by Shutterstock

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