“May” I please feel better

In honor of May’s Mental Health Awareness month, I’ll share what I’m dealing with right now.

These last couple of months have been hard. No, they’ve been painful and scary and emotional and trying.

4 years ago I started taking lexapro for anxiety. It worked wonders for me. I had a wonderful 3.5 years on it but over the last several months, my anxiety kept creeping back up and getting worse and worse. It began to really affect me and my daily life and the lexapro was no longer working. I decided to take matters into my own hands and wean myself off without my Doctor’s help. That did NOT go well. I was an emotional mess. I finally began to feel better a few weeks ago and now, I’ve developed a health issues that has forced me to take 4 (yes 4) high dose hormone pills a day. It’s been 16 days on the pills now and unfortunately, they have not helped to correct the problem that they were prescribed for and have given me horrible emotional side effects. I mean, horrible. I’ve never in my life taken hormones and now I’m on double the regular dose of what’s normally prescribed and it’s killing me. When I can actually sleep, it’s restless and I wake up shaking like a leaf and with my heart pounding out of my chest. I’m SUPER emotional, beyond anxious and now, I’m anemic. I am scheduled for surgery on Tuesday the 14th. This is also hugely emotional for me as it brings with it decisions that I wasn’t prepared to make. I just need to catch a freaking break?!? This is all too much. I’m so beyond over it all right now. I just want to feel like myself again. You can have all the amazing friends and family in the world but when you feel like this, nothing helps. It’s the worst. So, just know that you are not alone if you’re feeling any of these feelings. There are people out there feeling it too. 🙋🏼‍♀️

#struggling #hurting #hormonepillsarekillingme #justwanttofeellikemyselfagain

Sometimes, I write :)

Full disclosure, I was born in Manhattan but have never actually lived in the city, so please forgive me if some of the details aren’t completely accurate. This is all written from memory and my personal point of view.

This is a short story that I submitted for a freelance writing gig. Had to be written in the third person and descriptive of a location that I love. Enjoy!

Title: California Dreamin’ in a New York State of mind.

She arrives at JFK airport and takes the AirTrain to Penn Station. She walks up the long staircase and exits at W 34th and 8th. Right across the street from Madison Square Garden. She takes a deep breath and then coughs, she’s home. As she walks shoulder to shoulder with the rest of the pedestrians, she takes it all in. The burnt smell of pretzels and hotdogs being served from vendors every 25 feet. The screeching sound of cars whipping around and the near constant blaring of horns honking. Should she deviate from her usual path, the one that leads her to all of her favorite New York City stores? Bergdorfs, Barneys and Saks, or should she go where no self respecting New Yorker goes, Times Square? She contemplates this for a moment and opts for Times Square. She has not been in years and there is just something magical about it, even if you ARE a New Yorker (although you’re not supposed to admit it). She makes her way stopping only once to grab a slice of pizza and to purchase a pashmina and a pair of sunglasses from a young man on the corner just outside the pizza joint. Two items for $10, she couldn’t pass that up. She walks around tourist filled Times Square, taking in the bright lights, massive bulletins and TV’s. Artists, actors and performers lining the streets entertaining the crowds for tips. She feels a bit of nostalgia. Remembering how as a child, all of this seemed so unreal, so imaginary, so….. EPIC. After stopping in the SWATCH store and the M&M’s store, she decides to head over to Central Park. But not before stopping at New York’s famous Magnolia Bakery for a cupcake. She will need something sweet to eat when she gets to the park. She takes out her METRO card and gets on the subway. She looks for a place to sit. There is 1/2 of an available seat. She decides to take it. She sits down in between a homeless man and a little boy who is holding hands with his mother. Several minutes later, she arrives at her stop. She walks up the stairs. The smell of the subway station is less than appealing. She can’t wait to get out into the fresh air. She crosses the street into the park. It’s as stunning and picturesque as she had always known it to be. Lush and green as far as the eye can see. 2 police officers come toward her on their horses. One stops to allow her to say hello to the regal steed standing before her. She continues her walk through the park and finds a bench. She sits down and eats her cupcake in silence. Far enough away from the busy, taxi filled streets to enjoy the peace and serenity of the park.

All of a sudden a loud beeping noise startles her. She reaches for her iPhone and turns off her alarm. She stretches and gets out of bed. She opens her blinds to expose the view of Hollywood Blvd in Los Angeles, California and she smiles and thinks to herself, I should be California dreamin but clearly, I’m in a New York State of mind.

Say what you need to say

Thank you friends for continuing to follow this blog. It means so very much to me.

I am excited to announce that I have been working on a project. A podcast called, “Stuck In The Middle”, with a friend of mine. We will be releasing the first 3 episodes within the next couple of weeks with spoilers released as early as next week!

I am eager and excited to release these episodes but am also feeling some apprehension. I have kept my life very private since my seasons on The Bachelor. I had cancelled all of my social media after the shows aired and currently only have a Facebook page with my closest friends on it. I do not have thousands of fb friends as I only add people who are “actual” friends.

I created this blog not too long ago as a way of opening back up to the public and sharing my stories in an effort to comfort those who might also be experiencing things of a similar nature. This blog has been extremely cathartic for me and receiving messages from you all has made my heart swell with honor. I love hearing your stories as well as your encouragements and I hope to continue to hear from and help you.

However, this podcast… is a whole other form of exposure. I am finding myself wanting to avoid sharing the episodes with certain people; fearing that I might be judged for what I say. Already trying to think of how to explain myself for the potential questions that might arise based on things that I shared or said. It all brings me back to the days of watching myself back on TV in sheer humiliation and spending countless hours defending myself and my character to people who did not deserve the attention.

The solace that I do have with the podcast, is that I am actually saying what you are hearing and it’s not being producer edited, cut/spliced and sound bites aren’t being added to make me sound like I’m saying things that I never actually said (spoiler alert: you can tell that sound bites are added when you don’t actually see the persons mouth saying the things that you are hearing on reality TV). Which is why most of the time, my face wasn’t shown at the same time as what you heard me saying. But, back to the podcast. Sorry for the slight detour. There is that part of me wishing to not share it with everyone out of fear of judgement and fear of reliving what I experienced back then. People will be learning things about me that they never knew. Hearing first hand how I speak, (curse words and all) hearing my personality and how I interact, etc. This makes me nervous but I am going to be 100% myself and as my mom always says, “que sera sera”. Today, I was grateful to get together with someone who is very special to me. This person has impacted my life in so many ways over the last several years. She reminded me that I need to always remain true to myself and to others and that those who might judge or dislike me for being who I am, are not people that I need in my life. She reminded me that not everyone has to like me and that is okay. One of my best qualities, although at times leaves me feeling drained and anxious, is my ability to be entirely forthcoming and genuine. I need to learn to be unapologetic for this.

“Even if your hands are shaking and your faith is broken, even as the eyes are closing, do it with a heart wide open, SAY WHAT YOU NEED TO SAY”

-John Mayer.

“Being vulnerable might be scary but it might also touch someone’s heart”

– Me

As these podcasts will be made public and we will have all social media sites up and running for commentary, questions and comments, I need to thicken my skin and prepare for the not so nice words that are likely to follow. I need to remember to not hide parts of myself from people that I fear might cause them to not like me or to judge me as those are NOT “my” people.

I have been gifted with the ability to offer love, support and advice to others through compassion, sympathy and empathy. I am just hoping that I can treat myself with the same kindness.

Thank you all for reading this post and I look forward to sharing more with you soon.

“Unlovable and Pathetic”

“Unlovable and Pathetic”

To my incredible Bachelor family: We all remember coming off the show(s) and being bombarded with less than stellar things being written/said about us. Things we didn’t want to see being tweeted @ us on a near constant basis; pretty much all day, every day. The lovely blogs and articles with words that we carry with us to this very day. Please remember you are NOT these things. You never were and you never will be. You are incredible! You are unique, you are beautiful and you are amazing.

Our kind, beautiful, oh so lovely, Michelle Money finally came out just this year (almost 8 years later) and spoke about her experience with this emotional abuse and how it negatively affected her in so many ways, for many years. How these words had impacted her to such a great degree. Let me tell you something about Michelle Money. She is the kindest, warmest, loving soul. She and I weren’t close in the house during the first show that we did together as we never really got the opportunity to know one another. But when we returned to film Bachelor Pad, I got to know and love the real MM. Michelle would do my hair and make up for me. She would help me pick out outfits and she was fiercely protective of me. She got me through it with love and compassion and went on to narrate part of my time on the show. (Link below to watch). I will always love and respect you immensely, Michelle. I’ll never forget just after filming The Bachelor (before we were reunited on Bachelor Pad) sitting at my nieces bat mitzvah in 2011. An episode was airing that evening and I felt anxious and unsettled. As cast members back then we were not allowed to exchange personal contact info with one another until the show was finished airing but somehow, Michelle got my phone number. I got a random text message from an unknown number telling me what an incredible, beautiful, amazing woman I was and to always remember that. I looked up the area code and instantly knew that it was from Michelle. She somehow obtained my number and contacted me when I needed it so badly and turned my whole night around. She hardly knew me at that point but THAT is the real Michelle Money. Not this awful villain that they claimed her to be.

I knew at the time that I was being negatively affected so I cancelled my social media and tried to ignore, but it was everywhere. Magazine articles, googles home page (yes my face was featured on googles home page), comedy central’s “The Soup” (who still plays my exaggerated yogurt scene to this day), the Ellen Degeneres show (Ellen actually said nice things about me) and the lovely (insert sarcastic face here) Buzzfeed (not so nice).

My at the time 12 year old niece, once saw an article written about me somewhere and got very upset and commented on it telling the writer about me and my real character and telling her to take it down.

Anyone who knows me, or any of us Bachelor alumni on a personal level, knows that how we were portrayed on National TV, is not who we really are. We were heavily produced, manipulated, forced to say and do certain things that we didn’t want to if we ever wanted to leave that “ITM” (in the moment) with a producer. We were told to repeat “sound bites” which are edited, cut and spliced and used wherever they chose. We were sleep deprived, most were drunk and we were beyond exhausted as sleep was a rarity. We were mic’d up 24/7. Yes, even while sleeping we were recorded and we were forced into confrontations that we otherwise would not have had. Watch the lifetime original series “UnREAL” to see a realistic portrayal of the shows’ behind the scenes and how things are done to create The Bachelor. The creater of UnREAL, Sarah Shapiro, prior to creating UnREAL was an actual bachelor producer. It will give you some great insight as to what REALLY goes on.

Of all the nasty things that were said about me, one buzzfeed article that came out about “Past Bachelor contestants” really hit me hard and I carry it with me to this very day. It hit many of us hard. This article made a spoof on the title and profession of the contestants. So, it said:

Melissa S- 32 years old

Location: Florida

Trait: Unlovable

Profession: Pathetic

Thanks a lot Buzzfeed for literally permanently scarring me. I had people tweet at me telling me to kill myself and have Shawntel (from my season) embalm me at her family’s funeral home. I had people call me horrible names. Heck, one woman commented on the size of my feet saying they were “too big for my body”. I wear a women’s size 5. I was called anorexic, bulimic, ugly, crazy, you name it. I was able to blow most of it off as time went on but for some reason, “unlovable and pathetic” stayed with me and I carry those words with me still. Do I think I am unlovable or pathetic, no. Well, not on most days. That’s just it, sometimes things happen and the first thing I think is, “It’s because I’m unlovable and pathetic”. Is this a rational thought? Probably not. This stigma, these 2 small but powerful words have caused me a great deal of anxiety and have caused me to act a certain way with people in my life, a way that I normally wouldn’t. It makes me feel unsure and uneasy where love is concerned. It causes me to need reassurance and if I don’t get it, I feel it is because I am unlovable and pathetic. What else could the reason be? I am so insanely awesome in every other way. LOL.

Anyway, no incredible worlds of wisdom coming from me this morning as I am more or less writing to get out some feelings and emotions and you readers have been so incredibly kind with your words and encouragements every time I have written. Thank you and remember always be kind to one another.

Click below to watch. Narrated by Michelle Money

Carpe Diem!

Tonight as I sit here writing, my thoughts go to how grateful I am in this moment. I have a roof over my head, central air conditioning keeping me cool, a kitchen full of food to nourish my body, a dish washer washing my dishes and a washing machine washing my clothes. I have unlimited running water (hot and cold). I have a car to get me to where I need to go. I have a job. I have the most incredible parents and friends a person can ask for. I am truly TRULY grateful.

I am also reminded that last year was tough, very tough; for so many people in our beautiful community and beyond. Lessons were taught from these heartbreaks. A very important lesson that I take with me daily, is the knowledge that we are not promised tomorrow. We are conditioned to believe that we have so much time when in reality, we have no idea how much time we actually have. This knowledge should remind us all to do everything that our hearts desire and DO IT NOW. Don’t wait for a better time or the perfect time as this might be the ONLY, time.

Live your beautiful life as if tomorrow may never come. Laugh until you cry happy tears. Love fiercely and genuinely. Be oh so grateful for what you have and always, be kind to one another.

And last but not least…..


It’s okay to be gray

We learn new things about ourselves all the time. I’m learning, the hard way of course, (would you expect anything less of me?) that I am not comfortable being in any kind of gray area.

Unfortunately, life isn’t always black and white. It makes sense to feel uneasy without all the answers. Not knowing exactly where you stand. Not knowing exactly what is around the corner. Even when you’re all cozy and warm in your black or white area, life can throw you a curveball that sends you right back into the gray.

I guess looking back on my life, I’ve never really been a “go with the flow” type of person. I definitely spend ample (or more, definitely more) time making a decision but once I’ve come to my conclusion, I go for it. I take the leap, head first and you know what usually happens? I get a really bad headache. Lol. I’m joking, I usually land on my feet; but sometimes, I flop. So, I’m trying something new with the hope that wonderful things might be just around the corner if I can just go with the flow. No pressure. Accepting that I won’t have all of the answers right away. Acknowledging that I might get hurt but doing it anyway. Simply trusting in the process. This will not be easy for me, but if I don’t try, I’ll always wonder what might have been.

Wish me luck as I play in the gray for a while.


February 14, 2018, a teenage boy came into our high school. An incredible, beautiful, brilliant school full of promise and hope and he opened fire taking the lives of 17 innocent souls. Today, and every day, we honor those angels.

  • ❤️Alyssa Alhadeff, age 14
  • ❤️Scott Beigel, 35
  • ❤️Martin Duque, 14
  • ❤️Nicholas Dworet, 17
  • ❤️Aaron Feis, 37
  • ❤️Jaime Guttenberg, 14
  • ❤️Chris Hixon, 49
  • ❤️Luke Hoyer, 15
  • ❤️Cara Loughran, 14
  • ❤️Gina Montalto, 14
  • ❤️Joaquin Oliver, 17
  • ❤️Alaina Petty, 14
  • ❤️Meadow Pollack, 18
  • ❤️Helena Ramsay, 17
  • ❤️Alex Schachter, 14
  • ❤️Carmen Schentrup, 16
  • ❤️Peter Wang, 15

We will NEVER forget



Traveling and a little thing called emetophobia

So, tomorrow I am traveling to NY. You would think with the amount of time I have spent in the air, that I would no longer experience this level of anxiety. WRONG. The anxiety about this trip is ridiculous.

Will I feel well in the morning when it’s time to go? Will I feel okay on the plane. What if I sit next to someone who is sick. I just checked in online and was offered a better seat (and took it) even though my brain is telling me that maybe I should have kept the original seat because what if the person I am next to now is sick and I would have been safer in the old seat. At the same time thinking, maybe switching was for the best because the other person I could have sat next to, could have been sick. I don’t worry about the plain crashing or anything like that. (Because you know, someone getting sick is obviously a way worse possible event) I DO worry about turbulence because they can make people “get sick”.

Worrying about getting sick is a HUGE part of my daily life. It is on my mind 24/7. Has been for as long as I can recall.

Anyone that knows me, knows that I LOVE kids so much. Hopefully one day having my own, will help to ease this phobia. Anyway, I will be spending time with some amazing babies during this trip and I am anxious as hell about it. I am always terrified that they will get sick and I will catch it. Let’s be honest, kids get sick, A LOT and they don’t give ya much warning. So, as excited as I WANT to be to spend time with my friends kiddo’s, I am always super anxious that they could puke at any moment. This illness is called emetophobia. Click here to read all about it.