*Note: This post was shared on another platform I write for a couple weeks ago. I hope you enjoy this re-share. I’m not shy about sharing my mental health experiences because I don’t believe mental illness should be stigmatized. Stigma stands in the way of progress. It prevents understanding and limits access in varied situations. Stigma also breeds fear. An example is the way popular media has applied the idea of “bad” to specific religious practices or groups, vilifying them in the public eye. What I’m saying is it’s important
This Mother’s Day, I am happy to support mothers like me, parents for whom mental illness can be an ever-present or overwhelming piece of the parenting experience. I wrote an essay about my own experience parenting through bouts of anxiety and PTSD episodes and held onto it for many months before reaching out to Stigma Fighters to see if they might want to publish it for Mother’s Day. I held onto it because stigma makes it difficult to speak up. Stigma Fighters knows this. They recognize the ways we are silenced and
I’m in the midst of surgical anniversaries, body traumas I have not been able to write, harm done to me by those I have loved without reservation, and pain I am still struggling to shed. It hurts, this space. But it is also a growing space.
If we were having coffee, you’d see a sedate version of me. While I’m overflowing right now in new and impossibly beautiful ways, there are people I love who are mired. I want to lift them, make sure they know how loved they are. I want to make them know how much they are worth it. That they deserve better and I believe–really, truly believe–that better can happen for them. If we were having coffee, I’d tell you I’m a person who lives my life on the outside. I have
I was the child of a difficult situation. I write most frequently about abuse, post-traumatic stress disorder, and survival. However, I take care to infuse everything I write with the glow of hope that I learned from the first person who decided to interrupt the cycle: my mother. It may seem strange that I can write about physical and emotional trials and gratefulness in the same breath, but the truth is I am grateful. My experiences helped create who I am today. I am strong, full of courage and I
As Winter approaches, I am discovering the strength of my relationship with light. Winter is the season of quiet. Leaves have long since fallen from the trees, life is slowing, and the daylight is capped by late and early calls for sleep. While the ground has not yet hardened with cold, I feel the same foreboding that arrives every Winter. I am lost. I am trapped. I must wait, clawing at the ceilings as I search desperately for sunlight. In Summer, you will find me outside, face upturned during the