Mental Health

Soul-Care After an Unexpected Descent Into Depression

Without warning, I found my mental state rapidly shifting. For one week in late March, it seemed to spin out of my control. Increasing anxiety gripped my soul, its force building stronger each day. Suddenly, the anxiety transformed into a deep depression. Never had I felt such a heaviness pressing upon me.  After a few […]

Ink, Blood, and Tears

I got off the bus at my new school and saw the parking lot filled with cars. This was nothing like my former crowded, noisy, urban Philadelphia high school with the dark stairwells and constant police presence. I’d never seen so many Ford Tauruses in my life. Some even had monograms on the doors. I […]

Coping by Escaping

I remember three holes in the wooden post of my childhood bunk bed. One contained the bolt that connected the frame together and the other two were empty. They were meant for adjusting the height of the lower bunk, but we never did. The empty holes were insignificant to the rest of the room, unimportant […]

Taking Back My Power

In high school I started blacking out. The first time I was sitting in math class listening to the teacher drone on. The next thing I remember I was looking up at a crowd of people surrounding me. A litany of tests and doctors followed that incident and left me feeling defeated. When they could find […]

Portrait of A Both Girl

I am not black. I am not white. I am somewhere between the ink and the page, the word that is blurred      out. I am not what you assume She speaks Spanish… can’t quite place her…. definitely not from around here I am from around here. I grew up down that stone road […]

I Am the Daughter of a Mentally-Ill Person

My sister and sat in a dark theatre waiting for the movie Silver Linings Playbook to begin. I knew from watching the previews that the movie was about mental illness, but that’s all I knew. I found myself squirming: How would this movie impact my sister and I? Silver Linings Playbook is the story of […]

Saving Myself

  “Oh, how much sadness and sorrow and suffering there is in the world, both in the open and in secret.” – Vincent van Gogh   Who can discover their own worth when time and sickness have worked so hard to convince them it is a myth? *** I sing a solo when I am […]

Someone Like Me

On the first day of my teenage stint as a volunteer in the local hospital, my supervisor gave me a tour. As she explained the business of each floor, she mentioned that I wouldn’t be going up to the psych ward. I shuddered with relief. My mind’s eye flashed with a picture of drooling, yelling […]

When I Am Bipolar

I hold the small red pill between my thumb and forefinger. It’s miniscule. Maybe a third the size of a breath mint. I’ve already taken my antidepressant faithfully, as I always do. I habitually gulp down the rest of my pills but this one I take last, because it’s so small. There was the time […]