The Stigma of Need

The first time it was suggested to me that I go on welfare I was 24-years-old. I had just left a job at a large non-profit (the kind you have to raise your own funds for) and started working part time again. I was used to part time work. I worked my way through college, […]

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 […]

Why the Fidget Spinner Gives Me Hope

It’s the most popular toy of 2017. Fidget spinners are being compared to Furbies, Tickle Me Elmo, even the hula hoop. If you’re a parent and your child hasn’t yet asked for one…just wait. A few days ago, my dad e-mailed me an article about the current phenomenon that is the fidget spinner. “I see […]

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 […]

4 Things I Want You to Know about Mental Illness

What Mental Illness Is Empty. Sometimes I just feel empty. My body is heavy with exhaustion so that my arm flops down to the table. It’s not even that I’m sad. Just, empty. Void of emotion. And honestly, I don’t care. Yeah, that’s depression. Tight. Often I feel tight. All my muscles are tense and […]

A Letter to My Brother with Mental Illness

Dear Brother, I miss you. I really do. I know you are not far and I can see you whenever I want, but it’s not the same. You’re not the same. I’m not the same. Mental illness has changed everything. It came in quiet, a current we didn’t even feel sweeping us out. We kept […]