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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

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 […]

Hurdles to Healing

I have never been a very good runner. In the short time that I tried to run, I was pathetically slow, did not have very good form, and managed to injure my ankle. That is mainly the reason why I find the Bible’s beautiful running metaphors to be about as effective as the ones about […]

I’m Mentally Ill, but It’s Not My Fault

I’m meeting Alyssa for the first time. She is a First Access counselor for Behavioral Health and she is facilitating my intake. She calls me in and asks me some questions. The questions are easy and difficult at the same time. I know all the answers, it’s the saying them out loud that is hard. […]