I am a writer, an artist and a nurse, and have struggled with my mind for most of my life. Sometimes psychotic, sometimes suicidal, often depressed, days have passed into decades of trying to find a way through to peace.

Diagnosis? Over many years I was variously diagnosed with Multiple Personality Disorder, which was renamed Dissociative Identity Disorder, Manic Depressive Disorder, Psychotic Depression, and Depression. Now? Depression is a base note, and, if I am not careful, can cascade into Psychotic Depression.

Being careful, taking care of myself, means: sleep well, eat well, manage stress, paint, live in the country with many animals, write books. I am still alive, employed and productive. Increasingly, I am healthy, on every level. Therapy helped, medications helped, even self-medicating sometimes helped. Family and especially friends provided critical support time and time again. Writing and painting have offered the surest keys to my truth.

Writing this little bit of truth, and submitting it to a public forum, is scary. My sister encouraged me to ignore my feelings of shame and open this door, and here I am.  Here we are. Thank you to this foundation, for providing a way for us to go forward together.

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