We are privileged to share blog postings from our Ambassador Jessie Close, Adrienne Gurman, Henry Boy Jenkins, and other guest bloggers.  Please visit regularly as our content will be updated often.

Mirror Mirror

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Therapy set me on a course of cognition; a recovery program helped solve the drink problem. One evening our group topic was relationships. Most of the men were married or dating. Sobriety had helped them create meaningful connections. I shared about my awkwardness in talking with women, how the wild-pitch verbal aspect of my schizophrenia was tantamount to sneakers clunking away in the dryer.

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Willingness

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Willingness is also relevant to mental illness. I wasn’t willing to medicate away mania but depression was another story. I hate depression and I was always frightened when I felt its heavy hand on my brain, blackening my heart. Unfortunately, I couldn’t do away with the depression without killing the mania

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Hellish Shoes

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I remember, in the ‘70’s, wearing such high heeled boots that I tipped forward and looked ridiculous. But thinking back on it I don’t think even those heels were anywhere near what women are wearing today. Honestly, I thought women were more empowered and sensible these days. What’s going on?

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Deep Thoughts

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Nine out of ten times when I’m given advice on how to cope with life while struggling with an episode of deep depression and anxiety, words that are meant to comfort me and give me hope, are exactly the same as those I’ve been repeating to myself for what seems like forever. The familiar phrases, such as “this too shall pass,” or “you’re stronger than your illness,” are permanently branded on my brain. So it came as a surprise, more like a shock actually, when just a few days ago, someone who knows me very well told me that I think too much.

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Ship Ahoy! Learning to Navigate

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I have a list of people that I trust who I can call when I am feeling alone, afraid, or confused. I have learned to be unwaveringly honest about what is happening in my internal world, to speak my truth even when it doesn’t sound “right”. If I need to talk about distortions, fears, and anxieties, I just do.

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Throwing Out the Trash

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If only I had been diagnosed and treated before everything snowballed into chronic, untreated depression and anxiety. But, times were different then and society didn’t have the resources, the tools, the words, the red flags and the awareness campaigns like we do today. I’m grateful I can live now under the careful watch of mental health professionals.

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Dying of Kidney Disease by Cinda Johnson

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This is unbelievable and yet horrifyingly true. ‘Jenny’ had been fighting her illness for almost half of her young life. Her foe was familiar yet still terrifying with its relentless and changing symptoms that reoccurred despite a long list of medical interventions. She had been through intense treatments with numerous side effects and a lengthy hospitalization when she was 11. Now, at 15, her illness was back with a vengeance.

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