Seventh Sage Art

After years and years of suffering and inadequate access to mental health care, I moved across the country to a place where my family and I could get some help. I also needed to put a couple thousand miles between me and some particular people–I needed to feel free to be honest about the mental health issues my children and I face. As a single mother of four, the majority of us suffering major depression, severe anxiety, OCD, and/or PTSD, I felt like the poster girl for STIGMA. Stigma shames and isolates and it’s not OK.

But here, in our new state on the West Coast, we have access to quality care. So back to yesterday: I was formally diagnosed with PTSD and finally found validation for what I’ve been trying so hard to hide for so long. It has taken way too much energy trying to pretend I’m fine, so I’m “coming out” for myself, my children, and for others who suffer in silence and shame. There should be no shame in what amounts to brilliant survival and coping mechanisms, nor in mucked-up brains whose chemicals careen wildly like derailed trains. We are among the most courageous people you’ll ever have the good fortune to meet.

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