Unveiling privilege in mental health recovery

When I first became a public mental health advocate, I was solely focused on the message that it’s possible to bounce back from a mental health crisis and manage — thrive, even — with a diagnosis such as Bipolar 1. My ambition was relatively modest, thinking that perhaps I would reach someone else who received an intimidating diagnosis and felt ostracized and “doomed.”

The Worst Is Just a New Beginning In Disguise

A diagnosis could, in fact, be the beginning of a more sustainable life. I, like hundreds of The Stability Network Leaders, are living proof that recovery is possible and that a diagnosis does not need to be an anvil that sinks the whole ship. Actually, it can be the thread that patches your sails so you can navigate new horizons.

Nurturing Your Mental Wellness

The vast majority of people who listen to my journey tell me I’m brave, and that my story has given them the courage to tell theirs. It never ceases to amaze me how many people have stories to tell. Be a storyteller. You have no idea whom or in what ways you will help. But you will.

The Truth Behind My Title

I hope we can shatter the belief that in order to be professionally successful, we need to hide or disguise our inner struggles and difficulties. I truly believe it is quite the opposite… our greatest challenges are often the key, and the door, to our greatest successes.

Cards of Hope

It’s a simple program, but rich and full in hope and meaning. It reduces the feeling of stigma. It says to patients, “you are not alone”. To feel cared about and supported can provide a huge boost when people are at their lows. And, in turn, they share their examples of fortitude and resilience.

From Shame to Advocacy

Mental health has been a source of shame, secrecy and isolation for too long. It’s time we start facing the real challenges people face and as a community, responding with hope, support, resources and respect. My recovery story is one of many, and I’m sharing it because of UCSF’s decision to shed some light on the topic and build community.

The Courage to Own and Tell Your Story

Through creating autobiographical music, my life has become more integrated. I feel more confident and courageous in navigating vulnerability and difficult conversations.

The Mathematics of Hope

A lot of people say they’d die for their child. I’ve never heard anyone say they’ll show them what it takes to live.

The Long and Noble Road to Lasting Mental Health

Understanding the pre-condition and three requirements offers hope. The stigma associated with mental illness is fading and science is tackling mental illness from every possible angle.

Thank Goodness, I Have Bipolar!

I focus on what I know to be true: that the struggle to live with and manage a mental health condition gives me empathy for others. That I have great sensitivity. That even on medication—in fact, especially on medication—I get to feel the world deeply and be my best self. I get to thrive.