May is Mental Health Awareness Month

Last November, there was a shooting in downtown Seattle. It was five feet in front of me. Afterward, I became more anxious than usual, with every waking moment and many sleeping ones filled with fear. I went to the doctor: PTSD. Aha.

The majority of my experience with mental health issues stem from childhood years of coping with adults and their untreated or unacknowledged issues. My father would always encourage empathy, emphasizing how difficult it could be to live with a mind that didn’t “mind” you, and that mantra has permeated my life. I found some understanding in books like An Unquiet Mind and I Hate You… Don’t Leave Me, and by attending lectures such as the In Our Own Voice presentations by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) (#IntoMentalHealth). I’ve also started following some great resources online like End the Stigma, The Mighty and the People of Color & Mental Illness Photo Project. And vocal celebrity mental health advocates like Carrie Fisher, Princes William and Harry, and these guys speak out and start conversations surrounding mental health and healing. Continue reading “May is Mental Health Awareness Month”