You Are Not Your Diagnosis: My Journey with Mental Health

You Are Not Your Diagnosis is my story as an artist to share my personal journey with mental illness.

My heart represents my courage. We can either choose to play the victim, or play the survivor.

The white butterfly represents my grandfather who told me as a child, "the white butterfly represents hope and a loved one revisiting- you are loved, no matter what."

Everyone has a story; I know for me I always tried to run from mine.

My wish is to create art and provide others to heal. My goal is to remind others who are suffering.

Stay present, don't give up- but do give in. Accept. Do the hard work. I am living proof that we all get second, third and even a forth chance to start again.

We are a blank canvas - now go paint your life!

 
 

ADD

ADD is like being a human sling shot. Mind shooting in different directions and having no idea where to land.

It's being laughed at when you don't think of yourself as the butt of the joke. It's being tormented with deadliness - the race is still on and you know you can't make it.

Questioing each day with "what ifs" Second guessing every move you make. Feeling like your head will explode.

Grappling for normalcy.

I am not my ADD.

You Are Not Your Diagnosis.

 

Depression

I remember the first time meeting depression. There are no words to describe the introduction. I felt alone, ugly, scared, confused, paralyzed and stuck.

Depression was dark and after shaking his hand, I looked into his eyes and I saw no reflection. No light. I had always had a light I could see, it was law hay guided me and kept me on track.

When I was diagnosised with depression, I finally understood what it must feel like to be stuck in quicksand. I could not look at myself in any mirror. I couldn't stand the sight of myself. I wore an imaginary paper bag over my head. The world keeps turning, the sun still shines. The darkness underneath is too painful to leave. I thought, "I must look weak, laughable, disgusting, a failure."

Batlling depression is like putting on boxing gloves, walking into the arena to fight, but all you can so is cry. Gosh how I wish my tears could fight! Then I understood, crying is good for you! Crying let's all the toxins out of your body. It heals you.

So now when depression knocks on my door, I slowly let him in. I sit down to cry with him until my light turns on again.

I am not my Depression.

Your Are Not Your Diagnosis.

 

OCD

Finding out I had OCD was actually a huge relief. I had the validation that I had searched for.

Living with OCD is like being all alone in the woods and all your diagnoses come together in one song. And that song is played over and over until you just want to crawl out of your own skin.

It's being on the merry-go-round of life and wanting to switch seats. It's making sure the volume on the radio is on an even number.

Most are afraid to change their environment. I know I was. I still struggle here and there, I still want to climb back into that safe place and live in the past. But I realized while I was riding along, I was also holding on too tightly - I was future tripping. I never lived in the now.

Leaping shows courage. Accepting shows grace.

I am not my OCD.

You Are Not Your Diagnosis.