Worth Living Ambassador Jenna Fournier

Hello I’m Jenna, a psychology student at Carleton University. I like music, coffee shops, art, poetry, and I do weightlifting. I have been diagnosed with many things, most notably Borderline Personality Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Social Phobia.

When discussing mental health, we often hear the words “ you should get help” or “you are not alone.” Although when people say this, they probably have good intentions, what they don’t realize is how difficult it actually is to get said help. A story I heard today, actually inspired me to write this article. Now I had already intended to write an article about getting mental health help; however, this incident pushed me to write it as soon as possible. I heard a story about a teenage girl and her recent experiences with the mental health system in my city. I was so angered that she received no help and that her experiences very much mirrored mine. I had hoped that things had changed in recent years, but evidently they have not.

When I first started really struggling with my mental health, I went to my family doctor at the time and she referred me to a psychologist who was supposedly good with helping youth. Now this was my first time dealing with any kind of mental health professional and at the time, I trusted my doctor’s opinion. Why wouldn’t I? Professionals know best right? Wrong.

So I went for my first appointment with this psychologist. Her office was in an old house with a funny smell at the top of a staircase. I assumed her to be younger for some reason, most likely because I was told she was good with youth. In reality she was old, and I’m pretty sure she had a birds nest in her hair. She wasn’t helpful whatsoever.

Now I was 12 at the time, but she treated me as if I was perhaps 6 years old. She made me draw pictures and then tried to analyze them. Now my pictures had no hidden meanings- I was just drawing them because she told me to! So no my picture of a flower didn’t represent my unresolved childhood trauma, it was literally just a flower.  She referred to my anxiety as “worry dragons” and decided that the death of my dog was at the root of my issues. She couldn’t have been further off track. I don’t remember how much longer I saw her, but it wasn’t for much.

The next psychologist I saw definitely fit the description of what I thought a therapist for young people should look like. Her office was large and bright and she was much younger than the previous one I saw. However she too was less than helpful. One of my tasks was to write a positive word for each letter of the alphabet. What is that supposed to achieve? Nothing. The answer is nothing.

I went back to my family doctor who referred me to a medical doctor who specialized in youth with mental health issues. Sounds promising right? It was quite the disaster. She kept prescribing me different medications and was constantly looking for some made up problem that she could attribute to how I was feeling. The medications she put me on just made me a lot worse and I eventually stopped seeing her.

My teen years were mostly a blur. During my youth I visited the hospital many times. Now if you tell someone you are experiencing severe mental health issues or feel suicidal they will most likely tell you to go to emergency services. Now maybe, to you reading this, that seems like an idea you would agree with. To me, it sounds like a terrible idea. If you hurt yourself and need medical attention then I think going to a hospital to tend to your physical injuries is important. I do not however think hospitals are well equipped to deal with mental ones. Now I can only speak for the hospitals I have visited in my city. I have visited hospitals many times. I have even stayed in one as an inpatient for three weeks. You would think that the mental health staff at a children’s hospital would be empathetic and well equipped to deal with mentally ill youth but you couldn’t be more wrong. I have dealt with many staff members and if you have ever seen the 1975 film One Flew over The Cuckoo’s Nest, Nurse Ratched isn’t that much of a stretch. I am not sure what possesses someone to enter a career where empathy and understanding are vital but the lack of caring for the mentally ill is prevalent amongst professionals.

Now if all the people telling young people to reach out and “get help” with their mental health issues actually were to find out what the “help” entails they may be shocked. So shall we begin?

If you go to a hospital for your mental health crisis you most likely will find yourself waiting there for well over a few hours. You may also be left sitting in a random hallway if you are lucky. The less lucky end up in rooms straight out of a horror movie. All alone in an empty room with writing on walls saying things like “get me out of here” and “help me.” Now maybe you think the people wrote those things because they were mentally unstable. But let me tell you, if you were in one of those rooms you would probably be doing the same thing. What also boggles my mind is the length of time they leave you alone. If you are feeling lonely entering the hospital you are probably going to feel at least 50% more lonely when you leave. Not only because they left you sitting somewhere for hours on end but also because of how you are treated once the “professional shows up.” You may think that you stepped into a police interrogation instead of a hospital. A very unfriendly staff member of an unknown profession (Are they a psychologist? a social worker? You’ll never know) will talk with you and probably not for long. They will ask you some questions and most likely none of them will be relevant. If you did hurt yourself or were planning to, they make you feel very guilty about it but it won’t lead you to a hospital stay like you may think. They will look for reasons as to why you are perfectly fine. I was once told I must not be suicidal because I was wearing earrings and had makeup on. I was also told it was just the teenage years and things would get better. After making you feel ten times worse, they may leave you with a page of community resources. They may not. And then you will leave tired and very hopeless. Stepping out into a world that looks even bleaker than it did before.

Now if you are lucky, and I am saying lucky with loaded sarcasm,  you may possibly get admitted into the mental health unit. The staff will insist it is not a psych ward but a “mental health unit”. I see no difference. The doors into the unit are locked and there is something called a “quiet room” where people go for “quiet time”. You can put the pieces together. There is also no privacy and say goodbye to your sense of humanity. Now some may argue this is for safety, but believe me there are other ways to go about treating the mentally ill. There has been a long standing argument about mental health units or wards or whatever you want to call them. The treatment of the mentally ill has been long questioned. The push for outpatient services has become increasingly common. You would think a place you go to get better would be inviting, with bright paint, and I don’t know a plant perhaps? I felt very lonely during my hospital stay. Sleeping was hard for the first few nights but you eventually get used to the nurses shining flashlights into your eyes periodically. I felt the staff were condescending, unhelpful, and quite frankly power tripping. I understand there is a need for inpatient services but I do not believe they should be functioning the way they currently are.

Shortly after the hospital stay when I was fourteen, I got into the outpatient services at CHEO and was assigned a psychologist and psychiatrist. This was very lucky because it is almost impossible to get into the outpatient services at CHEO. The psychologist did not help very much and the psychiatrist was arrogant. The psychologist left for a private practice and I got a new one. She was the first mental health professional who ever truly helped me. I stayed with these services until I was 18. After you turn 18, you are left to fend for yourself. Again.

After a period of being in mental health help purgatory, I ended up getting into the ROYAL. I have heard many good things about the ROYAL. However, in my experience I have never received poorer mental health help. One psychiatrist I was assigned just disappeared. Yes, that’s right. Disappeared. I was assigned another psychiatrist who told me I did not “look like” my diagnosis. I walked out of that appointment and never went back. I remember leaving that appointment feeling at war with the world, and very alone.

Now hospitals are not the only place people go for mental health help. Often teens reach out to guidance counsellors or teachers at their school. I know at my high school mental health was kept on the down low. I did not receive much help at my school and the support system there was almost non- existent. One counsellor once told me that my problem was not forgiving the person who sexually assaulted me. I walked out of that session. Now if we back up to middle school, the support there was even worse. In fact there was no support. The staff members at both of the middle schools I had attended had no idea how to handle mental health issues. I ended up leaving one school because of bullying and my mental health problems. The staff had no clue how to deal with me and were relieved to see me go. At the next school, everything was much worse and towards the end of the semester a teacher told my mother that it would be best if I just stayed home from school. I did. In fact, I don’t think I ever returned. University isn’t too much better, and the mental health services aren’t very good. I have used them a few times but would not use them again nor recommend them.

Another issue I have, is with the police. They are very ill equipped to deal with the mentally ill. My experiences with them were quite terrifying. I was once in handcuffs for hours. How many hours I don’t recall but long enough that I doubt it was even legal. I was around fourteen at the time, so naturally I didn’t question the police that much. I now realize that I doubt they were allowed to do that, as I had not committed a crime. For more evidence of how the police treat the mentally ill, a quick google will suffice.

I have many more mental health “help” horror stories I could tell but I should mention some of the positive ones because it isn’t all doom and gloom. Just mostly. For some of ninth and tenth grade, I was in a hospital program for youth suffering from mental health issues. The program only had a handful of kids at a time and you received therapy, got to work on a few classes at a time, and even had field trips. It was honestly a very good program and helped me a great deal. I wish that program had more funding and other youth got the same opportunity I did. The Child and Youth Worker who worked there was a wonderful person. I also have seen a psychotherapist for a couple years who was a lovely person. He helped me grow and had what many other professionals lacked, which was empathy. Sadly he stopped practicing in Ottawa. I am currently therapy-less and trying to figure out my next course of action which as you can probably tell will be hard with the lack of services out there.

My journey of getting help has been a long and hard one. I see many flaws within the mental health system and it deeply saddens me that I see no changes. It should not be this hard for people to get help. I think one of the main issues is the lack of empathy and understanding. We can’t just continue to tell people to “get help” when there is none.
They say the people most likely to seek mental health help are white females. And if it’s this hard for me to get help or even attempt it, it bothers me beyond what words can express what it must be like for others. I know, as I type this there are people out there as lonely and helpless as I was.

One of my goals in life is to expose the mental health system for what it really is. There is a flaw at the very foundation of it. The only way to “fix” a system is to tear it down and rebuild it completely. I hope that one day this will happen. Until then, I want to share my experiences and let the truth be told on what getting help for your mental health is really like.

Now this story was probably not uplifting and there isn’t much of a happy ending. But the point of this story was not to be uplifting. I want the raw reality to set in. Next time someone is speaking about mental health or it’s Bell Let’s Talk day, take a moment to think about what help is really out there. What are people’s options? We need empathy and education. We need people to be able to take charge in their treatment. People centred treatment. More funding and accessible services. Let’s get talking and humanize mental health.

Worth Living Founder Keith Anderson

DJ Scratchley Q, the Official DJ for Worth Living, is busy preparing for a humanitarian trip to Kenya so I will be trying to step into her DJ shoes! Warning – there may be a different run of videos from Scratchely Q’s lists!


Van Morrison Wavelength – a personal favourite.

Simple Minds Alive & Kicking



David Bowie Heroes

Soul ll Soul  Back to Life 

The Guess Who – possibly the greatest Canadian rock band.

Leonard Cohen Hallelujah – words are not needed.

Stevie Wonder  Sir Duke



Youssou N’Dour – 7 Seconds ft. Neneh Cherry

Morrissey I’m ok by myself – my theme the last couple of years.

Worth Living Ambassadors DJ Scratchley Q & Zippah 

From Kenya to Canada and around the World. We hope you enjoy these choons as much as we do! Worth Living Official DJ Scratchely Q is joined by her friend Zippah from Kenya.

From Kenya, Zippah’s throw downs…
5. Bazokizo -Collo ft. Bruz Newton


4. Goodlyfe Magnetic – Radio & Weasel


3. Hands – (A song for Orlando) Various Artists


2. Oyoo (Nipende)- Susumila & Timmy Tdat


1. Mungu Pekee – Nyashinski


From Canada, Scratchley’s throw downs…
5. Chantaje – Shakira ft. Maluma


4. Love – Lana Del Rey


3. Sleep On The Floor – The Lumineers


2. Stargate – Waterfall ft. Pink &Sia


1. Redbone – Childish Gambino




Worth Living Ambassador Michele King

Hi! My name is Michele and I am 28 years old. Living with both depression and anxiety, I want to be a positive force of change to help end the stigma associated with mental illness, with hopes that what I share will help at least one person who comes across it.

Since my last post for Worth Living, I have had people reach out to me asking if there is anything that I have found truly helpful in coping with my anxiety. The answer: Yes.

1.       Therapy
First and foremost, if I am being 100% honest here, the biggest catalyst in dealing with my anxiety has been therapy. I realize while I am writing this that therapy may not be the best answer for everyone, however, it helped me a lot. Once I found the right counselor (I have had my share of ones who were not the right fit) and was open to doing the work needed on myself, the healing/coping process began.  I am the type of person that when there is something wrong or not working, I want to find a way to fix it. Through counseling I was able to get outside of my mind and have a third party offer different perspectives, help me to see when my thoughts were being irrational, and just someone to vent to without any judgment.  My therapist also taught me various ways to slow my mind down and breathe, which leads me to number 2.

2.       Meditation/Grounding Exercises

If you are new at meditating and aren’t sure what to really do, the CALM app is a great place to start. The app offers guided meditations for different lengths of times and for different focus’s all for free-though you can pay to unlock more meditations. I like to use the CALM app before bed and I am working on getting in the habit of starting my day with it too instead of being so rushed in the morning.  If you aren’t interested in the app, even just spending a few minutes a day focusing on your breathing can help.  (inhale for 4 counts, hold for 4 counts, and exhale for 4 counts…repeat 4 times)  Grounding exercises are helpful to keep you in the present moment, especially if you are having a panic attack or are out in public and feeling extremely anxious.  My favorite Grounding exercise is to list (in your head or out loud)

·         5 things you see (I often look for 5 things of the same color)

·         4 things you hear

·         3 things you feel/can touch

·         2 things you smell

·         1 things you taste

3.       Himalayan Salt Therapy (Halotherapy or Sensory Deprivation Tanks)

Ever since I stopped taking medicine for my anxiety I have been looking for holistic ways to help me. Benefits of Himalayan Salt Therapy include: reduced stress/anxiety, increased energy, better sleep patterns, reduced depression, as well as helping with breathing and other skin ailments. I have a Himalayan Salt Lamp next to my bed; have gone to Himalayan Salt Caves (Halotherapy) where you sit in a room that is basically full of Himalayan Salt on the floor and walls made up of salt lamps. The sessions last for about 50 minutes. I come out in a better mood and feeling more energized every time. A pricier option is to use the Sensory Deprivation Tanks. The tanks are filled with 1000 pounds of Himalayan Salt and about 10 gallons of water, so you are basically floating in an enclosed pod. This is said to be the closest feeling to being back in the womb, which is why it promotes such relaxation. I have luckily been able to do this a few times now and it truly is a calming experience once you get used to it. I was able to reach a deep meditative state and came out feeling relaxed and feeling like I had slept for 2 days. I also felt my body feel less tense.

4.       Working Out

Working out makes me feel good, period. If I am feeling especially anxious working out helps relieve some of that energy and gets my endorphins going. I have also tried hot yoga- which is just what it sounds like, practicing yoga in a hot (105 degree) room. I love the mental challenge that comes with both. For me, it is more about seeing what I can get my body to do and to push past the mental barriers that are telling me I can’t.

5.       Massage Therapy

I think I am a sensory oriented person so getting a deep tissue massage literally feels like they are pushing the all of my anxiety/stress/tension away.  If you don’t want to spend money on a massage a cheaper version would be to buy a foam roller or use a lacrosse ball. I use both by lying down on the floor and rolling on foam roller or lacrosse ball on my back, neck, and legs. I also will put the lacrosse ball between me and a wall and roll out that way; it seems to work better in releasing the tension in my neck and shoulders.

6.       Turmeric

Turmeric is the main spice that is in curry that contains many healing properties, one on which happens to be an anti-depressant. It is best used in its original form, which is the spice itself; though it can also be taken in capsule form. I take a capsule of it once a day and will occasionally use it to cook with.

7.       Write

When I am feeling really anxious, writing my thoughts down helps me to see what the underlying issue is and release it. Writing is a great way to gain perspective and sort through any irrational thoughts that might be coming up and passing through. Something about seeing those thoughts written on paper helps me gain a different perspective and even laugh at myself at some of the ways my thoughts may have spiraled.

8.       Color

Coloring has some of the same benefits that come from meditation and also lets you be creative in the process. I notice when I am coloring I focus on what I am doing and let my thoughts flow through my mind without getting stuck on one.

9.       Essential Oils

Again, when I was coming off of my anxiety/depression medicine I was looking for an alternative approach. Essential oils have helped me significantly. You can apply them topically to your skin (with some you may need to use a carrier oil, like coconut oil so it doesn’t irritate your skin) or you can also diffuse them. I do both. You can also put some of them in your bath too. I use Lavender because it helps me relax and doesn’t irritate my skin.  My favorites to use for calming down are Lavender, Uplift, Serenity, or Balance. You can also mix some of them together to get more of a calming feeling. I personally buy my oils through DoTerra and sometimes stores like Michael’s if they have a bigger container that isn’t too expensive and I am out of my other ones.

10.   Be Kind to Yourself/ Practice Self-Care

This one is huge. I am still working at it and at the end of the day it is probably the most important. Healing and Recovery is a process so it is important to take things day by day and not beat yourself up if you fall short. The more you beat yourself up over the situation the more anxious you will get. Be kind to yourself, forgive yourself, and try again the next day.  It is more about the process and the progress you are making.  Remember to stop and take time to give yourself what you need in that moment.

Worth Living Official DJ Scratchley Q

DJ Scratchley Q is the Official DJ for the Worth Living Organization.

 She is 23 years old from Manitoulin Island, Ontario, who loves sharing her passion for DJing with the public. She is a natural performer who has no problem filling a dance floor and keeping it moving. Scratchley Q is a high energy performer who has established a reputation as a versatile and professional, hardworking DJ. She has DJ’d many events including bars, dances for all ages, benefit concerts, private events and socials, formals and proms, birthday parties, anniversaries, stag and does, weddings, talent events, New Year’s Eve parties, Pride events, outdoor concerts, corporate events, retail, collaborations with other artists, and many more.

 Scratchley Q has mixed Worth Living BPM Therapy, 5 Volumes, and is a regular contributor to the Worth Living Blog with her Top 10 Lists.

Top 10 List

The sun is shining and the weather is starting to warm up! I’ve got some major summer feels at this moment. Here is this week’s top 10 count down. Check it out!

10. Stitches -Hold On

9. Have Mercy – Good Christian Man

8. Keith Urban ft. Carrie Underwood – The Fighter 

7. Banks – Crowed Places 

6. Yellow Card – A Place We Set Afire 

5. Wizkid ft. Drake – Come Closer 

4. Hasley – Now or Never 

3. Mary J. Blige ft. Kanye – Love YourSelf 

2.The Chainsmokers ft. Emily Warren – My Type 

1.Major Lazer ft. PARTYNEXTDOOR & Nicki Minaj – Run Up




Worth Living  Ambassador & Official WL DJ – DJ Scratchley Q

DJ Scratchley Q is 23 years old from Manitoulin Island, Ontario, who loves sharing her passion for DJing with the public. She is a natural performer who has no problem filling a dance floor and keeping it moving. Scratchley Q is a high energy performer who has established a reputation as a versatile and professional, hardworking DJ. Scratchley Q has DJ`d many events including; bars, dances for all ages, benefit concerts, private events and socials, formals and proms, birthday parties, anniversaries, stag and does, weddings, talent events, New Years Eve parties, Pride events, outdoor concerts, corporate events, retail, collaborations with other artists, and many more. She is the Official DJ for the Worth Living Organization.

You can catch Scratchley Q’s 5 Volumes of Worth Living BPM Therapy


Worth Living Top 10

Sometimes we forget that celebrities are human and they feel the same emotions as everyday people. They have struggles and difficult times. Each one of the emcees who are in this Top 10 Chart speak openly about their own personal struggles with mental illness through their music. They are also open to how they have over come their struggles. These emcees are opening conversation to talk about mental health.

10. Isaiah  Rashad “2x Pills”    “Don’t go through the problems in your head alone. There’s nothing wrong with asking for help. The worst thing to do is think ur alone in it”



9. Danny Brown “Die Like A Rockstar”    “I can’t sleep my anxiety is at an all time high (sic) but don’t none of y’all care about that Sh*t,” Depression is serious y’all think I do drugs cause it’s fun.”


8.  Krizz Kaliko “Unstable”    “In 2015 I contemplated suicide. The world felt like a big ride I wanted to get off.”


7. Future “Codeine Crazy”   “Drownin’ in Actavis, suicide”


6. JCole  “Born Sinner”   “There’s a mentality that I had that was never shaken, it was quiet, it wasn’t outspoken, it was all in my head. The minute that changes and now I’m dealing with a mind state I’ve had to deal l with before- which is fighting all these negative thoughts- that’s the dark place I’m talking about.”


5. DMX “Slippin”    “I used to be really clear on who was what and what character each personality had… but at this point I’m not even sure if there is a difference.”



4. Joe Budden “Only Human”    “Tired of being strong, please let me be weak for a minute. Kinda thought that my disease tried to kill your man first.”


3. Scarface “ Diary of a Madman”    “But back then, I felt like attention was the last things I wanted. I wouldn’t have been able to tell you if it was any one specific thing that had pushed me to that point. I just know that I was mad. Mad and sad. I felt like no one wanted me.”


2. Kendrick Lamar “U”     “I couldn’t understand that. -That can draw a thin line between you having your sanity and you losing it. This is how artists deteriorate if you don’t catch yourself. And my release therapy is music.”

1. Kid Cudi “The Prayer”    “There wasn’t a week or a day that didn’t go by where I was just like, ‘You know I wanna check out.’ I know what it feels like, I know it comes from loneliness, I know it comes from not having self-worth, not loving yourself.”

Worth Living Ambassador Thomas Morgan

My name is Thomas Morgan. I am a 21-year-old Sociology student at Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia. I am a brother to both a younger sister and an older brother. I am a son to two wonderful parents. I am a suicide survivor. I am also Bipolar.   

When people think of Bipolar Disorder, they usually tend to think that those who are diagnosed with it just get extremely happy or sad, and that their mood is generally unpredictable. However, I have found that it is not common knowledge that some of us who have Bipolar Disorder can also have psychotic symptoms.

When I say psychotic symptoms, I mean delusions. These are in the form of auditory and visual hallucinations. I, personally, hear voices. These voices, as well as what they say, are entirely dependent on the episode I am experiencing. Because Bipolar Disorder is an episodic illness, they tend to go away when I am stable. Unfortunately, lately my episodes have tended to cycle rapidly, meaning I hear the voices frequently.

I have two different experiences with the voices and I want to explain them to the best of my ability in this article.

When I am manic, the voices comfort me. During mania, my brain has countless ideas racing through my head at once and the voices tend to help me deal with that by organizing the thoughts or sometimes by giving me motivation. I occasionally have moments where I have a verbal discussion with them. This has rarely happened in public, but when it does I tell people I am just thinking out loud. They encourage me, further elevating my mood. Sometimes I make a joke that nobody in the room understands or finds funny, but the voices find it hilarious.

I enjoy my productivity boost when experiencing mania and I channel it into my studies or hobbies. I love the euphoric feeling of being on top of the world. I also look forward to hearing the manic voices during an episode. At times they can be annoying, such as when I am in the gym trying to listen to instructions on proper form from friends. Overall, I view the voices that I experience during mania as friends.

If the manic voices are my friends, then the voices I hear in my depressive episodes are the things of nightmares. When I am depressed all that I hear is screaming or shouting in my head. A lot of it is incoherent, but I can usually make out a few words or phrases. Imagine the sound effects that you have heard from the THX company that always played before movies years ago. Imagine turning the volume to the maximum and listening to it on repeat for hours, sometimes days. That, coupled with certain words and phrases, is what I usually hear while depressed. Sometimes the screaming is directed at me and other times it feels as if somebody is just screaming and raving at nothing or nobody in particular.

Dealing with this is incredibly difficult given the fact I know I cannot do anything about it and have no idea when it will end. When the screaming is directed at me there is a separate voice in the background whispering things such as “Everyone hates you”, “You’re worthless”, “It’s your fault they died”, and explaining various ways I should end my own life. There are countless times when I have ended up covering my ears trying, unsuccessfully, to stop the screaming, while also being curled up on the floor crying because I am so scared of them.

Growing up I always thought hearing voices was normal, like it was a way everybody processed their thoughts. Despite having an incredibly supportive father who also has Bipolar Disorder, who shared exactly what being Bipolar meant in a way my sister and I could understand it since we were young, I never knew that psychotic symptoms could also be involved. Therefore, as you can imagine, the experiences were frightening beyond compare when I was not aware of my diagnosis.

The voices I hear because of my mental illness can be encouraging and helpful, or crippling to the point where I consider ending it all. To be honest, I am constantly having moments where I struggle with my acceptance over my Bipolar diagnosis with these auditory hallucinations playing a large part in that.

In my last article, I mentioned how mental illness shapes who we are, depending on how you work with it. This remains true. However, it is also important to keep in mind that living with mental illness will always be a struggle for some. Our struggles, and the results of them in particular, are what I believe make life worth living.

Besides, if you never get knocked down, you’ll never learn how to fight.

Worth Living Ambassador Alex Campeau

Hi, my name is Alex, I’m 23 years old and am still going through a bumpy ride. I’m diagnosed with schizoaffective- depressed subtype, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. It’s a lot to swallow, but don’t think of them as disorders, think of them as personality traits. I have had three hospital stays and hope to have a smoother recovery than the one I am having now.

I see life and society in general as a massive lego project. And right now the lego project is a mess. The term “mental illness” is used far too often. Those diagnosed with mental illness are just different kinds of people.

I was diagnosed for being articulate, creative, and having a different view of the world. Medication screwed me hard because it took my creativity away and I’m just not the same. Most people diagnosed as having a mental illness are just deep thinkers. And that’s what I am. I am a deep thinker. Is there anything wrong with that? In my opinion no.

I believe I was diagnosed with mental illness because my writing was very dark and depressing, I was writing about religion, and God forbid, I say something negative about this almighty we follow. But if your beliefs are different from the majority of people, you’re a winner in my books but the everyday simpletons treat you like a loser.

Now in my writings in the past I mentioned that people wanted me dead but that  talking it out with someone helps tremendously instead of saying that to your psychiatrist and be put on multiple medications you don’t really need. Now, a lot of people would get upset over that because they may have a story where medication saved their life. Think about what that medication is doing to your body. Most people don’t know the dangers medication presents. Mine are affecting my liver, my memory, my eyesight.

A psychiatrist is going to see you maybe ten or twenty minutes a month, whereas, for me, I see a psychotherapist every week and we talk. We actually talk for an hour and those symptoms of “mental illness” are bearable. Sure it’s easier to take a pill, but do you want to risk everything? I’m getting my creativity back the more I go off meds. I’m not taking six hundred pills a month anymore. I’m in the process of getting my life back. I should have never gone to my guidance councillor and explored this ADHD thing with her and the psychologist. The more meds I was on, the more convincing I was to having a psychosis. I am absolutely livid at the way my six years have gone. Six years stolen from me and at the age it all happened my brain was still developing.

I always had a belief that a small group of people can make a change. That is why I joined Worth Living. Right now we are at fifty-seven people diagnosed with mental illness, fifty-seven people in the process of making a change, fifty-seven people standing up and sharing their stories.

I just want to caution people about medication and what it does to you. This society is not forgiving of our crimes. Crimes of artistry, crimes of intelligence, crimes of being human. There are second chances in life. Hopefully your second chance has a fight in it. I have been given a second chance and I will not be ashamed for being articulate, for being creative, or even for being a little dark. A lot of people see darkness as something bad or sad. I see it as one of the most beautiful things out there. I see grey skies, stormy clouds and rain. When everything has a touch of grey to it, it brings out emotions sometimes. Yes I am a naturally dark, sad being but there’s nothing wrong with that. There is nothing wrong with being negative when it has a positive outcome.