Worth Living Ambassador McKenna Witkowski

An LGBTQ+ Ambassador living with GAD, MDD, and ADHD Type 2. Also an EMT and proud Social Work Major at Daemen College in Buffalo, New York.

A Difficult Conversation

There are many issues in our community that are never talked about which lead to high rates of suicide and substance abuse. I want to tackle one of those issues with this blog- LGBTQ+ dating abuse.

LGBTQ+ people are at a higher risk to be in an abusive relationship. According to the Human Rights Campaign, 42.8% of LGBQ+ people will be in an abusive relationship. Also from the HRC, 88.9% of trans* people will experience some form of dating violence. LGBTQ+ abusers use the current political atmosphere to their advantage.

Here are some signs and symptoms of LGBTQ+-specific tactics:

-Outing the victim in an unsafe environment, such as to disapproving family or a religious leader
-Leading the victim to believe there is no help available because the victim is LGBTQ+
-Leading the victim to believe that they aren’t LGBTQ+, a form of emotional abuse

Of course, LGBTQ+ dating abuse can present with the same signs and symptoms as heterosexual abuse. Some of these are, but are not limited to:

Physical Abuse

Any form of physical harm against you, a family member, or a pet- including, but not limited to hitting, punching, kicking, and biting.
-Threatening you with a weapon such as a gun or a knife

Emotional Abuse

-Threatening you, a family member, or a pet
-Treating you like property, not a partner
-Unpredictability and a short temper
-Controlling how you dress
-Preventing you from seeing friends or family
-Name calling and belittling
-Controlling your finances
-Blaming their abuse on an outside factor, like alcohol or drug use
-Gaslighting (trivializing or denying the abuse, making you doubt yourself)
Sexual Abuse
-Tampering with your birth control methods
-Forcing you to have sex
-Unwanted touching
-Trying to coerce you to have sex, after you have refused

Remember, abuse is not limited to the aforementioned signs.

If you suspect that you are in an abusive relationship, there is help available.
The Trevor Project (LGBTQ+ specific)-1-866-488–7386
National Domestic Violence Hotline-1-800-799-7233
LGBTQ+ National Help Center- 1-800-246-PRIDE
The Anti-Violence Project- 242-714-1124

Worth Living Ambassador Ruairi McEnroe

My name is Ruairi, an ultra-runner from Ireland.

My Social Media Break

I decided to take a social media break on June 27th after reading about digital detox as I was interested to see the effects. Let me start by saying I did not grow up with mobile phones coming from the landline era and before that, calling cards! I got a phone in my late teens to keep in contact with family if I was out and about.

My daily routine is that I would normally wake up at 6am to feed my cats and go into the kitchen to make breakfast while scrolling through Instagram, Facebook and the news of the day. It got to a point where I was sharing too much of myself on Instagram, at least that is how I felt. It can be very hard to keep up with everyone that you are following and have some kind of invested interest in.

I do use social media for work so it was not a total detox but kept my interaction at a minimum and allowed other team members to work on it. I also tapped more into my meditation practice, left my phone at home when going out for a run (instead of bringing it with me to get that perfect Instagram picture) and started playing Scrabble again. I connected deeper with my spiritual side learning about the dharma and the Buddhist way.

I often did a lot of nothing, why not? You don’t have to be always on the go and doing something. There were times I would get the feeling that I missing something or FOMO (fear of missing out) but those were later unfounded.

Some closing thoughts. Instagram is great for making connections. I have met a lot of lovely people that I would consider friends but you have to consider this; you are inviting people into your space, your personal space, and you have to be okay with that. You should be careful what you share and wary of the consequences should there be a backlash. The barrage of motivational quotes, telling you the way you should be feeling, so-called “progress” pictures, people who swear to you they wake up looking like a million dollars, and many other downsides to social media can be detrimental to your health. I am not suggesting that you quit social media but take a break now and again to see how you feel.

It has opened my eyes into how much time I was spending on it. The good thing is, for me, the habits of checking feeds multiple times a day went away quickly so I found other things to do during that time before my work schedule. I encourage you once again to give it a go.

One final point is that I found much more control of my social media networks when I decided to log in again. I didn’t scroll through to see what I missed but much like a meditation practice, I decided to ‘begin again’ like it was all new to me.

Worth Living Ambassador Kara Lynn

Kara Lynn graduated university with a B.A in Psychology and is in the final years of Psychiatric nursing. Being an avid mental health advocate, Kara is able to offer therapeutic programs to aid in challenges that people face while being able to bring awareness and enlightenment to those within the community to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health. Not all mental illnesses come from trauma, and not all traumas inspire mental illnesses, however these are paired among society. Kara is also a motivational speaker, looking to inspire and encourage others to live a healthy, positive, and full life.

Positive Healing

There have been many questions about my positive energy, my enthusiasm for life and adventure, and the ability to see something positive in a negative situation. It does not come from meditation or beautiful scenery ( although it helps). Positivity is based on perception.

The way you feel and how you act play a large role in your day. I’m not afraid of the future nor am I afraid of failure. Those are challenges that I accept and welcome to create and shape a better me. What I do today helps me become who I will be tomorrow.

Every experience that  I have encountered, every miracle or obstacle that I have faced helped to shape me to be the best possible person that I can be. I am not saying I don’t have bad days – I do, I am human. I take from those “bad” or challenging moments and learn and grow and that’s what makes me happy – growing mentally, physically and spiritually.

I have great people in my corner and some not so great. Those who are always there and those who are there when it benefits them – and that’s fine. They are doing the same thing as you – living and doing what makes them happy.

I have lost wonderful people in my life who I wish I could bring back. Life doesn’t make that easy. What it has taught me is to hold onto those you love, never take anyone for granted, and reflect on the good times that you can laugh about with those you encounter. Use your experiences to create a bond with someone new.

I ask you now, do you find yourself constantly battling stressed feelings or unhappy thoughts? Ask yourself why and find a road that will deter you away from that negative energy. Most of the time we continue feeling as we do without reflecting on why we feel that way and from there, it becomes a continual cycle of added stress. Your stress and set -backs can become a view for opportunity to be challenged and motivated. If you find you are in a situation you wish to not be in and that is what is setting you back, my advice to you is change the scenario.

Here are some of my tips for you to help through those unwanted nasty days or weeks.

1. If someone close to you hurts your feelings,let them know but don’t be mean, just have a rational conversation about things that bother you. Don’t necessarily write people off right away either. We all have good traits and bad traits. They make us who we are, but how can change be expected if that person who has hurt you doesn’t realize what they are doing?

2. For one week write everything down that gives you hesitation, stress, makes you upset and so on. By the end of the week take a look at what bothered you and examine it. You may notice that there are patterns occurring. Sometimes we go on autopilot to get through whatever it is we need to during the week, and that’s OK. However sometimes when that happens we lose our focus and become uneasy, or upset at small things. How can we change our perspective? Attitude

Sure, I dislike having to wait for people to contact me back when I’ve emailed them about business related aspects and sometimes it may feel like they take forever to respond. However, I am doing what will ultimately make me happy in the future. During that time, I am grateful that I have been able to start my own business with the education that I have and worked hard for in school.

3. I try not to complain. I saw a post on Instagram and it enlightened me. It was a post challenging you to not complain for one full day. Is it difficult? Absolutely, but it’s doable. It is all in the perspective. It’s surprising how much we complain about things, even when we don’t mean to.
“Exercising  daily is hard work”
– I am now one step closer to getting to my ideal weight, fuelling my body with energy while feeling and looking my best
“I hate how cold it is”
-I have warm running water, big blankets ( lovely duvet), and other means to keep warm, not a lot of people have what I have, so I am thankful more than disappointed or agitated.

4. Write what you are grateful for and what makes you happy. Big or small. Write it. You don’t have to do this every day. If you want, just write when something happens that put a smile on your face. Make a book of them to reflect on when you start to feel stressed about life not going where you want it to go, or when you feel like your day can’t get any worse. This will be your pick me up or a reminder of where you want to be.

I’m currently sitting here thinking about what I am grateful for: My family, the copious amount of supportive and wonderful people in my life, my yoga classes, and being able to go to the gym whenever possible.

I’ve seen those close to me struggle through pain, whether by health, relationships, and other stresses and triumphs! Climb to the top after every battle that was given and stand at the top of that proverbial mountain. That too is my inspiration. What I need to look at to reflect on my bad days to turn them into positive, to motivate me to work harder and to push me along on my bad days.

Like everyone else, I too get my bad days and though they may not work for everyone, these help me get over unwanted feelings almost instantly. When you find yourself feeling down, ask what can be changed to make yourself happier, accomplished and find what can help you become dedicated to something great. Find the good in the bad or in the stressful.

I’m not saying life is easy and won’t have its difficulties from time to time and I do take into consideration that there are aspects we cannot run away from. Life can be scary or it can be rewarding. It’s how you choose to view it and what you choose to do with what’s given to you. Most importantly never give up. Everything you do leads you somewhere.

Are we allowed to have bad days? Absolutely, that’s what good nights with great friends are for.

Worth Living Ambassador & Official DJ Scratchley Q

This week the Worth Living Countdown is all about dreams and dreaming. Dream/ Dreaming; a series of thoughts, images, and sensations occurring in a person’s mind during sleep. Or a cherished aspiration, ambition, or ideal. Daydreaming; a series of pleasant thoughts that distract one’s attention from the present. We all have dreams, take a risk and follow those dreams. Enjoy- Scratchley Q

10. Green Day- Boulevard Of Broken Dreams

9. MKTO- American Dream

8. Sheryn Regis- Follow Your Dreams

7. Nelly- Just A Dream

6. Tom Petty- Runnin’ Down A Dream

5. Carrie Underwood- Just A Dream

4. Bruce Springsteen- Dream Baby Dream

3. Imagine Dragons- Dream

2. Jackie Evancho- Made To Dream

1. Beyonce- Sweet Dreams

Worth Living Ambassador Haley Tiffany

I’m Haley,
I’m a social work major in Boston, USA. I am a mental health blogger, an empath, and I have the rarest personality type (INFJ). I am commonly found with my fluffy cat, writing blog posts or poetry, taking yoga classes, and dancing around my kitchen in my pj’s. People often say I am silly, happy-go-lucky, kind-hearted, a goofball, and a “chill” person.
My most favorite word I have been called, though? Resilient

When I Discovered Life Was Worth Living

At this point in my life I wake up every morning feeling blessed. I see my life with a purpose and I know exactly who I am, and what fuels my fire.

I did not just wake up one day and see things this clearly. It took work. It took strength, time, and energy. There were tears, heartache, and self-doubt.

There was a time when I would not wake up in the morning and feel blessed. I would not see hope. I did not believe my life was worth living.
I have social anxiety. Many people would never notice, but the truth is I have worked my entire life to contain it. I never felt good enough, smart enough, anything enough. I had a great group of friends, a loving family, but I still battled with myself each day.

I didn’t know who I was or how I fit into this world. I never conformed to a “clique.” At school, I would bounce around different lunch tables trying to find my fit. I wasn’t much of an athlete, I hated to be the center of attention, I wasn’t the top of my class, the cheerleading captain, not even the bookworm. I was often told by my teachers that I should participate more. I would just sit quietly in class and just “be.” That was comfortable for me. I was highly anxious, an over-thinker, and a terrible test taker.

As I grew older, my anxiety turned into bottled up feelings from traumas I had endured. I realized this once I started experiencing anxiety attacks every single day. I missed many days of school, had frequent doctor appointments, and even blood tests to figure out what was wrong. I had no idea what was happening  and why it was happening now. I felt I had no control over my body. My anxiety made me sick. I missed too many days of school, and nothing was getting better, so my mom made me go in. I would go to a bathroom stall and cry or sit in the nurse’s office. I barely ate. I was losing weight and becoming ghostly pale.

While this was going on, my grandfather passed away. My anxiety then joined a depression. I thought my world was falling apart. I was hating myself for being unable to sit through my classes, go into public, or go to work without my anxiety taking over me. I took out all that negative energy I was feeling out on myself. I was self-harming until it became an addiction. Every day was a walk through fog and I forgot what it felt like to be me. I didn’t see how I was going to get anywhere in life with such crippling anxiety. My social anxiety would never land me a job. I felt like a disappointment to my family, and everyone just wanted me to “snap out of it.” I wanted to be normal. I wanted to be happy. I was too busy hating myself for my weaknesses, to be discovering my strengths. Luckily, a path led me there.

Growing up, I was very intuitive. I would write stories, spend hours exploring in the woods, and I loved to be around adults more than kids my own age. I often felt misunderstood  and alone with my imagination. I didn’t think the way my peers had. At a young age, I was recognizing qualities of a healer within me. I had no idea my sensitivity was a gift and that my level of intuition was rare for my age. I had no idea that the reason I struggled in school was because I learned best through life experiences, and self-reflection. I was very right-brained, and creative, and I never felt equations, and circling A, B, C, or D, on an exam was serving me.

I had all these people behind me, who believed in me. I just didn’t believe them. As a high school student with depression and anxiety, I knew the logical thing to do was to seek help from a professional. I even believed I wasn’t good at that. I couldn’t give eye contact, I was petrified of being judged, and I couldn’t find words to explain how I felt or what I needed. I thought I was wasting their time, and I fell even farther into feeling absolutely alone with myself.

I spoke to the one person I could let see, hear, and understand me. I wrote letters to myself. I was no longer writing stories for fun, I was writing as the only way to express myself. To save myself.

My journey to healing came following realizations. I wish I could say I did this all on my own, but I had support.

I am ever so grateful for that support. Sometimes it takes guidance from another who truly cares in order to see yourself in the same light.
That guide, for me, was my high school social worker. She read my writing, she visited my blog site almost every morning, and emailed me with the insights she picked up on. One morning I was sitting in a Psychology class when I read an email from her that gave me hope.

“You are SO smart for realizing the things you do. Most people your age do not (and cannot) make such insightful connections! I know in an earlier post you mentioned some self-consciousness surrounding intelligence, so please know that when it comes to this stuff in particular, you are smart beyond your years.”

When I read those words I could not hide my smile. A friend noticed and said, “I have not seen that smile in a long time.” It was true. That genuine smile came from someone, not just believing in me, but helping me to recognize there was more to intelligence than grades in school and confidence in public speaking.

It was like everything I had been looking for was unwrapped for me before my eyes. These negative beliefs I had been carrying  that I would get nowhere in life if I could not help myself to be seen. I started to accept those parts of me, instead of comparing myself to others. For someone who has always wanted to help others, to study social work, to counsel, I had no idea that with that passion came a gift of incredible intuition, insight, and an empathic heart that would allow me to excel. I could be genuine. I could be me. I could live my dream. This discovery wasn’t the end of my downfall. It was just the beginning. What came from here took work. I realized now that in order to heal others I need to make sure I get the healing I deserve as well.

I have been on that healing journey since. I have overcome a hospitalization, I have not self-harmed in over a year, and I still attend therapy regularly for an additional support.

That email from my school social worker was inspired by a blog post I had written, where, at the time, she was my only reader. Today, my blog is public, my story is being shared, and this is due to my being reminded of who I am and why that is special.

Mental illness is tricky and often we lose ourselves along the way. It is important to find people who will stand by you, who remind you of your greatness, so you can find your very self again, and why you are worth living.

Worth Living Ambassador Zaynah Shehraz

Zaynah Shehraz is a mental health advocate and an active wellness and lifestyle blogger from London, UK. Having been diagnosed with BPD and Bipolar after suffering in silence for most of her life,  She has decided to open up about her own personal experiences with the desire to encourage others to be positive and to live an unapologetically, authentic life.

5 Rules to Recover from a Relapse

Relapse is awful. It tricks our mind into thinking that we have failed and that we have to start all over again with our recovery. However, it is NOT a failure. Relapse is common and recovery is not linear. Follow these 5 rules to rebound after your mental health relapse:


After a relapse, many of us carry the burden of guilt and shame and it becomes very common for us to forget about self-love. However, please do not beat yourself up as it will accomplish nothing. You have had to battle your biggest demons and you have won because you are still here. You have made a choice to continue fighting. That in itself is a huge victory that you should take pride in. Always remember to show compassion to yourself because you DO deserve it.


There are triggers that drive us to relapsing and it takes time for our wise mind to instantly pick up the warning signs of a bump in the road ahead. That is why relapsing  in mental health is so common and the worst thing you can do, is to mask your feelings. I know it is a habit of a lifetime for many of us but how will anyone be able to help us when they think that we’re ok? If you feel vulnerable, don’t be alone. Be with someone you trust and who cares for you. It’s a strength to ask for help.


Wallowing in self-pity is something that a lot of us resort to and sometimes it may be difficult to avoid. However, self-pity is one of the fastest routes to self-destruction when overcoming a relapse so we need to avoid it. This is where all our self-care practice becomes a survival resource. I would go for a walk, sit in the garden and mindfully take in my surroundings or listen to some happy nostalgic music. Self-care is very subjective so my suggestions may not be appropriate for everyone so do things that make YOU feel good.


Remember that relapse is a hurdle. It does not mean that you have to start your healing process from the complete beginning all over again. You may have fallen but you have regained the strength to pick yourself back up again. Get straight back into your recovery routine, continuing with the efforts that you have been making to ensure you live an authentic life that is worth living.


Do not fixate on negatives in the past and do not induce anxiety by thinking of what may come in the future. Just simply take it one day at a time. It is your journey and you will take as long as you need.

You can subscribe to my personal blog (www.notasimplemind.com) and follow me on Instagram @notasimplemind





Worth Living Ambassador Felicia Singh

Hello, my name is Felicia. I am a 25 year old healthcare professional and
counseling/psychology student with anxiety. As well as someone with an unexplainable
yearning to understand mental health disorders. The who, what, where, when, and whys of it all.

Common Q’s and A’s of Mental Health

Q: What is mental health?

A: Mental health refers to an individual’s psychological, emotional, and social well

Q: What is a mental illness?

A: Mental health illnesses are health conditions that affect mood, thinking, and
Q: How common are mental illnesses ?

A: Mental illnesses are pretty common. Studies show that 1 of every 5 adults in the U.S
experience  a mental illness every year. As well as 1 of every 5 youth between the ages
of  13-18 also experience a mental illness every year.

Q: How do I approach my health care provider about a possible mental illness?

A: The same way you would approach your health care provider with any other medical
issue. Discussing a mental health illness with your doctor is no different. Your primary
care doctor is usually the starting point for diagnosis and treatment options. They can
prescribe medication and refer you to other mental health professionals.

Q: How are mental illnesses treated?

A: Mental health illnesses are treated in many different ways. Treatment depends on
diagnosis, the severity of that diagnosis, and your individual needs. Treatments include
but are not limited to: Psychotherapy, medication, support groups, or
hospital /residential treatment programs.

Q: What can I do to promote good mental health in my life?

– Practice self -worth
– Get enough sleep
– Have a healthy diet
-Try to maintain a stable living environment
-Communicate your concerns with your doctor
– Exercise

Worth Living Ambassador Kimber-Lee Iacona

Hi, my name is Kimber-Lee Iacona. I am 19 years old and have been battling with Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Depression for most of my life. I was only recently diagnosed last year. Like many others, I want to put an end to the stigma that surrounds mental health. Stay strong and stay safe my friends.

Caution: Kimber-Lee discusses Suicide in this video.

Worth Living Ambassador & Official DJ Scratchley Q

Scrathley Q is a 23 year old from Manitoulin Island 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, professional, and hardworking DJ. She presents a weekly Top 10 Countdown of music videos for the WL blog. She also has 5 Volumes of Worth Living Therapy BBP www.mixcloud.com/djscratchleyq. Her contributions to WL are inspiring and impressive.

Worth Living Top 10 Countdown- Songs for Relaxation
10. Massive Attack- Exchange

9. Alexi Murdoch- Orange Sky

8. Radiohead- High and Dry

7. Sade- By Your Side

6. Pink Floyd- Learning to Fly

5. Michael Hoppe- Shadows Fall

4. Coldplay- Strawberry Swing

3. Incubus- Aqueous Transmission

2. Girish- Diamonds in the Sun

1. Marconi Union- Weightless

Worth Living Ambassador Sheila Houlahan

Indian-American Actor/Singer Sheila Houlahan has been seen on stage and screen around the world. Her most notable credits include performing the music of A. R. Rahman with the Seattle Symphony as the headliner Mezzo soloist for the Celebrate Asia! 2017 concert, performing with A.R. Rahman at the 2016 CES Intel Live Show in Las Vegas, winning an award with the Washington District Metropolitan Opera Competition in 2014, singing as a featured soprano soloist for the 2009 Salzburg Festival, playing the role of Optima Prime in the feature film Wallflower, produced by Paradigm Studios and set to release this year, and playing the role of Ghania, the villain’s henchwoman, in the new superhero TV show The Exceptionals.

She received a Bachelor’s of Music in Operatic Performance from the Manhattan School of Music. She has worked with exceptional artists such as: A.R. Rahman, Robin Eubanks, Christopher Plummer, Martina Arroyo, Donna D. Vaughn, Alan Gilbert, Ron Browning, Bad Animals Recording Studios, and has also done commercials for Microsoft, T-Mobile, AAA and Doritos. Sheila is currently working on her first solo album under the pseudonym iamshiiila and a corresponding music video series.

When she’s not acting or singing, Sheila enjoys amateur foraging, kicking butt in Krav Maga and screwing up basic recipes in the kitchen.

A chat between Keith and  Shelia

How would describe your music?

This is a great question! The short answer would be “pop”, the long answer would be that it is a mix of the myriad of influences I’ve had on my music career. I got my start as a classical singer, but began branching out to other styles for fun before falling in love with contemporary music. I would say I’m most influenced by Imogen Heap, Vienna Teng, Tori Amos, SIA, and Florence and the Machine. I’ve always loved that contrast between ethereal/folk elements with electronic instrumentals and a powerful female vocal. I’m Indian-American and have recently begun re-connecting with my Indian roots through collaborations with Bollywood legend A. R. Rahman, and that has definitely influenced my writing style as well. I’m always searching for that “next sound” and try to incorporate that into my work.

When did you start singing and writing songs?

I began singing at the age of 7 when I joined a professional children’s choir called the Seattle Girls’ Choir where I learned the bulk of my musical foundation. I sang with them through the age of 18, and it was through SGC that I met my first voice teacher Lois White at the age of 12. She encouraged me to pursue singing professionally, and it was through her that I learned the skills necessary to pursue music at the Manhattan School of Music. After graduating college, I began working intensely with my two current coaches, Erich Parce and Ron Browning, on a sturdy vocal technique that would easily fit any genre. Ron Browning turned me on to contemporary music and pushed me to start writing my own music, and through him I began exploring song writing a year ago. I co-wrote Keep On Marching On with master producer Richard Harris and recently began collaborating on an EP with grammy award winning producer Avery “Avenue Beats”.

I like to think of myself as a life-long learner and therefore firmly believe that I’ve only just started to learn how to sing and write music. One of the greatest joys in life is waking up in the morning and realizing you “aren’t done yet”; knowing that there is still so much in life to learn and experience kept me going through the darkest times in my life, and I trust that said information will keep me hoping for a better tomorrow.

What other artists have inspired you?

The list is endless, so I’ll stick to two artists who have particularly inspired me. I had no interest in pursuing a career as a solo artist until I saw SIA in concert last September on her Nostalgic for the Present tour. I’ve always admired her as an artist, but it was through her tour that I learned how much of her music was inspired through her own struggles with mental health and addiction. That resonated with me deeply as I’m now two years out from recovery myself! I began devouring every song she had ever written, and through that process discovered I wanted to share my personal struggles with the world as well. It takes a lot of courage to tell your story, and her strength through vulnerability floored me. Artists are storytellers first and foremost and I have always been moved by a well-told story. Seeing that people needed to hear these stories made me realize that I wanted nothing more than to help people heal through my own experiences and music. That is my ultimate dream.

I also deeply admire Bollywood legend A. R. Rahman and feel grateful for his mentorship and friendship in my life. I highly recommend you listen to his interviews and learn his story sometime; there is a man who has fought against all the odds and succeeded because he never stopped believing in himself, his art and his mission. He is the kindest, humblest, purest man, and he taught me that success comes from maintaining an attitude of gratitude.

Your song – Keep on Marching On –  what thoughts and feelings came together to write it?  What is the source, the reason behind it, is it a personal anthem?

I wrote Keep On Marching On right after the women’s marches in late January. After the 2016 election, I felt disillusioned with America and truly felt like there wasn’t a place in the world for someone like me. I didn’t feel connected to people again until after I saw how many people around the world marched for unity, and it made me realize that hiding from the world wasn’t going to help anybody. I wanted to write something that captured the hope I felt at seeing so many people come together for justice, and to validate folks whose daily lives are “marches” due to struggles with health, mental health, relationships, finances, friendships, family, religion, sexual orientation, gender, race, age, ability, access, and so much more. It can feel like a marathon some days just to get out of bed in the morning, and society doesn’t often remind us that we aren’t alone in our struggles. I wanted my song to be an anthem for the people; we must remember to keep on fighting the big fights and little fights alike, and we must take pride in every step we take towards a better tomorrow.

Tell us more about your journey, if you are comfortable doing so?

Absolutely! I have struggled with my own health and mental health for my entire life, and have only been declared functionally “healthy” in the last year or so. I battled a severe eating disorder for 12 years and am proud to say I’ve been fully recovered for 2 years now! It certainly hasn’t always been an easy journey, and every little slip out of recovery brings on a new wave of anxiety and depression that can be hard to quell. I certainly wouldn’t be alive today if it weren’t for my music, my writing, my friends, my family, my mentors and my students (you know who you are!); they give me reason to get out of bed in the morning when even the simplest of tasks feel impossible. I’ve been sick for years and my family could never figure out why; I’ve had severe organ failure and even went through a heart attack before years of testing revealed that this entire time I’ve been eating food my body is severely allergic to: eggs and almonds! Once the doctors realized I was living in a state of constant anaphylactic shock, everything began to make sense. I didn’t realize it wasn’t normal to feel pain and extreme fatigue all the time, and as my body healed my mind began to relax. I still struggle with my mental health, but it is a whole lot easier to feel safe and stable when your body isn’t attacking itself. I now actively advocate for better mental health care, which is how I came across Worth Living. We need to take mental health care more seriously as a people. We need to stop casting it aside as something “unimportant”, and we need to stop gendering mental health and health concerns in general. I will never understand how people can brush off suicide so easily; I am a a suicide attempt survivor and believe that suicidal thoughts need to be treated as seriously as a heart attack. The day people take mental health seriously is the day I can relax as a mental health advocate; I feel fortunate that I can use my art as a platform to raise awareness in general and to tell my own story of ED recovery.

Thank you so much!! I’d love to do a follow-up interview in a week or so to talk about my new single Achieve, which features reggae legend Junior Reid and dropped last week! I am so excited to collaborate with you!! 🙂

Watch the Keep On Marching On video at



It is also on all major platforms including iTunes, Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music and more!
Please follow Sheila on Instagram and Twitter, which can be found at @iamshiiila 🙂