Some people get confused about why this mental health advocate is concerned with anti-racism, when there's so much work to be done for anti-stigma. I don't know for sure, but my general pulse is that people think of my story as a hopeful one of recovery with severe mental illness. There's been serious substance use, body dysmorphia, alcohol poisoning, car crashes, psychosis, mania, depression, narcissistic injury, unrequited love; the list goes on and on. When I tell my story, I try to make a point to mention all the opportunity and good fortune I have been privy to in my life and in this body. Up until recently though, I had been content to let privilege be a background item—important but not critical.Read More
I get asked a good bit, "What do you believe?"
The response is usually something like, "I believe religions are mythological, archetypal, symbolic reflections of the human psyche." Sometimes it's more like, "I believe people can believe whatever they want to believe so long as their beliefs are not causing harm to another." Other times, I just say, "I believe in Love."
The truth of the matter though, is that I don't believe anything. There's just some stuff I know, and there's other stuff I put in the category of "don't know" or "don't know yet."Read More
The following blog post was first published with Expanded Consciousness.
“You are Jesus! You are Buddha!” Master repeatedly shouted into the microphone. His voice bounced around the small, dark room where I was being initiated, or brainwashed, or maybe even becoming enlightened. There were about twelve of us students, but I knew his words were for me. He was affirming something I had already intuitively understood, if only through psychosis.Read More
For a lot of us, getting a diagnosis automatically wipes away any spiritual insights, rolling them into a long list of painful symptoms. We had glimpses of spiritual realization perhaps, but we also couldn’t sleep or eat, or we dropped out of school, or we hurt a loved one, or we made some other horrible decisions with detrimental consequences. We sort of accept that any movement toward spiritual awakening belonged in the same heap of garbage as those unsavory symptoms. And this would work wonderfully, except that even when all those symptoms go away and we feel stable and functional, the spiritual piece may remain. Then what?Read More
I know it might sound strange to leap from psychosis to ego transcendence, possibly even dangerous, but the two were so intimately related for me. I felt as if I had understood God for the first time in my life, not as an object, but as an experience. It was ineffable, a moment in which the little me no longer existed, my identity disintegrating into the vastness of the universe. And though my ego structures were breaking down without my consent, it didn’t change that I had encountered some sense of nirvana.Read More