Only in the last few years have I realized guilt had become my final and most tenacious addiction. The cure was letting go of the facade of “normalcy” and publicly telling my story. That led to a professional U-turn, where I quit trying to write the next Great American Novel and became a full-time mental health care advocate. By speaking out I felt other women might act sooner to help themselves, knowing by doing so they were also helping their children—a correlation that is now supported by elegant research. I now channel my advocacy efforts into my work as a board member and anti-stigma speaker for the Mental Health Association of San Francisco and in media outreach and in-person workshops to support publication of my soon-to-be-released memoir. The topic I explore most is how families can prevent or reduce mental illness through knowledge of their mental health history.
An Excerpt of my essay in a SAMHSA Newsletter that goes out to 10,000 mental health and addiction professionals from the US agency for child and family mental health and substance abuse recovery–MentalHealthMomBlog