Talk On

Division of Mental Health and Substance Use

    “On paper, my brain looks like someone let the Very Hungry Caterpillar off his leash. On paper my colors are unusual, rare blooms in an untouched jungle, the kind that smell like corpses I push ten-letter words into my mouth with my fingers, so far back that I trigger my gag reflex, forcing myself to swallow them like you force your dog to...

Division of Mental Health and Substance Use

    “Most days, waking up is the hardest But it is also when Poetry arrives Stands patiently outside the shower, Places its hand on the mirror Wipes away the steam" Sometimes, waking up is you being greeted by the all too familiar embrace of numbness. You find yourself surrounded by a whirlwind of never ending thoughts, the soft, yet...

Division of Mental Health and Substance Use

    “Since I was 5, my mom has always been telling me to lose weight because "being fat is considered ugly and I don't want an ugly daughter." So I had little to no self esteem starting from that age. When I was 9 my dad, who protected me from my mom's verbal abuse, had to move to California for six months for a job relocation and my depression...

Division of Mental Health and Substance Use

“At the young age of 5 I was molested. In 7th grade a boy on the school bus put his hands down my shirt and pants. I started self harming when I was 14, when I turned 16 my depression hit its peak. I attempted suicide. In that moment I wanted to speak to no one. I didn’t want to be told it’ll be ok or that it gets better. I had seen so many...

Division of Mental Health and Substance Use

    "It's just one beer, what's the big deal?" "Haha, that's a good one! Wait, you seriously don't drink?" "You? No way! You can't seriously be an alcoholic." "Want a drink? Oh, sorry I forgot." Four common responses after I tell friends that I have a drinking problem. It's really sad how few people actually believe that it's actually a thing....

Division of Mental Health and Substance Use

    “Do you feel trapped by feelings of guilt? Do they seem to suffocate and sabotage your life? Me too. Do you feel powerless, unable to control yourself? Me too. Do you hate the darkness and wonder if there’s hope to be found? Me too. And I’ve got good news to share--news of freedom, joy, and peace. You don’t have to keep searching...

Division of Mental Health and Substance Use

    “Wounded and wilted roses need empowering hydration through sunlight, fresh air, and love. But, not just any love; roses like me need self love. I was 12 years old when I let my own thorns pierce my stems for comfort. My anxiety and self hate made my petals fall and fade, as my skin grew raw and malnourished. I never thought it was...

Division of Mental Health and Substance Use

“I am here to tell people that I am an advocate and want to fight stigma. I am also a person with bipolar disorder. I come from a generation when people were afraid to speak and from a family that didn't want others to know that we have a history of genetic differences with our brain chemicals. I am also here to tell people that I have survived...

Division of Mental Health and Substance Use

“I have been around people with mental illness (bipolar disorder, anxiety, ADHD, depression with substance abuse) my entire life and I suspect many people are impacted by this personally and some may not even know it! I think we need to support and be understanding of people who are struggling for whatever reason and not distance ourselves if we...

Division of Mental Health and Substance Use

“What happened is that my dad passed away from a drug overdose. This started my depression. I've been having shyness, anxiety, and I have Aspergers, which is part of the Autism Spectrum, and it's hard for me to talk to anyone.” --Corey, Student