Using Writer’s Block to Sharpen my Writing Platform

Since I started writing my memoir ten years ago, I have not struggled with writer’s block. It’s true, I have produced drafts of my second book that were so bad, I scrapped them. But I was always able to use writing to help organize my thoughts without feeling defeated. Sure, I have taken a few … Continue reading Using Writer’s Block to Sharpen my Writing Platform

A Glimpse Behind the Iron Curtain of the Mental Health System

Twenty years ago, I experienced what might be termed a break from reality while I was working as a mental health worker. I worked in a last resort section 8 housing project that was rife with crime. It was called “The Hotel of Horrors” in an article in the local media. For six months, I … Continue reading A Glimpse Behind the Iron Curtain of the Mental Health System

Simple Formulas for Surviving Complex Trauma Over the Holidays

In these happier days, I am extremely thankful to have my wife and my dog with me. This Thanksgiving we have escaped the urban psychiatric backward upon which I work for a few days in Lake Tahoe. Still complex trauma must be managed. I am bound to have unpleasant holiday memories bubble up, no matter … Continue reading Simple Formulas for Surviving Complex Trauma Over the Holidays

Using “Schizophrenia” to Find A Soul Mate:

 Finding a relationship when you struggle with mental health challenges can be hard for a host of different reasons. Depression, anxiety, addiction, and interpersonal struggles can make relationships very challenging. There is stigma attached to each of these conditions and many avoid contact and fail to see other great qualities that the sufferer brings to … Continue reading Using “Schizophrenia” to Find A Soul Mate:

I Wash My Hands in the Muddy Waters of the Mental Health System

What was emerging now was different than anything I had experienced prior.   I had just gotten support from relationships I had built over the past year at the Quaker meeting-for-worship.   Maybe my situation at work had been getting whispered about among my friends. Maybe my spirit was exuding a sense of desperation. Either … Continue reading I Wash My Hands in the Muddy Waters of the Mental Health System

Beneath the Suds and Psychiatric Labels

Warning: Graphic Content   “I have heard real stories,” said my female therapist, “of men doing graphic and horrible things to women. I don’t think based on what you just told me, there is any justification for any accusation whatsoever. I think you have been saying a lot of hurtful things.”   I figured my … Continue reading Beneath the Suds and Psychiatric Labels

I Fought Against Mental Health Warehousing, And . . .

I was a skinny and reluctant social worker when I first started out. I was working through an eating disorder. Initially, I didn’t really believe that taking home a middle-class salary for nickel and diming those less fortunate was my idea of contributing to the world.   I guess, I’d gotten the idea that that … Continue reading I Fought Against Mental Health Warehousing, And . . .

Maintaining a Write-to-Live Attitude in the Social Media Era

I feel sorry for my English professor who wanted to put my essay up for an award! The glare I gave him and the lack of response: it was, at its best, very rude.   The fact is, I only learned it bothered him because my best friend who was fifteen years older than me … Continue reading Maintaining a Write-to-Live Attitude in the Social Media Era