For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide (Part II)

At age 22 I was just getting a formal diagnosis of major depressive disorder. In retrospect, I realize that I experienced my first depressive episode when I was 19 but it was not until age 22, that my ability to function completely broke down. Over the next two years, I became increasingly isolated while a pain that I can only describe as what I imagined it would feel like to be outside in a hail storm with no skin pervaded my entire being. My ability to envision a future ceased and then slowly, slowly entered those early suicidal thoughts. The idea that death would be a relief (from all this pain) became a common refrain.

More Than a Patient

Lizabeth Schuch is a thoughtful and engaging woman with whom I’ve become acquainted over the past few years. We met just as I was embarking upon my current journey in patient advocacy within the greater Washington, DC community. Diagnosed with bipolar disorder at the age of 17, Lizabeth went on to graduate from the University of Pittsburgh with a Bachelor’s Degree in sociology and a minor in psychology. She recently left the storied life of pharmaceutical sales to pursue her passion as an advocate full-time. Her professional and personal experiences make her especially qualified for her new role. I was happy to take the opportunity to talk with Lizabeth about mental illness and her work.
“There is a lot of resiliency with these illnesses, I don’t know that people acknowledge how hard we have to work. We are fighting a battle!” Lizabeth Schuch

The Walking Gallery is “No Small Matter”

Last Monday, it was my distinct honor to become one of the latest members of The Walking Gallery, a patient advocacy movement conceived by Regina Holliday. My story is depicted in painting #159 “No Small Matter.”

Ubiqi Health: Harnessing Big Data for Engaged Patients

Harnessing big data for engaged patients

In the bright light of the foyer atrium at a hotel in Boston, I pulled together a pair of chairs to improvise a conversation area. It was mid-afternoon and Jacqueline Thong was bursting with energy. I thought to myself, “Whatever she has, I’d like to bottle that!” Thong is a petite woman with a big vision and a desire to harness the power of big data. As CEO of Ubiqi Health, she works to forge strategic alliances with other health industry organization and maximize the adoption and use of her company’s health applications.

#HAWMC: Anger—Bitter Pill or Gift?

Anger and grief

Anger is a natural aspect of grief, loss and mourning but when you are a homicide survivor (or someone who has lost a loved one to murder) anger takes on added characteristics. Literature on anger underscores the importance of identifying your anger and then finding healthy ways to channel that anger so that it doesn’t ultimately destroy you—psychologically or physically. Since the death of my brother, I have become intimately familiar with anger. I’ve come to know it in ways I wouldn’t wish upon anyone.

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    The Herald-Sun presented a large feature of III Gifts poems and photographs to kick off National Donate Life Month. It included the articles, A Living Tribute and Love of Arts... providing a comprehensive and personal perspective of organ donation. Cliff Bellamy, Book & Entertainment Editor described the book as "very insightful." Click through the links and be sure to check them out.