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I am Autistic

I live with multiple invisible disabilities. Some I talk about pretty openly, but one I don’t, which is that I am autistic. I don’t talk about this because I’ve been terrified my whole life that people will discredit me, ignore me, and treat me differently if they hear this word or hear about my internal experience. I don’t talk about this because like all autistic people...

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Activists: Please Reconsider Calling the Violent “Mentally Ill”

Another Facebook post that engaged many people To activists talking about how the Brooklyn cop killer and the anti-police YouTuber in Pennsylvania are “seriously mentally ill” and “disturbed” and therefore do not reflect our protest movement: I wish we could refrain from all-consuming and derogatory categories like “mentally ill” in our discussions of power and privilege. The things people do have meaning to them. Let’s...

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White Men and Me

It is increasingly disconcerting that the people who have been the most mean and hurtful toward me are, in the majority of cases, white men. In many of those cases, these men attacked or undermined me in direct retaliation to my promoting transparency, cooperation, sharing, critical analysis, and anti-oppressive values.

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Why I Identify as a Psychiatric Suvivor

When I open my workshops I have begun telling people the following: “I identify as a psychiatric survivor. What this means to me is that at a one point in my life I was offered a single explanation for what was happening, a way of making meaning about my life, that said I had an incurable brain disorder that was only treatable by taking a...

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Intentionality and Friendship on the Path of Healing

“Thanks everyone. I had a really nice time with you guys today!” Steve’s eyes were bright, his voice high pitched and shining like a giddy child – a startling contrast to the sullen, wary visage I had encountered for the past three months of living with him as a “therapeutic housemate”. Moments later we entered the car to head home after a sunny and adventurous...

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Misfit Meditation in Cambridge starts March 26

Update: The class has been postponed due to complications with securing an adequate space. Stay connected via meetup for the announcement of the next class! Registration is live for a new Misfit Meditation series via my meetup group. What does “Misfit Meditation mean?” For me, meditation is a tool for self-healing and deep insight so that we can become more effective and integrated people. When we learn...

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Six First Steps for Building Communities of Emotional Wellness

[This article also is also published on Mad In America.] I am being asked by a number of grassroots communities to facilitate a dialogue about how they can better welcome and support individuals who experience emotional distress. This is a challenge for many aspiring peers and allies in a culture where responsibility for our individual well-being has been increasingly transferred to psychiatrists, doctors, and other health professionals....

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Loving What Hurts

It’s Valentine’s day. Maybe you have a special someone to spend it with, or maybe you have some other relationship with the holiday.  Even in the bliss of a fruitful amorous bond, you might face some struggle in figuring out how to love where it hurts. Maybe something about your partner bugs you in a way you cannot stop thinking about, or there is a...

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Rhythms of Change

Imagine a horse that desperately wants to swim like a fish, or a sloth that longs to move through the trees like a lemur. Sometimes I feel like that. These past two days I have been at prison abolition and reform events. I am meeting a lot of wonderful people and find myself enjoying a lot of forward-moving energy. I want to write, go to...

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How to Welcome the Unwelcome

These past several weeks have been hellish for me, on and off. I’ve been riddled with depression, self-doubt, and anxiety about starting this new venture. At first I didn’t really know why. The surface level stories were compelling: fallings out with several important women in my life (mentors and lovers) played a big part. But the deeper issues that were being raised were much more...