A Little More of Me


My name is Kristen.

I am a Mad woman.

Mad is my identity and my politics.

I know that my intense sadness, self hatred and rage are apart of being human.

I know that I live in a world that does not appreciate emotional and mental differences.

I know that I am not sick but that I experience great pain caused by the experiences, violence and discrimination I have lived through.

I know that not allowing myself to be labelled as “sick” does not make my pain any less important or tolerable.

I know that being labelled “sick” only made me sicker and my true healing began when I abandoned the medical approach to my mind.

I know that I sometimes fall back into the mindset of being sick because that is what I have been told since I was a 13 and I will continue to be told by others what I am. I need to stop listening to them.

I know that psychiatry is too powerful and needs to be changed because I do think there can be a place for it, just not how it is currently.

I know that I will use mental health services when I need to but always on my terms.

I know that regardless of how I view my own mental well-being that discrimination, stigma, and violence are unacceptable events to occur towards those in the mental health, Mad, psychiatric survivor, antipsychiatry, consumer and ex-patient/inmate communities. I will speak out against human rights violations and support people  in the ways they need to be supported.

I know that I have a lot of positive things to share with others if they are only willing to listen and open their minds.

I know there is a lot of be afraid of but, that if we can stay together it doesn’t need to be so scary.

I know that I am just one voice but that I am important.

I know that I do not have all the answers but that I am onto something.

I know that many of you will judge me but as many of you know, the longer I ignore myself and keep it inside the worse I will feel. I am still like you.


103 thoughts on “A Little More of Me

  1. Hi there!
    Just left a comment on your other blog on Xanga. I thought I recognized you! I was working at Canada AM when you came to the Town Hall in February. I’m writing from Ryerson’s campus newspaper, the Ryersonian. Would love to talk to you quickly about Madvocates if you have the time today. Let me know if you’d be interested.
    Thanks! 🙂

  2. Wow! I’m impressed with your credentials. I have similar goals of reducing stigma associated with mental illness, but it sounds like you’ve done a lot towards that. I’m impressed!

  3. Hi! Ok, amazing blog. Following you now…we are did mpd, or we have it ha, we are from Ireland. and we are also blind, and we are studying in college and also a lesbian so yay! Lots in common regarding lesbian stuff, mental health stuff. Follow us or check us out if ya want at
    Many of us

  4. What is sooooo wonderful is that when you connect with me, I connect with you, and then i see you have a whole bunch of people who connect with you that I am going to get to connect with too.
    I too am impressed by your words and honored that you read my words.
    Thank you so much for being. Period, just being.
    It is the gift I need today.

  5. I find you to be incredibly brave to speak out and see yourself on your own terms rather than what the medical model would label you. In my early twenties I used to get into arguments with my case manager over fundamental differing perceptions on the same topic. It’s good to see that you’re being true to yourself also.

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  7. I too know I’m different from many, but my Mental & Emotional illness and disorders do not DEFINE me as a person, nor does my Recovery from addiction, which both together seem to happen together as well. My addiction is what brought my Bipolar to light, along with 2 failed suicide attempts. Being a survivor of childhood sex abuse, and childhood traumatic events, I find if we DON’T HAVE THE DISCUSSION, Speak Up or Speak Out, the STIGMA will never be broken……Thanks for a Great Blog here, Author Catherine Lyon 🙂

  8. “I know there is a lot of be afraid of but that if we can stay together it doesn’t need to be so scary.”
    Damn, you hit me with that line! Beautiful said! The rest too, by the way, I admire your honesty.

  9. Pingback: Response to a “Mental vs Physical Illness” post | Staying Sane by Writing it down

  10. Love your blog! I’m collecting articles to start a Mental Health section on my blogging project tabootab.com…you should take a look at the site and see if it’s something you’re interested in contributing to! Would love your voice 🙂

  11. I stumbled upon your blog while reading one of Marci’s posts, is great to see another person fighting against the mental health stigma that exists in society. It’s sad to think there are people who still view those who are mentally ill as being second class citizens. And on top of that the rampant abuse that exists within the therapy and psychatry field (I’m not against either group, in fact I would have never gotten to where I am today without help, however, there are some really evil doctors out there, doctors who laughed at me for being bipolar, treated me like a guinea pig and dumped me like useles trash).

    We need more people fighting for mental health rights.

    I’m really looking forward to reading more of your posts, but I wanted to stop by and say hi,


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  13. Hi – Am so pleased to have found your blog! So much great stuff. I relate to your rejection of diagnoses that you were branded with. I too have had a bunch of them, from chronic depression, Bi-Polar and eventually when I protested that the countless meds I’ve been on for over a decade were, if anything, worsening my state of mind, I was labeled BPD. Though I found this hard to understand it has pushed me to taking back my power, not relying on services which have continually let me down in times of need and instead I began to look for new ways to help myself. I’ve recently started a blog, have found huge benefits with meditation, mindfullness and 5 rhythms dancing and use all the creative outlets I can. Depending on my state of mind, I’ve often found creativity, be it writing, drawing, making something, to be a huge help. If you have a min, you can check my blog out at http://www.journeysthroughthecracks.wordpress.com. Anyhow, just wanted to connect with you and say thanks for the great blog; I look forward to reading more! Hope you’re having a good day 🙂

    • So great to hear from you!

      My experiences with mindfulness and meditation have been very positive and it is something I encourage others to do as well! I do admit I need to use it more 😛

      I am now following your blog and look forward to reading what you have to say! xoxo

    • Hi there…those of you who read LT’s blog, I am asking you if you’d like to read our blog. We have dissociative identity disorder and PTSD, we write about our journey to healing, our therapy process, and our ups, and downs in life. Our blog is currently private because we write about some heavy topics but if you request access we will approve you. To request access visit http://multime1980.wordpress.com/ thanks for reading

  14. LOTS here to like and admire. I am especially struck by “I know that I will use mental health services when I need to but always on my terms.” EXCELLENT!
    Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMore dot com
    – ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder –
    “It takes a village to transform a world!”

  15. Strong. That’s the word that comes to my mind after reading about you. Talented would be holding hands next to it. Then there’s my favorite: Survivor. But you are not only a “survivor” you are a dreamer and achiever of recovery…when the so called labels are lost and you no longer walk around with sticky post stuck to your forehead that say “MENTAL”.

    It is great to meet you. I too am in recovery from schizophrenia and after spending over 12 years in a nuthouse, I came out like the phoenix that rises forth from its own ashes…I now am happy for I live an independent life…I am not completely free of the yoke of the U.S. Justice system; however, I finally have freedom to live in my own apartment without the neighbor’s thinking I’m just another “nutcase.”

    I’m writing an autobiography about my experiences for it helps to shed some light not only on my illness but to the minority labeled “criminally insane.” Please drop by for a visit if you have the time: http://www.rebirthofsanity.com. I will be stalking you now… just kidding, I will stand by your side with pride in the madness.

    • I am so honoured to meet you and will be following you as well 😛

      Just from reading your About page I am blown away by your strength and desire to be the best you can be. You have been through a journey that I could not imagine travelling myself and knowing you have your freedom and independence is beautiful!

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  18. Hello, we have messaged a time or two and your a little more about me had me interested yet yearning for more information. I think you are brilliant, from what I have seen from you but I do not know what you have been through. I guess I will get my lazy butt into looking more before speaking.

    I saw where you messaged to somebody that was detailed in their about me section. I have only put what is possibly of interest and that may help me with getting work.
    Like yourself and many others, I have had a jaded past, people putting labels on me at various ages because I may have been attacked decided enough was enough or parents that treated me badly for letting things go. I could not win and it has in and out followed me at different intervals. I have been hurt and injured a time or too, what should have been permanent but I tried to overcome. I have doctors not listen and prescribe anything at a time where I was off and it made me worse.

    I would be interested in hearing more about you. I see we have both favorited a post or 5 recently. Paul


    • You would have a lot of looking ahead of you 😛 My past involves self-harm, alcohol abuse, abusive relationships, bullying, depression and my present involves borderline personality disorder and trying to move forward for all of the stuff in my past. Overall I’m a very sensitive person and probably would be regardless of what I have experienced.

      Thank you for sharing about bit of yourself with me 🙂 Labels have a place but not if doctors have no interest in hearing what we have to say about them!

      I look forward to learning more about you through your blog and our comment chats!

      • I have dealt with bullying in the past and my parents said if you have a blackeye he or they should have two. and similar things. I have been hit with many phrases, chronic fatigue and all that comes with it including fibromyalgia, severe cramping in muscles, but I was an elite athlete, osgood schlachter, space in between knees, scoliosis, herniations, also trying to hurt myself, depression easily achieved and being unable to sleep without medications and alcohol. It seems you are in Canada, or did I read that wrong? I typically do not have issues with being mad, frustrated or even dealing with a moron for a boss as I try to let it go. I know I am better than where I am currently and all things pass. Meeting people happens for a reason and a lot is timing and luck. I like reading your posts and you have a great profile picture. 🙂

      • I am in Canada, yes.

        I have a few friends who experience chronic pain for a variety of reasons so I have a bit of understanding of how life changing that can be, especially if you are also experiencing depression and other issues. The body really does need to find a balance but luckily we do have some control over that in terms of our perceptions.

        Thank you for all of your comments! I am very busy with work but I am checking in as much as possible and reading your posts as well 🙂

      • Not for nothing I believe in a lot of things being positive said to someone, I know you have a partner but I am saying platonically that you seem like a great person and that you are very nice looking and I appreciate you responding to me as I enjoy your posts and like that you seem to like mine. 🙂 I think you are going to do well.

  19. Hello. I found your blog via Twitter repost from BipolarFirst and I’ve been going through your posts. You are so innovative and positive! I’m looking forward to going through them. I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder 2 in May 2014 so I can relate to a lot of the mental health stigma that you reference. Hopefully one day we will be able to speak our minds without getting shot down or downplayed. Thank you for doing this! 🙂

  20. Pingback: Versatile Blogger Award #3! | Getting Through Anxiety

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