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.