I am not a Second Class Citizen

My name is a Lauren. I am a work-at home mom of two beautiful, happy boys. I have been with my husband for almost 5 years, married to him for 3 of them. I volunteer twice a week to a local café which is run by a nonprofit. I recently joined the local roller derby team. I vote. I pay my taxes. I am sure most are lost as what the point of this. I mean I seem like a pretty normal member of society....more

Challenging Stigmas & an Imperfect System

Post has been edited. Updated version coming soon. If you are depressed or dealing with any other mental illness, please get help. Ask family, ask a friend, ask a co-worker, ask a neighbor. Call a hotline. It’s a good thing to ask for help. You are not a burden. There are resources if you don’t have insurance or lack the money for treatment.Do not give up....more
4lala on Blogher again? Look at you rockstar!!!more

And She Was a Cutter

 Dear The Whole Wide World, I was a cutter. Yes, a cutter. One of those emo freaks with a razor blade and a hoodie, scratching poetry into her notebook and prayers into her arms. And I’m here to say, “Look, here is me, here are my scars, and I’m ok. And it’s ok to be not ok. Into every life, a little ‘not ok’ must fall. But I got up. I learned to walk. Then to thrive. Then to be fully alive. And if I can come out on the other side with grace, then anyone can”. ...more

Changing Hearts & Minds: The Power of Pathos and Logos in the Fight Against Weight Stigma

I am an advocate. I have been since I had the great honor of serving as Miss America in 2008. An advocate for what? The greater awareness of eating disorders, their serious health consequences, and the stigma that surrounds mental health illnesses in general....more

May: Mental Health Awareness and Suicide Prevention Month

May is mental health awareness and suicide prevention month; many people start to feel desperate with their depression symptoms around the first couple weeks of spring. Mostly because people think once the “winter blues” are over, and spring has sprung, they will start to feel better miraculously. When that doesn’t happen, the true feelings of depression can sink in: helplessness and thoughts of harming themselves (i.e. suicide) can become overwhelming....more