"The way you treat the janitor tells me all I need to know about you character."
After being diagnosed with anxiety, I realized that my gift for speaking was being underutilized. With therapy that continues to this day, I decided to be an advocate for mental health, with an extra emphasis on helping veterans who feel as if they don't have any help available. As I inspire and motivate, I also look to break the stigma of mental health, to let all know that ITS OKAY TO NOT BE OKAY. My words are more than a nice speech. They are healing.
Coming up, my parents had a turbulent marriage, which took a major toll on me. During my 11th grade year, my English Literature teacher Mrs. Brenda Joshua saw a gift inside of me, and pushed me to become a powerful writer and poet. It became my outlet. It allowed me to convey my feelings in a healthy manner. Throughout a 20 year Naval career, I've witnessed Sailors and Marines lose their lives due to depression, anxiety, a feeling of hopelessness, abandonment and much more. These issues stemmed from events in and outside the military.
I realize not everyone has an outlet or can control their issues like myself. It is a dark world that I have experienced. Many see the photos and hear the stories with celebrities, and think life is all peaches and cream. However, all of those instances came from a lot of mental and physical issues that I first had to overcome. From a heart operation, multiple knee surgeries, depression and anxiety; performing arts and licensed therapists have gotten me where I am today. Even though everyday is an uphill battle, I am here for everybody, regardless of race, color, creed or sexual orientation.