Why We Need To Un-Shame Mental Illness


“We can’t not talk about depression or suicide in society as a means to protect people.” – Catherine Birndorf

Millions of Americans are affected by mental health conditions every year. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, “approximately 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. (46.6 million) experiences mental illness in a given year.1

Mental illness has become a stigma we’re afraid and ashamed to talk about.

Finding out the date of the funeral of my cousin’s wife who literally murdered herself two weeks ago years of being on the verge of ending it. It’s so important to talk about this. And even more vital to share when we get an understanding of how powerful it is when we allow ourselves to fully reconnect with the divinity within ourselves.

My cousin’s wife getting buried the day before my birthday. The day before I turn 41. I have been so close to murdering myself a few times, but it was always my children who kept me going. Since my awakening, and experiences with grandmother medicine, Santa Maria, and San Pedro over the last couple of years, I honor all the lows as part of my journey. The lower my lows are, the greater my wins. I know if I were true to the traditional Western medical mind, I would be sectioned, and most likely labelled as schizophrene — particularly after the experiences I’ve had in the last 3 years – going deep with plant and chemical medicines. My grandfather was killed by the system for his behavior and visions. Imagine that the majority of those labelled “schiz” are actually prophets and shamans, minus the proper training.

Imagine if Hitler had received the correct training and had been able to influence people to their positive awakenings, but instead he used his powerful charisma (which in come old language was derived from the word for God) for evil and destruction.

Imagine that all who are seen as having mental illness, are actually beautiful souls who came here to be way showers for authenticity, but because they don’t conform to the acceptable behaviours of our “tribe”, they are seen as crazy.

We are not trained in the ways of the shaman, we are told that what we “see” is scary and wrong. So we don’t talk about it. And so we watch horror films to numb out and to reaffirm that the fucked up shit we have seen is not real, and also scary. To add to the lack of fundamentally necessary shamanic training from a young (before 7 years old) age, the societal conditioning to conform, added to the cortisol spikes caused from the fear of being ostracised (which to the captain cave man part of the brain means we will die), no wonder everyone is terrified of being real and of being who they truly are.

I’ve been healing my childhood wounds caused by the inherent disassociation from my authentic self for the last decade or so, and as I turn 41 in a couple of weeks, I have stepped fully into my true self, a force of nature, who also is fucking sick of being alive, but also knows that this is the greatest and funnest ride in the WHOLE universe, who also is highly intelligent, and who also shmocks a butt load of weed. I get to listen to the incredibly beautiful Gods – (who I am reminding of their Godliness by just being the rockstar goddess I came here to be, and radically defending my true self when questioned by anyone) – go on about themselves over and over, because that’s how they heal… that’s how and where we find the love and acceptances for our true selves.

Since I’ve started balancing the masculine and feminine aspects of myself, integrating them through dance and breathwork, I find it is fantastic to hear more people (Im not interested in women only things – we need inclusion and to learn from each other) sharing their truth, but also not being stuck in the illness.

Not being identified by their illness. Rant over. I wasn’t expecting that to come out. I just had a proper shmoke for the first time in a week.


  1. Any Mental Illness (AMI) Among Adults. (n.d.). Retrieved May 1, 2019, from https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/mental-illness.shtml#part_154785
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