I Am More: Ramani

If you meet Ramani around Gloucester, you will catch the twinkle in his eye and possibly get caught up in his joyful energy, since he will undoubtedly share a smile, a laugh or a story. Recently I sat down with Ramani and allowed him to transport me to the time of his birth: The Blitz. His story is a lesson in what happens when you are born into a battle: Continue reading

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I Am More: Emilia

This girl. I’ve known her since she was a preschooler with the most striking eyes I have ever seen. Now that she’s a teen I have seen beyond those eyes to the person inside who is so full of love and concern for the world around her. I see her speaking out for inclusivity, for justice and kindness. I see her celebrating the beauty in the world through the arts. I see her showing boundless love for her family which includes her cats. No matter what struggles she faces, they never keep her from checking in with her friends and their own challenges. Her words below are important for us all to read and they are accompanied by her photography: Continue reading

How a Book Is Changing a Community

I stood in the bookstore at Miami International Airport staring at the self-help shelf. I was alarmed at how many of these books I had already read, and yet here I was in the depths of depression during Christmas vacation, looking for another way out. I noticed a familiar name, Brené Brown, whose popular TED talk I had watched recently. Her book was called, I Thought It Was Just Me (But It Isn’t): Making the Journey from “What Will People Think?” to “I Am Enough.” Continue reading

I Am More: Susie

Being in Susie and her husband Bob’s garden will make you depressed to go back to your own. Everywhere you look there are flowers and berries, veggies and goldfish, and the most beautiful chickens. It is the perfect metaphor for the way Susie lives – bountiful with talents, gifts and generosity. The road was not always easy: Continue reading

I Am More: Donna

Donna doesn’t know this, but when I was first getting to know her, I was alarmed by her positivity. Not because it was a bad thing, but because I was so used to trading complaints with people, that to have a conversation with a person who saw only the good in life was challenging. No matter what the weather, no matter where we happened to meet, she would say, “Isn’t it a gorgeous day? Can you believe we live here?” I would look up skeptically at the gray sky but nod. From then on, if I saw Donna walking down the street towards me I frantically try to find something positive to say. That’s why it came as a surprise to find out about her personal struggles: Continue reading

I Am More: Melissa

When you sit down with Melissa, your blood pressure immediately lowers. Her calming voice, curiosity and warmth draws you out, whether you’ve known her for years or for minutes. She has spent countless days caring for the elderly in their times of most need, caring for the diners she serves, the dogs she adores, her partner, and the friends who love her. Her recovery is private but not secretive; she will share her experiences to help others, which is why she agreed to participate in the project: Continue reading

I Am More: Dylan

I am more than my anxiety. I am happy.

13138799_1778089849088276_6963107956081059442_nAnxiety can be all-consuming and it is incredibly hard not to let it take over your life. Lots of the time it can be tough to convince yourself to leave the house, and to do simple tasks like going to work or speaking on the phone can be terrifying. My anxiety can range from just nervous energy to my body breaking out in hives and being unable to breathe or see. It used to take up a large portion of my life, but now with the help of therapists and medication, and learning to face my fears, it is only a small part of me. Continue reading

I Am More: Chris

At the end of the opening night of Dylan’s first show with Boston Children’s Theatre we loaded the giddy 14-year-old in the car, and as we were driving out of the parking lot she suddenly rolled down her window, thrust her face and hands out into the night air and yelled “Chris!!! WHOOOO!!!” I said, “Who’s Chris?!” and she replied, “Our music director.” That was my first indication of how beloved Chris was by his students and cast members. Continue reading

Recovery

Depression took a lot of things from me last year. Time, friendships, laughter, and my garden.

This is how my reasoning went last year: plants in nature don’t need care, so I’m going to let nature take care of my garden. Also: plans get blown off so I’m going to stop making plans. Holidays are temporary and hard work, so are they really necessary? Baggy jeans are good for every activity so why wear anything else; chocolate is full of antioxidants so no need for a vegetable. (I stand by that one)

At the time, I thought I was being easygoing and realistic, now I can see I was just sick. Continue reading