I wanted to share a small snippet of my book because I wanted you to understand the perspective from which I wrote it. At its Core “Uncomfortable II: Fundamental Foundations for Mental Health Content Creators,” is a journal, and course book, that will help take you from “I’m miserable and anxious and I don’t know what to do with this…” to “Oh, okay now I learned this…”
It’s about learning to focus your mental health issues the way one would a superpower so that we can use them to not only create content but feel like we’re doing something positive with our negative emotions.
That being said, it’s a very difficult book to work through, and it’s going to ask you to release your inner silly, which is uncomfortable for those of us who deal with anxiety and depression.
When I first started Loud Mouth Brown Girl I was alone. Everyone thought I was nuts to start writing a blog about childhood sex trafficking, rape, torture, and mental health. I did it because I was high on cannabis, and because I had so much crazy in my head, I needed to get it out.
But no mental health patient is alone. My Doctor, my Psych Nurse, and my friends and family have come around to supporting me because they’ve seen the work that I am doing matters enough to keep going.
The first doctor I had told me that I was psychotic when I told him my truth. My second doctor was more inclined to understand that what was happening to me was deep psychosis due to PTSD, and because of that, we found a way to work together.
But I had to learn to advocate for myself the way I used to advocate for those living without an address. I learned on the front lines, as they say, about extreme poverty and drug addiction over eighteen years, in my hometown of Surrey, British Columbia.
Mental Health was always something that other people I knew had to deal with, it was never something I’d dealt with on my own, for myself, and so learning to advocate for myself was a very different and very specific experience.
Years and years of being told that something was “wrong” with me, and many, many doctors and different kinds of medication later, I didn’t know that cannabis would be the route to helping me become the kind of success that felt right to my heart.
For years “success” meant finding a husband, getting married, having children, and maybe if you’re lucky that guy will take care of you and you won’t actually have to lift a finger for yourself.
Too many young girls I knew in my 20s were getting pregnant because having children was legitimately a way to survive. Either the government or the man who got you pregnant kept a roof over your head, but either way you had a roof over your head.
I saw this countless times, and this was not the life that I wanted, which was why I started volunteering at the church with my mom. It gave me the opportunity to spend time helping others while I spent more time figuring out what I wanted.
For years I was treated as an expert by people who needed help, an idiot by people of power, and my own name, Devon J Hall, was only “Devon X’s daughter, Hall,” for years. It was exhausting trying to find my own path under my mom’s shadow.
That’s precisely why I worked at not one, but two separate adult stores while working at the church, it was my way of rebelling against the idea that I was a good “Christian, Anglican, girl,” and allowed me to say “I’m not who you want me to be, and I never will be,” without actually having to say the words.
When it came to my own mental health issues, I didn’t know that I had the right to advocate for cannabis use for myself, much less for better care, but I fought for it, and now I am a two-time author of two books about life lessons that helped me heal.
Every single day is a process, a learning experience, and a chance to grow, but it only happens when you have people in your corner that support you. I still smoke cannabis, but I also take apo-quetiapine for sleep. I hate that I have to take clinical medication to help with depression and anxiety, but I’d rather be safe and sane, than crazed because I can’t control myself.
I’m not going to advocate for cannabis use for mental health issues, without first suggesting that you speak with your family, and your doctor, but I will say that cannabis helped me come a lot further than I would have without it.
Each of our journeys is different, and the solutions we take to better mental health are going to be different, but what I’ve compiled here are exercises from around the globe, and my own support system, that helped me ground myself in the kind of mental health care that I need, in order to thrive as a writer, and a content creator.
This work is valuable, if not to anyone else, then certainly to me. That matters, it doesn’t have to matter to anyone else more than it matters to you, but it has to matter, or there is absolutely zero point in doing the things that don’t matter to our hearts.
The thing about mental health issues in 2022, as opposed to 1822, is that we’re still learning about what it means to have a mental health issue. There are so many spiderwebs of issues that wrap around each other, that doctors don’t as much as they like to believe, have all the answers for all the cases, all the time.
It takes time to understand what works for one patient versus what works for another, and that’s why this book is so important. It’s proof that one can be diagnosed as psychotic, without actually exhibiting psychotic behavior, while simultaneously proving that you can be productive and functional with such a diagnosis.
This book is not a replacement for proper medical and mental health care, but it can help if you use it practically and do the work alongside the work that you’re doing with your doctor and medical professionals.
It is possible to have a mental health issue, of any variety, and still function, but you have to do the work. You HAVE TO DO THE WORK. I’ll be repeating this throughout the book because it’s a decision. You can lay there and let it hurt, because yes, that does feel good for a while, or you can get up and do five minutes a day, but you can’t do both. The choice is entirely yours.
No one else can do the work for you, unfortunately, that’s a hard and fast rule that no matter how hard you try you’ll never be able to break.
Sending all my love,
Devon J Hall
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