I am a twenty-something writer, artist, mental health advocate and dog lover from New Jersey. I work in healthcare and am studying to become an art therapist.
In May of 2022, I graduated with High Honors from Salem Community College with my degree in Fine Arts – Studio Art. You can view my artwork here. I am continuing on to pursue my Bachelor’s Degree as a Psychology major and Fine Arts minor.
As a young teenager, I found solace in writing poetry, drawing and painting in the midst of new mental health struggles. I dreamt of one day sharing these emotions and experiences with others. I have always had a strong desire to help others battling their own demons because of my lived experience of loneliness, trauma and hardship.
I began sharing my writing publicly online around 2015. Early on, I found a deep love for the body liberation movement because of its activist roots and its rallying for every person’s right to be seen and respected — no matter what they look like. I am devastated by how some people are quick to judge and assume other people’s worth just from their appearance alone.
In the early days of my time online, I especially thrived in body confidence spaces, making daily posts on my Instagram account, rejecting society’s standards and reclaiming my time and space as a woman who doesn’t fit the mold.
Seven years into my time sharing my writing online, I have learned that as someone whose life has been touched by mental illness, we can reach other compassionate, thoughtful minds through social media. I value time on and off the screen now, opting to post every few days or weeks to hone in on my self care practices. Today, I continue to share my recovery and life experiences, as well as educational resources and support for the public and those affected by mental illness.
I have written for many online publications over the years, including Cosmopolitan, Healthline, The Mighty, The Butterfly Foundation, Project HEAL, NEDA (National Eating Disorders Association), and NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness).
In February of 2017, I founded #BoycottTheBefore, a campaign challenging “before” photos of eating disorder recovery comparison photos. I am very passionate about the topic as an eating disorder survivor. When I originally shared the campaign on Instagram, I thought a few of my friends would join me, but to my surprise, hundreds of fellow recovery warriors spoke out and joined in solidarity. The campaign has gained a lot of traction since then, being covered by Huffpost, Teen Vogue and People Magazine. I penned Why I’ll Never Post Another Before-and-After Photo Again for Cosmopolitan in March of 2017.
#BoycottTheBefore has accumulated over 2,000 posts on Instagram, and has been supported by notable voices in the recovery community such as Iskra Lawrence, model and speaker, and Jenni Schaefer, author, speaker and singer. NEDA, Project HEAL, The Butterfly Foundation and The Renfrew Center support my campaign as well.
In 2018, I spoke at the Central New Jersey NEDA Walk about my recovery and how community helped me find my voice. I also shared a few words on what recovery means to me at the NYC NEDA Walk the same year. In 2020, I spoke at the Northeast NEDA Walk with my passionate speech “Speak Up“.
In July of 2022, BALANCE Eating Disorder Treatment Center invited me to join them for an eating disorder recovery webinar called Humanizing Recovery where I share my recovery story.
I feel honored knowing that people around the world have expressed finding hope in my words and art. I strongly believe that the pen is mightier than the sword. I hope you feel loved, uplifted and heard in your own journey as I authentically share my own.