I was born in Kingston, Jamaica and lived there until I was five when my family moved to Houston, TX. I am one of six kids and we are all a year apart. I lived in New York City for six years where I attended college at New York University and worked in advertising after college. In 2015 I went back to school to get a Masters in Counseling Psychology with the hopes of becoming a licensed professional counselor. I still have those aspirations, but I have other goals as well. I am in the process of starting a business as an online mental health peer coach (see Work with Me).
I currently live in Houston, TX and toddler, Faith (see pic above). I live with my parents, my younger brother and my daughter. My mom is a blessing and co-parents my daughter with me. I don’t know what I would do without her!
Aside from my endeavors here, I enjoy making SoulCollage cards (www.soulcollage.com), reading, watching TV (my favorite show is Big Brother), and when there’s not a pandemic I enjoy going to the beach. I traveled a lot in my early twenties. I backpacked across Western Europe after college. I am fortunate enough to have been a lot of places, but I still aspire to go to Australia, New Zealand, China (I want to see the Great Wall), Rio, and I want to go back to my roots in India. Maybe I will be able to go one day when this pandemic is finally over and my daughter is a bit older!
My history of mental illness
I have struggled with bipolar depression and anxiety my entire adult life. I have had severe suicidal depression with suicide attempts, panic attacks, and I am a recovering sex and love addict. I first got diagnosed with bipolar disorder type 2 when I was in my late twenties and have been on and off medication since. I currently take medication for my mood disorder, but I hope to one day be off of all my pscyhotropic medications.
I am here to tell you that no matter how hard life gets, you can do it. Show up for life no matter how shitty you feel and you will feel better. If not today, then someday. I used to have depression that was so debilitating that I could hardly function. At one point I was living at home with my parents and was unemployed. I barely left the house and eventually developed agoraphobia. I couldn’t leave the house or I would have a panic attack.
In 2004 I tried to kill myself. I was done with feeling so much pain. I was upset over a guy of all things. I was so lost and lonely and just wanted the pain to go away. I didn’t really want to die. Fortunately, I was not successful at killing myself and am able to live to tell. I am so grateful of where I am today. I have been through a lot psychologically, but I have gotten better. I no longer have panic attacks and my anxiety is minimal. I still get depressed every month, but the depression is manageable. It is no longer debilitating. And my self-esteem is much better now to where I wouldn’t try to kill myself over a guy. And I rarely have suicidal thoughts anymore and when I do they are very fleeting.
My experience in mental health includes the following:
Dual Disorder Assessment Counselor, Mental Health Mental Retardation Authority of Harris County (MHMRA and now called the Harris Center), Houston, TX: Led psychoeducation groups for clients with severe mental illnesses co-occurring with substance abuse issues.
Rehab Clinician,Mental Health Mental Retardation Authority of Harris County (MHMRA and now called the Harris Center), Houston, TX: Educated clients with severe mental illnesses on relapse prevention, medication management, and life skills.
Helpline Phone Counselor, Mental Health Mental Retardation Authority of Harris County (MHMRA and now called the Harris Center), Houston, TX: Counseled suicidal callers and gave them community referrals.
Mental Health Clinician, Harris County Positive Pathways Family Reunification Court, Houston, TX: Currently counsel clients who have substance abuse issues and CPS cases.
Practicum Trainee, Inner Loop Counseling, Houston, TX: Co-facilitated groups for clients with sex and love addiction, chemical dependency, and/or codependence issues.
Practicum Trainee, West Oaks Outpatient Clinic, Houston, TX: Led psychoeducation groups for adults with severe mental illnesses.
Practicum Trainee, Katy Excel Center of West Oaks, Katy, TX: Led psychoeducation groups for adults with severe mental illnesses in outpatient clinic.