We’ve made a lot of progress over the last decade in the coalition of recovery and radical mental health movements. Now it’s time to work harder to embrace a diversity of experiences and perspectives within our movements. We need to think hard about why certain stories are privileged, and whom we may not be hearing from at all. Those most marginalized at the intersections of extreme distress and disadvantage are the least likely to be heard. When we’re not careful, those of us with more privilege—including by virtue of experiencing less debilitating forms of distress— wind up speaking for folks whose experiences are not much like our own.
For many years, members of The Icarus project have been imagining maps and roads and labyrinths that would lead us in our journey and ground us in the moment. These have been called “wellness maps” or “mad maps” – reminder documents we create for ourselves and the people around us about our wellness goals, warning signs, strategies for health and who we trust to look out for our best interests when we’re not at our best. Originally inspired by the idea of Advanced Directives (legal documents to share with doctors and friends in the event of being hospitalized), mad maps evolved to work as more informal, personal tools for self-care and peer-based support.
I recently had the great pleasure of speaking with Jacks Ashley McNamara about writing and creativity, madness and identity, activism and survival. Jacks is a genderqueer writer, artist, activist, and Somatic healer... The Icarus Project recently celebrated its tenth anniversary which happened to coincide with the release of Jacks’ new book of poetry, Inbetweenland, published by Deviant Type Press.
The Harm Reduction Guide to Coming Off Psychiatric Drugs was recently translated in Japanese!
Thanks to the amazing translation team of Madness Radio listeners Dr. Tsuyoshi Matsuo, Makoto and Yuko Matsuo, Richard Sadowsky, Kyoko Hamashima, Mari Yamamoto, and Mika Jarmusz, with layout support by Seth Kadish
There are not many people talking about what it means to be a mad parent, what those defining identities mean for them or how those roles play out in their lives. Struggling with staying well and a life wrought with experiences that can sometimes, for example, make it difficult to leave the house have the capacity to make modern parenting a huge challenge. For people who are sensitive to the amount of sleep they get or who have a hard time with loud noises and shifts in body chemistry, mad motherhood in particular can be a massive undertaking, requiring unprecedented strength and determination.