Maya Angelou

If you’re always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be. –Maya Angelou

Normal is a setting on a washing machine. Who defines what normal is societally? If you’re striving to become something that is unattainable – or undefined for that matter – you’re going nowhere. In the process of this unattainable personality, you’re going to miss out on the gifts and talents you’ve already been bestowed by being you. I used to resist being myself often, and am learning to move toward being me. There’s this fear of rejection by others that can cripple us (me!) from putting our opinions and selves out there. There’s a time and place for professionalism and breaking out into song all day, but our opinions and values matter. They define who we are and how we present ourselves to the world in our work lives, personal lives, and our recovery journeys. I challenge you to not hesitate that next time you want to express yourself, and learn more about who you’re meant to be.

Kristen Ellis

Kristen has worked in the mental health field since 2013, with a focus on crisis work, substance use services, and bringing a voice to lived experience. Her ambition is to change the way mental health care and recovery is seen and achieved, so to redefine what it means to defeat adversity. She is a storyteller and the editor of