In my freshman year of college, I was officially diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder, its symptoms providing the soundtrack to my life for as long as I could remember. Yet, thanks to a miscommunication with the therapist I’d been seeing, I didn’t actually learn of my diagnosis for three more years. When the truth finally came out—that I had a word, a label, to communicate my experience—it was like the sky opened up and I could see constellations for the first time. It didn’t come as a surprise; rather, it confirmed the existence of what I’d known was there all along.
Growing up with undiagnosed OCD, it was difficult for me to explain my feelings, behaviors, and experiences to others, because my brain was programmed with a type of logic that made sense only to me. How do you communicate the nuances of something you’ve lived with so long that it’s become normal for you? Decoding my mental processes and translating them into language that other people would understand was an undertaking that took about twenty years for me to get right. Diagnoses can only articulate so much, and developing my own vocabulary for why I do the things I do (and why my OCD makes me do them) made it so much easier for my family and friends to understand me.
Having the language to articulate something is a precursor to others’ understanding of it, and I know firsthand just how difficult it can be to communicate your unique definition of “normal” to other people who define it differently. Finding the right words to express what we want to express is a difficult, lifelong process. My goal as a life-writer is to communicate your experiences, thoughts, and feelings in a way that is both understandable and resonant, while staying true to your intentions for sharing those parts of yourself in the first place. I’m here to help you find your “right words.” Everyone wants to feel heard, seen, understood, and validated. It’s my job to make that happen for you.
Outside of life-writing, I am a poet and freelance writer originally from Long Island, NY. I received my Master of Fine Arts degree in creative writing from UMass Amherst, and attended SUNY Geneseo in upstate New York for undergrad. I am also the author of two poetry chapbooks, Heart Float (Bottlecap Press, 2017) and Going to Ithaca (Ghost City Press, 2017). My special interests are mental health and brain chemistry, the body, mortality, and storytelling mediums that blur the lines of literature and art as we understand them, like film, comics, and video games. I currently live in western Massachusetts with my fiancé, our cat Harvey, and some local wildlife who occasionally wander through our yard.