Why I Advocate For Those Living With Mental Illness

It is extremely difficult to navigate the world when you have bipolar disorder. I spent my life trying to find a way to live. It can be be very frustrating to find proper treatment. So much is stacked against you. Even after courageously seeking help, getting a diagnosis, finding the right medication, realizing the system is flawed, doctors don’t have all the answers, care can be conditional, and family members may blame you… we continue to persevere.

My career has been in advertising, music and media, but I tried to hide my mental illness from my employers. I lost so many jobs because of my manic episodes. Most recently, I was the editor-in-chief at Popdust.com before my psychotic break. After calling 911 on myself, I was admitted into the psych ward of Beth Israel hospital in April 2019. For over 18 years I fought for my life while trying to appear normal. After this last hospitalization, I told myself, no more. I am officially ‘out’.

Since I can no longer hide, I would like to help those who suffer in silence. I believe there is a therapeutic value in sharing my experience. I want to fight the stigma associated with mental illness. I’m grateful to have an opportunity to use my gifts to help so many who feel alone. Together, there is hope.

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Winston Takes a Coffee Break

“Stipple Winston” ✍🏼 Art by Dan Victor.

This was a special one. Stippling technique with a coffee wash. I used coffee often as a cheap form of water color in art school. I was smoking Winston’s at the time. I have been quit for 8 years. This drawing was done more recently.

I loved coffee when I was in college. I still do like coffee a whole bunch, but not like then. I would chain-smoke cigarettes and bottomless cups of joe at the 24-hour dinner. There was always a diner around. At Kutztown, it was the Airport Diner, aka the APD. In my home town it was the Budd Lake Diner, 24/7 and a block away from my house. I have eaten there more than any other place. Minimum once a week.

I would also draw in the sketchbook so I had something to do by myself besides read. Killed lots of time like that. No wonder I started using the coffee as water color, and the smokes as charcoal. As a fan of mixed media, I liked the idea of ‘cheap art’. Something accessible, yet still of high quality.

I just love creatures, patterns and robots, so look for more. Follow me on all the things. I am always curating content on my socials. Take a look at the Tshirts I make. Stipple Wilson will make it to one of these shirts soon.

🤔 Would you get this on a t-shirt?
👕 >>⠀Shop DVTees.shop

Low Profile “Pattern LP” >> Graphic T-Shirt • Unisex Short-Sleeve • Black & Navy