Discover more from Sarah Fay
🎧Stories of Healing: Kshdelm ‘Ol
Welcome! This interview is part of the exclusive serialization of Cured. If you aren’t a free subscriber, become one. Each subscription sends a message to the media, publishers, the American Psychiatric Association, the World Health Organization, and all mental health professionals that we want to learn and talk more about mental health recovery. If you’ve already subscribed, thank you and please share Cured with someone.
🎧Listen to the interview:
I am thrilled to bring you this really incredible interview that I did with Cameron Cage about her recovery from traumatic mental illness and psychiatric disorders. She’s a fascinating young woman. We met in a peer recovery specialist training. Peers are those of us who’ve recovered from mental illness who then work to help others in their journey toward recovery.
Cameron, whose tribal Tsimshian name is Kshdelm ‘Ol, Fights the Bear, is part of the Raven Clan and a member of the Tsimshian Nation in Southeast Alaska. Her mental health recovery began when she got sober from alcohol and was diagnosed in her thirties with bipolar II disorder and ADHD. Starting medication, talk therapy, and learning traditional arts were instrumental in healing mentally, physically, and spiritually. Being open about mental illness and recovery is the torch she carries for herself and hopes that others can see it as possible for themselves as well.
In addition to being an artist, Cameron is the workforce development manager of education and training at the Ketchikan Indian community in Alaska.
Sometimes we think of recovery as being a kind of completion; it isn’t for many people. Cameron says she almost didn’t show up because her ADHD and bipolar disorder had, as she puts it, ballooned. She felt like she couldn’t be here and talk about recovery given that she was struggling. But we can struggle and show up.
We have to remember that recovery will look different for everyone. Cameron’s experience is so different from mine, which I love. She identifies with diagnoses whereas I do not.
There are so many ways to go about recovery, and the more we talk about it, the more stories we hear, the more we'll be able to bring the possibility of recovery to everyone.
Quick apology as the sound quality isn’t perfect. Still, this is so worth the listen. Please enjoy my interview with the amazing Cameron Cage.
Read ‘Pathological’ (HarperCollins) by Sarah Fay, the prequel to ‘Cured’