Brittany | Clinician | Adolescent Substance Use Researcher at @muscyouthcollab | All things about addiction and recovery | Charleston, South Carolina
1) THE BEST THING THAT HAPPENED TO YOU IN THE PAST 12 MONTHS? I obtained an institutional grant allowing me to focus on my passion of improving access to treatment, treatment options, and treatment outcomes for adolescents with co-occurring mental health and substance misuse needs. 2) THE WORST THING THAT HAPPENED TO YOU IN THE PAST 12 MONTHS? I lost my dad to cancer on August 3rd and my mom to COVID on October 7th...as heartbreaking as it is to live life without them, I'm happy that they're happy together again. 3) YOUR BIGGEST WISH FOR THE NEAR FUTURE? To significantly impact the recovery community, specifically adolescents with substance use disorder and their families by building a large recovery platform via social media where teens will feel safe and comfortable seeking treatment. 4) YOUR BIGGEST WORRY FOR THE NEAR FUTURE? That I will allow my own fear and insecurities to interfere with my purpose. 5) A CONTEMPORARY WOMAN YOU CURRENTLY ADMIRE? I admire Shirley Chisolm, Stacey Abrams, Maxine Waters, Keisha Lance-Bottoms, and Kamala Harris for reminding me that what seems impossible is in fact possible. 6) A ONE-SENTENCE MESSAGE TO OTHER WOMEN? "Sometimes later never comes and today only happens once...get started now!"
A few more questions about the current situation (Covid-19, lockdown, black lives matter protests, politics, finances, mental health, health, and so much more):
You can also send one single answer to the 3 questions combined. 7) THE WORLD HAS BEEN CHANGING DRAMATICALLY IN RECENT MONTHS, HOW ARE YOU COPING?
8) WHICH CHANGE OR EVENT HAS AFFECTED YOU THE MOST / HAD THE BIGGEST IMPACT ON YOU PERSONALLY?
9) WHAT ARE YOU MOST CONCERNED ABOUT THE RIGHT NOW?
This year has been both informative and devastating. Between coping with the newness of a pandemic, mothering 3 girls, maintaining a long distance marriage, witnessing overt racism like never before, and losing both of my parents...this year has certainly been a recipe for a significant breakdown. I'm thankful for my social support system and community for stopping by and caring for my children when I needed to cry in the bathroom. I remain grateful for the days when I could explain to my children that "today is a hard one" and they demonstrated that they understood by making their own snacks and calling a truce for a day. I remind myself to be self-concerned by removing the pressure to be everything to everyone all of the time, giving myself grace, and when needed, I sit quietly with a cup of tea in the closet to get my thoughts and myself together. Lastly, I got through this year with a therapist. People don't always know that some therapists have a therapist. I'm proud to say that I don't have it all together and that I need help. As easy as it is for me to provide treatment to others, sometimes it's just too difficult to use the same tools when I really need them. So I turn to my therapist for accountability and reminders of how to get through another day with everything that's going on in the world. I first noticed I needed help back when we all began to watch news stories back to back about unarmed black men and women being killed. I feared not only for my life; I feared for the lives of my children, my husband, my brother, cousins, I generally felt unsafe. I was scared some days to leave home because I didn't want to run into an incident where I or my children didn't make it out safely. Today, although I'm still concerned about those things, I await with hope that things will get better. In the meantime, I will continue to invest and pour my energy into those things that I have some control over. I'll continue to educate myself and my children on how to maneuver in a world that was not created or intended for them or me to be successful. I arm myself with knowledge and information and I work daily to transform that information into action that will be beneficial for my family and the world around us.