I am a first generation American, born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. I moved to Fort Lauderdale in 2004. While working for a cell tower company, I was inspired to become a paralegal. I attended Kaplan University (now Purdue) and received an Associates Degree in Paralegal Studies, graduating Magna Cum Laude.
Having been raised by immigrants in a community of immigrants, I developed a passion for giving back and helping out. As a teenager, I volunteered with the Kiwanis chapter in my school. In my 20s, I sat on the board of an organization that donated pap smears and mammograms to uninsured and underinsured women in Broward County, Florida.
My whole life, I had battled major persistent depressive disorder with melancholic features. That means I spent every waking moment of my life for as far back as I can remember wanting to die or thinking of killing myself. Every morning would start with regret that I made it to another day, and it all nearly came crashing down in 2016. In the course of a few weeks, right before the holidays, I lost my two nearest and dearest friends in a motorcycle accident. Then, a week before Thanksgiving, I lost my job.
I decided to kill myself that night and I would have been successful had my friend not come busting through my door at 1 am on a Monday morning because I had missed her text. She took me to my therapist who told me that the only treatment they had left was electro-convulsive therapy. I became paralyzed with fear when faced with the options I had. I could either electrocute my brain or be suicidal forever.
Neither option was acceptable.
Thankfully, Johns Hopkins University released information on how psychedelics were helping end of life cancer patients with anxiety. I had also recalled a University of South Florida study where they found that lower doses of psilocybin had helped generate neuron growth in the brain. Now, at this point in my life, I was listening to the Miss Little Havana cd by Gloria Estefan, and there’s a song on there called “Medicine”, and the chorus talks about they don’t wanna tell us but we already found we got the medicine for our minds.
It was the perfect flash of inspiration. I decided I would take LSD and mushrooms together in a last ditch effort to save my own life. I accepted that I would either go insane, nothing would change, or maybe, the research would pan out and I would get better. I wouldn’t know unless I tried.
On December 3, 2016, I let two friends know what I was doing, then embarked on the psychedelic journey of a lifetime. After the initial psychedelic blast, I found a screaming little girl in a dungeon who was just afraid to live. We went on a journey, facing each demon head on. The next morning I shot up awake because it was quiet. There wasn’t this gritty din in my head telling me to kill myself. It was silent. From that day forward, I promised that I would dedicate my life to sharing my story and advocating for psychedelics as a viable mental health treatment.
I wrote a 13 page rhyming poem about the journey with the little girl, but it felt flat. It needed pictures, but I couldn’t draw. I wasn’t even employed at the time, so I couldn’t afford art supplies. After hitting wall after wall, I downloaded a free sketch app and a stylus, using my iPad like a sketch pad. Turns out, there was this incredible artistic talent under that mountain of depression. I drew and drew and drew and 242 days later, I had created “Dance to the Beat of Your Heart”, an illustrated account of what happened the night I took psychedelics and overcame a lifetime of suicidal depression.
I started Mushmoon Studio as a way to raise $5,000.00 to publish the book and donate the proceeds to charity, and while I’m still working toward that goal, the vision for Mushmoon Studio is morphing. I want to grow Mushmoon to be able to employ folks who battle depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues, providing them a safe place to work with excellent benefits. I want to be able to provide work at home opportunities if depression is making you ugly cry or anxiety has you trapped in a cold shower. I want to be able to offer a full mental health care plan where you can just walk into a hospital or treatment center and not worry about a thing.
Every single day, I am grateful that I was able to make it out of the dark hole of depression, basking freely in the sunlight of every day I wake up breathing. Now, I’m thrusting my hand back into the darkness to see who else we can pull out.
Thank you for landing here at Mushmoon Studios, where we deliver the psychedelic experience! Please take a moment to read my book, “Dance to the Beat of Your Heart”, and check out my awesome shop! Sit a while, relax, poke around, and enjoy yourself!