It’s that time of year again, and I am sure you have noticed how fast the Holiday season is taking over stores. For some, this can trigger the body and create stress or dread….
It can be hard to imagine superstars like Will Smith struggling with childhood adversity. But they do.
In this NPR interview (and in his new book, Will), Will Smith talks candidly about how a traumatic moment in his childhood – witnessing his father beat his mother when he was nine years old – has impacted and shaped his life.
Navigating the lasting effects of childhood adversity can be complex. As Will says, the fact that his father could be loving and caring and someone who lashes out in anger was part of what was so difficult to reconcile as a child. Especially when no one in his family talked about it.
When Will’s father passed in 2016, he felt free to have conversations and explore feelings that he didn’t feel comfortable exposing when his dad was alive. Piecing together the many threads of his story is what led to his memoir, Will.
Listen to the full interview to hear more about how exploring his story helped Will, his family – and now, all those he’s sharing with – to heal.
For more on Will’s journey, tune into this 6-part docuseries that Will did for YouTube Originals while finishing his memoir.
To learn more about how our childhood experiences can shape us, click here for the science behind adverse childhood experiences.
[Content warning: Suicide.]
In recent years, during the month of Pride, I’ve always been extremely excited about the celebration—the glittery and colorful extravagance all throughout the month of June.
However, this year, I’ve taken a pause to really understand my journey, the one I’ve taken individually and the one the queer community is on at the moment. I feel blessed to live in West Hollywood in Los Angeles, one of America’s queer-friendly meccas, though the sparkle in my heart has dimmed as I feel increasingly more concerned for my community across the country where our safety, protections and rights are all at risk. Unfortunately, none of us are safe.
I’ve lived with bipolar disorder for the last 13 years. Though the initial years were brutal, once I understood my triggers and what it takes to stay well, I’ve been privileged to have stayed healthy for much of the last decade. This included — to my relief — my first pregnancy and post-partum period and serving in high-intensity public health roles through the pandemic, as California’s Acting Surgeon General and previously the office’s first Chief Health Officer.
I love music. Recently, I was listening to a random playlist Spotify generated for me when a song titled “Before I Have A Daughter” by Bre Kennedy started playing. Bre Kennedy sings about building a garden that grows on the same ground where tears have fallen and hearts have also been broken. Her goal is to learn to tend to this garden so that it flourishes on both the good and bad days.