The Transforming Mind

Photo by Jesse Epstein
Cloisters NYC 

Today's contributor is Sonja Dawn.  Sonja and I met when were co-presenters for the NAMI IOOV (IN OUR VOICE) program. I was late because the presentation was all the way down in the financial district and I had lived NYC for a long time, but still had a hard time navigating downtown. I jumped right in as she had started. We take turns speaking. I was so awed by everything she said. Later we walked up from Rector St. to the NAMI office on 35rd & 8th. One of my favorite things to do in the city is long walks so I can people watch and check the city out. With Sonja, none of that happened because we talked the whole way. It was more than great conversation; it was two souls who had battled with their minds for a long time and how they were able heal themselves.

I've done more presentations with Sonja over the past few years. Now that I am in Costa Rica, we still communicate. The two things I can say about her is that she is truly a funny person, but she incredibly smart as well. I say this because she has found a way to explore her mind and develop a way for her to manipulate her old beliefs into new positive pathways into recovery. I admire her greatly. Here's what she has to say:

No prescriptions, nor professionals, no power other than my own, no outside distractions, nobody else telling me what to do - it was me, just me I took myself from a lifelong depression and PTSD that was all consuming and into recovery and now live I depression and PTSD free. I learned who I am and what I am capable of. I found my weaknesses and removed what didn’t work and turned the rest into strengths and along the way, I found my self worth. As I grew healthier, I was able to re enter society and found people who have similar experiences and I have finally learned the true value of friendship. My goal is to show people how I did it and hopefully they can take even one small idea, tool or strategy and make it their own. 

Through my work as a Public Speaker with NAMI-NYC and writing my book ‘Funny Mental Life’ I hope to reach as many people as possible. You can check out Sonja's Website for updates on her book and interviews she has conducted at