Op-Ed

Meet our letter writers: Kelly Hainsworth

Kelly Hainsworth

Lexington native, 42, not married, but have a great boyfriend. Wellness Center teacher, member of Shalom & Social Justice Committee at Crestwood Christian.

What motivates you to write?

I've enjoyed writing since I was a child, receiving letters from my uncle, a former English professor who was in the Peace Corps in South Africa.

He would write me these stories of the tribal Maseru people whom he got to know. I enjoyed writing him back and getting postcards from him. These were from a whole different world, a huge continent, Africa. And he loved language, and I enjoyed learning language.

I write because it is a way to really express my views of the world around me. I had to learn to write because of the issues and injustices I see in society.

Not everyone has to agree with what I write, but at least I will get them to think.

What shaped your worldview?

I grew up more sensitive to things in life than most others and was later diagnosed with bipolar disorder. I have had some strange and interesting times in my life; as child I felt like an old soul. Reading books such as Shel Silverstein's Where The Sidewalk Ends and The Giving Tree and onto more complex writings such as To Kill A Mockingbird and Great Expectations, I became a lover of stories and the written word.

As a young adult, I started to read newspapers and became more aware of the world. I became familiar with the mental health system and how we so need to get the word out to thousands of people that a mental illness is a biological brain disorder. Stigma associated with mental illness, unfortunately, still exists.

We are like anyone else; we just have to learn certain coping mechanisms, take medication and seek therapy. I work for Participation Station in Lexington. We cater to those with diagnosed mental-health issues. We teach classes and have parties and activities for those who want to come and learn.

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