About the Author
I loved books even before I could read, and I memorized such picture books as Madeline’s Rescue by Ludwig Bemelmans so that I could recite them to my mother saying, “Look, Mom! I’m reading!” To her credit, my mother smiled and said, “That’s so great, Jennifer,” playing along with my pretend. All during middle and high school I kept a journal, wrote short stories and poetry, and declared to all who would listen that I would be a published author one day. When I entered college, I studied English, with the intention of becoming an English professor, so that I could earn a living teaching literature and use summer breaks and sabbaticals to write novels.
However, by the time that I completed my bachelor’s degree in English, I’d had a life changing event that sent me into a depressive episode and landed me in therapy. Through the therapeutic process, my worldview and my sense of self healed so thoroughly that I realized I needed to become a therapist in order to help others to undergo the same profound transformation that I had done. As a result, I went back to school and completed a master’s degree in counseling psychology, and I began working as a psychotherapist. Upon the writing of I’m Sick, Not Crazy: How I Took Control of My Health when Western Medicine Told Me it was all in My Head, I am actively working at a Kaiser outpatient psychiatry clinic and am an active member of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists.
During my English major days, I thought that I would write fiction, and I have multiple unfinished efforts at writing a novel. Yet, somehow, the thread of the story eluded me each time and I abandoned those manuscripts, thinking that I would go back and finish them later, but I never did. In the end, it was my own story that needed telling. It just hadn’t happened yet.
At age 35, after a whiplash injury, I became so seriously ill that I nearly died. I sought help through multiple doctors, slowly working my way up the hierarchy of specialists, trying to find someone who knew what was wrong with me and how to help. The wall of indifference built by each medical professional along the way was monumental and blocked my path to health so thoroughly that I eventually stopped trying with Western Medicine and sought treatment elsewhere. Alternative healthcare practitioners welcomed me warmly and applied their various healing art forms in ways that improved my health and well-being to the point that I was fully functional again.
During Western Medicine’s cold and callous treatment of me, I felt thoroughly hopeless and alone. I even considered suicide as a way out of the torturous symptoms of illness that I experienced since the doctors gave me zero help or hope, and I knew I couldn’t live that way indefinitely. Just as I was truly about to give up, a neurologist told me to start practicing yoga, and that prescription saved my life. Yoga opened the door for other treatments, such as acupuncture and craniosacral therapy, and I slowly began to improve.
I’m Sick, Not Crazy is the book that I was always meant to write, and I’m writing it because I know that thousands of other people are going through the same pain that I did and need to know that they are not alone. It is my hope that they can learn from my story that Western Medicine may not have the answers, but that there are other places to look.