i am

My photo
harlem, usa
same-gender-loving contemporary descendant of enslaved africans. community activist, feminist, health educator, independent filmmaker, mentor, playwright, poet & spiritual being. featured at, in & on africana.com, afrikan poetry theatre, angel herald, bejata dot com, bet tonight with tavis smiley, blacklight online, black noir, brooklyn moon cafe, gmhc's barbershop, klmo-fm, lgbt community services center, longmoor productions, nuyorican poets cafe, our corner, poz, pulse, rolling out new york, rush arts gallery, saint veronica's church, schomburg center for research in black culture, sexplorations, the citizen, the new york times, the soundz bar, the trenton times, the village voice, upn news, uzuri, venus, vibe, wbai-fm, wnyc-fm & wqht-fm. volunteered with adodi, bailey house, inc., black men's xchange-new york, colorofchange.org, drug policy alliance, east harlem tutorial program, imagenation film & music festival, presente.org, save darfur coalition, the enough project, the osborne association, the sledge group & your black world. worked on films with maurice jamal & heather murphy. writing student of phil bertelsen & ed bullins. mjt975@msn.com.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

NYC Mayor-elect De Blasio's daughter reveals substance use issues

chiara de blasio, daughter of new york city mayor-elect bill de blasio, released a five-minute video detailing her struggles with anxiety, depression, alcohol and marijuana. the free-spirited 19 year-old spoke openly about her personal struggles with courage, grace and humility.

a college sophomore who played a central role in her father's successful campaign, chiara de blasio was candid about her painful past. she said, "it made it easier, the more i drank and did drugs, to share some common ground with people. it didn't start out as, like, a huge thing for me, but then it became a really huge thing from me."

de blasio said she thought she could leave the problem behind when she went to college in california, only to realize her "physical insecurity" got worse. she said, "my mom was trying really hard to help me and my dad was really busy. they were both very emotionally committed to trying to find out some way to get me better."

she said she eventually found success in group therapy at a treatment center in new york. de blasio said, "removing substances from my life opened so many doors for me. i was actually able to participate in my dad's campaign. getting sober is always a positive thing, and by no means is it easy - it's the hardest thing i've ever done - but it's so worth it." 

in a statement accompanying the video, bill de blasio and his wife, chirlane mccray, said they were "so proud of chiara and love her deeply." they said, "as parents, our instinct has been to protect our daughter and privately help her through a deeply personal struggle. but not only has chiara committed to own her health, she is also committed to helping young people everywhere who face similar challenges."

the campaign did not say what prompted it to release the video on christmas eve, a day when many news consumers are more concerned with family, money, shopping or traveling - instead of current events. but the announcement was framed in a way to help other families who struggle with depression and substance use during the holiday season.

during the campaign, de blasio spoke about his father's battle with substance use, particularly alcohol. his father later committed suicide. white house drug policy director gil kerlikowske released a statement late tuesday praising chiara de blasio's decision "to give voice to the millions who suffer from substance abuse disorders."  

No comments: