Our This Is My Brave DC cast intros continue to roll out. Today on the blog we get to know Dehlia!
Tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Dehlia Bates. I'm a lifelong Montgomery County, Md resident. I have a double Bachelor's in Communications and Theatre from Morgan State University and a Master's Degree in Communications from Temple University. I am a lifelong teacher certified in English and Theatre and currently teach at Montgomery College and Prince George's Community College.
How has mental illness affected your life?
The most serious mental illness I suffered was Postpartum Depression after my second and third miscarriage following IVF. At the time I was also diagnosed with PTSD, anxiety and severe insomnia. Before being diagnosed and getting treatment it was hard for me to function in my day to day. I would "freeze up" and cry randomly at work and lose my will to "fight the power" when it became necessary. Finding the energy to fight for what I want in life, and be at ease from day to day had never been a problem before. Six o'clock in the afternoon would be especially hard for me as I would experience a "lag" and would have problem leaving my car for anything except to go home. That's when I knew there was a problem. I actually contacted my first counselor from my car where I was "frozen" and couldn't move.
Why did you want to be a part of This Is My Brave?
I want other women who suffer from Postpartum Depression and PTSD to know they are not alone. You can manage your challenges and get back on your feet again. There are professionals and a network of people who care and will help you feel like yourself again.
What inspires you to stay mentally healthy?
Life's too short not to participate! I want to live each day to the fullest, not just for me, but for my family and friends as well. People love me and rely on me. When I don't take care of myself I leave a void that is impossible for others to fill. My success is the success of others as well. I matter and I'm worth it!
What do you hope the audience takes away from the show?
I hope that they will walk away feeling inspired to take action. When legislation comes up and it's time to vote for a larger mental health budget, or they can give a few dollars to mental health treatment and awareness they should do so! Also, if you have someone in your life that is suffering remind them it's "temporary." Treatment and patience will get them back on their feet again!
Dehlia will be performing her poetry as part of Our Door's presentation of "This Is My Brave The Show" on Monday, October 10th & Tuesday, October 11th at the Keegan Theatre.
Tickets are on sale now! Click the link below to reserve yours today!
We hope to see you there as we shine a light on true, personal stories of overcoming mental illness through poetry, original music, and personal essays, live on stage. This is one event you won't want to miss!