Creator and host of the Glowing Thru Concrete blog and podcast, Tyeisha Brewer continues to overcome obstacles and thrive in her recovery. After being misdiagnosed multiple times, feeling trapped and hopeless, she finally received the diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder, a mental health disorder that is marked by a combination of schizophrenia symptoms, such as hallucinations or delusions, and mood disorder symptoms, such as depression or mania, and it opened the door to proper treatment and recovery.
While juggling the hats of wife and mother of five, she grew a passion for mental health advocacy and is currently pursuing her bachelor’s degree in behavioral health. Tyeisha’s mission is to educate people on supporting mental illness through advocacy and break the “concrete” of stigma by spreading knowledge and awareness while helping individuals mental illness to “bloom and glow through their own concrete.” Hence the name of her brand, Glowing Thru Concrete.
Check out our interview with Tyeisha!
MD-EN: Are you open to sharing your disability that you live with?
Tyeisha: I am very open to sharing the disability of schizoaffective disorder, depressive type.
MD-EN: How does your disability impact your daily life and career?
Tyeisha: Whether it’s working, going to school, taking care of kids, or just simply sitting staying home and watching television, most people have a daily routine of some sort. For some of us, there are things we must include in our daily routine and lives such as staying active in treatment. For me, this means taking my medications daily, exercise a few times a week, and therapy. While self-care should be a priority for everyone, there are many of us who cannot skip out on self-care because skipping out on it would mean a daily life and routine of not being able to be the mother, wife, student, and worker that I am supposed to be.
Also, my disability has impacted my career by pushing me into my purpose of mental health advocacy and pursuing a career in the mental and behavioral health field.
MD-EN: What employment barriers or barriers does society place on people who live with disabilities? And how do you overcome those barriers?
Tyeisha: Stigma is one of the biggest barriers that society places on people who live with disabilities and it impacts vulnerable populations, which opens more barriers such as being more at risk for discrimination and victimization. For example, I have overcome those barriers by first acceptance of my disability, educating myself, and now advocating for and spreading awareness to others.
MD-EN: Are there any myths that you would like to dismantle when it comes to people who live with a similar disability, and their ability to gain full-time employment or pursue entrepreneurship?
Tyeisha: There are many myths that I strive to dismantle, but one concerning employment and entrepreneurship is that “those with a disorder can’t be successful.”
MD-EN: What inspired you to work toward your career goals?
Tyeisha: My disability and feeling like I had to suffer in silence and hide what I was going through inspired me to work towards my career goals. And, a few of those goals are for me to show people that they are not alone, treatment is okay, and one can still thrive with a diagnosis/disability.
MD-EN: What motivates you to keep going when you get discouraged?
Tyeisha: My children, who depend on me to keep going, are big motivators for me. I like to call them my strength.
MD-EN: What words of encouragement would you give to people who feel defeated by their disability and believe they will need government assistance for the rest of their lives?
Tyeisha: Be encouraged, and rest assured knowing that there is purpose in pain. You can claim victory over anything.