My Name Is ... Cassie Stewart

Artist, stay-at-home mom battling mental illness

Posted 8/12/19

May the force be with her I like to draw a lot of space-themed and Star Wars art. I'm a huge Star Wars fan — my wife and I even had a Star Wars-themed wedding. I was dressed as Anakin Skywalker, …

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My Name Is ... Cassie Stewart

Artist, stay-at-home mom battling mental illness

Posted

May the force be with her

I like to draw a lot of space-themed and Star Wars art. I'm a huge Star Wars fan — my wife and I even had a Star Wars-themed wedding. I was dressed as Anakin Skywalker, and she was dressed as Boba Fett. Our parents were dressed as Jedis. Chewbacca officiated. Instead of a first dance, we had a first lightsaber fight.

Treating mental illness

I'm a stay-at-home mom of a 10-year-old girl. I'm on disability, and it's handy to be at home with my daughter. I've been diagnosed with mental illnesses, including bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and anxiety. It's different than what most people think of when they hear about someone on disability.

It was really hard for me to find work, and especially work that would make time for my doctor and therapy appointments.

Exposure therapy

Treating mental illness isn't as easy as “just cheering up.” It's a lot of hard work, especially when you're a mom. If I had to work on treating my mental illness as well as parenting and working outside the home, it would be nearly impossible. Disability has allowed me to focus on getting better and taking care of my child.

Exposing myself to difficult things is really helpful. Some days I just don't want to leave the house, but when I force myself, it actually makes me feel better.

Judge not

Motherhood has taught me patience and creativity. It's also taught me not to care what others think of me as much. Everyone has an opinion, but at the end of the day, it's my and my wife's judgment that matters. My kid is happy and healthy, and we love her. That's the important stuff.

If my kid wants to wear a unicorn hat and a tutu to school, who cares? It doesn't violate the dress code, and she's figuring out who she wants to be. I let her dye her hair green and blue and try out lots of different styles. I'm the wrong person to tell her not to dye her hair, after all!

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