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Loren's Story

Loren Jones is an advocate for mental health, and she is passionate about sharing her beautiful culture with the world. When not busy working or volunteering, you can catch Loren hanging out with her friends and trying new adventures.

“I'm black. I'm bisexual. I'm a woman. And I'm from a low socioeconomic class. In my life, I've struggled with my identities and it can be difficult sometimes to find a balance between them. Sometimes people expect me to champion being black, and to be proud and happy all the time. But there are times when I am really tired. I'm just really tired of having to explain what it means to be black and how it feels. I just want to be who I am.

I can ‘fit in’ to situations, and I come off as very confident and outgoing. However, what people may not know is that I have been hospitalized four times. I was treating the hospital as my own escape route, my own safe haven. During my last hospital stay, it really opened up my eyes to how my actions were affecting those around me. I had been pushing people away, and I wasn't letting them help me. I realized that I was looking to be fulfilled from outside of my family and outside of myself.

I strive every day to be comfortable and to be who I am. However, I do recognize the importance of code-switching. It can be exhausting having to constantly police myself and check where I am and who I'm talking to and what's okay to say and what's not okay to say. I do it automatically, and sometimes it just gets to be overwhelming. But I respect other people’s spaces so I recognize there is a time and a place for everything. But I think it’s important for women to take care of themselves and put their needs first. I encourage others to quit things that are not bringing them fulfillment. In dealing with my depression, I really had to learn a lot about myself and practice self-care, which is so important for us as women. Why waste your time being miserable doing something that you are not loving?”