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Chaya Grossberg
Coming off psych drugs coach
Coming off psych drugs coach

Chaya's posts

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Be part of the movement to help people break free of psychiatric drugs, and find alternatives to health.  Check out our Indiegogo campaign

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After psychiatric drugs took my physical and mental capacities away (and nearly my life) at age 21, I have been an advocate, activist, speaker, writer, consultant, teacher, and supporter for those coming off psych drugs and those choosing not to take them despite social pressure.  Read more of my story here. Read more of my writings here .

For the past decade I have been writing a very thorough book about how we can break free of psychiatric drugs after having our whole lives controlled by them.  This book is written from the perspective of working with thousands of others with the Freedom Center, Western Massachusetts Recovery Learning Community, Alternative to Meds Center, Portland Hearing Voices, Mental Health Association of Portland, Mental Health Association of San Francisco's Warm Line and my own coaching, teaching and blogging practices. 
Using experiences gleaned from teaching yoga, meditation, art and writing to people coming off of psychiatric drugs, leading countless support groups and talking to thousands of individuals one on one as well as receiving thousands of emails and blog comments, this book, if funded to be published, will put together everything I've learned from my own and others experiences.
I have been writing about this topic for over 15 years and have a ton of wisdom to share that comes oozing out of me at parties, in conversations with strangers, in facebook posts and tweets, in blogs and audio blogs.  It's time to put it all together.
I'm using this fundraising campaign and, hopefully, book launch, to continue to get the word out and educate others as well as draw attention to this public health catastrophe, while continuing to facilitate community building among psychiatric patients, survivors and their allies.  
My dream has been for the past decade-plus to help every single person who wants to come off psychiatric pharmaceuticals to do so.  Despite the apparent problem of lack of resources, the true problem is low public awareness about this issue and lack of drive to reallocate funds to a variety of health and community supporting options.
As someone who survived diagnoses of psychosis, OCD, depression and anxiety disorder and was on 7 pharmaceuticals at the age of 21, but went on to be a national leader, teacher and popular blogger who receives gratitude email for my work daily, my aim is to inspire as many people as possible to allocate resources for those in need of withdrawal support.
This is not an easy or short term project, though if funded I would like to finish the book this year, by December 31st of 2015. 
I know I will devote my entire life, however long, to helping humanity recover from harm induced by psychiatry and it still won't be enough.  That doesn't mean I won't try though. I've already proven to myself and everyone who knows me well I will never give up.
By funding this project you will help thousands, hopefully millions more people feel less alone and be connected by the stories that save our lives.  The one thing all psychiatric survivors I've ever met or worked with have in common is that they were inspired by the stories of others.  The survival and recovery stories of others was what gave them hope, and allowed them to liberate themselves from psychiatric mythology.
You will also help connect people with a fountain of practical advice, resources, peer support networks and many more opportunities.  

What We Need & What You Get
For the past 10 years, I have spent about 2 hours per day writing and an average of 2 hours per day doing things to share my writing, whether editing, self publishing, typing (i do all first drafts longhand), working on my website, sharing my writing on social media, or engaging with readers.  I haven't been paid directly for that writing much, though it has happened a few times.
In order to dedicate myself to this book, I will need to spend at least that much time many days this year working on it. If I were to pay myself $100 per day (less than $25 per hour) for 300 days of the year, that would come to $30,000.  I am keeping this campaign lower than than though, with the hopes I will exceed my campaign goal. 
I will also need $1000 to continue make payments Adrian Hoppel and his team, who recently revamped my website on a gift economy basis, which includes my blog, to make it more user friendly and easier to find on search engines.  They created my new website generously without a down payment and I would like to be able to pay them adequately.
Other expenses will include hiring an editor ($600), interior design and formatting ($500), printing (at least $3,000) and miscellaneous expenses, which are always underestimated.
With any additional funds I would like to offer coaching/support/resourcing sessions and yearlong support commitments to individuals who would not be able to afford them, who are desperate for support (non-medical advice) in coming off psychiatric drugs.
Rewards will include e-books, limited edition print books with color art, audio books, opportunities to be featured in the book, coaching sessions, year long coaching packages and more.

The Impact
I have many testimonials of my work and operate intuitively, meeting each person where they are (which may be not yet ready to withdraw from psychiatric drugs).  Withdrawal can be a complex process and each person's path must be honored.
What some clients have said:

Chaya Love, your article has me all teary eyed.  You are such an inspiration to me! When we first met, I sought out your expertise, as a peer mentor and as someone who had successfully tapered off all psych drugs. What transpired during our sessions was profoundly healing for me. You met me where I was, never above me, and showed me a true picture of the gifts I had within, to be shared with the world. I felt so understood and seen through your keen insight. You awakened in me, treasures and as you spoke them aloud, I knew that my voice was important. You told me that you saw me speaking in front of large crowds and that made me very nervous yet excited all at once. The thing is, being in your presence, I recognized myself beyond all roles and labels and was able to take my place in the orchestra of life, center stage. Thank you for all that you share and be!
– Ayin Cushnir, Portland, OR

Thank you, Chaya, so very, very much. I received tremendous, exquisite and profoundly honoring and validating, soul nurturing support, in addition to practical and excellent self care suggestions for next steps to consider, that you offered, sharing your own positive experiences of them supporting your own well-being.

I am truly refreshed and invigorated, as well as challenged in a nurturing way, to keep stretching and growing towards my dreams and soul purpose. I was beyond delighted with the support I experienced with you tonight. I look forward to more.

Feel free to share this appreciation acknowledgement however of value to you and/or others, Chaya.
– Tom Clute, Portland, OR

I have been getting great mileage working on shoestring budgets from the beginning of my journey with this work, starting with the Freedom Center, and receiving several grants from the Western Massachusetts Training Consortium to self-publish books, which I successfully completed and sold.  

Risks & Challenges

One of the obstacles I currently face, and have faced for awhile, is lack of sufficient income to fully dedicate my time and energies to my offerings (while staying alive and healthy myself).  The cool thing is that the Universe is so strong in supporting me to do this work.  As I am writing this campaign, I have cramps in my ovaries (which I never get like this) telling me I am birthing something big and I know they won't go away until I follow through with my idea.  

Moving around consistently wince I left Northampton, Massachusetts in 2009 has been an obstacle, but oddly has also worked out in my favor, allowing me to connect with a large number of people and projects.  It has been stressful, though, and nothing short of a steel sense of purpose has kept me going.

I have no doubt whatsoever that my book will be written and distributed widely.  I have known this since my first experience in a psychiatric hospital in New York in 2001.  Your help is necessary though!  I cannot, and never did think I could do it alone.

Other Ways You Can Help
If you are lacking funds, another great way to support my goals is to share this with your network.  You can also donate items for rewards! I've had a long term dream that everyone in the world who would like to come off of psych drugs is able to do so safely, and not feel alone.  Please help me make a much larger leap towards that goal in 2015.
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