By Todd Wittenberg
"I am a survivor of mental illness. It manifested itself mainly through severely upsetting and confusing religious delusions. I describe this as lack of ease—having multiple and roughly equally powerful belief systems, which are of great importance to the sufferer, argue among themselves most of every day. Not fun. Due to the terror I endured, my world became small and lonely.
"'Leap Towards the Sun' exemplifies the course of my recovery journey so far. Done in marker, the drawing does not lend itself to correction. Once a mark was made, I had to live with the result. Also, I did not make a pre-drawing sketch of the design. Nor did I have any inkling what it would look like or if I would feel good about the result.
"This is akin to my spiritual life. Once terrified by God and virtually convinced I was on the wrong side of His ledger, I kept seeking and searching, going deeper into the “Labyrinth of Faith” until finally, and most surprisingly, I burst into the sunlight of freedom one day and found myself to be loved."
Todd is a 45-year-old New Yorker. He was raised in Chappaqua by loving parents and a brother, who is also his best friend. Todd is relatively new to the peer field. He currently works as a Recovery Specialist for MHA of Westchester. Todd lives with his cat, Mo, and has many friends. He uses his lived experience as an instrument to connect to others and become a part of the solution in his community.