The Aftermath by Jace “Bug” Harr
email@example.com // jaceharr.com // Patreon
The Aftermath is about what we do in the wake of psychological disasters like severe mental illness and/or trauma, and what happens after we say to ourselves “I can’t take it anymore.”
My name is Jace, and I am a queer and transgender writer and the creator of the viral self-care game You Feel Like Shit. I just finished the coursework to become a New York State Certified Peer Supporter, and I’m working on getting a job in the field. The peer approach to mental health means that I think everyone is an expert on their own lives, and we can all put in the work to make a life that we are excited to live. One of my main aims with this blog is to take information that not everyone has the resources/spoons to access and make it digestible for the average reader. Academic viewpoints are not inherently more valuable, but psycho-education has been a pivotal part of my recovery, and therefore I wanted to share what I’ve learned.
“Peer Supporters are people who have experienced a mental illness and are either in or have achieved some degree of recovery. In their role as peer supporters, they use these personal experiences of illness and recovery—along with relevant training and supervision—to facilitate, guide, and mentor another person’s recovery journey by instilling hope, role modeling recovery, and supporting people in their own efforts to reclaim meaningful and self-determined lives in the communities of their choice.”
By trade, I’m a writer: I have a B.A. in Creative Writing (SUNY Oswego, 2015) and I have been putting it to use writing about mental health. I’ve written for Psych Central as well as Tumblr (12,000 followers!) and now I’m starting a blog of my own.
My lived experience of mental health issues is hugely varied, but I mainly identify with the diagnosis of PTSD as a sexual abuse survivor. I have intended on making mental health my career since 2014, when I first met fellow mentally ill people who were working every day to better themselves. Not only did they improve their own lives, but they stayed by me while I improved myself alongside them. They served as role models and helped me create doable and measurable goals, as well as problem-solve and work out the steps I needed to take to reach those goals. This was life-changing for me, and I decided I wanted to spread that wisdom as widely as I could.
“So often survivors have had their experiences denied, trivialized, or distorted. Writing is an important avenue for healing because it gives you the opportunity to define your own reality. You can say: This did happen to me. It was that bad.”
In addition to my mental health knowledge, I also have a strong background in social justice and societal issues, and make a point of keeping abreast of new developments in the field. Eliminating transphobia, homophobia, and ableism are particularly important to me as a disabled and queer transgender man, but I also focus on anti-racism activism to the best of my ability as a privileged person. Accessibility is a primary goal of mine, so if you have any feedback on what I can do to make navigating and reading the site easier for you, please email me. I plan on eventually posting audio versions of posts for people who would prefer that.
If you’d like to support me and my writing, a Patreon page is in the works!
“…There are an awful lot of myths out there about how to move on or get justice. People may tell you to report the crime or confront your abuser- or even to forgive him. I don’t necessarily advocate any of these things. I think counseling of some kind can be enormously useful, but the bottom line is that the main way to heal is to find people who will support you, to talk about what happened, and to ground yourself in the reality that the abuse was not your fault, that you have nothing to be ashamed of, and that you deserve great love and happiness in your life.”
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