When Michelle Dickinson started writing her book Breaking Into My Life, she assumed that Part 3 would be about coming to terms with growing up as the daughter of a bipolar mother. After years of playing the role of child caregiver, writing her memoir launched Michelle on a journey of self-discovery that would prove surprisingly healing. Coming to terms, she realized, was no longer enough. She had to break into her own life, a quest that literally played out as she was writing the final pages.

Michelle—a passionate potter who loves to spend time her two Jack Russell Terriers, Chloe and Trooper, and her rescue cat, Chance—has worked in the pharmaceutical industry for over 18 years. She is currently an associate director at Johnson & Johnson, a company she adores because it feels like her second family. At J&J, Michelle is proud to be amongst the leadership team of the company’s Mental Health Diplomat employee resource group. She also designed and implemented “Perfect, Just the Way You Are,” a powerful wellness after-school enrichment program for under-served communities that focuses on taking care of the body though diet and exercise while bolstering self-confidence and self-love.

Having emerged from the writing process with an even stronger desire to positively impact the mental health landscape, Michelle is out to raise awareness and compassion for those struggling with mental illness along with those who care for them, so that more people get the treatment and help they need and deserve. She believes that together we can eradicate the mental health stigma once and for all.

Michelle Dickinson has been a guest on 1 episode.