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I go by Paz, my pen name which stands for “peace” in Spanish (ironic for someone so prone to rage).

I’m a young latina the size of a five year old but with the mentality of a fourty year old. I was born in Colombia and migrated to the U.S. at the age of five to receive medical treatment for a rare bone condition I was born with. I have to use a wheelchair on a daily basis though I do walk some.

I hold strong to my latin culture, yet I was raised in the U.S. and have absorbed myself completely here. Who am I then? Am I Colombian? I am “American”? I’m simply Paz, a chameleon. I tend to change with the tides. I feel like a wanderer. Maybe I’ll always be. I battle with something I call my gang of Pretty Little Demons (PLDs). We all have our gang living with us. Mine is quite large, intense and deadly, maybe even as deadly as the MS13. They live inside my head with my other half, the mouse, or rather the Melancholically Manic Mouse. They are constantly at war. I’ve struggled with major depression, chronic suicidality, self-harm and anxiety since I was a pre-teen. It’s a rough, virulent road at times. Just staying afloat can be a monumental challenge.

After a severe mental breakdown that involved bloody knuckles, broken cherubs, minor psychosis and loads of alcohol poisoning, I was diagnosed with bipolar NOS and then bipolar II, and once again my diagnosis was re-affirmed in 2012. On the 25th of April, 2012, I found out I had been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD) co-morbid with major depressive disorder (MDD) by the therapist I’d been seeing for nearly two years. I think BPD is the most accurate diagnosis yet. In the end, it’s just acronyms to throw up in the air. So, who knows how many more acronyms this mind holds. This mind–our minds–are all too complex and subjective to merely slap a DSM label on.

I am deeply passionate about art, film, poetry, music, psychology and a dozen other things. I went to school for audio recording and music production, then I went on to get my bachelor’s degree in Communication – Media Production. I’d love to make films and/or documentaries one day or perhaps write. I edit video, also write poetry, photograph, design and dabble with other artistic mediums. I’m an artist at heart but have a hard time calling myself an “artist,” so let’s just go with heartist. I’m a heartist.

I write fervently and hope to bring Canvas my perspective on mental health issues, mental illness and how mental health relates to a broader cultural view(s), to disability issues and chronic illness.

My personal blog is two parts comic/comedy, one part tragedy, and one and a half parts nonsense (I don’t know where the last half part went), and I hope to uncover a few things about living and the human condition in the writing process both there and on Canvas.

My blog:  Melancholically Manic Mouse

© PAZ and A Canvas Of The Minds 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to PAZ and A Canvas Of The Minds with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.