Mental Health

Shelley Marshall Shines Light on a What Can Be, Dark Place

Shelley Marshall is a brave, inspiring woman who has shared her story with thousands of people.

About three years ago, she started performing her one-woman show, “Hold Mommy’s Cigarette.”

She plays five people; through them, she brings us through periods of her life growing up.

She tells stories of her struggles with a mental illness and growing up with a dysfunctional, emotionally abusive family.

She shows us that even though she has struggled, she still kept her bubbly, silly personality and has accomplished so much.

It was a story that touched me in many ways. I got tears in my eyes, but from both sadness and laughter.

The show is a perfect mixture of comedy and seriousness. She is hilarious, and will make you laugh throughout the whole show. At a few points, she starts to show the serious side, and that’s where all the magic happens.

She tells a story that many people with mental illness can relate to. She talks about the times she was scared and confused, and showcases the reality that it’s not easy to get help and you often lose yourself trying to.

She helps lower the stigma through the comedy and honesty in the play. She shows us that we can move on from our past, and even laugh about it.

A few scenes really hit home to me. But there was one in particular that hit the hardest.

We both have similar stories about the harsh mental health care systems in our hospitals. We had almost the exact same thing happened to us. I had the opportunity to share that story with her afterwards. Although I always knew I wasn’t alone, she proved it to me.

Despite her past, she is a huge success. She steals the show every time she goes on stage…and she knows it.

I have already seen this play twice, but I will continue to see it again and again.

Thank you, Shelley, for producing this incredible play. It has not only impacted me, but hundreds of others. It shines a light in a what can be, dark place.

It is always a good feeling to meet someone with the same mission as me – who shares their story to help others. Whenever I do, I make sure to tell them how much it’s appreciated.

I am so proud of you for pushing through all your struggles and for your accomplishments.

I am proud to call you my friend.

Jessica Victoria
<p>Jessica Victoria, 24, is a writer and advocate for mental health, disability and LGBTQ+. She uses her personal experiences and knowledge to help and educate others.</p>

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