Tag Archives: Sarah Stuteville

My Emerald Story: A Deep Sense of Home

In celebration of the South Seattle Emerald’s 8th Anniversary, we asked community members to share moments in our publication’s history that remain special to them.

by Sarah Stuteville

The Emerald is a blueprint to showing, sharing, and bridging Black and Brown folks through the power of storytelling. The Emerald is what we should be truly striving for as a community. Don’t just talk about it. Create a way to practice and be about us coming together. The Emerald is setting the example. Join me in supporting the Emerald as a recurring donor during their 8th anniversary campaign, Ripples & Sparks at Home, April 20–28. Become a Rainmaker today by choosing the “recurring donor” option on the donation page!

—Sharon Nyree Williams, Artist, Orator, & Rainmaker

My first exposure to the Emerald was, like for many of us, through founder Marcus Harrison Green. It was 2014 and I was still working at the University of Washington (UW) in the Journalism Department. I was still writing a column for The Seattle Times and I was hustling to find funding for The Seattle Globalist — a now-closed publication dedicated to providing media training for diverse and underrepresented communities. 

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OPINION: Magic Mushrooms for Mental Health — The Complex Future of Psychedelic Therapies 

by Sarah Stuteville

I have experienced mental health challenges for most of my life. My first panic attack was when I was 11 years old, and I found myself paralyzed and hyperventilating in a public restroom on a family outing. Some periods, like the ones when I have been in talk therapy, have been better than others. But anxiety, and its shadow-twin depression, have always been there. 

As a new mother, my experience with postpartum depression sent me to psychopharmaceuticals. And my first year on antidepressants was a gift. They gave me enough relief and space for the talk therapy to work. For me to begin to look around and see some joy in my life as a parent. 

But 18 months in, the days that opened with panic and ended in tears were increasing. My vision of my future was again a darkening tunnel. A close friend mentioned that relief might come from an unexpected source: magic mushrooms.

Continue reading OPINION: Magic Mushrooms for Mental Health — The Complex Future of Psychedelic Therapies 

OPINION: Climate Anxiety Is Not a Diagnosis, It’s a New Reality

by Sarah Stuteville

“Smoke season makes for beautiful sunsets.” I remember the first time I said that — watching the sky streak a deep, gritty pink over Lake Washington. Even more vividly, I recall the hot grief that flared in my chest a moment later. And now there’s a word for that. “Blissonance” refers to the experience of enjoying the natural world alongside parallel awareness of threats to it. And even your contribution to those threats. 

In fact, there’s a lexicon rapidly emerging to help us express the complex and often horrifying experience of living through rapid climate change and its visceral impacts. “Pre-Traumatic Stress Disorder” refers to living with a constant sense of imminent and irreversible environmental damage. An “empathetic blench” is the experience of receiving a gift that contributes to environmental destruction (in my world often plastic children’s toys encased in more plastic) from a generous and well-meaning source. “Solastalgia” describes the loss of personally meaningful environments and even weather patterns. With that last one I think of my physical yearning for Seattle’s infamous “June Gloom” during the recent record-busting, and deadly, heatwave.

In the field of counseling, the more common vocabulary includes “eco-anxiety,” “eco-grief,” “climate depression,” and “eco-paralysis.” I learned about these terms at a recent training for “climate-informed” therapists — a professional competency that is, unfortunately, increasingly relevant. 

Continue reading OPINION: Climate Anxiety Is Not a Diagnosis, It’s a New Reality