TrinaMarie Shaw has a platform called “SPARKLE – TURNING DARKNESS INTO LIGHT.” It’s about eradicating stigmas associated with mental health and mental illnesses, inspiring people to share their story as she does; as-well-as empowering people to provide solutions and resources, and changing society’s perception of how they view mental health; illnesses even if it’s one person at a time. Her profound belief is that more people will begin to ask for help when they feel empowered and encouraged without repercussions.
She believes that when it comes to self-expression, it’s about intentionality + learning who you are, learning when to say yes or no, being okay with putting yourself first (even as a mom and or wife), and not forgetting to dress according to your style. TrinaMarie believes that Life can be like Fashion, both of which can be this mysterious thing that you can’t explain–and designing your life is a series of logical and creative choices – it’s a collaborative effort, an evolutionary process. Just like you choose your style depending upon what you want to say, you select your Journey depending on what type of Life you want to embrace.
When she was younger, she never received any therapy or counseling to help her understand what was happening. African American cultures rarely seek help. Both of her grandfathers were pastors, so she also had other layers of beliefs besides societies. She had beliefs from religious communities. This isn’t to point fingers or place blame. Her sole purpose is to create more awareness so society can create more change.
I’m sure you can imagine how all of these layers can cause her to become extremely private, hurt, confused, ashamed; and have been told she had characteristics of high-functioning anxiety. She said she would never tell because what would people think of her. She thanks God for basketball and later photography as they both became her therapy, which has allowed her to remain a positive person for the most part. She has frequently been labeled as a ray of sunshine. Don’t get her wrong. She also had her dark times even as an alpha female and a community advocate and leader.
Although she has been conscientiously on this journey as a mental health advocate for the past several years, she has been preparing for this Mission and this Title since she was 7. Mark Twain said, “they are two very important days, the day you are born, and the day you find out why.” This is her Why!
She loves the fact that this journey not only allows her to help others, but it has been one of her greatest processes for healing. No one should have to suffer in silence. It hurts her heart that her mom, and her grandmother, was fighting this battle alone.
She wants every person to know that it’s okay not to be okay, doesn’t unpack your bags, and stays there. Please ask for help. Not asking for help can lead to death by suicide. Additionally, she encourages others to be intentional in learning how to provide better understanding and support when it comes to mental health, mental well-being, and mental illnesses. Life is so much better when everyone supports one another! Wouldn’t you agree? You can learn more about how to help her reach more of a global audience HERE.