034: Now I See with Mariagrazia Buttitta

033: Chasing Butterflies with Nate Crawford
October 16, 2017
035: Elijah’s Journey and Other Approaches to Suicide Prevention with Efrem Epstein
November 2, 2017

034: Now I See with Mariagrazia Buttitta

Mariagrazia Buttitta was born and raised in Sicily. She was born with a rare eye condition, Cone
Dystrophy. She is also combating an anxiety and depressive disorder. In 2013, after seeing a performance
that changed her life—Kicking My Blue Genes in the Butt—she opened up about her struggles and
sought treatment for the first time. Her dream is to become an advocate for both mental health and
disabilities, spreading hope and helping others embrace their differences. She loves hiking, writing, and
hanging out with her therapy dogs, family, and friends.

Click to tweet: Mariagrazia Buttitta shares her incredible journey on the i’Mpossible Project #podcast!

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Time Stamped Notes

  • 2.39 When Mariagrazia started Kindergarten and all through school in Sicily, her teachers
    thought she was mentally challenged until she was diagnosed at age 14 with a rare eye disease
    called Cone Dystrophy
  • 3.07 Mariagrazia was told she wasn’t smart enough to go to college, but went to college and
    graduated in the United States
  • 4.34 Mariagrazia also had undiagnosed anxiety and depression and didn’t seek treatment until
    she saw Joshua Rivedal’s one-man play Kicking My Blue Genes in the Butt paired with mental
    health and suicide prevention education at Bergen County College in 2013
  • 10.10 When Mariagrazia first got help for her suicide ideation and depression and anxiety by
    telling her mother
  • 14.54 Marigrazia believes that her mental illnesses have made her stronger as a person
  • 18.48 Mariagrazia’s walking cane is called Casper (because of Casper the Friendly Ghost),
    because when she’s walking with her cane, many people treat her as if she’s a ghost and are
    afraid of her
  • 21.11 Mariagrazia’s least favorite word is “crazy,” her favorite punctuation is an ellipsis “…” and
    her mom Francesca is her spirit animal (find out more fun facts about Mariagrazia in the Quick
    Fire Round)
  • 28.29 Mariagrazia’s Now I See is her debut book and memoir and covers her childhood in Sicily,
    poetry, and her coming back from the brink of suicide.

Key Points

  • Parents need to take their children seriously if they express suicidality, rather than “it’s a
    phase,” or burying their head in the sand
  • We get to choose how we frame our liabilities and find ways to turn them into assets
  • We must navigate through life on life’s terms, working with the cards we’re dealt

Resources or Websites Mentioned

Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. If outside the U.S., here is a list of crisis lines around the world: www.iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres

Mariagrazia’s book Now I See is available at: www.Embracingyourdifferences.com/preorder

Mariagrazia’s email address is: embracingyourdifferences01@gmail.com

Mariagrazia is an author in The i’Mpossible Project: Volume 1—Reengaging with Life, Creating a
New You: www.iampossibleproject.com/one