Annette Hope Billings
Poetry or Stage Name: Annette Hope Billings
Activism: I care about Overcoming racism, sexism, age-ism, homophobia, able-ism, mental health, and health care disparities.
Peer Support: I have been active in creating and sustaining a 3 year old monthly open mic event in my community. I have traveled to Missouri and Nebraska to be featured in open mics, readings/book signings. I have used my own life as personal testimony of how art help to bring about my own recovery. My community has a large number of health care disparities, and I have educated teachers, nurses, social workers on the power of poetry to overcome them. I have presented to groups with ages ranging from middle school to seniors.
Gigs: I would like to be booked for the following (but not limited to) kinds of events: poetry presentations, open mic poetry, poetry workshops/how-to, story-telling events, empowerment workshops utilizing the arts, art-as-adjunct to recovery events.
When they called “Places,”she refused to debut as a victim,
she made them hold Act One while she adjusted her stance.
She called for a Bedazzler to decorate her scars,
made them reprint the playbill and rename her character “Survivor.”
She made her entrance, found her mark,
upstaged all doubt that she could carry the part.
By the time they called “Curtain!” roses carpeted her stage,
she bowed before a rapt audience
who exchanged their pity for applause.
Facing Page: Health Care Disparities
What I would Like to Tell the Recovery Movement: The focus should be on supporting and empowering individuals to discover the mix of resources that best brings about the highest level of health/living that they desire to retrieve. Some people just don’t have access to what they need to be healthy, that’s what causes health disparities, is poverty, and neighborhood issues, and social situations. People may think good health is not possible just because they don’t see it where they live.
Health Insurance Success Story: An individual I know experienced chronic depression due to a persistent health condition that resulted in constant back pain. She became more and more despondent and her ability to move decreased dramatically. After being prescribed a number of ineffective pain meds, she was referred to a pain management clinic. In addition to prescribing meds known to be most effective for her kind of pain, physical therapy and counseling were added to her treatment plan. She experienced a dramatic reduction in her pain which increased her mobility–allowing her to resume a live she felt good about.