New York City Mayor Bill deBlasio and his wife Chirlane McCray looked on proudly as their 19-year old daughter Chiara received an award for facing her addictions and mental health advocacy at a National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day event in National Harbor, MD yesterday. The program was sponsored by the US Department of Health and Human Services.
Chiara’s battles with “depression, anxiety, fear and addiction,” came to a head during her father’s campaign last spring. Yet, she was finally able to overcome them and speak about her struggles as a “sober and healthy young woman,” has been self-described as a “miracle.
According to her essay (published on the website xoJane.com) Chiara stated,”I was not born a happy person. Some people believe that it is impossible for people who come from backgrounds like mine to suffer from the diseases of depression and addiction,” especially when she noted that she was brought up in an “amazing, unconditionally loving, and unbroken family, including a father who gives her “more love and support than I could ask for, even when running the world’s biggest city.” What many people may not have realized, however, is the fact that her grandfather (on her father’s side), Warren Wihelm Sr., was an alcoholic who ended up committing suicide in 1979, when the future mayor was just 18.
Chiara also shared some of the things she does to keep balanced and “healthy,” now such as meditating, forcing herself to get up when she would rather stay in bed, and writing poetry.