The Rose Bush

by Juliana Smith-Etienne

My event was the Patient-Authored Memoir, specifically I Never Promised You a Rose Garden (1964). It’s a semi-autobiographical novel by Joanne Greenberg about a girl’s three year stay in a hospital with schizophrenia, and explores mental illness from her point of view as well as from the points of view of her family and doctor.

I hope this card will remind you of the complexity of mental illness- it is not completely roses or completely thorns. I also hope to portray that it shouldn’t be something that makes you feel ashamed- I want you to feel a bit of solidarity when you see this card. Ultimately, I want you to interpret this card however fits best for you and your experiences.

Image Description: A person with green skin and red cheeks and lips, eyes closed. The right half of their head is a rose bush with red, blooming roses, green leaves, and twisting brown branches with sharp black thorns.