Rebecca Lee's author head shot for the book, Rising Matriarch. She said the picture represents returning to self-love after a decade of lifelessness.

By Tricia Mifsud

Mitchell Shire resident Rebecca Lee has documented her ‘unique flavour’ and approach to managing through mental health in the book Rising Matriarch – Stories of women who remembered their truth and power.

The book is a collection of chapters written by 24 women hoping to inspire and motivate others to find their self-worth and manage through difficult times.

Diagnosed with mental illness in her 20s and having to overcome battles since, Ms Lee’s chapter ‘Lifeless’ details the highs and lows she experienced since, and the comfort she found in alternative mental health advocacy.

Ms Lee described herself as an optimistic person, but her mental health took a turn when she noticed no peaks of joy in her life.

After a breakdown of relationship with her children’s father, she read the book Love Warrior – it was her first introduction to the art sector and how it could act as a healing mechanism.

“I was at a period in my life where I needed to receive the messages through the book and sharing both pain and wisdom was something I resonated with … and realised to be an outlet of processing, healing and transformation,” she said.

Not too long after, the COVID-19 pandemic hit and Ms Lee lost 90 per cent of her business income after she had found the strength to move out of her family home and rent a house for her and her children.

Ms Lee spent a day on the phone with Centrelink and suffered a panic attack, resulting in a visit to the doctors who gave her the number of a mental health facility.

“This is when I flipped the switch truly in my thinking and starting to connect literature,” she said.

When the opportunity presented itself to contribute to Rising Matriarch, Ms Lee said it was something she couldn’t say no to.

She said it was a slow process to be comfortable in approaching mental health advocacy through her methods, but it was something she encouraged others to consider.

“I found a lot of barriers through mainstream mental health support … I needed connection through community, creating relationships and being a part of Women’s Circles where I could articulate comfortably with others how I was feeling,” Ms Lee said.

“It’s a slow process of growth to get to the point where you can do that [speak publicly about personal mental health] … but it’s about building up self-worth and resilience, and for me I found that through poetry and literature.”

Rising Matriarch has now reached the hands of some of Hollywood’s finest, and was one of the items in this year’s Hollywood Swag Bag, gifted to nominees of the Oscars.

Rising Matriarch is available for purchase at most book stores. To find out more about Ms Lee and her work, visit www.rebeccaleeauthor.com.

Rising Matriarch – Stories of women who remembered their truth and power was gifted to Oscar nominees as part of the Hollywood Swag Bag.