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Tracey Yokas
Bloodlines: A Memoir of Harm and Healing
July 11, 2024
4 PM PDT | 5 PM MDT | 6 PM CDT | 7 PM EDT

Over a decade ago, shortly after my daughter’s diagnosis of disordered eating and depression, I began to write. Back then, I had no intention of going public, but over time I changed my mind. Other families were on their own similar journeys. There is community and there can be comfort in sharing, in knowing that we are not alone.

My writing path was filled with stops, starts, and wrong turns. What I didn’t understand then is each misstep taught me valuable lessons in empathy and compassion. My search for words, my effort to make meaning on the page—that struggle itself—was part of my own healing process.

These many years later the stats for our kids’ mental health are scarily headed in the wrong direction. There’s never been a more important time to talk about mental health. To dispel the myths, discrimination, and stigma. Everyone has a role to play in mental health awareness. My daughter, age twenty-five, is in recovery and living her best life. She supports my advocacy. We willingly share our story so that others know and also believe that hope is real.

It should have been Tracey Yokas’s time to heal. With the recent death of her mother, she was given a brand-new chance to redefine herself and her happiness on her own terms. But just as she prepares herself to spread her wings, Tracey discovers that her only child, Faith, is battling issues of her own, carrying forward the legacy of disordered eating, depression, and self-harm Tracey is so desperate to leave behind.

Tracey is determined to save her daughter, but she has no idea how to reach her, and as their fragile family navigates a medical system and a societal fabric that fails innumerable families in need, she and Faith become near strangers to each other. Ultimately, it’s only when Tracey begins the hard work of standing up to her own history of rejection, low self-esteem, and longing does healing, for both mother and daughter, become possible.

Carrying a message made urgent by the epidemic of mental health challenges now besetting millions of American teens each year, Bloodlines is a story about how waking up to the power of love can allow us to reimagine the past and fortify the present.

What I hope readers take away from our chat:

  • Patience can be hard when you’re writing, but remember: sometimes you’re working your way through more than “just” the craft of words on the page.
  • We all have mental health and we each have a role to play in breaking the stigma associated with talking about it.
  • What happened in our families, especially generations ago, isn’t our fault but breaking the chain of trauma’s generational transmission is our responsibility.
  • By transforming our challenges into conscious choices, we reclaim our agency. We foster resilience and unity—and show our children how to do the same.
  • The conditioning we received in childhood may have hampered our ability to give and receive love, but it’s never too late to heal.


Author Bio:
Tracey Yokas creates stuff. When she isn’t writing about mental health and wellness, she can be found playing with paint, glitter, and glue. She shares about her family’s journey with mental illness so others will know they are not alone. She is dedicated to supporting women in the journey towards authenticity, and fulfills her mission by creating safe spaces where art, words, and vulnerability meet in dynamic community. Tracey earned her master’s degree in counseling psychology from California Lutheran University and lives in Newbury Park, CA, with her family. You can find her on Facebook (@traceyyokascreates) and Instagram (@traceyyokas) or on her website, www.traceyyokascreates.com.


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