I Have Depression…

But it doesn’t have me.

For years I’ve struggled with depression. For years a war has raged within me.

At 16, I was diagnosed with clinical depression, and my psychiatrist told me I would probably have relapses my entire life. He was right. I suffered from post-partum depression, more so with my first child. I’ve had minor episodes at other times, too, but this year ushered in a much longer one that has grown with each passing month. My family has been saying for awhile that I need to do something about it. And I wasn’t ready. I didn’t feel I was at the point where I needed help. But I’m there now. I know I need to do something to help my moods and to make it so I don’t feel so sad.

This year brought many changes to my life, many struggles. While they seem like routine struggles that every single mom faces at one time or another, for me, it’s been a lot to handle. I’m not weak by any means. I’m a fighter and have dealt with a lot. I’ve overcome a lot and am a better person because of my struggles. But right now, I’m going through a rough period and I need help. And I’m not ashamed to admit it. At least not anymore.

I’m tired of crying. I’m tired of feeling happy one minute and sad the next and not always knowing why. I’m tired of not sleeping. I’m tired of feeling off.

Part of the reason I’ve fought against doing something about my depression is because I was ashamed. There are people I know that think if someone has depression, it makes them an unfit parent, incapable of raising children. I’ve had others look down on me and think I’m crazy because I have a chemical imbalance. I’m not crazy. I’m not unworthy of love. I have an illness. But it doesn’t have me. And I will not stand for anyone judging me because of it anymore.

I’m a damn good mother. I’m not perfect. What mother is? But I love my children. I give them everything I can. I’ve gone without just to give them what they need.I put my own happiness to the side for them. And I’m tired of people judging me and thinking I’m a bad mom when I’m not. I thought for the longest time I had to prove myself to them, to show them I’m not a bad person. I realized yesterday, after some serious soul searching, that I do NOT have to prove myself to anyone. I know I’m a good mom. I know I’m not crazy. My family and other loved ones know I’m a good person who is just going through a rough patch. Their opinions are what matter to me.

Several months back I met a man named Chris who quickly became a best friend. We had feelings for each other but the timing wasn’t right for us to date, but then, just over two months ago, we went out for the first time and everything clicked. And we knew we had something special. The friendship we shared helped us create the relationship we have now. And his love and support, his undying belief in me, has helped me in so many ways. I don’t want to screw up our relationship because of my depression. I don’t want to screw up the family we talk about having together. I want to be in a good place for my kids and his. I do not want to make the same mistakes in this relationship that I made in my marriage.

I also don’t want to ruin the relationship I have with my parents, my brother or my other best friend. They have all stuck by me through so much. They’ve been there to listen to me cry, to offer a shoulder and encouraging words. They have helped me, as has Chris. And I can’t express how grateful I am to all of them for loving me, even when I felt unlovable. Having my loved ones believe in me means the world, and I want to show them I can beat this, that I won’t let my depression own me any longer.

I will take back my control.

I will fight.

The reason I am sharing this with all of you is to hopefully inspire someone else to seek help. Do not be afraid of asking for assistance.

You are not weak.

You have nothing to be ashamed of.

Don’t let others ignorance stop you from giving yourself the chance to live a happy, fulfilling life.

Show yourself love and fight.

Don’t give up.

And if you falter, don’t be ashamed. Forgive yourself and keep moving forward.

I believe in you, even if you’re having a hard time believing in yourself.

 

*Photo courtesy of 436ocw.

A Sneak Peak at the Cover for Into the Spiral by Erin Danzer

I have been missing in action for most of the past year. In fact, I looked back and I’ve written a total of two blog posts over the last 365 days. That’s sad. I used to post on here a lot, but life got in the way, as it so often does. I’ve been struggling a lot, but I need to get back to what’s important to me, my writing and helping others. So to kick off my return, I am helping an indie author friend of mine, Ms. Erin Danzer, show off the cover of her debut novel Into the Spiral, which will be available for purchase on Black Friday, but possibly as early as Tuesday or Wednesday, so make sure to check out her official site for more information.

So please feast your eyes upon the cover. And make sure you keep scrolling to find out more about Erin and her book. She’s got a ton of ambition and I’m inspired by all she accomplishes each day. It’s not small feat when you’re also working and taking care of children. But Erin does an amazing job at it all.

Book Blurb:

Fifteen-year-old Veronica “Ronnie” Lambert wants to get out from under her older brother’s shadow. When Ronnie gets a tattoo and then is struck by lightning, she suddenly finds herself able to see and hear things in shadows that don’t appear to others. Then Ronnie meets Gavin Clearwater, the hot new guy in all of her classes and finds out he can see and hear the same things she can.

Gavin tells her about the Spiral Defenders, a group of warriors that travels through space and time to defend the planets of the Spiral. After meeting the Commander of the Spiral Defenders and realizing his intentions might not be pure, Ronnie struggles between following her destiny to become a Spiral Defender and trying to regain the life she had before being struck by lightning.

About the Author

Erin Danzer wrote her first book at 10-years-old for a Young Authors competition, where she was awarded an Honorable Mention and discovered a passion for the written word. She’s written several novels and short stories since that spark ignited. She writes a monthly short story serial, The Cassandra Serafin Chronicles, posting alternately on her blog and in Literary Lunes bi-monthly online magazine. Into the Spiral is Erin’s debut novel. Erin resides in Wisconsin with her husband, two children, and their cat.

Facebook

Website

Twitter: @erindanzer

 

Indie Blog Hop

If this is your first time visiting my humble abode, welcome. If you’re a returning reader,  I apologize for the lack of updates since the end of October. There has been a lot going on in my personal life and I’ve been really busy, but that story can wait for another time. Back to the reason you’re reading this post.

As you can see, I am participating in the Indie Blog Hop because I believe that Indie authors need to be heard. We are just as worthy of recognition and success as those authors who are published by one of the Big Six. The Big Six being the six major publishing houses that most of us yearn to sign with at some point in our writing careers.

If you’re an indie author, the success of the #indierevolution should be important to you because this is your livelihood at stake.

As a thank you for stopping by my site, I am giving away a copy of A Second Chance and a copy of Sacrifice, two stories written by yours truly. To win, leave a comment below, with your email address, and two winners will be chosen at random.

April is Indie Awareness Month. To find out more about the Indie Revolution Movement, please stop by the AllIndieEbooks website.

 

Thanks again for stopping by.

A Review of Model Agent by Sean Sweeney

I mentioned in a recent post that I did a lot of reading while the power was out thanks to Hurricane Irene’s wrath. One of the stories I read was Model Agent, a thriller by Massachusetts resident and one of my fellow BNFFs Sean Sweeney. 

I ended up purchasing a copy of Model Agent the Friday night before the storm hit, I believe it was, knowing the hurricane was coming and would inevitably leave us without power for a few days.

Before reading Model Agent, I had read excerpts Mr. Sweeney posted from the third installment in the Jaclyn Johnson series and was greatly impressed. I had very high expectations, to say the least.

There have been very few books in recent years that have been able to capture my attention so thoroughly that I don’t want to put them down. This past year I’ve come across some really talented authors that I’ve reviewed/interviewed on this blog that have been able to enthrall me when so many others haven’t been able to.

Unfortunately, for some of those amazing authors that drew me in, life got in the way, and I could only read a little bit of their stories each day. (I know, it’s sad.) Not this time, though. I was able to read Model Agent in record time. In fact, I visited my parents during the power outage and told my mother I had to go home because I needed to finish the book.

If you’re a fan of thrillers, this story is definitely one to read. It grabs you from the very first page and doesn’t let you go until the very end, and even then you’re left wanting more, which, to me, is a sign of a great author.

Also, if you’re a fan of the Boston area, that’s another good reason to read this novel. Mr. Sweeney included many well-known landmarks and he described them with such detail that it took me back to my trips into the city over the years.

As far as characters go, my favorite was the lead, Jaclyn. While I don’t want to give away too much about her, I will say that she resonated with me. I love that the author included such a strong, vibrant female who can kick ass like no other female character I’ve seen. She definitely stood out and I can’t wait to see where her journey takes her over the next two novels. I’m rooting for her.

In conclusion, I wholeheartedly give Model Agent 5 stars.

(And Sean, sorry for the delay in posting my review.)

Amazon Description:

The human body consists of two-thirds water.

As concertgoers on a steamy day in Boston find out, water can kill as much as it gives life.

A terrorist attack at City Hall Plaza has the authorities perplexed. The government, in response, sends in a capable but young agent – an agent born from the ashes of terrorism itself – to handle it.

But as her partner dies and the terrorist strikes again, Jaclyn Johnson – code named Snapshot – finds herself in a situation she has trained a decade to face: She’s up against a man with enough money to finance a war against his competition. With a deadline in place to stop him – and with a car holding enough hidden tricks to evade capture – Snapshot infiltrates his hidden installation and finds out her target’s true end game, a secret that could have the world fighting over water.

MODEL AGENT is the start to a brand new thriller series. The sequel, ROGUE AGENT, is also available.

Remembering 9/11

Growing up I always heard stories from older adults about where they were when JFK was shot. So many of them could remember the tiniest details from that day as though it just happened and not years before. I never thought I’d be one of those people who could recollect a moment so clearly. But I am, just like so many others.

9/11 is a day that none of us will ever forget.

I remember being woken up with a phone call from my boyfriend at the time, telling me that the World Trade Centers had been bombed. I rubbed the sleep from my eyes and hobbled downstairs and turned on the TV. My brother was home that day and he and I sat there the entire morning, watching in stunned silence, tears falling, mouths agape, as TV anchors revealed the North Tower had not been bombed but that a plane had struck it. He and I watched the second plane hit. And in that moment I felt a part of me start to die inside.

When the towers fell I felt a change within myself. Gone was the little girl who still lived inside me and in her place was an adult.

Before that day I was still pretty naive about the world and the people in it. I never gave much thought to what was going on in other countries. I was too consumed with my life. But when those towers fell, everything changed.

In those moments I felt like the worst person on Earth.

See at that time I was pregnant with Mikala. I was about 20 weeks along, and was just starting to feel her move inside me — those first flutters that we women wait anxiously for.

The events of 9/11 made me ask myself how could I bring an innocent baby into this world and protect her when there are people on this planet who are hell bent on destroying life? I felt so helpless and scared. The last thing I wanted was something to happen to her for she was already a huge part of me.

Now here it is ten years later and I still feel that same sense of dread and heartache when I think about that day and all of the lives lost. My heart hurts for all of those who lost loved ones, for the children who lost their parents, grandparents…whose innocence was destroyed.

Over the years I’ve made attempts to watch various documentaries on that fateful day and every time I do, I get sick to my stomach just like I felt that morning and usually end up crying.

I don’t think that feeling will ever go away…for me or anyone else. It will always be a part of us. It’s been weaved into the fabric of who we are. It’s story I share with my daughter, and eventually my son, so they understand what that day meant and how it affected everyone in our country and around the world.

To those of you who lost someone that day, my thoughts are prayers are with you. *hugs*

Happy Birthday Little Man!

Four years ago today I welcomed my second child, Blake-Joseph Wynter, into this world in the wee hours of the morning. Since that day, he’s been a whirlwind of activity, keeping me on my toes at all times. Life with him, and his sister, is never dull.

I knew from the moment I found out I was pregnant with Blake that he was going to be a handful in comparison to his sister. After months of morning sickness, backaches, dehydration, kidney pain, you name it, I welcomed my handsome little boy into this world.

The first time I held him in my arms, just after he took his first breath, I was in awe…and in love. I never got the chance with his sister to hold her right after her birth due to complications in utero. And it’s something that saddens me everytime I think about it. With Blake, I had that chance, and I’ll never forget it.

I’ll also never forget Mikala walking into that delivery room not long after her brother was born, crawling up onto that bed with me and holding her brother for the very first time. The smile that spread across her face was like a thousand little stars twinkling. I was overcome with love for my two precious angels, and there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t thank the powers that be for bringing them both into my life, even if they do stress me out sometimes.

So my little Binkle Bean, momma loves you so very much and I hope this next year is a great one for you. And just think, next year you start kindergarten. You’re not my baby boy anymore. You’re my little man, my precocious, wisecracking handful of a son who I would not change even if I could. I love you, handsome!

Love always and forever,

Mommy

Hurricane Irene – Yawn

The thought of flooding from Hurricane Irene worried me because I’ve seen the damage it can cause firsthand, but I was a bit excited for her to hit, as twisted as that sounds. (See photo to the left of what flooding did to this area several years ago.)

I, like others I know, get a kick out of storms. I’m in awe of them. I love the way storms make the air feel. I love what they do to the sky and the way they make trees dance in the wind, so that’s what I was excited to see.

Unfortunately, Irene didn’t really amount to much where I live. Sure, we lost power, and a few trees got knocked down, but looking around, there was far less damage than I had originally anticipated. We receive bigger whoopings from our infamous Noreasters and spring rainstorms. This was more of a yawn, at least to me. And yes, if you feel the need to call me crazy, go ahead. I never claimed I was normal.

Anyway, that being said, losing power for almost two days SUCKED. A sponge bath just does not compare to a shower.

Our power was finally restored this morning, and I could not have been happier. I hate to admit it, but I was tired of reading. I did, however, read a fantastic story. Model Agent by Sean Sweeney was a very enjoyable read and I did not want to put it down. (Review coming soon.)

So to those of you still without power, I empathize and hope it is restored soon.

Happy Birthday to my Beautiful Mom

Mom,

I wanted to say Happy Birthday and I love you. And there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t thank whatever higher power is out there for allowing you to be born because without you there would be no me. And there would be no Mikala and Blake. And what kind of life would that be? Those two little people make  this world brighter.

I also want you to know that all I’ve accomplished in life thus far is because of you…and dad, but he’ll get his own special message on his birthday.

You brought me into this world 29 years ago and showered me with love. You both raised me to be the best person possible. You taught me right from wrong. You taught me how to stand on my own two feet. You loved me and believed in me when I didn’t always deserve it. You saw my potential for greatness long before I ever did. And you showed me the only one standing in the way of my dreams is me and my fear. You’ve shown me what hardwork and dedication can accomplish.

And for all of that, I thank you.

I could not have asked for a better mother and role model growing up, of that I am certain.

I hope the coming year brings a reprieve from all of the back problems you’ve been dealing with. I pray everyday that they get straigtened out so you can go back to the life you were living before because it breaks my heart to see you go through this. But at the same time, I know how incredibly lucky I am to have you because you are showing me just how strong a person can be when they have to. Your strength and resilience awes me, and I just hope that I can live up to the example you’ve set for me.

I love you, mom, and I hope you have a great birthday.

Love always,

Your infuriating mooch of a daughter.

 

What a Crazy Month

It’s been several weeks since I posted on here, so I figured this morning was a good time to rectify that.

As the title suggests, this month has been CRAZY. But not in a bad way. Sure, there have been moments that have made me want to pull my hair out, but for the most part, it’s been a fantastic month.

First, I set a goal back in January to lose some weight. I wanted 2011 to be a time of change for me, so I figured that was a great goal. I actually met my first weight loss goal a couple weeks ago. And I am beyond thrilled. I still want to lose some more. I actually have a wedding to attend in November, and I want to be able to wear a dress I feel good in and that makes me feel pretty. I don’t get a lot of opportunities to dress up, so I’m looking forward to a girly day where I get my hair, makeup and nails done. And a spray tan because by that time I will be my normal albino self. (Seriously, I’m very pale, so I’ll need some help in the color department.)

Back to the topic at hand…this crazy month.

So what else was crazy?

Well, even though the month isn’t quite over, I can say that I’ve had the best month sales-wise that I’ve ever had. I thought maybe I’d hit 500. But guess what? I waved psychotically as I drove right past it. And now here I sit, on the cusp of 1,500 sales for the month. Yes…1500! I’m like a kid all hopped on Pixie Sticks and Coke right now. I keep pinching myself because those numbers can’t be right. Right? But oh, they are.

After seeing this month’s amazing numbers, I’ve been contemplating what to make next month’s goal. I’m leaning towards 2,500. Yep, that’s a gain of 1,000, but you know what? I think I can do it. There’s nothing like a good challenge to fire me up, so bring it August. You’re going down.

Okay, I’ve rambled enough. It’s time for me to get working and writing. Yes, I’ve been writing…A LOT! But it’s been great. My creative juices have been flowing continuously and I don’t see it stopping anytime soon. So I’m going to keep listening to my muse, and clicking away on my keyboard.

Have a great weekend. Stay safe. And to all you writers out there…HAPPY WRITING!

The Gift Excerpt

As promised, here is an excerpt from The Gift, my newest short story. What you see here may change some before it’s published since my editor has not reviewed it yet. As always,  I’m sure she’ll have advice to make the story even better, so keep in mind this is without any significant edits.

*

As the light of morning began to peak its head over the distant horizon, a woman and man lay lovingly curled against each other, their limbs entangled, and their hearts laden with love for one another.

“Good morning, beautiful,” the man whispered as he leaned in to kiss his wife’s cheek. He lingered for a moment, nuzzling his nose against her silken skin.

“Stop, Alex, that tickles,” Melissa giggled as she pushed against his chest with the palm of her hand. But his body was firm and strong and did not move, not that she really wanted it to. She loved the feel of his body pressed against her own. She had since the first time he’d kissed her and she’d felt the pressure of his body against her own.

“Oh, you think that tickles? How about this?” His fingers danced along her belly and up to her armpits where he knew she was the most ticklish. Her squeals of laughter filled the room.

“Stop!” She begged him.

“Kiss me, and I will,” Alex wiggled his eyebrows suggestively at his wife.

Melissa ran her hands up the side of Alex’s body and over his chest to wrap around his neck. She pulled him close and pressed her lips firmly to his. Her tongue traced the outline of his lips.

A groan of appreciation rumbled through his body. “I could stay spend the entire day in bed with you.”

“Um, that would be nice.” She pulled back from the kiss and rubbed his cheek. “Unfortunately, we have bills to pay, so our lazy asses need to get out of bed, and you need to go to work”

Alex rolled his eyes. “Must you always ruin my fun, woman?”

“Sadly, I must.” Melissa stuck out of her lower lip in mock sadness. “Be patient, my love. There’s always tonight.”

“That’s true.” Alex groaned as he rolled out of bed. “It looks like it’s going to be a beautiful day.”

“That’s what the weather report said. I sure hope so. I’d love to work out in the yard today before I tackle those articles for work.”

Alex kissed Melissa on the nose. “It’s a good thing one of us has a green thumb. Otherwise, our yard would look like a wasteland.”

“And it’s a good thing you’re a cook because we’d starve.”

Alex laughed as he walked into the bathroom and closed the door behind him. Moments later, Melissa heard the shower turn on. Smiling to herself, she walked down the stairs and into the kitchen to brew a pot of coffee. She would take her shower once Alex was done with his.

*

“I’ll see you tonight, babe,” Alex said as he grabbed his travel coffee mug, kissed his wife and headed out the back door.

“Okay. I’ll be waiting here with bells on.”

He looked over his shoulder at his wife. “Will that be all?”

“Maybe. You’ll have to hurry home and find out.” Melissa’s eyes twinkled as she stared at her husband.

He laughed. “You’re a tease.”

She shrugged. “I am what I am and nothing more.”

Alex shook his head and walked to his car. As he backed out of the driveway, he rolled down the window and stuck his head out.  “What do you want for dinner tonight?”

“Surprise me.”

“Okay,” he called. He backed the car up and drove off to catch the train into the city like he did every other morning.