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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.

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.

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!

A Cinderella Story – Or Rather a Mozzarella Story

You all have heard me talk about my children before. It’s safe to say I’m one proud momma. My kids mean everything to me, and I take great pride in their accomplishments.

One thing that makes me extremely happy is that my daughter is as creative as me, if not more so. She can draw extremely well, and I’ve been told if it keeps up she will find herself in Art Excel one day. In addition, she’s also quite the storyteller and has been for years, since she was two, in fact. I have many cherished memories inside of my head of various stories she’s made up. I’ll never forget them.

Yesterday I was going through some of her school papers from this past school year and came across an assignment of hers that had me roaring with laughter. And you’re about to see why because I’ve taken the time to type it up exactly as she has it written.

The assignment was to write a Cinderella story. Beyond that, what it included was entirely up to each child. My Mini Me definitely used her creative muscle.

Enjoy!

*

One day long ago there lived a piece of Mozzarella Cheese and 4 mean sisters. The sisters were pieces of Blue Cheese and it made them smell bad. On hot days they melted drops of blue cheese and they made Mozzarella Cheese clean up their melted blue cheese drops.

One day in the summer there was a dance at their school. So Mozzarella’s sisters asked their mother if they could could and they couldn’t. They got told if they did go they had to do all the dishes.

At 9:00 they snuck out to go. The Mozzarella Cheese got dressed to go when her sisters left to the dance.

At the dance the Mozzarella Cheese met a Marshmallow Prince and at 12:45 the Mozzarella Cheese was eating a golden cracker that the Marshmallow Prince gave her. Then she realized it was 12:45 and her and her mean sisters ran home because their mother would go in their room to check on them.

On the way Mozzarella dropped the golden cracker. The Marshmallow Prince found the golden cracker and left to see whose spit was the same. He found the Mozzarella Cheese and her spit was the same so they got married and lived happily ever after….as usual.

– By Mikala Ireland

Do I Have What it Takes?

I’m having one of those mornings where I’m filled with indecision — where I’m questioning whether or not I have the talent to do my fantasy novel justice. I wonder if I’m capable of creating a world that’s believable and one that others will fall in love with — one that others can immerse themselves in.

When I look at the worlds that authors like Jennifer Hudock, James Melzer, Allie Burke, Nick Denmon and Will Entrekin created in their stories, I can’t help but think, Can I write a story like these, one that is filled with detail and that captures the world inside my head? Do I have the talent a story like the one I’m writing needs? And I just don’t know. And that scares me.

For me, it’s easier to write a short story. I truly am proud of the two I’ve published. But novels are not the same. I’ve completed two over the years: The Obsession and Without Wings. To say my earlier attempts were less than stellar would be an understatement. I think The Obsession has the chance to be great, but it needs a lot of work, so I don’t know if I’ll ever rework it. Maybe one day.

So I guess the only thing I can do for now is to keep writing and hoping that the end result is what I want it to be. If you’d like to read the beginning of my fantasy novel, you can find it here. It’s in the very early stages, so very little has been done to it. Its edges are rough and definitely need some work, so please keep that in mind when reading it.

Milestone Achieved

I have some news to report this morning. I just hit 150 sales total for my work, which is a big deal.

When I first started out on this journey, I didn’t know how long it would take to hit 50 sales, let alone 100 or 150. So sit down this morning and see that I’ve hit 150 was one of those teary-eyed moments that I won’t soon forget.

We all have moments of indecision where we question whether or not it’s worth to continue. Well, I can say it is worth it. You can’t give up. You have to keep pushing forward. You have to believe in yourself and what you’re doing. If you don’t, why should anyone else?

So stop doubting yourself!! That’s an order! (And don’t argue with me. You won’t win.)

Here’s to the 500 milestone. I can’t wait!