2 months. Because I’ve been focusing on finishing my latest book, that’s how long it’s been since I’ve sat down to write here, and I’ve got to say that it feels like I’ve come home. It’s almost like I have a relationship with this journal. It’s a space I can be myself. It’s a place I long to be, where I can spill all my thoughts and not-so-eloquent guts and just…be…me.
Writing a book does not feel very “me.” Though I’m a performer, I don’t like a lot of attention. I didn’t even have a full-length, fancy wedding dress because I didn’t want to stand out too much at my reception. Now, here I am in a photo, jumping with a balloon bouquet and my newest book. Why? Because I DO like to have FUN and CELEBRATE!
AND because I am passionate about helping people.
When I was fighting suicidal thoughts as a young mom I came very close to taking my life. As I discuss at the start of “Learning to S.M.I.L.E. Again:5 Simple Steps Toward Joy” I locked my 2 kids in their bedroom with some toys and Cheerios to snack on, just a few minutes before their dad would be home from work. Then I went to another room with a belt, expecting to end my suffering. Instead, I was saved by what I can only call Divine Intervention.
When I cried out, “Why?” (in both relief and gratitude as my mind cleared and I realized I didn’t need to choose this permanent solution for all my temporary problems), I felt an answer. I was spared because my experiences were meant to offer hope to others. This book is one of the ways I’m trying to do that.
It’s a juggle, as I’m still recovering from surgeries, homeschooling those cute (trying) kids, and managing a household of mess – but I know it’s worth it. There will always be more struggles. More schoolwork. More messes. But my life’s mission of sharing hope is still worth spending time on too, even if it’s slow-going!
Being “up” and out of depression (like this picture) is an everyday job for me. It’s a way of life. Like a recovering alcoholic will always need to avoid relapsing, I try to do the same for depression and anxiety. I make sure I get my sleep…most of the time. I exercise however I can. I write. Like my latest book teaches, I S.M.I.L.E. I See the Good. I Make Magic Moments. I Isolate (and work through) the Issue. I Listen to Love. I Endure to Enjoy. I sing songs that motivate me. I cry, eat chocolate, and vent too, but those are my last resources. Being proactive and preventing the relapse of depression is so much better!
Also, 4 months post-surgery now, I’m finally able to chop vegetables again! Yay! And use can openers! Woo hoo! So I’m trying to eat fresh again and take care of myself that way too. In other words, I’m rereading my first book, “Think Yourself Healthy.” LOL
I know these little steps and habits are worth it if I want to stay mentally safe. Most of all, I’m grateful I’m still here to work on these goals, share my progress, and help others work toward them too.
So here’s the official invite to my book launch party. (Get it? That’s why I’m flying in my photo!) If you feel like joining the party, come on down! The more the merrier!
And whatever you’re going through, hang in there. Life is hard, but it can still be happy.