Tag Archives: #MondayBlogs

“I have always believed there is indeed room for us all.” Authors inspiring authors

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Authors supporting authors is groovy!

I have learned so much from some fierce, fabulous authors and continue to be inspired by their talent, words and willingness to share.

Thank you for being cheerleaders, kind motivators, smart and courageous trailblazers.

I have always believed there is indeed room for us all.

To grow, to learn, to get inspired, to dream bigger.

Get ready to meet some pretty spectacular writers, and human beings.

Inspiration is happening right now.

“People grow through experience if they meet life honestly and courageously. This is how character is built.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

CHOSEN ONE is 604 pages of hold your breath Science Fiction and Fantasy sweeping adventure from the gifted imagination of author Steven Sutherland.

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Edition: First

Click>PB http://bit.ly/1zYS8kw D http://amzn.to/1KMik7S After>You Will Get It So You Can>Arrive

Be amazed and see with your own eyes…

“Sir Stephen along with lifelong friend Sir Brent take off on a dream adventure to find the promise land and to live significant moments… Can their hearts desire lead them to where they want to go, or does it already? Will they discover if they are a Chosen One or not? You will climb the highest mountains and weep with them in their lowest valleys. Prepare yourself today, for The Chosen One.”

“My hope is readers walk away with an appreciation of their significant moments and take a step back if necessary, to avoid regrets and aspire to thrive. I believe Chosen One will become the one novel they go back to time and time again for their life’s ride.” Steven Sutherland

10641218_291425140981489_8647661716077407041_nFollow Steven’s author page on Facebook

Visit Steven Sutherland on Twitter

CHOSEN ONE  Trailer youtube.com

CHOSEN ONE on booklaunch.io

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When Sarah Fader, CEO and Founder of the mental health non-profit organization Stigma Fighters asked me to write “It hurts, Ya’ Know,” an essay for Stigma Fighters I was overjoyed. How often is it that someone is acknowledged for talking about difficult, life-saving topics like mental illness? Sarah Fader does not shy away from challenge. She is a force with the uncanny ability to bring people together while making each person feel individual. An important, collectively part of a group that needs to be seen and heard. Sarah also blogs for The Huffington Post and writes a column called Panic Life for Psychology Today.

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Sarah Fader’s recently released Stigma Fighters Anthology, “a compilation of personal perspectives, the first volume of the Stigma Fighters Anthology features essays from real people living with mental illness from around the globe.”

The first volume suggests there will be others. I sure hope so, and cannot wait to continued to be inspired by the light Ms. Fader shares and shines on others.

Authors inspiring authors and I have a feeling Ms. Fader has much to say and joyfully shares her talent and tales.

“Once upon a time Sarah Fader wrote a blog post called 3-Year-Olds Are Assholes. It went viral on HuffPost Parents with over 400,000 shares on Facebook.”

THREE-YEAR OLDS ARE A**HOLES, is the funny and touching little gem that can be enjoyed by mommys’ and non-moms’ alike.

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Follow Sarah Fader on Twitter

Sarah is the CEO and Founder of Stigma Fighters

Find her books here Stigma Fighters Anthology

Three-Year-Olds Are A**holes

Sarah Fader on Facebook

Sarah’s website Old School New School Mom

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I cannot wait to discover the witty, gifted world of J.C. Hannigan

COLLIDE by J.C. Hannigan (KILLER cover)

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Harlow Jones has a troubled past, and a questionable future.” –collide

Visit J.C. Hannigan’s Facebook Page

Follow her on Twitter 

Visit her on her personal blog

Follow her on Google Plus

Check out the Bumpy Bones Blog

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This week, we have the very groovy, sensitive, gifted and kind Rachel Thompson. Blogger, Media Consultant (guru), founder and creator of #SexAbuseChat, Director of Social Media at Stigma Fighters, creator of the wildly popular hashtag #MondayBlogs, Director of GRAVITY IMPRINT for Booktrope Publishing, passionate, empathetic sexual abuse advocate and eloquent, gifted author. Rachel truly epitomizes the phrase “authors inspiring authors.” She was the first person I met in the daunting world of self-publishing, and first to extend a hand with a smile. Thank you, fiercely inspiring fellow red.

I’ve written about Rachel Thompson’s and “Broken Pieces” in a previous post Actual Extraordinary Women. She is an actual extraordinary woman and pretty awe-inspiring.

The sequel to “Broken Pieces” by Rachel Thompson “Broken Places” is available, and happening now.

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Visit Rachel Thompson’s Facebook Pages

Follow her on Twitter

Director of GRAVITY IMPRINT for Booktrope

Visit her on her personal blog and Social Media Consulting BadRedhead Media

Check out the link to Rachel’s poignant, raw award winning books

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True gray with primary colors whirling all around

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I wasn’t going to write a sappy. I wasn’t. But, I jumped. 

My father was and always will be the great love of my life. It’s been seven years, the 5th of May. I know the date I was there beside him. My mom, too. I can’t speak for my brothers, nieces or anyone who had the good fortune to meet him. He taught me everything I know about kindness, loyalty, humor, respect, family and faith. His faith was unnerving, never wavering for one second. I was a hellion, a wild child and my dad never judged. He watched and waited to pick up the pieces. There are too many stories. One I remember vividly. I was 18, spoiled brat, came home drunk, puking my guts out. I don’t even drink anymore. My father cleaned me up, put me to bed and slept on the floor beside me. I can still feel him near, even if I can’t see him.

“Take care of your mother, be a good girl. I love you with my whole heart.”

Okay dad, I’ll try. Although I’m not sure I’m doing a bang up job. Her and I, we fight. Argue. A lot. Rarely agree on anything. I’d like to wring her neck. This woman, the person I call mom I aim to please. She wanted a cordless vacuum for Mother’s Day, not a fancy car, Dior or diamonds. Something useful with a purpose. That’s all. I’d be so lucky and well-adjusted to be more like her. The original, fearless warrior.

I’ve experienced the love of a father like mine, and a mother. Together, they made our family complete. Wherever you are Choff, I hope you’re winning and smirking that devilish grin. The heavens and the orbs are in your favor. It’s your time.

I have to go right on living. It’s rudimentary. Five-year old mathematics, numbers you live a whole life by.

I think they stink. Crap odds. I have to stay anyway, a while longer. I guess. The canvas resets to a stark sterile dove white, a color choice off a paint swatch. The happy, unhappy complicated family colors muted and wiped clean with the stroke of a paint brush. Obliterated by a sixty dollar gallon of paint.

I close my eyes and trust I will see them, the shade memories. I trust they were indeed real, trust they will remain to guide and comfort the remaining journey.

Putrid acid green, Pepto-Bismol pink, sherbet orange and garish gold marble swirls alive in the brain.

Life lived in increments and numbers. The numbers they never lie.

I hang crystal prisms in the bedroom window to capture the sunbeams washing over my face, remembering the weight and light of a kind of pure and selfless love.

It wasn’t perfect, I’m not deluded I know that.

Life was solid, a true gray with primary colors whirling all around.

And that, you can build upon.

Six feet of dock stretches out over a flat, refreshing cool body of water with no threat of jagged rocks, seaweed, or prey absolutely nothing that could hurt you.

With each breath we count, constantly weighing the risks, odds and numbers.

Me, I love to swim. I need to remember that more often.

Inside every jump right before you hit the water lives the dream and infinite possibility.

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“We are left with the prisons of our own minds and that is heavy enough.” J Cioffa #MentalIllness #Treatment 

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One in Four. No, not Really. 

The very real, gut-wrenching mental illness statistics remain not far off from fifty years ago when pyschiatric institutions were the solution, lock them away.

As long as my beautiful chaotic mind and the words don’t betray me, I use my voice.

I am Three in Four even Four in Four, hit the mentally ill genetic jackpot. The reality is I could snap at any moment, I pray won’t.

Please, don’t judge. Don’t judge the ‘crazy,’ the insane, the unfit, the unwell, the lunatic that is me. Help us instead.

We are left with the prisons of our own minds and that is heavy enough.

From the Washington Post, “A shocking number of mentally ill Americans end up in prison instead of treatment.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2015/04/30/a-shocking-number-of-mentally-ill-americans-end-up-in-prisons-instead-of-psychiatric-hospitals/

I Am Adam Lanza

By Jacqueline Cioffa

A decade ago I lived a frivolous, spoiled, privileged life. An International fashion model, I worked in more countries than I can count. Freedom was something I took for granted, until the earth fell from under me and my whole world shattered. My first psychotic breakdown took away everything I knew to be true and buried me whole.

The paranoia, delusions of grandeur, mania, the irrational and out of control behavior. I wanted to die, too exhausted by the fragile, broken mind. I wanted to let go of the rage, the fear, the despair, I wanted to end my life. The slicing of the wrists, my escape and a way out. Dancing in the streets, in stores, I was too out of my mind to be ashamed, by my behavior. The shame and isolation would come later, as thick and heavy as a steel beam, freight train crushing my soul. I lived with my brother, exasperated, helpless, not knowing what more he could do, he put me on a bus back home to my mother. My Irish, stubborn, loyal, family first, capable mother. She had experience dealing with Mental Illness; my family had been plagued by the unlucky 1 in 4 gene pool.

My sick, wracked mind betrayed me, no longer mine to control. The whole and intact me, I used to know now gone forever. The carefree, compassionate, strong, independent person is living her worst nightmare. Even on the hard, horrific days, the dark evil thoughts dominating my brain, I fight desperately to regain control. If you have not been exposed to Mental Illness, please do not talk to me about it. You are out of your league, cannot begin to comprehend the exhausting toll it takes. On a family, friends, that is if you are lucky enough to have any left. Mostly, you are left with isolation and shame, your own.

My second breakdown brought black days, numbness, and a shell of a person. The depression and anxiety, so crippling I was forced to leave the big city, retreat back home to the safety of familiar surroundings. The pain so deep, so heavy, the fear immense, death seemed my only option. A welcome release from the demons, the evil lurking in the corners of a tortured mind. I work hard to beat the beast daily, as soon as my feet hit the floor, shaking. I take the psych drugs, Lithium, Xanax, Valium, the shock treatments and practice alternative medicine. I do yoga, eat healthy, exercise and live simple. I try to avoid the triggers, terrified of the next episode.

I never know when the outbursts will come, when paranoia will convince me the man in the park wants to kill me. In my heart and my soul, I know this is completely irrational. But, the mind plays tricks. I have to fight, every minute, every second to control the grappling Illness I must live with. Day after day, in constant fear of what I might do next. I don’t own a gun, I would be afraid to have one in close proximity. I hate violence, I find it abhorrent, but I do not trust the beast.

There is no concrete help for the Mentally Disabled; there is half hour, once a month consults with the overworked, underpaid psychiatrist, who spends your time glancing at a clock. There are no solutions, into the mysteries of a broken mind, they throw pills at you. Pills that may very well be your undoing, send you deeper into depression, trigger manic episodes or worse an acute psychotic episode, and the killing of innocent souls. Those are the worst breaks, the psychosis, and the hardest to come back from. I have visited them firsthand.

I watched, helpless as my beautiful, brilliant, Yale educated, compassionate cousin ended her own life. She was a Dr., the smartest person I know and she could not find a way out of the Mental Illness that plagued her. My own father, who endured 17 years of Mental Illness, endless pills that made him worse, psychiatric hospital visits, a dementia ridden mind at the end. My mother, who fought every battle with him, and for him when he couldn’t. His daughter who would always be in my memory, his adored, precocious, funny face, happy and intact child. He died not knowing my name. Although, in my heart and my spirit, I know exactly what I meant to him. His last breath I was beside him, holding his hand and on his heart. I felt the unbearable pain and destroyed mind, set free as he floated up to heaven. He was a good man, the kindest, most selfless I know.

I am a good person, who doesn’t deserve this fate. I am not a violent person, but I am Adam Lanza. He may have committed a horrific, unspeakable EVIL, act. Did he start out evil? He must have been an innocent, child himself at some point. When did his broken mind take over, when did he lose all rational, self-control? It’s too hard to grasp, too big to think about without immeasurable faith.

When are we, as an empathetic society, going to care about the Mentally Ill? Fight for them; stick up for them, as eagerly as we fight against gun control. When will we do something about the fact that there is no place for ‘us’, when the evil, mind disease takes hold? They send you to the ER, push a pill, perhaps a 72 hour hold to the Psych Ward. There is nowhere a parent with a disturbed, sick child can turn. We are in trouble, as a society. Take the guns off the streets, a mentally disturbed individual will find another way to kill. Help us fix them, with more research, better facilities, more culpability from the Government and its people, for the Mentally Ill.

I weep for those children, the families, the unimaginable depths of pain and sorrow. I rejoice in my youth, safe, happy and healthy. I’m grateful for that. I expose myself, sharing my story. Perhaps it can help bring insight and perspective. I don’t believe human beings are evil, I believe they are defective and commit violent, unspeakable acts.

Mental Illness has afflicted me, but it could’ve been you or a loved one. One in four is not great odds. I am alone, completely and utterly alone with my Illness, even while surrounded by an empathic family. I am not a child; I am an adult, who’s better equipped to manage this bastard disease.

Please, don’t judge me. Don’t judge the Adam Lanza’s. Don’t judge the ‘crazy,’ the insane, the unfit, the unwell, the lunatic that is me.

Help us instead.

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Grow Your Garden a love of self

FullSizeRenderLoving yourself takes time.

I didn’t know not exactly, not until this moment.

I never believed brushing aside the possibility of happy.

Tomorrow, tomorrow and tomorrow I’ll embrace the quirks and eccentrities.

Tomorrow.

Funny time wasted. Not funny.

This end of April Sunday close to May, I stand at the fault line.

Middle-aged.

The compost pile is toppling from all the shit dumped over the years.

I don’t know about you, maybe you were born over-confident.

A chest puffer.

Never had to overthink it, actually liked spending time in your own company.

Didn’t fret about how you looked in a full length mirror, crap you never even owned one.

Happy, no worries. Happy, never mind the worries. Happy, because it feels better.

And maybe you weren’t born with a twelve pack but a Buddha belly and when you laughed it was honest from the gut, and your smile was fuchsia electric.

I’ve known people like that, really I have.

Infuriating sorta.

Well one that I can think of.

I wonder if Angelina Jolie is a brooder like me?

Angelina was the first perfect human that came to mind.

Let’s see, Buddha belly person is happy for realz, never asking, wanting or needing much of anything.

Seriously, just the jubilee of living and giving are enough.

I can’t speak for Angie but I wonder if she wears Crocs, doesn’t bother to shower or sits in the grass simply because she likes the way it feels against her unshaven, hairy-for-days legs.

Grounding.

I wonder.

I do.

I can’t help but wonder, curiosity careens through the wrinkles I now possess,

and the dirt under my fingernails from digging the earth.

I like how my back aches, moss green hands throb and sweat trickles down my neck.

I like that Jeff Buckley is blasting haunting, melodic melodies directly into my brain.

I like that this moment I am absolutely present just him and me, in fifty degrees that is neither scorching nor too cold uncomfortable but smack dab in the middle.

I like to use clichés, that make me happy no matter how incorrect or passe.

I like the physical task of creating something, something real.

Something beautiful.

That is the closest I’ve come to happy.

To loving myself.

Today.

On this end of April Sunday close to May, I stand at the fault line.

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Grow your garden.

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CRAZY, Now Get Out of my Head

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No matter how many times this morning I repeated I am in fact NOT full of hate, bitter, ugly, paralyzed with fear or consumed by the crazy, I could not reason my way out. I’m a rapid cycler, I’ve been hypo-manic for weeks and yes headed towards the inevitable come down, the hideous depression and the dark. Black nothingness is something I understand, the concept I accept and am accustomed to. It’s always there, lurking, stalking, circling a part of my DNA. No, I cannot wish it away or yank it out like an abcessed, putrid smelling decayed tooth. The crash and burn snatches the pretty pieces of me, my self-worth, joy, hope, strength, wonder. Yes, I’m constantly skipping ahead to the future, not in a happy-go-lucky way but trying to map the least destructive, less painful route. I don’t even understand what’s happening to me, which thoughts to trust or block so how could you?

My worst fear, the one that buries me like a sinkhole is that I end up alone with my crazy. On the streets or even worse, like my father who had no idea who I was in the end. His crazy consumed him over an agonizing amount of days and years. It is slowly and excruciatingly doing the same to me. Silently, while I am screaming inside. I realize I am not going to win this war, I understand that. So why bother writing books no one will read? Painting rooms in a house I will surely have to leave. Why bother? When everything and everyone I love will die and be taken away. Why bother when I will be left insane, why the fuck should I care? About anything. God doesn’t. I’m not sure how much pain one body can endure, I’ve had more than one soul can carry. Today, I do feel sorry. I am allowed. But wallowing is dangerous, heartbroken tears make my eyes puffy, my heart heavy and the guilt of hurting those I love too heavy to bare.

I didn’t start the day with bad intentions. Most days I pretend happy, hoping it will rub off. For you and for me. For my benefit that I am indeed strong enough to cope with this bullshit brain that never stops the whirring, annoying chatter. If I do end up in the streets, so be it. I’d best plan now, pick a pretty, warm corner where the sun shines with a soothing view. The bastard disease has not yet ripped away my imagination. No, not yet that’s all mine.

My BFF talked me off the ledge, the pity party granted until noon and that’s all. The number of hours wasted, screamed, cried and hurled accusations at my mother is more shame than I care to remember. I insisted to my friend (when my head controls the dialogue I CANNOT think, to say I become irrational is being charitable) that I was ‘happy’ once, a ‘free-spirit’ which she quickly shot down. “Who is this person you’re talking about, that wasn’t you.”

I’ve been pretending so long since before I can remember, I don’t even know me. The lines dangerously crossed in my mind.

I’m not going to write books, do anything anymore. Why the fuck should I?

I quit. Why fight when there’s no winning? I can’t battle an invisible disease. Well, you have two choices and one is true midnight black nothingness. The other, keep breathing.

Do not feel sorry for me. Do not dare feel sorry for me. I do not want, need or ask for your pity. I’m sharing this because these words, my most hurtful truths, this unbearable pain, the incomprehensible fear someone else out there in a parallel world might be feeling them too.

Don’t judge my crazy or put a label on it for your comfort.

I did not ask for this mind, it’s what I got.

Tomorrow, tomorrow I’ll feel better. I probably won’t given the logic and the statistics, but tomorrow will come with or without me.

Fear has never been a friend of mine. Fuck it. Onward.

CRAZY, NOW GET OUT OF MY HEAD.

I am writing.

truth always wins.

GEORGIA PINE

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