Straight Talk on Mental Illness

Straight Talk on Mental Illness Part I

On March 19, 2017 I recorded a video about the prevalence of mental illness in adults, teenagers and those with chronic illnesses.

Here is the link to the video I recorded:  https://www.facebook.com/events/704566376371322/?active_tab=discussion

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Memoir, Mental health

Behind the Writer

I’m sitting here in my office with the pellet stove roaring away. It’s comfortably warm in this room, but inside me is a whirlwind of thoughts and emotions. You see, I’m not just a writer. First and foremost I am a child of God and I suffer from PTSD, generalized anxiety disorder, and depression. Why am I telling you this? Because I am going to be making blog posts about mental illness that will relate to my upcoming book about my journey through mental illness. And because I’m not afraid to admit that I have a mental illness.

Sometimes, I think that having a mental illness can make us more creative individuals because we look for creative ways to work out the pain that is deep inside. So deep it stays well hidden until we are alone and then we can contain it no longer.

Open the flood gates. Our emotions either come out as a trickle or a roar whether through tears, or through creative means. Or both.

So now you know more about me. But you’ll learn even more as I go along. 😉

Voice4Society

Article for Voice4Society

Okay so I have been working on this one article and have over 1000 words typed up, but wouldn’t you know it. Something already doesn’t feel right about it. I think I may have to go through it and do some reworking. My plan was to have this article done and submitted to Voice4Society by tomorrow evening, but I don’t think I am going to make the deadline I had planned. That doesn’t mean I am not going to try my darndest though. Sure as heck am!

I don’t usually work with outlines, but I think I may have to in this instance. When I am working on the article, I am not only typing up what I have written, but find that when I am typing, I am adding in things I hadn’t thought of previously, however, they may not be in the order I would like to talk about them. Hmm….

The next step, I think I will finish going through the motions of typing and adding in what comes to mind that pertains to the  piece I am working on. If it is one thing I have learned is not to rework something before you even have the rough draft. It totally interrupts the flow of creativity. Best to get everything down first and then go back and do some reworking.

I also need to come up with a title for this piece as well. It is about grief and I was intending to capture my experience with losing a parent while a teenager, however, there are other instances of grief and variances of grief that people feel when it is a parent, a sister, brother, aunt, uncle, cousin, grandparent, pet, etc. All of these have their own degree of pain and loss, depending on how close one is to their family, friends and pets.

Hmmm… my mind is going in a few directions now as I continue to type this blog entry. I see several ways I could go:

1) Personal experience article with loss of parent while I was a teenager

2) Personal experiences with losing pets

3) Personal experiences with losing a classmate

4) Personal experience with losing grandparents

5) Personal experience with losing a teacher/family friend

Okay… so this list can go a little further…..and these are all referring to loss and grief by way of death. It just occurred to me that there are other forms of grief as well such as school friends going off to college and losing touch, or parents divorcing, not being able to keep a pet due to allergies, etc. Grief takes many forms, more so than I had previously thought when beginning my article.

Huh….talk about so many ideas I am not sure which way to go for this one article. I will do some thinking and praying about this and will probably contact Voice4Society and see what they prefer right now. Won’t hurt to ask.

Well, guess it is off to get to work. Best of luck to all you writers out there! God bless!

Book Reviews

Rev. Robert E. Stoudt’s Valley of Depression, Mountain of Victory

Just a few minutes ago I finished reading, Valley of Depression, Mountain of Victory, by Rev. Robert E. Stoudt. In his book, Pastor Stoudt talks about this decent into depression, which we all know can happen in various ways, but for him, it was due to several deaths happening close together. When you read through this book you will discover how life became hard for him during his depression and panic attacks and what things he did that helped get through that valley of darkness and how God helped him back to the top of the mountain top.

This book is full of insight into the world of depression and how it can change one’s life, yes, even a Pastor’s life. No one is safe from depression and can people of all ages and of any race and in any career. Pastor Stoudt also offers several references into the Bible that support and add to his writing and show, clearly, how God is there to help you through affliction and that afflictions helps us to grow stronger and be more Christ-like, which is what we Christians strive for.

You will also find poetry and lyrics in this book that are a beautiful addition to this work.

I admit, I really felt for Pastor Stoudt in this book, knowing myself what it was like going through depression, and quite a while I was praying to God for help in my own writing because I could not figure out what to write about. When I started reading Valley of Depression, Mountain of Victory it was like BAMB! God had given me my answer. Like Pastor Bob, I too could write about what caused my depression and anxiety disorder and how my faith also helped me through to that mountain top. I could not believe through months of prayer and waiting on God for an answer of what He would like me to do, that my answer would come from reading a book. But that’s just the thing with God. He gives you answers when you least expect it and in ways you never think of. He is full of surprises and that is just one of the things I enjoy about my relationship with God. He never ceases to amaze me.

Above, I briefly wrote about Pastor Stoudt’s book, but I plan on writing a  more detailed review of his book soon. Then to follow that will be an author interview. So please check back in couple of weeks or so for those items.

The next book by an Indie author is The Spirit Keeper by Melissa Luznicky Garret. You can find out more about Melissa by visiting her blog.

I’ll be back soon! 😉

Camp NaNoWriMo

Day 25 of Camp NaNo – Early Morning

 

It’s just after 1:40AM when I’m writing this. I have been working on my book for a couple of hours, trying not to be distracted by other things. It’s VERY hard to do some times. When I started writing I had, 26,892 words and at quitting time I had 29,376 for a total of 2,484 words written this time. Now I just need to update the Camp NaNo site with my new word count.

I am working on chapter three right now and I so wanted to finish it tonight…er….this morning, however, when the screen starts to get fuzzy even though you’re wearing your glasses and your stomach starts to get upset and you can’t stop yawning, I’m guessing those are VERY good indicators it’s time to stop pushing myself into the feeling sick territory and go to bed.

I need to get my mind of depression and find something happy to think about before bed. Hope I can do that, but I have a feeling after my head hits the pillow I’ll be out.

I feel great after my accomplishment and getting further in this book and I pray all you other NaNoers are making progress as well. If not, don’t give up. Writing isn’t always an easy thing to do. I had a hard time starting earlier on the 24th but by late that evening everything just began to flow. Strange how that happens. You just never know when the time is going to be right for your those words to fly from your brain to the keyboard.

One of my favorite quotes is: “Never give up hope…at least not so early in the fight.” ~ Rayden, Mortal Kombat Annihilation

Miss watching that movie! Sorry. I had better get to bed before I start rambling some more. Night all and many blessing for another day! 🙂

 

Camp NaNoWriMo

Day 24 for August Camp NaNo 2012

 

It’s after 10PM on the east coast and I have the opportunity to work on my memoir about depression, what caused it, and how I came out of it with God‘s help.

The desire to write, to tell my story is there, but also lingering within me is fear. Fear of going back to those places that caused such pain and sadness. It is hard to write about one’s experiences in relation to hard times especially losing not only one loved one, but several. I sit here with a need to tell my story believing what I say may help someone out there, but also that writing it out may be therapy for me, and praise to God who helped me through that valley to the mountain top so to speak.

But how to get through those moments that make you want to cry…or just push the book off somewhere else and find something else to work on. Just because I don’t feel depressed, doesn’t mean that the pain of losing someone is gone. It’s still there and I believe that is what is causing me to struggle on with this book. I believe that God puts struggles in our path for a reason and that is to help us grow to become stronger for whatever purpose He may have for us. Since I believe this, and since I believe that with God I have nothing to fear, I must practice what I believe and press on.

So currently, my book stands at 26,892 words. I will now end this post and work more on my book and write another post before I hit the sack and let you all know how I have done. But first, a little prayer to God to help me with this journey.

Back later!

 

Camp NaNoWriMo

21st Day of August Camp NaNo

 

I haven’t done ANY writing on my book today. Spent about four hours working on my cooking and catering course through the Stratford Career Institute while my 3 yr old daughter did her “school work” on abcmouse.com. We just signed her up today and started her on the preschool level. I gave her several chances to take a break but she loved it so much she didn’t want to quit! lol. So I just finished my school work and took my second exam and got a 95! Yea!

But anyway, back to my Camp NaNo story. I don’t have a title for it yet, but it is about my story on depression and how I got through it…however, I have  an idea for another book has been really working in my head. I keep trying to push it away. I’ll have to save it for the November NaNo.

So tonight, while my husband works on writing a computer program for me, I’ll be working beside him on my Camp NaNo story for this month. Only have a little over 26,000 words. Not sure if I’ll make the goal, but I’m dang well gonna try. Thing is writing about depression and things that cause it is hard. Brings back some emotions so I’ll have to do a little at a time and then have a “happier” break before bed like watching some comedy or something

Well, the dinner bell is ringing folks so I best go and get the hubby and daughter some dinner and get myself some while I’m at it. Then we’ll tend the garden, get the daughter to bed and then it is writing time!!! Or…that’s that plan..but we all know plans can change, don’t we? lol

See later my friends. I will be back later tonight with another report on my progress. Cheers!

~Janis~

 

General Updates

A Personal Decision

For all of my readers whether on my blog or Facebook, I feel I need to let you all know I am taking a break from writing and not sure when I will get back to it. I have been going through depression for over seven years, but I have reached a phase in my recovery where I need to take time off from the career (writing) that I was pursuing. I can’t handle the stress it brings and I just have so much fatigue, and trouble focusing, and little motivation to do anything. Things are a LOT better than they used to be so I know therapy and such are working, but right now, I need to take a break from things and just let myself read some self help books and meditate on what I learn and just take it easy and try to enjoy life as it is…learn to accept the positive changes in my life and embrace them and NOT be afraid of them. So, I have some things to focus on in my personal life, so you may not see me post for a while at least not about writing projects. On Facebook, you won’t seem promoting any of my work and I probably won’t be participating in Camp NaNo or National Novel Writer’s Month this year.

I hope you all understand. This break will give me time to reflect on the changes in my life, how to accept them and deal with all of the hardships and changes I’ve been through as a result.  I am on a journey of self discovery…and only God knows where that will lead me.

God bless you all in all you do as he guides you on the right path.

Janis

Camp NaNoWriMo, november nano, PTSD, Writing Updates

So Many Ideas

Okay, so my mind is going totally crazy with all sorts of ideas. I have two books I started last year. One was with Camp NaNo and the other was with the regular NaNoWriMo. So I could work on those…but then my mind is like, you have been through some things that could help others like PTSD, Depression, Anxiety, being highly sensitive to certain things, gluten intolerance…why not write those first since more people would benefit? Then, there are these ideas for creating a magazine or two, problem with that is getting contributors who will work for free at the start. Ugh!!! I desire to write, but why can’t I decide what to write about? Can’t figure out why this decision is so hard!

Has anyone else run into this same problem? Maybe it’s just something someone with the “idealist” personality goes through such as me. I am an INFP.

So darned hard to focus on one thing. But I think I will work on the book about PTSD since I most have that written, just need to make some changes and I’ll be done with the first draft.

After that will be the book on gluten intolerance, which I have mostly written as well and just need to make a few changes on that will have another rough draft.

Wow! Guess I was closer to having two more books done and didn’t even realize it. I think after those two books are done I can make another decision on what to write. I will keep everyone updated on my progress. Best of luck to everyone!

PTSD

Dilema – Fiction or Nonfiction on PTSD Novel

So for the past few weeks I have not gotten any writing done. Why, you may ask? Because I can’t decide on whether to write a book on my experience with post traumatic stress disorder as nonfiction, or write in a fictional way but have it “based on a true story”.  So many questions run through my head:

1) Which version would hold the most weight my audience?

2) Which would be the most beneficial to others if they read my story?

3) In which version, would be the easiest for me to tell my story?

If you were to read a book on someones experience with post traumatic stress, would you want to read the true account, or would your rather read it in a fictional context, but know that the events that happened in the book were true? I welcome any feedback.