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Thursday, October 19, 2017

Time to Pack!

It's finally here... a much needed getaway with my dear friend. The timing could not be more perfect. I need to fellowship with her, pour over the Bible, cry, laugh, maybe even yell. All the pent up emotions need to come out, be dissected, and put on paper for the book we are writing. I need to be face down, on the floor with worship music playing, begging the Holy Spirit to renew my strength, declutter my mind, and create in me a pure heart again. I need Him to renew my hope. I need to hug my friend and feel loved and valued as she reminds me of the limitless number of Bible verses she has memorized. I need to escape this world, emptying myself of me so I can be filled with Jesus.

It's finally here.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Nothing Lasts Forever

I wrote the following 2 years ago:

Just realized I asked Sunday school class to pray for my estranged relationship with my mom because we haven't talked in awhile. Weird. Out of the blue, she texted me. I didn't respond, but I've had Crohns ever since. Two of my closest friends are meeting with me to discuss what happens if something happens to me. I'm 46 and finally realized who my true unconditional family is, and it's liberating not to settle anymore for people playing games. I forgive, yet I invest my energy in those who have proven they love and accept me, and always have time for me. I feel like I'm part of 2 families now.

Today, I am struggling with feeling all alone. Friendships come and go. Nothing lasts forever. No one lasts forever.  *Cue existentialist quotes.

The Reference Desk: How to Write and Publish Books - LifeWay Women All Access

The Reference Desk: How to Write and Publish Books - LifeWay Women All Access: Once a month, you’re going to hear from some of our authors or from our team on how we study the Bible, what resources we use, and what questions we ask. Submit your questions related to these topics by filling out the form here! Many of you have asked about writing and publishing a book, so we …

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Full Time Writer

 I found a healthy escape instead of spiraling down into the pit of self-destruction. Everyone has ways to escape life's realities, when you cannot take any more stress. Since childhood, writing has been my escape. I've been gifted with a creative imagination, in fact, it's been a main survival tool.

Being a writer can be solace for my mental health. When my muse is flowing, there's a vivid fantasy land going on inside my head. My dream is to live on a boat, alone with my cat and golden retriever, on the ocean away from civilization. I've lived alone since I was 22 and have had to fight staying in my home all day. Writing, reading, praying, Bible study... those are my daily needs.

As a therapist AND as a member of God's family, I know how isolating is frowned upon. I get sick of hearing about the need to get out, socialize, blah, blah, blah. Leave me alone with the ponders in my head!

Recently, my health has declined significantly as I experience middle age. I fall a lot, can't control my bowels, have severe panic attacks, etc. After much prayer, I believe God is telling me it's okay to isolate, to live like a Baptist nun, on one condition: I share His love with others.

He has blessed me with an insatiable thirst for His Word, along with an understanding of how to apply Scripture to life today. The more quiet time I spend with Him, the more writing I share from His insights, the less time I have to worry. He moved me away from my childhood home. I started over in my college city, made new friends, and have a whole wonderful life! I still cannot grasp THIS IS REAL. I'M A FULL TIME WRITER. I no longer have guilt for being a hermit.

The funny thing is, my friends support me for who I am instead of pressuring me to "get out more". Even the writer's group I joined tell me come to meetings whenever I want. We keep in touch on Facebook.

So today I am working on my Christian Fiction manuscript where Gabriel Byrne is the protagonist. Basically, I'm daydreaming about being in private practice, using my expertise in psychology as research, advocating for disabilities... in Nantucket... I'm working. Alone.

Life is better than I've ever dreamed or imagined. I truly never wanted to marry or have kids. My heart's desire has been being like Emily Dickinson - a reclusive writer. God has given me the desires of my heart... and so much more.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Oh My Soul

Since Dad died, there's a song that comforts me, but I didn't know the name of it. I wanted to add it to the Quiet Time playlist for Karen and me to get on our knees and connect with Jesus next weekend. After hours of searching, I gave up. I knew it said "this is the one thing you didn't see coming", and "I am not strong enough, I can't take anymore".

I said nothing to Karen. She sent me this song to add to our playlist.

THIS IS THE SONG!!!!

https://youtu.be/DjNZf878ISQ

Christmas in October

Christmas is next weekend for me because Karen and I are celebrating the true meaning of Christmas. Nothing from the outside world. We are staying in our PJ's, worship music playlists, and we each have been compiling Bible verses for each other.  Just her and me. That will be my Christmas. I get so jealous everyone has family for holidays... well, I am making next weekend my Christmas. On the actual Christmas and Thanksgiving days, I take sleeping pills to escape the holidays. Yet this way, I am celebrating the TRUE MEANING of Christmas.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Sexual Abuse Scandal

I apologize for my transparency this morning -actually, I  don't. Don't read if I am too candid. Watching the news about the women who kept quiet when the producer sexually abused them... don't judge them. You make a choice. You weigh your consequences. I spoke out against my predators... and I was told to not speak about it, I was overreacting, and I became the "bad guy" both in my family and later in my church. If I would've kept quiet, my life would appear much easier on the outside. But I am a child of God. I trust Him. The world can turn against me, but He never will. So as a nonconformist, I speak up when it's "uncomfortable" for others. And I suffer the consequences. But I have my dignity and self-respect... no regrets.

World Mental Health Day

I lost my 2 closest friends when my dad died... pushed them both away. The 2 people I talked to daily... we have stopped talking. Let me just say YOU NEVER DEFEND MY RELATIVE'S ACTIONS!

Mental illness sucks. It truly alters your thoughts and reactions. I am guarded again  only around people for Jireh. That girl is the only thing that gets me out of bed. After my  girl's weekend, I am making no plans until after the holidays. The dreaded holidays.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Peace

Meditating on "peace"- reading 1 Thessalonians 5:3, which says "while people are saying,  "Peace and safety,' destruction will come on them suddenly..." - scary. Verses like this are why we must read scripture in context of where it appears in the Word. Skeptics use examples like this to claim the Bible contradicts itself, which it does not. Here Paul is speaking of those living in the darkness. Christians are children of the light. (as verse 5 continues).

2 Corinthians 4:4 says "the god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers,  so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ..."

Praise God once we make Him Lord of our lives, He opens our eyes to the Light, which is Christ!

Living in the Light gives us genuine peace.

*excerpt from upcoming devotional, "Falling Into Grace".

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Friends Means More Than Football

Getting excited about a trip my friend set up for us weekend after next... you'll never guess where...GAINESVILLE! It's the midpoint between the two of us. She told me we won't go to University of Florida. I said BECAUSE SHE WENT TO THAT SCHOOL, I WANT to go. I want a tour of all her memories. I want her to take me back to her college years so I can know her better. The University is part of her. And I love her. I want to visit what helped shaped HER.

An anchor just talked about how his alumnus, University of Miami had the greatest win of ten years last night. He didn't bash the loser, (which happened to be FSU), he merely expressed the passion for his school. As a FSU grad, I found that classy and respectful.

As for my weekend in Gainesville, I am so honored she is taking time out of her busy life just for me. Now, I have to find something to wear since 75% of my wardrobe is garnet and gold. I definitely won't be borrowing her Gator clothes. I do have limits.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

I NEVER Learn

BAM! Mother got me AGAIN! I NEVER LEARN! I'm fine. Jireh got me laughing, so I tried calling Cathy, then Jen - who let me vent... and we realized how awesome God's plan is once again. If I didn't have mental illnesses, I never would've went in the psychiatric hospital 3 times right after I got Jireh, and Jen wouldn't have kept Jireh for 3 months when she was a puppy. God used Jen as a vessel to shape Jireh's personality. Also, Jen went on to train her Golden to be a therapy dog after meeting me. She has been working with people with disabilities ever since... Jen and I went our separate ways friendship-wise. We only talk about Jireh. I called today to thank her again for Jireh and told her no matter how bad life gets, I will never take my life AS LONG AS Jireh is alive and well. And I realized our friendship went separate ways because I needed to rely more on God than Jen... Wow.

Friday, October 6, 2017

It's All God

I am the queen of thank you notes. I have always written notes for every act toward me. So many have showed unending kindness, I feel words on paper is demeaning compared to the love shown me. So I have been waiting to think of a comparable action which to respond. This morning, I read Psalms 54:4 - "Surely God is my help, my Lord is the one who sustains me.".

Wow. Thanking my friends for their immerse kindness is not as intimidating when I realize God is the source of every good thing!

Palm Trees and Blanket

Remember how scared I was yesterday? I received a palm tree blanket from Gidget at 3:30. Palm trees are my reminder from God that He loves me. So I thanked Gidget, went to bed with my fresh smelling blanket and fell asleep. I woke up at 7:30, phone lit up (ringer silenced) with Gidget calling to check on me. Tried staying awake to watch Scandal, wrapped in blanket... didn't make it. Just woke up (NO MIGRAINE!) feeling great!! God ALWAYS takes care of me. Always. I get sidetracked by the world, my faith wavers, yet He always brings me back. When we belong to Him, no matter the situation, He's got us.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

I'm Scared

Anxiety is really intense this morning. I'm scared. Not sure what I am scared of. Since I don't know what the source of my fear is, I don't want to leave my bed. This has happened before, where I am scared to leave my bedroom. My bedroom! I run to the bathroom and back.

My hope is this doesn't last. The thing about mental illness is you never know when symptoms will hit... or when they will go away.

I texted a few friends early this morning. One of them texted me this quote and said she will call me this afternoon.

That helped.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

I'm Human

This blog is about faith, coping through adversity, perseverance. God has rescued me many times from humanly hopeless situations. My life circumstances have been so much worse than it is now. In fact, I am in the best situation of my life when the absolute reality of my life is concerned. I've been homeless, cold, starving, abused, trapped, and on the verge of insanity.

Thank God,I am safe, in my favorite city, writing full-time. I don't have to deal with bosses, don't have to answer to anyone, and love my freedom.

The fact is it has been a hard month. I lost the relationships of two of my closest friends,one of who regularly helped me financially... the other, I feel our lifelong friendship was rocked, and I don't know if it will ever be the same... in fact, I know it won't. After some time, maybe we can be close again. She did not intend to hurt me, and I go by intentions. She was trying to help, yet I can't get past my perceptions. So I am mourning the loss of 3 significant relationships. And it hurts. It angers me. It depresses me. It scares me.

It scares me because I am reconsidering things I thought were defeated. Things messing with my faith. I still have faith, still believe God has a better plan than I can dream of, and He can change my circumstances in the blink of an eye.

But my depression is looming. My agoraphobia is returning. And hopelessness is creeping in.

My dream is to rent an RV when my lease is up so I can get out of this neighborhood and live in a spacious campground. Seems impossible. I'm telling God this is the desire of my heart. But sometimes, God answers our prayers only to face worse consequences. In the Bible, King Hezekiah prayed his life would be extended 15 years. The results was Manasseh became King after Hezekiah, leading to the worship of idols and a completely corrupt nation. This would have never happened if King Hezekiah had followed God's will.

I don't know what is going to happen. All I can pray is God's will be done.

Moving Forward

Growing means letting go, walking away, reevaluating reality, and setting new goals. It is mourning the old, celebrating the new. Putting away the things that meant so much to make room for what's to come. It's scary, challenging, and exciting. But once you make the decision to embrace what experiences have shaped you to be, there is no looking back. Your next chapter needs to be written.

I love this quote -
“If we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that Our Lord finds our desire not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, we are like ignorant children who want to continue making mud pies in a slum because we cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a vacation at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.” -C.S; Lewis

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Peace Amidst Tragedy

John 14--- The Spirit will never leave us as orphans; He answers our prayers to glorify the Father; He gives us PEACE the world does not understand; He shows himself to those who believe; He makes my heart His home...

I personally love how Jesus said, " If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father "

I love Jesus! In the evil of this world, Jesus said this would happen in the end times. I can't help believing Jesus is coming back soon...

Monday, October 2, 2017

Friends for a Loner

So excited about a Girl's Weekend coming later in the month!

I often say I don't have many close friends... I do have friends who share specific interests. An upcoming weekend would be boring to most... but it is PERFECT for me!

My friend, Karen and I both have the Holy Spirit speak to us through Scripture  (and life), and both of us are writers. So we are shutting ourselves in a cottage together with no distractions, except Christian music. Sounds so BORING, yet it is a DREAM GETAWAY for me!

Isn't it cool we all have different friends for different interests? Sue and I are silly, laughing, joking, doing my hair. I have my Turtle Friend, Michele, writer friends who go to weekend poetry readings, Jennifer who loves goldens, my friend, Brian and I talk about philosophy and Existentialism, Dr. Gorman and I discuss neurobiology... I love it!

We are texting each other as I write this, planning like little girls going to a sleepover.

"We can write ideas and revelations from Jesus.  Maybe even an hour or two of writing per day to get us in the habit?"

And:

"I need to get away!! I'm sooooo looking forward to this time w you and the Lord!! We can eat simply and have more time for praise Prayer and worship.".

I am so excited! Maybe I am not a complete loner afterall.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Puerto Rico

Let me vent for a second. Please, don't blame and argue when people are hurting.  I have learned this following the death of my father - which is totally unrelated to Puerto Rico. My circle of people I talk to has greatly decreased because arguing with someone when a crisis is occurring only adds fuel to the fire. I chose loneliness and isolation over defensiveness and hurt.

This is happening with the President.

I am seriously sending this guy a thesaurus. HE DRIVES ME CRAZY WITH HIS LACK OF COMPASSION AND LIMITED VOCABULARY!

My opinion - PEOPLE ARE DYING! DON'T KICK THEM DOWN MORE! EVEN IF YOU ARE SENDING SUPPLIES, OBVIOUSLY, THERE'S A KINK IN THE HOSE! FIX IT!  

Notice I am not arguing with Puerto Rico, the people who are hurting.  It's the leader I am frustrated with.

Watching videos such as this reminds me of the lack of compassion in the world today.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Poem - Me Now

Had another setback yesterday. Then again, I had several blessings.

Wrote this poem to check in-

Me Now

While my mind is racing, my heart's at peace.
Seeing my character since dad has deceased
Following my Jesus, keeping Him near,
I like who I see when I look in the mirror.

Unconventional, I trek against every grain. Not listening to those who call me insane.
No more do I settle, predictable - I am not.
Having very little, yet loving all I've got.

You may kick me down, for awhile, I may stay.
But God's always with me each second of the day.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Ready For Heaven

Knowing heaven awaits believers when they pass away, I have never understood why people tell me "don't say that!" when I say I am ready to be with Jesus. We use to sing about being homesick for heaven and the center of Christianity is following Christ. I am ready to reach Him.

Reading 2 Corinthians 5 is very comforting to me as I anticipate the day My Father calls me home.
In 2 Corinthians 5, there is a description of how God created us to long for heaven. The Bible says we moan and groan in our temporary homes on earth until we reach our eternal home in heaven.

So I may make a sign saying READ 2 CORINTHIANS 5 the next time someone tells me don't say I am ready to go to Jesus.

"For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling,because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked.For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord.For we live by faith, not by sight.We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it." - 2 Corinthians 5:1-9

Checking In

Checking in for those worried and praying... I am okay. Talking to a couple friends daily. Learning so much about myself, the biggest practical fact is there are people who respect me despite my unconventional beliefs. Be you. Stand by your beliefs. Most will leave your side. The ones who stay are genuine keepers.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Living Proof

My reality.

Matter of Perspective

I've had it all, according to the "world". Many boyfriends, lots of friends, teaching grad students at UCF, writing for UF, speaking statewide for the Department of Education, my own Private Practice making $120 hour in 2000 - 2005... sports cars, luxury trips, books published... there was always something missing... time alone with Jesus.

You pity me... I pity you. I live in my favorite place in the world, FINALLY living authentically for the first time in my life. I have had the life the world says is successful. No thanks. I want MY LIFE. Don't try to change me, please.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

It's Hitting Me

I was never close to my dad. I'm not going to act like we were really close and I would do anything to have him back.

It's more the fact my dad died. A momentous event forcing me to search within and look deep down.the 

I'm in the anger stage. Wanting  to completely isolate and just stay in bed. People irritate me, and I am about to lose friends again. I finally opened my planner this morning, and my last entry was asking God to take me to the next phase in my life... then I got the call Dad was dying. I changed my profile photos because I am not pretending I was close to him. I never was. He was my dad and I  am heartbroken he died. Yes. But I can't romanticize the situation by pretending we had something we didn't. I am so empowered that I succeeded in saying goodbye to him. That was beautiful, and I followed my heart. It is a new phase. Facebook is such a facade to act like you are best friends with people and close. It's stupid. And I am not wasting my time with things and people who do not matter anymore.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Falling Rocks and The Solid Rock

My father passed away two days ago. I am doing much self-reflection, which will make for innovative writing material.

God has truly carried me through. Despite multiple health issues, I drove from Tallahassee to Tennessee with my Jireh. In the fog and darkness of mountains, somehow, I remained calm navigating signs like "Falling Rocks" and "No Shoulders". At several points,  there was no phone reception.

Exhausted, I kept going, racing to get to my dad before he died. As the Bible says, I kept focused on running the race ahead of me. I stared at Truck lights in front of me, imagining Jesus, the Ultimate Light, was guiding my path. I dared not look to the right or left... I dared not waver.

Praise God, I made the trip safely. I kind of felt like Elijah during his journey!

Now, I haven't gotten out of bed, haven't eaten or written. Maybe tomorrow. God taught me so much these past few days.

Still, the "Falling Rocks" started when I got home. Mental rocks. I had the 3rd black out of my life due to mental and physical exhaustion. 

I may take a short break from writing and functioning... as I regain my balance... on Christ the solid Rock I stand.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Heart Stuff

Emotional Rant-
Life goes on, right? My best guy friend was supposed to come up this past weekend, but he has acquired new responsibilities and I didn't hear from him until yesterday when I texted where was he. We finally talked, and after much heartbreak, we agreed it was time to end our friendship. Yes, the same guy who promised to be there when Jireh died just 3 days prior. I don't blame him. I see this as part of God's plan. One day, I will understand but right now... it really, really hurts. I have been praying about going back to BSF, and I feel God telling me no. It's strange to think I am not supposed to go to a Bible Study, meeting other Christians, yet He keeps giving me reasons not to go- He wants my writing about Him a priority; my health problems limit how long I can be away from home; the thought of filling out "emergency contact" and hearing about other's talk about their families; and my desire to interpret Scripture through the Holy Spirit.

His answer becomes clearer every time I pray. I am scared. The guy friend was my main support. I wanted to meet other people to help if I get in trouble, especially with holidays coming. I miss his company.

And I think maybe that is part of the reason we parted... I am finally strong enough in my faith and far enough in my Spiritual walk to know God wants to be all of this and more for me.

Most of you will likely pity me... please don't. I am so honored God created me to have such a personal relationship with Him that I feel His presence and trust Him. And I know my relationship with Jesus will never end.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Anxiety Help?

Article claims song calms anxiety here.

Sure hope so as my anxiety meds are no longer working. Comment below if it helps you.

Blogging Business

The number of people reading my blog posts has multiplied by TEN! WOO HOO! My goal for this week is MARKETING, MARKETING,  MARKETING. Hard work and persistence pays off. Focusing on your brand is key as you form online communities with others who share your passions. For example, I will be connecting with other brain geeks, psychotherapists, writers, and Bible scholars. Mental health and physical rehabilitation white papers intended for professional submission, as well as material from two of my book manuscripts will also be peppered throughout. 
Back to my cave I go, being a recluse. My happy place. 
By the way, I am LOVING Instagram's new story features. Add me, and click on my story as I post throughout the day. My IG is Shellyedsfsu.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Tallahassee

I love Tallahassee.
I found this in last year's journal:

Bam! Got kitty litter before people came out at 5am. Heard football player talking about upcoming game. He goes to FSU full time, then practice, then works all night. Then I saw a nurse who works 2 full time jobs to care for her kids. The moon over canopy trees warms my heart. I am safe. People go the other way when Jireh has her vest on. She walks bolder... "No one better mess with my mom!". I got this... ummm... God's got this.

And this is from 2013 when I lived in Central Florida-

Though nobody asks me, I miss Tallahassee.
I get homesick sometimes, when it comes to my mind.
Oh, sure, I’ll move back… within the next year, in fact.
My heart was left there, where I soar through the air.
Dreams come alive – in this place where I thrive.
Doak, Bills, FSU…how my heart misses you.
‘Til days of my old, my heart beats Garnet & Gold.
Absence leaves a deep hole, ’Cause I’m a true Seminole.

----
It's good to be home.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Arrogance

I was told to put more substance in my blog posts instead of mere poems. Lately, I've been hesitant to write for fear of coming off as arrogant. I likely will in this post. Maybe it is healthy self-esteem I'm experiencing and I'm so unfamiliar with excelling at something, that I shrug it off as arrogance. 

My writing seems mediocre to me. When people respond to my emails complimenting my word flow, I'm taken back. I just write! I have a friend who has an amazing vocabulary and talking with him awakens my brain as he invokes such deep thought when we talk. And reading his emails brings me back to college writing classes when I savored the written word like a fine wine. He says he wishes he could write like me, when I am jealous of his relationship with words. Anyway, it is hard for me to write when I feel my writing is blah. Then I see the "Dolphin Tale" movie which totally stole my "Dillon the Dolphin" story and Perez Hilton wrote a Children's book and I arrogantly think, "I can do better than THAT", and I think maybe I need to push my  writing. Or maybe it's conceit.

Counseling, on the other hand, I tend to be OVERCONFIDENT. I know clinical psychology like the back of my hand, psychopathology is my second language, and empathy is God's gift to me. I thrive on helping individuals who have seemingly impossible life crises as the Holy Spirit gives me words of comfort and healing to give them. I guess having a life crisis and having my church join alliances with my enemy in trying to have me committed makes me determined to prove not all Christians sweep problems under the rug in denial. I am still very bitter with my former church and wouldn't wish that type of (ahem) "guidance" on my worst enemy. People need compassion, love, and understanding. I provide these things when counseling the wounded. I am an incredible counselor. Arrogance.

Finally, the Bible. I know the Bible because I know my Jesus. I have spent infinite hours studying scripture, praying and being with Christ. After this 20 year pattern, I know Him in an extraordinary way. It's hard to remain silent in Bible studies. Why? Arrogance. So I refrain from writing blog entries when I have such a chip on my shoulder. 

Truth is, I have no reason for arrogance, just as I have no reason to deny my gifts. They are God's.

Ephesians 2:8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.

1 Corinthians 4:6 "... Do not go beyond what is written.” Then you will not be puffed up in being a follower of one of us over against the other. 7 For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Prayer Poem

Trying to follow You, Wanting to follow through-
Path is wild with vines, from avoiding so many times.
Depression is under control, but anxiety has taken hold.
Must chose to do what's right, Lord, shine on my path Your light.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

What An Inspiration

There are individuals who leave you speechless by their character. Individuals who are so positive, you reevaluate the world when you are alone. These individuals are extremely rare. One of them, well, two of them, just left my home after a year of no contact.

I am being vague for privacy reasons, and only speak of HER... we were friends until I hurt her. Instead of lashing out at me, she simply walked away because it was the healthy thing for her to do.

The next time I heard from her was a couple years later, DURING A HURRICANE CURFEW, asking if I needed help... and they brought me food. My closest friends didn't check on me, but she did.

I didn't hear from her again until the other night when another hurricane hit. "Shelly, this is ----. Do you need help?". And she checked on me a few times until the hurricane was over.

The couple just left after helping me with my dog. I am incredibly inspired by her. Not many people successfully stay in Tallahassee after college graduation because interns work for dirt cheap. Jobs are hard to come by. After 20 years of trying, I was finally able to move back after living on SSDI and writing. I am thankful to live paycheck to paycheck... until now.

My friend bought a house. She is fulfilling her goals, living her self-determined quality of life. My goals are different: I don't want a house, I want a RV and a boat. My friend has worked hard to become a success. Not just financially, but socially, educationally, etc..

Wow. What an exceptional couple... what an inspiration.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

The Air I Breathe

I was so afraid my power would go out in the hurricane since the eye was directed right to me. With respiratory problems, I was especially scared. But God had me... I never lost power. As Job 33:4 says, the Lord Almighty is my breath of life. With friends texting me throughout the night, praying with me while they were in the worst part of the storm, I was never alone. My God, You are the air I breathe.

Monday, September 11, 2017

True Friends

Okay. Had quality time with God. Feeling much better. I am so sorry I got irritable when people were loving on me and checking on me. Forgive me. I am learning. I have the best friends ever. Thank for understanding when I get in self-preservation mode. Last night, 3 close friends and I were in a private chat group and every time I woke up, we checked in with each other. And they were getting hit in Kissimmee!!!

I will never forget last night. I am not alone.

Hurricane Irma

I need to set better boundaries. I HAVE NOT HAD THE TIME TO SIT AT THE FOOT OF THRONE OF JESUS TO THANK HIM FOR PROTECTING ME... THANK YOU FOR EVERYTHING! I LOVE YOU ALL! BUT, I NEED TO BE WITH JESUS. HE COMES FIRST BEFORE ANYONE.

This is the farthest I have got in writing a letter to God after FOUR HOURS.

I AM FINE! POWER STAYED ON. I PRAY YOU ARE ALL OKAY! I AM COPYING THIS SO THE NEXT PERSON WHO ASKS IF I AM OKAY, I AM SENDING THIS.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Hurricane

So the hurricane is coming right towards Tallahassee, and one of the FEW bad things about Tallahassee is the power goes out easily and stays out for weeks. I have serious respiratory problems. Plus, the joys of menopausal hot flashes.

Needless to say, I am highly concerned. I know beggers can't be choosers. I know I could go to a shelter or nursing home. I am dead serious when I say I would end up in jail or psych ward. The other day when Jireh was sick and I was waiting at the pharmacy, I yelled in the phone with 20 people around, "You are making me mad and I am about to go postal!"

Luckily, I saw everybody look at me and had the sense of mind to calm down. There was a reason I was on Xanax. There was a reason I moved to Tallahassee and am so happy. I truly DO NOT LIKE PEOPLE. I have had enough of people in my lifetime, but God commands us to fellowship, and so I write. I Facebook. I Amazon. I avoid strangers. That is how I lived in my car. I won't lose water so I can read in my tub of cold water and put ice water on Ji.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Quiet Time Priority

Putting my Quiet Time first thing before anything else, especially checking my bank account, brings me so much peace.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Preparing for the Hurricane

Meditating on God's promises...

Let This Sink In

Know your circumstances are not related to God's love for you. Let that sink in. Instead of elaboration on my part, I pray God speaks to your heart.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Great Article Describing Depression

I can so relate to being too depressed to leave the house or even shower...
Bipolar Disorder, My Lost Years:

Currently, my anxiety is full blast, leading to Crohn's flare up, leading to Agoraphobia and Depression. I don't feel good AT ALL. Even having chest pains.

I think it stems from my faith is wavering. There is no doubt in my mind God keeps his promises, and I have several verses memorized about His provision, protection and comfort.

Fact is mental illness is real. I can't pray it away.  God says IF YOU BELIEVE, whatever you ask for in prayer, you will receive. However, it must be in accordance with God's plan and we must ask for the right reason.

A week from tomorrow Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) starts. I LOVE, LOVE BSF. I will meet fellow Biblical scholars who know and love the Bible as a  uBSF. We talk for HOURS about the Bible, and are trying to plan a weekend together, alone... with our Bibles.

But I can't "just go" to BSF.  I'm scared. I had an accident in my pants just typing this. My health conditions are overtaking me.

That's why I love this article. Mental illness is paralyzing.  God is powerful and superior. Yet we are human. And just "praying" is not the answer.

Monday, September 4, 2017

My Children's Book Series

Here is the link to my Children's Book Series

Revamping My Writing Career

A new season... literally! I've decided to stop looking back and strictly focus on my future... especially my faith. My health will not allow me to work a conventional job, but fortunately, I have been a freelance writer for years. I just haven't put too much energy into it. Although I have numerous publications, my publisher is lacking in timely Commission checks. Because Jireh went to the vet, needing medications and a toy to cheer her up, I am facing a month with no food or money. But, JIREH FEELS BETTER, and that's PRICELESS. 

Long story short, it's time to find a new publisher. And while I am at it, it's time to reapproach my writing career with definite changes. So if you are reading this entry and would like to exchange page links, I will connect readers to your blog if you return the favor.

My background is a licensed mental health counselors and Certified Rehabilitation  Counselor with extensive knowledge and experience in numerous psychological & physical conditions. 

At the age of 8, I began writing journals with poetry and I have continued for 40 years.

Currently, I am writing a textbook on aging with disabilities, a Bible study, and a collection of poetry. 

If you're a writer, please, introduce yourself. If you're a publisher, please email me at Shellyfsu@gmail.com. 

Nice to meet you!

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Bible Journaling

Whenever a verse speaks to me, I journal the date and event in my Bible. I just did this with the verse referenced in my Birthday card. This is my third journaling Bible. I have filled the first two with thoughts and feelings. This Bible is my letter back to God. I started Beth Moore's new Bible Study, "The Quest", which is PRECISELY about what I am doing.

Content

I like this picture. My hair, the Tallahassee trees, my brain, myself. I like who God created me to be. It took oceans of tears, kicking, screaming, cussing... at 48, I like who I see in the mirror.

Seminole for Life

Let me warn those who do not know... I am overly sensitive to people bashing my school, ESPECIALLY PEOPLE WHO DID NOT GO TO COLLEGE! Florida State Alumni is how I identify myself in this world. I do not belong to a family in the conventional sense. I decided to attend FSU because it was the farthest I could get away from my relatives. Everybody said I wouldn't make it... well, guess what?! My first psychiatric hospitalization was the summer I went to my parent's after 8 months in Tallahassee. I realized how "brainwashed" I had been... maybe that word is too harsh. My values no longer aligned with how I had been raised, ESPECIALLY after my lifelong pastor told me my depression was due to not being married.

What Satan meant as harm turned out to be for my good. I researched EVERY "religion' from atheism to Buddhism. And I began a 25 year journey of reading the Bible, praying, researching and.... ended up with my GREATEST TREASURE - A personal relationship with Jesus.  I KNOW Him because I spend infinite alone time with Him.

So I tell you right now... I am very difficult to be friends with. My fellowship is through my writing. I don't let many people in. If I let you in...you are one of a handful.

All this to say, PLEASE DO NOT BASH FLORIDA STATE ON MY PAGE! To me, it is like bashing my child. Don't do it.

Finally, if you notice, the people who actually attended the college usually are the ones who refrain from trash talk because we empathize with the underdog. It's the people who did not attend said college who talk the most smack.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Job Description

Jireh goes back to the vet this morning. Watching her in such misery yesterday was excruciating. I can't bare to recount the details. My baby was sick, and I went from feeling helpless to.... well, feeling responsible. My thoughts lingered on Jireh deserves a better mom. And thoughts ran off from there. Earlier, a friend offered to Skype with me so I didn’t feel alone. After saying I didn't want to talk, my friend offered to just be there, making sure I am okay. That meant so much.

With prayers asking for focus, I was able to spend time doing Bible study. Admittedly, I had some difficulty believing. No, I take that back. I fully believe God’s Word. I am afraid of His plan.

This morning, I told Jesus I can't handle seeing my dog in such misery. I wondered how my mom handled the uncertanties of my health issues.  God took care of me. He had His own plan.

Truth is Jireh is God's dog... He is allowing me to take care of her. My job is to take care of her until The Father wants her back. I can't handle this, but it's God's job.

Taking care of me is also His job. My job is to follow Jesus. I have to get back to work.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Praying as Escape

Whenever I get really frazzled, I turn to medications. I was about to take a lot of meds to sleep all day, to escape... I read my Scripture for today- 1 Peter 4:7 "...therefore, be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray. " I feel God telling me to PRAY instead of escaping by sleeping.

Please pray. Today started off horrifying. Thank you.

Numb

Jireh was up all night scratching. I put Addy's hot spot meds on her, praying it's okay for dogs. The ingredients matched. Now she's getting a rash on top of her head. I will take her to the vet when I get paid tomorrow. I am numb.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

It's Happening Again

Jireh finished her antibiotics but she is still itching. I just found this. Please pray Jireh heals soon...

Joel Osteen Scandal

There is major controversy over Joel Osteen and the Houston Storm.

Joel Osteen corrected his mistake. Move on. I still don't follow him because I don't agree with claiming the best so God gives you the best. Anyone who believes life should be that way for Christians has not followed the life of Jesus. Jesus suffered for us...and we have some audacity to expect a lavish lifestyle because we have faith. And thank God for mercy... Joel made a mistake... he fixed it. I thank God Jesus forgives me for my mistakes. And Jesus suffered for me, so I will suffer for Him.

You've heard/read in James "Faith without works is dead".... I could be wrong,  yet to me that means praying and "claiming" is not enough WHEN GOD GIVES US RESOURCES TO DO MORE.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Missing in Action

I know, I know... I haven't blogged... my life is (as everyone else's) filled with ups and downs. Normally, I can focus on God with unwavering faith... but this month GOT ME! The final straw was my best friend/assistance dog developed a nasty skin AND ear infection that made her miserable.

When my babies are sick, I go into BASIC SURVIVAL MODE.

Many kudos to mothers of two legged babies. My heart could not handle it.

Yesterday, Jireh started feeling better..So I told God how I need Him to give me the strength to persevere because I truly am in survival mode since Jireh has been sick... I read James how to consider it pure joy when we face trials... trials lead to perseverance to finish the work He created us to do. I prayed and journal.. got up to get a drink. Jireh was sleeping... she got up, AND BROUGHT ME HER BALL! She led me outside TO PLAY CATCH! SHE'S FEELING BETTER! Thank you, Lord.

So I will be catching up on writing, mainly on paper,  but on this blog as well. I also am interested in reading others blogs, so please leave me a comment if you have a blog I can link on my page.

Thank you.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Face It

I'm getting old. Seriously. My body is exhausted. Cerebral Palsy ages my body quicker than those not having a disability. My friends are not use to my limitations, and neither am I. Yet I notice the gradual decline. Remember, I have 6 or 7 disabilities, and I have always fought them.

This is not to be a pity post... more of an educational informative (is that redundant?) so other's know possibilities of what aging can bring.

It's hard to catch my breath. Sometimes, when I don't sit down and rest, my throat fills with phelm, making my choke. Sometimes my food won't go down because of the blockage.

My vision is going, and I can't read without glasses.

I no longer have control over Crohn's. Since my diagnosis in 11th grade, I could feel it coming and get to the restroom. Not anymore.

Walking is harder - no stamina.

Depression stays longer, and goes deeper. I've spent much time in the pit.  It's harder to get out.

Memory is bad. I forget how old I am, what friends I have walked away from,  and am losing things.

I could continue, but it would take too much time. I've been organizing so I know where to find things, and this has me drained.

Thank goodness I have a career in writing with intensive knowledge of Psychology and the Bible!

I sometimes think my death is getting close because I am facing possible colon cancer. This gives me a sense of energy to write, write, write so my life glorifies God. He is my strength.

Do what you can when you can. Life can pass by without your realization.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Art Accessibility

I've been escaping through art lately and letting my mind run free in pictures. I found this site  and thought you may like a "mental vacation". It's inspiring how people use their health conditions to express the un-expressible.

Here's a description about the art:
Artsy’s mission is to make all the world’s art accessible to anyone with an Internet connection. Artsy are a resource for art collecting and education.

Artsy's Artsy’s mission is to make all the world’s art accessible to anyone with an Internet connection. Artsy are a resource for art collecting and education.

Artsy's Frida Kahlo page, like all of the artist pages, provides visitors with Kahlo's bio, works, exclusive articles, and up-to-date Kahlo exhibition listings. The page also includes related artists and categories, allowing viewers to discover art beyond our Kahlo page.

Frida Kahlo’s life has become as iconic as her work, in no small part because she was her own most popular subject: roughly one third of her entire oeuvre is self-portraits. Her works were intensely personal and political, often reflecting her turbulent personal life, her illness, and her relationship with the revolutionary muralist Diego Rivera. Kahlo dedicated her life and her art to the Mexican Revolution and the simultaneous artistic renaissance it engendered. Her style of painting has been widely categorized; Rivera considered her a realist, while André Breton considered her a Surrealist, and Kahlo eschewed labels entirely. “I paint my own reality,” she wrote. “The only thing I know is that I paint because I need to, and I paint whatever passes through my head without any other consideration.” She identified most strongly with Mexican popular and folk art, also evidenced in her habit of dressing elaborately in Tehuana costumes.

It you would like to explore more of these exquisite pieces, here are some links directly to the Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and André Breton pages on their names.

https://www.artsy.net/artist/frida-kahlo

https://www.artsy.net/artist/diego-rivera

https://www.artsy.net/artist/andre-breton

Enjoy!

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Respect

Poem - Depression Won't Win

Actively fighting this dark pit,
I WILL defeat it by refusing to quit.
Don't count me out - don't you dare!
I'll be stronger than ever, so watch & prepare!
I'm not done, just changing gears...
I'll rise like a star in upcoming years.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

It Hurts

Life... it hurts.

It hurts every turn I make. I'm scared to look anywhere for fear I will hurt some more. I don't know what to do.

There is a wonderful blessing that lifted my spirits a bit. My health has greatly declined, and I recently got some potentially devastating news. I worry when I die, there will be no one to take care of my Addy and Jireh. My prayers were answered when a friend texted me this morning to let me know she would keep them both together. What a relief! Knowing what a big responsibility that is, I definitely felt appreciative, loved, and understood.

I'm holding on to that to refuse to give up.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Update

Been doing a lot of processing, coming up with new story plots and writing poetry. Definitely in a deep clinical depression, yet there is no one I would want to leave Addy and Jireh to. And so I sleep a lot, read the Bible, and contemplate my place in this world. Sadly, I don't think I have a place in this world,  at least not society.

There's a society in my mind where things are fair, God is revered and people are loving.  Whose to say this 48 year old can't go back to her world of pretend?

To be honest, the world in my head is closer to reality than the world I have been living in! I've seen a few people's true colors this past summer, and they are not who I thought they were. I've been living in the bubble of denial.

Having mental illness is bad enough, but expecting people to understand illnesses that differ from one person to the next is beyond practical. I have work to do... work educating people on mental illnesses. Work explaining depression doesn't impact one's level of faith if they claim to be a Christian.

And a couple other books and articles. I need to be with other writers and people with mental illnesses. Online! Thank goodness, I can do all this online... but I am here, behind my keyboard, making residence in my head.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

God Turns Burdens Into Blessings

A dear friend just told me she is able to be a friend with depression after watching me go through severe depression.

That means so much to me! That shows me my burden is of benefit to others. It makes my depression worth it.

And this friend confronted me on a very uncomfortable topic..  I know that was hard for her. By talking with her, God was talking to me.

Monday, August 7, 2017

People Come and Go

Article on Sinead O'Connor here.

I feel for her. I truly do. People don't handle mental illness the way you think they should because they can't read your mind (trust me... you don't want to read my mind!). I tell myself what a burden I am and my relatives are right... I think I lost another close friend. So I decided 2 hours ago to know people are just passing through at this moment and keep everything on the surface. Then, I reached out to 3 local friends, and am making plans for the beach, a literature reading, and writing at Starbucks. They are in my life right now. And if I just have Addy and Jireh for Christmas,  that's okay.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Unexpected Break

I am so thankful I've been homeless. My friends are feeling bad recent events are causing me to cancel cable, wifi, and a few other things. Someone offered to pawn stuff to help. I am very grateful. Yet my pets have everything they need, my car is fixed, I AM SAFE. So I won't have WiFi for 4 months. I won't have my Coke or Excedrine I take daily for migraines. I have more than most people in the world! I will be back in a few months. This is only temporary. Please don't ask me questions... I hate questions and advice. I have taken care of myself for my whole life. I am fine.

I will keep writing and update a couple times per week when I can get to Wi-fi.

Take care.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Remembering, and An Apology

There's a program on my Tablet which shows photos on what happened on this day in years past. Bittersweet memories with people I was once so close to, such great times, and now few of them are in my life. Initially, I was blaming how disloyal people are until I remembered a conversation with a friend.

She recently told me I basically wrote her off! Here I had wondered why she backed away from our friendship. She told me I only wanted to talk to Cathy and for her to back off. I didn't believe her until she showed me texts I had sent her, mean texts, texts that embarrassed me. I honestly had no recollection of my cruelty. To friends reading this, I am so sorry if I hurt you.

Please believe me when I say a decade of taking psychotropic medications have damaged my brain. Recently, I scrapbooked my most recent birthday. I turned 47. Flipping through the pages days later, I was surprised to see I had titled it 'My 37th birthday'! And another day, I was watching my favorite TV show, "In Treatment", which is about the life of a psychotherapist in private practice. I was thinking maybe I could go back to college to study psychology. About 30 minutes later, I remembered I AM a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, and I have spent several years in private practice.

Okay, this is scary.

I must remember I don't know what I have told who. Thank You, Lord... for protecting me from painful realities, and for a comfortable environment for me to live with my girls. From now on, I will be adamant about recording everything. Keeping detailed records. Write things down. Journal, journal, journal. And keep moving forward.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Asthma

Here is an old blog entry on Asthma... let me say Asthma, menopause, and Tallahassee humidity does not mix...

Asthma. Not many people know I have asthma so I must have an extremely mild case. I was diagnosed with it about ten years ago when I went to an Ear, Nose and Throat doctor, which I can’t even remember why I went to the doctor. To be honest, I think a coworker told me he was handsome and I wanted to see for myself. I called in with ‘possible allergy’ symptoms and left with a nebulizer and asthma diagnosis!

Truly, I think the asthma is related to my Cerebral Palsy. According to the National Institute of Health: The majority of individuals with cerebral palsy will experience some form of premature aging by the time they reach their 40s because of the extra stress and strain the disease puts upon their bodies.  The developmental delays that often accompany cerebral palsy keep some organ systems from developing to their full capacity and level of performance.  As a consequence, organ systems such as the cardiovascular system (the heart, veins, and arteries) and pulmonary system (lungs) have to work harder and they age prematurely.

           
So I really don’t feel like an ‘expert’ in asthma. If it’s hot and I overextend myself, I have to rest and focus on catching my breath. If I didn’t know eventually, it will get easier to breathe, it would freak me out, so I have to comfort myself by saying I will be able to find a natural breathing flow again.

Asthma is very scary – I do not know from personal experience except to imagine how I would experience a more severe case.

Writing, Writing

Yes, I am still writing. Multiple sources are calling my name… I feel God asking me to use the talents and treasures He has given me to touch a variety of audiences. The new season  brings opportunities and promises for a new chapter into a bright future.

There are blogs online of me documenting my struggles with severe depression, suicidal ideations, and paralyzing anxiety. Blogs so real and transparent that I pray certain people never read them as they make me uncomfortable processing them. Some sound like I am about to put a gun to my head as soon as I stop writing the blog entry, and looking back, there were days when that idea wasn’t too foreign or outrageous, to tell the truth. My identity was molded by my mental illness, and it consumed my life starting in 2006 when I had a major job switch and my beloved kitty cat died unexpectantly. 

The past 11 years have been at minimum a seemingly insurmountable challenge to which I spent many days merely existing by staring at the ceiling, laying in bed all day. One could say I wasted my life back then, when in reality, I was saving my life. More about this later. Then there was my professional life prior to my “mental breakdown’ – yeah, that’s what it was…a mental breakdown. Life before that time was completely opposite from the depressed, anxious, agoraphobic bed-ridden body morph I transpired into… I was a Licensed Mental Health Therapist and Certified Rehabilitation Counselor in Private Practice… the only Med-Waiver mental health therapist in Central Florida. After hanging out my shingle, I had quite a business! I was living the dream. I was reaping the benefits of a hard earned education. Life was good, professionally. 

Personally, not so much. Now, I see I needed the forced respite from mental illnesses to discover who I truly am, and to live authentically. The Bible states “It was good for me to be afflicted so that I may learn your decrees…” … no truer words have been spoken.

I am not looking back anymore. I refuse to allow circumstances to keep me down. The past is the past. When I look in the mirror, I like who I am. I am proud of who I've become. And God isn't finished with me yet. He's the only opinion who matters, and He's okay with me...

Friday, July 28, 2017

Me

Love this picture. Enjoying life.

Life is GREAT!

Technology is great! I just saw the morning sky of Pennsylvania while greeting my childhood friend, Michele and her handsome puppy. Just think- no matter where you are, we all share the same vast sky. How many of us take the time to appreciate the colors and design? Each day has so many gifts that most of us fail to open because we are too preoccupied with what we already have, or what we are lacking.  Why don’t we be satisfied, no, ECSTATIC with what we have right here, right now? Oprah was on target when she introduced the Gratitude Journal years ago.

Today, I challenge you to think about the great things in your life rather than wallowing in the bad… which, let me add, what YOU perceive as bad may be a hidden blessing of God protecting your from something excruciating! I guess you could sum it up with LIVE IN THE MOMENT.

Right now, I am truly living the life I have dreamed of for fifteen years.  All day, every day, I get to read the Bible, create Worship Art, and write. That’s it! I’m writing a devotional, a psychology text on Aging with Cerebral Palsy and a fiction book. Recently, I decided to start writing articles for extra cash. The great thing is I am living my quality of life, not settling, not answering to anyone. And because of technology,  I am able to live in my favorite city with its academic culture, determined mindset, extraordinary trees and perfect weather all while keeping in touch with friends like Michele.
I have to say that is definitely AWESOME.

So I challenge each of you, comment below on 3 things you are grateful for today. Can I add that I am grateful for YOU, each of my readers? Because as much as I love to write, the more readers who click on the ads on this page, the more income I generate. How great is that, to get paid for doing my passion?! So share this blog site with others and comment below on what you are grateful for today.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

In Between

Outsiders think people living on SSDI have it made by not having to work and still getting a monthly income. After all, we don’t have to listen to a boss or spend most of our time doing jobs we don’t want to do.

Qualifying for SSDI can take years due to the number of people who try cheating the system. Between paper work and doctors appointments, the process is tedious enough without having an illness. Going through the process will make a sane person crazy! Once you finally receive the award letter,  it`s like winning the lottery! Finally, someone believes you’re too sick to work. Admittedly, though,  you have to swallow your pride, too, realizing your fate.

Well, my mind and body cannot seem to cooperate. When my mind is clear, my Crohn’s Disease keeps me constrained to my bathroom,  or my muscles are aching from aging with Cerebral Palsy, or I am having trouble catching my breath due to Asthma.

On the rare occasions when I can physically function, I am afraid to leave my home due to PTSD, Agoraphobia, and  Anxiety. Or I can’t get out of bed due to Major Clinical Depression.  Definitely not the “lucky life” other’s think I have.

So I am writing a couple books in hopes of earning enough money to have a better quality of life. I wrote a children’s book series called, Dillon and Friends, which was published several years ago. Those quarterly commission checks are a beautiful sight in my mailbox.

As long as you are breathing, you still have work to do here on earth. I guess you could say I am in between jobs. Not quite sure what I should be doing.  But there is still work to do.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Anxiety Obstacles

For some reason,  I cannot write today.  My spasticity is keeping me from legible handwriting. Something is wrong. Not only that, I am dripping with anxiety. Paralyzing anxiety. Feeling like I need to crawl out of my skin. Very uncomfortable considering writing is my career. I cannot lose my abilities.  Scares me.
But I am trusting God, fighting these additional hurdles. He is a lamp unto my feet and my Guide throughout this journey.  So many people and circumstances will try to stop you from reaching your full potential- don’t let them. The world needs your gifts and talents. The world needs YOU.

Let me explain what anxiety feels like (since I  am in the middle of an anxiety attack). These symptoms vary from person to person,  even from situation to situation. This is what I am feeling right now.  I’m scared, yet unsure of what  I fear. My heart is racing, stomach is churning and extremities are twitching. I’m writing this on my tablet where I am covered with blankets and my Golden Retriever at my feet. I lived in a couple shady places ten years ago,  which is where my PTSD stems from. During those times, I was completely alone with no one to talk with about my fears. I find myself in a similar situation regarding friendships.

Who knows why we go through such hardships? The answer is far beyond our comprehension,  and our lives are merely a blip on the infinite screen of life. We must stay the course to make our contribution. Don’t even think of giving up! We become stronger with each challenge defeated, and our confidence significantly increases.

Hang on.  Keep fighting… but don’t you dare quit.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Growth Spurts

Newborn babies require regular medical check ups to monitor their growth process. If a problem is detected early, there is a greater chance the problem can be treated before further issues are presented. As adults, medical visits become infrequent,  and only needed when there is a significant aberration occurs.

While our physical health plateaus when we enter adulthood, our psychological health does not. In fact, life events can alter our mental health significantly. Without proper treatment, our physical health can be negatively impacted by things like ulcers, digestive problems, etc..

Life is about growth and change. We need to take regular inventories of ourselves to be sure our actions and decisions align with the person we are becoming.  Such questions which need to be asked include-

**What is the mission of my life?
**What are my values, dreams and priorities?
**Am I living authentically?
**Am I using my gifts to better society?
**Do I surround myself with people who positively influence me?
**What practical steps can I take to be more like the person I want to be?

Since these are heavy questions requiring great introspection, it is good to take some quality alone time and brainstorm what truly matters. Don’t limit your dreams- the sky is the limit. You’ll be surprised how resources will appear when you begin living on purpose.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Celebrating Small Steps

Good morning! How are we doing today? If you got out of bed, brushed your teeth, took a shower, even left your house… let me congratulate you if you are suffering from depression and/or anxiety! Each of those things are HUGE, and in a world that makes such acts seem ‘mundane’ and normal, they are monumental tasks when in a funk.

If you are reading this from bed, unable to open the curtains and just want to curl up and wither away, hang on. I know it hurts. I know there are no words to comfort you or make you excited to even consider enjoy life, just take it one minute at a time. Maybe all you can do today is stay in bed… celebrate surviving, celebrate not hurting yourself. Celebrate tomorrow you have another chance, tomorrow you may wake up and have some energy and motivation. But hang on. Don’t give up.

You are still on this earth because God isn’t finished with you. He has a purpose for you being here. I know you may not care and may even be mad at God… that’s okay – He is big enough to handle your anger. You see, He knows what you are going through, He sees you struggling. He sees you persevering, and you will be rewarded for hanging on. Revelation 2:2 says, “I know your deeds, your hard work, your perseverance…” and verse 7 continues, “To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.”  In other words, you fighting and persevering today will result in being rewarded in paradise! Don’t judge by the world’s standards, when in a depression, brushing your teeth is overcoming. Leaving the house is persevering. Not ending your life is being a conqueror! God sees it even if no one else does… and He is all that matters. 

Friday, July 14, 2017

Maybe Tomorrow

Really trying to get back to work. I lost my entire childhood family last week so there is a situational depression going on, along with rediscovering myself without outside influence. I am running the gamut of mental illness from self-injury to addiction relapse. I want to get back into the therapist role as I work on my psychology textbook manuscript, but have been verbally vomiting into my Smashbook. Tomorrow is another day.I am
Take care and love (my new tagline)

Old Post About Anxiety

Life with Anxiety Disorder

Medical Condition #6 – Anxiety Disorder

For the sake of space and redundancy, I will combine anxiety and PTSD in this final category. There are many forms of anxiety (social phobia, generalized anxiety disorder, agoraphobia, post-traumatic stress disorder, etc.) and most are characterized by excessive worry about events that are usually unlikely to happen. The anxiety attacks tend to be triggered by past events (hence, soldiers returning from combat have a high likelihood of PTSD, and many would rather not discuss the events). I’ve buried so many events that my personality has been negatively scarred by the events of years ago.

Again, there’s an endless cycle – anxiety leads to depression, leads to paralyzing feelings of staying in bed, leading to more anxiety from missing so much work. The cycle is vicious and merciless.

Speaking of ‘denial’, since I am feeling functional today, I am not going to dwell on the anxiety or other conditions anymore, at least right now. When you can put your dysfunctions aside and live, even ENJOY life… do it. Whatever it takes, live out your life!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Wave Bye to Wavering


Do you ever waver between having certain relationships in your life? I confess I have spent most of my life doing this with dysfunctional relatives.

I keep laughing at my friend, Cathy. Yesterday was an annual customer event at her job, so she had a super busy day. I called her crying so hard after hanging up from the most painful phone call of my life. I said, "No matter what I do, they will make me the bad guy.. ". Cathy was tired and angry and had NO FILTER as she yelled, "WHO CARES WHAT YOUR RELATIVES SAY? THEY DON'T LIKE YOU ANYWAY!!!"
I cracked up laughing so hard! She was too tired to sugar coat anything. And she pointed out the obvious - none of my relatives have liked me since I went to college. Why was I so surprised at the phone call? I love Cathy. And another friend always says she feels like she's banging her head against the wall every time I call her crying about my relatives hurting me.
I have decided the word "wavering" is now one of my favorite words. The next time I am wavering, I AM WAVING THE NEGATIVE GOODBYE! NO MORE WAVERING - LET IT GO!

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Someday is Now

Each of us have been given unique gifts, talents, and desires to be integrated into society. When we refrain from sharing our God-given talents, we rob society of God’s intentions, including telling others about the truth of the Gospel. To think, neglecting to use my talents could prevent someone from spending eternity in heaven… that’s serious business. With all this in mind, I am determined to get back into a regular writing schedule. The bonus of a structured writing routine is what win-win situation as I will be earning an extra income. My self-value will rise exponentially as I will be financially comfortable. I’ve been writing since I was 8 years old and constantly told I am a great writer. Yet that pesky voice of self-doubt is relentless in convincing me I am not good at writing and even more discouraging, a writing career requires persistence, patience, and a lot of time before I actually earn some income. This is incredibly frustrating, knowing if I would have fought this self doubt 30 years ago, I would be completely living the dream right now.

And so today is the day when my writing transitions from a hobby to a career. With God’s strength and power within me, I cannot fail. Besides, anything is better than escaping into sleep,  wasting my life. My advice to readers is to push past the self-doubt, and follow the desires in your heart. You deserve to live your full potential.

Friday, June 30, 2017

"I'll Pray for You" isn't Enough

I recently received some devastating news I am not ready to blog about yet.

But I found a timely blog explaining why I told people don't just say you are praying for me. Those  who know me know this is a time to not take anything personally. Like I just called my guy friend (who thinks I need to be in Orlando with friends right now) and warned him he is gonna have to deal with moody Shelly again. That's why I isolate - I lose my filter and say things I know I shouldn't. Sounds like he will go to the funeral with me. Warned him it'll be scarier than Halloween Horror Nights. *I have a cousin who is a prophetic Satan worshipper. I'm talking leaflets and everything!

So now I am going to try to convince God my plan is better, as if I know an inkling of the whole picture, only to have Him tell me a zillion reasons why I am wrong. He says in the Book of Job and Isaiah to come to Him and let us reason together... so that is what I will do... already knowing the outcome - His ways are higher than my ways, and He has plans for me far beyond my wildest dreams...





💌💌💌💌💌💌💌💌💌💌💌💌💌

I'll Pray For You

This is my favorite passage when people say they will pray for you and continue walking. I am in no way discounting the power of prayer, but sometimes, we need a bit more. If the person is willing to listen, tell them how they can help you. If you are the person wanting to help the depressed person, ask. "Is there anything I can do to help besides prayer?" Sometimes, all they can do is pray, and we really need to be thankful for that. We really need to be thankful if someone says they are thinking of us... we need to be thankful for whatever they can do. But try not to discount the power of prayer (as I am this morning). Prayers need to be followed by action... by whomever is praying.


James 2:14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them?15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Be Bold - A Coloring Devotional



Be Bold, a Coloring Devotional by Ellen Elliott is a book I was sent a complimentary copy to review for Tyndale Publishers. Here is my critique-

One day when I was feeling overwhelmed, I picked up this book for a morning devotional. To my surprise,  I was greatly comforted. The scripture verse was Nehemiah 8:10, which says the joy of the Lord is my strength, which compares choosing our outfit to choosing our moods. Initially, I disagreed with the author because I experience bouts of major clinical depression and become frustrated when people tell me to `snap out it` or `just get happy’. As a Licensed Therapist myself,  I find it insulting when people are so closed-minded about mental health.  As I was coloring the adjoining coloring page, my mind went into a free-association mode as I became childlike in my actions and thoughts. The facing coloring page allowed me to let go of my worries and stress.

This book is simple yet wonderfully therapeutic,  enhancing personal growth. Not only did the devotional coloring book lift the burdens from my shoulders, I look forward to using the book for daily devotionals. Reading a lesson for life, then pondering the message as I color. I become childlike,  and now understand more fully why Jesus said we must become like children to enter the Kingdom of heaven. I highly recommend this book for readers who want to surrender their daily worries to focus on God’s Word.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Remember *reposted

Writing for my blog:
Forcing myself to sit and write without any set agenda except to write. My purpose is to write. I am a writer. I am writing.

"Since you died with Christ to the elemental spiritual forces of this world, why, as though you still belonged to this world, do you submit to its rules: Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch"?  - Colossians 2:20,21.

Life changes when you become a Christian. Since college, on my day planner, I daily write "WHAT TRULY MATTERS?" as a reminder life is precious. I'm especially realizing this as I reread my old journals and find I recorded stupid stuff like what my crush wore to school each day. Or some kid laughed when I fell. Thirty years later, who cares? What will happen today that seems so devastating to you, yet in 6 months, you won't even remember it? Do you watch the latest episode of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills? Or do you make a handmade card for your dear friend with cancer? Do you stay in bed, wallowing in bitterness? Or do you force yourself to write articles on ways God has blessed you?

What truly matters? Live on purpose. Find your passions and live them.

How do you want to be remembered? Let me share my list with you:
* Jesus is real to me. I feel Him in my presence. I have never questioned His existence. I believe all the hardships that happen in my life are signs He believes I will always follow Him. For those familiar with Job, I believe God has given Satan permission to "mess with me" because God knows I am strong enough in my faith that I can face anything with Christ. I hope I am not letting Him down.
* I am a fighter. Yes, I have multiple limitations which hem me in, but I believe many of them are to keep me from temptation. When I was homeless, if I didn't have cerebral palsy, who knows what I would have done for money. But because I see CP as a strike against men's attractions to me, certain options are off the table. AT THE SAME TIME, God showed me I don't give myself enough credit when I refused to sell myself to have heat and a safe place to live. God instilled morals in me.
* I also want to be remembered as a someone who never took people's kindness for granted. So many people have helped me, loved me, kept me going on when they didn't have to. I always pray God will bless them beyond belief since I have no way to express my gratitude.
* And I want to be seen as someone who, while she needed a little help, she did all she could to make her own way without taking handouts. God has given me so many gifts to use to bless others, and I want to do just that.
*Finally, I want to be remembered as a writer - recluse who loves the ocean, away from crowds and worldly distractions. This, I admit, can be for selfish reasons. I'm an advocate to the core, and when I see people being unfairly treated, I have difficulty balancing my role without personalizing  the circumstances. Then that steals my peace and interferes greatly with my health.

That is my list to guide me in my day to day activities. I don't do things as the world does. I don't float passively in the lazy river of society. I have died to the flesh and live for Christ.

Remember that.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Writing my novel

It's a good one!

No Regrets

As I write this, my immediate relatives are all together celebrating Father's Day. Tomorrow, they will all be together at the hospital as my dad has surgery to see if they can remove the cancer or if it has spread so bad it is inoperable. My dear friend came up from Orlando Wednesday to drive me to Nashville to be there. I was reminded the family is better without me, and I would have to stay in a hotel because I was not allowed in my parent's house. The past few days have been torture... I always thought in case of emergency, we would come together. I was wrong.

Reflecting back, I am so proud of my education, my faith, my beliefs. I turned down 3 marriage proposals because I plan on growing my entire life and wanted nothing or no one to stop me.

Yes, it hurts. Yes, I am devastated. But I have no regrets.

The Rest of My Life

As I write this, my immediate relatives are all together celebrating Father's Day. Tomorrow, they will all be together at the hospital as my dad has surgery to see if they can remove the cancer or if it has spread so bad it is inoperable. My dear friend came up from Orlando Wednesday to drive me to Nashville to be there. I was reminded the family is better without me, and I would have to stay in a hotel because I was not allowed in my parent's house. The past few days have been torture... I always thought in case of emergency, we would come together. I was wrong.

Reflecting back, I am so proud of my education, my faith, my beliefs. I turned down 3 marriage proposals because I plan on growing my entire life and wanted nothing or no one to stop me.

Yes, it hurts. Yes, I am devastated. But I have no regrets.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Who I Am

A favorite poem written by me...

Unrecognized reflection stared back at me.

It looked like an erosion of who I should be.

Bags under my eyes, tired and weary-

Who is this girl –anxious and teary?

Fighting the authentic whom the world won’t accept-

Fighting the ‘me’ – whom my family rejects.

But I can’t change, I won’t change – God’s creation I am.

I refuse to give up because of my fam! 

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Snippet of My Novel

Today I am working on writing my next novel, and it's coming along nicely.  Here is a Snippet. Hope you enjoy! 


Sierra thought of writing a suicide note, then realized she had no one to address. Those close to her knew what was in her mind- she had even told them for years, her plan was to take her life. She herself had known this was her fate when she read of tormented writers since middle school.  Never did she think she would survive this long, but it wasn’t for lack of trying. She had several failed attempts which followed her, flagging doctors that she needed to be watched.

“Where the heck was the mailman?” Sierra wondered as the evening was closing in. She wanted to take her pills to escape into a comatose sleep, but had to sign for her package to be delivered today. Ironically, the package was the next three months of her psychotropic medications. It was 92 degrees outside and she was wearing sweats. Her a/c was on freezing, waiting for her to climb into bed for the next 16 hours. But her four legged best friend would need attention. She has only survived this long because of her dog. The only soul who would be affected by her death. 

Finally, there was a knock on the door. The familiar mailman greeted her with a white package containing the ultimate solution to her problems. Taking them as prescribed kept her calm, while taking them all could end her life. Her life that she had felt imprisoned in every since she could remember. It was like trying to escape darkness with no source of light. There WAS no escape to the darkness of her mind… just trapped doors, crevices and pits. Occasionally, a linear pipe of light would enter through one on many broken cracks, giving Sierra an instant spike of hope. But when she looked around at her surroundings, she saw the mire and emptiness. And, inevitably, darkness would patch up the lights opening. A cycle that has been repeating since the monsters entered her room as a child. 

Instead of taking the psychotropic medication, Sierra grabbed a bottle of sleeping pills, pouring several gel tablets on her lap. Seemingly an innocent action, she threw 3 tablets down her throat, then three more, and three more. She hid the bottle in case anyone found her. They would think her heart just stopped until they did an autopsy. By then, it would be too late to revive her by pumping her stomach.
The pills were kicking in. She was getting drowsy and the room was spinning. Tightness in her chest both excited and scared her. What would happen in the next few hours?  Sierra prayed she would wake up in heaven, with her dog and cats. 

Unfortunately,  she opened her eyes to her dimming bedroom. She had survived another attempt, and was so downtrodden to realize she was trapped on this earth. There was no escape, and hopelessness layered her so heavily, it was hard to move… hard to breathe. Part of the pressure had to be the sleeping pills. She could only hope the repeated overdoses were causing accumulated damage, weakening her heart or other internal organs. The one good thing is she was still here to take care of her babies.  They needed her, and she needed them so much, she wanted to die before them. Just the thought of losing them practically drove her insane. Would there ever come a day when she actually wanted to live?

Sierra has her license in psychology after spending years in Private Practice until she was drowning in an ocean of deep clinical depression. She had spent the next ten years staying in bed. All her friends walked away,  not knowing how to deal with Sierra’s raw side. They desperately tried to help with their  “I’ll pray for you”, “where’s your faith?” and “what do you have to be depressed about?” What surprised her most was her psychological peers did not even understand!

Sometimes she longed to go where no one knew her, where there was no chance of being recognized… where she didn’t have to worry about tarnishing her testimony … she always had to be careful not to cause anyone to see her behaving in a way that was less than Christ like… she was a God-fearing Christian down on her core… nothing would change that. Nothing. 

Yet… sometimes… rarely, sometimes… she thinks about who she would be if she wasn’t a Christian… life would be like it was in her 20`s when her lifelong friends had turned away from her because they refused to “condone her lifestyle”… 

She got out of bed and immediately fell backwards. The pills had caused her to feel as if she was watching outside her body, preventing her from standing, so she crawled to the bathroom and used the sink counter to pull herself onto the toilet. Then she bounced like a pinball, grabbing walls and furniture to balance herself and let her dog out. Fortunately, she could lay on the floor while Rusty went to the bathroom. Rusty was such a loyal dog. It was hard to tell who took care of whom. When Rusty came back in, Sierra gave her a dog biscuit, then they both stayed on the floor to go back to sleep.

Chapter 2
“Another great sermon”, Mary said while walking with Ben to the car. She was stopped four times in the church parking lot to chat with people. This church was where she had attended faithfully her entire life. She practically lived in that building due to her active participation in church functions. Mary grew up in a strict, legalistic household, including being sheltered by homeschooling with her two siblings, Matthew and Micah. Mary wasn’t allowed to watch TV, movies, or listen to secular music,  and the same upbringing was on all her friends. Mary had no idea what the real world was like, and that was fine with her. Ben and Mary had met in church preschool and remained best friends until one night at a Single`s retreat, Ben gentry took Mary’s hand as they were walking, and it felt right for both of them. At age 22, this made both of them reevaluate their relationship and they naturally started dating. 

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