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Everybody’s Crazy

Many years ago, I was very depressed and taking numerous medications for my condition. It was complicated by personality disorders and PTSD. One time, my sister called me around my birthday and asked me what I wanted. I told her, “what I want, you can’t buy.” She asked, “what is it?” I told her I wanted a right mind. She said to me, “Oh, Sophie, everybody’s crazy!” I quietly cried feeling very misunderstood. She didn’t know how bad I was feeling. She didn’t know I just wanted to die. About 20 years later, I finally understood what she meant! This is about how long it took for me to get myself together, too, in order to start making changes in my life so I could heal. I started to realize everyone was crazy so I wondered, What the hell am I trippin’ on???

There is a difference between someone who is going through a chemical imbalance of some sort and the normal everyday crazy.  However, many people don’t understand this. They don’t understand a person who feels they are not in their right mind feels crazy, out of control, like something has taken over, as if they are lost without a body, just wandering around like a lost soul. So many people throw around phrases like, “that’s so crazy” without understanding how it effects people who think they might be crazy. I used to just go “crazy” when people used phrases like, “that’s so schizophrenic” or would cavalierly call something crazy. It would embroil me and get me all worked up. I try not to use the word “hate” ever because it’s a serious word and I hardly truly hate anything or anyone, but I do hate the “crazy” word. Although, sometimes, I’m known to sing, “boom boom, ain’t it great to be crazy!”

Once I woke up to the reality of everyone’s general craziness, it wasn’t so bad. I could relax and not try so hard to be “normal” whatever the hell is normal! Lol. Relaxing, I’m able to be a bit more objective, understanding and compassionate towards myself instead of constantly striving to be something or someone else to fit in.

Today, many people strive to be themselves, start their own trends, wear whatever colors they want, do what they want, without checking to see if it’s the current fad or craze, nor seeking anyone’s approval. Everyone is not striving to fit into some category or box. There is a bit of chaos and craziness involved! However, in my mind, trying to look like others or fit in, is a bit of craziness, too! There’s just no other explanation. It’s okay to be different. It’s okay to be outspoken or quiet. It’s okay to be upbeat or sad. There’s nothing wrong with being human! There’s nothing wrong with feeling your emotions deeply. There’s nothing wrong with not feeling your emotions. Why must we constantly look at someone and judge whether or not they are behaving normally? Normal simply doesn’t exist. I realize there may be some signs that someone’s life is off balance and maybe they need assistance with it, or not.

What I know is that many people suffer in silence out of shame or guilt. They don’t want to be pointed out, don’t want to be judged, don’t want to be called, “crazy” or “insane” so they keep their own opinions and preferences to themselves. I know I did. Starting from when I was little, someone would ask me what I want, I’d say, “I don’t care.” I was afraid to make a choice or to state my preference for many reasons, but that was my general answer. Mainly because I had seen others teased for liking something different. I’d seen people ridiculed, laughed at or picked on for wearing different clothes, liking other music, choosing other foods, etc…

Nowadays, the “c” word doesn’t bother me so much, but back when I was struggling with my mental illness, it was very disheartening. People who are different are not crazy. People with different perceptions of reality are not crazy. People who choose to live their lives on their own terms are not crazy. People who dance to the beat of their own drum, even if you can’t hear the drum beat, are not crazy. People who are sensitive, delicate, or don’t fit into a boxed category are not crazy. People with a mental illness are not crazy. Oh, yet, everybody’s crazy!

Depression’s Effects…

The topic of suicide has come up a lot lately. A couple of years ago, when I started writing, I told myself I wouldn’t write about it. I decided it was something best laid to rest. I never wanted to revisit it. I had attempted it numerous times. Why should I be ashamed of it? There is a shame, guilt and sadness attached to it. It’s not easy to recover from it and it’s no longer my reality. However, I recently had a change of heart and decided to share a little bit on it. It’s not easy to write about it either.

In the many years I suffered from major depressive disorder, there were times when I had happy and upbeat moments but they didn’t last long. I would sink back into the reality of why I became depressed in the first place. It seemed to be a never ending spiral. I did attempt to hide my depression and PTSD from my children. I didn’t want them to have this bleak view of life. There were many good things in life to be grateful for, and I wanted them to see the bright side of life. However, they struggled just as I did to reach those bright days. On numerous occasions, I sank into very dark thoughts and in my despair just wanted to die. I would call a suicide hotline and they’d tell me all the reasons I had to live for. It sort of angered me to tell me to think of my husband or my kids or my family and friends. What if I didn’t have those people to live for, who would I live for then? I know this may sound dark, but if I were alone, would it be okay to go ahead with and suicide? Many people think it’s selfish for a person to take their life, but what if it’s selfish to ask this person to live in their dark despair? They wouldn’t want to if these other people were able to lift them up!

I could never presume to know what someone is going through in their darkest hours, that would make them want to give up because I know it’s different for each person. I do know that it’s a dark space, more like a hole that’s covered in dirt, it’s like being buried alive. There is no tunnel with a light at the end. Who would want to go there? Not many people will dare to tread the darkness searching for light. When I was in this state, I was very lost and alone. I didn’t think my wanting to die or my death would be a selfish act. I thought it would be a great relief. I thought it was an act of love and mercy for those alive if they didn’t have to see me living in this state of living death.

I really didn’t think of the pain I would cause others if I had succeeded, yet I know now, they’d be living in this perpetual state of depression and sadness. It takes a long time for someone to come out of this state though. Medication can help but sometimes it only causes it to linger longer. In my case, it wasn’t just depression but extreme anxiety that I wanted to escape from plus the memories I kept reliving. I hated having flashbacks and just wanted them to stop. I now see that the memories were there to help me heal.  Anytime, a painful memory comes up, it’s only service is to heal, ultimatly to set me free, not to shame, guilt or hurt anyone. The more I resisted these memories, didn’t face the feelings, or allow myself to grieve, get angry, or whatever, the more they persisted.

It’s not exactly something to go through alone either. It required the assistance of a therapist, counselor, understanding friends and family. It took a lot of people to walk through the valley of the shadow of death in order to get me through the other side. It takes the person who is in the light, who has hope, who knows life is worth the struggle and worth living to keep you going. It takes a lot of strength and courage to keep going when you just want to give up.

People with mental illness are not weak, they are the strongest people alive because they live with these images, voices, memories, hallucinations, and extreme emotions, yet continue anyway. They hold on to their humanity, keep breathing, keep reaching for the light, keep trying over and over again despite what life throws at them. They are a beautiful and loving reminder that people are strong, yet they are also fragile, that everyone is important, everyone has a purpose, everyone brings meaning into this world, and to treat each one with kindness.

We all have a breaking point, which is why it’s important to love yourself. If I’m tired, I rest. If I’m sleepy, I go to sleep. If I’m bored, find something fun to do. If I’m hungry, I eat. If I need to talk, find someone to listen. If I need a hug, ask someone for one. Balance my life with work, rest, and play! If I’m working and not laughing enough, find the joy. There’s nothing wrong with asking for help. In fact, it’s imperative to ask for help and not try to be the lone ranger. Life is meant to be lived in community with others.  When the dark clouds descends at times, it helps to have someone who is above them.

Life is worth living and it is beautiful. Look at all of nature, it is a symbol of life, breath, and renewal despite the changing seasons and what appears to be chaos at times. I take in the breath of life each day. I allow myself to breathe deeply knowing that whatever is going on, it will pass. The seasons change. Engage in life mindfully.  Be in the moment. Do things that brings joy.  Just breathe.

Live, Breathe, & Laugh!

Opening up myself to spend time with other people, naturally, I learned of different practices to further grow myself. One person I met is a laughter leader, Joan. She talked about the benefits of laughter. I was immediately in love with the idea! I didn’t know how to laugh much, I was so serious all of the time. I was serious about improving my health, and overcoming my past, not realizing the seriousness was hindering the healing! Lol. I had been clinically depressed for so long, I had to learn a new way of being! I no longer identified as “mentally ill” and definitely didn’t like labels of any sort. Yet, I didn’t know another way.

So, I went to laughter club to check it out. At laughter club, we sit around and just laugh! Hahaha. We do fun stuff. One of the laughter leaders call it “kindergarten for adults!” We just learn to play and be lighthearted again like little children.  It really does cut down on the stress and helps to change my perspective. It’s just being in the moment. Does it solve all the issues I might be dealing with? No, but it helps to clear my mind and thoughts so I can make better decisions from an empowering position rather than fear or worry.   Laughter is a form of releasing like tears.  You release what is weighing you down.   It raises your energy!  Laughter is good medicine!

Shortly after I joined the laughter club, I heard about World Laughter Day. All the laughter clubs around the world do something to celebrate it. Ours rode the lite rail, sharing brochures, laughing with others and doing some of our laughter exercises. At the time, I was still very shy. I worried I wouldn’t be able to laugh or smile at others in the general public. However, I knew I would not be happy if I was not fully into it. So I decided I would be fully into it. I let go of my fear of people and let myself be happy around others. It was the most wonderful and fulfilling time of my life. Just sharing the gift of smile or laughter with others!

I was also in the process of publishing my first book, Dear Sophia, Love Yourself! I had written it, had it professionally edited, formatted it and had the sample copy in hand. It was ready! But I was so afraid to press that button to go live! After my day of riding the lite rails, being open and free with the public, I had nothing left to fear! Nothing at all! I went home and courageously went live with my book. It was one of the most exhilarating and freeing moments of my life (next to giving birth to my children!) Hehehe. Ho ho ha ha ha!

There will be sad days days but I have learned to laugh at the absurdity of life. I don’t think it’s meant to be so serious. We are meant to play and have fun as we go about our days. Little moments of sadness, is just that, little moments and not meant to go on for years. It took me many years to learn to lighten up! I experience all the feelings and emotions of life with the understanding that, “this too shall pass.” It helps to let out a whopping belly laugh! Hehehe. No, I’m not positive all of the time, I just don’t let sad times define or color my whole life. Life has many arrangements of experiences.  Live, breathe, and laugh!!!  Boohoohahahaha!!!

Beauty of Hindsight

I don’t know how many times I have wondered, “Why did this happen to me?” I don’t know how many times I wondered why I was let go or dismissed. I thought I had done everything right and followed all the rules. I put my best foot forward, I was nice, polite, and “something else”! Yet things didn’t go as planned! What I’ve learned is many people learn their lessons in hindsight. After all, if I’d known a relationship wouldn’t pan out, maybe I never would have started it. If I had known the job wasn’t a good fit, I wouldn’t have tried it and left. Perhaps it was meant to go that way to teach me a lesson! Not many of us have the right perceptions in order to avoid seemingly “disastrous outcomes.” Yet, I believe all of these experiences are life lessons.

However, it usually takes a long time to learn the lesson when I’m resisting it. Like many years ago, I was very depressed and hurt at the way my life was going and the relationships not working out. I wondered what I had done wrong. I didn’t feel like I had done anything wrong. The more I pondered it, the more I wanted an answer, the more I stewed and couldn’t let it go. This is where the danger of falling into depression and being unable to cope comes in. Yes there were many other factors, but at the time I didn’t know how to just let go. I didn’t have the life skills, yet this exact situation was teaching them to me! Resisting, and insisting on answers caused me to lose the lesson until many years after I had finally moved on, and one day I had an “aha” moment of revelation!

I often ask myself now, when things seem to be going awry, “what is this situation trying to teach me?” Sometimes, it’s apparent and other times I need to wait. When I’m stuck in the middle of something, it’s hard to see where it’s going, and what I’m being taught. I’ve learned to be patient, compassionate, forgiving, and loving with myself so that I can continue to function and breathe without spiraling down. This in turn empowers me to give others patience, compassion, forgiveness, love and grace when they’re going through their own struggles. Once I figured out that I learn things in hindsight, I was able to love, forgive and move on.

Resistance slows the process! I had to learn to go with the flow! It takes patience, wisdom and trust in yourself, that you’re going to okay.  As I look back on my life, I see I have overcome so much, and I’m grateful for the beauty of hindsight!

Legacy of Light

It’s the day we celebrate our mothers or not. Everyone says “Happy mother’s day” but I know not everyone has a happy day. Some of us are sad about our mothers and our own motherhood. I used to be one of those. I was very cynical about mother’s day. I wasn’t happy with my mother, then she passed away and I had no reason to celebrate it. I certainly wasn’t happy with the type of mother I was turning out to be either! I was always aware of my own shortcomings and the things I wished I hadn’t done as a mother. However, as I worked on my issues and changed my perspective about mothers, I began to heal and I also had a newfound respect for my own mother.

Mothers are not perfect, some of them are broken, and others had very poor examples or didn’t have one at all. As I began to heal my issues, realized my unresolved pain, I slowly let myself off the hook. I forgave myself, I loved myself, and embraced my inner child who wanted unconditional love.  I let go of all previous guilt and shame. In turn, I was able to love and forgive my mother. I hope someday my own children will know I did the best I could and know that it’s all that is required of you as a mother or person.

As I heal myself, I allow love to wash over all the past, present, and future to heal my children and my children’s children. It begins with awareness and the desire to create a new life, and new stories and chapters in our lives. The past doesn’t define our present, unless we let it. The past has no hold over our current lives. We can completely let it go, create new memories and start a new legacy of light. A legacy of light is one where we let our lights shine. The light shines brightest in the darkness. It brings hope, healing and love for all. Our light is passed down from generation to generation. We get to choose how we will shine our light. I am thankful for my mother and the light she birthed in me. Namaste.

Peace, love, and light!

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Today I’m celebrating the two year anniversary of publishing my book Dear Sophia, Love Yourself! I am going to do something celebratory even though I have no idea what right now! Lol. I am somewhat of a dreamer. The idea in my head of what I’m going to do to celebrate and reality is very different! I see myself dressed up, surrounded by friends and family, at a nice restaurant drinking champagne or sparkling cider for me since I’m
a light weight. I see us sitting around in comfortable chairs talking about the favorite story from my book. I can dream right?

Dreams are what this life is made of! Lots of things start out as a little dream. When it’s acted upon, it becomes a creation and reality. Everything I see around me started off as someone’s idea or dream. It’s interesting how it works out. I have received numerous messages of how my book inspired someone or gave them the idea to write their own stories. The messages always warm my heart.

I’m still writing, blogging, and slowly working on my second book. The heart of my book is the 2nd to last chapter called “Therapy Love.” I write about how my therapist was the biggest factor in my healing and changing my mindset. She gave me a rose quartz bracelet which was very special to me. I started buying rocks, stones or crystals as a result. I fell in love with all the colors, the uniqueness of each one, their strength, and the fragility of crystals. They remind me to love myself and others, and to not compare. We
are all unique. All the crystals shine on their own right. So do stars. They just shine, in the darkness, whether we see them or not. This is the person I choose to be today. I choose to be love, I choose to be peace, I choose to be kind and compassionate on my own. I choose to shine my light in the darkness of our world. Thank you to all my friends, family, and fans for your kindness and support. Peace, love, and light.

Judgment and Criticism

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Recently, I was receiving negative comments on a post I made in a social group. I was getting all of this negative feedback, judgement, and criticism. None of them knew, I had already felt badly about it. I had already judged myself harshly. I also had already forgiven myself, and let it go. Therefore, I deleted my post. I was not there to be a receptacle of negative comments. I didn’t deserve any of them. None of us do!  I am not for public shaming, and criticizing people’s life choices. I believe in compassion, forgiveness and acceptance. I am going to continue sharing my truth and writing my stories, but the intent is always to inspire, to share information, and to lift people up. It is never ever to tear anyone down. I also don’t believe anyone on this earth has the right to judge another person for their life choices. Everyone’s journey and choices will be different. I’m still going to use my authentic voice. I’m still perfectly imperfect!. I love myself. The negative comments were a learning point of what some people are able to process and receive.   To be clear, I am guilt free, I am free of shame, I am free of judgment. Whatever endeavor you find yourself, keep yourself clean and untainted from the judgments of others! Don’t let it spoil you or dim your light, or discourage you from sharing your truth. Keep writing, singing, dancing, working, creating or
wherever your heart leads you to do!  Be authentically you!

In The Driver’s Seat

Many years ago, I was in such a mental state that someone had to drive me to my counseling appointments. The therapist was about an hour away and sometimes it was a very distressing appointment and I was in no condition to drive home so she made a rule that someone had to drive me. I had forgotten all about that period in my life until recently when I’ve been driving people here and there, and all over the place! Suddenly, I remembered and thought, “I’m in the driver’s seat now!” It was a wonderful aha moment of recognition. Of course, I’ve been there for a while now, but something in my soul wanted me to recognize how far I have come.

There are many people who choose to ride in the back seat for various reasons. Yet, it’s important to know regardless of who is driving, you’re still in charge of your life, you still get to choose the path, and the means of getting from one place to another. Yet there are those who idly sit by and let someone else dictate what they are going to do with their lives. Maybe it’s a parent’s dream for you to be a Doctor, Lawyer or pro basketball player, but you want to have nothing to do with those things. It’s okay to choose a different path
for yourself.

I love to tell people, your past does not define who you are today. It doesn’t define who you are becoming or where you’re headed either! Everyone can choose at any moment who we’re going to be, right now, today. We don’t have to be bound to our past decisions and choices. We also don’t have to believe or do everything our parents did. It’s my life. It’s your life! Make it a good one!

Overcome Fear With Love

I’ve been working on a new book. Lots of people are writing books these days. I think more people write fiction books than nonfiction or personal memoirs. I write personal stories about my life, healing, and wisdom. I think I’m pretty good but I know not everyone is not interested in this. Anyway, most of my writings are little nuggets of truth I’ve learned along the way that I use to inspire others to think differently about life and issues in general. I don’t cover everything because I choose what I’m going to focus on.

I keep hitting blocks in my writing. I am so passionate about my subject so why doesn’t it just come? Well actually it does, I believe it’s just fear. Fear of what are people going to say or not say. Not that what others say is going to matter. It’s just a matter of principle we tend to care more about what others will say or do, and it stops us from living our dreams.

Fears keep us stuck. I wrote about overcoming fear with love in my first book, Dear Sophia Love Yourself! I really have to love my subject and my message in order to get out of this fear. I really love writing and sharing with the world, but I have the occasional fears, too.

My new book is about the metaphysical world, positive energy, meditation, crystals, angels, energy healing, and how I learned about it all. It’s a fascinating field, but I know it’s not really understood by those who are not into it. I am not an expert on the subject, I am just writing about my experiences. What I really want people to know about the metaphysical world is that it’s not crazy. It’s not quackery. It’s not dark, demonic or witchcraft, even though some might perceive it that way out of fear. Even more so is my wish for everyone to know that positive energy is wonderful and can do amazing things in your life.

I was just telling someone yesterday that crystals are out there shining and glimmering in the light. They don’t hide anything. When I look at them in the light, I can’t help but see my own issues. I can’t help but notice what needs to be seen and where acceptance, forgiveness, release, and adjustments could be made in order to improve my life. I am not afraid to look in the mirror and acknowledge my flaws, but also to see my inner beauty, and shine my light. I have overcome many fears. When a light is shined upon your life, it’s to heal, it’s to take you to the next level, it’s to create something new in your life by releasing the old, or whatever it may be. It’s nothing to be feared.

Fear is paralyzing and keeps us stuck in the past, in our pain, and from moving forward. Love overcomes fear. Love is the answer. Fear cannot dwell in the space of love. Love is the most powerful force in the universe. Don’t let fear drown out your dreams and ambitions. Allow love to flow freely by releasing fear.

The Last Straw!

Years ago, in foster care, I had a foster sister who kept cutting school and getting into trouble. She was angry and cussing out all authority figures. She had no respect for authority at all. At one point, she got a new social worker, and after a while, she got to know the new one. She ended up telling the social worker she had been raped at school. The social worker didn’t believe her at first. There were statistics of how rape victims behaved. This young lady had been raped and molested numerous times in her life. The social worker thought because of statistics, she should not be functioning as she was, she should be in the hospital, medicated or something. Well, eventually, she did believe the young lady, and sought to get her treatment.

In actuality, the young lady was very strong, but she had post traumatic stress disorder. She really didn’t think much of what happened because it had happened so many times before, she just didn’t want to put herself in that situation again so she stopped going to school. It’s a sad plight many girls,  boys, men, and women go through. Everyone is different and isn’t going to respond in the same way. We all have our breaking point. When you see people out marching, demonstrating, protesting, you gotta believe there’s a reason for it! The straw finally broke the camel’s back. There was a catalyst that may actually not have much to do with what happened to them, but believe me they are fed up with the status quo. They need justice, need to see a change, and for social systems to improve.

It’s a beautiful thing when people gather together in one voice and ask for change to happen. If you don’t see a reason for it, that’s okay, but don’t stop them. Listen to their stories, understand their point of view, and know that perhaps in little ways, they have been trying to say it for a long time, but no one heard them. At the same time, speak up for the helpless, for those being oppressed, for the hungry, for the thirsty, for the homeless, for those experiencing social injustices, and don’t wait until you just can’t stand it anymore. It’s always a good time to show empathy and wild compassion!