Posts Tagged Mental Health

Women Writers… writing | Sarah Marie Graye

Sarah Marie GrayeSarah Marie Graye was born in Manchester, United Kingdom, in 1975, to English Catholic parents. One of five daughters, to the outside world Sarah Marie’s childhood followed a relatively typical Manchester upbringing… until aged 9, when she was diagnosed with depression.

It’s a diagnosis that has stayed with Sarah Marie over three decades, and something she believes has coloured every life decision.

Now in her early 40s, and with an MA Creative Writing from London South Bank University (where she was the vice-chancellor’s scholarship holder), Sarah Marie has published her debut novel – about family, friendships and mental health.

 

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The Second CupCover

by Sarah Marie Graye

Genre: Contemporary Fiction/Women’s Fiction/Romance

Would your life unravel if someone you knew committed suicide? Theirs did.

Faye knows her heart still belongs to her first love, Jack. She also knows he might have moved on, but when she decides to track him down, nothing prepares her for the news that he’s taken his own life. Faye is left wondering how to move forward – and whether or not Jack’s best friend Ethan will let her down again.

And the news of Jack’s death ripples through the lives of her friends too. Abbie finds herself questioning her marriage, and wondering if she was right to leave her first love behind. Poor Olivia is juggling her job and her boyfriend with supporting her friends and trying to deal with a death of her own. And Jack’s death has hit Beth the hardest, even though she never knew him.

Is Beth about to take her own life too?

The Second Cup is an intense, slow-paced novel, where four friends take it in turns to tell the story of what happens after Jack’s suicide. The author has skillfully interwoven third-person flashbacks in amongst their voices to add a real richness and depth to this heart-wrenching story. This is dark chick-lit and intelligent women’s fiction at its best.

 

Universal Purchase Linkhttps://mybook.to/SecondCup

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Self-Care For When You’re Depressed

Excellent tips for dealing with depression! 😉

Keri L.

Depression. It happens to the best of us, and it is nothing to be ashamed of. I want you to walk away from this post feeling encouraged, and understanding that depression happens, no matter who you are, what you do, or how good life is. As someone who struggles with feeling down at times, I wanted to put together a list of things that help me get through it – they work for me, I know they’ll work for you. So let’s get started.

  • Firstly, understand that being depressed does not make you a bad person. It does not mean you are unworthy, or that you deserve to die. Some of us suffer from depression with no triggers, and some of us feel its claws only after we’ve gone through something painful. Depression happens, but it doesn’t have to control you.
  • As a Christian, this is the best piece of…

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“The Book of Forgiving” by Desmond Tutu, Mpho Tutu

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The Book of Forgiving: The Fourfold Path for Healing Ourselves and Our World

by Desmond Tutu, Mpho Tutu

Genre: Mental Health & Self-Help/Spiritual/Emotions

1.99 at time of Posting! (Reg. 15.99)

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Prize winner, Chair of The Elders, and Chair of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, along with his daughter, the Reverend Mpho Tutu, offer a manual on the art of forgiveness—helping us to realize that we are all capable of healing and transformation.

Tutu’s role as the Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission taught him much about forgiveness. If you asked anyone what they thought was going to happen to South Africa after apartheid, almost universally it was predicted that the country would be devastated by a comprehensive bloodbath. Yet, instead of revenge and retribution, this new nation chose to tread the difficult path of confession, forgiveness, and reconciliation.

Each of us has a deep need to forgive and to be forgiven. After much reflection on the process of forgiveness, Tutu has seen that there are four important steps to healing: Admitting the wrong and acknowledging the harm; Telling one’s story and witnessing the anguish; Asking for forgiveness and granting forgiveness; and renewing or releasing the relationship. Forgiveness is hard work. Sometimes it even feels like an impossible task. But it is only through walking this fourfold path that Tutu says we can free ourselves of the endless and unyielding cycle of pain and retribution. The Book of Forgiving is both a touchstone and a tool, offering Tutu’s wise advice and showing the way to experience forgiveness. Ultimately, forgiving is the only means we have to heal ourselves and our aching world.

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Horribly treated young mother seeking help for Post-Partum Depression!

This post is from Facebook. I do not know Jessica Porten (https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10213174920945414&id=1166947031) and saw the post because my daughter shared it. I have not altered or edited the post in any way. The photo belongs to Jessica. I’m sharing this to help get it in front of more people.

What was done to this woman was cruel and unnecessary, especially since she was reaching out for help. This angers me also because nearly the same thing happened in Michigan fifteen years when I tried to get help for my son, who was twelve at the time.

No one should be treated this way… NO ONE! We must demand better treatment and care of anyone seeking help for mental disorders and especially women with PPD.

I have much respect for Jessica and her husband for trying to handle things the right way… by seeing a doctor…that by the way, they never saw!

Feel free to share!


I had a really hard time deciding whether I should post something about what happened last night, since putting it on Facebook wouldn’t help the situation. But I don’t know, I feel like this has to be said out into the world so you can all see how little support mothers get from our healthcare system.

I had an OB appointment yesterday, my first since giving birth 4 months ago (because they kept cancelling my appointments), which is inhumane in my eyes. I went to the appointment alone with Kira. It was at 2:10, and I was not called back to a room until 3:15. A nurse practitioner comes in (one I don’t particularly care for) and I tell her everything my husband told them when he scheduled me the appointment a week ago. That I have postpartum depression that is manifesting in fits of anger, and I want to discuss my medication options. I tell them I have a very strong support system at home, so although I would never hurt myself or my baby, I’m having violent thoughts and I need medication and therapy to get through this. She rushed through my pelvic exam, barely spoke about medication, said she needed to talk to the doctor about my PPD, and left the room.

They called the fucking cops on me.

They had a staff member sit with me for over an hour waiting for the police to arrive. The cops show up and we’re trying to figure out the logistics of how they’re going to escort me to the ER because I have Kira and her car seat. The cops can clearly see I’m of sound mind and that this whole thing is bullshit, so they allow me to drive to the ER with Kira in my car while one cop drives in front of me and one follows behind. We arrive at the ER and I’m checked in, triaged, blood drawn. I am assigned a security guard to babysit me. I wait for over an hour and Scott is finally able to come down to support me (he was watching Luna and did not have her car seat so he had to wait for my dad to get home before he could come over). They finally get us a room, which they only did because we have a baby.

They take me to the bathroom so I can give a urine sample. They make me remove all of my clothes (including my flip flops, which they replaced with socks) and then take them away from me and lock them up. We missed dinner, so a nurse gives us two shitty little turkey sandwiches. I am not seen by a social worker until 10:45pm. She decides she does not need to put me on a psychiatric hold, and they process my discharge.

Not once during all of this has a doctor laid eyes on me. Not once. Not even before they decided to call the cops on me. The social worker hands me some papers and discusses the information in them, telling me she thinks these “will probably be good resources for you.”.

I leave the ER at midnight, my spirit more broken than ever, no medication, no follow up appointment, never spoke to a doctor. This was a 10 hour ordeal that I had to go through all while caring for my infant that I had with me. And that’s it. That’s what I got for telling my OB that I have PPD and I need help. I was treated like a criminal and then discharged with nothing but a stack of xeroxed printouts with phone numbers on them.

I’m still processing all of the emotions that are coming with being treated this way. I’m not exactly sure what to do here. I will say I am deeply hurt and upset, and above all angry and disgusted and disappointed by how this whole thing went down.

Ladies and gentleman, our healthcare system.

The photo is of Kira playing on the hospital bed. My poor baby did not sleep longer than half an hour for over 10 hours 😔

EDIT 01/19/18 at 3:38pm – I want to say, I will not be taking any legal action with this. I want this to spread far and wide so that awareness can be made. And then I want to fix this broken system. Because the fact of the matter is, even if I was mentally unstable, suicidal, and unfit to parent (which I am not), the way the situation was handled is not helpful to people. Let’s do better Sacramento. I want you all to ask yourself and those around you some questions.

-Why is the way I was treated standard procedure?
-What can we do to improve standard procedures for all postpartum mothers, but also specifically those at a higher risk for developing PPD and presenting with signs of PPD.
-Who is most qualified to make suggestions for improvements?
-Who is actually capable of making the changes to standard procedures, and how can we can contact them?

Let’s crowd source ideas and bring about some real change.

EDIT 01/19/18 at 11:06pm – I have some more questions I need to add this list. I may be marginalized as a woman, but I am white and heterosexual and hold privileges in these places. I am scared for our mothers of color and our LGBTQ mothers who seek out help in these situations.

-Why was I let go, when so many others would have been put on a mandatory 72 hour psychiatrichold, and had their children taken away?
-Why do a disproportionate number women of color who have PPD not receive the services they need, even when they initiate treatment?
-Why are a disproportionate number of women of color who have PPD misdiagnosed?
-Why are black women half as likely to receive mental health treatment and counseling as white women?
-What can we do as a community to lift up our marginalized memebers and make sure they receive the quality care that we ALL have a right to?!?

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Meet Sarah Marie Graye, author of “The Second Cup” #Spotlight

Learn about author Sarah Marie Graye today as she takes time out from writing to discuss her debut novel, The Second Cup. Remember to scroll to the end and enter Sarah’s international giveaway. Three winners will each receive a signed copy of The Second Cup.


 

Second Cup banner

 


FD: Where are you from?

SMG: I’m originally from Manchester (in the United Kingdom). I’m a typical Mancunian in that I can’t hear anything negative about my hometown, although I’m not sure I could live in a big city again. I lived in London for a while, but it wasn’t for me. [SMG shudders] I currently live in Whitstable on the north Kent coast – and one of my local bars is called ‘Novelist’ so it’s fate! I recommend a daily dose of sea air to anyone thinking of moving to the coast.

 

FD: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

SMG: I’m a natural daydreamer and spend many hours living in the world inside my head. I’ve always enjoyed reading and found myself writing the next theoretical chapter of a book in my head once I’d finished reading something.

I loathed school, but found English the most tolerable subject! [SMG rolls her eyes] I studied English Literature at A Level and enjoyed the range and depth of books we read. I also studied Performing Arts and went on to do a degree in Scriptwriting at Bournemouth University before working as a journalist. A few years ago I completed an MA Creative Writing, which supported me in writing my debut novel.

 

FD: What inspired you to write your first book?

SMG: The final-year project on my degree at Bournemouth was a feature-length script. The feedback I got was that my writing was a too descriptive for a script – and also wasted on it because the audience didn’t get to read it, and that I should consider writing a novel. The thought stayed with me for over a decade before I got round to doing anything about it! I’m a typical “Turtle Writer” (a group of writers who write slowly, who support each other on Twitter).

 

FD: Who designed the cover?

SMG: Cover Mint (www.covermint.design). It was one of five covers sent over as ideas from my publisher Creativia. I fell in love with the one I chose instantly. Turns out it was their favourite too! I especially love the font – it has given my novel a very strong look. When my first order of paperbacks turned up I found myself hugging them – it’s when it really hit home that I was a published novelist.

 

FD: What genres do you enjoy reading and what are you reading now?

SMG: I love psychological fiction that gets inside the head of the main characters. I prefer slower paced books, so I don’t read too much psychological crime/thriller fiction. I’m currently reading The White Lie by Andrea Gillies – I’m actually re-reading it, which is cheating a little, I guess [SMG grins]. Before that I read The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards and I’ve got How to Stop Time by Matt Haig and The Summer of Impossible Things by Rowan Coleman next on my to-read list.

 

FD: How do you relax and have fun?

SMG: I love going for long walks. Well, I’m more of a meanderer – no real speed. I’ve learned the coastal bus routes in Whitstable and Herne Bay so I can get myself back home if I walk too far and tire myself out. I also enjoy binge-watching TV series on Netflix – recent recommendations are The Code and The Sinner. And reading, of course! I obviously love reading! [SMG laughs] I’m also a bit of a sleep addict; I try to get 10 hours every night. Sleep is so important for health and general wellbeing and needs no fitness levels in order to be achieved.

 

FD: What’s one thing from your bucket list you’d like to experience or accomplish?

SMG: To spend a year or two living on one of the Canary Islands and writing a book in the sun. It’s difficult to get work out there, so it’s very much a wistful idea at the moment. I have a plotline for a novel where tragedy strikes on holiday, so it would be the perfect excuse. If I ever win the lottery I’ll head out there and have a lovely long writing holiday!

 

FD: What are your current projects?

SMG: I’m working on my second novel, with the working title of The Victoria Lie. I’m just over 10,000 words into the first draft, so it’s not much beyond the embryonic stage at the moment. Unlike The Second Cup, which is mostly set in my hometown of Manchester (plus London, Berkhamsted and Blackpool), The Victoria Lie is set in London and Whitstable.

 

FD: Can you share a little of your current work with us?

SMG: I write in first-person multi-narration, so different characters tell different chapters. The section below comes from the first draft of Ruby’s first chapter. She lives in Whitstable and is visiting London – so she sees it through the eyes of an outsider. A homeless person has just recited a poem on the tube as a way to beg for money. Ruby notices the way most people on the tube don’t even see them.

She finishes her poem and stands briefly at the end of the carriage that was temporarily her stage before walking slowly between the two rows of seats, ignored by most, acknowledged with a nod by a skinny girl who looks like she could do with a decent meal herself – the nod says “I would like to help but I can’t, but I see you as a fellow human”. The nod is important.

Nobody else puts their hands in their pockets or their purses. I know rhyming couplets aren’t clever, and maybe it’s the hundredth time that everyone else in this carriage has heard the poem, but I want to reward this homeless woman for attempting to connect with a carriage full of people who mostly want to pretend she isn’t there.

I have no idea what an acceptable amount to give a homeless person in London is, so I guess at £2. I fish the coins out of my purse and hand them over. I can tell from the slight flex of muscles on her face – a hint of surprise – that I’ve been generous. Even though people earn more in London, it doesn’t seem to matter; people are protective of their own pennies. 

 

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FD: Where can readers find you online?

Website: https://sarahmariegraye.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SarahMarieGraye

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sarahmariegraye/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/sarahmariegraye/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sarahmariegraye/

You’re most likely to find me on Twitter!

 

FD: Many thanks for visiting with us today, Sarah Marie. Continued success to you!

SMG: Thank you! Lovely to meet you and talk to you about about my writing. Hopefully we’ll get the chance to catch up again once I’ve finished The Victoria Lie.

 


Would your life unravel if someone you knew committed suicide? Theirs did.

Faye’s heart still belongs to her first love, Jack. She knows he might have moved on, but when she decides to track him down, nothing prepares her for the news that he’s taken his own life.

With the fragility of life staring them in the face, Abbie finds herself questioning her marriage, and Faye her friendship with Ethan. And poor Olivia is questioning everything – including why Jack’s death has hit Beth the hardest. Is she about to take her own life too?

Universal Purchase Linkhttps://mybook.to/SecondCup

 

 

 


Author Bio:

Sarah Marie Graye was born in Manchester, United Kingdom, in 1975, to English Catholic parents. One of five daughters, to the outside world Sarah Marie’s childhood followed a relatively typical Manchester upbringing… until aged 9, when she was diagnosed with depression.

It’s a diagnosis that has stayed with Sarah Marie over three decades, and something she believes has coloured every life decision.

Now in her early 40s, and with an MA Creative Writing from London South Bank University (where she was the vice-chancellor’s scholarship holder), Sarah Marie has published her debut novel – about family, friendships and mental health.

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~ Giveaway~

Win 3 x Signed copies of The Second Cup by Sarah Marie Graye (Open Internationally)

 

E N T E R

 

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“Magic O’Clock: A Fictional Tale of Dementia and Hope” by L.S. Fellows #Review


Magic Oclock cover

5/5 Stars!

Love Still Wins!

This short, fictional read packs an emotional punch that will stay with the reader long after the story is finished. It will also resonate with those who have ‘lost’ loved ones and friends to Dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Archie Royle is ‘lost’ to his family, stolen from his children by Dementia shortly after losing his wife… the love of his life.

The retirement-home resident has a daily routine, though. One of his daughters returns daily to witness his routine and see the father she remembers from… before—and perhaps with a little hope, he will remember her.

The author does a wonderful job of showing the daughter’s despair and anger, but it’s a daughter’s love for her father that shines through this bittersweet tale.

Magic O’clock tugged at my heartstrings.

While my late father didn’t have Dementia, he did have ‘memory lapses’ when he’d leave his eighty-eight-year-old mind and once again be the nine-year-old boy helping his father care for their horses.

When the author mentions Archie’s plaid trousers, I was done for. Those were a favorite of my dad’s, although he would forever call them ‘checkedy.’

I highly recommend this short story, and keep the tissues close.

Enjoy!


Magic O’Clock: A fictional tale of dementia and hope”

by L.S. Fellows

Genre: Short Story/Parenting & Relationships/Aging Parents

Release Date: May 7, 2017

99¢

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“Family Matters (In the Best Interest of the Child, Book 2)” by Felicia Denise #CoverReveal


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Family Matter full cover

“Family Matters”

Series: In the Best Interest of the Child, Book 2

Author: Felicia Denise

Cover Design: Jenn Cunningham

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Release Date: August 2017

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Synopsis:

Olivia Chandler’s journey to wholeness continues as she enters counseling. Her therapy will not be easy, and may not be successful unless Olivia can forgive her mother. But is Sarina Chandler the only one in need of Olivia’s forgiveness?

A Halloween party brings together a surprising group of people, and Bruce introduces Olivia to his adult children. Another Bellamy has a second chance at love – if he can put his old-fashioned ways aside.

The death of someone close to Olivia has her re-thinking the value of emotional connections. She withdraws from everyone, falling back into her old habit of burying herself in work. A surprise confrontation pushes Olivia to her limits and puts her heart on the line.

Her continued avoidance of confronting Sarina Chandler pulls at the seams of Olivia’s new-found love with Bruce Bellamy. Olivia must make a decision. Save them… or surrender to her emotional demons.

Excerpt:

“Olivia Chandler? I’m Sandra Riley, Sarina’s case manager.”

The tall woman grasped Olivia’s hand into both of her own, shaking briskly. “We’re so glad you’re here today. This is a big step forward for your mother.”

“Nice to meet you, Sandra, and honestly, it’s a big step for me too.”

“Oh, I’m sure, Olivia. Any questions for me before you visit with Sarina?”

Visit with Sarina. She made it sound so cute and homey, Olivia thought.

“Does she know I planned to be here today?”

“Yes, she does. When Sarina asked about you a few weeks ago, she said she also knew you’d have little or no reason to want to see her, but she’d always hoped you come someday.””

Olivia stared at the woman blankly, not knowing how to respond to the comment.

“I’m sure this is confusing, Olivia, and now isn’t the time for me to explain all that Sarina has gone through, but please know she is fully cognizant of her aging, of you, her late husband”, Sandra paused only for a second, “she even remembers the accident. It’s everything between the accident and a few months ago that’s fuzzy for her. It’s as though a switch was flipped off in her brain that was recently turned back on.”

Olivia frowned but didn’t ask the question on the tip of her tongue.

“May I see her now?”

“Of course! Follow me.”

The case manager’s long legs covered the distance across the sitting area in no time at all, with Olivia almost scurrying to keep up with her. Margot and Randie teased Olivia about her brisk walking pace, but she had nothing on Sandra Riley! Olivia would guess Sandra to be at least six feet tall… and light on her feet.

Reaching an unmarked door in the far corner, Sandra held it open for Olivia, who walked through and found herself standing in yet another sitting room, only this one resembled the average family room. Large, comfy chairs, throw rugs and even a flat screen television graced the area.

“Welcome to Honey Ridge East, Olivia.”

“Honey Ridge East? I don’t understand.”

Sandra pointed to a bulletin board on the wall near the door they’d just come through.

“The residents here are grouped by floor, the severity of mental disorder, and the amount of care and supervision needed. The healthiest, most independent residents reside here in Honey Ridge.”

“My mother is here… in this section?”

She nodded.

Olivia tried to digest the information. Her mother was healthy? Required little or no supervision? Trying to reconcile this new Sarina with the bedridden, incoherent woman she last saw five years ago was difficult for Olivia.

“How long has she lived here?”

Sandra pursed her lips, thinking. Then she nodded.

“I’m pretty sure Sarina was here for the group’s Valentine’s Day dinner dance, so that makes it eight months.” Sandra tried not to laugh at the horrified expression on Olivia’s face.

“Don’t be shocked. We also have Easter Egg hunts and 4th of July barbecues.  The residents got a big kick out of the Halloween hay rides.” Sandra leaned in towards Olivia, “ And I hear Santa will visit on Christmas Eve.”

Shaking her head, Olivia was incredulous.

“What kind of mental hospital is this? I mean, um…I thought…”

The case manager guided Olivia past the sitting area while answering.

“River Ridge Meadows is a private care, private pay, voluntary commitment facility. We’re fully licensed by the state and the federal government. Insurance isn’t accepted here, and no resident is here against their will. We currently have one hundred and sixty-one residents ranging in age from seven to eighty-six. Most are from throughout the state, but there are a few from other parts of the country, and even four from Europe. River Ridge has two permanent, board certified psychiatrists, two permanent, board certified medical doctors, six psychologists, and a nursing staff of 40 which includes licensed physical therapists.

The residents here are used to a certain way of life, and we provide that here, within reason. That’s why we also have an event planner and a social activities director on staff.”

Sandra stopped at the top end of a short hallway. “But we have all the time in the world for me to tell you about River Ridge, and even give you a tour, if you like.” She nodded towards the end of the hall. “Your mother is expecting you.”

Olivia pressed her hand against her stomach, the tiny nervous tremors threatening to morph into a full-fledged earthquake. Heat enveloped her body as the familiar tang of bile crept up the back of her throat. Closing her eyes, the nervous woman tried to will the anxiety away.

You’ve come this far, Chandler, don’t you dare freak out now!

 

~ Author Bio and Links ~

A wife, mother, daughter, sister, blogger and indie author, Felicia loves all things book-related and coffee-related. A southern girl by birth, the fifty-something, voracious reader now resides in Arizona (via Michigan and California) with her husband of thirty-three years. Their three adult children also reside in Arizona – with their dogs. Felicia frequently reminds them she is the only one of her parents’ nine children who isn’t a grandparent.

Writing has been a hobby of Felicia’s since grade school, but other than serving as editor and writing for her high school newspaper, she never publicly shared anything until the early 2000s when she began writing fan fiction. At the urging of a good friend, Felicia took on the challenge of NaNoWriMo in 2015, writing what would become her first published book, In the Best Interest of the Child, released in the fall of 2016. Her latest book, Free, a Novella, released May 30, 2017.

Sometimes serious and always sarcastic, Felicia continues her literary search for the ultimate non-alpha, non-billionaire, non-bad-boy hero with a non-sassy, non-feisty, non-bad-decision-making heroine whose relationship exemplifies true romance. Recommendations are always welcome!

 

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