James Story

It is finally done!! So this is something I have been working on. I had the privilege of interviewing my friend James  I am grateful that he took the time out of his day to speak to me and to share a part of him and his story. I talk a lot about the importance of sharing stories and how stories have the ability to change lives, build community, connection and provide moments of realization that we are not alone in our pain and struggle AND there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Things do get better. I ask that you listen to this podcast with an open heart and an open mind. That you forgive me for the bad quality of sound in the beginning but that you stick through it because the sound does get better (It’s my first interview ever so please be nice haha)

Here’s a description of our talk :
“I dove into a part of my friend James story and journey in life; Drinking and driving leading to a tragic loss. James transparently discusses personal struggles, hurts, his journey of healing and what he continues to do to heal from his past and care for himself. Choosing love over fear, choosing love over negativity.”

I pray that this resonates with a lot of you out there. That it touches your heart, inspires conversation, and creates a space and environment of hope, healing, love, and community. I hope that this inspires many of my friends and family to take the time to get to know strangers and their stories and that it gives you the courage to share your story.

Stories change lives

And if you’d love to be a part of this project and share your story, message me!

xo

DONT QUIT

“When things go wrong as they sometimes will,

When the road you’re trudging seems all up hill,

When the funds are low and the debts are high

And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,

When care is pressing you down a bit,

Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.

Life is strange with its twists and turns

As every one of us sometimes learns

And many a failure comes about

When he might have won had he stuck it out;

Don’t give up though the pace seems slow—

You may succeed with another blow.

Success is failure turned inside out—

The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,

And you never can tell just how close you are,

It may be near when it seems so far;

So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit—

It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.”

– By John Greenleaf Whittier

Brittany’s Story

“Wow! I did it. I made it to 30 years old!! I understand in most standards that turning another year older isn’t exactly an accomplishment, however to me, this is the biggest accomplishment of my life.

There was a time I didn’t know if I would live to see tomorrow. I never believed I would even turn 18. I always felt inside of me that I wasn’t meant to live a long life. As a teenager I played into this feeling. I suffered from insomnia and manic depression while being diagnosed with bipolar disorder. I coped through drugs and self harm. I spent years fighting suicidal ideation wondering if this is how torturous living a long life would be. I struggled hard in my own confusing world and faught within myself to try to understand the point of life. I lived on the edge of absolutely everything I could. I made rash decisions, hung out with the wrong crowd, consumed harmful drugs in search of a feeling that made me feel alive. I attempted and failed suicide and I survived accidental overdoses. I never graduated high school. I never went to college. I suffered through months of debilitating depression that reeked havoc on my personal life, destroyed friendships and crippled my relationship with my family.

I share all of this because today at 30, it is all different.

I have peeled myself off the floor, distracted myself from the pain, and built myself the most incredible life.

My parents are my best friends, and I can honestly say I am the happiest person I know. I have a business that I absolutely love and wake up each day eager to work and see my next accomplishments.

I built a life I dreamt of having and never knew was possible.

I built a life that works with my gypsy soul, and I can feed my need for adventure and discovery. I have learned who I am, what I need and I embrace my flaws while actively learning how to grow and become a better person every day.

I am happy! I am clean. I am sober. I am finally me!

I have to say I am so fortunate to have the most incredible woman in my life. My Grandmother who never doubted my future success, and never once looked down on me for the mistakes I made. Love you Sandra Levine.

Thank you for always believing in me.

I share this because I know how difficult life is. I know how lonely life is!! Life is Hard and unfair and I am here for you. I ALWAYS will have time for you. I WANT to listen to you. I am here if you want advice, I am here just for an ear. I don’t care how well I know you. I know you enough to know that you never should have to feel like you’re alone. I know you well enough to know you WILL get past this. I know you well enough to know you are capable of building a life for yourself the way I have for myself. It is Never too late!! I am here for you! Please call me…any time! (Seriously, you can even call on messanger. Anyone who needs a friend.)

As always I hope my birthday is just as happy for you as it is for me. I hope you buy yourself something special today and think of me when you do! I hope you hug yourself and recognize how wonderful you are. Happy huge 30th birthday to me. I hope everyone has an absolutely amazing day!!! And thank you for the birthday wishes and reading through this ridiculously long rant.

Bravo if you made it this far!”

From an end to a new beginning

Sometimes you come across really great life changing books. Some of mine have been “The Alchemist – by Paulo Coelho” , “The Wait – by DeVon Franklin” and “Battlefield of the Mind – By Joyce Meyer.” I’ve read some books that have helped me grow but these three that I mentioned definitely made an impact on my life.

Adding to that list is a recent book I’ve been reading called “Option B Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy – by Sheryl  Sandberg and Adam Grant”

I read a great article a while back that inspired me to purchase the book. The article was titled “How I got through the worst days of my life (so far) by Shane Snow.

Here’s the article: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/how-i-got-through-worst-days-my-life-so-far-shane-snow

And I wrote a blog post about that article and how it inspired me here: https://healingbrokenheartsproject.com/2017/05/16/setbacks-of-life/

This is definitely a book I’d love to read a few times through. At the moment I am finishing up Chapter 5 (halfway through the book) and I came across a great quote:

“Every new beginning comes from some other beginnings end.” – Roman philosopher Seneca

How true is that. I mean , I guess growing up I always had a really hard time with things ending. Friendships, jobs, relationships, passions, you name it. It always felt so absolute and tragic. After reading this chapter, I learned that it’s all about perspective and the end of something isn’t necessarily bad because it just means it’s the beginning of something else. We can choose to let our experiences sink us to the bottom of the lake or we can let our experiences become stepping stones to help us get to the other side.

Bear with me through this tough hump here but in this chapter the writer talks about post-traumatic growth, which in a nutshell is how people who are faced with a traumatic event can bounce forward. Psychologist found that some people respond to trauma by developing PTSD (Post-traumatic stress disorder) and face debilitating depression and anxiety, others would respond by being resilient and would bounce back to their state before trauma and even others would bounce forward.

Now what does bounce forward mean? Well the writer goes to explain that post-traumatic growth are people who grow from tragedy.

This seems to happen in 5 different ways per Joe Kaspers findings:

-Finding personal strength

-Gaining Appreciation

-Forming Deeper relationships

-Discovering More meaning in life

-Seeing new possibilities

Now I know a lot of you may think how in the world can I find any good from my loved one dying, being murdered, raped, insert traumatic experience here, and I would just ask that you please read Chapter 5 of Option B because it really goes into a beautiful explanation of each one and how if we’re ready, we can get through our trauma to see the other side.

Hence “Every new beginning comes from some other beginnings end.” 

;  (The Semicolon project has that same vibe)

It doesn’t have to end at the trauma or tragedy in your life. Instead of the book ending, that “end” can be a catalyst to a new beginning.

Let’s not end the book but start a new chapter instead… 

 

 

 

Plagued thoughts


I came across a gorgeous photo on dA that I couldn’t help but sketch and for whatever reason this photo touched my heart. The photo is titled “Plague” and it made me really think about my day today.

Today was one of those days where I was extremely overwhelmed. A day when nothing felt like it was going right. Where my mind wanted to repeat everything that continued to go wrong making me feel like nothing was going to get better.

A day where my thoughts easily consumed me and made me forget my purpose for fighting.

A pity party day.

 A day where I wanted to feel loved but felt alone.

 A day where I called my friend to say hi and they were conveniently busy, my friends weren’t  around, and everything seemed to annoy me.

And that photo I sketched made me think of my day today. Of that feeling of suffocation, of hopelessness, of being consumed by negativity.

Luckily for me my morning study by Joyce Meyer was themed “The power of our thoughts” and she spoke about how important it is to pretty much karate chop and dump out all that junk that tries to live in our head. It’s truly a constant battle of replacing the bad with the good.  The negative with the positive!

So what did I do? Just that! I worked out for a little, organized myself, created a routine and to do list for the day, stretched, and drew and kept replacing bad thoughts with good. I was doing great but then my friend sent me a text that I misinterpreted and got upset about. (Even our loved ones can push us off track sometimes accidentally) so I took some time to get back on track and think positive.

I was doing great once again then a coworker mentioned something that reminded me for the umteenth time that I didn’t like my job. For a while I had a pity party and poor me moment. Then I realized I needed to get my thoughts back on track and decided that instead of complaining I was going to start applying to jobs.

So today although I felt like I was suffocating and had to duke it out with some of the thoughts going through my head, I learned a valuable lesson…

That our mind is very powerful and can convince us of things that aren’t true “I’m never going to get a job I like”, “I’m never going to get married or fall in love” “I suck” etc. The important thing to remember is those negative thoughts aren’t true! You will amount to something amazing. You will find someone. YOU WILL (fill in the blank )

I am lucky and blessed that God is there every step of the way guiding me and helping me get through it.

And as Joyce Meyer said

“It is never too late to begin again”