I lived the first 8 years of my life on a rural farm in Saskatchewan. I am the second youngest of 7 children. At the age of 8, our house burned down and our family moved to the city.
I don't have a high school diploma and have always regretted not going back to school. When I was 15, I was asked to join a band as lead vocalist, to which my parents forbade it. I love music, love to sing and dance. I didn't follow a path into music, instead, I took a job at Burger King.
Life has a way of giving you what you didn't know you needed, and I found that out when I met my husband on the job. We were married in 1985 at the age of 19. 2 and a half years later we welcomed our first son. 2 years later I lost a son, 5 months into my pregnancy.Two years later we had another son, followed 2 and a half years later by a daughter.
My children are all adults now and have given me a wonderful daughter-in-law and four beautiful grandchildren. Hubby and I have been married for 35 years.
My love of storytelling goes back to my youth. I would regale my friends and cousins with stories I'd make up on the spot. It continues into my teens and then adulthood. I could come up with a story in my head and sit down and write it all out. My inspiration came from the Romane author, Nora Roberts, and J.D. Robb. By the time I was 35 I had a box full of manuscripts. A lot of my stories have come from my dreams and nightmares.
I have to credit my published work to my husband. He encouraged me to submit my stories. After several rejections, I finally found a publisher who saw potential in me and encouraged me to submit my work. I published my first novel, Kidnapped in 2006 and I haven't stopped since.
I suffer from Depression.
Growing up, I was called a baby. Weak. Too emotional. I didn't know why sometimes I felt so sad I needed to cry. I didn't know why at times I wished I was dead. I just felt so empty. When I was happy, It was so incredible. I felt giddy, and couldn't stop smiling.
When I was 13, I tried to slice my wrists. I found out then I hated pain. Yes, I know how silly that sounds. I wanted to be dead but I didn't want the pain.
That's when I turned to alcohol. It was such a perfect way to numb the pain. There are lapses in my memory because I would get so drunk I couldn't walk. I also found out that I was not a happy drunk. I'd become combative, mean.
Very often, people who suffer from depression will turn to drugs and alcohol. People feel that numbing the pain for even a minute is worth the addiction.
At 16 I began to date. Access to alcohol was easier to get because I dated older men. My second attempt at suicide, I tried to O.D. from the medication I had been prescribed for sleep. I was lucky my boyfriend at the time stopped me. Because we were fighting, my mom woke up and told my boyfriend to go. He expressed that I had attempted to take my own life, and her response was just go to bed and you'll be fine. I went to bed, but cried myself to sleep.
I was 17 when I met my husband. We worked together and for the first time in my life, I looked forward to the next day. We were married in 1985 and had three children together. I was happy for the most part, but the lows hit me hard. My 3rd attempt was in 1988, three months after our first son was born. Again, I was going to end my life with pills. My wonderfully supported husband took me to a dr but nothing ever came from it.
Losing my second son five months into my pregnancy set me off and I went into a deep depression. Again, my wonderful hubby got me help and I started seeing a counsellor.
I was diagnosed in 2000 with Bipolar depression. It's been a hard road dealing with my emotions and my Husband and kids have had to deal with my highs, lows, my anger and suicidal thoughts. I've been through several medications, trying to find the right concoction to help me cope with it. It's an endless struggle, but I keep fighting.
My oldest and youngest children are also bipolar and they've struggled really hard to fight the urge to commit suicide. My youngest has had several suicidal attempts. She began cutting herself at 14 and when we discovered what she was doing, we took her to the hospital where they admitted her to a psychiatric facility for the first time. Seeing your young child in a lockdown facility is very painful, even though you know that is where she belongs to get better. Over the years she has attempted suicide several times and has been in several facilities to help her cope. She was diagnosed with Schizoaffective Disorder when she was 19. (See websites below) I am so proud of her for continuing to fight.
She is at the point now that when she starts to feel the low coming on and suicidal thoughts invading her mind she asks for help. She no longer cuts herself.
Depression, of any kind, is often debilitating. It's a daily struggle to keep fighting, to not give in to the darkness that is waiting to swallow you up. I know how hard it is, what it feels like to not want to get out of bed. Not wanting to see or talk to anyone. It is so easy to give in and it's hard to fight it. But you can't stop fighting. Don't give in to the darkness. Take it one day at a time.
Even though it may not seem like it, You are important. You matter. You are loved.
If you don't have anyone in your life to talk to, there are people out there that can help you. Please reach out.
If you or someone you know is struggling, please, reach out to someone, anyone. There is no shame in asking for help.
Below are links to guide you in the right direction for help.