There and back again. No, this isn’t about Lord of the Rings.

As always, I view ramblings like this as ‘it’s my blog and I can post what I want to.’  I try never to get too personal, but sometimes you just have to get it out of your system, so that’s what I’m hoping this blog post can accomplish.  I try to hold myself in a very professional spotlight when it comes to my writing, but I feel like I’m letting people down if I hide particular things from them.  You won’t get the full story, but you’ll get enough.

I am nothing short of a daydreamer.  For as far back as I can remember, I have always had this idea that one day I would write the ultimate novel and everyone in the world would know my name.  Now, mind you, that was the dream of a little girl who fully believed the sky was the limit and anything is possible.  Of course I still believe that and I probably always will.  When I made the decision to hit publish in 2011, I honestly had no idea how this would turn out for me.  The road has been full of bumps and zings and near-death experiences when I get too close to the edge of the road, or someone purposefully bumps into me in hopes of knocking me off.

You should know it isn’t that easy.  Now I realize everyone has hardships and we’ve all been given mountains to climb during our lives, but I’m a firm believer in what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

I’m sure some of you have noticed my rants and ravings over the past week.  There have been a few close-calls in which I absolutely wanted to throw in the towel and give up.  I wanted to walk away and be done with everything…even life.

Depression isn’t an easy thing to talk about and anyone who’s dealt with it can vouch for that.  It’s a horrible, terrible darkness that will do anything it can to drag you down.  Depression is a heavy blanket of sadness and overwhelming grief, and sometimes I wonder what I ever did to deserve it.

This is not a post I am writing to get pity, so don’t think that.  I’m well aware that a few people have pulled out the depression card as a way of getting people to feel sorry for them and boost their sales-I don’t want that.  I don’t need anyone to do that because my books speak for themselves.  They need no help from me.

When I was 13, I was diagnosed with depression after one of my childhood friends died in a car accident.  She was my first experience with death and she would not be the last.  I’ve seen so much death in my 28 years of life on this planet and I’ve somehow become desensitized because of it.  Yes, it still hurts.  Yes, I still grieve….but losing that one friend was earth-shattering enough to tear out a piece of my innocence I’ll never get back.  From that moment forward, my life changed in a lot of ways and I gained a new enemy; Depression.

Sometimes it doesn’t take anything for me to shut out the world.  Sometimes I can be happy-go-lucky and all of the sudden the sun disappears.  The dark clouds roll in and I just know what’s coming.  I try to stop it. Sometimes I succeed; sometimes I don’t.  I have made my share of mistakes and for those, I am incredibly sorry.  I hope the people I’ve hurt in the process know that.  I would never, ever intentionally hurt anyone.

I have been hurt by people I trusted with my life and it sucks.  As human beings, we really put ourselves out there when we let people in.  It’s hard to let your guard down because you just never know what someone will do once you become vulnerable to them.  It’s terrifying.

When I release a new book, I often feel terrified that no one will like it….but when it comes to my life and my heart, nothing will ever make me more afraid than allowing someone into that tiny part of myself where I can actually be hurt.

Depression is a succubus that will drain you dry of everything you’ve got.  It’s a dementor.

Depression is an asshole.

I keep fighting though.  I have to.  I remind myself that I have a niece and nephew who love me.  I have family who would be sad to lose me.  I have friends who would mourn me and wonder what they could’ve done to make things different.  I have readers who will message me just to let me know they’re here for me.  For that, for all of you, I am grateful.  I can’t thank you enough for what you do for me.  You have no idea just how bright of a light you become when my world gets dark.  When things threaten to turn ugly, you make it beautiful again.

^This is the face of a warrior.  Every day is a battle even if I don’t voice it.  Some days are good.  Some days are wonderful.  Some days suck.  But the most important thing about every day is that I am still alive.  I still get to do what I love most.  Writing isn’t just how I make a living.  It’s what keeps me living, aside from my family and loved ones.

Like I said, this is not a post in which I am looking for pity or sympathy from anyone.  I simply needed to get it off my chest because the last week has been hell for me.  It’s slowly getting better and I pray that I stay on that course.  

Here’s to hoping that I can get a book finished sometime soon. My poor characters have suffered through this with me and they never deserved that.  

If you suffer from depression, I sincerely hope that you have beacons of light in your life, too.  If you don’t then please come talk to me.  I’d love nothing more than to grab a flashlight and keep the darkness at bay.

Don’t let anyone or anything snuff out your light. 

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  1. Many hugs, Tonya. If you ever need to talk, I’m the guy to do so. I’ve been there more times than I can remember.

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