Come By Here

My cluttered living room has me completely overwhelmed.KumbayaI'm bullied every day because I'm different from everyone else.KumbayaMy spouse told me he doesn't love me any more.KumbayaI'm depressed and no one understands or cares.KumbayaMy best friend lives across the country and I miss her.KumbayaI don't know how I can afford to pay the mortgage this month.KumbayaI don't fit in at my church.KumbayaNo one will ever want to marry me.KumbayaMy child screamed "I hate you!" at me.KumbayaMy parents kicked me out of the house because I'm gay.KumbayaAlone. Weird. Ugly. Stupid. Unlovable. Worthless.KumbayaThe virgin will conceive and give birth to a son,and they will call him Immanuel(which means God with us).~Matthew 1:23, NIV … [Read more...]

Contrast

Depression words:failurerejectednumbfrustratedhauntedsuicidalmanipulatedworthlessdarkinadequatecoldoverwhelmedhijackedCommunity words:capablesafeblessedvaluableforgiveneffectivepeacehopestrengthbeautifuluniquemeaningfullovedThe contrast of living with depression alone and sharing your struggle with someone else is stark. For the stories where these words appear, check out the Not Alone book. … [Read more...]

Not Alone Blog Tour

October 1 was the official release from Civitas Press of the Not Alone book. In order to celebrate, I've asked the contributors and some other blogging friends to share portions of their stories and their impressions of the book. This link-up will be active all week long and I hope that you'll stop by throughout the week to check it out and see what people are saying about the book.If you have read it, I'd love it if you would consider leaving a review at Amazon. I genuinely believe that this is an important book and I would love to see it reach as many people as possible.Thanks again to all who are participating in the blog tour. I know this wasn't an easy book to read and I appreciate you taking the time to review it. And of course, thank you a million times to all of the contributors. … [Read more...]

Not Alone Available on Amazon!

In case you missed my media blast on Sunday, Not Alone is now available for purchase on Amazon! Which means if you buy it right now and pay for stupid expensive shipping rates, you can have it tomorrow! (You don't have to do that. But you know, you could.)And just so you don't think that I'm the only person who likes this book, here are the endorsements that it has received (so far!):"Stories are powerful. They humanize us, wreak havoc on our prejudices, and bind us together like societal glue. The personal essays in Not Alone do all these things. For those of us outside depression, they help us recognize bits of ourselves in an unfamiliar landscape. For those already intimate with depression, these stories can be a lifeline to community, an extended hand in the darkness. They show us no … [Read more...]

Not Alone Housekeeping

You guys, the book is at the printers, like, right now. Every time I think my excitement level is maxed out, it cranks up another notch or two. You've all been so awesome so far at helping me by providing stories, support, back links in your blogs, all kinds of stuff, and now that it's close, I've got a few more ways that you can help.Grab a button. I've got several different size buttons/ads that you can display on your website or blog (see the bottom of the post for examples and grab boxes). These will take folks to the Civitas website where they can order the book.Share the pre-order link on Facebook or Twitter or Google + or whatever cooler thing that I'm not familiar with yet. I promise you, there is someone in your circle of influence who is dealing with depression right now and … [Read more...]

It Gets Better. And Worse. And Then Better Again.

I love the It Gets Better campaign from Dan Savage. I love that LGBT kids (or really any kids) can know that even in the midst of awful bullying, there is hope out there. That there are folks who are like them, and even folks who aren't, who care about them and want to see them make it. Seeing how people have survived middle school and high school and are now succeeding in life can be a really important reminder that when things seem bad, there is hope. Life gets better.Only, you know, sometimes it doesn't.There are brighter days, but there will probably be some darker days too. Life is full of loss, love, delight, pain, hurt, discovery, boredom, desire, fun. It's not a graph that has a steady incline, it's a jumbled mess of ups and downs that never stays the same way for very long.So yes, … [Read more...]

What I Did This August

Hello! I'm promise, I'm not a reanimated corpse, it's the real me, back to bring you more of my parentheses-filled writing!First, I have to give a huge (!!!!) thanks to the 25 folks who guest posted last month. Seriously, twenty-five people agreed to help fill in while I was taking my break. That is absolutely ridiculous. What was even more amazing was that they stepped up and presented quality content here. I am genuinely grateful to each person who donated their work to me to help keep things afloat during my month off. And not just afloat, but like a luxury cruise-liner. I could gush for pages about this, but for reals, know that your generosity was deeply appreciated by this blogger. And if you missed any of the posts last month, be sure to go back and check them out, because … [Read more...]

Six Short Months Later…

Back in February, I announced that the Not Alone series was going to be made into a book and I asked you to consider either contributing to the book or looking for others who might want to share their stories.The response was absolutely amazing.As I've spent this month editing stories, I cannot tell you how many tissues I've gone through and how many times I've had to stop and walk away because of how affected I am. People have been extremely vulnerable with their essays and I can never thank them enough for the way they have poured out their souls into these words. It is a huge privilege to be a part of this project.And so it is with great excitement that I am totally breaking my sabbatical (just for a second) to let you know that you can now pre-order the Not Alone book!Really, if I've … [Read more...]

The Allure of Depression by Tony Alicea

Every now and then, you get to meet someone who is just plain nice in every way. Tony is one of those people. And I know some people will be mad that I called a dude nice, but he just IS. He's kind and encouraging and funny and honest and nice. Anyway. This is a bit of a different side of Tony today. Still totally his voice, but this isn't something that I've seen him write about on his blog, and I'm glad that he was willing to share it here. +++++++++++I don’t struggle with depression but I have gotten a glimpse of it.Three years after my divorce, I hit a wall. This was different than anything I had ever experienced before. I wasn’t feeling the typical loneliness or sadness that I was used to. Those feelings came and went in spurts. This was deep, dark and in retrospect…absolutely … [Read more...]

Repost: Can We Worship Through Grief?

This is an old one from my previous blog. I updated it a little bit, but the bulk is still the same. Last week, Shawn Smucker posted about the next Christian boycott. In it, there was a discussion about secular things. It kind of reminded me of this post and why I find that I'm drawn to a lot of "non-Christian" art. This post was originally inspired by a similar conversation.+++++++++++I think the first thing that we need to do is to define worship. Looking at dictionary.com, the definition that caught my eye was this:to feel an adoring reverence or regard for (any person or thing).I really love the idea of "adoring reverence." The picture I see in that definition is one that resonates with me deeply. So that leads me to the question, can we worship through lamentation?I think that … [Read more...]