Tag Archives: Memoirs

Martin Baker my Model and Hero


 

Hello world, and Friday is here! I wrap up this roller coaster week with the potrait of my mental health advocate model and hero.

The guy you see above, he is the co-author of the book that has rocked my mind for the past two weeks. Uh huh this one here:

High Tide Low Tide

I have been through low tides and high tides and low tides again with this book and currently I am on safe tides: Not so low, not so high!!! Thank you Marty (for much), thank you Fran.

Now, here is personally why Martin Baker is my model:

  1. He has shown me what it means to be a friend – best friend to someone living with a mental illness: A friend in need is a friend indeed. In a recent guest post of theirs with Time to Change, Fran had this to say:
  2. Fran Time-to-Change-Champions-blogIf you get to read their book, you will understand and appreciate what she means and hmm, Martin has braved it all and is not only around but such a champion now. He has taken courses and done oh my so so much for his friend – I wonder where he finds the time and emotional stamina;
  3. Marty was there for me on the night I was in a police cell in a non controling nor judgmental way and that is what I most needed: Here below is an excerpt of our conversation that night:

    Marty: Hello Marie ?  (sorry the smiley can’t come along) How are things with you today? (I gave an honest response – which was not so good bla…)

    Marty: Sorry to hear it’s not going so good for you ?

     I went on to explain the ordeal to Marty and when he said he believed in me, I asked why because I didn’t want one of those generic I wish you the best statements without facts…

    Marty: In the short time we have known one another the impression I have formed is of a woman with courage to fight for what she believes in and wants.

    This sealed it for me, it was not only true I was a woman of courage and all, but it was touching in the short time we had know each other he had been able to form that impression. For the above reasons and more including his love for poetry, his appreciation of my poems and posts, our shared interest in photography, I declare Martin Baker my model and Hero  I appreciate all he does for Fran and am grateful for the friendship we are building too.

 

Advertisements

Questions to an author: Molly McHugh P2


bipolar-1-disorder-how-to-survive-and-thrive-by-molly

Hello world, Let’s continue with the second part of our interview right? You can refresh on P1 right here

3) The Writing

  1. Did any books/memoirs influence your writing (style, presentation, content)?

    No. I wrote it how I wanted it to be, played a bit. And though it does have a nice creative style and feel that many (not all!) have commented they enjoyed, it was a bit crap at the start. I was too full of myself, too thrilled with getting it finally done (much was written in notes 20 or so years earlier and saved in email). It needed a lot of editing (I did all editing myself) and it needed to be filled out with more detail.

    I recently even did a minor update with a few things that needed to be fixed and added in a couple of resources. Just want it to be of value to whoever takes the time to read it. And for it to help someone heal their suffering. Give ideas of things that may help.

  1. Did you have a writing mentor?

    No. A few were very kind to check out the earlier version (and honest enough to tell me it needed a ton of editing!) but that was it.

  1. How long did it take you to write and get the memoir published?

    I had a bunch of notes I had written years before and saved in my email. It just felt right to do it, and I was ok being public as my son was older. First version I put up on Amazon as a kindle book took maybe eight months to complete. Updated that a little and then published as a paperback book via Createspace maybe six months or so later.

4) The Message

  1. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

    I shared as much as I could. My blog is full of more info on a ton of topics that didn’t fit into the book. And my way of learning and connecting with others, helping to affect change. Speaking out abou the overdiagnosing and overdrugging, etc. I learned not too long ago about the death of children who are erroneoulsy being given BP diagnosis. So sad. They have health issues, but no, they should not be on psychotropic medications. The doctors fueling this new targeting of children – some have been sued after the child become completely disabled or worse, dies – should be in jail is my line of thought.

  1. Any other writing projects, blogging, business etc?

My bipolar blog I mentioned above – a much different voice than most of what is out there.

My freelance writing business – info here:  I’d love to help someone write their memoir! Special discount for mental health focus 🙂

  1. Where can your memoir be found?

On Amazon here as a paperback and kindle book.

Thank you very much Molly for answering my questions. We hope to stay informed of any updates with your projects.

Any questions for Molly or ideas for my questions to an author series please leave them in the comments! Thank you for reading; Mind your Mind and take good care of your mental health.

Interview with Pamela Spiro-Wagner author and Mental Health Advocate P1


ask-the-author-answers-edition

Mental illness is more often than not associated with incompetence, fragility, frugality, vulnerability, undesirability: And yet we all have minds, which minds could go ill and if poorly managed the illness runs a life time.

Mental health awareness is a call to the imperativeness of taking care of your mind just like you will do your body. It is equally in my opinion a call to demand an equal treatment of those with a mental illness just like those with a physical illness. I know this is an ideal!

And so here we go: Hello World, during this month of May which is Mental Health Awareness month, I also intend to feature authors who have written on mental health, especially about their personal experiences. An author to me is anyone who has written and published their writings be it on or offline, via a blog, magazine, book or etc.

My first author to be interviewed in this series is a dear friend and one old enough to be my mum actually. I clicked with Pamela Spiro Wagner around January 2014 via my blog. We have been friends since then and she is the only person from the US I met through the blog and have had the honour of meeting in real life.

I have done a modest review of her epic memoir on my blog, as co-authored with her twin sister, and have also read some of her poetry. Pammy did my portrait even though hospitalised, and it took 3 visits spanned over 6 – 9 hours. It is among my most precious possessions. Without much ado, I’ll interview her for your reading pleasure and let her tell us more about herself and her life journey, especially that to become this published author she is today today mindful of her Schizophrenia diagnosis.

Divided Minds
Pammy and Lynnie: sweet twin

1) The Profile

  1. Let’s Start with a brief introduction of yourself – your background – and a tiny bit about your Childhood:

I am an identical twin, the older one, and the slightly bigger one at birth. Pigeon-holed as stoical even in childhood, I was given the message, often voiced aloud, that I did not need anything and that I did not have feelings. My twin was given the opposite message, by the way. Nevertheless, my childhood was relatively uneventful until 6th grade when 2 things happened. First President Kennedy was assassinated, which changed my life in terrible ways: this was when I started hearing voices telling me that I was evil and that I had killed the president. Then a couple of months later I had a very traumatic accident while skiing. I broke my leg and lay on the freezing ski slopes for hours waiting for rescue. When they finally brought me down my leg was first set without anaesthesia, which I endured, as I knew I had to, without making a sound. Then only hours later it was set a second time. This time, the surgeon clamped a mask of anaesthetizing ether gas on my face but failed to initiate the air intake valve, in effect suffocating me. I tried to resist, because he was killing me, and was restrained. The last thing I heard before I passed out was him saying, “Oh my god, I forgot to turn on the gas…” Then all went black. I told my parents nothing about either of these events. Why? Because of course I was stoical and did not need anything. And because I also knew in my heart that no one would believe me or take my struggles seriously. Nevertheless, these things – believing I had no right to feel, hearing voices and the trauma of my accident, deeply affected me all my life.

  1. About your Memoir, how did you come up with the title?

Our publishers chose the name, DIVIDED MINDS, which was a title they had used before with success. We had nothing to do with it. Alas, our original title, which I had chosen and always prefered was SOLO FOR TWO.

2) The Soul Journey

  1. I read that schizophrenia affects 1 out of 100 Americans; what’s your take on that?

Well according to most statistics this holds true, pretty much world-wide, the 1 in 100 persons being affected by schizophrenia. But you know, I doubt the validity of this number. And I doubt it because it is really a matter of opinion and nothing more. What is schizophrenia? Can anyone tell me? It is not anywhere in the brain that one can point to and despite the lies we have been told , it is NOT a chemical imbalance or some overproduction of dopamine. No one HAS schizophrenia, , not the way you have malaria or measles. It is a matter of what you say and do that in the opinion of another person makes them judge you as psychotic and out of touch with reality. I do not in fact believe that a person with schizophrenia in the USA would be accounted as schizophreinic or “crazy” everywhere, not in say, India or Africa … and so forth… Times change, definitions of madness change. That does not happen with malaria or measles, does it? Because judgments change and opinions change so notions of so-called mental illness change too, but usually facts do not.

  1. How did you get your diagnosis and how have you fared since that diagnosis?

I was first informed of my schizophrenia diagnosis when I was about 28 or thirty, but that was the first time I was told any diagnosis at all. I had been hospitalized several times before then and as early as 18 but literally no one had ever spoken to me about diagnosis. This doctor came right out and told me, “You have schizophrenia”then he said, “You dont have to end up on the back wards if you take your medication, properly, and for the rest of your life.” Then he started me on Mellaril (Thioridazine), which I took at higher and higher doses and along with doses of Thorazine (Chlorpromazine) as high as 1500mg for years. These did not keep me well, not by any means, despite the medications I was hit with more and more frequent stays in the hospital. Knowing what I know now, that antipsychotic medications do not work and only increase the tendency to relapse, I would not say that the decision to put me on Mellaril was the best thing he could have done for me. In fact, I would say that it is possible that the diagnosis itself was the worst thing that could have happened to me, or the best, depending on how you look at things. Life is life and depending on where you are in your journey, things can seem like a mistake or a miracle. To me, now, despite my take on diagnoses being wrong and just name calling, I nevertheless believe that what happened to me at that point in time was possibly the best thing that could have happened. I do know it was inevitable and that it happened for a reason. And that things that subsequently occurred because of it have all led me to where I am today…And where I am today I would not change for the world.

  1. Can you tell if there was a difference in the way you were treated and the way you perceive stigma before and after you got a diagnosis?

I was never once put into four-point restraints until I was diagnosed and then they tied me to a bed with my arms stretched above my head and shackled to the bed posts and my ankles shackled to the lower bed posts and kept like that for three full days. Later I learned from an aide that the doctor told him “schizophrenics” do not feel restraints the way normal people do…they do not suffer the way WE do.” I did not know what to say to that. This aide had heard me beg and beg him to let me free and knew how I had suffered, so how could he make such a statement? It confused me terribly. Later on, they put me in restraints to punish me and knew perfectly well that I suffered for it, and I know they enjoyed hurting me. I did not know a thing about schizophrenia before I was diagnosed and little really after it except that people would talk about “crazy people” and make fun of them, but NO one was ever so crazy to me that I did not understand them. I am a poet, and I know that people sometimes have to be understood the way you understand a poem, not taking every word literally but just taking their words in whole, accepting them with your whole heart and mind and body, and knowing that you “grok” them. No body has ever been so psychotic to me that I did not “get” what they meant fundamentally. They just speak in poetry not prose.

PS: If you have read this far… wow thank you… P2 tommorrow, as Trevor Noah says on the epic Daily Show: So Much News So Little Time

Are you defined or refined by your past???


Do we see or feel the rays no matter how blurred; or we only see the narrow and dark path? How much is this a cause and effect of our past?

Hello world,

We are approaching the weekend and my ever contemplative and searching soul just thought about what my past has or is still doing to me. I then thought to share it with us all here and maybe inspire others to do their own introspection.

Ok let’s go.

1) Did my past cause me so much pain to make me despise lots of it? YES. I have admitted my role in all the mess of my past and tried to deal with them in different ways all with a bid to heal. Now, we all know the wise saying about not focussing so much on your past to let it influence your present right? Well I dare argue that wisdom so so easier said than done… There are many including myself who have numerous times over been both physical and mental victims – hostage of their pasts. Some pasts have been know to impact so badly our present circumstances so much that the future is completely blurred and unfathomable…  but then next;

2) Am I so ashamed of my past to talk about it or share it? Me, NO. When I realized how much shame of my past was killing me slowly and almost got me to drive a knife in, I decided, (even if implementing that took a few years) to deal with that shame and talk about that past through any medium available. For me, it was also a way to fight stigma. The stigma associated with being a ‘loser, a pimp, an addict, a mentally challenged or ill, etc etc’ and who knows whom will be helped by my story right? ok, and so what now;

3) What has facing my past and pain and sharing done? Oh my, the big big positives negate the tiny setbacks or few hate trolls. I even got a national award for my very first memoir. I have become much more self-empowered and aware, so full of gratitude, so conscious of Amazing Grace, so full of faith, oh so determined as a women’s rights and mental health advocate.I hardly turn down any invitation to talk about my past, share my lessons and journey and yes on my own platforms there is no hiding where I come from… I have become one of those brands you don’t mess around with and I am at peace with this ME… Who knows what or where I would have been had I not made that conscious, painful and challenging decision  to deal with and heal from my past;  and so in conclusion;

peace-1

Today, I confidently answer that my past has not defined me but it has refined me – it has helped me to embrace self-improvement, self-love, self-appreciation, self-worth and oh my self-esteem is better than ever. This has been a long journey and actually an ongoing one… But, am better equipped and am using that past and pain as solid foundations from which to springboard to greater heights in all faith, hope and charity.

And you…??? Please share cause you really never know who can be helped by your comment

Have a nice weekend everyone!!!

It’s my Birthday: Reviewing some of them down the road


wp-1483901281604.jpg
My  3 Musketeers and I, what more could I ask for?

Oh Happy day, oh happy day… Oh happy day, oh happy day…

Another birthday is here, wow wow wow – look at who’s made it this far?  This year is a far different year because I think I have come full cycle… not that life will not make and mar me henceforth or anymore, but I have since the 10th of October last year made a conscious turning point in my life henceforth… No more consciously messing up and letting myself be messed up so help me God… I am therefore celebrating this day with my boys in our own special way – yes I DESERVE IT

I flash back to my birthday in 2014… I did a youtube; sort of familiarizing myself with baring and sharing my whole self – body and soul out there in the world; and oh my that was scary especially back then…

Then in 2015, I was further tamed to attempt some humour, and I came up with 36 lessons learned in 36 years… hope you have a look right here… A few days before then, I had just made one of my greatest discoveries – I found love oh my…

37th-birthday
A very pleasant surprise, modest but 

Last year, that is 2016, I was a guest on a show on that day talking about women and love and life; and hmm I was feeling soso until the host surprised me with a birthday cake… That warmed me up for the rest of the day…

With this dear all, I humbly recall and share some of my journey especially on my birthday… Wishing us all the best…

Thank you
Gratitude all the way

 

Questions for an Author: June Whittle author of Deep Within My Soul…


ask-the-author-answers-edition

Hello World, this is the first of what I hope to often do: Profile & Interview and help promote New memoir authors! Why Memoirs? Because that’s the genre I write and it’s still a ‘shy’ genre especially, in my corner of the globe – Africa. My first author to be interviewed and profiled happens to be a dear friend and sister in Christ. I fell in love with the first of her blog posts I stumbled across – yes on the very night I was fumbling around trying to start my own blog! Her post titled «Am I a blogger or a … almost made me give up before I even started; and to think she’d been into blogging a good while? But then, that post ended on a note of so much hope – yes she was – yes I could become one too if I wanted and kept at it with faith.

This is what I have also gathered from reading her maiden but oh so soul searching memoir: shared from deep within her soul and titled just that. Without much ado, I’ll interview her for your reading pleasure and let her tell us more about herself and her journey to become this published author today. It ain’t easy I can tell, been there and still go through there, but she will agree it’s worth ever step of the journey…

Note: The post is way longer than my usual posts, I didn’t want to leave any area out and didn’t want to do a P1 & P2… I think whoever reads through the end will love it. 

june-whittle
Deep within her eyes… can we see?

1) The Profile

  1. Let’s Start with a brief introduction of yourself – your background – and a tiny bit about your Childhood:
  • My name is June Whittle. I was born in Jamaica and relocated to the UK to join my parents when I was a teenager. It was tough leaving my grandmother (who raised me) and my sisters behind. I had to readjust to the climate – it was very cold – and the way of life. The culture in Jamaica was very different to that in the UK. Jamaicans are bubbly, carefree, happy-go-lucky people. I was used to sunshine, loud car horns, a variety of colours, fresh home grown food and other cultural activities. The day I arrived in the UK, it was grey, quiet and everyone looked moody. I was sad.

Anyway, I continued with my education in the UK, started relationships, (some were abusive) worked in various fields and gave birth to my daughters. I became a mature student in 2007 and went to university to complete a PGCE teacher training course to become a teacher. Afterwards, I taught in further education colleges and met some wonderful people along the way. In 2012 God told me to quit my teaching job and write books. I gave up teaching in 2013, stepped out in faith and started a freelance writing career.

  1. About your Memoir, how did you come up with the title?
  • Well, I knew I wanted to write about my life, but coming up with a title was hard. Then one day “Deep Within my Soul” popped into my head. I knew straight away it was the right title for my book. You could call it divine inspiration.

2) The Soul Journey

  1. I heard Oprah Winfrey say Love doesn’t hurt; what’s your take on that?
  • Love is a beautiful thing. It’s not meant to hurt, but it does hurt if you end up with the wrong person. I believe it depends on what we mean by love. Although my partners and I thought we loved each other, it was a dysfunctional kind of love because we didn’t love ourselves. Therefore, our love wasn’t whole. It’s hard to give 100% of what you haven’t got. So, instead of the joys of love, I mostly experienced the pains of love.

  1. Did the love in your relationships hurt from the start or something happened down the road?
  • In the beginning, it was absolutely wonderful. When you first meet a man or woman you go through the honeymoon period where everything is beautiful. During that period, they can’t do anything wrong. In other words, you don’t see their faults because you’re on cloud nine and consumed by the love feelings. That’s how it was for me too. But, after a few months (when the honeymoon period wears off) he started to look at other women and became obsessed with them. That’s when he started cheating and our relationship changed. From then on problems crept in.

  1. Can you tell who was to blame and what you felt about all this then?
  • I think he was to blame for the fact that he couldn’t keep himself away from other women. But I also blame myself because I was shy, naïve, insecure and didn’t know how to satisfy him. Looking back now, I see myself as very immature and I didn’t know anything about relationships. However, some people might say that’s no excuse for him to cheat on me. He took it far, and chatted up my friends in front of me. This led to verbal and physical abuse, plus lack of trust and many heartaches.

  1. I read a lot of poems about Love in your memoir, and yet you were going through so much pain! So how did you find it writing about love while living pain?
  • Although I was hurting, the only way for me to find peace in my heart was to write about the love I yearned for. I wrote a lot of poems about my broken heart. Those poems came from deep within my soul. I suppose I was trying to touch their hearts with my words, although I didn’t show them the poems. It’s like I was living in a make-belief world. I knew what I wanted, I couldn’t get it so, I created my own world where I was safe to write what I wanted. Writing poems kept me sane. It was my lifeline as I poured out my painful feelings on the pages in my notepad.

  1. Do you think there is an ideal time frame to wait before moving from one abusive relationship into another relationship we hope not to turn out as sour?
  • It’s extremely important to heal from an abusive relationship before going into another relationship. Otherwise, you will carry the toxic junk with you. The toxic junk is a combination of anger, bitterness, resentment, unforgiveness and sometimes hate. When you carry those negative things in your heart, sooner or later they will surface and mess up your new relationship.

Imagine buying an old car that hasn’t been serviced or taken care of. It’s got lots of faults but you can’t see them. Eventually, the car will start to give you problems. On the other hand, if you buy a well looked after serviced car, it’s less likely to break down on you. Plus, you will get a smooth drive and it will last you longer than the one that wasn’t maintained properly. Likewise, not servicing your heart, mind and soul after an abusive relationship will have disastrous consequences on a new relationship.

  1. What’s forgiveness got to do with healing?
  • Forgiveness and healing go hand-in-hand. It’s difficult to heal properly if you hold unforgiveness in your heart. Unforgiveness is like a chain around your heart. It squeezes it tight and tighter till it drains your emotional and physical energy. As long as it’s living in you, real healing cannot take place. This includes healing of sicknesses as well as your mind.

A friend did a project with some primary school children recently about forgiveness. She gave them a heavy rucksack each, to carry on their backs. Some said they didn’t mind as the rucksacks were quite light. However, after carrying them on their backs for a while, they became heavy and weighted the children down, causing them to feel uncomfortable and unable to walk properly. That’s what unforgiveness does. It drags you down and affects all areas of your life. Nonetheless, when you forgive, you let go of all toxins and your body will feel light and live again. Painful memories may linger, but will no longer be a problem. That’s when you know that healing has taken place.

3) The Writing

  1. Did any books/memoirs influence your writing (style, presentation, content)?
  • No. Although this is my first memoir, I didn’t base it on style, presentation or content of other writers. This is mostly because mine has poems so it’s different to other memoirs I read. I went with my gut feelings when writing. But, formatted it correctly to meet the requirements for uploading to Kindle for the eBook, and Create Space for the paperback. I followed their guidelines.

  1. Did you have a writing mentor?
  • No, I’ve never had a writing mentor. I took two creative writing courses, many years ago and a copywriting course in 2012. That helped develop my writing skills, along with reading books about writing.

  1. Which was the most difficult chapter to write in your memoir and why?
  • It was the first chapter where I summarized a little about my story. While writing, old painful memories came back and made me tearful and sad. I also felt negative emotions such as anger, resentment and unforgiveness. I was surprised because I thought I had dealt with those emotions. Clearly, they were still alive in my heart. I wrote about it in chapter 11 – “Finding Hope, my Testimony of Healing”. It’s amazing how we can fool ourselves into thinking we’ve done something, when we haven’t.

  1. How did you deal with that?
  • Well, first I talked to God about it and asked Him to take away those feelings. I felt better afterwards. However, I still had more work to do in that area. So, I repented and prayed from my heart to forgive my abusers for deep healing to take place.

  1. Which was your favourite poem and why?
  • It’s False Love. It was one of the hardest poems to write because it was written out of an extremely painful experience. Nevertheless, it was my favourite because that poem started off my writing experiences. From that poem, other poems followed which helped the healing process of writing to release toxic emotions.

  1. I read two real life excerpts in your memoir, was this to add to the veracity of abuse as a phenomenon or to show the resilience of the human spirit?
  • Those real life excerpts were to demonstrate the power of forgiveness. The abuse these two women suffered were extreme, although diverse. The first example was a vicious form of domestic abuse. The second example was of a teenager being raped by her uncle plus other cruel types of abuse. However, both women decided to forgive their abusers for the sake of their mental health, peace in their lives and more.

  1. Did you learn anything from writing your memoir and what was it?
  • While writing, I did research about forgiveness and discovered there is a connection between unforgiveness and sickness such as cancer, arthritis, heart problems and other stress related illness. I also learnt that extra healing was taking place for me as I was writing my memoir. By the time I finished the last chapter, I felt free of any excess burdens that may have been clinging to my heart.

  1. How long did it take you to write and get the memoir published?
  • It took me nearly one year to write because I kept starting and stopping. I changed my mind a few times because I was nervous about telling my story to the world. But my daughters and close friends encouraged me to do it. Also, because God told me to write it in the first place, I didn’t want to disobey Him. The self-publishing process took me nearly a week. The technical formatting part of it was rather challenging.

4) The Message

  1. Do you have any advice for other memoir writers?
  • Yes, I think if your story can help others from the lessons you learnt, you should share it. Life is full of pitfalls, some good and some good. There are many lessons along the way. However, not everyone learns from their experiences. But those who learn have gold nuggets to share with others in the form of memoirs. If you can help even a handful of people struggling with the issues you came out of, it’s worth writing your stories. Your story can change another person’s life for the better. Another word of advice, make sure you have supportive people around you. It’s important to get as much encouragement as possible to boost your confidence while you write.

  1. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
  • I want to give you the information you need to add value to your lives. My blogs and memoir are not just about me. They are to inspire, encourage, educate and motivate you. I love when you contact me by email or leave comments on my blogs advising me what I can do for you in future blog posts. Or, how you take away something positive from my writing. This is always my aim. Feedback is extremely important to me. So, please, always tell me whether I’m providing value or not.

  1. Any other writing projects, blogging etc?
  • I plan to open up my two blogs, Miraculous Ladies and Arise Single Christian Mummies for guest blogging in 2017. It’s time I share my platforms with other aspiring or professional writers out there. I also intend to hold workshops related to my memoir. I included writing prompts in the last chapter. I want to take it further and hold small groups or one-to-one workshops to help women write away toxic emotions that’s keeping them captive. In addition, “Deep Within my Soul” is book one of a series of inspirational memoirs based on exclusive and beneficial relationship life-lessons.

  1. Where can your memoir be found?

Thank you very much for answering our questions June. We hope to stay informed of any updates with your projects.

Dear readers, please feel free to drop any questions/remarks/observations you may have in the comments section, thank you for reading along.

Book Review: Grace Revealed by Greg Archer


Grace Revealed
Enter a caption

Grace-Full Revelations Indeed

When I was led to ordering a copy of this memoir by a friend (Dyane Leshin-Harwood over at proudly bipolar) , I couldn’t immediately reconcile the cover image to the title. Why is half of the face red although with sketches of flowers in gold on some spots? That is the graphic interpretation I gave to this thrilling memoir from the moment I started turning its pages. And this cover page actually guided my reading and understanding. A Simple but loving family existence catapulted by Stalin’s manic and cruel explosion, forced into a gruesome existence and ironically saved ‘indirectly’ by Hilter’s own manic and cruel exploits. The Grace that leads them from there via Iran to Africa and finally the US, the Grace that sees them settled but for ever unsettled. Everything changes but none dares to look at that squarely nor talk about it because the crucial thing all along has been surviving not speculating on why, what or even what if. The utmost Grace which through a series of signs, twists and turns leads author Greg Archer to though slightly hesitantingly, go searching for stories and answers even in the graveyard. To me it’s simply Amazing Grace. To live through that, get through that and stay sane through that is what makes this memoir captivating. The notion of predisposition to mental challenges is equally ilustrated herein, and I also find that appealing just as I do the historical narrations and revelations. Sometimes, after such traumatic experiences, there is need to deal and heal no matter how painful. That is therapeutic in the end and yes I admit Grace is needed to get there. It is for these reasons that I give this memoir a 5 whooping star and gracefully recommend it to all.

P.S This is one of those books I read and wished I didn’t. Thank God for Greg’s writting style which made more paletable if I could use this term. I read it in December but wasn’t up to doing a review just yet. I mean I don’t think I’ll ever have the grace or nuts to review the books I read on Hitler or the Holocaust

About the Author

Greg Archer_ Greg Archer is an award-winning journalist, humorist and cultural moderator. His journalism and man-on-the-street coverage of agents of change, arts, culture, travel and the entertainment industry appear regularly in The Huffington Post, San Francisco Examiner, Jetset Extra and on his popular YouTube portal. He has been a contributor to Oprah Magazine, The Advocate, VIA Magazine, Palm Springs Life, Bust, Prevention, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Monterey Herald and other publications and media outlets.

In his latest book, Grace Revealed: A Memoir, the author takes a step back from Hollywood to explore his Polish family’s past. In the process, he exposes one of the most under-reported events of the 20th Century: Joseph Stalin’s mass deportation of nearly 1 million Polish citizens to the Siberian gulags in the 1940s and the life-and-death events that followed. But the author’s quest takes a dramatic turn. As he walks an emotional tightrope between the past and the present, can a serendipitous overseas adventure become a saving grace, heal the ancestral soul and bring justice to his family and their forgotten Polish comrades?

“A powerful, haunting and heartfelt tale about one man’s attempt to embrace his Polish family’s past, shed light on the forgotten deported Poles of the 1940s, and expose the emotional ripple effects that remain. A story that resonates with all.” –Kristen Houghton / The Huffington Post and bestselling author of “For I Have Sinned” and “And Then I’ll Be Happy.”

In 2010, after writing about body image and eating disorders for Oprah Magazine, Greg Archer co-wrote and edited the popular health and wellness book “Shut Up, Skinny Bitches!”

Visit http://www.gregarcher.com

The Fear of Loving: Philophobia – Chapter six of WCS… Part 2


  1. What's the Worst Case Scenario...
    What’s the Worst Case Scenario…

    And there we go, with the probable causes! Glad to know I am not alone and hmm that maybe even the Queen of England was philophobic until she married her prince! The article concludes on her case thus: “Historians now believe that her condition might have arisen owing to the fact that she had seen her mother Anne Boleyn as well as her cousin executed for love. The fact that her own father was responsible for the execution might have made her believe that all romantic relationships have a tragic ending”.

    Philophobia symptoms vary from individual to individual:

  • Some people are so afraid of love that they cannot open up to anyone. They do have committed relationships, but cannot maintain any of them.

  • Their well being often depends on the responses they receive from the person they love. This can keep them high strung and anxious all the time. They may be extremely possessive or, conversely, they may drive away their loved ones with their detachment.

  • One also experiences severe anxiety owing to the pressures of commitment: restlessness, shallow breathing, rapid heart rate, nausea, chest pains, etc are a few physical symptoms that can be attributed to Philophobia.

  • Panic and anxiety attacks are also common. These can be terrible since the sufferer often feels dizzy, or feels like running away, crying, shaking or sweating profusely or even feels as if s/he is fainting.

    Oh my, what is all this I am learning? Why now, oh my, after all this wreck in my life? At least, I have admitted the problem and started out to find a solution. Maya Angelou advised the following which I firmly believe is worth it: “We have to confront ourselves. Do we like what we see in the mirror? And, according to our light, according to our understanding, according to our courage, we will have to say yea or nay — and rise!”

    I therefore read with keen and pupil like attention the recommendations of my resource article on ways to face your philophobia which are unfortunately so generalistic. Anyway, it says the following: There are many ways of overcoming the fear of falling in love phobia. Self help books, talk therapy, psychotherapy, hypno-analysis, etc are a few effective methods that have shown proven results.

    There are also several online and offline forums or support-groups that can encourage an individual open up about his fears about love and commitment.

    I am even very proud of myself to have finally resolved to face this fear and research about it this much. I wish my sons read this and hopefully don’t get or develop any such phobia. Anyway, they’ll probably stand a better chance of facing any problems they come across earlier than later, knowing from my experiences and works, what some of these may be. As for me, I am this day November 13th 2015, in the seaside resort city of Limbe in Cameroon, making a firm resolve to face any remnants of this fear head on and welcome my next relationship with much more optimism, courage and love than would have previously been the case. Yes I Can!!!

Aw: My Fourth and second toughest to write, now available on Kindle…


Walking the Talk, unravelling the me within in the process
Walking the Talk, unravelling the me within in the process

Boom Boom Boom, my team and I did it again. Published kindle a week to set date … Paper back will be right on time. Big big hurray to us… How grateful am I to all and sundry who contributed in whatever way. I mean I acknowledge you all in there, but I must mention Amy Gamble who so selflessly and speedily wrote the memoir, and my fair Lady Dyane for her soulful blurb.

Talking about my lady Dy, her recent post on Wrting Heals Her Brain, frankly  joins a few other reasons  to  illustrate the euphoria with write I type away. Imagine’ chemotheraphy’ for Trauma, Pain, Shame, Guilt, Fear, you name them. Now I got the talent, I got the courage, I got the zeal, I got the boost, and I even got a small  but precious audience… hmm I can’t describe it all can I?

This is the fourth memoir in two years. The second toughest to write after the first one:

My Mea Culpa
My Mea Culpa

I am not spilling more out of the bag; don’t worry if you can’t afford it at it’s listed price of 3.99 this week. I have enlisted all my four memoirs for a free book promotion to run from the 18th (my b-day) to the 21st of January.

I am honoured and humbled to have come this far. I mean I feel victorious, like Greg wrote in his recent post on Victory in Vulnerability. Oh my, this lady who once felt life had no meaning anymore, it’s all there in this one:

I am a tough woman by my own standards, and I'll keep affirming that until I become tougher!
I am a tough woman by my own standards, and I’ll keep affirming that until I become tougher!

I wish us all a happy Sunday and toff my hat to all the writers in the house 🙂 Next week I share two  chapters hopefully on some of my worst fears marred by my mental challenges 🙂

Thank you very much
Thank you very much