Podcast: My Mental Health Journey

blog pic june 28th 2019

ALL WRITTEN AND ARTWORK ARE THE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY OF PSG LOPES. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED, 2019.

Hello, everyone! There is a new podcast up this week! Listen to this week’s podcast “My Mental Health Journey” here: anchor.fm/psg-lopes

This week’s podcast discusses my triumphs and setbacks regarding finding adequate healthcare. I provide tips and techniques that work for me throughout my own struggles with depression and anxiety, why America loves to shove pills down people’s throats, and accepting that not all health care professionals are created equal. I hope that this week’s podcast inspires and helps others who also struggle with depression and anxiety and encourages others to seek out alternative methods of treatment outside of medication. Thanks for listening!

Also, I am on track for the release of my new novella, John of Art, for August 15th, 2019! I am chipping away at edits and will be passing it off soon for editing/beta readers. I have also just released a very rough cut of my song, John of Art, on Bandcamp which you can listen to here: www.themoonlitgoddess.bandcamp.com

I am working with a very good friend of mine to put piano music to the song and alter a few things here and there. I hope that you enjoy what I have so far! The finished novella and song will be fully released on August 15th, 2019. In the meantime, if you’d like to read the prequel to John of Art, A Wynter’s Tale, that is on sale now on Amazon and is available as a paperback, ebook (Kindle edition), and audiobook. You can check this book and my other works here on my Amazon Author Page:

http://www.amazon.com/author/psglopes

I am working hard on my writing and am trying really hard to find paid writing opportunities to help me continue to produce my work. Because of limited funding, I release things as soon as I’m able to financially. By you visiting my blogs, listening to my podcasts, and buying any work on Amazon that all produces revenue for me so I appreciate you all continuing to click on my work and follow up on what’s going on in my life so thanks so much for that!

If interested, I also have a Patreon page. You can view that here: www.patreon.com/themoonlitgoddess

Thanks again for your continued interest in what I do! I appreciate each and every one of you. I wish you all a very blessed and happy weekend!

My Thoughts Moving Forward

blog post 2019 june 25th

ALL WRITTEN AND ARTWORK ARE THE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY OF PSG LOPES, UNLESS EXPLICITLY EXPRESSED OTHERWISE. FEATURED PHOTO TODAY IS FROM HIDDEN TRANSFORMATIONS COLORING BOOK PUBLISHED BY MINDWARE 2007. ALL RESPECTIVE RIGHTS RESERVED, 2019. 

I realize it has been a hot minute since I have posted anything on my blog. I have been going through some personal issues that I needed to take care of in order to move forward with my writing and other ventures.

As many of my readers are already aware of, I have been a lifelong sufferer of depression and anxiety. I sought help in 2002 right after college but I didn’t stick with the regimen because my doctor ended up dying and I was sick of feeling like utter crap and no one helping me or understanding me that I went rogue and stopped going to therapy and quit the medicine I was taking cold turkey. Until then, I’ve endured many hardships but I’ve had some happy moments mixed in and was able to compartmentalize my depression and anxiety and bounce myself back to my own state of equilibrium and I was able to function in my own way. Yes, the underlying issues still remained but I was able to be a functioning depressed and anxious person for a very long time.

This year, I’ve faced one hardship too many and this was the very first time in my adult life that I found it virtually impossible to bounce back the way that I needed to in order to continue being a productive member of society. I just couldn’t handle things on my own anymore. The very last straw was how I was treated at my old doctor’s office in early May. I snapped and decided that enough was enough. I have been shit on my entire life and I wasn’t going to allow anyone else to speak to me in the way that I was spoken to that day. That was the very last day I was ever going to allow people to speak to me like I was lower than they were. I have accomplished so much in my life, so much more than most around me. I am not nothing. I have value and I deserve to be treated like everyone else. Today’s photo is a coloring book page that I found from a book in 2007. When I first saw the picture I thought it looked like me in my twenties, that’s why I liked it so much. Upon coloring the photo, the picture came to life to me and I wished I was that person in that photo: strong, powerful, beautiful, graceful, and poised, instead of the falling down mess I became in my thirties.

I realized I desperately needed help and the first step to getting that help was seeking out a new primary doctor. Due to the limitations of my insurance, I had to settle for another male doctor. I was very nervous going into the appointment the first time. I was grateful that my mom was able to go with me both times that I went so far. Thanks, mom! I have developed this new mantra based on Adelita’s Way song “Ready for War.” They sing, “I pray for peace but I’m ready for war.” That’s my new mantra. I go into every new situation hoping for a peaceful interaction but secretly my fists are clenched and I’m ready to fight holy hell if I have to to get to a healthy place mentally and physically. I went into my doctor’s appointment, not at all hopeful and waiting for the same spiel, “You’re fat, lose weight, here’s a bunch of prescription, come back in six months.” But what I found, pleasantly surprised me. He just had this positive aura about him right from walking into the room. I just knew instantly that I could trust him. I spoke to him, choking back tears, bravely telling him every single thing that had been holding me back for years and he not only listened, he handed me tissues, he gave me permission to feel how I felt, he gave me permission to relax and just let life happen, and not bear the burdens of the entire world on my shoulder. He is teaching me to tackle one thing at a time and that I can do what I can but I’m not a failure if I can’t do it all in one day. I was so relieved to finally find someone who fucking understands. I waited twenty years to hear those words even though, I really needed that every day my whole damn life.

I am finally getting my life back on track. I did bloodwork and I’m happy to report that I’m a fucking healthy thirty-eight-year-old woman! Fuck the assholes who are so concerned about my weight. I’m metabolically healthy and I’m proud of my body and I don’t need to fit into the standards of society. I go for walks when I can, and I mix good food with the bad so fuck everyone else who has a problem with me. This bitch is fat and she’s most likely staying this way for a while, at least until I get my shit together.

I am going back to therapy, I also made appointments for other doctors like gynecologist, dermatologist, etc. I finally feel like I have control over my life again. Everything was collapsing around me beginning this new years eve with my breakup, my dad nearly dying, and just trying to deal with all of the drama around me. The force field around me that I used to protect myself was weakening and I couldn’t hold on any longer. I was so relieved to unleash all of my heart’s burdens to my doctor. Like Carrie Underwood’s song, “Jesus Take the Wheel,” I’m not a religious woman, but I was so the personification of that sentiment that day. I gave all of my burdens to my doctor and he was more than happy to take them away from me, give me permission to feel, and help me acknowledge that I won’t get the answers that I crave for closure and described my life experiences as a gallery in an art museum and he said that some exhibits I can visit freely pain-free, but some I’m going to have to put a tarp over and walk by and that’s okay. Sometimes things just don’t get resolved no matter how much I grieve or revisit, or self-blame, or torture myself over. Shit happens basically. I needed to hear that more than anyone will ever know. I want to thank that man so much for not only saving my life, but seeing my life as something worth saving. He will never quite understand the immensity of his words that first day. Even his entire staff was helpful and kind and that meant the entire world to me too. So, thank you!

That all helped me put things into perspective and help re-set my mindset for my writing and other future ventures. I am a little behind on my editing of John of Art but I still have the tentative release date for both the song and the book as August 15th. I really want to make sure that this book is absolutely perfect. I don’t have any means of recording the song in a way that is professional so I’m just going to sing it and place it on my Bandcamp account when I’m releasing the book on the same day and will be sure to post links for both. If you noticed my Amazon Author Page, I did release the song lyrics already to the
John of Art song. It’s available for 99 cents for the Kindle, if anyone is interested in supporting me and getting a glimpse of song lyrics, I’d appreciate your support and feedback. You can access this and my other works on my Amazon Author Page here: amazon.com/author/psglopes

I found a wonderful resource in Amanda Palmer’s book, The Art of Asking: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help. This book opened my eyes for a lot of reasons. I always felt like a loser asking people for donations for my work. I first utilized crowdfunding in 2014 when I was hoping to finish my phd. I ran out of funding for the oral defense and sought out the help of others. I will never forget my cousin, Julie, gave me one hundred dollars. I felt so touched by this gesture. I was not accustomed to having family believe in me and when she told me that she believed in me that moment changed me forever. Even though I didn’t meet my goal for the crowdfunding, I never forgot her kindness and I always promised myself to return the favor somehow someday but I never was in a position to do so. I was always struggling and coming up for air my whole life. But I want her to know that I will never forget that one moment of pure kindness. That moment taught me so much. It taught me that there are still amazing people out there. It taught me that there’s no shame in asking for help when you’ve exhausted all your other options. I’ve learned that it’s not being pathetic or foolish reaching out and asking for others’ help. I have just befriended an individual who lives in the deep south and he told me that in that area they are big on being neighborly and that’s what’s missing in the area in which I live, that long-lost concept of neighbors helping out neighbors.

I no longer feel foolish in asking for help when I need it. I feel that what I’m doing is powerful and can help a lot of people and I wish to continue fighting for my work. If others come along and help I’ll always be greatly appreciative but I’m no longer going to see it as modern day panhandling. Especially in the arts where people have to fight tooth and nail to keep art alive nowadays. Every bit of help counts and matters, as long as we work together to keep art thriving and alive.

On that note, I do have a Patreon account mostly for professional editing services and to produce my song professionally. If you are interested in taking a look you’ll find that page here: www.patreon.com/themoonlitgoddess

I thank you all as always for coming back and checking up on me and what I’ve got going on in my life. I hope that my words prove helpful and encourages others to seek help if they need it. What I’ve learned from my ordeal is you have to be persistent and not give up after the first try. You have to shout louder and louder each time until someone finally hears you. There are people out there who will listen. I wish you all a productive and fruitful week full of laughter, love, hope, and friendship. Let us continue to be good to one another and lift each other up when things are not going well in our lives. Judgment has no place at my dinner table.

Dark Musings Poetry Anthology: Volume 2: The Storm Over Vermillion Fields–My Most Wildly Misunderstood Piece To Date

Vol 2 final front cover

ALL WRITTEN AND ARTWORK ARE THE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY OF PSG LOPES. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED, 2019. 

My second poetry anthology book, Dark Musings Poetry Anthology: Volume 2: The Storm Over Vermillion Fields was an ambitious piece. The concept of  The Storm Over Vermillion Fields was to create an epic poem. I used John Milton’s Paradise Lost as inspiration in terms of structure. It certainly wasn’t as long as Paradise Lost but I learned a lot about epic poems and how to write one and found this piece to be inspirational and useful in terms of how I wanted my epic poem to look. I did countless research on the structure and how exactly an epic poem should be written, what its goal and objective were and how to ensure that it came across in a meaningful way to my readers.

This piece differed from Volume 1 in many ways. Where Volume 1 featured thirty poems back to back, Volume 2 had the highlight major epic poem The Storm Over Vermillion Fields and then featured short stories, poetry, and other free writes throughout the remainder of the book. The book was fully illustrated with my own photography and digital art. This was also the first book that I created that was more costly because of its rich and colorful content. The printing process is costly in itself and therefore the price is rather high for such work.

There was also a lot of misconception as far as the title was concerned. The word “vermillion” and my choice of spelling happened to be controversial to some. People see that there’s an extra “L” and the Grammar Nazi’s have a shit fit. But the extra “L” was indeed intentional. The word “vermilion” is a color–a reddish hue. Now, I liked the word itself because vermilion was the color red and the epic poem does include an epic battle, so the imagery of seeing a storm in a field full of red was very powerful to me. But adding that extra “L” had more meaning that many people understood. The root word “ver” means truth in Latin. Million broken apart “milli” meaning thousand or you can take the full value of “million.” So, I put together the word vermillion to mean “a thousand truths.” The title The Storm Over Vermillion Fields really was supposed to mean The Storm Over the Fields of a Thousand Truths. But that doesn’t quite have the same ring to it, now does it?

There is so much hidden meaning in this piece wrapped in imagery and colorful language and to the naked eye, the wording can be very difficult to interpret. Now, I warned you all in yesterday’s blog that poetry can indeed serve as a hidden, secret language between the author and the piece she is writing. And this piece was no different.

The story may appear cliche in nature but so many people out there still suffer the same sad woeful tale and it is a story meant repeating.

The tale starts with a young woman who is imprisoned by her mother and sister. They value vanity and money over self-worth and have discarded the poor young woman and she was left to starve and die. Three princes came to their kingdom in hopes of marrying the young woman’s sister. To the naked eye, the woman was beautiful and appeared to come from good stock; however, she was rotten inside and was devoid of any depth or real human emotion. Her younger sister lonely in her prison cell sang beautiful songs which transformed her inner beauty into an outward beauty making any male suitor she met instantly fall in love with her. The mother and sister concocted a plan to make sure that her song was never heard from any of the suitors. One night the young woman cried out to the gods begging for her release and to find true happiness and finally upon battle after battle the right suitor found her and freed her, imprisoning the mother and sister instead and they both lived on to be free and happy.

I wrote this piece in 2017 and my thoughts have changed a lot since writing this piece. I had just met my ex-fiance and still had that Prince Charming/happily ever after complex that I firmly believed in. Upon our breakup this year, I realized that yes I still feel like I need saving but the only person who can save me from my own misery is myself. I don’t need anyone to rescue me. The key to my salvation and to my freedom is fulfilling each goal I have for myself. I have to keep writing and growing as an artist. I have a responsibility, I feel, at least, to reach out to others who share similar stories as I do and make them aware that they are not alone. I am reminded of the Stabbing Westward song Save yourself: “I cannot save you, I can’t even save myself, So just save yourself.” So save myself, I shall.

I harbor a lot of anger, resentment, and bitterness over everything that has happened to me in my life. As I got older, I realized that there are very real villains out there and just because I am a nice person that does not mean that all people out there are the same as me. There are cruel people, people who may not demonstrate violence in the traditional sense that we are accustomed seeing but instead their brand of terror comes in the form of abusive language, actions, and screaming and yelling. I am saddened and sickened daily knowing that this is my world and a world that I must live with on a daily basis. I sometimes want to give up on my life and wonder if dying would help ease my suffering. The emotional pain becomes much too much to handle at times and I often feel that I am not strong enough to carry my burdens each day. I don’t have anyone else. All I have is myself. No one else gets what I go through. And even with me explaining it over and over most will never quite get it. I also wanted so much to feel and be perceived as normal in the eyes of society but I never was normal. I was always different. I always dressed differently, acted differently, thought differently and I always stood out like a sore thumb. The isolation became crippling but I know of no other way. No one wants to be near someone who questions things and who doesn’t accept the way things are and is always challenging and demanding change. These are all feelings I had deep within me when writing this piece. I still feel this way even today.

I still really love this volume of my poetry anthologies. This sophomore effort really challenged me as a writer, as an artist, and as an individual. The epic poem, other poems, lyrics, and short stories featured delved deep into my psyche. I even re-visited old poetry that I found from when I was a teenager and incorporated some in this anthology as well. I always loved re-visiting my old writing. I enjoy seeing my evolutionary self and even though I’ve changed dramatically in my adult years, the general theme of my life remains intact: That desperate need to feel understood and loved by others, the crippling loneliness and depression, an ache for something else out there that I have yet to find. At thirty-eight years of age.,I still have yet to find what exactly it is that I am looking for. Maybe someday I will find it.

Thanks for your continued support and for following my blog daily!

You can find this and all of  my other works on my Amazon Author Page: amazon.com/author/psglopes.

VISIT MY PATREON PAGE HERE: THE MOONLIT GODDESS PATREON PAGE