*Now Live in Paperback*

THEY SAY“They Say I’m Doing Well” is a collection of blogs about overall mental health and it has now become a paperback. 29 authors came together, uniting in the hope of discussing matters often brushed under the carpet. In the process the book is supporting Mind, the UK mental health charity championing improvements to mental health services across the country. £1 from every copy will be donated to Mind.

From poetry to short stories, first-hand experiences to monologues and matters of the heart, “They Say I’m Doing Well” aims to reassure others they are not alone. You can read everybody’s words on this blog for FREE: www.sarahmichellelynch.net/blog

Words have the power to change lives; to educate and nurture, to help bring people together. The authors have put their hearts and souls into this project. Issues tackled include post-natal depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, stress, eating disorders, the strains of coping with physical illness, overcoming cancer, domestic abuse and suicide.

adv

You can reach the authors who contributed to the project by clicking through these links: Alexandra North, Amelia J Hunter, Andie M Long, Anna-Maria Athanasiou, Audrina Lane, Blake Rivers, Carrie Elks, Charlotte Hart, Claire C Riley, David E Gordon, EJ Shortall, Eleanor Lloyd-Jones, Francesca Marlow, Glenn Haigh, Grace Harper, HA Robinson, Hemmie Martin, Lavinia Urban, Lisa Fulham, Mandy Gibson, Muriel Garcia, Rachel Hague, Rebecca Sherwin, Sarah Michelle Lynch, Scarlett Flame, Stevie Turner, SJ Warner, T A McKay and Victoria L James.

To buy the paperback and support Mind, follow these BUY LINKS:

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1523952636

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1523952636/

Or to support our project with more than a £1 donation, visit our Just Giving page to give a little more: https://www.justgiving.com/Sarah-Lynch16 – your donation goes direct to the Mind charity.

Thank you x

“They Say I’m Doing Well” Blog Tour – Stop #29 – Stevie Turner

blog banner1

Look on the Bright Side of Life

Late October 2015, and the year is dying. As I step out along the country lanes and scuff up the dry, withered leaves, I cannot help but focus on my own possible demise. Once again there are two enlarged lymph nodes where enlarged lymph nodes shouldn’t be, despite one thyroidectomy, two neck dissections, and four treatments of radioactive iodine. The possible implications start to play havoc with my mind. I start to think about arranging my funeral and sorting out my affairs. I change my bank accounts to joint ones, and try not to sink into a deep depression.

They say papillary thyroid cancer is a ‘good’ cancer. This had been told to me 10 years previously with just the right amount of bonhomie by a rather fortunate medic who had no idea what it would be like to suffer personally from an advanced stage 4 variety. The disease is slow-growing but relentless in its efforts to take over the body. Silent battles have been valiantly fought over many years with a clever, elusive enemy. However, casualties are now mounting at an alarming pace; the voice is croaky, the neck is stiff and painful, the eyes are dry at night and watery during the day, the thyroxine-induced palpitations are increasing along with bone thinning, and slowly but surely my vitality and joie-de-vivre is dissipating, along with the heat of the summer.

At the age of 47 I had only suffered from the odd cold or sore throat, and had been into hospital just to have my 2 babies. This was to change somewhat drastically with my cancer diagnosis in June 2005, initially mis-diagnosed as a multi-nodular goitre by a radiologist stuffed full of his own self-importance. I suddenly found that many doctors wanted to be in my personal space, although luckily I’ve been unconscious for the more serious intrusions. Their jovial bedside manner and tendency to understate matters is irritating; why not speak the facts as they stand and let the patient be informed of what is going to happen to them? I was never told that radioactive iodine could cause narrowing of the eyes’ tear ducts; I had to look up the information for myself after I was brushed off as having blepharitis and told to wash my eyes with baby shampoo! I eventually needed to be in another surgeon’s personal space as he repaired the tear duct in my left eye in 2009. The same surgeon repaired the right eye seven years later.

However, I am still here after 10 years of fighting. Metastatic thyroid cells invaded my lungs early on with the intention of finishing me off, but as yet I have no symptoms from the secondary lung cancer, which does not seem to grow. I take my daily constitutional walks around my village, inhaling the country air and mentally sticking up a middle finger at my foe. I’ve even purchased a bicycle, and relish the fact that I can still pedal out along the narrow roads and feel the breeze on my face. If villagers pass the time of day with me and ask why my voice is croaky, I tell them I have caught a cold. I must be known locally as ‘Germy’! I avoid pity like the plague; all I’ve ever wanted to be is ‘normal’, the same as everybody else.

What is ‘normal’? Everybody in this life at some time or another has a cross to bear. There is no point in bleating ‘Why me?’ The answer is ‘Well, why not?’ Why should I be singled out for a trouble-free life? Bad luck affects us all in different ways. With me it’s thyroid cancer, but others can be worse off in their misfortune. Life is not a bed of roses, and we have to deal with the lot we have been given. This is where I am fortunate because twice in my life thyroid cancer, strangely enough, has worked in my favour.

The first time my dark cloud had a silver lining was after the initial thyroidectomy operation in 2005. One vocal cord was permanently paralysed during the procedure, and I was left with a whisper of a voice for many months. At the time I was working as a grade 2 clerk in a busy hospital, and could no longer answer the phone or speak to patients and relatives who came up to the desk. I was re-deployed and promoted to a grade 3 assistant medical secretary, typing clinic letters only, rising to a grade 4 secretary when a semblance of a voice had returned and it was proved that I could do the work. Seeing as it was a medical secretary’s post I had been after when I initially joined the hospital’s staff in 2002, my dream had at last come true. I did not possess the qualifications initially to apply for a secretary’s post, and had originally been turned down countless times when I had applied for job vacancies. Thyroid cancer had stepped in and given me what I wanted!

The second time it worked in my favour was in October 2014 when after a period of 7 years’ remission, the cancer returned. I needed a right neck dissection, and the procedure caused my voice to disappear again, no doubt because of the trauma of intubation. I was by then 57 years old, suffering more with the effects of the various operations I had had, and I decided to take early retirement on grounds of sickness and disability. I had had enough trying to hold down a job in-between undergoing procedures. My oncologist put up a good case for me, and I was granted my pension. I am now free to do the thing I have always wanted to do all my life – write novels!

To date I have written 8 novels and 4 novellas, and am currently working on a book of short stories. I am having a ball while I suffer the effects of my cancer treatment. I have my own little space in our lounge, where I sit and let my creative instincts take over and banish thoughts of death and disease from my mind. Sometimes I even forget to start cooking dinner, so lost am I in the twists and turns of my plots. My husband is kindness personified, and is only too happy to see me enjoying what life I have left. I sell my stories on Amazon to supplement my pension, and to date have sold over 1000 books.

The waiting is one of the worst things about this disease. First you wait for surgery, and then you wait for a diagnosis. Following treatment you wait to see if it has been successful, if it hasn’t then you must wait for more treatment. If your thyroxine dose is incorrect, then you wait 6 weeks for a blood test after taking an increased or reduced dose, because a new strength of thyroxine takes 6 weeks work properly. I have spent 11 years as a lady-in-waiting.

What length of life do I have left? Who knows? It’s as long as a piece of string. It could be 30 years, or it could be 3. I have exhausted two of the treatments, surgery and radioactive iodine, but still have two more to go before the doctors hang up their white coats and walk out the door. The third treatment is external beam radiotherapy, with its drastic side-effects and possible hospitalisation for an eventual inability to swallow. The fourth and final treatment is a new drug on the market, which also has many side-effects. Apart from surgery and radioactive iodine I have also had four sessions of healing with a world-renowned spiritual healer. God alone knows if it was the surgery or the healing which helped, but my latest scan results at the end of January 2016 showed no evidence of any thyroid cancer cells in my neck, and the two enlarged lymph nodes that could be seen in October 2015 had shrunk. They say I’m doing well, and therefore I hope to be around for many more years to come.

What lies ahead? None of us know, and perhaps it’s better that way. Not a single one of us gets out of this life alive. My own father died of cancer at the age of 49, and without the interventions I’ve had my life would have been similarly shortened. He never knew my two sons, and I would never have met my four grandchildren, which fill my life in a way only grandchildren can, if I had not had the treatment I’ve had. Every day is a bonus for me now, and I’m making the most of life while I can. I’ve just been upgraded from 3-monthly follow ups to 6-monthly, so don’t worry about me, I’m doing very well!

Stevie Turner © 2016

author bio

I began my writing career as far back as 1969, when I won an inter-schools’ writing competition after submitting a well-thumbed and hastily scribbled essay entitled ‘My Pet’. A love of words and writing short stories and poems has carried on all throughout my life, but it is only now in middle age that I’ve started writing novels full-time and taking this author business seriously.

I have just published my second short story ‘The Noise Effect’ and a tenth novel ‘The Donor’ will be published on 26th December 2015. My novels are realistic, but tend to shy away from the mainstream somewhat and focus on the darker side of relationships. However, you’ll find I do like to add in a little bit of humour along the way. In January 2015 my third novel ‘A House Without Windows’ won the Goodreads’ eBookMiner Book of the Month Competition, and was chosen as a medal winner in the New Apple Book Awards 2014 Suspense/Thriller category. Also in late 2015 it won a Readers’ Favorite Gold Award.

I have also recently branched out into the world of audio books. Two audio books ‘The Daughter-in-law Syndrome’ and ‘A House Without Windows’ are available for purchase, and the rest are currently in production and will become available in 2016.

So here I am in the late summer of my life, and the words are tumbling out of my head. Living for more than a few years has given me plenty of subject matter to write about, and I look forward to sharing quite a lot of it with you.


DONATE BUTTON

Thank you so much for taking part Stevie!

To see the full list of authors taking part in this month-long blog tour, [click here]

To find out what “They Say I’m Doing Well” is all about, [click here]

giveaway

Stevie is giving away FIVE audible.co.uk codes for her humorous audiobook The Pilates Class. Comment on this blog post to show your interest!!!

1796500_10207420106396232_8487826909674314424_n

 

 

“They Say I’m Doing Well” Blog Tour – Stop #28 – David E Gordon

blog banner1

My alarm goes off, yet again, for the third time this morning. I have already pressed the snooze two times and I know that I have to get up. I have work today and people are counting on me, or so they say. With a deep sigh, I let my eyes adjust in the early morning dawn light. I rub at them hoping it will help me focus, but the darkness seems to push in from all sides. The silence of my apartment is all around me, so thick that it feels like a heavy weight is sitting on my chest.

Slowly, I turn and let my legs hang from the side of the bed, my feet not quite touching the floor.

I rise up and steady myself against the wall just a mere six inches away. My apartment is small and the too-big bed takes up a lot of room. I had thought about leaving it with her and getting a smaller one, but, I just couldn’t handle the idea that she would be using our bed with him. I lower my head, my chin resting against my chest as the tears begin to fall. I sit back down on the bed as the sobs fill my very being.

After several long minutes, I draw in a deep breath and several short ones hoping to settle myself. It doesn’t take much these days to get me bawling my eyes out. I guess in some ways she was my safety net. What was it she had said? “This is too much for me. You are a wonderful man, but not knowing what I will find when I come home is… just too much.” I didn’t blame her. Some days, I didn’t know what I would find in the morning when I woke up either.

I get up again and slowly drag myself into the bathroom to get a shower and get ready for the day. Some days it can take quite a while for me to get ready, so I usually start earlier than I need to. After my shower, shaving, and brushing my teeth, I walk back into the bedroom to get dressed. One of the things my doctor has suggested is that I pick out clothes the night before and force myself to accept them, to not change my selection. Today the navy blue slacks and plain white shirt fit my mood.

I walk down the short hallway to the kitchen and make myself a cup of coffee. The smell of the fresh brew reminds me of days when I cherished my first cup. Now, it is just one more chore that I have to muddle through. My doctor told me that doing these types of small chores consistently would help me return to my old self. While I wait for the coffee I check my cell phone. No texts and the handful of emails are of the upcoming weekend sales. No party or night out invites for me. Nothing for me to do or read here. Just nothing.

I sit down heavily in one of the two chairs at the small café-sized table. Some days I just can’t see the future at all, like the winter dawn barely breaking outside of my windows. It all seems very dark. I can feel myself slipping back and closing my eyes, try to reach for the ledge. I remember his “tricks” to reach for the next rung on the ladder. Not to look up at the top – just to look at the next one. Just one. Then one more. But with my eyes still closed I try to remember happier days gone by. I know they were there because she and I had been happy once upon a time. I can remember every detail of her. The way she smiled so easily and laughed all the time. The way the sun lightened her long brown hair and made her hazel eyes sparkle. I swipe at the tear as it begins to slip down my cheek. Damn! It is going to be one of those days.

I focus on the scent of the fresh coffee and manage to open my eyes. Standing up I lift my travel coffee mug and place the lid tightly on. Turning to leave the kitchen I pick up my backpack, which contains some tissues, a few pens and pencils, and a journal. My doctor says every day I am supposed to write down something positive and then share it during our sessions. Some days the best I can say is that my coffee tasted good. I know it’s not much, but it is something.

He says finding something positive every day means that I am doing well. I guess a good cup of coffee is better than nothing. And that also means that I got out of bed today, that I was able to get dressed, get through my morning routine, able to take a breath and keep breathing.

Like football players who smack the champion sign on the way out onto the field, I have my own sign. ‘They say I am doing well’ it says, with butterflies and flowers all around it. Do I look like a flowers and butterflies kind of guy? No, I don’t think so. But as I pass by the sign, I run my fingers across the words, trying to pull them into my soul, into my heart, and most importantly into my mind. Maybe that will help. Today, I need all the help I can get.

As the door closes behind me, I say it over and over in my mind – they say I am doing well. With a deep sigh, I put one foot in front of the other and then another and another. Maybe they are right. Maybe I am doing well. I hope they are right.

David E Gordon © 2016

author bio

David E Gordon is a suspense writer, his first novel called Cutter, available on Amazon.

Contact David davidegordonauthor.wordpress.com or facebook.com/DavidEGordonAuthor

 

DONATE BUTTON

Thank you so much for taking part David!

To see the full list of authors taking part in this month-long blog tour, [click here]

To find out what “They Say I’m Doing Well” is all about, [click here]

1796500_10207420106396232_8487826909674314424_n

 

 

 

“They Say I’m Doing Well” Blog Tour – Stop #27 – Blake Rivers

blog banner1

Life Eclipsed

 

They say I’m doing well at school,

Because I made the grade.

“…intelligent and… don’t understand…

Cheer up you

Silly Thing!”

 

And when I’m off and walking home, they say it’s all my fault;

“…stay in school–and as for them? Just… turn the other cheek.”

 

They say I’m doing well at work,

“…a real asset to us all.

There’s just one thing… The time off thing…

You don’t look sick, don’t look ill… should be on the ball!”

 

A darkness has no light;

and when I’m doing well,

I’ll be on time, turn up, take part, be

Everything you like.

But if I don’t, think on it… am I truly well and good?

Sullen-silent I scream alone…

 

“…I wish they’d understood.”

 

Blake Rivers © 2016

 

author bio

Blake Rivers lives in the East of England, surrounded by acres of historical countryside, towns and villages. It is from these mysterious places of history that he draws on the fantastical, moulding them into stories and adventures.

For as long as he can remember, writing books and being an author of stories was all he wanted to do. He still keeps his first two manuscripts, one written on an old Royal typewriter when he was twelve, and the other on an Amiga computer when he was fourteen, and although they’d never be published, they are a reminder of the dream and the journey. In the late 2000’s, Blake wrote many starts to books that he abandoned, but it was in 2011 he began to write his first novel to be published, The Assassin Princess. Both this and his second novel, A Step into Darkscape, are available on Amazon.

When he is not writing, Blake enjoys spending time with his girlfriend who is an artist, reading lots, and going for long walks.

http://blakerivers.com/

DONATE BUTTON

Thank you so much for taking part Blake!

To see the full list of authors taking part in this month-long blog tour, [click here]

To find out what “They Say I’m Doing Well” is all about, [click here]

1796500_10207420106396232_8487826909674314424_n

“They Say I’m Doing Well” Blog Tour – Stop #26 – Sarah Michelle Lynch

blog banner1

They say I’m doing well…

So, what does this mean to me…?

I could relay you a million stories, about people I’ve known or met in passing. I have one of those minds; I remember lots of little details people tell me and they always come in useful when I’m writing. So I guess what I’m trying to say is that I could tell you someone else’s story, but how about telling you mine?

I’ve never been ill (touch wood). I did however come close to serious injury in a car crash once but walked away fine. I have never suffered a mental health issue myself. But behind some smiles, there are those of us who have watched others suffer and when you don’t have a mental health issue yourself, it is really hard to understand what someone else is going through when you can’t see into their head. The mind is not an exact science.

From my point of view, a lot of people assume Sarah Michelle Lynch is together and has it sorted. It’s fine. I’m fine. We’re all fine. A part of me will admit that I’ve shirked away from trying to understand the problems people around me have been going through. I’ve shied away from trying to get them to talk about their issues, but maybe that’s just because I cannot empathise entirely. For so many years, I was occupied by an overwhelming sense of ambition to be the beacon my family needed me to be. It’s the curse of your twenties to try to be all things to all people. At the end of the day, I’m just me, and I am happy to have come to that acceptance.

I often write stories about struggle, about deceit, about lies and secrecy, but my life is pretty normal and boring really. In the past few years, since I started writing actually, I’ve learned to be very grateful for having a positive attitude. Give me a pen and a pad of paper and I am happy. I can write anywhere. My Happy is portable. A chocolate bar and a cup of tea too wouldn’t go amiss. That ability of mine to just be happy is something I never saw any value in – until I realised a lot of people find it difficult to even get out of bed some days.

Whether you have a mental health issue or not, we’re all just people, striving for the same things. Love and understanding. Life is hard, nobody ever said it was going to be easy. Journeys of self-discovery can be debilitating for a time, in fact, but I firmly believe knowledge and awareness can empower and help people to rebuild and renew.

I always tell myself it is important to remember what I’ve overcome to bring me to the point where I’m at now. This point. At this moment in time. I put myself through university when I could have easily given up and got a manager’s job at the place I worked part-time during that period. There were times when I wanted to quit, to give up, but I didn’t. I wasn’t the only one – loads of my friends were putting themselves through university too. We did it and came out stronger for it.

I was the first person in my family to go to university. Let me put that into perspective for you. My maternal grandfather was illiterate. My mum got her GCSE in English in her thirties! (mega proud of her by the way!) My parents are both from broken homes. My mum, fostered when she was four, lost two elder brothers, before she was put with a family that didn’t really want her and my auntie. My dad grew up in poverty, suffering like you would never imagine he had. My grandmother was a manic depressive and back in those days, it wasn’t dealt with like it would be today. My grandfather turned a blind eye; he was a womaniser who abandoned my dad and his brother to the mindset of a seriously ill woman who rarely washed, rarely fed her kids, rarely tried to instil in them any sense of decency. I’m the eldest of four kids myself. School friends used to meet my dad and think we were posh. He’s an intelligent man, but he has never been posh. Not many know the full story. Not many people know how my parents struggled to bring us all up, without grandparents to help out. They struggled. I know, because I remember. I was there. I know about the mindset of poverty and how difficult it has been for my dad, especially, to let go of.

Academia is a different world to the one I was born into. Yet in a lot of ways, it saved me. Getting my degree was the biggest achievement I made, up until that point anyway. Nobody on God’s Earth can take it away from me.

After university I did what I always said I was going to do and I worked in journalism for seven years. I learned more in this job than I had learnt in my life before that. My degree gave me a foundation, as did the various part-time jobs I’d done along the way, but I didn’t learn anything until I worked in journalism, which opened my eyes to the human race in all its varying degrees.

I worked with many talented people that might never fulfil their promise because of how truly scary it is to put yourself out there with a piece of work that means more than a pay check. Stories of unlikely heroes and heroines fascinate me because you don’t know if a future star might be sitting next to you in the next office cubicle. We all have the potential for greatness, there’s often just a lot of luck involved and knowing the right people.

I went back to journalism after maternity leave and found five or six people doing my old job. Eventually leaving that job was the best thing I ever did.

I wrote my first novel when I was just twenty-eight. The adrenalin of completing that was like nothing I’d ever felt before. Like a lot of other self-published authors, I found friends and family responded to my new pursuit in various ways. Real friends celebrate you, while others fall by the wayside as you pursue your dream.

I’ve known for quite some time that I was born to write, and the notion grows stronger all the time with every word I put down, with every other author I work with thanking me for helping them.

I’ve always known my destiny is words and it’s something you can put alongside my name.

But even with all my confidence and vigour for this writing lark, I still have days where words don’t flow, where I doubt myself. But it’s okay, and I take the rough with the smooth. My ambition has lessened as my love for the art has grown.

Since I’ve joined the book community and spoken to people like me, I’ve realised how words have the power to do good. I’ve adapted my writing style a lot over the years after realising I actually have a power at my fingertips to do good and it’s why I keep writing. Why I decided to do an event like this.

At the same time, I realise how the world demands, how it requires and takes and manipulates the truth of an artist’s soul for its own ends. Which is why I asked all the authors taking part to write something with regards to, “They Say I’m Doing Well,” because people’s definition of that varies. Ask yourself about doing well… Does doing well mean earning big bucks, having all the letters after your name, or does doing well translate to literally everything? Health, wealth, prospects? What?

I feel that this world can be harsh and cruel because we forget that we’re all human – most of us – and to err is to be human. There’s no formula; no recipe for success, or personal happiness.

They say I’m doing well but some days, I wake up and don’t like what I see in the mirror. Some days I don’t want to write because it all feels like sludge between my fingers. I question myself all the time: do I speak to my friends enough? Is Andy okay? Is Serena doing well at school? Am I doing enough? All these things are normal, but if they become consuming, that’s when you know you have to take a step back and retrace. Ask yourself, is there really a reason for me to worry? Focus on a good thing, a place you can take your mind to, and reorganise everything back to that safe place. I never knew these were invaluable tools I’d had in use for so many years until I watched someone close to me crumble. And it changed me, too. It made me realise that what you give, you get back tenfold, and when you walk the path together it’s so much more interesting than going it alone.

None of us are perfect. None of us. Some of us might be doing “well”, whatever your definition of well is, but then again, we’re all human and all have our crosses to bear – I try to remember that everyday. I see people who appear confident but a tiny fracture in their defences allows me to see that they’re not at all fixed or whole. They’re broken, but in time and with the right love and support, they’ll heal. It’s funny how we judge people on first impressions but how, when we really get to know them, we begin to associate colours and patterns with them instead of faces. We no longer see the outside, but the inside. It doesn’t matter how well you think you know someone though, they sometimes go right on to surprise the hell out of you.

The one thing I will pass on to my daughter is this… never give up on learning. Never. I didn’t. I will not, either. Education… it’s the basis of our civilisation, of making this world better… and doing it all in the name of people that didn’t have the same choices we have.

To round off my contribution to the blog tour, I have written you a poem. Poetry is a medium I don’t get on with sometimes. For me, it bites at me, eats me away. I find it harder to write poetry than novels. A poem sometimes stews in my recesses for weeks before I just write it. I will write it flat out, and that will be it. A poem’s a bunch of feelings condensed, with the potential for so many different interpretations. Poetry, for me, is real. Poetry protects. Poetry reveals our innards and I know why a lot of people struggling with their mindset write poetry, to get it out there… to expel, in order to digest.

So, here we go…

They Say I’m Doing Well

Caress my hair around my ears

I lay my head awhile on your lap

Silence pervades the air and still

We tell each other more than

Words could ever tell

*

Soothe my aches with your hands

Take my soul in your arms

And keep me safe there

I won’t tell if you don’t

Secrets we keep behind our eyes

 *

In front of the telly we stare

But we’re together, so it’s okay

Flimflam words don’t matter

Because it’s just time together

And time’s all that matters

 *

You’re the strength beyond

My fingertips, the one always there

You silence my worries, hear my cries

You cradle my neuroses and nurture them

Loving all of me as you do

 *

He is wise and kind and soulful

He carries me on his back

He has peccadilloes of his own

Which I love in return

And together we reign supreme

*

You struggled, you overcame

You’ve known pain and anguish

Disappointment and deceit

And came out the other side

Much stronger than people realise

*

They say I’m doing well

But it’s the strength you give to me

I couldn’t do all this without the struggle,

And without the journey…

We wouldn’t have the dream

Sarah Michelle Lynch © 2016

author bio

Sarah Michelle Lynch wakes up in the morning and the first thing on her mind is words and the possibility of reading and writing more and more words. She is a little bit obsessed.

A career in journalism preceded Sarah’s writing career as an Independent author and despite an offer to get published, Sarah found it very difficult to let go of the freedom, variety and creativity self-publishing allows her.

When Sarah’s not reading words, she’s editing them, and when she’s not editing she’s writing. These days, to earn her right to write, she freelances as an editor.

DONATE BUTTON

To see the full list of authors taking part in this month-long blog tour, [click here]

To find out what “They Say I’m Doing Well” is all about, [click here]

Please press the donate button if you were inspired by my words. Here’s what your donations could achieve:

£8.70 gives a lifeline to someone in desperate need of support by letting the Mind Infoline team take their call

£30 could help Mind work with the Government to promote mental health needs and improve services for years to come

£150 could fund a local support group and let people living with mental health problems get back their confidence and self-esteem

£250 could fund equipment for an art therapy group, so that people can express their feelings through art and start the healing process

1796500_10207420106396232_8487826909674314424_n

“They Say I’m Doing Well” Blog Tour – Stop #24 – EJ Shortall

blog banner1

Lost
A short story by
E.J. Shortall
Edited by: Kendra’s Editing and Book Services

 

“You will love it.”

“There is no better feeling in the world.”

“They complete you.”

Lies.

It was all lies.

At least, that’s how it felt at the time.

No one told me the truth. No one ever said becoming a mother would shake me, break me, and turn me into a withered fraction of the person I used to be.

Sure, I had the emotional moment and feeling of absolute joy when my son was placed in my arms for the very first time. And yes, my chest constricted with an overwhelming sense of pride when he first opened his blue eyes and looked up at me, melting my heart.

That feeling didn’t last long.

Within a week of my son’s birth, everything had changed.

Sitting on a bench facing the small lake, the dark water reflecting the changing autumn leaves of nearby trees, my thoughts drifted back to the time when being a mother became too much, when I wished it would all just go away.

That he would just go away.

 

Harvey, my son, had been a little angel. “Our very own gift from God,” Dylan, my husband, would say. Of course he would. He didn’t get to see the devil-child like I did.

As soon as Dylan returned to work at the end of his paternity leave and it became just Harvey and me, things spiralled downhill quickly.

Everything started changing.

I started changing.

It was almost like he was testing the strength of my character—and found me lacking. From the moment the front door clicked closed behind Dylan in the mornings, after he had showered his precious son with kisses, Harvey became a demanding monster. It didn’t matter what I tried or how much of my own hair I tried pulling out, Harvey would not settle.

He would cry non-stop for hours, and nothing would pacify him. I’d feed, change, and cuddle him, and I’d rock him in my arms until they ached, but his wailing would not stop.

In the early days of post-natal checks, the midwife—and then various other health-care workers—would tell me everything was fine. It would take me a while to learn what my son’s different cries were and I should not fret about things.

That was easier said than done.

The more Harvey cried, the more desperate I became.

First, my feelings were of guilt; why couldn’t I do the simple thing of pacifying my son? We soon found ourselves in a vicious circle of baby crying—mum fretting—baby continuing to cry—mum becoming desperate for some peace.

Next came hopelessness.

I began to feel lost, worthless, not deserving of anything or anyone in my life. I had been given, supposedly, the greatest gift on earth, but I didn’t appreciate him. I couldn’t.

Within days, I found myself withdrawing from my son, and from life. I couldn’t cope. Suddenly, being a wife and mother was too much.

I wasn’t connecting with my son. The bright spark of pride I’d felt straight after his birth, had faded and died. I began despising him, wishing he were anywhere but with me. My relationship with my husband was suffering, too. I could see the concern in his eyes when he came home from work in the evenings and asked how my day had been, but I couldn’t seem to muster the enthusiasm to care.

While I stayed in bed, trying to bury myself in the comfort of my blankets, I would leave Harvey in his bassinet crying for hours until he would eventually drop off to sleep. I couldn’t find the motivation to get washed or dressed. I stopped eating properly and would ignored phone calls and visitors.

I simply withdrew from living.

Eventually, Dylan and our health visitor realised that something was wrong, that I wasn’t just suffering with mild baby blues.

“Georgie,” Dylan said to me one morning, sitting beside me on the edge of the bed as he cuddled a sleeping Harvey. “Sweetheart, we can’t carry on like this. Harvey needs his mum.”

His words were like a knife to my chest. He was right; Harvey did need me, but I didn’t know how to be a mum. I was confused, scared, tired, and I felt an overwhelming sense of guilt that I couldn’t just get on with motherhood like every other new mum did.

My throat clogged up with a football-sized ball of guilt, shame, and emotion, and tears stung my closed eyes. But I would not cry. I refused to. I could not admit to Dylan how low I was feeling, how utterly useless I was. I was his wife, the mother of his child. I was supposed to be strong, caring, and nurturing his child whilst he was off providing for us financially.

Dylan’s gentle hand swept greasy hair away from my face, and I felt his eyes on me.

I will not cry. I will not cry.

I kept repeating it to myself over and over, willing myself back into the darkness that was slowly engulfing me.

“You have to snap out of this, babe. Harvey needs you… I need you.”

Despite my best efforts, a whimper that resembled a squeak abraded my throat, and the tears I had been trying so hard to repress finally started falling. I screwed my eyes together tight and prayed no more would fall. But it was no use. The dam had breached, and before I knew it, I was sobbing, burying my face into the pillow, unable to control my shaking body.

“Let me help you. We need to get you help so you can feel like you again. I need my wife, and Harvey needs his mum. We can’t lose you, Georgie.”

Dylan’s emotion-filled voice and words took me by surprise. What did he mean by ‘lose me’? I wasn’t going anywhere, well, other than the black hole I was steadily falling into.

I wiped my eyes with the back of my hand and wiggled under the crumple of blankets until I was facing Dylan. For the first time in several weeks, I actually took note of my husband. His usual bright-blue eyes were dull and haunted, dark circles swirled underneath, and a concerned frown drew in his brows.

My husband was seriously worried. About me?

As tears continued to spill from my eyes, Dylan reached forward to wipe them away.

“I’ve been speaking to Evelyn, and she thinks you have Postnatal Depression.” I shuddered again, not wanting to acknowledge what we both knew was the truth. “I’ve made you an appointment with the doctor. It’s time we got you the support you need to help you get back to your old self.”

Dylan offered a small, weary smile and continued stroking my hair with one hand while cuddling our son to his chest with the other.

The realisation of the seriousness of my condition hit me full on. I wasn’t just feeling down or tired; I was depressed.

I turned my head, not able to look at my husband or son, as a new emotion swept through me… shame.

“Hey.” Dylan quickly slipped his gentle hand beneath my cheek, encouraging me to look at him again. “Don’t hide from me. You have nothing to be ashamed of, okay? Lots of new mothers suffer with Postnatal Depression.”

“I’m so sorry,” I cried, bringing my hand to my mouth, trying to control my hysterics. “I’m so, so sorry, Dylan.”

With his free arm, Dylan pulled my against his chest, holding his family close.

“Shh, you have nothing to be sorry for. You hear me? Nothing.”

I cried and snuggled into Dylan’s white cotton shirt for what felt like hours until Harvey started wriggling and getting grumpy.

“Why don’t you go shower while I feed this little monster, then we’ll go talk to the doctor.” Dylan planted a kiss to my forehead and began to ease away. Not wanting him to go, I quickly grabbed handfuls of his shirt and buried my face into his chest.

“I love you,” I whispered.

I felt his smile against my skin as he kissed me again.

“And I love you, too… We’ll get through this, baby. I promise we will.”

 

After a chat with our family doctor, he confirmed that I was experiencing Postnatal Depression. We spoke about various treatment options and support that would help me cope, and eventually decided against antidepressants, opting for a more therapeutic approach through counselling and support groups.

When we returned home from the doctors, together, Dylan and I fed and changed Harvey and settled him down for a nap, then we sat and searched the Internet for information and advice. The Mind website was a fantastic resource that helped me further understand my condition and put me in contact with a local support group.

Within days, I’d attended a one-to-one counselling session with a lovely lady who didn’t judge and encouraged me to open up. I also had further plans to join a local group of other women who were also struggling following the birth of a child. I was still buried in a black hole, but for the first time in weeks, I felt hopeful.

Talking to people who understood and could relate to how I was feeling was my greatest motivation. I finally accepted that I wasn’t alone. I wasn’t a freak of nature, or a bad mother, and my fears, anxieties, and emotions were all normal.

 

“Mumma, Mumma.”

My thoughts came back to the present by the sound of a happy child shouting behind me.

Slowly, I pulled my gaze from the darkness of the lake and turned in my seat. The sight that greeted me made my chest ache and spread a wide smile across my face. It was the most beautiful sight in the world.

My son.

Harvey, who was now walking, was heading toward me on his unsteady, chubby legs, a bright smile lighting up his face.

“Mumma, Mumma,” he babbled over and over, making me laugh.

“Hey, baby boy,” I cooed, scooping him into my arms. “Did Daddy take you to the swings?”

“Swin, swin, swin” he chanted over and over, excited to have mastered—in his baby way—another new word.

I felt Dylan step up behind me and wrap his arms around my waist, settling his hands over my stomach.

“Hello, gorgeous.”

The warmth of his breath fluttering across the sensitive skin of my neck, and the husky tones of his voice, sent my body into overdrive.

“Hello to you, too, handsome.”

“How is my family doing?” He rubbed gentle circles over the tiny swell of my belly.

“We’re all doing great.” I beamed, turning in Dylan’s arms and offering him my lips that he was only too willing to smother with his own.

We stood together for several minutes, kissing each other and cuddling our son, until Harvey became restless and wanted to get down.

“I guess it’s time to go home, then,” Dylan said, taking Harvey from my arms and securing him in his stroller.

As we walked back through the park toward our car, I couldn’t be more thankful for my life. I had a wonderful son, a fantastic husband, an amazing support group surrounding me, and another, unexpected, child on the way.

Things weren’t always perfect; I still had the occasional struggle, and I couldn’t deny being a little afraid of becoming a mother again. But, as they say, I was doing well and getting better and more confident every day.

With my family and friends beside me, I knew everything would be okay.

“You will love it.”

“There is no better feeling in the world.”

“They complete you.”

It was all the truth, every last word.

EJ Shortall © 2016

author bio

EJ Shortall was born and raised in London, England where she currently still lives with her teenage son.

Having worked in education for the better part of 12 years, EJ decided a change was needed and, following a moment of inspiration, she decided to put pen to paper and start writing her first novel, Silver Lining. Not content with just the one, she continued with book two and hopes to write many more.

She has always enjoyed reading, but found it was mostly just a holiday extravagance. Then she discovered a certain worldwide best seller, and that was it she was hooked. Reading quickly became an obsession and she couldn’t devour books fast enough. The books on her shelves and reading device range from sweet, Young Adult romances, to smouldering erotic encounters.

Aside from reading and writing, EJ also enjoys amateur photography and cake decorating.

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorE.J.Shortall

DONATE BUTTON

Thank you so much for taking part EJ!

To see the full list of authors taking part in this month-long blog tour, [click here]

To find out what “They Say I’m Doing Well” is all about, [click here]

1796500_10207420106396232_8487826909674314424_n

“They Say I’m Doing Well” Blog Tour – Stop #23 – Francesca Marlow

blog banner1

 

They say I’m doing well, but I guess it depends on how you define the word well. I’m healthy; I have a job, a roof over my head, two beautiful little girls, a very supportive partner, a big loving family and a small group of awesome friends. In my eyes, that makes me richer than many people.

To the outside world, my life may be viewed as a happy one and for the most part, it is. However, the life I portray on social media are the parts I want people to see, therefore, yes; I’m socially well.

What most don’t realise, and the part I rarely share is the hours it cost me in MIND time to get to this point in my life. The struggles, the low points, the lonely, late night cries, the endless loss of sleep, the battles with my own thoughts at two, three and four in a morning.

In August 2014, I split from my husband after eight years of marriage, ending a relationship of thirteen years. At thirty-three years old, I never thought I would find myself in that position. I was starting my life over and I have never been as scared of anything in my life. Not even childbirth. I was suddenly solely responsible for, not only looking after myself but my two little girls – the two most precious things in my life. It turns out; they probably ended up looking after me the most with their innocent little minds, big hearts and simple outlooks on life. Hell, I envied them.  I’m still shocked at how isolating it feels when I see their empty beds staring back at me when they are staying at their dad’s. That’s when the sun goes down and the nightmares creep in.

Just because a person chooses to remain private, doesn’t spout all their problems publicly, or struggles to openly discuss them, doesn’t mean they don’t suffer. To the contrary, the quiet ones suffer, too. Being trapped in your own thoughts, not being able to make sense of them enough to talk about them, to even your closest friends, is a scary place to be. Add to that the fear of sounding stupid, the fear of admitting your failings, the fear of how society will judge you and you may find that you understand more why so many people suffer in silence. Sometimes, it’s the safest way to be.

Paranoia and insecurity are a bitch…

Who is going to want me with two kids?

Who is going to want me looking like this?

Who else is going to love my baby born, stretch marks?

Are they looking at me?

Are they whispering about me?

Why didn’t they invite me?

Why didn’t they invite my children?

What damage have I done to my girls?

God, I feel so guilty. How will I provide them with all the love and support they’re missing out on not being in a two parent family?

Did my daughter get into trouble at school because I left her dad? Is she lashing out because of me?

Why don’t my friends like my photos?

Are they judging me now, too?

Why aren’t family supporting my decisions?

Surely they understand?

These are just a few of the questions that my wonderful mind spends hours agonising over.

Then…

Insert identity crisis – I’d spent years being Fran the wife, Fran the daughter-in-law,

Fran the mum, but who the hell was Fran? I felt like I had to rediscover myself all over again.

Insert judgement days – I realised no matter what you do, what new things you try, whatever selfie you post, there’s always someone sat there waiting to pounce, to pull you to pieces and criticise you. They have no clue why you’re doing what you’re doing. They have no idea how many hours you spent deliberating over your every step.

Insert the mistakes – I am only human, I will make mistakes, everyone does. I made a ton of them. It’s just a shame others couldn’t admit their mistakes, too. It’s funny how many perfect people there were in my life and it’s even funnier how many friends you truly have (insert sarcasm). I learnt the hard way whom are the good eggs, but the good eggs I have, are keepers for life.

Then…

When the sun begins to rise in the morning, there’s a certain calm that ripples through the mind like an ocean gently washing over the shore, taking with it all the silly, unnecessary worry. And as you drag your weary, tired body from the sheets, you begin to wonder what it is about the night that causes such irrationality. You start to be able to rationalise the thoughts in your head that little bit easier, clearer.

You realise it’s not all doom and gloom because despite the disappointment of those you thought you could trust, you know there’s that one friend. That one friend you can rely on at all hours of the day to be on the other end of the phone, regardless of her plans. She picks you up and slaps you down as and when required. That one friend who understands without even having to explain, but that one friend you know you can’t rely on forever.  Also, whether realised or not, that one random text asking how you are means the world. Just the thought that someone took a minute out of their day to think about you, means more than they will probably ever know.

On the outside I probably seemed like I was taking it all in my stride, on the inside, I was dying a slow death. My thoughts were killing me day by day, pinning me down and keep me a prisoner in my own mind. It’s cliché but it’s true – when you’re down on your arse, the only way is up. When you’re staring back at the person in the mirror and you don’t even recognise yourself anymore and what you’ve become, then it’s time to have a serious word with the bastards in your head. It’s time to fight. It’s time to take a leaf out of your kid’s book and focus on the positives. It’s time to trust in a few people and let them in. Slowly, but surely, I started to realise…

I’m healthy.

I have a job.

I have a home.

I have two beautiful little girls.

I have a small group of awesome friends.

I have a big loving family.

With pain comes anger and for a while back there, that’s exactly how I felt; angry and disappointed. It was my decision to leave my marriage. No one said it would be easy, a few said it would be tough but never did I once imagine just how hard it would be. Nothing prepared me for the times I faced.

You find a way to let go of the anger.

You find a way to let go of the hurt.

You find a way to let go of the pain.

You let it go.

You start to live again.

The whole process has taught my MIND many things but one of the most specific is I’ve had to learn is to live without the materialistic things in life. That’s not to say I couldn’t before divorce, it’s just I now have an appreciation for the smaller, understated things – walks in the park, snuggles on the sofa, watching a film with my kids, baking on a Sunday, relaxing in a hot bath, just sitting alone in a quiet room listening to the sound of my calm breath.

I now have a new partner, who accepts my baby stretch marks, who encourages me to be me and not to concern myself with the opinions of others, but most of all, loves my girls just as much as he loves me. There truly are great people out there; you just need to trust and believe in yourself and hope that good things will follow.

2016 – I am grateful to all those who stood by me. I appreciate the things I do have in my life. I have more of an understanding to those who suffer pain, but most importantly, I feel stronger in mind, I am doing well.

#foreverafighter

Francesca Marlow © 2016

author bio

Francesca Marlow discovered her love for writing a few years ago when having some role play fun on Twitter with her best mate. They were inspired to create a world of their own which really helped her to channel every day thoughts and emotions, to deal with the daily grind of ‘life’. Never once did she think it would lead to releasing her first novel which she confesses to being one of the proudest moments.

Aside from releasing a novel, two of Francesca’s biggest accomplishment to date is her two little ladies which mean the world to her. She’s a Yorkshire lass and romantic at heart, with an eclectic taste in music and a great love for films; all of which continue to be a source of creativity as well as well deserved relaxation moments. A new found love for the gym has lead to a healthier, happier Fran, so when she’s not being a mum, working, reading or writing, she can be found lifting weights or just generally exhausted in a heap in her snuggle chair.

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorFMarlow

 

DONATE BUTTON

Thank you so much for taking part Fran!

To see the full list of authors taking part in this month-long blog tour, [click here]

To find out what “They Say I’m Doing Well” is all about, [click here]

1796500_10207420106396232_8487826909674314424_n

“They Say I’m Doing Well” Blog Tour – Stop #20 – TA McKay

blog banner1

They say I’m doing well.

It’s been eleven days, six hours, and twenty-three minutes since I last cried. I can feel them though; the tears are there, building inside my chest causing it to tighten as they try to escape.

It’s been eleven days, six hours, and twenty-three minutes since the last time I cut my skin to let the blood take it all away. But I can feel it building again, the pain inside my soul that’s desperate to be released.

It’s been eleven days, six hours, and twenty-three minutes since I thought about ending it all. I felt nothing but peace when I thought about how simple it would be to stop it all, how slipping away would be so much easier on everyone. The darkness wouldn’t hurt, the darkness would welcome me like an old friend.

It’s been eleven days, six hours, and twenty-four minutes since I asked for help. That was the moment I sat in a chair and spoke to someone who understood how I felt, told them how much pain I had inside. I let them in and it was the scariest thing I’ve ever done. Even after all the blood I’ve shed and tears I’ve cried, talking was what scared me the most.

It’s been eleven days, six hours, and twenty-five minutes.

It’s been eleven days, six hours, and twenty-six minutes.

They say I’m doing well, and one day I might believe them. For now I will just count the days, hours, and minutes, because every minute that passes is another minute I’ve survived.

They say I’m doing well, but I can feel myself falling into the darkness again.

It’s been eleven days, six hours, and twenty-seven minutes.

T.a. McKay © 2015

author bio

After being married for ten years and raising three beautiful kids I decided it was time to do something for myself. My passion for reading bled over with a need to tell the story that was repeating in my head and that was the birth of my first book. The rest they say is history.

I love the creative release that writing gives you, being able to take someone away to a different world feels amazing. As a reader I know how important that escape is, and as a writer I love to be able to give people that.

My other loves include music and reading (in case I haven’t mentioned that before) and then when I have time a little more reading. I think if I could read for a living I would, but since I can’t I will continue on the writing side of things.

https://www.facebook.com/Ta-Mckay-Author-1462902633937350

 

DONATE BUTTON

Thank you so much for taking part Tracy!

To see the full list of authors taking part in this month-long blog tour, [click here]

To find out what “They Say I’m Doing Well” is all about, [click here]

1796500_10207420106396232_8487826909674314424_n

“They Say I’m Doing Well” Blog Tour – Stop #19 – Muriel Garcia

blog banner1

hope [hohp]

noun

The feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best.

 

Hope, my family always told me to believe in hope, no matter what the circumstances. But how can you remain positive when everything around you falls apart? How do you face life when it only gets worse?

My life hasn’t been easy. My parents divorced when I was two and, from what my mother told me, it was because my father was beating her.

Over the next couple of years, my mother had a new boyfriend every week until she met my stepfather. He wasn’t a good man either. He was a drug addict who used my mother as an ATM to feed his addiction. My mother was stupid enough to believe he loved her, which gave me a negative outlook on men, even if I still wanted to believe there was someone good for me out there.

The moment I turned sixteen, I left and never looked back. It’s been ten years and I don’t know if my mother ever tried to find me.

I managed to make something of my life; I found a job, a place to live and a boyfriend who quickly became my husband. My life became the dream I always hoped it would be, but it turned into a nightmare the first time my husband hit me.

A friend of ours had uploaded a picture of me dancing platonically with another man onto Facebook. My husband couldn’t make the party because he had to work late so the guy took pity on me sitting by myself. The moment my husband saw the picture he stormed over to me and slapped me across the cheek. He told me that it was my fault, that I must have done something to seduce my dance partner because there was no way he would have danced with me otherwise. And like a fool, I believed him

After that things calmed down for a while and I let myself hope that everything was back to normal, but the look of disgust in his eyes every time he drank chilled my blood. I didn’t know how to get away; I had nowhere to go and the few friends I had were our mutual friends so I couldn’t risk asking for help and them telling my husband where I had gone.

I tried to keep myself by escaping inside books, every love story gave me some hope to cling on to and dream about. All I have ever wanted was a loving relationship with a man who would look at me with adoration instead of disgust; who would want to spend time with me instead of ignoring me.

His repertoire of abuse developed into manipulation and mental abuse and I quickly became a shell of my former self. I couldn’t do what I wanted or go where I wanted without his approval. It took me a while to find the courage to leave him but my decision was made for me when he hit me the second time. I had been quietly reading a book whilst drinking a glass of wine when he drunkenly stormed into the living room. He then pulled the book from my hands and threw it in the open fire before yelling at me and insulted me; telling me that I didn’t deserve him and was nothing but a bit of skirt. By this stage he had me by my hair and he dragged me to stand. I remember seeing him pull his hand behind me before he struck, connecting with my face so hard that I lost my balance. He carried on screaming at me until his voice became hoarse and he stormed out of the apartment. It was in that moment, sitting on the floor with my arms around my knees waiting to see if he was coming back to finish the job, that I decided to pack my bags and disappear, once again. It seems history is destined to repeat itself.

Thanks to my husband, I lost any hope I had of finding happiness one day.

People always told me that I had done well for myself, I had a good life and was lucky to have a husband like him. Little did they know what an abusive man he was behind closed doors.

How can I be happy when the people who are supposed to love me only manage to hurt me?

Ten years ago I left the only house I’d ever known without regrets and, three days ago, I did it again.

I drove aimlessly for a couple of days and spent the time thinking about those books I love to read. They are my only happiness and the only thing that gives me a semblance of hope.

Tonight is the first night that I’ve allowed myself to do something that I want to do. I want to live and be myself, even just for one night.

Earlier today, I was handed a flyer for a new art gallery opening when I was walking around town. It’s not really the type of thing I’m into, but why not go anyway? I can do whatever I want to here without worrying about the consequences.

I make my way to one of the hostesses and take a glass of champagne. I don’t particularly like it, but it’s free so I can’t really complain. I take a sip and smile, it’s not as bad as I thought. Looks like tonight won’t be as bad as I thought. I feel happy, which is a first in a really long time. I walk around the gallery and take my time to really appreciate the paintings. I don’t know who the artist is, but they have a real talent.

There are so many people around that it’s making me a bit uneasy. Is anyone judging me? Do they know I’m poor and have no idea what to do with my life? I wonder if they can see the telling yellow tint on my cheek where my husband hit me.

I spend most of my time asking myself hundreds of questions about my life. Living alone doesn’t scare me and maybe I should have spent more time alone after I left my mother, instead of jumping into a relationship with the first guy I met who I thought might be my Prince Charming. What scares me the most is not living my life to the fullest and not being happy. I’ll be twenty-seven in a few days and I’m alone, homeless, jobless. I’ve been stood in front of a painting of a woman looking morose for quite some time now. Her long, auburn hair covers her shoulders and her big green eyes fixed on an invisible spot behind me. A dark shadow covers the corner of her lips and stretches over her pink cheek. She looks vulnerable, like she’s just lost everything. She looks like me.

I draw in a deep breath as the realization hits me. I quickly turn around and accidentally walk straight into someone. I look up at the man I just walked into and apologize before running out of the room. I need to put as much distance as I possibly can between the painting and myself. That painting is the mirror that I’ve refused to look in for years, unable to face my own distress and sadness. It’s ironic really, I judged my mother harshly for what happened to her but then let it happen to myself. Granted I left but I didn’t leave straightaway, I was sure he would change.

I take another deep breath when I finally get outside. I’m a mess, my makeup is running down my face, it’s cold and snowing, and I’m only wearing a tank top and a skirt. I wrap my arms around my body in an attempt to warm myself but it’s in vain. I turn around, ready to go back inside, when I bump into the same man I just walked into. I look up into his eyes and lose myself. In that moment, I forget everything. I forget that my mother never loved me, I forget that my husband didn’t either and I forget that I have nothing.

The stranger is looking at me as if I’m the most beautiful thing he’s ever seen and it is in this moment that my hope returns.

Muriel Garcia © 2016

author bio

Muriel Garcia grew up in Belgium. She loves music, tattoos, hot tattooed men, travelling, and cooking. She always had an overly imaginative and creative mind but never thought of writing a book up until a couple of months ago. Now she couldn’t imagine not writing stories that are near and dear to her heart.
You can follow her on:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authormurielgarcia
Twitter: https://twitter.com/muriel__g
Instagram: http://instagram.com/itsmurielg
Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/384126741737037/

DONATE BUTTON

Thank you so much for taking part Muriel!

To see the full list of authors taking part in this month-long blog tour, [click here]

To find out what “They Say I’m Doing Well” is all about, [click here]

1796500_10207420106396232_8487826909674314424_n