When you realize you aren’t practicing what you preach… #youarenotalone

This goes much deeper than loving myself.  This gets into my mental state.

Let me just preface this by saying that this is difficult for me to talk about. For the past few weeks, I’ve been dealing with some stuff. For my sake, I don’t want to go into details, but I wanted to talk about it.

I went at this alone because I couldn’t talk about it. I didn’t feel like I could talk about it because I felt like what I was dealing with was stupid and not worthy of discussion. I felt like I needed to deal with it on my own, but I was miserable. I didn’t feel like myself, and I even found myself praying that God would heal my mind.

It went deeper than just mental. This was spiritual too, and I was at war. Part of me even felt like I didn’t deserve help, because what was plaguing me wasn’t worthy of speaking about. And that was wrong of me to think.

Whatever you’re struggling with, it’s always important. There is always someone there to listen to you, to pray with you.

In this case, it was my parents. I finally broke and told them just how bad what I was struggling with had gotten over the past few weeks.

Disclaimer: I do want to state that I’ve never been diagnosed with any kind of mental illness, depression or anything similar. I don’t claim to struggle with any of these. But, as a highly emotional person and someone who has tendencies to obsess over things that haven’t happened or mistakes I made, sometimes, my brain can get overwhelming.That’s what happened this time. It happens a lot, I’m afraid to say, but I usually deal with it. On my own.

Again, that’s a mistake. You are NEVER alone. Sometimes, I forget that I deserve help just as much as I know you deserve help. I am bad about preaching these important things but never practicing them for myself. And that is wrong too.

I have to learn to take care of me, just as much as I get the pleasure of spreading positivity around. But I’ve got to work on me.

I’ve heard it said that in order to love others, you first have to love yourself. And I get that. I believe in that. But I forgot to love me. I forgot to take care of me. I forgot that I wasn’t alone, that I didn’t have deal with pressure and emotions alone.

And it got me to thinking. There are others who live this way too. They struggle with their feelings  until it becomes overwhelming, and sometimes, it doesn’t turn out too well for them. Today, I want you to know that you have to take care of you—and that means stepping out and reaching out to someone who can help you: parents, teachers, friends, husband, wife, sisters, brothers, whomever. There is someone out there who can and will help you. Don’t do this alone. You are NOT alone. Please don’t feel like you are. Together, we can overcome anything.

Am I perfect? No. Am I over this I was speaking about earlier? Not completely. I still struggle with it on a daily basis. But I’m working on it, and I know that I can trust my mom and dad with these fears and anxieties. And there is someone out there you can trust too.

#youarenotalone

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The Marked is here! Get my #newrelease and #read an exclusive #excerpt!

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I didn’t announce this on my blog, but I announced it on my Facebook and Twitter pages. I was recently accepted as an author through Clean Reads. They picked up a book that I honestly wasn’t sure I would ever publish. It was my book, The Marked. It was originally called Knight’s Academy, but since it is a planned trilogy, I kept the Knight’s Academy as the series title. But today, I finally get to release my Knight’s Academy novel.

As you probably know by now, I’m normally a Christian fiction author, but this isn’t Christian fiction. It’s a YA paranormal romance. It’s new for me, but it was loads of fun to write. I hope that you enjoy this new genre I’m dabbling in!

So, what’s it about?

Myka Williams has never fit in with her peers, and although her adoptive parents are loving and supportive, she feels most at home alone in the woods.
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When she’s offered a full scholarship to Knight’s Academy in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, she takes the opportunity for a fresh start. She soon learns that Knight’s Academy is more than just a school. Within the stone walls of the institution, humans and vampires are mixing, and their offspring are going unnoticed.

As Myka falls prey to the evil plan of the school, she makes a chilling discovery about her own heritage and realizes that she’s at the Academy for more than just an education. Myka must yield to her birthright at the risk of losing everyone she loves or succumb to the fate that Knight’s Academy has in store for her—a fate worse than death.

Where can you purchase The Marked?

Amazon / Amazon UK / Barnes and Noble

Read an exclusive excerpt now!

“Can I ask you a question?” Myka said.
“Sure.”
“Won’t you get in trouble for jumping the wall at school, or since you’re in good with Headmaster Knight, can you get away with it?” Myka hoped her voice was light enough for him to figure out she was joking about the last part. She was still curious to know the answer, though.
Milo laughed. “I don’t usually get caught.”
“So why do you jump over the wall?”
“To escape.”
“Escape from what?”
“Life.”
Milo fell silent, a contemplative look overcame his face, and Myka wondered just what he was running from. But sometimes you didn’t need an excuse to run away and hide from life. She could relate.
He was different than when she’d first met him. She thought he was this broody jerk, and although he was still broody, he wasn’t a jerk. She couldn’t explain it, but she might be able to relate to him more than she first thought.
“Sometimes, I feel the same way. I would run outside at random and hide in the woods back home. There is this tree that has huge roots. I’d climb those roots and sit there for hours, watching the small creek run beneath it. It’s relaxing.”
“Do you miss that?” he asked.
“Yeah. Sometimes things feel overwhelming, like the walls are closing in on me. I think it’s claustrophobia, but I don’t know for sure.”
“I understand that feeling well. It’s like the academy isn’t big enough for me, like I need to be somewhere else.”
She nodded. “I can’t imagine that being raised there made it any easier on you.”
“It didn’t.”
He fell silent again, and Myka knew that was the end of the story. At least for now.
When they arrived at the boutique shop, Myka asked, “Do you mind if we go in here?”
“Of course. Anything you want to do.”
He opened the door for her, and she walked inside. The cool air felt good on her skin, and an apple pie candle burned on the counter a young woman leaned against.
“If you need any help, let me know,” she said in a heavy, Southern accent.
“Thank you,” Myka answered.
She supposed Milo would be bored with shopping, but she found the store quite charming. There were lots of brightly-colored clothes, purses, and big jewelry Olivia would love. She walked to the jewelry first and browsed through it. She could hear Milo’s quiet breathing behind her. “I didn’t figure you for a jewelry type of girl,” he said playfully.
“I’m usually not,” she answered with a nervous laugh.
She looked at the necklaces; one, in particular, caught her eye. A silver necklace with a large turquoise crescent moon charm hung on the shelf. Myka held the cool stone between her thumb and index finger, admiring it.
“Do you like it?” Milo asked.
“So much.”
“It’s beautiful, fitting,” Milo said, inching closer to her.
As he moved behind her, the heat of Milo’s body warmed her, along with the whisper of breath against her ear. Her stomach fluttered, and she took in a deep breath. He reached for the necklace, and his fingers brushed hers as he took it in his hand. She let her hand linger before she pulled it away. She turned to face him as he watched her every move. She leaned closer to him, and he inched closer to her. She wanted to kiss him, to feel his hands on her, and to taste his lips.
She pulled away quickly and fumbled through, “I saw a cute purse. Over there.”
Myka backed away and bumped into a rack of clothing. She turned around and walked across the store to the purses and looked through them, regretting not kissing Milo when she had the chance. Embarrassed didn’t even touch how she felt about what had just happened. There was no reason why she had pulled away from him. She wanted to kiss him, but when he was close to her, she freaked out.
Milo walked up behind her, keeping his distance. She had just succeeded in pushing him away.
Yep. She was an idiot.