Do you have any suggests to help with depression? I just saw your post and I want to overcome it like you. I was just diagnosed about two weeks ago and I just don’t ever see how I’ll make it out.

Hi honey! Here’s a short list of specific things I did:

  • Deliberately seek out things that once made you happy, even if it seems hard and you don’t think it will help. It will. I choose to start doing theatre again, and it was a major step in my recovery.
  • If you’re religious, lean into that. I am a Christian, and one of the things my depression caused me to do was put God on a shelf. So I had to be deliberate in seeking Him out again. He’d never left me, of course, but I needed to turn my face back to Him. I do not know what faith you ascribe to, if any, but it may be something to explore.
  • Set goals for yourself, little ones and big ones. Celebrate the heck out them when you reach them, even if it seems a little silly to do so. 
  • Remind yourself, every day, that you’re worth it. Remind yourself that you’re worth taking care of by the sheer fact of your existence. You’re alive, and you deserve it.

 You have an advantage over me because you have been diagnosed and probably have medical professionals on your side, too. Take advantage of that! Use everything at your disposal. I believe that you’ll be able to overcome it, or at the very least, learn to live so that your depression doesn’t define every moment of your life. As I said, celebrate the little victories–that will get you very far. I’m rooting for you!

This is more than a pic spam.

I’ve just made plans to go back up to New York to visit for a couple of days. I’ll be having lunch with my M.A. adviser, which I’m looking forward to, but which also prompted me to go back through my Facebook photos. Because despite where I am now, that year of earning my M.A. was the darkest of my life. I was so overwhelmed by graduate school that I fell into depression, and I was in it for months until I had a breakdown and was able to (very slowly, and by the grace of God) claw my way out of it. The first half of these pictures are of me during my depression, and the rest are me at different points during and after my recovery. Putting the rest below a cut since it got long, but this is a story in pictures of how I fought depression–and came out the other side. This is meant to be encouraging, and I hope that maybe it helps other people who are in places similar to where I was.

1. November 2014 – I was almost certainly depressed at this point, but not yet aware of it. Even though I’m smiling, you can see in my eyes that something is not quite right. 

2. February 2015 – I knew something was wrong at this point, but I was still knee-deep in fighting it. I was still in a toxic work environment and was starting my second semester. One thing these two pictures have in common was that I was trying, in both of them, to look like a Disney Princess through makeup and hairstyles. I was clinging to something familiar and youthful as a way to fight my depression, but it really wasn’t working out. 

3. December 2014 – This is out of order, but I want to put it here because this was my 21st birthday, just two days after I had a major panic attack and breakdown that revealed to me and to my parents just how bad things had gotten. I’m smiling in all these pictures, but inside I just felt hollow and like I was sitting alone in a big, dark, empty room. Nothing made me happy anymore, and I’d lost confidence in the one thing that had always been stable for me–school. A couple of days later I got very sick and lost my voice for ten days … but it forced me to rest, which I desperately needed.

4. April 2015 – I’m making progress. I decided to deliberately pursue something that made me happy–theatre–even if I was terrified of the time commitment and the stress. This is me ready to go on as Galinda in a Wicked recital. Choosing to go back to theatre probably saved me, if I’m being honest (second to God). It brought a little bit of joy back into my life, and reminded me that there was more to me than my academic success.

5. September 2015 – I just got new glasses. I have my own car, my own apartment, and I’m free from that toxic work environment and grad school. I’m still not totally recovered, and it shows here. If I recall correctly, I had another panic attack right around this time because of fear and financial concerns. I still had no clear direction in life, but things were starting to look up. I could see the sun again.

6. April 2016 – I continued doing theatre through the fall and spring and started substitute teaching. I had started to put a life together for myself and things had stopped seeming quite so scary. A month prior to this, I’d gotten a new sales job. I was starting to feel like a real adult. And then, a few days before this picture was taken, I was offered full funding to attend my dream school and pursue what I’d wanted to do for so long. I remember feeling euphoric when I snapped these selfies. By this time, I’d really, finally, started to feel free.

7. December 2016 – Christmas Day in Indiana, dressed up to go to a church that I love and wearing an ACOTAR necklace that my brother gave me. I have things that make me happy again–books, a church family, my work … I was terrified that going back to grad school would shove me down again, but by the grace of God it didn’t and hasn’t. I’m living my dream.

8. April 2017 – In this picture I’m dressed up to present a paper at a colloquium held by my department. Ten days earlier, I’d been offered a publishing contract with REUTS. No depression in sight.

This is me now. I was beaten down hard by depression in ways that I’m still only just beginning to understand. Until now, I’ve looked at these pictured and only seen the weight loss (bc that’s also a thing, though a post for another day), but I’ve never really focused on how dead inside I looked in those earlier pictures. Maybe it’s only obvious to me, but I can tell. And I wanted to share this because I know many of my followers are dealing with depression and anxiety, and it can beat you to a pulp some days. I know. I’ve been there. But I’ve also made it out the other side. It does get better. I relied on my faith in Jesus and my family to get me through (I was never formally diagnosed but it’s really undeniable looking back at it), but it was a hard fight that took over a year to recover from. And honestly, I’m still a little afraid that it might come back one day. At least I know that if it does, I’ve fought this fight before and I can do it again. 

You all are so strong, and depression is no match for you. Keep on keeping on, and remember that my inbox is always open should anyone need to chat. I’m sharing this so that you know you’re not alone, and that you do not have to struggle on your own. 

❤ ❤ ❤


SJM Accent Challenge.m4a

I was tagged by @tinylittlebluebird! Thank you! You all have heard my voice a lot so I wasn’t gonna do this at first, but I figured, what the heck. Below are the questions if anyone else feels like doing this!

  • Name and username
  • Where are you from?
  • Pronounce the following words:
    Archeron, Rhysand, Cresseida, Thesan, Rhoe Galathynius, Illyrian, Manon, Abraxos, Prythian, Lucien, Ianthe, Suriel, Bryaxis, Carridwen and Nuala, Elide, Velaris, Rowan Whitethorn, Chaol Westfall, Yrene Towers, Nehemia Ytger, Rifthold, Adarlan, Crochan, Kaltain Rompier, Sorscha, Dorian Havilliard, Lyria, Asterion, Valg, Eyllwe, wyrdmarks, rowaelin, feysand
  • How did you find out about the books?
  • When did you start reading them?
  • Favorite character from TOG?
  • Favorite character from ACOTAR?
  • Have you read The Assassin’s Blade? Do you plan on reading the ACOTAR Novellas?
  • Favorite ship/s?
  • Read a page from your favorite book from TOG (or ACOTAR)
  • Which scene destroyed you the most?
  • If you read fanfiction, name your favorite or some of your favorites
  • Fave headcanons?
  • Favorite quote/s?
  • If you could choose any piece of media to readapt the Maasverse in, what would you choose? (e.g: movie(s), tv show(s), animation, a musical, videogames, etc)
  • TOG or ACOTAR? Why?
  • Which would be your ACOTAR Court? Why?
  • And last but not least, say 3 unpopular opinions. Do it, go off:

SJM Accent Challenge.m4a

Yes!!!! You are going to do a great job with the four and five book of your series! :) I am looking forward to reading your novels! Your posts about the process of outlining, writing and publication always make me smile! Please keep us update! (I also love your other posts. We share the same passion about fairy tales and books that portray healthy messages <3 Your blog is wonderful)

Thank you so much! This is such a sweet and positive message! ❤ I’ll definitely be updating as things happen and I’ve got many Unrooted-related posts (about characters, setting, magic, etc.) scheduled to come out over the next several months. I can’t wait to share all of this with you! ❤ Take care!

From an unbiased point of you, how good do you think your book is

lol this is literally an impossible question for me to answer, because I will always have some bias and can never really separate myself from that. Also, I haven’t been through the entire editing process, so who knows what will be changed or improved in that time?

I know I have a good book. I know I have good characters, a beautiful setting, and compelling conflict. I don’t think my prose is the most amazing work out there by any stretch of the imagination, but I’m confident that it carries the story and that many readers will enjoy it. That’s about the best “unbiased” response you can get from me. 

Hello! I’ve got a question about Unrooted: how do you pronounce Printesa (with the accent on the t)?

It’s “preent-ses-ah,” so that letter ț is pronounced like [ts] or like [zz] in pizza

@elenalanstova-morozova let me know if I got it wrong! I’m pretty confident but you’re the expert! lol

so my brother helped me outline the next book and a half of Iridia and OMG YOU GUYS I AM SO EXCITED FOR THESE STORY ARCS. Like, I know you all haven’t even met Pomona and Nevea yet, but just the growth that these two are going to see … it makes me a little teary-eyed. So much drama, and angst, and ass-kicking, and UGH I AM SO PROUD OF THEM!!!!

The only book not totally outlined is the last book because I know where I want to it end and a few things that I need to build toward, but I think the rest of it will be dependent upon how everything else plays out once it’s written.

I’ve been stalled on this project for MONTHS and I’m finally feeling excited to write it again! Hallelujah!