Two years ago, this was my 50th birthday post on Facebook:
This year I am embarking on a new personal journey... starting an organization for Suicide Prevention. Although I do not have all the details worked out, I am being called to use my story to help others...
I have struggled with depression most of my life and anxiety more in the last few years. 22 years ago (24 now), I almost left this world due to my own actions. By the grace of my wonderful savior, Jesus Christ, I am still here and have been blessed beyond what I could have imagined!
These new words on my arm are a personal reminder of the tough things in my life that have made me stronger, but also a daily reminder to help others that struggle with staying alive.
FAST FORWARD TO TODAY AND LOOK WHAT IS HAPPENING!
My mission has been refined... what we have been doing as a society is not working. The suicide rates have grown year over year for decades and have skyrocketed since 2020.
Wholeheartedly I believe that conversation, connection, community and personal story is how we keep people alive and reduce the statistics.
The reason I was silent about my story for over two decades, is because I felt shame. I felt that I was weak. I felt that no one would understand. I felt alone.
The first time I met another suicide survivor, everything changed because I could relate to someone else who had been there, I was not alone!
Then in 2018, I lost a longtime friend to suicide. This made me regret my silence. It made me wonder if my story could save others' lives. I could be that person who let others KNOW they were not alone.
That is when EVERYTHING changed... I not only needed to tell my story, but I needed to do whatever it took to reduce the soaring rates of suicide. To this purpose, I was being called.
I went from being a do-whatever-it-took, have-it-all-together business owner to an
I-don't-care-what-people-think, I-need-to-help-people humanitarian.
All the years that I hid my story because I was ashamed... went out the window. It was like a motherly instinct kicked in and my child was at risk. I could not just walk away and go on living as I had.
In 2021, SCARS to STARS was born as a summit with 15 speakers, and then a 3-day event; it also included a private Facebook group. Due to the positive feedback, we did another summit and then the anthology idea was born... we wanted to share these stories with more people so that we could connect with them on a deeper level, build trust and invite them into the community where they would not feel alone.
On February 22, 2022
we are launching this Anthology Book as a group of
twenty authors sharing their personal stories of overcoming adversity.
**All proceeds from the book will benefit the Realize Foundation.**
Incredible stories across a broad spectrum... from suicide and mental health to all forms of abuse and grief. You will find a variety of situations that you may relate to, or you may find unfathomable. Authenticity and vulnerability are what this mission is all about!
Join us for the virtual launch event, Register for FREE at www.realizefoundation.org
The event will be at 9:00 AM MST / 11:00 AM EST and will last 60-90 minutes.
You will get to meet and interact with the authors, learn more about the Realize Foundation and make personal connections in our community.
We look forward to seeing you and hearing your feedback about the book.
It's also a great gift for anyone struggling, on Amazon and Kindle Feb 15th.
I can't wait to meet you!
You are not alone. You are worthy. You are enough.
In 2020 I lost everything... the pandemic wiped my 10-year, multi-million-dollar, award winning business right off the face of the earth. This forced me to deal with lifelong mental health issues that I had never spoken about.