Showing posts with label #speaking. Show all posts
Showing posts with label #speaking. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Cynthia Diamond Stevison Talks About Mental Health

Today I welcome author, Cynthia Diamond Stevison to Writing with God's Hope blog. Stevison and I met at the Oklahoma Writers Federated International conference in May, 2016.  Since the mental component involved with fighting addiction is of interest to me, I loved discussing this topic with Stevison. I asked her to tell us about it and to also tell us about her book. Since I met her, I have read her book. Scroll to the bottom for my review and disclaimer.

Take it away, Cynthia.


There is a mental health crisis in our country today.
Few people realize mental disorders can be treated and managed.
Recovery is possible.
The Tree of Happiness explores the stigma and discrimination surrounding mental illness. This story offers encouragement and empowerment to those willing to accept it and climb into their true potential. This book converts decades of personal and professional healing strategies into a proven process that equips readers with the tools to create their own Tree of Happiness.
Readers will
  • Discover how to unveil the roots that bind them.
  • Find answers to help those that suffer from mental illness.
  • Experience comfort that they are not alone.
  • Discern how mental disorders can be managed. Unpack how recovery is possible.
My book offers personal stories. I hope it inspires others to find their purpose and expand their potential. This book highlights the fundamental strategies for a successful recovery.
The Tree of Happiness unites human spirit and the mental health crisis in our country today. It uncovers the secret that mental disorders can be treated, managed and recovery is possible.
The book examines the stigma and discrimination faced by many Americans today. This story offers hope and healing to those willing to accept it.
We can impact others by sharing our stories. Every day is an opportunity to share. You see everyone has a story. If you just take the time to listen, share, and be supportive.

One of my favorite quotes by Katrina Mayer:
“At the end of the day the only questions I ask myself
Did I love enough?
Did I laugh enough?
Did I make a difference?”

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What is essentially the ‘correct’ mindset to combat the stigma and discrimination surrounding mental illness?
In my experience over the last 25 years there are several ways to reduce stigma and discrimination. First to combat the fears about mental illness is to accept that mental illness can’t be cured but can be managed with proper treatment. This treatment is up to the individual. This person is not broken and everyone’s success looks different. Many individuals want to end the stigma and open the door to opportunities for discussion.
What is offered in your book “The Tree of Happiness”?

“The Tree of Happiness” unites human spirit and the mental health crisis in our country today. It uncovers the secret that mental disorders can be treated, managed and recovery is possible. There are four phases to the book.
1. The Struggle
2. The Recovery Plan
3. The Healing
4. The Impact
 
In the book I open up my tool kit of and reveal the seven practical steps for educating, empowering and encouraging others with mental illness.
Who do you recommend this book for?
People with mental illness and their friends and family
NAMI Groups
Social Workers
Counselors
Department of Corrections
Suicide prevention centers
Alcohol and drug treatment providers
Grief Counselors, Trainers
Military Personnel PTSD
Law Enforcement
Department of Child and Family Services
Support Groups
Crisis intervention teams
Why mental illness called the invisible disease?
People don’t often look sick. Some individuals hide behind closed doors and use alcohol and drugs to medicate the disorder. Many individuals rather than seek help with their mental disorder, many hide, hoping that it will go away. They are unwilling to admit to their illness because they are frightened of society’s reaction. Those who most need support from others, aren’t able to find the support they need because of society’s view on their illness.
 
What is your advice?
My advice to caregivers is smile, sit and listen. Don’t pity the individual. Realize the person is trying on good days and bad days. I advise those that struggle with mental health to learn to ask for help. Remember, ninety percent of mental disorders are treatable.
How did you recover?
I want everyone to know things did not change overnight. It was a slow and steady pace. I have known my share of hardships and loss but here I stand continuously moving forward. I remember the days that made me strong. I asked for help and I never gave up on myself. I am now in control of my own destiny. I have a wellness plan and that I am faithful to.
Which is your coping strategy?
I have a wellness plan that involves medication, relaxation, yoga, supportive people, meditation, volunteering, journaling and creative writing.
Why read the book now?
• We can raise awareness for others that are still struggling.
• We could inspire hope, and help in others.
• We have to expose this invisible disease to others.
• Tell them we need to treat mental illness like every other chronic illness.
• We must invoke policies changes in our federal and local government.
• If we better understand ourselves and others, conflict will decrease.
• Healthier relationships inspire peace, forgiveness and new beginnings. They build value and worth.
• We must advocate for each other.
 
Message in three words or less.
NEVER GIVE UP.


Order Tree of Happiness on Amazon








Cynthia Stevison is a midwest writer, advocate, blogger, traveler and entreprneur. She is a great storyteller. 
Cynthia earned her Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from Northwestern Oklahoma State University. Cynthia resides in the state of Oklahoma with her family.





Thank you for visiting us, Cynthia.


 My Review and Disclaimer

The Tree of Happiness supplies a wonderful resource for those who have ever dealt with mental illness through family or close friends, or in themselves. This author has experienced both things. Her brother is bi-polar. Written in the form of creative non-fiction, Stevison gives her brother's account as through his eyes. Her own story is a memoir or journal entry of her experiences during her stay in a mental hospital as well as struggling though years of recovery. Often, people shun those ill mentally unlike those with physical ailments. I found Stevison's steps for recovery not unlike much of my findings written in my book, Divine Dining. The Tree of Happiness asks questions, giving space to provide answers, utilizing thought processes that a mentally ill person can work through by themselves or in a support group. The book offers much common sense wisdom. Stevison believes in 12 step programs, as do I. She calls on help from her Higher Power, a mixture of God, as preached in churches, and humanism or spiritualism whereas my Higher Power comes from Jehovah God of the Bible, His Son, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit, three in one.

****Disclaimer: Though this book can definitely help the mentally ill, and those dealing with one who is mentally ill,  be aware, first of all, that the journals give realistic language including a little cursing or crude words. This doesn't happen a lot, and is mostly at the beginning. Second, Stevison promotes a lifestyle that the Bible preaches against. Because of this, anyone reading this must be strong in their Christian beliefs, so as not to be influenced in the wrong way. As a believer in Christ, I love Cynthia Stevison. I applaud her recovery success. She's doing much good with her life. What a blessing that is. I do not advocate her sin, merely the wisdom she brings to the mental health issue.

Thank you, Cynthia Diamond Stevison for introducing us to this resource. I pray for your continued recovery and writing.



Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Author Julie Arduini on Surrender

I am blessed to welcome author, Julie Arduini to Writing with God's Hope blog today. With my history of food addiction, the topic of surrendering to the Lord is my hot button. Like me, Julie teaches and writes about surrender.

Julie tell us how it affected your new release.
 
 
 
Surrendering Regret

The Theme Behind ENTANGLED
by
Julie Arduini

 

            Earlier this year I took the plunge and followed God’s call to start my own imprint and speaking ministry. As much as I enjoyed being part of a publishing family, I felt the stirring to do this was to tie everything together that I do under surrender issues and chocolate. All my fiction contains a surrender theme, and characters usually have a fondness for some kind of chocolate.
I am blessed to welcome author, Julie Arduini to Writing with God's Hope blog today. With my history of food addiction, the topic of surrendering to the Lord is my hot button. Like me, Julie teaches and writes on that topic.

Julie tell us how it affected your new release.

            ENTANGLED is my new release and it contains a surrender story readers are relating to. Carla Rowling is a single mom and sheriff in the Adirondack village of Speculator Falls. When ENTANGLED begins, Carla’s been given the means to leave her job and start cosmetology school, something she’s always wanted to do. She has the support of the entire town, including her teen son Noah, and her boyfriend, truck driver Will Marshall. The only person who isn’t excited is Carla.

            She feels unworthy to receive such a gift because of choices she made in the past. Her guilt consumes her, and in return, she makes choices that puts all her relationships in jeopardy. The cycle continues when Carla fears Noah will repeat her mistakes. Instead of creating highlights, Carla’s causing consequences worse than a bad perm.

            I think holding on to the past is a tool of the enemy. My mom has a saying, “It’s okay to look in the rear view mirror, but don’t stare.” Carla’s entire focus is on the past. By concentrating on what’s already been done, including forgiveness she long ago asked for, she’s ruining her future. Sadly, I’ve watched this play out many times.

            My passion is to encourage readers to find freedom through surrender. That freedom can only come through Christ. Whether or not Carla has a happy ending, I can’t tell you, but I can say this, God wants His kids to have happy endings. If there is anyone struggling with guilt, shame or regret, my prayer is they surrender those things to Jesus and watch Him do a great work through you.



Entangled: Surrendering the Past

Book #2, Surrendering Time Series

“You need to leave me alone. It’s the least you can do.”
 
Carla Rowling has been given her dream of attending cosmetology school. The gift is so generous she feels unworthy because of choices she made as a teen. The pressure mounts as Carla juggles school, is a single mom, helps her best friend Jenna plan her wedding, spends time with boyfriend Will Marshall, and deals with the fact that her son's father is back in their lives.

Will Marshall is the one Speculator Falls resident everyone can count on. His truck deliveries are reliable. He's the first to help friends like Ben Regan with boat work or be a card partner with Bart Davis. Will's ready to settle down with Carla, loving her is natural. He's bonded with her son, Noah. But when Carla starts cosmetology school, she puts emotional distance between her and Will.

Can Carla release her past and create a future full of highlights, or, will she burn her options worse than a bad perm?

Purchase Link: 


 

Entangled is book #2. Although it can standalone, if you’d like to read Entrusted: Surrendering the Present first, click here: https://www.amazon.com/Entrusted-Surrendering-Present-Time/dp/0692709177?ie=UTF8&qid=&ref_=tmm_pap_swatch_0&sr=




Julie Arduini loves to encourage readers to surrender the good, the bad, and ---maybe one day---the chocolate. She’s the author of the  re-release, ENTRUSTED: Surrendering the Present, as well as the sequel, ENTANGLED: Surrendering the Past. She also shared her story in the infertility devotional, A WALK IN THE VALLEY. She blogs every other Wednesday for Christians Read. She resides in Ohio with her husband and two children. Learn more by visiting her at http://juliearduini.com, where she invites readers to subscribe to her monthly newsletter full of resources and giveaway opportunities at JULIE ARDUINI: SURRENDER ISSUES AND CHOCOLATE and the weekly e mail. SUNDAY’S SURRENDER AND CHOCOLATE.

 Find Julie at:






Snapchat: @juliearduini



Monthly Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/dCFG

Weekly Sunday’s Surrender and Chocolate: http://eepurl.com/bJ5yHP

Surrendered Scribe Media Promotions: (Book release info sent as needed) http://eepurl.com/bXAW0L

 Thank you, Julie, for visiting with us today and teaching about surrendering regrets. Through God comes freedom.  Good luck with your writing. God bless.