Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Depression-A Silent Epidemic That Knows No Boundaries

Just over a week ago, sadly, comedian and actor Robin Williams killed himself. The man had everything any person could want and more: family, friends, and a financially rewarding career. He also had something no one wants: a history of depression, an addiction to cocaine and alcohol, and the early signs of Parkinson’s disease. Rest in Peace, Mister Williams. You will be sorely missed by many. Hopefully, your death will raise awareness for those that will not seek out help.
     Depression strikes many. In the early days, doctors often thought of it as a “woman’s disease”. That is until men started showing signs of it. An estimated 19 million American adults are living with major depression. Robin Williams was just one of them. Sadly, because of his sudden suicide, light is being shed on depression. Depression can happen to men, women, teenagers, the elderly and even in young children.
     When you have depression, it's more than just feeling sad. Intense feelings of sadness and other symptoms, like losing interest in things you normally enjoy may last for a long time. Depression is a medical illness, not a sign of weakness. And it's treatable, but the trick is to seek out treatment. Are you suffering with depression? Do you know someone that is? How can you tell?
     Are you depressed? If you identify with several of the following signs and symptoms, and they just won’t go away, you may be suffering from clinical depression. 
    You can’t sleep or you sleep too much.

    You can’t concentrate or find that previously easy tasks are now difficult.

    You feel hopeless and helpless.

    You can’t control your negative thoughts, no matter how much you try.

    You have lost your appetite or you can’t stop eating.

    You are much more irritable, short-tempered, or aggressive than usual.

    You’re consuming more alcohol than normal or engaging in other reckless behavior.

    You have thoughts that life is not worth living (seek help immediately if this is the case).

    Things that you enjoyed before no longer interest you.

    You suddenly act reckless and throw caution to the wind without thinking twice about it.

    Any sudden change in normal behavior may be a sign of depression. 

If you or someone you know maybe depressed, there is no reason to go it alone. Treatment is available in the form of medication, counseling, etc. If you or someone you know maybe depressed, I urge you to seek out help, from your family doctor for a referral to a psychologist, psychiatrist or a counselor. Sometimes, just talking to someone is enough to make you feel yourself again. Sometimes stronger avenues are needed such as medication, which can only be subscribed by a physician. Whatever you do, do not delay. There is no reason for you or someone you care about to isolate oneself. Seek out help! Do It now before you forget.  

Until next post....stay safe. Be happy. Smile. Show compassion. Be nice to others and pass it forward.
S. J. Francis
 In Shattered Lies: "It's All About Family."  Coming in 2015 from Black Opal Books.
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Monday, August 4, 2014

Hello and Happy Monday!

Hello and Happy Monday!

I just started another blog also here on blogger and it is entitled A Book Review 4 U.

My goal with it is to read and write a book review for all followers to enjoy at least one book per month. Stay tuned....

So if you're a reader, you may want to visit.

If you're an author, you may want to visit here too, as I may just include your book.

Authors, if you're interested in having me read and review your book, please contact me in one of the following ways:

DM me at twitter:   

Post to Facebook:

My linked in Page:

Until my first Book Review or until I hear from you, have a great week ahead of you!
S.J. Francis

Friday, August 1, 2014

Hello & Welcome to a Blog Blast for Author Megan Cyrulewski!!!

Hello and Happy, Happy Friday!

Welcome again to my blog! Please take a moment and read about an exciting new author. Enjoy!
Regards, S.J. Francis.

This weekend I'm pleased to share in a Book Blast for fellow Black Opal Books Author:
             Megan Cyrulewski
             Author of Who Am I?

Who Am I?, a memoir is her first book and to be released tomorrow, Saturday August 2, 2014.  Here in her own words from her blog:

Picture "...  I am extremely excited to announce that my first book, a memoir, will be published by Black Opal Books in 2014.   What makes my story so special?  One word:  Unbelievable.  So much has happened in the last three years of my life, that people told me I needed to write a book.

My book, Who Am I?  How My Daughter Taught Me to Let Go and Live Again, is about my journey into post-partum depression, anxiety disorder, panic attacks, stays in the psych ward, divorce, domestic violence, law school, how I managed to graduate from law school and a beautiful little girl who emerged from all of this chaos.

While I work with the wonderful people at Black Opal Books to polish and ready my book for its release on August 2, I have started a blog for those who want to follow my journey.  I am also hard at work on my first work of fiction, a legal thriller.

Thank you to everyone for your support!

Who Am I?  How My Daughter Taught Me to Let Go and Live Again, by Megan Cyrulewski
Megan’s book, Who Am I?  How My Daughter Taught Me to Let Go and Live Again, is about her journey into post-partum depression, anxiety disorder, panic attacks, stays in the psych ward, divorce, emotional abuse, domestic violence, law school, how she managed to graduate from law school and a beautiful little girl who emerged from all of this chaos.

Author Bio

Megan Cyrulewski has been writing short stories ever since she was ten-years-old. After attending Grand Valley State University, Megan eventually settled into a career in the non-profit sector for eight years. She decided to change careers and went back to school to get her law degree from Thomas M. Cooley Law School. While in school, she documented her divorce, child custody battle and postpartum depression struggles in her memoir. Megan lives in Michigan with her 3-year-old daughter who loves to dance, run, read, and snuggle time with Mommy. Megan also enjoys her volunteer work with various organizations in and around metro-Detroit.


Buy links

Who Am I?  How My Daughter Taught Me to Let Go and Live Again is available in paperback from all good booksellers. eBook versions will follow.


On January 18, 2012, we all convened in the courthouse for the Motion for Parenting Time hearing. My dad and I arrived with my attorney, but Tyler loved an audience so he brought his dad, step-mom, and his new on-again off-again girlfriend, Heather. Tyler walked in with his posse in tow, cocky as hell. It took all of two minutes for the judge to knock him off his feet.
The Judge addressed our respective attorneys. “Why are we here?”
“Your honor,” Tyler’s attorney began, “my client has clearly been denied his parenti—”
The Judge didn’t even let him finish. “How?” She turned to my attorney. “Don?”
“Your honor, as you can see in the divorce decree, there was supposed to be a review when the minor child turned twelve-months-old. The Defendant has ignored that review.”
“I–if I may, your honor,” Tyler’s attorney sputtered.
“I see the review in the decree. It’s here in black and white,” she told Tyler’s attorney. “What is the problem? Why didn’t you understand the review? Your client signed the divorce decree.”
Tyler’s attorney tried again. “But your honor—”
The judge cut him off. “There is to be a review conducted by the Friend of the Court referee assigned to the parties. Until then, the Defendant will continue his parenting time schedule as agreed upon in the divorce decree. Dismissed.”
And that was it. After eight police reports and numerous harassing text messages, phone calls, and e-mails, we won. As Don and Tyler’s attorney went to speak with the clerk to file the necessary paperwork, Don told us to wait for him outside the courtroom.
As we exited the courtroom, the hallway was so packed with people that my dad and I were only able to find enough space to lean against the wall. We were talking about the court proceedings when we looked up at saw Tyler and his new girlfriend standing right across from us.
“Why do you lie about everything?” Tyler screamed.
Heather walked up to me and stood about an inch from my face. “As a mother myself, you should be happy that Tyler is the father of your child.”
My jaw dropped. “I’m sorry but I don’t know you.”
She smirked. “Well you’re going to get to know me, bitch.”
Tyler made a big show of pulling her from me like I was going to punch her or something. By this time, everyone in the hallway was watching us. We were pure entertainment.
Heather continued her rant. “Two times in the psych ward, Megan? What a great mother you are.”
“Where is your mom, the real mother of our child?” Tyler screamed. “She’s the one who takes care of Madelyne.”
My dad and I tried to move away from Tyler and Heather but they followed us.
“Do you have to take a Xanax because of your anxiety?”
“Go take your Xanax and sleeping pills, you drug addict,” Tyler shouted.
Finally, Don emerged from the courtroom and pulled us into a quiet corridor. He explained that I needed to call our referee to set-up a meeting to discuss a visitation schedule. I told Don about the verbal assault by Tyler and Heather. Don said he would call Tyler’s attorney to let him know that Heather would not be allowed in my house.
Upon leaving the courthouse, Heather screamed, “See you on Sunday, Megan.”
I turned toward her and said calmly, “I don’t know you, but you are not welcome in my home.”
That night, Tyler sent me multiple texts attacking my mothering skills, my supposed drug addictions, how he was going to fight for joint custody of Madelyne, how Heather would be accompanying him for his visitations, and a barrage of other insults:
  • “Get a life already.”
  • “Don’t you have something better to do than wasting your parents’ money?”
  • “Go take your pills and relax, oh yeah, then your parents would have to watch our daughter. Oh yeah, they already do.”
  • “Go talk to your friends. Oh yeah, you don’t have any because of how crazy you are.”
  • “Interesting to know you’ve been to the hospital a couple of times. You really need to get it together.”
  • “Better go call your lawyer and make up some more stuff about me.”
  • “Don’t be mad at your sorry life.”
  • “I am sure living with Mom and Dad the rest of your life will be fun.”
  • “When you get a job, then you can pay me child support. Fun.”
I finally had to turn my phone off at midnight.