Thursday, January 8, 2015

From Paranoid Schizophrenic to a Life of Service

I was labeled "paranoid schizophrenic" back in the '70's and had multiple hospitalizations of about a month each over a ten year period. Having survived this battle with my demons, I wondered if I could help others with similar problems. Since I do a lot of journaling, I decided to start writing about my experiences.

It took me 18 years until I finally published my memoir: "The Bumpy Road". This was “gutsy”, but “I got a little help from my friends”, as the Beatles song says. Meeting an award-wining writer, who asked me to provide her with my manuscript was the beginning of making this publication a reality. She read it and told me, along with many editorial suggestions, “I was so absorbed in the story that I forgot to go to my yoga class! “

Things just seemed to fall into place after that—I was in the “zone”--meeting an artist who did my cover, a web designer who introduced me to social media after designing my page, and a graphics person to do the formatting, and then finally self-publishing in March 2012.

I began to ride the wave of many book events. Getting up in front of a crowd to speak about my life was scarry! “Who cares about me?”, I thought. I managed to get some sales. But was I really helping those in need?

In October of 2014, I took a gutsy leap and enrolled in a course in online marketing. On my very low social security budget, this was a huge leap of faith. I have designed a landing page, and am offering a free ebook for those who sign up for my blog, leveraging my memoir and life experiences to offer comparisons of digital self-help programs to boost self-esteem. In the future I will create products based on what my readers tell me they want. The blog launch will be around the fall of 2015.

Now I feel I am finally pursuing a way to help others based on my own life experiences.

Couldn't you do the same?

Getting gutsy is all about stepping outside your comfort zone to reach your goals and live a life that makes you truly happy. This post is my entry for Jessica Lawlor’s Get Gutsy Essay Contest. To get involved and share your own gutsy story, check out this post for contest details and download a free copy of the inspiring Get Gutsy ebook.

1 comment: