Sharing my book makes me nervous, anxious at times. I have to meet new people and go to new places and do things that I find scary. But once I get there, set up, and take a deep breath, I’m ok.
I had several book events recently where I got to connect with people…and while I was very nervous, it turned out wonderfully. To see someone open my book for the first time and ooh and ahh over the story and pictures fills me up. It sparks conversations about the world we live in, about what we can do right now to make it a better place.
Connecting with some people I already know in a new way, or after a long period of time has been fun! They are often surprised that I’ve written a book, glad that I’m still working with children…and many ask me how I got there. I’m honest and tell them that I had an unraveling, a breakdown, that led me to spirit animals and beyond. The responses vary: “good for you” or “I’m so sorry” or “oh…”. It definitely catches people off guard, but I think we need to talk about it-we need to be honest and open to diminish the stigma associated with depression and mental illness. And we need to own the laundry list of responsibilities we carry on our own, and begin to take care of ourselves again.
Anyway, sharing this story with others fills me up, from the book store managers to the kids visiting the stores, to the childcare providers who listen alongside the kids…the story is having an impact on all of us, but especially and selfishly me!