My Biggest Secret + Some HUGE News

2015 was a hard year.

In December of 2014, my grandmother died. I was depressed. I had hoped that 2015 would bring happiness.

I was wrong.

Boat Capsize


In 2015, I had five more friends die, all long before their time. I was depressed. I gained more weight than I ever had in my life. I suffered from bad anxiety. I had a series of awful car problems. Once, in the span of one week, I had 7 tows, which as you can imagine, drained my bank account. My dog (who has a back disease) almost became paralyzed (Thankfully, he has since recovered). I had a drunk driver hit my car, on my birthday. I had my car broken into. I had money stolen from me. I was having health issues. I was working a job that underpaid me and took up so much of my time that I felt like I did not have time for myself. I felt unappreciated at home. I hated how I looked. I couldn’t even look at my reflection in the mirror. I felt taken advantage of. I received high compliments on my novels I submitted to agents and publishers, but had them all rejected because there was no market for my genre at that time. My closest friends did not seem to care about my writing, the one thing that I was most passionate about. I was stressed beyond belief. My hair started going gray. I hated my body. I hated myself. The world seemed to be a constant turning mass of sadness and violence. I felt like a failure. And worse, the magic that we hold in our hearts, seemed to be completely gone from mine.

I found myself staring hard at my old suicide letters from a bleak time in my early life. I seriously asked myself, why the hell was I on this earth if it was such a shitty place? Why was I still here if I was as useless, stupid, and ugly as I felt? I wasn’t sure that I could do it any more. I was certain that I simply did not have the power to keep going. I almost did a drastic thing.

There are a lot of good things that happened to me too, in 2015. I published a book with a wonderful co-author and human Brian LeTendre, my dog recovered from his a bad flare-up of his back disease, I rescued an abused dog, and I saw one of my favorite bands  live for the first time.

But when you’re in such a dark place, it is so easy to dwell on the bad, because you’re always waiting for the next bad thing to happen. You are certain you don’t deserve happiness, and worse, you are certain you won’t get it. Now, I do have a loving family. And I do have a few close friends. But these issues and things haunting my brain, they weren’t exactly easy to talk about. Not at all. And when you’re silently drowning, thrashing invisibly, your friends and family may not see your pain, and you start to think that maybe they don’t care or just aren’t paying close enough attention if they do not notice.

Everyone has one thing that they live for. It can be a person, place, thing, memory, a feeling.

For me, it’s my dogs. Their love for me is uncomparable. Selfless. Unconditional. They wanted nothing from me but love. And I love them with all my heart. They always gave me a chance. They made me feel important. They give me respect and love and they make me happy.

And I thought to myself, if THEY can love me that much, imagine if I could love myself even half of that?

I came across an article that basically said this: Happiness is a choice. It made it sound like I wasn’t helpless in my battle against horrible luck and depression. It almost made it sound like I could control my journey, my future.



So I made a choice. I wanted to try and love myself. I wanted to find magic again. I wanted to believe in myself. I wanted to laugh, and smile, and believe in the world around me. I wanted to find a light in the darkness. And if you WANT to do that, you CAN do that.

I started talking to friends and guess what? They, as all humans are, were fighting their own silent battles. I found some blogs online that talked happiness and self love and magic but all of them wanted hundreds of dollars from me to make me happy again. I don’t have hundreds of dollars to throw around. I felt like it was so important that there be a haven for people out there where people can turn, a place that doesn’t want to sell them a program that costs thousands of dollars in exchange for happiness and success.

The Shine Bright Gang brewed in my head for a year. I didn’t want to create the site until I could be genuine. Helpful. Encouraging. Until I could speak honestly about how I felt and generate a supportive conversation about self-love, happiness, depression, and everything in between.

So here we are.

Sharing all of this is not easy. In fact, it’s mindnumbigly difficult. BUT, the best healing comes from when we are really honest with ourselves. I hope that by sharing this about me, it may help someone who is looking for help, just as I was.




What can you expect from the Shine Bright Gang?

Positivity and acceptance

A FREE monthly magazine! Our first issue is available RIGHT NOW and FOR FREE. Check it out!

Weekly blog posts about life, love, happiness and self-love (what I like to call self-love magic)

Interviews with awesome people and hopefully some guest posts too!

A positive body image

Real talk, about real things because life can be hard.

Magic – all types, forms, and practices

Support and encouragement

Steps and ways to love yourself again and to gain confidence

Tips, tricks, and life-hacks

Essays, memoirs, thoughts, and pictures

And let’s just say that I have a few tricks up my sleeve!


What do you stand for?

I am serious about self-love magic for everyone.

I am serious about having more fun.

I am serious about happiness. You can be happy.

I am serious about living a good life.

We are in this together.


Our Creed

Stay golden. Live free. Be wild. Believe in magic.

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3 thoughts on “My Biggest Secret + Some HUGE News

  1. This is such a wonderful project. I’m so proud to know you. And you’re absolutely right–so may of us are struggling, and feeling alone. When I’m depressed, I just sink deeper into my own head, and it feels like no one else could possibly ever have gone through what I’m going through. Depression makes us isolate, and that’s why what you’re doing is so important.

    This project can be a light in the darkness for people.

    I can’t wait to see the amazing things you do with SBG.

    If you need anything from me, I’ll be there.

    Posted on January 11, 2016 at 12:50 pm
  2. I have been to those dark places. I have clawed my way out, only to tumble back in. You do have to choose to be happy. Thank you for choosing to spread happy. <3

    Posted on January 11, 2016 at 2:36 pm
  3. …Wow. I am honestly speechless after reading this post. I felt, too, 2015 was a very difficult year for me: losing my confidence as a writer, my favorite musician almost giving up on his music career, getting used to balancing a job with schoolwork, self-doubt, anxiety, expectations with my final year of college…

    It is so true how happiness is really a choice. It’s so hard to feel it, though especially when you’re a person who cares a lot about the world and tragedies affect you more than they should. But, talking about it has helped me heal. Taking time to think, finding your confidence again and remembering you are loved and cherished by those around you in your life…it can change everything.

    I wish there was more I could say in this comment, but it’s hard to because the feelings expressed here (even with different circumstances), have been shared. We are all in these battles together. Sometimes, we just have to brave enough to share them: my goal as a writer.

    Thank you for this post. Thank you.

    Posted on January 11, 2016 at 10:07 pm