Depression is an illness of the body, not of the mind!

Depression affects the mind.  It is not an illness of the mind. It is an illness in the brain, a part of the body, a physical illness.  Depression is not a spiritual illness, though depression can affect the spirit.  Depression is not a lack of faith, a failure, or a moral issue.  Depression is not laziness.

Depression hurts.  Depression can be debilitating. Depression sucks enjoyment. Depression removes the sunshine in a sunny day, the joy of something once enjoyed.  Depression lies.  It calls you “a failure,” “lazy.”  It says “You cannot get better,” “Medicine is a lack of faith,” “Counseling is not trusting God.”

None of these things are true. 

Depression is treatable. 

God is not disappointed with you if you have depression.  He weeps for the person struggling with depression.  He longs to comfort the person struggling with depression.

Please, please, please, hold on! Hold on to your family. Hold on to your friends.  Hold on to your doctor’s orders. Hold on to life!


Accept the Beautiful You

Lady Gaga and Marsha Susan Tracy have something in common.

No, it’s not my powerful voice, my outrageous outfits, or my world renowned success as a pop artist. I am a regular person with a slightly above-average voice, a fairly standard wardrobe, and an $11.50/hr + health-care-benefits job. What I do have in common with Lady Gaga, has nothing to do with talent, fame, or money.

As children, we were both bullied by other children. I was teased for my nose, tolerated degrading names like weirdo and retard, and endured beatings by boys who followed me home after school.  Lady Gaga also endured humiliating treatment that despite her mega-star status, still trouble her.” In her 3/19/2012 interview with Oprah Winfrey, Lady Gaga confessed, “Sometimes I feel worthless.”  There are times that I also doubt my adequacy. That’s how deep the shame and the scars resulting from bullying go.

We are also alike in that we have used the cruel treatment we endured for good. Our struggles have fueled an extraordinary compassion and passion for others who have been ostracized. Lady Gaga reaches out to others through her music and her “I Was Born This Way” campaign.  I reach out to others through my writing and speaking.

I believe that human beings have an innate need for emotional and spiritual intimacy, and when that need is not fulfilled, or in some way interfered with, intimacy may feel threatening or confusing. I am not talking about sexual intimacy. I am talking about strong, emotional connection with the significant people in one’s life. To love another, to love yourself, to be an individual can be a scary thing.

Be an individual!  Accept the beautiful you!

These words excerpted from the Lady Gaga song “Born This Way” say it best:

My mama told me when I was young

We are all born superstars

She rolled my hair and put my lipstick on

In the glass of her boudoir

There’s nothin’ wrong with lovin’ who you are

She said, ‘cause He made you perfect, babe

So hold your head up, girl and you’ll go far

Listen to me when I say

I’m beautiful in my way

“Cause God makes no mistakes

I’m on the right track, baby

I was born this way

A controversial title: Emotionally & Spiritually Handcuffed: A Search for Love and Acceptance in (Abusive) Churches

I agree that the working title of my book-in-progress  will bother some people. I agree that by using a title that may stir up controversy, I am taking a risk. What if people accuse me of speaking negatively of the church, or even more worse, speaking negatively of THEIR church?  Honestly? I expect some of that to happen.

Before that person finds themselves responding negatively to my title or anything in my book, I hope they will stop and realize that I am not blasting anyone, and I am not blasting their church.  I am  telling my story about experiences in churches that allowed me to learn and experience amazingly wonderful things about God and also participated in or allowed, for whatever reason, disgraceful teachings and behaviors.

Yes, every day bad things happen in good churches and good things in bad churches. It happened to me.  And it probably happened to you.

Emotionally & Spiritually Handcuffed: A Search for Love and Acceptance in Abusive Churches-Agent Response!

Emotionally & Spiritually Handcuffed: A Search for Love and Acceptance in Abusive Churches

Agent Response!

     Last week, I received an encouraging response from a Literary Agent. “Projects like yours are increasing in popularity” she said, “but…I would need to see significant increases in your platform numbers—somewhere in the thousands for public speaking audiences, blog readership, Twitter followers, and/or Facebook fans… If you do beef up your online platform, I’d be delighted to take another look.”

With your help, I can build my platform into something that will attract a publisher.  Please visit my online sites and drop me a comment.  Share your thoughts.

Tell me about your good, bad, or anything in-between experiences with church, religion, God, and the relationships you have lost or found as a part of those experiences.

Tell me if you agree with things I have written or if you think I’m horribly wrong or unfair. If my writing stimulates a strong emotion whether anger, confusion, hope, or excitement, tell me.

Tell me why you go to church or don’t go to church.  Tell me if you don’t go but did go or if you have never set foot in a church.  Tell me if you don’t trust religion or if you love religion more than anything else in your life.  Tell me if you’re spiritual but not religious.

Tell me if you heard a sermon today (or any day) that inspired you, met you exactly where you’re at in your heart and soul, and gave you hope.  Tell me if you heard a sermon today (or any day) that made you feel like you don’t measure up and never will. Tell me if you feel that God must be angry with you because you have made so many mistakes.

Tell me if you know you’re forgiven. Tell me your hopes and dreams.  Tell me your favorite junk food and when you most enjoy eating it.  Oh yes, and if you have a dog, definitely tell me what kind of dog you have, the name of your dog, and your favorite thing about your canine buddy.

Remember – YOU are my platform.

I am counting on you.  If each of you write something on my blog, webpage, Facebook page, or Twitter page and you tell a friend, you will help increase my platform in the thousands.     Website            Blog

thecottonishigh              Twitter

To Everyone Around the World on My Book Contact List

While organizing my contact list today, I noticed people I haven’t seen or spoken to in years.  It occurred to me that I’ve allowed myself to get out of touch.  I also realized that I’ve been writing this book for a really long time.  Nine years to be almost exact.  No wonder my husband thinks it’s time to start a new writing project. Maybe he’s right!

Most of you know me personally, but a portion of the people on this list are “one-timers,” individuals I struck up a conversation with  at the grocery store, Boise State or Idaho State University, a dog show, on an airplane or a cruise ship, or at a garage sale.  If that’s you, you may have forgotten me, but I haven’t forgotten you.  I will soon be letting you know about my still-in-process book.  If you’d rather not receive this information, please let me know.  And if you haven’t asked to be on my contact list for book news and want to know when the book moves forward, let me know that, too.

What’s a Writer Like Me Doing at a 9-5 Job?

Marsha’s web site

I have returned to work. After two and half years unemployed, I am now employed. I receive a regular paycheck, work eight to five, Monday through Friday, and have a decent income with health care benefits. These benefits cost $133.00 a month for my husband and me. that is $800+ LESS than the $977 we previously paid while I was unemployed!  I am working with supportive, funny, kind, skilled, happy people at a type of job I never wanted to work again.  And I am liken’ it.

What happened to my writing dream? What happened to sitting at my computer in my cozy pink PJs, happily writing an engaging story for which I have already received an advance from the publisher who adores my work while preparing my presentation for my up-and-coming speaking tour?

What happened to the dream?

What happened is, I am still paying my dues.

I still write. I still seek agent representation.  I still work toward my goal to one day be a career writer.  Meanwhile, I am learning new skills, building relationships, enriching my life experience, and earning an income.

My dream hasn’t died.  God hasn’t left me.  And I’m still writing.  So, what am I complaining about?

Absolutely nothing!