I believe in the power of words as a path to healing. I believe in hope and I believe in passion. I have suffered from panic attacks, trauma, agoraphobia, and an eating disorder my whole life yet my first book, “From Agoraphobia to Zen,” uncovering the core of my anxiety and reclaiming my life –is funny above all. I am a woman of a certain age who sometimes acts like a teenager because during my real teen years I was married with children. I also lived in a closet for a decade so afraid of everything that I ended up in ambulances and emergency rooms with panic attacks so severe I thought they were heart attacks or worse, that I was dying. I read books and ate food both in excess to soothe my aching heart and I tried to find love in all the wrong places with the worst people. That is what my childhood had taught me. But I never hated, never held grudges except against myself. Self-hatred was the badge I carried to let all the toxins in my life and body.
I stopped going out, raising my children mostly from a closet until the day I decided to find out why my life was taken over by mental illness. As I say in my memoir, “it was the dawn of the millenium literally, and I felt a spiritual certainty I could heal. I sought out the truth, first from my mother’s diary I had been too afraid to open even after she died. then to spiritual leaders and books such as “The Four Agreements” and in the end I opened the door to a new life. I became a teacher both in Hawaii and in Japan. I traveled, met the love of my life, and finally wrote a book about my discoveries, hoping first to clear up the confusion that had been clouding the truth of my disease and then to help others heal from the stigma of mental illness.
I am not in Zen as some people ask, nor am I a Buddhist but I take something from every positive and good idea, and try to leave negativity out of my life. It is not always easy but along the way I lost almost 70 pounds of pain and gained respect and self-love. My new adopted Havanese dog
has taught me that love and a bit of a meaty bone can heal almost anything. So can reading and writing. I hope to make this blog a positive experience for all. I dance, I prance, I slam. I am.