I'm Still Standing: Crawling Out of the Darkness Into the LightI’m Still Standing: Crawling Out of the Darkness Into the Light by Mildred D Muhammad

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book was a great follow up to Mildred Muhammad’s first book called “Scared Silent”. It answered a lot of questions regarding how she and her children dealt with the execution of John Muhammad. It had a lot of great points about being a survivor of domestic violence. One great point was made that domestic violence can take many forms. It doesn’t always show with physical scars. I’m glad to see Mildred Muhammad “come out of darkness” to become an advocate and successful author, but most of all a good mother to her children. Great, motivational read for survivors of domestic violence.

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Mind Power and Healthy Eating : The Art of Losing Weight and Staying HealthyMind Power and Healthy Eating : The Art of Losing Weight and Staying Healthy by Josephine Spire

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I like educational reads that aren’t preachy but are actually helpful. It reads almost like a thesis! “Mind Power and Healthy Eating: The Art of Losing Weight and Staying Healthy” by Josephine Spire is a very thorough guide that breaks down the facts on how and why we should maintain a healthy lifestyle. It’s not for someone who is looking to get on a quick diet and lose weight. This book is for people who want to live a healthy life and stick with a certain type of healthy lifestyle. I like that it starts with mind centering techniques before getting into the physical improvement aspect. I can appreciate that aspect because our mind has to focus and be in the right place before we can move forward. That’s to get you more aware of what will and won’t work for you in choosing what healthy lifestyle work’s for you. In the next part of the book it breaks down foods, exercises and gives wisdom to the reader on practicing mindfulness. You have to be aware of what works for you because not everyone is the same. And I appreciate that Spire makes it clear that you must choose what will work for you so that you can stick to it and live your life healthily. All in all, it is a helpful and easy guide to read and offers great exercises, techniques and wisdom. I breezed right through it. I recommend this book to anyone who is looking to not only lose weight, but those who want to become more mindful of their bodies and chose a way to live a healthy life.

~~~Felicia Johnson author of “HER” and “OK Danny Boy”

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Author, Speaker and Advocate Felicia Johnson Live on Air with Mali Phonpadith SCN Podcast

OK Danny Boy – Book Trailers – Atlanta Film Auditions and Theater Casting

 

This audition is for a book trailer. Book trailers are shot differently from a full length feature and short film. Pieces of the book that is being marketed is in the script. Therefore, you only get a small look at the character that is being portrayed.  “OK Danny Boy” is the spin off book of the best-selling novel “HER” (www.herthebook.com) by Felicia Johnson.  “OK Danny Boy” is the courageous story of an artistic and mysterious young man who Kristen Elliott, the main character in “HER”, meets during her stay in Bent Creek Hospital. Daniel proved to be a supportive peer, whom Kristen saw as a positive influence throughout her recovery. However, Daniel had not always been a role model. Daniel is diagnosed with Bi-Polar Disorder, OCD and Juvenile Diabetes. Daniel’s story follows his journey throughout his healing and learning to cope with life’s transitions, coming of age, living with mental illness as well as a physical illness and the suicide of his first love. Fans of “HER” will get to see what it was like on the other side of the Adolescent Ward.

Source: OK Danny Boy – Book Trailers – Atlanta Film Auditions and Theater Casting

The Documentary

Source: The Documentary

“HER” by Felicia Johnson Spin Off Novel “OK Danny Boy” Sample & Video Intro

“OK Danny Boy” by Felicia Johnson is a spin off of Felicia’s debut novel “HER”. “OK Danny Boy” is due to release in Summer 2016 during production of the book to film adaptation of “HER” the movie based on the novel by Felicia Johnson. Learn more about “HER” at http://www.herthebook.com and Felicia Johnson, Author and International Speaker at http://www.feliciajohnsonauthor.com.

OK, Danny Boy

By Felicia Johnson

Chapter 1

“My father probably would have killed my mother. Theresa probably would have killed herself, and I probably would have done it, too,” I say.

“Were you scared?” Kristen asks.

It is the first time anyone has ever asked me that question. I think about her question for a moment. I sit across the table from a girl who looks like she can break at any moment. I want to be careful because I have a feeling that if I say the wrong thing, look at her the wrong way, or even make an offensive noise, she will start crying. Although, at this very moment, I am holding in a serious gas bubble that wants to pop right out of my ass. I release it, silently. Relief. I don’t care anymore.

Kristen is a peculiar girl. She doesn’t seem to say much. Her emotional outbursts, dramatic facial expressions and bandaged wrists tell me a lot about her. She is broken, like most of us who are doing time in Bent Creek Hospital for various mental health issues. We are the lost and troubled teenagers with screwed up parents, a raw fetish for self-harming and sick regrets of our suicidal inclinations. It’s kind of like a messed up joke to think about how many times we fail each time we try to die, but we don’t really want to die. It feels like one more thing that we can’t seem to get right.

Kristen has scars up and down her arms and a frown that sticks to her face. When we first met, Kristen’s frown was the first feature I noticed. Janine introduced her to everyone on her first day. Kristen and Janine are roommates. We all have roommates. Unfortunately, even I had a roommate. His name was Rocky. He’s no longer here.

Patients at Bent Creek Hospital are separated into co-ed groups. The groups keep the numbers of jaded youth from growing too large against the smaller number of therapists and counselors who treat our mental health complexities. Their jobs are to shrink our minds from overwhelmed humans to zombified dust bunnies with state of the art coping mechanisms, new findings from studies of techniques that prove useful for young minds such as DBT and CBT along with the latest, shiny new drug. At least, that’s what I used to think about the system.

Right now, I’m off of meds. I can’t believe it. I can’t believe most of the things that I’ve seemed to overcome in the last few weeks. It seems as if the events that took place before I came into Bent Creek hospital happened years ago instead of weeks ago. That person who broke down and couldn’t cope with what had happened doesn’t seem like it was me. But it was me. If it wasn’t for Dr. Finch, Dr. Bent, Dr. Pelchat and people in my group like Janine, Kristen, Tai and believe it or not, even Rocky, I wouldn’t have noticed the difference in myself.

We were all together in Group One. It must be fate because all of us seem to have the same diagnosis of sorts. Diagnoses range from some form of depression, whether it’s Bi-Polar I or Bi-Polar II, mixed with something else; a dual diagnosis? While the other groups have their dissociative identities, hair eaters, schizophrenics and the demonically colorful personalities of the insane youth with sociopathic and psychopathic tendencies, our group seems to dwell right in the middle of those who don’t seem to fit just one single problem. We don’t have a problem. We have problems. Plural. Therefore, I was given a couple of diagnoses of Bipolar I (complete with manic episodes and Major Depression) and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder also known as OCD. Having to deal with that on top of having Juvenile Diabetes seemed to be enough to keep the medicine cabinet full at home.

Looking at Kristen is a lot different from when I look at Janine. Janine is obviously thin. She could be mistaken for a model except she has some major flaws that probably would keep her off of a runway. She isn’t naturally thin. I can tell that she makes herself that way, unhealthily. Dark purple pools circle the skin around her eyes like bruises. Janine tries to wear make up, but she has to put on so much to cover up her discolored skin. Her hair is long, but it is thinning. Her teeth and fingers are discolored from what I figure comes from when she makes herself throw up, if she eats anything. Her mood fluctuates frequently, especially after Dr. Cuvo gave up and disappeared. After he left, she and I grew closer. Janine is beautiful and angry.

Other people seem to see what they want to see in us. However, we know that we’re nothing at all like how we see ourselves. In an odd way, I see Janine as a lot like myself.

Kristen is a different story. She doesn’t cover up her physical flaws. She shows her bandages. She doesn’t even try to hide her face with her hair, always pulling her hair back in a ponytail, as if to make you look at her. Ironically, she doesn’t look anyone in the eyes. She opens and closes like a broken cabinet that won’t shut all of the way unless you slam it hard enough.

I can tell that she’s like the others. She sees something in me. She sees something in Janine. She sees something else within herself but whatever it is, she won’t let it go. I can see it too. It’s dark and I cannot define it. Kristen scares me and she intrigues me because, unlike Janine, she’s not easy to read or understand. She was difficult from the very start.

It seemed like Janine tried to help Kristen feel welcomed. She tried to include Kristen in our group. However, Janine had insisted that Kristen must have disliked us because when Kristen first arrived at Bent Creek, she wouldn’t talk to us, nor would she smile. Janine and I made a bet against each other. I bet Janine that Kristen would smile before the end of her first week at Bent Creek and Janine bet that she wouldn’t smile. Of course, I won that bet. Janine had to give me her evening snacks for a whole week after I had won the bet! Little did I know at the time, the loss of that bet wasn’t such a huge loss for Janine.

Nonetheless, it was hard work to get Kristen to smile. Eventually, she did smile. After the day that I made her smile, she started to open up more. It seemed to help since we were all in the same group. I didn’t want to give up on her. I tried to make her laugh and talk to us about why she is here at Bent Creek, but she seemed too sad to speak about it without getting upset.

On today, of all days, the day before I am scheduled to be released, this broken and attractively mysterious girl decides to open her mouth and have a real conversation with me. It seems like it’s completely unprovoked on my part! At least, I don’t think that I did anything to draw her attention to me.

I am working on a sketch quietly in the commons area on the Adolescent Ward. Drawing helps pass the time. Only one more day until I can go home with my mom and Mom-Mom. I don’t want to cause any trouble or lose my temper or let anything trigger me into having a manic episode again. All I can think about is how much I want to smoke a cigarette. I can’t wait until tomorrow! I even asked my mom to bring me a pack of Marlboro’s to the hospital so that as soon as I am free, I can take in what I have been craving for over a month!

I haven’t told anyone in my group that I am going home because I want to be as inconspicuous about it as I possibly can. I don’t want the others to feel badly and then start acting weird around me because I’m leaving.

I don’t know. Maybe Kristen sensed something in me that gave away my secret because she walked right up to the table where I am sitting and started talking to me. She surprised me because I was concentrating on drawing straight lines without shaking. I haven’t tried to draw since Rocky killed himself. That was a messed up time. Kristen was there, but she hasn’t asked me about it. It’s a good thing. I don’t want to think about it, nor talk about it anymore.

Honestly, I am not prepared to talk about any of this stuff. Really, I’m not ready to open up about what happened with my mom, my dad and Theresa. I’m ready to move past all of that. But Kristen has a way about her that I don’t understand. It is the mystery behind her sudden interest that pulls me in and moves me to want to talk to her. When she asked me if I was scared, I may have seemed to open up to her right away, but in my mind, it seemed to take a little more than minute for me to answer. I am thinking about what she asked and the fact that she is the first person who has asked me if was scared.

Kristen’s eyes glistens as she waits for me to speak. I replay her question in my mind.

“Were you scared?” Kristen asked.

When I think about it, I remember everything very clearly. From the moment that I knew that I was in love with her to my dad getting out of prison, and when my mom almost gave up on our family to Theresa’s suicide up to now, this very moment. Here I am, sitting across from Kristen. She’s the odd girl that spoke up. Kristen is the inscrutable girl that scared me and amazed me and who dared to ask me the question that no one, not even Dr. Finch, had ever asked me.

Was I scared?

Felicia Johnson Author, Speaker Event NAMI Carroll County Mental Health Advocates

Carroll County Mental Health Advocates

Author, Felicia Johnson – Author Page, will be the presenter at NAMI Carroll’s and Carroll County Mental Health Advocates’ Educational Night on July 30th at 6 PM at the Carrollton Courthouse. Please join us so Felicia can share her knowledge as a mental health worker, survivor and advocate of those dealing with borderline personality disorder. She will bring copies of her book with her.

CMHA & NAMI Carroll invite everyone to the Educational Night on July 30th from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm. featuring Felicia Johnson, speaking about Borderline Personality Disorder. This event will be at the Carroll County Court House, and it will be very insightful! Please like our page, and share this event on your walls to help spread the word!

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