Help Me! by Donna M. Zadunajsky Book Review

HELP ME! (HELP ME! #1)HELP ME! by Donna M. Zadunajsky

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Help Me! by Donna M. Zadunajsky was a very interesting read. I liked it because it read like a personal journal from the the first point of view of the main characters. I’m a huge fan of journaling, so the writing style felt voyeuristic. It was avant-garde in a sense that the writing style is not what I am used to reading in a book.

It’s like reading a book on social media. As the reader, you’re taken into the private thoughts and experiences of two main characters. Mick is suicidal and depressed after losing his best friend to suicide. Layla is Mick’s new best friend that he acquires after he moves to his father’s home following the loss of his late best friend. We get to see the perspectives of teenage life, love and friendship through the thoughts of Mick and Layla. I like the interchanging approach to the chapters so that we can see the point of views from both characters and know what they’re both thinking and feeling within each scene that plays out. We’re not left with many questions as both main characters cover their own thoughts and emotions, themselves, without leaving it to a third narrator’s POV. The style is unique. Therefore, it made it feel personal.

Overall, it was a fast paced, good read. I hope that there’s more to come.

View all my reviews

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NAMI South Bay Joins Crowdfunding Push!

Hello friends! We are closing in on the final days of our crowdfunding project to turn the novel Her into a movie! An amazing partner has signed on to promote this awareness campaign, NAMI South Bay! Please visit them to show them some support, especially if you are local to them. And don’t forget, we need donations to get this movie project off the ground as soon as possible! We need a minimum of $2,500, and your donation can help get us there.

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And as a special treat, we are offering a new perk, not available on the Hatchfund site! For a limited time, if you make a tax-deductible donation of $100, I will include you in an exclusive workshop on journaling as therapy for depression and other mental illnesses. I have shared my strategies for journaling with a very special group of young students in Africa, and many left feeling empowered and inspired.

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If you would like to join my workshop, but are unable to make the donation yourself, never fear! You can get this great perk by finding friends to donate in your name! Just have your friends contact us at herthebook@gmail.com to let us know that they donated. Get $100 donated for you, and we will send you the exclusive link to be a part of this journaling for depression workshop. So what are you waiting for? Donate today!

Thank you again for your donations. This project is aimed at reaching young adults who are struggling with mental illnesses like BPD, so that they can finally see that despite all the struggles, there is hope for a better life. Please help me share that message!

 

Mental Health Novel-to-Film Adaptation Her by Felicia Johnson

When I was 15, my best friend committed suicide. I found out after her death that she had a Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) stemming from the trauma of childhood abuse. I now work and volunteer in the mental health field, I see everyday how important it is for people to understand mental disorders and the havoc they can wreak on a person’s life and relationships. I know how imperative it is for people to be diagnosed early and begin to come to terms with their diagnosis and have a plan for symptom management. Taking pieces from journals I wrote about my past dealing with my own abuse and my life with Holl…

via Mental Health Novel-to-Film Adaptation.

How Did She Do it?

“Trust me, if we could just ‘get over it’ we would!” – Felicia Johnson, Author of Her and nominee of the Gutsy Gals Inspire Me Award 2014

never say depression

Do you remember when I first told you about Holls?

https://feejohnson.wordpress.com/2013/04/10/have-i-ever-told-you-about-holls-2/#comments

Holls was my best friend when I was fifteen years old. Her real name was Holly, but everyone that she had considered to be a friend had called her Holls.

It’s been sixteen years since I had last seen Holls. She had a very infectious nature. She would make you laugh whenever she did something silly, whether it was intentional or not. And she could help you to see the most deepest meanings in the smallest things that you wouldn’t even consider looking deeper at as a teenager. Holls had a way about her that could make you laugh and cry at the same time. You would’nt know if you started laughing so hard that you were crying because of something funny she had said or did, or if you had started off crying because of a trick she may have played on you that scared you so badly that you ended up laughing at yourself in the end. That’s what Holly did. She made you feel special in every moment you spent with her…until the end.

Both of us had suffered from depression. We met while we were so called “troubled kids” during our group therapy meetings. We were child abuse survivors. The group therapy meetings taught us how to cope and heal from our past child abuse. Holls also had what is called Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). At the time, I didn’t know what that was. I think that I used to get BPD confused with Bi-Polar disorder or Multiple Personality Disorder. Either way, I was wrong. Borderline Personality Disorder is classified as a mental illness that is followed by an an intense unstable personality and emotional disruptive patterns which causes instability in relationships, impulsivity, self image, and can cause one to self harm and make threats about committing suicide. A person suffering from BPD may even commit suicide, whether they were reaching out for help by admitting suicidal ideation, or not.

Now that I’ve learned more about mental illness and mental health, I’ve become more aware of the importance of discussing these issues. I speak out because families, friends, and loved ones of those who suffer from mental illnesses tend to not know how to help the ones that they love. I speak out to educate and provide hope for them and those who are suffering.

Since writing my novel HerI’ve been able to speak out to raise awareness about child abuse, mental health, mental illness, and promote prevention. Raising awareness about child abuse, mental health, mental illness, and promoting prevention is positive! These may not be LIGHT subjects and some people may see them as taboo and something to censor. But when you have examples of successful survivors and thrivers with incredible stories of hope, love and inspiration that does help others, it IS POSITIVE. This is how we end the stigma! Speaking out is something that I will continue to do until it is no longer possible. And I hope that others will continue to speak out long after that time.

Often times, I’ve been asked, “How did she do it?” as in “How did Holly commit suicide?” If you’re someone who has lost someone that you love or care about to suicide, have you ever been asked this question? If so, how did it make you feel?

Honestly, I can tell you, that no matter who asks me this, I’ve always been taken aback. First, when my mother asked after I had found out, I was shocked. Then, when mutual friends of Holls’ and mine asked, and I didn’t really know if I should say that I even knew at the time how or why, just that it happened. When the therapists asked when they were trying to help, I felt confused as to why they would even ask that particular question. Even now, I’m still shocked when people that I meet in my campaign to raise awareness and promote prevention ask that specific question, “How did she do it?”. From radio hosts to other professionals who have asked, I am still taken aback each time someone has the audacity to ask.

To me, it is not offensive. I have considered several reasons why anyone would ask. One: out of curiosity. Two: genuine care and concern because people may think that “talking about the details” can be greatly therapeutic. Three: for reasons of their own that has nothing to do with me or Holly which could be entertainment or shock value, etc. I’m sure that there are other reasons, but these are the ones that I tend to wonder about when I am asked how did Holly commit suicide.

Every time I’m asked how did she commit suicide, I answer the same: She suffered with depression and BPD and she lost her battle with her mental illness. That is the best answer that I can give that will help people to understand why and how something like this could happen. It can happen to any of us who suffer from depression and who do not have the right support from our families, friends, and loved ones; the people who truly matter to us. The best thing that we can do is educate ourselves about these issues, do not ignore them, do not pretend that they do not exist, and do not try censor anyone who wants to speak out about their own experiences or others. This is the only way that we will end the stigma of mental illness!

#nostigma #nocensor #Speaktruth

You Can Help Me Spread Awareness About Mental Health!

Hello friends! 

As you probably know, I have been invited to attend the International Women’s Festivals March 7-9 in Santa Barbara, California. I have been selected as a nominee for the Gutsy Gals Inspire Me! Award, and I must to be present in order to receive the award. See my nomination by clicking here. I have also been given the opportunity to speak at the festival about child abuse, my work in behavioral health, youth mentoring, and my novel Her.

gutsy gals

Here’s where you come in. I’ve estimated the total cost of the trip to be around $1700. With your support, I’ll be able to afford to make the round trip from Atlanta to Santa Barbara, and have transportation, meals, and a place to stay during the entire festival.

Can you help? Please follow the directions below to make a donation today to my PayPal to help me get to California!

Donation directions:

Go to PayPal.com and click Send in the top menu. Enter my email address (fedanceperformance@yahoo.com), along with the desired donation amount. If you have not already, it will now prompt you to login or create a PayPal account. Any donation will help, and it is also possible to donate anonymously.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking the time to read this and donate to this cause. With your help, I will be able to reach more people and spread the message of understanding and hope for people with mental illness, depression, and histories of abuse.

Valentine’s Day Book Giveaway!

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Valentine’s Day is all about love, friendship, and caring for one another. My novel Her is about developing love from family, love from friends, and love and understanding for oneself. In honor of this Valentine’s Day, Her will be available for free download from Friday February 14th until Tuesday February 18th.

Gift Her to yourself if you want to help yourself understand the plight of someone with mental illness, and be able to share an unconditional love with them. Gift Her to someone who may be suffering with depression, BP,  family abuse, so that they may understand that they are not alone in this fight. Or, just gift it to someone interested in an intense, roller-coaster read with an unconventional love story.

Below are all the links for the country-specific Amazon sites. Follow the links to get your free copy!

USA

http://www.amazon.com/Her-Felicia-Johnson-ebook/dp/B00D64V0F6
Canada
http://www.amazon.ca/Her-Felicia-Johnson-ebook/dp/B00D64V0F6

UK
Australia
Mexico
Germany
France
Spain
Italy
Japan
Brazil
Austria

Review of Can You Hear Me Now? By Annie O’Sullivan

Read this book!

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Annie O’Sullivan’s Can You Hear Me Now is a haunting story that I will never forget. This story of a little girl and the abuse she suffered is heartbreaking. I like that the story was told in the present tense, as if everything is happening right now. As the reader, I felt like I was walking on Annie’s journey with her. It made the story even more compelling because I could see each action and feel her emotions as if I was there with her.

Annie is very brave to have written such a personal and powerful story about her life and the abuse she suffered by the hands of her father. The courage and commitment to picking her life up and standing up against child abuse is amazing and admirable. I truly enjoyed reading about Annie’s survival. It is encouraging to me to learn about what it took for her to get to where she is today.

Although this story is hard to read in some parts because Annie does not dumb down or minimize the abuse that she suffered, it is an incredible story because it is a true story about a courageous person. There is a lot that we can take from Annie’s story. One thing I was able to take from her story is the encouragement to speak up and speak out about child abuse. If you know someone who is suffering, or someone has suffered and is afraid to speak out, encourage them to. Can You Hear Me Now is about speaking up and speaking loudly. Bravo Annie, for your courage and strength in speaking up and telling your story! I hear you. We all do.

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