From Sarah, With Joy

Writer querying two novels and some other word babies. I tend to effervesce.

New post every Monday

Monday, June 26, 2017

Is Everyone taking Anti-Depressants Without Me?

Okay. So the first and by far the most important thing that needs saying here is this: modern medicine is wonderful. Mental and emotional disorders are real, should be treated compassionately, and if anti-depressants or other pharmaceuticals can help you, then that is great. The ensuing thoughts are just me word vomiting my own experiences because this is my internetz space and I feel like it, okay? But we’re all going to remember that modern medicine is hooray and every single one of you people is wonderful and lovely, outside of whatever medicines or vitamins or fish oils or oozing laboratory concoctions you put into your body. Any questions about this, I’ll refer you to Dr. Bruce Banner. Who is lovely.

We good so far?


I’m pretty much the ultimate stubborn optimist, so I tend to move forward viewing things as pretty great. I have bad days like anyone, sometimes really bad, and sometimes for a long time, but I’ve always been able to figure things out and move forward. I’ve never taken anti-depressants or been to a therapist. I did once take anti-anxiety meds after I got surgery on my jaw, and at first I was stubborn and thought, pssh, why are they giving me anti-anxiety meds? But that only lasted until the middle of that first night home when my heart wouldn’t stop racing and I couldn’t stop crying and I had no idea why. Then I took the anti-anxiety meds, and felt much better.


Because optimism is what I’m built with, there’s a thing that happens to me every so often. I’m going along, living a pretty happy life, and then something will inform or remind me that someone I know and love has a brain space or personal life space that’s pretty darn crappy. That’s broken or sick. And this inevitably, although it shouldn’t, takes me by surprise and throws me for a small loop.

So, yes, because of the way I see things, I often find myself discovering that a situation I didn’t know much about was a lot worse than I thought. Or that someone I love who I thought was doing just fine actually isn’t, that they’re getting therapeutic and/or medical help for some really hard, crappy stuff. Basically, that things are much more terrible than I thought they were when I was looking at them.

Now, obviously, this little mental jolt is a million percent less of a deal than the actual hard stuff that other people are going through. Obviously. But it’s still a jolt. When it’s bad, I end up feeling like I can’t trust my own head. Like somehow I’m being deluded. That what I experience isn’t real.

I end up thinking, is everyone seeing the real world except me?

I end up wondering if maybe I’m not as complex, nuanced, or profound as other people.

Of course, I am a stubborn, defensive, and firm believer that one person’s reality is no more “Real” than another person’s. My White Utah Mormon Girl reality and a Black Inner-City Chicago Boy reality and a Chinese Rice Farmer Grandma reality are all Reality. They’re all part of the “Real World.” And I get back to that mindset eventually, usually pretty fast. But I guess what I’m saying here is that everyone has weird neurosis, and that’s what makes us so wonderful.

At moments like this I take my own form of medication, which is a self-prescription for a forty-seventh viewing of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.

Remember when Dev Patel’s character is watching all his dreams collapse around him and his hotels going out of business and his mom hates his girlfriend and he’s doing his best to keep things together but they’re basically imploding. He’s distraught, but then he finally says, “Things will be alright in the end. If they are not all right, then it is not the end.”

And that’s the thought I’ll leave you with.

Until the end.

Blog Spotlight: Blogging Can Lead To Many Career Paths, by Anne R. Allen
Submission Spotlight: Tomaz Salamun Prize (and a residency in Slovenia?!?!?)

Monday, January 30, 2017

The Most Life-Changing Book of the Last Year

Hey everyone! Been a while, for which I'm sorry. But life is in a routine again, the chaos is manageable, and the blog here is back in action!

So I think we have many reasons we want to be writers. One of them, at least for me, could be summed up as influence. I want to be able to influence lives the way other authors have influenced mine. And this can mean a lot of things, from a Judy Blume who makes a little girl feel better about herself, to an Upton Sinclair or Harriet Beecher Stowe who influences an entire nation. And I'm saying that with the understanding that both of those are equally important.

I want to talk today about an Upton Sinclair type book. I've had an interesting experience talking about this book, unlike any other. I tell people what it's about, or even just what it's called, and I see them shut down. They don't want to know.

And that is so surprising to me.

The book is called Eating Animals, by Jonathan Safran Foer. I hope you'll let me explain a bit before passing over. It may seem like a Vegan Manifesto, but it's not. The whole first chapters of the book are about how important meat, particularly his grandmothers chicken and carrots, has been in his family. And then he goes on to talk about modern farming practices. Factory farming. He's not saying we shouldn't eat meat. He's simply asking us to consider where that meat is coming from.

And honestly, why don't we? Why are we so willing to not think about what we're putting in our mouths, and when the information is put in front of us, we do our utmost to push it aside and ignore it?

I won't go into the details, because I think the information he presents does best in the context of all the research and first hand experiences this writer went through. But I ask you to read this book.

That's really the point of this post. Writers can make a huge difference. Write to make a difference in the world, and read to make a difference in yourself.

And please read this book.

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