Thursday, 28 August 2014

Linguistically Challenged Part Four: Blaine D. Arden


Blaine D. Arden is a purple-haired, forty-something author of gay & trans* romance mixed with fantasy, mystery, and magic who sings her way through life in platform boots.

Born and raised in Zutphen, the Netherlands, Blaine spent many hours of her sheltered youth reading, day dreaming, making up stories and acting them out with her Barbies. After seeing the film "An Early Frost" as a teen in the mid-eighties, an idealistic Blaine wanted to do away with the negativity surrounding homosexuality and strove to show the world how beautiful love between men could be. Our difference is our strength, is Blaine's motto, and her stories are often set in worlds where gender fluidity and sexual diversity are accepted as is.

When not writing or reading, Blaine has singing lessons and hopes to be in a band someday. Supporting Blaine in pursuing her dreams and all matters regarding household, sons, and cairn terrier, is her long-suffering husband for over twenty years.

Blaine has been published by Storm Moon Press, Less Than Three Press, and Wilde City Press. Her scifi romance "Aliens, Smith and Jones" received an Honourable Mention in the Best Gay Sci-Fi/Fantasy category of the Rainbow Awards 2012.

Blaine can be found on 

The Questions:

-      What language do you speak most of the time?

Since I live in the Netherlands, I'd assume Dutch, but with my tendency to switch languages willy-nilly it might just as well be fifty-fifty. (I sometimes even forget not to do it when I know the person I'm talking to doesn't understand English)

-      What language do you think in?

I'd say mostly English, since most of what I do that needs thinking about is based in English. But not all of the time. I do think in Dutch as well, just… less and less, it seems.

-      What language do you dream in?

I'm not a fan of dreaming. It seems a weird thing to say for a writer, but I don't like dreaming it all, and I like remembering them even less. Still… right now I'm assuming Dutch, based on the last one I have vague memories of.

-      What language do you swear in after you’ve really hurt yourself?

Funny you should ask. A Mancunian friend of mine told me that that's how you often catch foreigners whose accent doesn't reveal their nationality clearly. By how they swear. I guess I'm a bit of a hybrid in that sense. Over here (points on the map to a city in the east of the Netherlands), I often—not always—curse in Dutch. When I'm in the UK, I mostly tend to swear in English…

-      What language are you most comfortable in?

That is a really tricky question. I live in the Netherlands, so you'd think that that would be the language I'd be most comfortable in, but… I think I'd have to say English. Or maybe it's fifty-fifty again.
It comes with a but, too. I feel most comfortable in English, right until I hit an area where my Dutch vocabulary is more dominant, my English vocabulary lacking, and I keep forgetting that things are not called the same in English. Areas like food-stuffs (and probably some others that I just can't remember right now). Or areas where I'm so used to saying what's basically an English word with a Dutch pronunciation, because that's how my parents pronounced it when I grew up. (I can't stop my habit of saying Cor-Ned beef instead of Corned beef).

-      How easy or difficult is it for you to switch from one language to the other?

Very easy. When talking to friends (Dutch friends or a group of both English and Dutch friends who all do speak English) either IRL or online, I often switch back and forth between both, even mid-sentence. The difficult part is when I can't find the right word in either language, and I'll be trying to find it while using the other language or describing in awkward ways what I'm looking for.

-      Does it affect you when you’re in a group where both languages are being spoken?

Only if two people talk to me at the same time in two different languages or when I'm getting really tired and don't know what I'm doing anyway. Though… I might answer in the 'wrong' language or stumble through trying to translate for others. I basically suck at direct translation.

-      Do you ever speak the ‘wrong’ language to someone?

Yes! I do. I've mentioned a little about that in the last question, when there's a group of both Dutch and English people involved, I might answer a question in the wrong language. I also often blurt out little English phrases that I like in the middle of a Dutch conversation, and consequently feel really bad when they look at me like I’m from Mars. Though, I'm always secretly pleased when the person I'm talking to understands and just goes on as if I hadn't just switched languages on them. I think I drive my poor mother in law nuts with doing that, even if I've known for roughly twenty-five years that she doesn't understand English. But it's so ingrained in who I am now, that I can't seem to stop myself.

-      Would you translate yourself from one language into the other or ask someone else (professional) to do it?

I've talked about this subject with other authors from time to time, like Zahra Owens, whose native tongue is Flemish. I could and would never translate my own work. And it only has partly to do with sucking at direct translation. If I tried to translate my own works, I'd end up with two completely different books. Because once I'd start 'fixing' a sentence here and a sentence there to make the language flow better, I'd end up editing and thus changing my work instead of translating it.

-      If size of (potential) market wasn’t an issue what language would you be writing in?

English? Did you even need to ask? :p

Don't get me wrong. I love the Dutch language. It can be a very beautiful language and it has words and sayings that I wish I could use in English, but they just don't translate into anything English readers would understand. Still… I like the flow of English better when I'm writing. I feel there is more nuance in the language, more choice of words to describe the feelings I'm reaching for when I'm writing.

And that brings me back to my claim that I suck at direct translation. Anyone could ask me simple words to translate and I'd know them. But… they never do. People always ask me words that have more than one meaning, but never give me a context in which they wish to use that word.

The same goes for my writing. I can often be caught writing Dutch words into my first drafts, but I'm never looking for a direct translation, I'm looking for the feeling I associate with that word. Which also makes me guilty of doing what I complain about above. My husband is probably really sick of me asking for a word and always telling him that it's not what I'm looking for without explaining what it is I'm looking for. Weird thing is that his 'wrong' answers almost always help me find the word I am looking for.

Blaine's latest work:


From supernatural tales of intrigue to a curious modern romance, a thoroughly British relationship and a classic fairytale all twisted up, Bedtime Stories is a collection of short stories designed to be read one at a time, at bedtime. Let us wish you goodnight with gay romances that are sure to leave you ready for a night of sweet, lingering dreams.

Seven stories, one for each night, written by Tia Fielding, Liam Livings, Anna Martin, Kit Mullender, MJ O’Shea, B Snow, and Blaine D. Arden

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

A First Time for Everything

Last Monday, August 25th, the First Annual BDSM Writers Conference Anthology was published by Riverdale Avenue Books. 

This anthology features a story of mine title 'A Virgin Again'. I'm rather proud those 3000 words of mine were deemed good enough to be included. 

Here's the blurb:

From soft and sweet submission to hard core vampire domination, and just about everything in between, the First Annual BDSM Writers Con Anthology offers lovers of erotic reading a rich spectrum of stories and flavors showcasing the breath of this genre. 

This anthology brings you the work of established award-wining erotica and erotic romance authors such as Roz Lee, Cris Anson and Debra Hyde to virgin authors Jessica Lust, Mia Koutras and Helena Stone. As an added bonus, there is a story by best-selling author Laura Antoniou from her Marketplace series, as well as a chapter from clinical sexologist and conference founder Dr. Charley Ferrer’s ground-breaking book BDSM The Naked Truth. 

Since, as the blurb says, I am one of three virgin authors, I am also new to and slightly uncomfortable with, promoting my own work. I therefore won't say a lot more about it except that I hope the blurb has made you curious enough to buy and read the book.

If you would like to try and win a copy please visit Diverse Reader's Straight not Narrow blog and enter the give-away there. The contest runs until Saturday August, 30th. Good luck.

Buy links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Monday, 25 August 2014

Linguistically Challenged Part Three: Mari Evans


Mari Evans is a wife and the proud mother of a very active daughter, two dogs, and two cats. She’s a very social kind of girl, who loves to talk. It’s both her best and her worst quality.
From the moment she could read, she devoured books. Anything goes, as long as it has a happy ending.
There were always stories swirling around in her head, and as a child she liked to lie in bed and let the characters have their story and happy ending. It wasn’t until 2013 that she actually tried to put one of the whole stories down and submit it to a publisher. To her own surprise and excitement it was accepted. This gave her the drive to keep going.
The decision to write m/m was made when a friend told a story about a young gay man that struck a chord, even as her husband had already encouraged her to try it earlier.
Now she found her passion, having already found the love in her family and friends, her life is completely chaotic, crazy but wonderful.

The Questions:

-      What language do you speak most of the time?
Most of the time I speak Dutch, because I live in The Netherlands. I do chat a lot with friends and occasionally videochat in English.

-      What language do you think in?
Mostly Dutch, but lately more and more English slips in. Especially after I've been online for a while, or have been writing a lot.

-      What language do you dream in?
Dutch, I guess. I don't remember most of my dreams and if I do it's more the actions and emotions than the language.

-      What language do you swear in after you’ve really hurt yourself?
Both Dutch and English, hehehe. Swear words are mostly the same. Fuck and shit are very common here. Although I do have a few Dutch choice words.

-      What language are you most comfortable in?
Dutch...but English is a good runner-up.

-      How easy or difficult is it for you to switch from one language to the other?
Too easy probably, because I sometimes don't even notice it anymore. It's getting like a second nature. I do make a lot of grammar mistakes of course, but truthfully, in Dutch it's just as bad.

-      Does it affect you when you’re in a group where both languages are being spoken?
Nope, not at all. It used to, years ago, but not anymore. I guess because my thinking is starting to turn bilingual, it's getting really easy for me to follow all conversations even if I have to switch constantly.

-      Do you ever speak the ‘wrong’ language to someone?
God yes, all the time. When I chat online with people who speak both languages it's constantly switching from English to Dutch and back again. But when I talk to Dutch people I sometimes just don't remember the Dutch words and have to say them in English. It's a good thing most Dutch people know at least some English.
 -  Would you translate yourself from one language into the other or ask someone else (professional) to do it?
If I'm speaking in a mixed group of friends then, yes. Would I translate my own work? Hell no. Way too much work and confusing for my poor little brain.

-     If size of (potential) market wasn’t an issue what language would you be writing in?
Hmmmm tough question. I'd have to say both, because Dutch IS still easier for me to write, but English is way prettier to read and hear. So, both.

About Trusting Love:

“Laurie Stallon isn’t like other high schoolers. After suffering years of abuse at his father’s hands, he now lives in a foster care facility and finds solace volunteering at the local animal shelter. Laurie’s had to grow up fast, and even though his eighteenth birthday is still weeks away, he’s more adult than most adults he knows. When he meets Dr. Sam Davies, the new shelter veterinarian, the attraction is instant. They become friends at work, but Laurie knows Sam will never go for someone like him. No matter how Laurie tries to prove his maturity to Sam, Sam continues to reject him as too young.

Needing a distraction, Laurie goes out dancing for his birthday and finds his life in danger yet again. When Sam is called to the hospital, he realizes Laurie needs someone to care for him. Sam takes him home, and they slowly build a relationship. But more than their age difference works against them. Facing the disapproval of friends and the scars from Laurie's past, they'll need to put all their trust in love for a chance at a future together.”

For my review click here: Trusting Love

Buy links:

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Linguistically Challenged Part Two: Tia Fielding


Tia Fielding is a thirty-something Scandinavian. She is a self-proclaimed queer person, lover of everything pretty, witty people, words, cats, sarcasm, autumn, and caffeine. (Lots of caffeine.)

Tia started writing stories early in life, almost as soon as she learned how to write. Her early stories about horses and ghosts have now turned into romantic tales about people in love, but her early enthusiasm and imagination still runs wild. After losing the thread of her writing in her teens, Tia rediscovered the joy of writing stories through fan fiction, which kick-started her publishing career. Tia is not ashamed of her past of borrowing other people’s characters, but has found creating her own much more satisfying.

 In 2013 Tia's novel Falling Into Place was recognized by the industry's Rainbow Awards in the Best LGBT Erotic Romance (Bobby Michaels Award) category.

You can find Tia on Facebook at and her website with more social media links can be found at

The questions

-      What language do you speak most of the time?
I speak Finnish as a first language. In school here in Finland, we have Swedish as the second language and English is, generally, the third. I’ve also studied German, but I can’t use it much anymore. Swedish is tricky, because I can understand it pretty well, but I seriously can’t produce text or speech in it at all!

-      What language do you think in?
I think in Finnish and English. Depending on the situation and context. I also keep forgetting easy things and words, like there was a day when I was trying to think of the word “car” in English and couldn’t really figure out until after a while. Similarly I often forget words in Finnish and have to translate from English via an online dictionary to make sure I come across like I mean to. Finnish is such a difficult language!

-      What language do you dream in?
I have to say I dream in Finnish, but I had an experience in my teens when I went to England for 3 weeks for a language course where I ended up dreaming in English. Maybe if I actually spoke it each day instead of just mostly thinking and writing it, I might dream in English again.

-      What language do you swear in after you’ve really hurt yourself?
Finnish, with the occasional English words sprinkled in. Finnish has the kind of longer words that only work with certain situations, but the most common English one is only four letters, so….

-      What language are you most comfortable in?
I have to say it’s English for me. English has always been easy for me to learn. Back in my day, we started to learn English as the first foreign language (even before Swedish) when we were ten years old. I guess having been learning and using it in some way or form for over twenty years, whereas I’ve actually never had to use Swedish outside of school, has made it so.

-      How easy or difficult is it for you to switch from one language to the other?
I guess it’s pretty easy for me in general to switch, but sometimes when I’m writing in English and someone comes and asks me something in Finnish, I have to take a pause and think and translate myself to the correct language. It’s weird, but understandable, I guess.

-      Does it affect you when you’re in a group where both languages are being spoken?
I’m rarely in those kind of situations, actually almost never. But let’s say I’m having two conversations online, maybe on Skype or something, one is in English, the other in Finnish. Whenever I make the change between chat windows, I have to make a conscious decision to change languages. I’ve typed something in English in response to a Finnish person’s question in Finnish and vice versa. It takes concentration and effort for sure to be able to keep up with rapid fire chatting in two languages at the same time.

-      Do you ever speak the ‘wrong’ language to someone?
No, because in my everyday life I don’t speak English at all. When abroad, I guess I’ve come close to speaking English to family etc. but nothing like that has happened in “real life.”

-      Would you translate yourself from one language into the other or ask someone else (professional) to do it?
I could do it and I’ve considered translating as a secondary job sometimes. Translating myself might be both easier and harder than translating something by another person. Second guessing myself is just too easy!

-      If size of (potential) market wasn’t an issue what language would you be writing in?
Still in English. I’ve lost my ability to produce flowing, easy text in Finnish. I can speak it just fine as I do each day, but writing it is very, very difficult. Part of this, I guess, comes from the fact that Finnish is such a different language, all in all. I’ve gotten used to thinking about storytelling in English, so converting that would be tricky if not impossible. At least it would take years of learning my first language again, I’m sure of that!

Newest releases:

A contemporary ghost (short) story ‘Flickers’ in the Bedtime Stories anthology through Wilde City Press on August 20th.

Novel ‘Solitude’ co-written with Anna Martin, releases on August 27th through Dreamspinner Press. tp://

Monday, 18 August 2014

Linguistically Challenged

Later this week I will be able to say I’m a published writer. A story of mine will be released in an anthology. The whole thing is making me nervous. Not just what I assume are ‘normal’ pre-publication nerves. I guess most if not all writers second guess themselves, wonder if the story/book is really up to scratch and fear that people may end up hating their words. My added concern is that my English may not be good enough; that readers will immediately recognize that English is not my first language.

Thinking about that made me wonder how it might be for other authors. I’m curious whether others have similar moments of doubt and fear. A call-out on Facebook resulted in quite a few bilingual authors volunteering to join me on this journey of discovery. Over the next few weeks I’ll be sharing posts featuring a single author. My questions will form the framework for those posts but I intend to give each author complete freedom as to how much or how little they want to say.

Because this is my idea and initiative I’ll answer my own questions first. At some point in the future I’ll also do an overall post based on all the different responses. I’ve got a feeling this is going to be fascinating as well as a good opportunity to get to know a few authors a little bit better. I hope both participants and readers will enjoy my experiment.

Here is all about me and my linguistical confusion.

A lot of people will already know that although I live in Ireland I am actually Dutch. To be precise, I lived in the Netherlands for the first 34 years of my life and moved to Ireland 17 years ago.  But I was exposed to the English language from the moment my parents got a television, started learning the language in school when I was 11 and have been with my (Irish) husband for over 25 years now.

The following are the questions I’ll be asking other bi-lingual authors as well as my answers.

-      What language do you speak most of the time?
II   I speak almost exclusively in English. The only time I speak Dutch these days is when I call family in the Netherlands which I don’t do as often as I probably should.

-      What language do you think in?
I also think exclusively in English. In fact I sometimes find myself thinking in English while speaking Dutch with family or friends which gets quite confusing.

-      What language do you dream in?
English, and I have been for years. I can vividly remember the first time I dreamed in English. I was 16 at the time and less than proficient in the language. I’d spent the summer hanging out with a guy from Canada as well as my usual Dutch friends. One night, near the end of the holiday I had a dream featuring the Canadian boy. It wasn’t a scary dream. What made it scary was the fact that I didn’t understand myself all the time while dreaming. My subconscious knew more English than it understood. I still can’t explain how that works and it’s an experience I’ll never forget.

-      What language do you swear in after you’ve really hurt yourself?
When I’m at home or alone I’ll swear in English. The Irish have some wonderful and rather imaginative swearwords and they roll off the tongue quite easily. If I happen to hurt myself in work I’ll swear in Dutch though. It is an automatic switch I’ve trained myself to make. After all, loud and colourful cursing in a public library is seriously frowned upon.

-      What language are you most comfortable in?
English, without a doubt. In fact I was more comfortable with the English language long before we left the Netherlands. I also find that the longer I’m away from my birth country the clumsier Dutch sounds to my ears.

-      How easy or difficult is it for you to switch from one language to the other?
Switching from Dutch to English is always easy and always feels a bit like coming home to me. The other way around I get very self-conscious. The Dutch grammar keeps on tripping me up. I’ll start a sentence and before I’m half way through I know it won’t sound like correct Dutch by the time I reach the full stop. I keep a stack of unread Dutch books. Whenever I travel ‘home’ for a holiday I’ll pick one of those titles in an attempt to get back into the rhythm of the language.

-      Does it affect you when you’re in a group where both languages are being spoken?
Yes, it does and it confuses me. I sometimes feel I have a switch in my head which is either set to Dutch or English. Having to deal with both languages simultaneously leaves me confused and self-conscious. If I’m in such a situation for any length of time I usually end up questioning both my Dutch and my English language abilities.

-      Do you ever speak the ‘wrong’ language to someone?
-      Do I ever. I’ve been known to address my in-laws in Dutch with amuses them no end, since they have no idea what I might be saying. They usually let me get on with it until I catch on, which can take quite some time. I do end up speaking English to Dutch people as well but that is less of an issue because at least they understand what I’m saying even if they do think it’s strange I won’t speak ‘my own’ language.

-      Would you translate yourself from one language into the other or ask someone else (professional) to do it?
I might try my hand at doing it myself but I wouldn’t release anything without having it checked and edited first. I’d like to do it myself because I know the feelings behind the words better than anyone. I’m too aware of the fact that my Dutch isn’t up to scratch anymore to trust myself though.

-      If size of (potential) market wasn’t an issue what language would you be writing in?
By this stage I think I’d write in English even if the Dutch market was as big as the English one. English has always been an easy language for me. In school I took Dutch, English, German and French. While I always found languages the easiest subjects in school, English stands out in that it took me very little studying to get a handle on it.

Which leads me to my conclusion. At this point, I guess it is debatable which is my first and which my second language. Maybe I should just call myself linguistically confused. Under most circumstances I have no doubts about my English but, as soon as I have to write something that will be read by others (an official letter, a story, this post) I become very conscious of the fact I’m doing it in what is not my mother tongue. I start second guessing myself, compulsively check what I’ve written for Dutch-isms and have my husband proofread it for me just to make sure I have used proper English.

That’s my story. I hope you enjoyed it. If you find yourself in a similar situation and would like to participate in this blog event, leave me a comment and I’ll get in touch with you. If you have an opinion about my use of the English language, please feel free to share below. Be kind though. My smouldering insecurity doesn’t need a lot of fuel before it turns into an inferno.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Finding My Way Back

This post is going to be (a lot?) longer than the previous one. I can’t remember anything about my slide into depression. My memory of that time starts with the moment I looked at my tablets and realised how easy it would be to stop the pain. My recollection of being depressed is painfully clear though. I know what it felt like, I know what prevented me from sliding further than I did and I remember every single step of my slow climb back to the light. Please bear with me.

It was dark for what felt like a long time. I didn’t want to live in that gloom. I tried to put a smile on my face whenever my husband and daughter were at home. The relief I felt whenever they went out together - leaving me alone - filled me with guilt. And of course the guilt made me feel even worse than I already did.

I went to see my doctor who wrote a letter to the hospital I attended because, not unreasonably, she thought it would be better to keep all my treatments and files together. Weeks went by and nothing happened.

Talking to my husband was never an option in my eyes. He had a full time job and with me being worse than useless, also full time responsibility for our daughter, the house, the laundry, the groceries and everything else. I knew he was worried sick about me and couldn’t bring myself to make that worse by telling him all my dark thoughts.

The only point of light in those weeks was my husband’s cousin. She came to visit us about once a week and would listen to me. She patiently sat through my litany of complaints about my life and my health. Week after week she sat on the couch with me and allowed me to spew my misery. It helped. I got to talk for so long that even I got bored listening to my complaints.

Once I’d talked myself out she’d talk about her own life and because I had emptied myself I could listen and almost empathize. Thanks to her I never completely forgot there were other issues in the world besides mine. That idea would get vaguer over the days I didn’t see her, but I never completely lost it.

This continued until the night I developed a blood clot in my lung and was rushed to hospital. I can’t go into the whole hospital experience here. I was kept in for three months and too much happened. Suffice to say that during my first month I only got sicker and my world got darker. It took me that long to remember that my doctor had written to the hospital and for me to ask about talking to someone. I was expecting a counsellor. What I got was a psychiatrist who sat down next to my bed and listened for at least an hour while I told him everything. He didn’t interrupt, didn’t ask questions, just allowed me to let it all out. When I finished he told me he didn’t think I was clinically depressed, although it was, in his words, a close call and that he didn’t want to put me on medication considering the amount of chemicals I was already taking. He left me with his card and the instruction to have somebody contact him if I felt worse or just the need to see him again.

I never did see or talk to him again. I guess he’d given me the validation I needed while he was there. I had diagnosed myself correctly. Help was available if I needed it. And I certainly did not want more medication. But far more importantly, my regular doctors gave me a reason to fight not long after.

I was very sick and getting sicker so my specialist decided I needed a complicated and potentially dangerous operation. The chances he gave me of surviving the procedure were 50/50. I had no doubt he was being optimistic. I knew with absolute certainty I wouldn’t survive the operation if I allowed them to perform it. I was also certain that they’d misdiagnosed me. So I flat out refused to undergo the operation and told them in no uncertain terms that I would not sign the consent form they needed.

I think it took me 48 hours to realize how strange that decision had been. For months all I’d wanted to do was die. Being presented with an easy way out I turned it down. Not because I suddenly wanted to live but because I wanted to die on my own terms, not somebody else’s. What can I say? I wasn’t at my most rational at the time.

Every single day doctors would stand by my bedside trying to convince me that I did need the operation. Every single day I told them I didn’t and wouldn’t. Eventually I told them that I would have their bloody operation if they could prove to me I really needed it, volunteering for endless amounts of very unpleasant procedures in the process.

In the end it turned out I was right. I did not need the operation the doctors had been wrong and I had been right. But that is not what this piece is about. What I’m trying to say is that it was that fight against the doctors, that absolute certainty that I knew my body and mind better than anyone else – regardless of their years of study and experience – and my determination not to give anybody else the right to decide whether I would live or die that forced me out of my depression. You can’t be depressed and fight for your life at the same time. Both depression and that fight, take all you have and then some. I never took the decision to not be depressed; the depression had to slowly give way to my determination to prove my doctors wrong. It wasn’t even that I suddenly found the will to live; I just didn’t want to die for the wrong reasons.

It wasn’t easy. I was sick enough that the doctors advised my husband to fly my father in from Holland because they weren’t sure I would live. I was at least 15 kilo underweight. My feet were so swollen I couldn’t walk and my world was still a very dark place. I cried more in those three months than I’ve ever done before or since. But somewhere inside me was a spark that refused to go out. Something drove me on and gave me the strength to fight against what appeared to be insurmountable odds. I fought and I won. It took months before I could look at life and think it might be worth living again. But the seed was planted by one cousin who listened, one psychiatrist who took me seriously and two doctors who gave me a fight. The fuel came from my husband and daughter who visited me every single day of those three months and reminded me that they believed in me, loved me and wanted me in their lives. I will forever be grateful to all of them.

Before I go and leave this subject behind me, I want to say the following. My story is not typical and not meant as an example for anyone to follow. My depression was caused by the circumstances I was facing. It was the first time I dealt with depression and I haven’t faced the issue since. If there is a moral to this story it is that depression is something that can happen to all of us. And if I’ve learned anything from that episode in my life it is that I should listen to my body and work harder to find the help I need when I need it.

That’s all. Thank you for listening.