I’m a writer without words. How do you start a post about the impact of depression on your life when it’s so ingrained in your existence you didn’t recognize it for years? It just was. Like eye color or a brain tumor. Nowhere and everywhere, it was the invisible cloud in the mirror, reflecting back a distorted image that often had more power than the truth. It told lies I believed. Even cheated by saving its worst assaults for when I was already down. I keep saying “was” but that’s not right. Is. Depression is. A constant battle that thrives in the darkness and fuels its endless appetite with hopelessness and self-fulfilling spirals.
But depression is a liar. That also means the distorted mirror can’t stand against the real truth: that incredible beauty can come out of the darkness when we expose it to the light.
Several years ago depression stole a foothold in my life. This wasn’t a drive-by blow with a few nasty glances in the lying mirror like in the past. It dug in, built its fortress, and claimed every aspect of my life until I was a shell of what I should have been. Physically, mentally, and spiritually I was a walking, talking, performing puppet of myself.
And almost no one knew.
That’s the mirror, right? We have one too. We wield it with precision, desperate in our attempt to hide the truth with more lies. For what? To protect ourselves, we think, but really, we’re protecting the lies because what happens when we all wear them? What happens when we give depression the darkness it craves?
The better question is, what would happen if we collectively chose to stop wearing the lies and shoved depression into the light?
The more open I’ve been about my story, the more connections I’ve made with people who struggle like I do. The more open I am about my pain, the more it’s become normal for me to say “I’m having a dark day” and have those who love me understand what that means for me and for them.
Transparency: that’s the weapon—with ourselves most of all.
We need to understand our depression, recognize it, and take back our true beauty by exposing it as a part of us, but not ALL of us.
It wants us alone, so we need to build connections.
It wants us ignorant, so we need to confront it.
It wants the dark, so we keep blasting it with light until it becomes the hollow shell it tries to make us.
Music and writing have always been part of my journey and played a huge role in my recovery from that particularly dark time in my life.
I shared my book NIGHT SHIFTS BLACK with the world in hope that maybe someone else would be touched by the words and find that spark of light in the darkness.
It's incredible to think that the small blossom of beauty that came out of my pain has had such a positive impact on others. You and I may never meet, never even have a conversation, but I hope my words (and the original song that inspired the book) can spark a connection between us anyway.
Each connection is another win for the light.
Each honest conversation, another blow to the dark.
I hope you’ll consider fighting with me to smash the vicious lying mirrors that trap us, and instead, let the light reflect back the beautiful, tragic works of art that we are.
For more on the bestselling book NIGHT SHIFTS BLACK
FREE on Kindle Unlimited
For the original song “Greetings from the Inside”:
YouTube ➤ http://bit.ly/2eLIltV
Amazon ➤ http://amzn.to/29zh892
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
This May, as in the past, I’m participating in the 7th Annual Mental Health Awareness Month Book Fundraiser benefiting the Keith Milano Memorial Fund at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
For the 7th year, an amazing group of authors have generously agreed to donate a portion of their May sales to the Keith Milano Memorial Fund.
Here is how you can help raise money and awareness for mental health:
➜You can purchase NIGHT SHIFTS BLACK or any of a host of amazing books (see full list here)! We hope you will #1click4charity a number of these amazing books! Please note that although many are Amazon Kindle links, the portion of sales is from any platform: digital, print and audio.
➜Share the images the participating authors share on social media to raise awareness and to show your support.
➜Make a tax-deductible donation directly to the Keith Milano Memorial Fund at AFSP ➜http://bit.ly/MilanoFund
Thank you in advance for your support as we work to bring mental illness out of the darkness.
Keith Milano Memorial Fund
140 Adams Ave Suite B-12
Hauppauge NY 11788
Direct Donation ➜http://bit.ly/MilanoFund
LIMELIGHT is now on audio!!
Narrator Zachary Webber is simply stunning in this powerful story of troubled rocker Jesse Everett. LIMELIGHT follows the emotional journey of a young tortured genius fighting to come to terms with his demons—and the tempting woman who ruined his life.
➤ Narrated by Zachary Webber
#1 New Release in Literary Romance (e-book, 2018)
Audible US ➤ https://adbl.co/2Zm1cle
Amazon US ➤ https://amzn.to/2XvDK3p
Audible UK ➤ https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Limelight-Audiobook/B07QMTLG82
Amazon UK ➤ https://www.amazon.co.uk/Limelight-NSB-Book-Alyson-Santos-ebook/dp/B07BFMV9C
For extended excerpts:
YouTube PLAYLIST ➤ https://bit.ly/2vlfhSl
SoundCloud PLAYLIST ➤ https://bit.ly/2U5FI8v
"Alyson's writing is gorgeous: passionately poetic; brutally, yet delicately, descriptive; strikingly raw; and insanely sexy." - Kim Holden, bestselling author
"An engaging, emotional, and evocative masterpiece." - e.s. carter, bestselling author
“Jesse Everett will capture your heart from his very first tortured word.” – J. Bengtsson, author of The Cake Series.
NIGHT SHIFTS BLACK | AUDIOBOOK
TRAITOR has a brand new cover and is available EVERYWHERE!
He's not just a player...he's the game.
Amazon → https://amzn.to/2JrQlRv
iBooks → https://apple.co/2sHjEFz
Nook → http://bit.ly/2JaxcUR
Kobo → http://bit.ly/2JywBMp
"Gorgeous. Mesmerizing. Riveting. Alyson Santos has created a sucker-punch of a love story that claims space in my head months after I finished it. "Traitor" is like reading with 3D goggles on, and Kaleb Novelli fills the pages with his fierce kindness and absolutely luminous personality. This is a five-star must-read if there ever was one. I dare you to dig in."
- Sunniva Dee, Bestselling Author
They may be refugees but Andie Sorenson never chose to flee when government forces abduct her to the “safety” of a military-operated compound. Caught in an ugly civil war no one understands, she’s now a number, a uniform, her future reduced to three stale meals a day with the strangers who share her fate. She’s nothing, no one—until a random act of compassion and an electric smile turn her prison into a refuge.
It’s his eyes, his heart, his beautiful soul drowning in an ocean of secrets. Lance Corporal Kaleb Novelli is an enigma, but with each plunge through another layer, Andie finds herself captured in a way she never imagined. She knows they have no future. They can’t even have a present, but that doesn’t stop her heart from committing to a man she can never have. The only one she trusts in this battle of lies and manipulation.
But they’ve found their paradise in hell, and she can’t shake the feeling that Kaleb Novelli is not just a player. He’s the game.
This novel is a work of fiction and intended for mature readers. Events and persons depicted are of a fictional nature and use language, make choices, and face situations inappropriate for younger readers.
** RELEASE UPDATE **
Due to an undefined "technical difficulty" on Amazon's part, the Kindle book has not released yet. We are doing everything we can to resolve it. I'm desperate to share this story with you.
Subscribe here to receive a release alert:
LIMELIGHT | MAR 12, 2018
LIMELIGHT (NSB #4) is the highly anticipated story of troubled musical prodigy Jesse Everett. We thought we knew him. We were wrong. Release date: March 12, 2018. Cover reveal: February 16, 2018.
A genius, an underachiever.
I’m the song, the voice, the passion, the pain.
I am failure.
I do music because it’s what I am, but sometimes that’s not enough.
A slave to my nature, I wait for it to show mercy and drop a gift in my lap.
Because the music chose me.
I’m its victim not its gift.
She destroyed my career.
Ruined my life.
Pushed me from the shadows and exposed my lies.
She’s the fire that destroys lesser men,
and now her flames are aimed at me.
She loves to watch me burn,
but the part we never saw coming?
Sometimes it takes a fire to ignite a spark
And slay the darkness.
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∞ FIRST TIME SALE & $25 Amazon GC ∞
Experience the book that started it all for only $.99.
Night Shifts Black is on sale for a limited time. Free in KU.
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1RbpLc8
Enter to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/8144e5392/?
Original Song: “Greetings from the Inside”