Category Archives: Personal Narratives

Finding Clarity in my Spiritual Health

Good morning Dear Reader, 

This week’s affirmation: 

“There is clarity within me and around me.”

This post will be a bit long so I apologize in advance. 

This post will also talk about me leaving the Christian faith. If this upsets you, I do apologize and suggest you not read any further. It is not my intention to upset or offend anyone. I am merely sharing my truth.  

I gave up institutionalized religion about 6 years ago as of this writing. I had been raised as a Christian and even as a kid there were many things that didn’t make sense to me. Things that couldn’t be rationalized or explained. Even in college, when I’d left home, I still felt like I needed to be a Christian. I did try to keep my faith. I tried to find a church, and I tried to find myself within the confines of Christianity. 

After some soul searching, I realized that it wasn’t that I had a problem with God. I had a problem with Christianity as a whole. Though I still believe in God, I worship very differently and I look at God differently too. In Christianity, He is built like a superhero with the following powers:

-He is all-knowing 

-He is without flaw

-He is all good 

-He is all-powerful

The problem with that for me is that it doesn’t make sense for all of those to be true while at the same time the world we live in exists. Some of the Christians I’ve met have rationalized that with “there’s a plan” or “the devil” or “it’s humans who are evil/it’s because we have free will”. 

However, for me, there is no way to rationalize to me how a being of ultimate power could allow children to be harmed. Somehow, people have made all sorts of arguments about adults hurting other adults. Infants and children should be protected and I can’t fathom that any sort of divine plan would include that. 

So, because we do live in a world where children are being violated and murdered that means a couple of things:

-God knows about it but cannot do anything.

-God doesn’t know about every case but would do something.

-God knows about it but chooses not to do anything. 

-God doesn’t know about it but even if he did, he couldn’t do anything. 

One thing God has been referenced to in the Bible is a Father and in churches, I’ve heard him proclaimed as the greatest Father you’ll ever have. However, I don’t know any parent who could standby while their child is being violated, tortured, or murdered. If humans are nowhere near as decent as God, and a regular human parent would do everything in their limited power to help,  then there is a greater expectation of a higher being to do something. 

I’d like to mention, I believe people should practice whatever religion they want. I’m by no means bashing it. It just isn’t the religion for me for those reasons. 

Personally, after studying the Bible, going to varied churches, and taking religious courses, I came to a different conclusion. I don’t think God is as involved as everyone believes him to be. To help you with your job interview while people sleep on the streets seems a little imbalanced to me. 

In 2014. I stumbled upon a book on paganism and witchcraft. The idea that we each have a personal power that we can use to improve our situation really stuck with me. I’ve seen too many dedicated Christians stay in situations they didn’t like because they were waiting for God to save them. However, there is a passage from the book of James that I’m reminded of:

“14 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” (James 2:14-17)

I don’t think that sitting and praying will help. I think God has given everyone some a little gift. The gift of personal power. We were created with everything we would need to succeed in this life. 

Nowadays, my spiritual practice is a combination of faiths. I take the parts that sit well with me to build and maintain my moral compass and personal code. I do consider myself Pagan and a Witch. I study Buddhist teachings, I read Psalms and Proverbs, I have even read some literature on Satanism.  Personally, I read a little of everything and anything.

I think faith like magick, is something that boosts the results of the work you’ve put in. When you have done all you can for something and things are out of your control, you have faith then. Religion is supposed to teach you how to navigate the world in a positive light. It’s supposed to teach you about humanity, love, justice, and discipline. At least in my eyes. I think God has many faces and can take many forms. Nature around us is God to me. Listening and resonating with the heartbeat of the Earth is how I feel close to God. 

My life has had many twists and turns. I by no means am perfect. I am always learning and growing and changing. Spiritually, I believe a little piece of divinity is in me. I believe I can tap into that divinity and achieve anything. I believe being a good person is important. That love and compassion are essential to life. 

In any case, I apologize for this post being so long but spiritual health is very important to me. 

Thank you for reading and have a great day. ^-^

Shannon M. 

If you’d like the book for yourself, you can find it on Amazon here. You can also visit Denise Linn’s website here.

Another great book that has some concepts of spirituality that I adopt in my practice is The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. You can find it on Amazon here or if you’re interested, you can use this link, for 2 months free with Scribd and read it there. 

Baby Steps

Good morning Dear Reader,

Something I have been trying to adopt recently is the idea that “something is better than nothing”.

I think perfectionists like myself get so caught up in making things fit the picture in our minds, we stumble before we even start. Personally, I spend so much time and mental energy taking an idea and dissecting it, seeing all the flaws and potential mishaps. Then I spend so much time dissecting those mishaps and troubleshooting ideas that haven’t even come into fruition.

I can’t edit a draft I don’t write.

I can’t improve something that only exists in my head.

A working copy of something is better than no copy at all.

Easier said than done but I’ve been actively working on that. Even a baby step forward is a step forward.

Every minute I spend on my blog, story, or writing job is a step forward. Which is good. Good job me!

I’m sure I’m not the only one experiencing this kind of feeling. I think that you can do it and I can do it. If we keep our eyes ahead and moving forward.

Warm Regards,


My Apologies

Good morning Dear Reader,

Sorry I haven’t updated in two days. I just moved into a new place and the last couple of days were especially hectic.

Even though it’s been a bit hard on me, I’m actuall6 happy to be free of my soul sucking apartment.

This new one is amazing. It’s near a trolley station, 5 grocery stores, and lots of eateries. We actually bought a table yesterday!! We didn’t have one at the old place.

I felt so motivated I did eight loads of laundry! (I had to wash everything I had including blankets). I actually dislike laundry quite alot.

We just got our internet yesterday too so now I’m also free from AT&T who are just awful by the way. I feel so cheated by them but now that’s in the past.

When I returned the key Monday night, a wave of relief washed over me.

Anyway, I hope to give many updates in the future.

Warm Regards,


Your own Pace

Good afternoon Dear Reader,

Story time.

When I was in high school, I really became enthralled in Japanese culture. The whole 9 yards: the food, culture, art, and language.

So in my family, drinking tea without sugar was unheard of. When I learned that Japanese people don’t drink sugar in their tea, I committed myself to stop drinking sweet tea.

It was super challenging but I did it in like 3-5 days. So I made a huge cup of tea and drank as much as I could stand before loading it up with sugar. The next time, I pushed myself further and further until I could drink it all without sugar. It became easier and easier with time. Now I actually can appreciate tea for its flavor and even have a tea collection.

So the point of this story is that I try to apply this to my life.

When I am working on myself and dealing with painful things, I jump right in up until it’s too much to bear. Then I push myself more and more until I’ve dealt with the obstacle.

So when battling my depression, some of my most painful memories where too hard to face. Sometimes though, you just have to face them head on. I have worked through a lot of my underlying traumas this way. Dealing with childhood issues and adult trauma is very difficult. I feel like I’ve healed from a lot of it with this approach.

Now, I won’t lie and say that I don’t have a long way to go. I battle dipping into a bad depression regularly. But, I know as long as I fight I can’t lose. As soon as I stop pressing forward, depression will drag me down.

If anyone does suffer from these sorts of difficult issues, I hope you can rely on me at least. Nothing is impossible and we can get better as long as we have hope

Hope is what kills depression. It’s your most important tool.

Warm Regards,


When I’m Stressed

Sometimes I am very tired or overly stressed. During that time, I give myself “guilt-free minutes”. That is 10-15 minutes to do what I need to get over the stress. That is either 10 extra minutes of sleep, 10 minutes of deep breathing, or even 10 minutes to cry.  It takes the pressure off and I remind myself that it’s okay to do.


Good Evening Dear Reader,

Lately I have been contemplating what really makes me, well, Me.

I’ve noticed that I’m a lot happier with my life as a whole, and memories and experiences don’t hurt as much as they used to. I’m experiencing a lot less anxiety and depressive episodes than I’m used to. I’m not sure if meditating has helped or if it’s just getting the things that I need.

Side note: I have literally written down a list of “Shannon’s Needs” and pretty much everything on that list is met.

In any case, all this meditating has led me to look inside. My new partner, Andrew, loves music. It’s his passion and when I see him making songs and beats, I see on his face how passionate about it he is…he makes time monthly if not weekly to dedicate to his passion…I can’t help myself both admiring and envying him a bit (even though I love him).

I feel like I’ve fallen out of my groove on a creative level, and that’s hard to deal with. I’ve been so consumed with working lately and being on the grind that I don’t have the energy or desire to fulfill my passions…and it kind of sucks.

That even makes me question, what am I even passionate about? I thought I was passionate about writing because it feels me with great joy and I can’t imaging my life without it…and yet, how can it be my passion when I’m living a writing-less life…I haven’t written any stories or fan fictions lately. I have been writing songs with Andrew and I do read daily to keep up my writing skills but it’s just not enough and I don’t know how to go from where I am now to where I want to be.

This is very frustrating Dear Reader. How can I be passionate about writing or drawing if I don’t do it? Is what you’re passionate about defined by what you do and enjoy the most? If so, am I just passionate about work since I dedicate my time to it and I enjoy it? I’m not sure and it certainly puts many doubts in my mind.

It is odd because I do have the deep desire to write my stories, but it seems like I never make time for it. I’m not sure if thats because I’m afraid I’m no good, or if inspiration has really left me.

I don’t want to be another person on this planet who leaves their dreams and passions behind just to work and such.

I want to live an enriching life where not only am I providing for my family’s needs but I’m also enriching my spirit with my passions. That is what I want, but for now I am lost and “just do it” hasn’t really been working for me lately.

I’m not sure how to get back into the groove…but I’m sure I will 🙂

Things tend to work themselves out so I won’t get too down about it.

Sorry to rant, but I felt like it was essential.

Before I go, I do want to give some advice. I have found meditating to be very beneficial and I recommend it. Set a timer and try for 5 mins then steadily work your way up to 20. 20 minutes is challenging to me right now but I want to keep at it. I feel like it has contributed to my improved mental state. I hope it works for you as well 🙂

Well I hope you have a good night Dear Reader, and I will post soon enough.


Shannon aka Diadora

Greetings-Fresh Start

Good Evening Dear Reader,

It feels good to be behind a keyboard yet again. I hope you all had peaceful holidays and are feeling well. Even though I don’t write as often as “ideal Shannon” would like to, it makes me all the more happier when I do start to write again.

So a few things that have been recent for me.

I’ve begun a new page in terms of spirituality. I’ve come to the conclusion that some of my issues including the depressive episode I experienced last year, may have originated from spiritual unrest. I’m dedicating this year to delve deeper into my spiritual side. I’ve also realized that some things that I believed in before, I don’t believe anymore and that’s hard to deal with. As long as I keep in my mind and heart that I need to search for my own truth, I think I’ll be okay though. I’ll keep you updated on this journey 🙂

Somethings that I learned at the end of 2014:

Things will be okay. Sometimes we go into periods where we feel lost and everything seems wrong or hopeless….but it’s not. It’s never hopeless. It may be dark for a little while, but the sun will rise tomorrow regardless. There were things that I needed to let go of last year. Fear, a broken and emotionally draining relationship, self-hatred and doubt. Even though it was a long process, I slowly replaced fear with hope, a broken relationship with a new and loving one, and self-hatred and doubt with understanding and patience. Things will be okay no matter what, remember that Dear Reader.

You know me enough by now to know that I get head over my heels with my goals, and of course I’ve set a mountain of resolutions that I’m technically behind on already. However! One idea that a co-worker gave me was something I’m calling “The Accomplishment Box”. He said to write down everything that I accomplish and put it into the box, then at the end of the year, review them all. I feel like for a person like me, who gets overwhelmed and who sets up too many goals, this is perfect. So I’m going to try to do that this year instead of mourning the loss of my unaccomplished resolutions.

I’d like to say, “I’m going to blog every week!” but let’s face it. We all know that will last maybe 1-2 weeks then I’ll end up writing an apologetic post haha. So, in order to avoid that, I suppose I’ll take the “Say it with your actions” approach and see how that works.

Honestly I don’t know what direction to take this blog in. I don’t know if I should start a new one, or rededicate it….I’m not sure how interesting my life would be for you. I need to find a cause…a reason to write but I’m not sure yet. When I do find that reason, I’ll be sure to edge the blog in that direction. For now I suppose, spirituality will be the focus.

Now, I’d like to make it clear that when I talk about Spirituality, I’m not necessarily going to talk about Christianity or the Christian God….I’m more so talking about spirituality in terms of the soul and it’s connection to the universe.

One thing that I’ve been doing is meditating. It’s so hard, but it’s so fulfilling. I’ve made it to 10 min without quitting! (That should go in my box) It’s a little easier to focus but my mind wanders so much that it’s challenging. I’ve been doing it a few days a week, and I have noticed that I’m more happy in general. I think that meditation is recommended across the board no matter what religion, I suppose it depends on what your intention is that makes it acceptable….So I suppose if you’re Christian, and felt its a slippery slope to paganism, if you’re meditating on Bible verses then it’s okay, right?

I don’t know. Personally, I try to focus my energy on repairing my emotional state, to mending my own heart and trying to change my core beliefs. I breathe in healing, love, understanding and breathe out sickness, hatred and judgement (in a form that other beings cannot absorb it) <—- I always add this part because I’m like “what if I’m breathing out all these negative things. and some other being breathes them out. That would suck so much for them” and the thought makes me feel really bad so I add this little thing.

Anywho, another thing I’ve been doing is stepping up my tea game. I’ve been going to specialty (haha) shops and getting whole leaves of different types of tea and using them for medicinal purposes. I love it and it’s been helpful in my opinion. For those who are depressed St. John’s Wort (in tea form) + Camomile is an amazing combination. I drink that a couple of days weekly and honestly, I haven’t had a glimpse of a depressive episode.

That’s not to say this is a cure, and I’m not a doctor or anything. Plus, I’ve been doing a combination of things. I changed my settings, my relationship, my habits and I’ve started meditating so it could be a combo of things that’s been helping me. On the other hand, it’s worth a shot if you’re up for it and it’s pretty inexpensive (a few dollars per oz and an oz will last awhile).

Well, that’s all I have for you for now Dear Reader 🙂 I hope you have a pleasant night and good vibes to you.

Until Next Time

Shannon aka Diadora

Week Four-New Things

Good Evening Again Dear Reader,

Last time I opened up to you about a past relationship that had been holding me back. This one will be about my current relationship and how that helps me. I’ll also explain more about that “Healing From Depression” goal I touched upon in the last post.

Let’s skip ahead.

First and foremost, I am a fast learner. So, after dating for a little while, I got some of those…what do you call them?…oh right, standards. I obtained some of those and decided what I want and what I don’t want. I settled down with someone recently and it has been awesome. I know what some of you may be thinking, “isn’t it too soon?” well for me no. When I wasn’t ready I didn’t date. When I was ready to date, I dated. Now I’m ready for a new relationship, so I’m in on. Time is irrelevant. Another thing about me is that even though said events are awful and devastatingly intense, I move on and bounce back very quickly.

Anyway, I’m taking this new relationship more seriously. I actually feel like an equal to this man and it is beyond  wonderful ^_^. We communicate like adults. He loves my body and actually makes me love it more (even the parts that I had been so ashamed about in the past). He inspires me to be better which is awesome.

Just wanted to share that little bit of happiness.

I am mentioning this because this man and my roommate have been trying to help me heal. They explain that I don’t need to carry the weight of the world on my shoulders and it’s okay to be who I am despite what others think.

I’ve been learning a lot from them and that has definitely put me in a better place. This challenge for example, is something that I am using to explore more about myself. I am learning everyday and I gaining a sense of self-worth. It’s awesome.

One thing that I think has helped is keeping positive influences in my circle (my roommate, my bf, my sorority sisters) and eliminating bad influences in my life because at the end of the day, this is MY life. I’m the only one who can live it, and it’s finite. I only have so much time and I don’t want to spend it depressed and on the edge of darkness. I know what brings me to that place so I have a list of things that either keep me from there or help me work through it.

Watching Batman has taught me to always have a plan and a back-up plan. In terms of my depression, I do have that. I won’t lie, sometimes, I turn to alcohol or I withdraw a little, but I am getting much better and I know how to work with myself to have more highs then lows.

One thing that is oddly helpful is wrestling. I know that sounds a little weird but for some reason, that definitely helps me get out my pent up negative feelings. I’ve been practicing with my roommate mostly and it’s really fun. Now, I kinda suck at it since I don’t know many moves but I have so much fun. I’m mentioning this point because everyone tells me that exercise will help my mood. Well, I hate running so doing something I hate probably won’t make me happier and I don’t have weights at home so I can’t have fun that way. However, wrestling is something that I enjoy and I can do in my living room and it is awesome ^_^ So, yea exercise helps, but it doesn’t have to be typical by any means. I mean, if climbing a tree makes you feel good, go climb every tree you can find as often as possible. 🙂

So yes, I do feel healed. I am more productive, have more energy, and am at peace a lot of the times. Peace is priceless so I am very glad to be experiencing it more often.

On Facebook, I’m working on a page called “Depression Wellness Toolbox”. It’s not ready yet, but I want to use it so I can share things that you can keep in your own wellness toolbox (like GRAPES) to help you on those darker days.

This post is a little shorter so I do apologize and I hope you found it helpful. Have a good evening Dear Reader.

Until Next Time,


Week Three-Reflection on The Past

Good Evening Dear Reader,

This post is a little late so sorry about that. It’s a reflection on week three of my 30 Day challenge.

So, I may have mentioned earlier this year that one of my goals for this year was to “Heal From My Depression”. I feel like at this point, it took all year but I have. Let me tell you how that happened.

One of the hardest things I dealt with this past year was breaking up with my boyfriend of 3 years in mid April. It was challenging because I gave my 110% to a man who not only did not appreciate me, but also cheated on and emotionally abused me. After being free from that I realize how much that took out of me.

I won’t name this person Dear Reader but in all honesty, I loved him through it all. Despite the tears and the way that his words crushed me at times I stuck through it…until I found out he was cheating. What bothered me the most about it is that I always tried to make our relationship better. If he didn’t like how I did things, I did them differently. When he didn’t like how “fat” I had gotten, I tried to lose weight. When his mother openly told me to “go kill myself” in February of last year and he told me to get over it, I succeeded (in this past March actually). As well as many other sometimes emotionally cruel things.

My friends asked me many times when they’d see me cry about something he’d said or did “why are you with him?” and at the time I would say “because I love him”. That was true. I did love him…at the same time I was afraid. I was afraid that I’d be broken if we ever broke up. I was afraid that no one would want me (especially since I lost my virginity to this man) or that it would be possible for anyone else to love me.

I’m sharing my story with you only because I want to caution anyone who is in a relationship like that.

If your significant other, makes you feel like you have to change, that is NOT okay.

If they degrade you or make you feel like something is wrong with you, that is NOT okay.

If they use your emotional triggers against you in order to manipulate you, that is NOT okay.

If they touch you in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable and won’t stop when asked, that is NEVER okay.

Even if they express kindness towards you, even if they tell you they love you (which may be true), these things are absolutely NOT okay. If they do these things and you talk to them and they will not stop doing them, you need to leave. You know why? Because you are better than that. I don’t care who you are, you don’t deserve to be put down, or made to feel ugly, or used, or abused. Everyone deserves genuine kindness and love. Point. Blank. Period.

In any case, I was afraid to leave because I wasn’t sure if I could handle it. When I found out about the cheating, that was the last straw for me and I broke up with him without thinking. He never apologized or gave an explanation. He came to collect his tv and his car. I told him that I would give him his things and not fight or argue with him, as long as he gave me an explanation. Instead of answering my questions, he called the police because I “wouldn’t give him his stuff back”. When the school police came (I lived on campus at the time) they talked with me and I let my ex take his things. The officer was very nice to me and explained that sometimes people don’t appreciate what they have and he told me I deserved better. That was comforting because, I won’t lie, the moments afterwards were awful…the officer called the school counselor for me and that was a big help because I needed extra support.

This was the suckiest time for this to happen because it was my last semester in college. I was already struggling to not only complete that semester’s work but also some work from the previous semester (you may recall in Sept-Dec when things got really bad for me hence the CBT program) so I really didn’t need heartbreak on the menu. I remember the first 3 weeks I couldn’t really sleep or eat, I left multiple class periods in tears, and I had one of my sorority sisters sleep over every night to make sure I would be okay. It was awful…but I held on because it was temporary. Everyone kept saying it was temporary. I knew in my head that was true but my heart was hurting.

What ultimately helped was contacting my support team. Individuals in my life who said they would be there for me. I talked with them, tried really really hard not to withdraw, and did nice things for myself. GRAPES and anime helped alot too be honest.

In the summer, I decided to date again. It was only 2 months afterwards but I needed the confidence boost because apparently, I am very hot. I am desirable and people think that I’m cute. Not going to lie, this was a shock to find out that people wanted to date me. It was awesome. It’s funny because one thing that would always be asked was “why are you single” and when I said it was due to my man cheating on me, the response was always “he must be stupid”. I found that amusing….at the same time I realize, I am a good woman. I’m a good girlfriend, I am passionate, I am amazing and I deserve a lot more than what I had been getting up until that point.

My dad says that I need to take what I can from my previous relationship and learn.

I wont’ say that there wasn’t any good in it because there was a lot of good, at the same time, I wasn’t happy a lot of the time and I’m learning to put myself first.

Next post, I’ll tell you about more recent events. 🙂

Summary of what I’ve learned.

-I’m awesome.

-I deserve love and kindness.

-No man should treat me like a doormat or an emotional punching bag.

-I’m awesome.

-I need to take better care of myself.


I hope you find strength in this Dear Reader 🙂



Week Two-Forgiveness

Hello Dear Reader,

This is the second week of my 30 Day Challenge. It’s day 10 for me.

I am admittedly frustrated because I wanted to blog daily. That was my goal and my intention was set…and yet that hasn’t been happening. What’s ironic is that many times I sit with my phone or my Ipad and try to write but can’t think of anything to post…

Some days I have so much to say (like now and the last two posts) but it isn’t always, you know?

I don’t know what this means.

The depressed and anxious me, which I will name Sandra just for the heck of it, is saying that I’m a failure because I haven’t done what I’ve set out to do. Also, what’s the point of continuing since I’ve already failed, so she says.

Pause. This business of giving the different sides of myself names is slightly empowering.

Like when someone says “one part of me says ____ while another side of me says ____” why not give a name to those two sides? I don’t know but that seems like a good idea to me.

It’s oddly satisfying but also effective for me to name these sides so that I can better understand myself, my mannerisms, and work with myself. Is that weird? Well maybe, but I guess whatever works right?

I’d also like to note that, this behavior may be mistaken due to certain stigma for BPD, (borderline personality disorder) and this is not the case and I apologize if it offends anyway.

So please indulge me Dear Reader for this slight quirk so that I may feel a little empowered for a little while longer.

Now that that’s established, I think I shall assign the name Diadora to the me that comes out when I blog and write. I confidently share my story and am much more authentic and self-loving.

Anywho, Diadora says that it’s okay and I should write when the inspiration hits. She tells me that writing weekly is a more achievable goal. Maybe if I change my goal to “Blog More” or “Blog Weekly” will be more obtainable and prevent Sandra from coming out. Furthermore, I have the right to change or alter my goals so it’s not a big deal. I’m not a failure for not

I like this idea and I’m going to just roll with it. Maybe “Blog Weekly” is a much better goal.

So, what makes me able to be okay with the fact that I hadn’t posted everyday and did not achieve that goal is:

1. Changing the goal

2. Changing my posts during the challenge to say “Week ___” vesus “Day ___” (for some reason the latter comes with some anxiety)

I think that even though I may going about this in a seemingly weird way, it’s important to note that sometimes we hold ourselves to rigid standards. Those standards can contribute to depressive feelings and so we have to try to be more gentle and forgiving with ourselves.

This may or may not be helpful, but my therapist would sometimes ask:

“If you’re friend did what you just did, would you react the same way?”

So would I be upset with my friend for not blogging daily?

No, I would be upset or call them a failure. I would tell a friend that it’s okay. I would tell that friend that just because they didn’t blog everyday, that didn’t make them a failure.

I’d also tell them that the whole point of setting that goal was to ultimately blog more, so as long as they were blogging more regularly (monthly instead of every 3 months or weekly instead of monthly) they were meeting that underlying goal.

Even just writing that out makes me feel better and less anxious so that’s good.

I hope that helps even a little 🙂 I will write soon. I hope you have a pleasant day Dear Reader.