Two of my favourite ladies in one place. I love Hastywords’ Be Real series, today she is featuring the amazing Julie Anderson.


I am truly honored to have Julie Anderson as my #BeReal guest today. 



“To live exuberantly–to fully know and be fully known by another—we must be prepared to illuminate the dark spots in our most intimate relationships and in our selves.”

–Arianna Huffington, On Becoming Fearless

When I was a little girl I dreamed big. I spent my days and nights wondering and dreaming about the future. What would I become, who I would be? Whatever it held for me, it was going to be magnificent. This I always knew.

 I dreamed big.

Visualizing my world of magnificence, it was a world free from pain and isolation. I was an outsider always looking in. An outsider who wondering why I could not speak for myself, did not have a voice, have a presence or the strength to commit to my convictions.

At 17, my ticket to ride magically…

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To My Daughters on International Women’s Day


I know you’re scared; but I need you to know that it’s okay to be scared. I’m going to tell you something that I’ve wanted to tell you for a long time now. I have a secret: Being scared is a good thing.

That excited sizzle in the air right before you get up in front of the school to sing, without the scared in your belly, that electric anticipation may not be as strong. You see, scared often goes hand in hand with excited.

Right now you’re living a life of Firsts. That’s a pretty tall order for anyone, so you feel like you’re always scared. Attempting something for the first time can be scary, but wow, what memories you have made, and you’re no longer scared to do those things that you’ve already done. Scared likes to show up when we’re anticipating something, we often bring scared about all by ourselves, you’re learning that now.

I’ve seen how people have made you feel scared, and I don’t like that for you. But I am in awe of you because of it. When you are scared of hurting someone else that shows me what a lovely, compassionate girl you are. Your scared has made me proud.

Scared is never going to go away. In fact, scared may get bigger as you grow, and that’s okay too. Because when that happens, scared brings her friend Brave along with her, and Brave is glorious.

Some people in this world are going to tell you how you are supposed to feel, act, or be. And you, My Sweet Girl, are going to get very scared. Your tummy will knot and you will feel sick. You’ll become stuck to the spot you’re standing on-completely unable to move. Your mind will start to race with thoughts, unbelievable thoughts that will flash so quickly that you will only catch snippets of them. And your voice, you will be certain that you have lost your voice forever, but here’s the thing-YOU HAVEN’T. Dig down deep My Love, your voice will not fail you, it may falter but it will rise with the strength of your conviction. You may be scared but you are also brave, and your voice matters, it’s time to use it now.

You must understand that you can feel, act, and be however you choose; no one has the right to tell you otherwise. Embrace your brave, for you are fierce, and there is nobody who can take that away from you.

You are remarkable and I know you don’t like to be scared, but you can never let it stop you. I’ve always got your back, and I’ll lend you my voice anytime you need it.

I love you,


Anonymously Beautiful Minds

I am so pleased to welcome the extraordinarily talented Nausicaa Twila to The Lithium Chronicles.

I compartmentalize things.
Yes, that’s right.
Like a soldier.
Like they teach you in FBI training.

I know this only from movies and from the show “Alias”; but it must be so in real life too.  We have small packaged rooms for our feelings. And they must not ever overlap. That would cause chaos, inner pandemonium.

We must be able to be happy without mixing it with despair. Or must we simply be real?

My writing is my space to create a mixture. A little of these feelings, a little of those…all from different rooms in my mind.  Creating a cocktail of feelings. Nameless emotions. New breeds of thought…inner pandemonium, released…

I can’t do it all the time, or else, I may cry openly to the cashier or collapse in the middle of the sidewalk or lay down in the library gazing at the books and ceiling.  It’s not appropriate and I am aware of that much. These are the feelings I keep in padded rooms within my psyche.

One day
Maybe I will be able to be the rainbow that I am
Maddeningly real….

Until then, I will keep these green eyes shining with redemption for the locked up peices of all the anonymously beautiful minds…

~Nausicaa Twila ©


Nausicaa Twila is a Canadian Based author and poet who focuses on many subjects of the soul including the resilience and hope of the human spirit. She has written 4 books of poetry: the Beautiful Minds Anonymous Poetic Trilogy and Chronicles From Another Reality. Find her on Facebook:
Nausicaa Twila
Beautiful Minds Anonymous
Chronicles From Another Reality

My Days Are Numbered


My moods have been predetermined and prescribed.
Seven tiny compartments measure my days.
Pink and orange match the sunrise
and taste bitter with my coffee.
I chase them with water so they
mellow in my blood,
as if water can render toxic harmless.
Yellow sticks in my throat every morning,
and steals my happiness before it can shine.
White dissolves under my tongue,
it can’t get in fast enough,
the impatient little fucker.
If white is late, I start to itch.
Blue makes me saddest of all.
Without blue, the rest is just candy,
and I will never sleep again.
I’m always packing a rainbow wherever I go.

The Trick Question – Stephanie Bennett-Henry



The dreaded question you will hear throughout your life is well intended,

but the meaning changes over time,

and sometimes that changes what the answer would have been.

“Are you okay?” 

Answer it now, like an honesty bomb just blew from your mouth, as if you

have never been coached to answer in anyway other than with a heart filled with


“Are you okay?” asked by the parent whose breath is laced with genuine concern for

your young child self, when answering is easy.  After all, it’s just a question, and

you’ve yet to learn the answer can be a backfire

that burns a hole across your innocence.

“Are you okay” is attached to an annoying thread, dangling through your teenage

years, when you start to see a caption above the question where difficult eyes

roll.  “Are you okay?  Or are you just being dramatic?”  

Your heart takes note of the hinted condition sewed into the well intended question,

like a blanket that no longer warms you, because it’s filled with holes.

No one likes dramatic.  Don’t cause problems.  The correct answer, by now, is

programmed into your skin like a microchip that ends all the worry with a simple

statement, followed by a simple period.

“I am fine.”  But you’re not fine. You never were fine, and it’s no secret.  Just an

unwritten rule from the book of political correctness that says, “it’s not okay to blurt

out your problems, and it’s not alright to be who you are, you emotional, hysterical

basket case.”  I Am Fine is a big tattoo across the front teeth of that fake smile that

forgot how not to lie.  I Am Fine is the package of yourself sold short.  The

discounted worth of you can be anything you want to be.

Entering adulthood, “Are you okay?” is recognized as a bullet you know you can

dodge, and you do, by simply saying, “yes, I am fine.”  

That was easy, until next time. But next time may be a while, so you have time to

load your answer into the chamber of someone else’s heart,

with the ammunition of what they want to hear.

“I am Fine” is a noose around your neck, but listen closely, because that noose is still

loose enough to mutter the words, “No, I am not fine.”

There’s not one damn thing wrong with your truth. There’s nothing wrong with

saying how you feel and being who you are.

It doesn’t make you weak.

Weak is saying what the world expects you to say.

“I Am Fine” is bullshit. It offends me.

It should be banned.

Start from the beginning again and fill in the blank of “I Am _______”

with anything but fine.

Start with Brave.


©Stephanie Bennett-Henry


You can connect with Stephanie on Raging Rhetoric, and find her exquisite writing on Stephanie Bennett-Henry, Instagram, Twitter, and on her website.


“I spent five days looking up ways to kill myself.”

A brave and beautiful post.

Open Thought Vortex

Content warning. * By Shareen Mansfield*

I spent five days looking up ways to kill myself.

I had the drugs on hand, prescribed to me for the pain related to my chronic, life threatening illness which was ironically not the reason I wanted to die. I was careful, I researched my death at length. I performed nursing calculations. I looked on websites for autopsy reports of prescribed medication overdoses. I scoured the internet, library and bookstores looking for a way to sleep and never wake up.

I did a test. I took the maximum amount I could swallow about a half hour after taking a medication that prevents vomiting. It stayed down. I made myself vomit by chugging vodka — the only alcoholic beverage that makes my gag reflex work. I threw up for over an hour that day. I never got high or drunk. I didn’t give the…

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The Ugly Truth

Stephanie Bennett-Henry and I crossed paths a few of years ago and we clicked immediately. She is the owner of the immensely popular super page, Raging Rhetoric; where she first began debuting her stunning poetry to the delight of her fans.


Stephanie is a southern girl through and through, sweet as candy, sharp as a blade, and talented beyond measure. Her poetry is raw, unfiltered, and unforgettable. You can find it on Facebook at Stephanie Bennett Henry

I am thrilled to welcome Stephanie Bennett-Henry to The Lithium Chronicles.

The Ugly Truth

We have to sugarcoat our madness

with ribbons of sweet metaphors

to make the dosage of us less ugly.

But it’s not any prettier for me

and it’s not any fucking prettier for you.

It’s just easier to swallow when it’s

wrapped in a fluffy fantasy land

of clouds and birds and god dammit,

one of these days…

you’re gonna see me fly.

Until then, call me crazy.

I’ve earned that title from all the times

I’ve had to tone it down.

All the times I’ve had to fluff it up.

All the times I’ve smiled for someone else,

despite myself.

All the times I’ve had to hear

about happiness being a choice,

positive thoughts, let it go…

let it go… smile.

And I think to myself…

if it were that easy,

the mental health industry

wouldn’t be rolling in billions

of dollars, you stupid fuck.

Of course I wouldn’t say that

out loud…

I know better.

This madness has grown wild in me.

I get tangled in my own chaos.

It’s the only home I know.

Stephanie Bennett-Henry©SL


You can find Stephanie’s exquisite writing on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Super Secret Surprise!! Breaking News!!!

Congratulations to Jess.

BP Hope chose very well, I encourage you all to follow Jess’ journey on this new endeavour.

Get it, Girl!

The Bipolar Compass

Ready. Set. Sail!

So far so good. I have to say that this is the longest I’ve been Stable in God knows how long. Years. Either it’s Depression or Mania with me. NOT THIS TIME!! I have been Stable for a solid 3 weeks. Thank God! That’s seriously the longest amount of time I haven’t felt undeniably horny or overwhelmingly distraught. I love it. I can think clearly and basically there is no sign of Mania on the horizon. I’m not bored either. Well. Work has been slow so there’s that. Other than that, no drama.

I want to just say how amazing this is. I want to treasure this while it lasts. God I don’t want to go back up again. I know I said that already but I mean it. It’s more trouble than it’s worth.

The only problem I keep facing is the constant reminders of what…

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Rights, Wrongs and The Sanctity of Life

It started with a simple tweet where I expressed my opinion in regard to the hundreds that I saw where people were screaming, “more guns”, “shoot back”, “arm the country”; and it turned into the pistol packers calling me everything from “vapid” to a baby killer. Wait, what? A baby killer? Apparently it’s completely okay to shout loud and proud all about gun rights but calling for gun control makes you “just as bad as the killer.”



Look, I’m not talking about banning guns, FFS, but let’s do some math here. Now you’re going to need to give me a minute, math has never been my best subject.


2015 Gun deaths in America – a fucking lot.


2015 Gun deaths in Canada – too many, but not even on the radar compared to America.


Why such a difference? Because Canada has some gun control, granted it’s not the best gun control but it’s there. For instance I couldn’t purchase a gun. Why not you ask? Because I have a diagnosed mental illness, it’s called bipolar disorder. While I’m 100% sure I’m not going to take a gun and go on a shooting rampage, my government is going to double down and make damn sure I wont, and I’m good with that.


Guns are a necessity in this world and I wouldn’t dream of taking them away from responsible owners. My family are hunters and my father proudly displays his trophies from the skeet shooting tournaments that he’s won. Where does he keep his guns? Locked the fuck away where no one can see them or access them.


Safety first.


Now the most amusing hate that I received from that single tweet was from the people that popped up to randomly ask me if I believed in a woman’s RIGHT to choose. If you must know, of course I do. That’s when I was called a baby killer.


How come every time one of these shootings occur the people screaming about their rights to guns also scream that a woman has no rights over her own body? I’m not trying to take your rights away, why are you insisting on taking mine?


Closed minds open mouths.

Warm regards,




Here’s a word from my friend Sarah Fader, one of the women whose rights you would choose to take away. Take it away, Sarah:


In 2002 I had an abortion. Thankfully I was able to have it in the safety of a doctor’s office. I have many friends who have had abortions at Planned Parenthood or other clinics – and that is their right.  When a woman walks into a clinic she has the right to safety.


Here’s a scenario- a woman is walking into a medical clinic, gets shot and dies. I just want to know – how does the right to bear arms trump the sanctity of this woman’s life? The pro-life activists would argue that she was a “baby killer” and she deserved to die. They fail to see the hypocrisy in that statement.


  1. Having an abortion is not killing a baby. It is terminating a collection of cells.
  2. It’s never morally okay to kill an innocent person, such as a woman walking into a medical clinic for a routine procedure.


You heard me right – abortion is a routine procedure and women have a right to do what they want with their own bodies.


If a woman wants to have an abortion she doesn’t have to explain her reasoning to you.


Human life is sacred and the way to preserve it is to start placing firmer regulations on gun control in America. Stop selling guns at Walmart and start doing background checks on people who wish to buy firearms. Do they have a violent criminal history? Well, then don’t sell them a gun.


Change starts now.


Sandy Hook, Columbine, Kalamazoo, San Bernardino, Planned Parenthood…should I go on?


How many children have to die before we regulate guns?





Sarah Fader is the flavor vanilla with something unusual in it – like gummy bears, because she’s sometimes extroverted and wants everybody to like her, but some folks are like “wait a minute, this vanilla ice cream has gummy bears in it?! That’s weird. I don’t know about that…” Other people love that this particular ice cream has gummy bears in it, because it makes it more interesting and special. She blogs for The Huffington Post and writes a column called Panic Life for Psychology Today. She has been seen in the media in The Wall Street Journal, HuffPost Live, Good Day New York and Fox News. Sarah is the Founder and CEO of the mental health non-profit Stigma Fighters  Follow her on Twitter

Why I’m Not A Total Piece of Shit

This is exceptional. Thank you, Byron Hamel and thank you Trigger Points.

I am in absoute awe of Byron and I thank the Universe for souls like his.

Trigger Points: Childhood Abuse Survivors Experiences of Parenting

In searching for fathers to contribute to the Trigger Points Anthology, I came across Byron’s blog Trauma Dad. As soon as I finished reading his post I Am A Killer, I emailed him because I felt compelled to help him share his voice as far and wide as I could. Although he was unable to contribute to the anthology, he has remained a friend to the Trigger Points community. Good things are happening for Byron and I am so thrilled that he has chosen to share an excerpt from his upcoming book I Am a Killer for the #SurvivorsEmpoweringSurvivors series.


“I think “I Am A Killer” will help people.  More than that, I think the raw acknowledgement of my corrupt instincts, and how I turn them into positive action, will help stop people from being abusers, and will help them come to love themselves.” ~Byron Hamel


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