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$100 pledged of $25,000 goal
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By Elzbieta Pettingill
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About this project

  

************************* Despite what modern medicine tells us, depression CAN be overcome. ‘Life Realized’ is a personal memoir in which the author shares how she was able to turn her life around, despite suffering for decades from depression, abuse and suicidal tendencies. Please help support the promotion of this story and join me in helping to save – and inspire - precious lives! *************************

Hi Everyone! 

My name is Elzbieta. I was born and raised in Poland, but since the age of eighteen, I've lived all over the world. 

It is not my purpose to use this wonderful platform to brag about my accomplishments though. I'd rather talk about my deepest emotional scars... I believe that we all have a lot more to offer to others when we choose to be sometimes even brutally honest, instead of trying to make it look as if we got it all... There is no one on this Planet who's got it all... and thank God for that!

Approximately eight years ago, I attended a free seminar in LA. The seminar-organizers were offering free three-nights lodging at a nice hotel for the attendees, so I took their offer, and I drove from Mojave Desert to the City of Angels. 

As it turned out, I wasn't the only one who got herself lured by the idea of enjoying a long weekend without spending any money. Four thousand people showed up for this free event! 

Throughout the entire seminar, which lasted three full days, we were asked to take numerous breaks, so our brains could stay fresh (more receptive, of course, to what the organizers were trying to sell). On those breaks, the atmosphere was purposely energized by a loud music coming from a big speakers. Not able to resist the rhythm, I jumped on the stage and I started to dance. Immediately, I was followed by the other attendees who started to dance on the stage around me. This was taking place on every single break. With a blissful smile on my face, and while moving my body freely, I quickly became sort of like a sensation. 

Towards the end of the seminar, the host invited volunteers to share on the stage something personal, and something that we felt grateful for. I joined the line that formed around the microphone. When it was my turn, I took the microphone, and I told the four thousand people that were starting at me, that I felt grateful to be alive. I briefly explained that I had survived despite that fact of being hospitalized several times for intentional overdose on sleeping pills. 

For a moment, everyone in the audience remained speechless. No one seemed to dare to make even a slightest move. Then, all at once, the entire crowd stood up. I watched them applauding with not just their hands, but what it looked like to me; their entire postures. I remained in shock, while starting to realize the effect that my confession had made on all these people. 

When I left the stage, immediately I found myself surrounded by numerous people. They all seemed very eager to hand me their business cards. Everyone seemed to want to let me know how moved they were by me, and by what I've shared so openly on the podium. Some lady had even invited me to appear on her local, live TV show as a guest speaker, which I did later in the evening. Some movie producer shared her interest in making a movie based on my life and my story. 

All this experience was pretty amazing - I won't lie - but not nearly as amazing as what happened next.

In the midst of all this commotion, caused by the attention I was getting, I was pulled aside by a young girl. She had a pale look on her face, as if she just saw a ghost. She appeared  to me as someone unable to contain excitement. Her words seemed to be leaving her vocal cords too slow to follow her aroused mind. 

"Oh my god! Oh my god! I have to tell you something!" 

She kept talking while at the same time trying to direct me towards the corner, in an attempt to hide both of us from the curiosity of others. When we finally reached some privacy, she told me few things about herself. She was 18 years old and she came to this seminar with her boyfriend to celebrate their last 3 days on this Planet. 

The young couple had felt depressed and hopeless for quite some time. Neither of them had a job and they've been living here and there, on whoever's couch they've been allowed to sleep on. Fed up with the world and the life they've been forced to endure, the two teenagers had decided to end their lives together. They've had came to a dreadful conclusion that after the seminar, the best thing for them to do, was to jump of the bridge. 

I found out that the two teenagers had already picked the time and the river where the crossover would take place. The girl explained to me that the free seminar was the only reason that the two of them were still in their bodies.. Since the seminar offered free lodging, they've decided to postpone their deadly plan, and to enjoy their last three days on this planet. 

And that's how our roads crossed... 

"When you were dancing on that stage, I've been watching you and I've been hating you the whole time!" The girl continued with explaining everything to me.

"I was so irritated by you. I was like, what a fu**ing bitch! Look at her, dancing all day long, all happy, and all that. If I was as beautiful as she is, I'd be dancing too! She's probably some spoiled, rich girl who never had to work in her entire life. If I had her life, I'd be jumping like that too. And then, you got up on the stage, and you said what you said. At that very moment when you finished talking, I suddenly saw a black cloud, sort of like a black Soul or something, that was floating away from me and my boyfriend! I'm not kidding you. Look at me, I still have goosebumps on my skin!" She kept shaking while I kept staring at her completely speechless.  

"And so then, I knew we weren't going to jump of that bridge. You've saved our lives! By being so honest, by sharing what you've shared you've literally saved two lives today. That's not even all. After that dark shade disappeared somewhere in the ceiling, I looked at your face. You were still standing on that stage but you didn't look the same anymore. Your face was glowing and you looked like an Angel! I'm  not kidding you, - you didn't even look human to me! The energy around you was so beautiful, and you were soooo beautiful, that I can't even describe it! I just felt like I had to tell you all this." 

This amazing experience had taught me that we can indeed help those who are feeling hopeless to the point of considering suicide. We can share openly our own heartaches, and by doing so we let others know that they are not alone.

I love the saying I saw on my facebook news-feed one day: "People will learn a lot more from your scars than your trophies." It says it all. I love it so much indeed that I typed those words on one of my pictures: 

Clicking on image will take you to my website, TheGiftOfDepression.blogspot.com
Clicking on image will take you to my website, TheGiftOfDepression.blogspot.com

I derive my biggest pleasure in life through helping those who are the most vulnerable to encounter rejection from others. Having had to struggle with major depression and suicidal tendencies for over three decades, I know "a little" bit what it feels like to be excluded, pushed away, and about being harshly judged by the rest of the world...

It brings a tingling sensation around my heart to know that something I did, or said, had a positive effect on someone who needed to be lifted up. It makes my own struggle that I had to go through that much more worthwhile. 

That's why 4 years ago ( oops..now that I think of it - it was actually already 6 years ago) I placed my butt on a chair and I begun to type my memoir, which later on I titled "Life Realized." I've poured my heart into my project, while trying to disregard how painful it can be having to write about intimate, not always flattering details. Later on, I've encounter the already so familiar to me rejection. This time it was coming from publishers. So I decided to self-publish my book, and I did....

To preview and/or purchase my book, visit my Amazon's storefront by clicking on the image
To preview and/or purchase my book, visit my Amazon's storefront by clicking on the image

In my book I don't tell you how to overcome depression, I do that on my website where you can read about it for free: http://thegiftofdepression.blogspot.com/

My book is not a self-help book; it's a memoir written somewhat in a novel-like style. I merely share with the reader my story in it, and I do it as openly as I know how to. My hope is that it will serve as a comfort blanket for anyone who feels lonely due to depression, or other hardships brought by life. Also, that it will bring inspiration and encouragement for anyone who needs it, and who wants to turn their life around... 

Here is a description of my book written by Andy Whiteley, Editor and Co-Founder of Wake Up World:

"Elzbieta Pettingill is more than a survivor, she’s a thriver!

After suffering from rape and abuse in her childhood, Elzbieta battled with severe depression and suicidal tendencies for 30 years. Let down by the medical and psychological establishments, Elzbieta finally realized that only she could change her mind. Now ‘self realized’, she has learned to use her suffering as an engine to propel her towards not only finding a cure for her ongoing depression, but to understanding who she really is – and who we ALL are – on a much broader spiritual level.

Her journey took her around the globe, in a constant search of true happiness. Ultimately though, through the brave and determined examination of her outer and her inner self, she finally learned to accept herself, and in doing so, transformed herself and her life in ways she never believed possible. She found home. And through her book, she tells her inspiring story in hopes she might help others to do the same.

Open, honest and vulnerable, Elzbieta’s account of her personal experiences, and the lessons she learned along the way, is both uplifting and enlightening. ‘Life Realized‘ isn’t just your average memoir, it is a story of a true shift in spiritual awareness. It is Elzbieta’s testimony that, no matter what life throws at us, no matter what circumstances we find ourselves in, no matter what, we are always LOVED… even if it seems to be the exact opposite. 

‘Life Realized’ is available now on Amazon.com. A highly recommended read!"

To make my book available to readers world-wide, on sites like Amazon and Barns&Nobles among others, I purchased a Global Distribution package (it cost me $50) from the print-on-demand publisher that I picked. Everything else I did was free of charge. Currently I make approximately $2 per each book sold. 

And here is where I need help, and why I decided to utilize this wonderful website, of which I had no clue it existed, until I heard Stephen Colbert mentioning it on his show...

Other than writing articles on overcoming depression etc. for a website called Wake-Up-World (click on the link to read one of my most read and shared article http://wakeup-world.com/2013/10/19/depression-and-spiritual-awakening-womans-story-of-overcoming-abuse-and-depression-through-the-practice-of-conscious-forgiveness/) as well as writing and posting blogs on my own website, I really run out of the ideas on how to promote my book with no money. (By the way, the article mentioned above describes in details my life's journey in search for happiness, as well as my experience with dealing and overcoming my severe depression.)

Few weeks ago, one of my readers from Trinidad who had been affected by depression, sent me a message. Half-jokingly and half-seriously she expressed to me how mad she was at me for not letting her know sooner that my website and my book existed. We became friends since then, and I learned a lot from her about the powerful effect my writing has on those who suffer from depression especially.

This finally gave me a bigger incentive to turn Life Realized into an international bestseller. 

My goal is not only to make money (which is a big bonus of course) while helping others, but to also re-revolutionize the entire system of mental health care. I want my story to help with abolishing all the bad stigmas associated with any "mental disorder." 

To anyone who would even try to discourage me, I'd say: "Hey, go big - or go home, right?"

I've dedicated six long years of my life to this project and I realized that now it's the time to invite others to make the final goal a reality. I realize that I can't, nor do I need to do everything by myself. The world is full of wonderful people (like you - yes, you!) who are more than willing and more than capable of extending their helpful hand. 

So I'm asking you: Will you be part of this project? Will you help me turn Life Realized into a bestseller? 

Perhaps you can start by pledging whatever amount you're comfortable with. Additionally, if your strength is in using social medias, perhaps you can help by spreading the word, by sharing this page etc. Are you an expert on marketing? Then maybe you could offer some suggestions to me as well. If you decide to purchase my book for yourself or your loved one, the profit from it will also go towards reaching the final goal. Are you a publisher? And yes, I would consider making a fair deal with you. 

Or, you could keep bugging Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert by sending them messages or tweets, while insisting that they should have me on their shows asap! (Those two guys are my favorite TV hosts/comedians.) 

In case anyone would have a hard time picturing me on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, here, I photo-shopped a picture that might help with it: 

And "here I am" on The Colbert Report, having coffee with Stephen while discussing the important topic that depression is...

Click on this link to Tweet to Jon Stewart: https://twitter.com/TheDailyShow

Click on this link to Tweet to Stephen Colbert: https://twitter.com/StephenAtHome

I am actually very excited that I finally decided to reach out to others for assistance. I love when different people, from different walks in life get together to work in unity towards a goal/mission! 

So, here is what still needs to be done: 

  • The final combined revenue will enable me to promote my book/website more aggressively, while using marketing tools such as Google and Facebook Sponsor Ads for example. 
  • It will allow me to send printed copies of Life Realized for book reviews. 
  • It will enable me to arrange book signing events and to travel across the United States to get there.  
  • It will make it easier for me to stay focus 24/7 on reaching the goal and making sure that no one ever will have a reason to send me a message saying: "Why didn't I know of it sooner???" :)

As you're trying to decide whether to support my project, enjoy the video below that shows a little bit more of how it is to work with me. The video was shot in Kenya few years ago, where I went all by myself, without any charitable organization to back me up, and with $400 only in my pocket. I didn't even have a return plane ticket, nor did I take any anti-malaria shots prior to taking the trip to Africa. I was on a very limited budget. Well, actually I was completely broke when I went there... However, I did eventually managed to finish my project there. Today those once-homeless children that you see in the video, live in their own house, on their own land... And they have their own school too... (All of which is described in the book) 

And let's remember: when we help someone else - we help ourselves. When we help saving someone's life - we save our own! 

August 11, 2014

It made me real sad to find out that my favorite actor Robin Williams took his own life today. 

It actually brought anger in me. WHY? Why so many wonderful people have to leave so prematurely? 

When will this end? When will the world start talking openly about depression and suicide? When will mental issues stop causing embarrassment? 

When will depressed people stop being judged, criticized, pushed away by others, and over all stop being considered to be such buzz-killers??? 

Robin Williams, through your movies you made me laugh real hard in times when I needed it the most. Thank you. 

I wish you didn't have to go so soon. Perhaps it's crazy of me to think that -- but maybe you did what you did -- to help with waking up us all.....

Risks and challenges

For those whose who choose the rewards of receiving the paperback copy of my book in the mail: I will do everything that's in my power to make sure you'll get your book on time. Just keep in mind please that I'll be ordering the book from the publisher first, then signing it for you, and then finally mailing it to your address. Since I live in Hawaii (the end of the world...) shipping to and from here usually takes a little bit longer, so please don't stress out yourself, or the mail-man with constant questions like: "Dude, where is my package?" I'll be posting the updates here regularly too, to keep you guys informed. :)

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    Please visit the Updates link that's above the video for more detailed description. Look for Update # 2... :)

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    Receive a personalized, addressed to you only (not automated) thank you email from me.

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    Have a cup of coffee with me at Starbucks (that's if you live on Oahu, or if you decide to come to Hawaii where I live.) And of course, autographed copy of Life Realized included.

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- (21 days)