A Woman's Voice


Book Reviews & Interviews ~ Up The “Down” Ladder

Drip…Drop…the reality of Depression and its Devastating Consequences!
rain drop

You are an inspirational author. What made you decide this?

I have found that one of the most difficult things in life, for me and probably for many other people as well, is to embrace our own weaknesses and shortcomings. Our basic human nature is created with faults, foibles, and frailties. It is not to say that we don’t have many wonderful and desirable traits, but we seldom want to admit to some of the less complimentary ones, not even to ourselves.

I have discovered that when I honestly acknowledge and embrace my own weaknesses, they actually have less power over me and my actions. It’s when I refuse to admit my personal weaknesses that I come up short in being the true Christian I desire to be. In essence, the more aware I am of my flaws, the more able I am to control what I say and do.

It took me years to be honest and open about suffering from depression. Depression doesn’t always fall into the same category or receive the same compassion that physical illnesses do. Based on my experience, I still notice that many people are still very reluctant to openly discuss that they suffer from depression because it is considered to be a form of mental illness. I decided that it was time to “come clean” in order to help educate others in an effort to, not only help those who suffer from depression, but to better educate and inform people who are exposed to those who do.

It has been this realization that sparked my decision to journey down the path of writing and I haven’t looked back. I know in my heart it was the right way to go and this desire has been the inspiration behind all my writing…to help others.

Why did you include a Foreword for your book, Up the “Down” Ladder?

My daughter Andrea Cockerill honored me by writing the Foreword for my book. She has been a great inspiration to me. She writes about her opinion of me as her mother, and the influence I’ve had on her, not only as a young child, but as an adult and mother herself.

My editor suggested this little extra endorsement for my books. She felt that when publishing inspirational books, a Foreword creates an opportunity to get to know the author a little better through the eyes of another person who knows the author personally and can vouch for what they are writing about. I am very blessed that my daughter accepted to write this heart warming note on my behalf. Who could possibly know me better than my own family…?

Each chapter of the book begins with a quote. Was there a sole reason for sharing them?

All four of my inspirational books are chock full of quotes. To say “I love quotes” doesn’t quite cut it…I feel even stronger than that about the ones that apply to me and my life. This is one of the reasons why I do. Stretching yourself mentally can come in all forms. Although I enjoy reading and playing bridge, one of the forms of mental exercise I especially enjoy is in puzzle form. Over the years, I have taken great pleasure in developing my puzzle solving skills. The more I solve these puzzles, the better I get at it. The better I get at it, the better I feel about myself. My favorite puzzles to solve are crosswords and crypto quotes. Although they all bring me pleasure, the puzzle that has enhanced my life the most is the crypto quote. This quote is encoded by mixing up all the letters of the alphabet to mean a different letter in the quote. By figuring out which letter stands for which, you can eventually decode the quote of the puzzle. Each time the code is different.

I feel that I have been doubly blessed by having both the desire and the ability to do these puzzles. First of all, it makes me feel somewhat intelligent to be able to do them. Secondly and even more importantly, most of the quotes that I have saved and savored over the years are from these puzzles. Most of these wise sayings come from some of the greatest thinkers that have ever lived or still live today.

Many of them have been said or written by some pretty sage people like Einstein, Confucius, numerous writers, philosophers, past presidents, and the like, which are too numerous to mention by name here. I have had the double pleasure of not only solving these puzzles, but I’ve personally gained from their sagacity…I am a mere student at their feet soaking up their words of wisdom. It’s these words that I am trying to incorporate into my writing for the benefit of all. It is virtually impossible to express the strength and courage I discovered when heeding the words of these great people.

I read in the book that you suffered from depression. How did you overcome it and how will this book help those who are currently battling depression?

Yes I have suffered from depression and still do at times even today. Depression is usually a cyclical disorder and can come back to haunt the individual. In my book I go into full detail explaining the steps I took to better cope with this often misunderstood illness and the debilitating effects it can have on the person suffering from it.

Depression has a long reach and can also affect the people who love the depressed person. To say that a person can “snap out” of this state of despair does a disservice to those that suffer from it. However, I know from personal experience that a depressed person can help themselves if or when they make a conscious decision to do so. This is what my inspirational book is all about…the deep desire to encourage others to get help in order to better cope. I learned to embrace my illness and not to wish it away…it is an intimate part of me and my personal being but it no longer controls me.

Why did you want to publish “Up the ‘Down’ Ladder?” What message did you want to share and what do you hope people will gain from it?

I feel we basically learn from our own lessons and can only guide and inspire others based on those very lessons if they have the desire to learn from them and embrace what we have to share. Depression has a range of being mild, to moderate, to a more severe form known as a major depression. Some people call this form clinical depression. Many people experience what is considered to be the normal down times in their lives as well as others who suffer from mild to moderate depression. The effects of a major depression usually create a devastation that does not allow you to function within your normal routine. I suffered from the devastation of the latter form because I was unable to continue to work at my teaching career when I was experiencing the depression.

Essentially the message I am trying to give people is that of “hope”. I’m sharing my experiences with as many people as possible in order to be a witness to others so that they can have “hope” as well. Eventually my depression became like a new beginning for me. It gave me the opportunity to learn from my experiences and the desire to share those experiences by becoming an author.

What has the feedback been like to this book?

The feedback from this book has been very positive. In fact, it is my best selling book thus far. Depression is far more prevalent than most people realize. In the past, many people, including me, felt that they were alone in their suffering. By reading books on this topic, people become more aware that it’s okay to admit to their illness and to seek the help that they need. There is no longer the need to suffer in silence.

Now that I have found my voice, I want to share it with everyone who will hear/listen to me. I want sufferers of depression to know that they are not alone. It is wise to be patient and give yourself time to heal…because it does take time. It has been my experience that when you see glimmers of light, you will have new hope, and with new hope, you will find a new and happier life.

You have written four inspirational books, thus far. How does it make you feel?

It makes me feel like I have and can make a difference in other people’s lives. The reason I have chosen to reach out to others in this way is to demonstrate where I started in my healing process, what I’ve been through, what I’ve learned, and where I am today. It’s to show how far I’ve come. All those years ago, I thought I had something to say, but I didn’t know quite how to say it or exactly what to say. I just couldn’t seem to find the right words. The biggest and most profound step for me, however, was finding the courage to discuss my depression. In my deepest despair, I never thought this day would come because I was so ashamed of myself and my feelings of failure and inadequacy/inferiority. Today, I am full of joy to have found the inspiration, the strength, and the desire to write so openly about my feelings.

Over twenty-five years ago, when I was at a very low point in my life, the first thing I wanted to do when I got back on my feet was to try and prevent someone else from experiencing what I had gone through. For those of you that have suffered from any kind of depression, there is no need to explain why. For those of you living with a depressed person, there is also no need to explain why. The impact on your life and the lives of those around is beyond words. Initially, I wanted to write my recipe for better life coping skills for anyone who would be prepared to read it. As the years went by and my own children got older, married, and eventually started their own families, the reason for writing the recipe shifted to them. Once I completed my first book, it then shifted back to embrace a wider audience, and I ended up where I started off. I decided to return to my original plan and share it with as many people as possible.
http://www.amazon.com/Up-The-Down-Ladder-ebook/dp/B007K8QO28/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1378330758&sr=1-3

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Up The “Down” Ladder by Author Dolores Ayotte

Up The “Down” Ladder special promotion…now 99 cents for one week only!
May 9-16th.

Synopsis
…I’ve noticed something else in my travels. At times, the recollection of what happened to us to cause our depression can be skewed. It can build up in our minds as being much worse than what really occurred. It is only human to want to “pay back” others for what we think they did and for the grief that they caused.

If someone was really mean-spirited toward you and caused you nothing but grief, I repeat, the best way to “get even” is to “get better”. Remove your invisible “kick me” sign and don’t allow anyone to get the better of you. Stop… and I do mean stop allowing people to put you down. It seems to be a human flaw that if someone feels lousy, someone else will capitalize on it. I hope that you read me loud and clear on this matter because I can’t stress it enough. Work everyday at building up your self-esteem and your self-confidence. Make this the basis of your “new you” structure.

http://www.amazon.com/Up-The-Down-Ladder-ebook/dp/B007K8QO28/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1378330758&sr=1-3

Book Reviews ~ Up The “Down” Ladder

I’ve read two other books by this author, “I’m Not Perfect and It’s Okay”, and, “Growing Up and Liking It”. They didn’t disappoint and neither did this one. If you’re depressed, come on in. Sit a spell. Talk with an author who has been there and knows what she’s talking about. She backs up what she has to say with quotes. Her humor is anything but depressing. Her books aren’t your usual jargon. You might even want to jot down a few notes as you read. One thing is for sure, you won’t leave the books feeling the same before you started reading. She’s practical, down-to-earth, fun, and funny.

If you haven’t read one of her books yet, I suggest selecting which one you want to start with and take that first step up the rung of the ladder. They’re a wonderful stress-free read to empower you to fight your own battle with depression and win. Check out her author page, her books, and her reviews. You’ll be glad you did. The author says she was at the bottom of the ladder herself when she decided to take a first step up the ladder, which is how she came up with the title for this book. Each chapter begins with a special quote. This isn’t just another self-help book, it’s one in which the author uses her own life experiences and writes in a conversational tone to help others who may be experiencing the same stress that taught her to take that first step up the ladder and keep climbing.

By Author B.J. Robinson
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007K8QO28

Book Reviews ~ Up The “Down” Ladder

Dolores Ayotte’s nonfiction book “Up The “Down” Ladder – Simple Ideas to Overcome Depression is a Breakthrough Masterpiece! As a Chemical Dependency – Lifestyle Disorder Councilor who interned at Woodview Calabasas Psychiatric Hospital’s dually diagnosed Chemical Dependency Unit, I can attest that usually in every generation there is new information that points to new theories. However, having worked in the system and then as a lay councilor for Freemont Community Church, discovered that the most valuable information is dispensed by those caring individuals who having overcome reach out a hand, say a word, show the way while sharing their personal experiences. Where once people did this as a natural and right thing to do more and more today’s mind set of `suck it up’ and `look good at all times not matter what it costs’ has created an environment where the norm is to look good no matter what!

Into this dismal abyss steps a women who sees herself as an ordinary person, who has had some experiences others might learn from. Dolores Ayotte does not tell us how to avoid life issues, she celebrates them! In reading her take we see that choices shape our world. This is clearly illustrated by the bank that wanted people to progress. Management meet with each employee to map out a year by year strategy so each employee could become self-actualizing. And a curious thing happened! Many who claimed to want to advance left. Why? Because for some…or in some situations it’s easier to `want’ than `do.’

Up The “Down” Ladder is a small book loaded with life changes examples gleaned from the author’s experiences, and I for one, found them affirming, and if implemented when ready, you might perhaps view them to be as, or even more, valuable than seeing a therapist who might prescribe medication so you don’t have to do the work, tell you that what you’re going through is Normal, or suggest that it’s someone else’s fault. All of these options have been tried and not worked. If they had we would be feeling better not worse.

No! What is needed is a Truthsayer who has nothing to prove or gain from telling it like `it’ is…if that’s what you’re looking for this book is a must read. But before you begin, I must suggest that you read a little and be kind to yourself as if you were your own best friend. For this is not a book to be rushed through because change that last’s takes time. It took you a while to get where you are… a while to realize that it’s not where you want to be. Now gift yourself the time to become the you, you wish to be.

Just as some of those who groused because they wanted to advance discovered, when the opportunity was available, that they didn’t really want to, your voyage of discovery may take you to places you never imagined and show you things about yourself you never knew. Yet, I can promise you this after reading this amazing book, you will always be in charge, you will be respected and affirmed. And in the end you will be able to say with happy conviction, “You get to be you, and I get to be me!” Although this simple statement might sound ludicrous, true health is achieved when one knows and likes themself, and supports others as they strive to become who they want to be for it is in moving from wanting to becoming that we arrive!

by Author Paula Rose Michelson
http://www.amazon.com/Up-The-Down-Ladder-ebook/dp/B007K8QO28/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1378330758&sr=1-3

MEMORY LANE ~ Having a Bad Day ~ September 29, 2011 by Dolores Ayotte

Posted in MEMORY LANE by doloresayotte on September 29, 2011
Tags: , , , ,

INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES AND ANECDOTES

I want to share a cute little story with you to demonstrate how simple it is to turn your life around one step at a time.  Many years ago when I was working downtown in a major mall, oftentimes, I would go shopping during my lunch hour.  This mall consisted of many businesses, retail stores, restaurants, and pretty well everything working people might want at their fingertips.

This particular day, I was having one of my “off” days. We all have these kinds of days now and again, but this one was particularly bad.  I decided I would go walking in the mall because I wasn’t what one might consider to be “good company” in this rather foul mood of mine.

As I was walking along, I was wondering what I could do to cheer myself up and make for a better day.  When I finally reached a section of the mall that had an outside door, I noticed a somewhat bedraggled man sifting through the sand in one of the big ashtrays near the door.  There was no smoking allowed in this huge underground mall so anyone that came through the door had to “butt out”.

It was obvious to me that this poor man was searching for the longest butts in the ashtray so he could have a few good puffs.  By the way he was dressed and by his actions, it was apparent to me he could not afford to buy his own cigarettes. Just looking at him and what he was doing made me forget all about my woes and my bad day.

As I focused on him a light bulb went on in my head and I decided to do a good deed.  I went up to him and gently asked him to wait right where he was standing.  He looked up at me and nodded his head in agreement.

I turned around and went into a nearby drugstore and bought a large package of cigarettes and some matches.  This was a time when smoking wasn’t as frowned upon as it is today. After purchasing the cigarettes, I quickly walked back to where the man was standing and handed him my recent purchase, receipt and all.  I didn’t want anyone to think he had stolen the cigarettes should he be seen with them.  I suggested that he enjoy his gift and perhaps share them with some of his friends.  He was very pleased, but what he said after that, changed my mood for the day and many days afterward.

This was a Monday, and Mondays can be kind of blue at times, just as it was for me that day.  When this less fortunate man thanked me for the cigarettes, he quickly added, “What are you doing next Monday?”  I almost laughed out loud because I found his question so surprising and somewhat amusing. He completely caught me off guard. He was planning on meeting me there as often as possible, perhaps every Monday if I was willing.  It was such a cute response.  I couldn’t help but smile at him, as I told him that this was just a spontaneous, one time occurrence and I just wanted to make his day.

In essence the exact opposite thing happened, he made mine instead.  By reaching out to someone with a greater need than my own and giving in such a small way, it made me realize that it truly is better to give than receive.  I was given so much that precious day because even after all these years, it still brings a smile to my face.  By doing what I did, I discovered that “no one is in charge of your happiness but you”. (Regina Brett)

This little story reminded me of how fortunate I really was and how by going out of my way to make a less fortunate person have a good day, it actually ended up creating a better one for me.  You really cannot give away a kindness in life.

The pleasure that this man had on his face was a hugely rewarding experience.  He was very grateful and he thanked me for my kindness but it was me who should have been thanking him for getting me out of my own funk.  He was the one being kind because he made me smile and brought so much happiness back into to my life that blue Monday by showing his gratefulness.

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QUOTES AND ANECDOTES

You may be dead broke and that’s a reality, but in spirit you may be brimming over with optimism, joy, and energy. The reality of your life may result from many outside factors, none of which you have control. Your attitudes, however, reflect the ways in which you evaluate what is happening.”  (H. Stanley Judd)

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