I realized I don’t discuss my first book often on this site. The title of my book came from my own revised definition of what I thought of a Unicorn. I believe a Unicorn can be a person. A Unicorn is a unique person. A person who thinks outside the box. They make people happy. They encourage others to live by the beat of their own drum.
My first book, Just A Unicorn, is the whole reason why I created this site in the first place. I created this site to help promote my books (especially my first one) but yet I don’t really promote my books. I decided I wanted to share some tidbits from the book before this year ends. In March 2022, I will do a month of posts dedicated to the book.
We only have a few more days in this year, so I want to really encourage people to read the book. I worked very hard on my book and to want it to reach as many people as possible. My book was self-published and it’s not perfect. I had researched traditional publishers, but eventually realized I could just publish it myself. I wouldn’t necessarily encourage everyone to self-publish. I will be honest about that now. It’s hard work. It is extremely time-consuming.
Anyone who is interested in self-publishing needs to know from the minute you decide to self-publish, it becomes your second job just to promote it. It’s a job. It’s a job to write, produce, and then actually promote the work. It is a job that never ends. Promotion is the name of the game. You basically have to take the book everywhere because now it’s your sole job to market it to everyone. I say all of that to say it’s been one of the most rewarding projects of my life! This book saved my life.
The book became a passion project for me starting in late 2016. I was really struggling that year. In late 2016 my life fell apart.
Everything around me in late 2016 was destroyed. I contributed to some of the destruction but was scared to admit what I did wrong. All of my fears, insecurities, anger, selfish ways, self-harm…everything led to what occurred in the last half of that year. I won’t go into what all transpired to lead to the destruction, but what I will say is that what came out of it was a book.
My first book was birthed from complete despair. I wrote the book to heal myself but didn’t mean to publish it. I never meant to reveal my story to the public. I had always said I would never publish a book about my life. I had zero interest in telling my story for others to read it.
The complete truth is that someone died.
I had started to write the book but kept setting it aside. Again, at this point, I wasn’t writing anything for the public. What happened is that I was working a contract job that was about to end. I really enjoyed my job but understood when I accepted it that it was only meant to last a certain period of time. They did not have a permanent position for me. I was going to have to start looking for work AGAIN! I was so sad.
I enjoyed everyone I worked with at this job. Everyone was always telling me to check and make sure there were no other positions because they didn’t want to let me go. I didn’t want to go either. Well, at this temporary job I met a really friendly lady who owned a cleaning business. She would come in every day and clean the building. She told me the first day she saw me there was something about me…she just liked my smile. She noticed I always kept smiling no matter what was going on. She also noticed I always carried my book with me. The book I was reading at the time was called The Shack by William Paul Young.
One day she asked me about the book. She had heard a little bit about the book and wanted to know if I liked it. I told her I liked it so far. I hadn’t finished it yet. I told her the book was hard for me to read. The subject matter was hard to read and it was taking me longer than usual to finish it. She knew enough about the book to know it had Christian themes in it. She asked me about my own thoughts about Christianity. I told her about it. I won’t go into detail about our conversation. What I will say is what she said next is what stuck with me.
I didn’t know how to respond. The person I was back then isn’t the person I am now. I didn’t know how to ask her the right questions back then. I didn’t know how to dig deeper and find out what was really behind that question.
So, I just said I’m sure God knows what’s going on. That’s why I always pray. That’s all. It was all I said. She smiled and said “thank you. Thank you for talking with me about this.” She left and I went back to working on another task.
I couldn’t sleep that night. I didn’t feel like what I told her sounded like enough. I felt bad. I told myself I would say more when I saw her again.
I went to work the next morning and my supervisor made a beeline toward me. She said, “Lisa, _____ passed away last night. She died of a heroin overdose. She had been clean and just relapsed. I’m so sorry to tell you this.” I just shook my head “no”. I kept shaking my head in disbelief. We both cried. I couldn’t stop thinking about the daughter she left behind. Her daughter was 19.
I can’t say anymore because it still hurts. I blamed myself for not saying or doing enough to help. This incident is what made me realize I have to help people. There are a lot of people out in the world hurting. I need to be ready to help. I told myself I would dedicate my life to not running anymore. My life now is to serve. I want to be a servant of God. I want to help people who I know hurt like I used to hurt.
I used to self-harm. I didn’t do it through drugs, alcohol, or sex but in other ways. My goal in life is to save as many people as I can. I’m not a doctor or nurse so the best way I can help is through my words. This is why I wrote my book.
Excerpt from Just A Unicorn’s Chapter 1 – Fear
Fear captures us by the throat and doesn’t show mercy. It engulfs us like a wildfire. In the midst of our anguish, we hang on to the hope that if we could just fight off the flames, we will be heroes.
Even heroes have fears. No one likes to admit that when they are afraid. Fear is seen as a weakness. Fear is a liability. Most of us do not want to talk about our fears for two reasons.
(1) One of the reasons is because we believe people will look down on us for our fear(s) of choice. Yes, fear is a choice most of the time. It is natural to want people to think nothing bothers you. (2) The second reason is that we believe if people knew what we were afraid of they would use it against us.
Vulnerability is not a weakness. It is an honest feeling. It is the most honest feeling you will ever experience. This is also why it scares people. Anything that forces people to look in the mirror and truly examine themselves is frightening. Our reflection staring back at us in the mirror is our truth. Some people think it is easier to run from their truth. They would rather exist in the fantasy they created for themselves.
I wanted to share this at the end of the year because I want to offer someone hope. It gets better. I promise! In a few days, we will have a new year. A new year to build a better version of ourselves. A new year to dream. A new year to invest in ourselves. This is my prayer for everyone in 2022!
Peace and Blessings!