Category Archives: Celebrities

Refuting the Lie: How I Fought Depression and Kicked its Ass for Good!

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Dear Friends,

Mariel Hemingway, granddaughter of legendary writer, is one of the most fascinating people on the planet, in my humble opinion.  My life has been extraordinarily impacted by my mother’s suicide.  It rocked my world to the core.  However, I have had to carry the burden of just one suicide.  One is certainly enough, but Mariel has experienced at least 7, that she is aware of.  I simply cannot imagine how one could bear so much.

The most frightful thing about suicide in my immediately family for me was the terror and the gut-wrenching, incessant feeling of impending doom that suicide was my fate.  I saw it as this sort of tangible darkness that was just waiting in the rafters to eat me alive.  I thought I couldn’t get away from it…ever  And, do you know how many health professionals  told me that my risk of suicide was dramatically increased because of my mother’s suicide?  Why?  Why did so many people tell me this?  I mean, had any of them ever heard of the term self-fulfilling prophecy?

I don’t mind going on record to tell you that the majority of this blog has been dedicated to gloom and doom.  I’m sincerely sorry for that and thankful for the support that you all so beautifully and unselfishly gave me. I honestly don’t even know how long it’s been since my last post.  Do you know why?  It’s entirely because I am blissfully well and happy for the first time in my entire life.   I experienced true healing: body, mind, and soul.  I have truly been delivered and set free from the bondage of unspeakable fear.

My depression had been present since March of 2010 when a remarkably tough and insanely unfair even happened in my life.  However, from October 2012-March 2013, I was in the grips of a severe and seemingly unyielding clinical depression.  I was literally at the precipice of death.  I could barely get out of bed to use the restroom.  My hygiene even suffered.  Bar none, it was the bottom of the bottom for me.  I could barely make a fist at times.  And I was so scared.  I have never been more afraid, particularly for my children.

I fought like hell to get well.  I worked harder than I’ve ever worked in my entire life.  A immeasurable part of the healing process came from the work I did at Onsite Workshops, in Cumberland Furnace, Tennessee.  You can bet that I will write much more about this remarkably amazing, cathartic, mystical place… Right now, however, I just want you to know that I am no longer afraid.  I no longer live in constant, crippling fear and anxiety.  I know that I am NOT  now nor will I ever be a statistic.

I am no longer depressed.  I keep ahead of depression spiritually by praying, meditating, simplifying, expressing abundant gratitude, and not allowing myself to cultivate negative thoughts.  I work overtime to think positive, life-giving thoughts.  I keep ahead of depression emotionally by truly loving and honoring myself, avoiding toxic people who are psychic vampires, not allowing anyone to abuse me in any fashion, setting and keeping healthy boundaries, and by focusing on the people who have eternal significance in my life (as opposed to those who seek to harm me).  And I keep ahead of depression physically by putting healthy, non-processed foods in my body (particularly fresh fruits and vegetables), taking my Juice Plus+ (which I never intend to live without again), and exercising regularly in a way that I love and enjoy.

NO ONE, AND I MEAN ABSOLUTELY NO ONE “HAS” TO ALLOW ANY SORT OF MENTAL ILLNESS TO DEFINE THEM.

I think that each and every one of you should watch this short video. It would sincerely mean so much to me if you did.  We all need to become advocates for those suffering in silence with mental illnesses and/or addiction.  It’s time to talk about the elephant in the room!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kov2ZHrA04w

All my love,

Ava Elizabeth Wisdom 

Bradley Cooper Speaks Out About Mental Illness

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Bradley Cooper Speaks Out in National Dialogue on Mental Illness

By Bob Carolla, NAMI Director of Media Relations

More than a mere entertainer!

More than a mere entertainer!

Academy Award nominee Bradley Cooper, star of Silver Linings Playbook, didn’t know much about mental illness before he made the film.

Since then, the movie has been nominated for five Academy Awards, including every acting category, the first motion picture in over 30 years to earn that distinction. In the process, the movie has become a powerful vehicle for advancing a national dialogue on mental illness (Award winners will be revealed announced on Feb.24).

“I was ignorant,” Cooper said at a press conference on Feb.1, sponsored by the Center for American Progress in Washington, D.C., in which Andrew Sperling, NAMI’s director of federal advocacy participated.

In the movie, Cooper plays a young man living with bipolar disorder, who has lost his job, his house and his marriage. He is released from a state psychiatric hospital and returns home to live with his parents and begin to rebuild his life. His father, played by Robert DeNiro, lives with obsessive-compulsive disorder.

The film reflects family dynamics to which many people can easily relate. Mental disorders seem secondary and gradually fade into the background. Just as one out of every four American adults lives with mental illness in real life, the movie presents symptoms as just one more part of a family’s experience. It does not trivialize them nor make them the butt of jokes in what is nonetheless an often hilarious comedy.

At the press conference, Cooper described the process through which he learned that mental illness is a common thread in many people’s lives.

Discussions about the movie’s plot and characters set the stage. Revelations of personal connections followed. Matthew Quick, the author of the novel on which the film is based, struggles with depression. The movie’s director, David O. Russell, has a son who lives with mental illness.

Cooper learned for the first time that one of his friends lives with bipolar disorder, a fact he had never known before. After ignorance came empathy, he said. The challenge then was to take action.

“The one thing I can do is raise awareness.”

“Don’t walk away from people with mental illness. Don’t be scared.”

U.S. Senator Debbie Stebenow (D-Mich.) who participated in the press conference told of her father’s struggle with bipolar disorder in the 1960s, before lithium was found to be a mood stabilizer. “We didn’t know,” she said. “We didn’t understand.”

“But today we’re at a moment of change.”

“Changing attitudes leads to social change,” said former U.S. Rep Patrick Kennedy (D-Rhode Island), who lives with bipolar disorder. “It doesn’t have to come from government.”

One of the lessons of Silver Lining Playbook is that “the power of family” is a vital force for transformation—a fact that Sperling noted is reflected in NAMI’s Family-to-Family Education program.

Love, acceptance and being embraced by a community are key both to recovery and breaking down barriers of stigma. Looking ahead to the Academy Awards and beyond, let the national dialogue continue.

(source: http://www.nami.org/template.cfm?Section=Top_Story&template=%2FContentManagement%2FContentDisplay.cfm&ContentID=150378&lstid=809)

I “Am” Wonder Woman Y’all!

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CHECK OUT THE FOLLOWING VIDEO!!!!!

What a diva!  Do you have any idea how many years I spent dreaming I’d be her someday? What’s more, I was such a fan that my mother and grandmother took me out for a little “drive” one day.  Our destination was to be my surprise.  Little did I know that I was going to meet the real LINDA CARTER!!!!!  Ahhhhh!  And she liked me too!!!!  And guess what my grandmother bought me?

 

That’s how I rolled, y”all!

What I’d do is I’d grab a couple of my mother’s gold, cuff bracelets and rock them with my Wonder Woman Underoos.  The cuff bracelets had to be legit.  If they’re weren’t, I wouldn’t have been able to stop the barrage of bullets that were constantly being shot at me by all the bad guys.  If you’re looking for a good bullet-proof, cuff bracelet, I recommend that you go with something like this:

Hey, jackass… You’re Glock is no match for my cuff bracelets! Don’t waste your ammo, bro. Just go home and stop being evil. You’re wearing me out with all your villainy!

 

After you adorn yourself in the Underoos…eh, I mean, official crime fighting uniform, all you have to do if pop on your bullet-proof bracelets and then…..you spin around and around and around.  You spin like your life depends on it!

Once you’re done spinning your operating with your full powers and you’re ready to kick some ass.  If you misplaced your lasso, like I often did, you need not worry too much about it.  The most important thing is that you’re protected by your cuff bracelets, and that you spun properly.  Trust me on this one

And don’t trip over the invisible jet.  Jet fuel is high nowadays anyway, and just because you’re cruising in an invisible jet, doesn’t mean that you’re invisible.  And, when you’re wearing bright, primary colors, people tend to notice you flying through the friendly skies.  Duh, the jet is freakin’ invisible so you and your Louis Vuitton luggage can be spotted by anyone within a moderate distance from you, particularly if they had that laser eye surgery to improve their vision.

 

Today, in my spare time, I was able to make a little magic happen on my computer.  Wait til’ you get a load of this.  Who is the woman pictured below?  Is that the original Wonder Woman?  No boo, it’s her freakin’ daughter…ME!!!

 

I guess the news is out that I’m taking over the family biz for now.  Wonder Woman Sr. is right smack in the throes of menopause and she’s even too cranky for the villains we deal with.  She get’s attitude real quick now.  And don’t even get me started on her mood swings.  Case in point:

 

She still looks good and all, but “she don’t play“.  She cannot stand to be disrespected, especially by some trifflin’ ho who thinks she’s all that.  She will get crunk on a mofo if they talk to her just any kinda way now.  She’ll smack the shit out of someone in Walmart if he or she even looks at her wrong.  I just wish she’d be a little more discreet and not so aggressive.  I ordered her some of that Wild Yam Progesterone cream.  Hopefully when she rubs some of that on her skin she’ll level out a little.  Until then, I” got this. It was my destiny, I suppose…

Fighting crime and suppressing evil for your safety,

Ava Elizabeth Wisdom

 

 

Famous and Infamous People Raised in Broken Homes

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I was alarmed to find out that the following individuals were products of single parent homes:

  • BILLY THE KID
  • SIRHAN SIRHAN
  • ROBERT GRAYSMITH (ZODIAC SERIAL KILLER)
  • JACK THE RIPPER
  • JOHN WILKES BOOTH
  • CHARLES MANSON
  • SADDAM HUSSEIN
  • ADOLPH HITLER
  • MARC LEPINE (MASS MURDERER OF 14)
  • LEE HARVEY OSWALD
  • JEFFREY DAHMER
  • “MONSTER” CODY (L.A. CRIPS GANGLORD)

Obviously the aforementioned names are some of the worst in the history of mankind.  However, my research uncovered many, many more functional, famous people who were also products of broken homes.  Take a look:

Maya Angelou was sent to live with her grandparents when her parents’ marriage ended.

Oprah Winfrey was born to an unwed, teenager mother and sent to live with her grandparents.

Lance Armstrong never knew his birth father.

Notorious B.I.G. was abandoned by his father when he was 2.

Kate Beckinsale’s father died when she was 6.

Halle Berry was abandoned by her father when she was 4.

Mary J. Blige was abandoned by her father when she was 4.

Orlando Bloom’s died when he was 4.

Pierce Brosnan was abandoned by his father before his first birthday.

Mariah Carey had little contact with her father after her parents divorce when she was 3.

50 Cent never knew his father and lost his mother when he was 8.

Eric Clapton never knew his real father. He grew up thinking his grandparents were his parents and his mother his sister.

Bill Clinton lost his father in a car accident 3 months before he was born.

Stephen Colbert lost his father and two brothers in a plane crash when he was 10.

Sean Combs was 3 when his father was murdered

Jodie Foster grew up without a father; her parents separated before she was born.

Jamie Foxx was abandoned by both his parents and raised by his adopted grandparents.

Cary Grant grew up thinking his mother had abandoned him when she really was in a mental institution.

Adrian Grenier grew up not knowing who his father was.

Laird Hamilton was abandoned by his father when he was an infant.

Samuel L. Jackson only met his father twice during his life.

Jay-Z was abandoned by his father.

Alicia Keys grew up without a father.

Kid Cudi lost his father to cancer when he was 11.

Martin Lawrence rarely saw his father after his parents divorced when he was 8.

John Lennon grew up without a father and lost his mother when he was 17.

Jet Li lost his father when he was 2.

Lindsay Lohan grew up without a father while he was in prison.

Shelby Lynne lost her mother and father in a murder suicide when she was 17.

Madonna lost her mother to cancer when she was 5.

Paul McCartney lost his mother to cancer when he was 14.

Eva Mendes was raised by her single mother after her parents divorced.

Marilyn Monroe grew up without a father.

Demi Moore was abandoned by her father before she was born.

Eddie Murphy’s father was killed when he was just 8.

Jack Nicholson never knew his real father.

Shaquille O’Neal grew up without his birth father.

President Barack Obama met his father only once before he died in a car crash.

Clive Owen was abandoned by his father when he was 3.

Al Pacino grew up in his grandparents’ home with his mother.

Audrey Hepburn was sent to boarding school at age 5; at age 6 her father walked out.

Mariah Carey eventually became estranged from her father after her parents’ divorce when she was 3.

Guy Pearce lost his father in a work related accident when he was 8.

Mekhi Phifer never met his father.

Sarah Polley lost her mother to cancer when she was 11.

Ellen Pompeo lost her mother when she was 4.

Gabrielle Reece lost her father when she was 5.

Keanu Reeves was abandoned by his father when he was 13.

Julia Roberts lost her father when she was 10.

Alex Rodriguez was abandoned by his father when he was 7.

Ronaldinho lost his father from a heart attack when he was 8.

Jason Schwartzman lost his father to cancer when he was 13.

Tupac Shakur grew up not knowing his birth father while his stepfather went to prison when he was 2.

Anderson Silva was raised by his aunt.

Gene Simmons was abandoned by his father when he was 3.

David Spade was abandoned by his father.

Jon Stewart was raised primarily by his mother.

Barbra Streisand lost her father when she was 2.

Shania Twain was abandoned by her birth father.

Liv Tyler didn’t know who her birth father was until she was 9.

Raoul Wallenberg lost his father to cancer 3 months before he was born.

Orson Welles lost his mother when he was 11 and his father when he was 15.

Kanye West was abandoned by his father when he was 3.

And I “sure enough” was abandoned by my biological father the moment he found out my mother was carrying me…

 

I get that those who were raised in utter pathology and in absolute psychologically damaging circumstances are not necessarily always going to come out unscathed.  However, I like to think of the human spirit as tenacious in nature, and capable of overcoming seemingly insurmountable obstacles.  And after all, we all have choices.  For me, I wasn’t going to sit around complaining that life had dealt me a bad hand, and that there was no hope.  Which is why I hate the saying, “It is what it is.”

 

My childhood was incredibly painful and dysfunctional.  This is why you could frequently find me in the self-help section of my neighborhood bookstore since I was an adolescent.  I was reading self-help books since I was a young teen and voluntarily attending counseling, which I still do today.  I even have a hypnosis app on my iPhone for topics like “codependency” and “how to forget your ex”, for goodness sakes!  I was never satisfied with the status quo and have been pulling myself up by the bootstraps for as long as I can remember.  

 

You will never hear me utter the words, “That’s just how I am.”  Although I am still a work in progress, I believe that someday I will rise victoriously from the ashes.  And as far as this crazy generational cycle that is marked by the suicide of my beloved mother… I am fighting with every breath in me to say, “This ends here.”  

 

It was hard being a child of a single mother; and I know it’s hard for my children too, most of the time.  We may struggle financially, but we are rich beyond measure in the love department.  For me this is what matters most.  Some days I can barely find the strength to get out of bed.  But mark my words, “I can do all things through CHRIST who strengthens ME.” (Philippians 4:13) 

 

Sources:

http://www.notablebiographies.com/An-Ba/Angelou-Maya.html#b

http://oprah.about.com/od/oprahbiography/p/oprahchildhood.htm

http://www.audrey1.org/biography/16/audrey-hepburn-timeline-1929-1949

http://withoutafather.com/celebrities.php