#WriterRevelations: Trust The Unfolding

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I’ll tell you when you think life is going to be smooth sailing, in my experience, that’s when the air seems to thin and things really feel like an uphill climb on top of Everest.

I was high on my 30th birthday miracle but started to feel down upon returning to my regular routine. I wanted to go back and stay there. It was fun to be anonymous and virtually unknown in a beautiful place like San Clemente.

It was a slow simmer but something wicked was brewing. First, I had barely any money coming in and I was told I would have to pay back my Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. Apparently, many people got letters that said that. So I chose to trust but still it was very unnerving that Unemployment could even baffle to ask someone to pay them back when it was assistance that was given during an emergency.

Around this time, I had just become a Beachbody coach agreeing to the monthly fee but felt absolutely devastated having learned after signing up that I would have to meet a minimum purchase requirement as a coach. With $100 a week coming in at best at this time, I knew I had to trust God now more than ever to provide so I could be an “active” coach otherwise people couldn’t technically sign up with me.

From here, I saw the return of a phantom someone I never thought I would hear from again: Mr. Suncoast.

But before I get to that, let’s keep going with the story.

I started believing that I just had to trust the unfolding but in September I was plagued by this incredible period of absolute anxiety over the fact that my parents still haven’t been able to get a new roof, and even started worrying about it intensely until a friend basically calmed me down by quoting Matthew 6:34 to me.

Yet, each new day I woke up believing God was going to come through somehow.

From here began this very strange period where despite waking up and working out and showing up on my story every day, I felt very isolated and alone. I believe it was a dark night of the soul. If you’ve never experienced a night of the soul, here’s some graphics that can help you.

Basically I felt like a lot of stuff was coming up that hadn’t in a while and I started to feel like I wanted to leave social media. I lost a few “soul tribe” friends and recently had to remove people off my launch team for Sticks and Stones because they were outright not doing their part. In terms of the friends, they were very one-sided people and my eyes were very open to how much they truly didn’t care about me but were just on my social media observing everything but not meeting me halfway at all. The crimes they committed range from one being very self-absorbed and ungrateful for gifts I gave her, to a tarot reader who basically wouldn’t talk to me about anything regarding me unless I booked a reading with her, and the final one was a Christian who truly didn’t reflect Christ to me at all: she even stopped sending me letters but had no problem cashing a check I sent her for a medical treatment on my 30th birthday and never sending a thank you.

Then, my book was almost ready to come out, and I sent it to an interior designer to ensure it would be properly formatted as both a hardcover and an ebook, and we were all set to start on September 30. Then, she basically had the wrong book file the entire time. Not sure why or how she got the shorter unexpanded version of the book but she did and instead of making sure it was the right file, she formatted two different times the wrong file. And then didn’t answer my emails for 3 weeks, and it turns out that she chose not to work with me. It was really quite inconvenient.

Before this unfortunate stall in my publishing process, I held a giveaway for the (soon to be) out of print version of the book or first edition.

That turned out to be quite a positive thing because God asked me to give as many copies away to whoever voted for it in the Book of the Year contest in order to reach people struggling with mental health issues specifically suicidal thoughts because I held the giveaway in honor of Suicide Prevention Month.

And surprisingly, I was able to send the books all over the world without any struggle.

I decided to trust God wholeheartedly that a job would finally manifest into my reality. And I wrote in my manifestation journal: I get hired for a job by October 15, 2021. Why that date? Well, that was going to be Tampa Pro weekend, and I really needed money to go to Tampa Pro.

Turns out, I got a call for a job on October 13, 2021. Without saying which company I’m working for I will say, I was so excited. The job is literally near my house, part time, and customer service oriented. I was very excited to get it. It’s a company I’ve wanted to work for since I was 14 years old. Which company do you think it is? I will reveal the answer once I’ve been there 90 days.

The problem I had was that due to not having a physical job since leaving that toxic employer, I was very very anxious. This anxiety (now that I know I have Asperger’s) manifests as sensory overload that causes me to basically appear like I have no brain, and can’t think. Which led one of my managers and I to get off on the wrong foot and I believed she had a problem with me, and then I was asked to take a make-up shift by a male manager and it turns out it caused all the women in any and all authority positions to act like a literal kangaroo was called in to do the job for a day. They all appeared very triggered by me being there. It was unsettling and I was very upset.

Turns out, after praying for that manager and beginning to pray for all my coworkers by name ( I do that with every job), I’m really becoming part of the team. My coworkers even say I’m very funny, and one even made me an origami heart, and another bought me a lemonade.

I still plan to stay detached from “making friends” here because of the experience I had at the other employer but I’m still making sure to have fun at work.

One thing I really am grateful for is that no one makes you feel inferior for making a mistake. They teach you how to correct it, and no one makes you look like an ass in front of the customers.

Then, after taking a week long hiatus from social media I returned, just in time to share live pictures from Tampa Pro and the Jonas Brothers. For more on that visit thesmartcookiephiles.com.

The funny thing was all this time, my Instagram was openly being watched by a certain person who most people know of from my poetry book called Mr. Suncoast.

On September 3, he openly watched my IG story and then for about 27 days he disappeared. I thought nothing of it because one time watching someone’s story means absolutely nothing but then on September 30, he watched it again. And then every day he would watch it from the start until the end. He never missed one story.

So I started doing fun stuff on Instagram like unboxings and showing my face more on the story. I mean I did that anyway because as an avid user of social media, I understand that the way to build your platform is to show up and be consistent but even before becoming a coach, I felt like showing my face and talking to my followers created a personal touch.

It showed them what I looked like in real time, made them feel connected to me on a personal level, and they learned what I was up to that day, laughed at funny memes or reels I found, or just read some of my innermost thoughts. I pride myself on being 100% myself on social media.

And even more so on Instagram since it is my most successful platform to date.

I tried two different times to send him an Instagram DM but it went unanswered and unread.

Then, I also noticed that on his Facebook, he would share all of his posts publicly including a call to his favorite local bar that invited anyone who seen the status to come out.

One Saturday after he posted that, I felt like he wanted me to come there but unfortunately it was after 10:30 at night and I had just gotten off of a 8 hour shift working at my new job where I spent the entire shift training on the computer so I was tired, and felt oddly very emotional.

So I decided not to go. Well then I noticed that he started watching my story only a few days a week, and then the week of before Halloween, again he watched every story.

He posted a new selfie on October 21 which I bravely went and liked despite that he didn’t follow me but was religiously watching my story like my biggest fan.

The Monday following when I felt intuitively like he wanted me to come out to that bar, he basically removed all his Instagram posts.

I never texted him in all this time because I really felt like if he watched my story, he would eventually reach out or say something.

Unfortunately, he never did that.

  • Not when my dog Hazel had to be put down the day after coming home from Tampa Pro.
  • Not when my parents cars were vandalized and someone actually popped all 8 tires on their cars.
  • Not when my mom broke down in her rental car while I was at work, having a rather hard shift with that manager.

Then, he didn’t watch my story on Saturday October 30 but he did watch again on October 31.

Then, he watched again until November 3, and then he randomly didn’t show up to watch my story on November 4 and November 5.

And I was absolutely confused but intuitively I felt like something was going on with him, or worse that he judged me for my very open story content. How I shared almost everything. Or that he hated seeing guys comment on my pictures and like my selfies. Although on Tuesday November 2, 2021 I went to that bar to check it out and it turns out that he knew it. Not sure if he thought I went there with some other guy but I was there with the only person I ever ask to do anything fun: my mother.

I honestly didn’t know what to think but I felt God to compel me to finally send him a text to apologize for bothering him and wish him the best. The sign I got that it was time to reach out:

I didn’t expect him to reply. Matter of fact, I thought it would go unanswered like all the other times. So I sent him one of the poems from my new collection. One no one has read, and one that is set to be the last poem in the collection. It’s called For What It’s Worth and basically sums up my feelings for him very succinctly while also summing up how we met, how much there was this crazy sexual energy between us, and how I still think the world of him but I accepted recently that if he never came back, I would just be happy to see him be happy even it wasn’t with me. That’s how you know you truly love someone.

He started with his usual response: Who is This?

I was shocked. He actually responded. And then he kept replying after that but instead of us having a heart to heart and clearing the air between us, we had a very harshly worded conversation.

His response when I told him that this poem and the book overall were about him and how it felt to work alongside you etc.

Then, we had a very emotionally detached argument about social media but he did keep replying but what he was saying overall was very hard to read.

I asked him why he had been watching my story and he acted like he thought he followed me on Instagram.

Then, because he had to get up for work and wanted to avoid me prying further into his true intentions and feelings he goes:

I left him alone for a few days but started to get a little nervous because he still hadn’t followed up or said anything. So I checked his social media and guess what?

I saw this meme:

It instantly made me feel like he rejected me instead of trying to make things work between us. And so I sent him a text to which I got an “Hola” as a reply.

The next morning, I checked social media and found he blocked me on Facebook again.

So I sent him a text telling him that I not only noticed but I also mocked that meme and said I guess you really would rather be single than talk things out with me, followed by Goodbye.

Yet, I truly didn’t want to say goodbye. He’s my muse. I need him in my life in some capacity. Even if only as a fantasy inside my head.

To think that he would never speak to me again this time hurt a whole lot because I also found that he blocked me on my brand new fitness Instagram.

The day I sent him that goodbye text was 11/11. And I had ordered a quick tarot reading from a reader I didn’t know in order to gain clarity when he stopped watching my story.

The funniest thing was this actually gave me peace that lasted the rest of this day because it shows how there is a defensive energy between us but apparently he is scared to death of his feelings for me.

I cannot fathom that at all. In most love stories, all the ones I’ve read anyway, when a guy realizes he loves a girl, he instantly stops whatever he’s doing and physically goes to find her so he can tell her face to face.

Am I happy that I had to tell him over text that he is my muse and I still feel the same? Absolutely not but I do feel as though God wants me to give all my energy to other things right now:

  • My new job
  • Getting a second job
  • Putting the book out
  • Saving so I have a marketing budget and or trip money for 2022. (I need to get to San Clemente again for sure)
  • Spending time with my dogs as my family is truly going through a rough time right now between still needing a roof, losing our dog, and losing both of their cars to vandalism.

I also feel like I need to change up some of the things I’ve been afraid to change in regards to romance and love for a long time due to trauma from an ex.

I will say that shortly after becoming a Beachbody coach I felt confident enough to publicly change my relationship status to single because I no longer felt ashamed of it.

Yet, I know I can do more to work on myself and become the best possible partner for whoever I end up with.

I can start trying to learn to cook and become diligent about it.

I can take driving lessons so I can overcome my sensory overload/anxiety issues while driving.

I can start going to bars more or places by myself so people might be (guys specifically) may actually approach me and I may actually meet people.

Will I be pursuing Mr. Suncoast anymore? No. I still love him and everything but I am very conflicted about his actions following that text and me finally telling him how I feel.

Emotionally unavailable is my type for sure but this one at least I can never hate or seek revenge on. He gave me too many good moments in a time when I honestly didn’t understand myself or felt lower than low.

And for me, it will never truly be goodbye but I understand I have to stop holding onto him like he’s the only fish in the sea.

We each owe it to each other to live our lives to the ultimate fullest and not stress being single anymore.

I wrote this poem on Monday morning (11/15). It’s called The Word Goodbye.

Yet, I haven’t slept since I sent him that goodbye text and I realized it was because I honestly didn’t get closure; I got more confusion.

And I didn’t get to finish telling him everything so last night, I was up until 1 a.m. and I wrote him a final letter that was 14 pages long and told him everything I could think of to say or felt like needed to be said. I thought about sending it to him but I don’t want to only because I want to be diligent about not reaching out again.

I really want him and I to only get closure or talk again when he’s emotionally available and that day may never come so I realized last night that I must solely leave this in God’s hands and be free of it.

Not look at his social media anymore.

Not text him anymore.

Not even do anything that would be seen as me burdening or bothering him at all.

Why? Because I love him and I want him to heal so he can be happy, again, even if it’s not with me.

And I also unblocked him on all my social media platforms because I didn’t see the point blocking him in the first place.

In the letter I wrote him last night, I openly state that the only reason I’ve ever blocked him on social media is for two reasons: because I wanted him to reach out directly and because I can’t stand watching him follow other girls and like their selfies when honestly he could do so much better than girls who use way too many filters on their pictures.

I wish things turned out differently and right now I could be writing this with miraculous news: I have a boyfriend etc.

But no, it’s not how things panned out and I refuse to let it define me or deter me from my overall life purpose: inspiring others and encouraging others who are struggling in their own pain and darkness.

Like I’ve stated in a previous blog: I am happiest in my life when I’m not worried or even concerned about my relationship status.

I am happiest when I’m solely living to make the most of every day so please excuse me for having a very weak girly moment but I’m done chasing anyone. I promise future me that I will start beginning to make things easy for her by focusing on God, my goals and being a light.

No more; no less.

Until next time, remember: God’s got a plan, and he cares even if things are all over the place for you as well.

Need peace? Pray this with me:

#SuicidePreventionMonth: Live Reading of Razor Blades by Chelsea DeVries

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Two years ago today, I suffered a severe episode of suicide ideation. It wasn’t the first one I had in my life but it was so severe it was the first time in my life, I actually considered going through with it. I mean, I actually saw myself dead. And the thought of dying brought me peace.

Two years later, I am so very grateful that it was that young man’s face that popped into my head that day and the voice of God who prevented me from not going through with this final act.

I am so very grateful that I resigned, sought help, and lived to share my story. And my story got better since I left that employer, went to counseling, and did all the things necessary to help myself heal from the destructive mind and thought patterns that lead one to suicide or believe suicide is the only way out.

I can’t say my life is perfect but I can say that I am so very grateful that I lived to be here right now sharing this with you.

Without further ado, here is my poem to help end the stigma on suicide and mental health: Razor Blades. A poem I wrote last August after reading/watching All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven.

#WriterRevelations: Turning 30 and Witnessing a Miracle

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Can you believe it guys?! Your girl is 30. I can’t either but I am grateful I made it here because there has been many things that have happened that tried to steal my God-given right to growing old and I am grateful for every single day that I get.

If you are wondering what I decided to do for the big 30, you should know I finally visited my dream location: San Clemente, CA.

And I not only visited San Clemente but I stopped in Austin, TX and even stayed in San Juan Capistrano so my week was full of so many wonders: all breath-takingly divine.

For more on my trip to San Clemente, CA please watch this video diary below

If you are anything like the people I spoke with before leaving, most of you probably have that same perplexed brow and that question mark upon your face wondering, Why San Clemente?

Well, as most stories regarding my life, I was introduced to San Clemente CA when I religiously followed Mr. Ryan Sheckler. He’s from there and I have always been intrigued by the location but when I watched his MTV show, I really was taken with its beauty. I felt a divine pull on my heartstrings and basically felt like God wanted me there. I didn’t know how or why I just knew I had to get there.

Back in 2010, I finally had the money to go and booked the trip but my grandfather passed away a few days before I was set to leave so I never got to go. I was set to go with one of my longtime friends who I met through the Sheckler Foundation. He was understanding of me not going but I always regretted how that panned out for me. I lost $1500 booking that trip and not going because of the death in my family, only for priceline to not provide me a refund because I couldn’t produce a death certificate.

So getting there FINALLY and standing on that pier felt like a dream come true type of moment. The weather was perfection. The trip this time went absolutely perfect. There was no roadblocks to me getting to San Clemente, the things I planned to do while there, and there was no problems coming back to Florida either.

I really felt like if God did this for me, nothing is truly impossible.

Prior to that trip, I was still 29 and I was struggling with a lot of things:

  • Why my business has seen less than $500 in revenue this year
  • why I still haven’t gotten a job that would provide me a liveable income
  • why everything I seem to do outside of writing seems to really not take off despite my entrepreneurial spirit.

But I don’t really know what happened to me in San Clemente outside of my entire soul was refreshed and recharged by the Pacific Ocean air.

But since I’ve been back, I realized that:

  • Instead of focusing on the lack in my life, I can focus on the perspective that God gave me the gap year I had always wanted at 18.
  • Instead of focusing on how things either don’t take off or go anywhere, I can keep showing up anyway.

I don’t know what it is other than God and the fact that I’m 30 but I actually have this weightless feeling now. I am no longer plagued by tons of existential questions.

I have made peace with the idea that when people don’t like me, it has actually 0-5% to do with me and everything to do with how they perceive themselves in comparison to me.

It truly is such a freeing energy.

I ended up recently having a bit of anxiety over an issue with my parents living situation that I refuse to talk about openly but I shared about it with a faith-based friend and he asked me why I was choosing to worry. He said, Ask yourself why you are choosing not to believe in God’s provision? What is it about this situation that is making you doubt God showing up for you?

And instantly I was washed over with relief. And I realized he was right.

So I quit worrying and I’m trusting God about that situation and all the situations mentioned above because if he could care that much about how much I desired to be in California deep in my heart and soul, there is nothing he can’t do, he won’t do, and he will ignore me regarding.

It all comes down to grace and divine timing.

Speaking of divine timing, I did a photo shoot while I was in San Clemente, CA because the last professional photos I got done and enjoyed were my senior photos. Now that I’m an author (again) and look mostly like an adult, I also really wanted someone to capture me taking in the beauty of San Clemente and the San Clemente pier.

That someone was Lulu Seldon and she is absolutely incredible.

If you live in SoCal or are planning to visit there anytime soon, and you need author photos, headshots because you really want to be on reality tv, or you just want lifestyle photos done for social media, please reach out to Lulu and tell her I sent you.

Other than that, I am happy to share that I have gotten over 100 votes in the Book of the Year contest.

I took my birthday off from voting and I went down to #4 in the overall contest instead of #2 so I must resume asking people to vote for me but what’s weird is in the 1 month I didn’t ask people for votes at all via social media, the person in the lead has 295 votes and they first posted about their book being in the contest on August 16 which means it took them 17 days to get 295 votes but it took me 5 months to get the votes that I have.

I smell something sketchy. The book in the lead is a sweet children’s book about spreading the gospel but still…It just doesn’t add up.

God recently made my day with this. I randomly got a message from a follower of The Smart Cookie Philes wanting to know if we were going to hold anymore giveaways. I told them that it has been a rough year for the business and they said they love my page which is crazy because this year especially I really have gone back and forth with shutting down The Smart Cookie Philes and going back to blogging about books and music but not collecting revenue for it.

Then, I get a message like this and I realize how much of an impact my sweet little post-college determined to be somebody venture has turned into, and I owe all of that to God.

I recently got fired up about working out that I decided I basically wanted to make money from it and so I took the leap of faith and became a Beachbody coach. As most other network marketing ventures, I was nervous having to invest that initial money in to it to be a coach but I really am proud that as soon as I felt that whisper in my soul say It’s time. I didn’t question it or run from it. I just leapt with absolute trust that God was going to use my small set of talents and my love for encouraging and connecting with people via social media, and help me provide others with hope.

If you are interested in starting a fitness journey that gives you your power back, gives you real time results, and makes you thrive, please feel free to watch the video below about why I decided to become a coach:

As with everything I put my hands to or any job I do, I always ask God to help it be something that bears visible fruit in my life so that all who witness it or come upon it know it is from God.

I pray right now that whatever you are struggling with, questioning, concerning your mind with, may be put to rest at the feet of Jesus and you let Him take the care of that from here.

I also pray that The Smart Cookie Philes, my Etsy shop, my poetry collection, my Beachbody venture, all bear good fruit in my life that it spills over into the lives of others and it blesses them, shines a light in their darkness, and saves their life in some regard.

I pray that peace surrounds you, envelops you, and that one of your heart’s deepest desires comes true this year.

In Jesus’s Name, I pray.

Until next time, remember that God gives us grace to get through every single day. And grace is God’s undeserved favor on us.

Be well my friends and stay weird!

In Christ-Like Love and Confidence,

Chelsea

xoxo

Just Keep Swimming!

My first time attending the Tampa Indie Author Book Convention….

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It happened.

The dreaded moment in an author’s book launch when social media was no longer pushing sales..

so i took a page out of the book I always use for my clients as their publicist and said:

you need to be out in the open and meet people in real life.

So I found some local events going on specifically for indie authors (authors are considered indie if they are published with a small press, small publishing house, or are self-published).

When I found out that there was a BOOK CONVENTION in Tampa…I was beyond excited.

I booked my spot and asked how many tickets were sold for VIP? They said 35 so I purchased 45 copies of my book to sell at the event accounting for 10 extra in case there was a higher demand, a huge rush of people, or I could utilize them for giveaways and promotional opportunities (I leave my book in random public places with a business card.)

I got there and was a little disappointed right away because they put me in the back of the room.

And the room was like a little bigger than a sardine can with all the authors inside of it.

The photographer hired for the event took our photo as a group outside the venue and we went in to begin the event.

Yet, the crowd never came.

People came but they were either there to support their favorite author or were looking for a particular genre (EROTICA had a big turn out but that’s no surprise) I made a joke to my mom about that and how my poetry collection contains a poem entitled Asexual Poem which is written to share my own personal sexuality and also help other aces feel safe. There is a stanza about nipple tassels though so I’m just saying my book does contain erotica if that’s your thing…

Other popular genres were fantasy and historical fiction. Poetry was not popular.

But I still loved being there. Among other writers. Seeing the entire experience from two perspectives. One as a poet who two years ago resigned from a job that made her sick in every sense of the word and who loved a young man so much she showed up every day just to find a reason to make him smile. Yet, a week prior to the event on June 5, I almost didn’t make it because of the near-fatal accident I was involved in on May 29.

My mom even got a badge that said she was my personal assistant…she’s the best there is.
They moved me to the front of the door. Basically, I was really stoked that I would be the first face that people saw when they came into the event.
I ended up next to a really cool author named Eleanor Tremayne. She writes award-winning books of various themes and one book she wrote actually features mermaids so of course I had to get a copy.

I even got a mermaid pen with my purchase so I knew I had to get it. I haven’t read it yet but when I do, you know I will be sharing my review via The Smart Cookie Philes.

She was basically a pro at telling people about her books. And she was really nice. You can find out more about Eleanor on her website here: https://eleanortremayne.org/
Her PA aka her husband was really cool. And very friendly. I enjoyed being moved to the spot next to them because I felt like it was divine intervention almost since they made me feel comfortable and her husband even bought a copy of my book.
Here’s me observing everyone and wishing someone would think mental health poetry is cool, and come ask me about it.
Always showing the world my dimples and having fun.
My favorite picture of me from the event.

In a nutshell, I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the event because little did anyone know but the last time I wore that pink blazer was when I interviewed for that job…and actually I used to go down the street from the venue each month and attend FRVA meetings on behalf of the employer unpaid. So doing something like this, and being in the front of the room next to some very nice and cool pros at book signings, I felt entirely blessed and like God did a huge full circle moment in my life.

As a publicist, I definitely think more could have been done to promote the event, get people interested, or even get the local paper or news to cover it. Next year, they should hire me to do all the local marketing for the event because I totally would, and you would see crowds of people. Although, my hype man aka my dad was sick but his chatty nature would have definitely gotten many people to witness the selling of sticks and stones and formaldehyde perfume.

Here’s to growing and learning as an adult author (the market sure has changed since I was a teen) and to hopefully doing more local events once I get the new version of Sticks and Stones out to the world.

Shoutout to Eleanor Tremayne, her sweet husband, and Dante Dellamore for these amazing photos.

For more about the Tampa Indie Author Convention or Anytime Author Promotions, check out https://tampaindieauthorbookconvention.wordpress.com/

I actually have an Etsy Shop now. Feel free to check out all the cool merchandise there. You can get my books, poetry related merch (coming soon), Cookies For a Cause designs, and Squad Merch all in one place.

https://www.etsy.com/shop/UnicornPixieDesigns

Lastly, if you or someone you know has run into an error voting for my book in the book of the year contest hosted by OnlineBookClub.org, you can report your errors or technical issues to Scott directly at

I say this as nicely as I can but the guy in charge really does not want me emailing on your behalf that you ran into a technical glitch. He’s gotten snarky with me several times via email recently. See below.

That’s all for now everyone.

Until next time, just keep swimming!

Chelsea xoxo

#WriterRevelations: The Holy Detachment

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I want to start by saying I have been trying to get this blog up for two whole months and every time I did, God prevented me from getting it to you because I guess he wanted it to read like a full and complete story.

I had all intentions of sharing with you how I have come to a new realization about this idea we grow up feeding on: that we must attach to the way people see us. We all have these pictures in our minds of what it means to be in a relationship, what we should have done by a certain age, or even what it means to put out a book (that one may only relate to me) but still.

Growing up, I didn’t even realize how much of what I was taught or what I saw in the media made me attach to what humans think of me. Yet, recently, after all those very drastic changes I discussed in my last post where I found out I have Asperger’s, detaching from my divine counterpart, and even ridding my social media feed with people who are one-sided made me realize that although I always believed I was non-conformist, anti-culture, and very “against the grain” in my day to day, I actually was guilty of being attached to people pleasing.

My dog Hazel has been sick for about a year now. It started with an emergency surgery due to pyometra and now it’s Cushings disease, and most recently she struggled with an allergic reaction to an antibiotic that left her lethargic, practically blind, and we thought this was where her life story would end. My mom and I were crying every day because we couldn’t understand it. The vet had just checked her levels for her Cushings Disease and gave her an excellent report: This dog has a lot of life left in her.

Then, due to a UTI, she had to be put on the antibiotics that made her eyes red and her sight practically blind.

As you can see on the left, Hazel looked a lot like a full fledge picture of death, and so we started to consider possibly putting her down. Yet, we took her to the vet to find out why she was lethargic and the other vet (who doesn’t usually treat her) told us she might have thyroid issues. When she went back to check if her UTI had cleared up, her usual vet took one look at her and goes, “Oh, Hazel had an allergic reaction to the Baytril.” So she came off of it and the lethargy and red eyed blindness went away but she started having those symptoms again right after we came back from our trip to Mexico. And she often suffers with mini tremors due to the tumor associated with her Cushings. It was a hard month of April to say the least but she was perfectly fine while we were in Mexico. And since has only seemed to improve thanks to this all natural adrenal support supplement blend I got for her. She even was able to go with us recently to an Airbnb getaway for Zoey’s 3rd birthday.

I on the other hand was dealing with this immense inner struggle with my book, it’s success, and why it seemed that people didn’t seem to care. So I took a break from posting on social media because of all the back and forth with Hazel but I also started to notice that even though I moved to a new account it felt like I was in a wind tunnel shouting “Hey I wrote a new poem. Does anyone care?” And I got little to no response back. So I said I’m going to go to Mexico and then when I return, I will return to social media again.

Yet, meanwhile during all this, God’s been working with me. I stopped going to a counselor for my mental health treatment after visiting them in December 2020 where I told her I had Asperger’s and instead of making me feel safe and welcomed, she outright said to my face: “I don’t see how I can help you any longer.”

So I made a personal decision to quit taking the supplements I was taking for my anxiety and depression, and if I was struggling with any emotions or circumstances, I would just be still and talk to God like I would have that counselor. I’ve been doing this since the end of February and I can tell you that I have never felt better. It turns out that giving everything you are to God really is possible, and also talking with God so openly has made me acutely aware of his presence wherever I am.

I will clarify that I am not in any way knocking mental health treatments or the need to go to counseling. I just can’t afford it at this stage of my life right now to spend money I don’t have on pills and doctor visits which last only 20 minutes and then you get rushed out the door. I also have been doing self-study about Asperger’s so I can better understand myself and that also seems to be helping me as well. And when God arranges for me to go back to counseling, I will know but in the meantime, who better to be my counselor than the one who created me.

It really all comes down to detaching from the world and getting still in the presence of God.

I went to Mexico and had an amazing time. I literally was disconnected from everything and I love that aspect of vacations. where people can’t call you, text you, burden you. You are solely in the moment. And it was entirely such a blessing to be there, and have that experience after everything I’ve been through, and still working through.

I came back from Mexico and all the stress just stifled me. I was under that pressure again. Posting on social media, not feeling like I am getting much out of it, not sure what will become of me, my career, my writing career, etc.

Yet, because I faced my fears and went to Mexico (I have flight anxiety), I had a newfound sense of self-worth because God had shown me how abundant my life could be if I simply trust him.

First, I debated with the idea of closing The Smart Cookie Philes. Not because of any other reason than I wasn’t sure people really needed it anymore, and the money since I had started charging what I’m actually worth, had been slow to come in. Then, that Monday following my return to the United States, I had an interview for a lead publicist position with a firm that claimed on the job posting to be an advocate for mental health, marginalized voices, and much more.

During the interview, I gave it my all but I was very upfront about explaining my poetry collection and how it dealt with that last toxic workplace which I mentioned because I wanted to test just how much of an actual advocate they were for mental health.

They rubbed me the wrong way when they asked if I would be closing my firm in order to take their position. My company is more than just a PR firm. It is an extension of my self-expression of my special interest in music, and my love of books. It is also a place where people can feel safe on the internet to be exactly who God made them, and not feel like they must mask, or that they have to conceal parts of who that person is.

If you want to talk about being an advocate for mental health, you really should offer health benefits.

So I felt very grown up when I very politely told them I wasn’t a fit for the role. Not because my experience and skill set wouldn’t have helped boom their client base or create new ways of doing various PR strategies but because they came across to me like very snobbish people. And I’ve learned that in the interview is where you can see exactly what you will be getting yourself into.

Then, a guy who I met through an author facebook group said he was interested in hiring me to be his publicist but only in the capacity of not needing media bookings but solely to get him book signings so he could sell books. Yet, when he asked me to work with him, he goes, “I looked over your offer and it turns out that I don’t want either of us to waste our money so I will pay you $200 when I sell 100 books, $1,000 when I sell 300-500 books, and $10,000 when I sell more than a 1,000 books at a signing.”

I was intrigued but something kept causing me to hesitate to start making calls for him. Then, I realized that he was doing what most people try to do to me because they don’t understand how public relations works: They try to get me to agree to commission based pay, and I will never work for commission. That’s the equivalent of working for any of those pyramid marketing schemes I’ve already worked for: It Works, Farmasi, etc. Where the person at the top of the pyramid profits and everyone else gets bread crumbs.

I did not get a college degree in a specialization for someone to feed me bread crumbs which is why I changed my pricing structure this year. I’m not really interested in doing this work in a freelance capacity anymore. I need full-time work so I can live the life I promised younger me I would. And I know it’s possible because I’m part of another facebook group for PR pros and they discuss their prices openly there as it is set up like a forum. And some of them charge $10,000 a month. I could easily charge that but the little bit of work I’ve done PR wise through my own firm really doesn’t justify why I would need $10,000 a month other than that people forget that I need money to pay rent, utilities, food, transportation, medical, dental, savings, and also plenty to help me travel and promote my books so heck, maybe in 2022 I will raise my rates to $10,000 a month because that’s doable for me. What the heck do people even think? That I can live off $40-$200 a month?!

This is why I still have my day job delivering food and groceries.

Before I get to that, I must let you know that as soon as I mentioned a contract to that guy where he would sign to pay me my retainer plus the commissioned amounts he mentioned, he basically got real nasty with me and openly told me he was on unemployment right now and it was about to run out. Well, then don’t promise to pay someone $10,000 or even worse $20,000.

So basically, I was really beginning to feel grown and very confident with this new found way I was instantly aware that someone was trying to take advantage of me, and it was totally okay to set a boundary. Thank you trauma healing and self-care. Without you, I would not be this far ahead.

Yet, I was still very stressed about how everything would work out.

Speaking of day job, on May 29, 2021 the Mercury Retrograde started. Weird things that never occur were occuring and there was a very strange energy in the air that day.

Then, Mom and I went to start our night doing Ubereats. We had a Checkers run first, and then got two Applebees runs. We delivered the first to some apartments in Trinity and headed to the next drop off off of Seven Springs Boulevard. We turned onto Mitchell Ranch road at 9:58 p.m. and I only know that because my sister called me as we were turning onto the road. And I also remember the road being incredibly dark and the only light I could see was my phone lighting up when my sister called. I answered the phone and began talking to my sister and about a minute into driving down the road, everything went black. Next thing I know our car is off to the side of the road on a side street, and the entire car is full with smoke, and I notice the airbags have deployed all around me.

Mom and I come too. I say to my sister, “I think we were in an accident.” And both my mom and I get out of the car.

People rush over to see if we are okay but as Mom and I take in the car we are amazed that we both are still standing there. Apparently at approximately 9:59 p.m. a young man driving a black small sedan didn’t stop at the stop sign crossing the intersection between Strada Lane and Mitchell Ranch Road, and he hit us at a rate of speed more than 30 mph. We believe we spun out before the entire main components of my mom’s car started to fall out and then we landed to the side of the grass on Strada Lane.

God really did a miracle here guys! Mom and I both walked out of this car. Mom took the brunt of the impact so she suffered a hemotoma contusion which is basically life-threatening because it is a literal mass of blood which if it breaks apart the wrong way could cause my mom to suffer blood clots.

I basically have been suffering more mentally than physically but it’s only because I went into shock initially at the scene and didn’t realize the severity of my injuries. Now that I’ve been seeing a chiropractor for treatment, it is clear that my left knee struck something very hard because it tends to have a dull throb from time to time, and days following the accident, I actually could barely walk on my leg because the pain was so intense.

It has been 3 weeks now, our healing has begun, but still. Everytime Mom and I are in the car now whenever we get close to a stop sign intersection, I brace for impact. And Mom says she still hears that crash sound in her head whenever she’s driving.

Yet, God saved us. We walked out of there alive and seemingly with nothing too severe at the scene. I guess that’s why an ambulance wasn’t even called to take us to the hospital. The only reason we got to the hospital at all is because my sister drove us.

Yet, one thing this tragedy showed me is how fast it can happen, how short life is, and also how little people actually seem to care about me and my family.

For example, I posted the picture above on Instagram, and people actually liked the picture. About 7-8 people commented and reached out, I got several messages asking me if I was ok, how my mom was doing, etc, but for the most part, I thought it was absolutely heartless that people LIKED that photo. Then, I wrote a poem about it to help me process, and I shared it on Instagram. And it got plenty of LIKES again but absolutely no feedback.

And that’s when I realized I need a very long hiatus from social media. And I also realized that as far as me sharing things publicly, this and my email newsletter will be the sole place I share things, as well as my Youtube channel because Facebook really doesn’t favor an autistic person like me.

I mean yeah I will be returning to Instagram after a month but I really don’t see how it’s beneficial to me anymore to be so active on these platforms. They really have only caused me grief. I’ve enjoyed the people I meet there but at the same time, there is a lot that doesn’t really help someone with PTSD and autistic sensitivites.

So I’ve been off Instagram an entire week, and I can tell you that it is exactly what I need right now.

And I also found out that the Book of the Year contest I am in is rigged. The site actually has someone in the lead above me who has only 157 followers on Twitter and when you go to their profile, you see that they purchased multiple advertising options from OnlineBookClub.org which is why they are in first place.

Oh, I’m not giving up on winning this one, I just felt a small sense of relief when I realized this so I’ve stopped obsessing over asking people to vote for me. I actually have been on my old Instagram to do so and it turns out that a lot of followers on there (other writers) are entirely hedonistic and one-sided. Several of them even blocked me after I messaged them. And some of them wrote me in response to asking them to vote with the excuse: “I can’t vote for your book since I haven’t read it.”

This is the reality. Why would I want to participate in a network where these people are not team players but all about themselves? And more importantly, I know that God doesn’t want me to force nothing that isn’t seeming to budge. So I’m truly at peace with not being on social right now and seeing what a month away does for me creatively, personally, and emotionally.

I’m also sure there are a few of you who wonder what’s happening in my love life currently. Well, from my perspective, absolutely nothing but in my heart, I know what I feel and I’m okay just living my life with Jesus, and focusing solely on that.

Yet, almost as if God wanted to open my eyes, on April Fool’s Day 2021, at 1:30 in the morning, I was working on social media posts or something for The Smart Cookie Philes and I got a text from a number I didn’t have saved in my phone.

They wrote me: “Who is this?”

Yet, the last time someone sent me that it caused a plethora of emotional pain. So instantly I was like, “Could it be him?”

Yet, it turned out to be someone I basically had met my freshman year of college who I had talked to following graduating who was interested in being a screenwriter and we mostly had always talked about shop stuff: writing jargon, industry trends, etc.

I didn’t remember him at first even after he told me who it was. I was still hoping he would tell me this was a joke and it was actually you know who.

No, it was that guy from freshman year who apparently I had made quite the impact on in the little I actually had interacted with him in person because he could name two facts about me right off the bat:

And what was what I call a fool’s miracle, we talked for the entire day. He was able to keep the conversation going, and I really enjoyed our discourse that day. And it made me acutely aware of the fact that in love I have settled for bread crumbs but I deserve the entire loaf. And if a guy can’t reply or he is short with you over text (sidenote: I don’t text people. Mostly it has to do with a guy I was on and off with throughout college but I don’t really ask for people numbers and I don’t care if I have someone to talk to all day) so when I remember your number or still have you in my contacts, it really means that you are important to me. I began praying for him from this day forward.

Yet, the conversation got weird at the end because he started to get flirty with me despite telling me early on in the conversation that he had a girlfriend and he just had a child with her.

I told him several times when he started to get weird. I think we should stop talking. I’m not a side piece and I also want you to figure out what you want with your current relationship.

Can a guy with a girlfirend ever not try to hit on me?!

Then, he’s been texting me and calling me after midnight most nights or at least once a week for the past two months. The only reprieve from him contacting me was when I was in Mexico. But as soon as I switched my phone off airplane mode, I got a text from him “Hey!” that was from a few days ago.

Recently, I blocked his number because I couldn’t take it anymore. I don’t really want to be talking to a guy with a girlfriend because first of all, I’m not that desperate and secondly, because it’s not at all right.

So I blocked his number and thought. Good, he will leave me alone. Plus, our last conversation from his number was very rude and pushy. He had nothing to say about my accident. He even had the audacity to say to me, “But why are you still alive?”

So I knew that keeping this guy accessible was driving me crazy and not something I have the capacity to handle along with everything else right now.

Then, the other night, I get a text from a number that appeared similar to the area code he texted me from.

Turns out, he used someone else’s number to text me. And what was the pressing matter?

He said he wanted to die. Yet, to me, if you are suicidal, if you have the time to text someone about it let alone someone who told you she didn’t want to talk to you anymore, then you are looking for attention. Not actually suicidal. I also know that because I’ve been suicidal several times in my life and my last thought was to text someone and tell them over text message. I did talk to someone or several people and eventually realized I didn’t need to go through with it but still, guys like him are why I choose to be single.

I blocked that other number and I hope I never hear from him again. Though I will continue to pray for him because God can work miracles while I am only one human being.

Honestly, it’s important that you all are aware. I am not the same person I once was. I have been through probably the first real devastating heartbreak in my life, and I also don’t see currently how someone would ever want to put up with someone with Asperger’s (I mean me. I feel like I am a handful. And guys my age don’t really have the capacity to deal with their own shit, why would they want to deal with mine). People with Asperger’s do date, get married, and even bare children, but right now, I really want to live my life, heal, and help others heal.

I no longer feel attached to the idea of having someone to love or more importantly who loves me.

It’s not a popular notion in any social circle including in my family but I don’t care. Detaching for me is releasing myself from society’s constructs that have led me to create unrealistic expectations for myself and how I am perceived by others.

Single people have and always will be sad in the eyes of society because society is laden with narratives of sex, romance, and relationships, and anything outside of that, doesn’t fit the mold.

I’ve never fit the mold so I’m getting too grown to care that I will never fit. Instead I am attaching to who God made me to be and learning to love that person.

And it’s become my sole mission and why I’ve decided to republish Sticks and Stones. The first collection was a solid piece of literature but I just wanted it to be all encompassing and have a beginning, middle, and an end.

And I wanted it to end on a good note which gives the reader more of a hope. And also allows the reader to have permission to be okay by yourself because when I had my heartbroken, too many people said the generic things to me:

They put him down.

They said I deserved better.

They also told me that the guy for me was out there.

It’s now become important to me that the book reads more in the sense of mental health, and also allows the heartbroken to know they need no one but themselves to be ok.

Until next time remember, you don’t have to be anyone except who God made you to be and if you lose track of who that is, Go talk to Him, read his Word, put on some praise music, and be unapologetic about making the rest of your life the best of your life according to His good plan, and what and where you feel the most free.

In Christ-Like Love and Confidence,

Chelsea

xoxo

~Just Keep Swimming~

#ForImmediateRelease Author Chelsea DeVries’s schedule of events and appearances for May- June 2021

May 22: 7-10 p.m. est.

Kyngdom Tearzz Open Mic Night

Via Zoom

Register here

Download Press Release:

May 30, 2021

Recording Doing Business With God Podcast

Episode Air date soon to come

More information on the podcast: https://doingbusinesswithgod.simplecast.com/

Download Press release:

June 5, 2021

Tampa Indie Author Book Convention

10 a.m. -3 p.m.

Admission is FREE but VIP signing admission is $10

For more information: https://tampaindieauthorbookconvention.wordpress.com/

Download Press Release:

June 8 & 9, 2021

Edenweiss Bookfest

Completely virtual book festival featuring Independent Authors and Traditionally Published Authors

For more information or to register for $30: https://www.abovethetreeline.com/bookfest-support/

Download Press Release:

Sticks and Stones: Poetry and Prose is currently #1 in Drama and Poetry in the OnlineBookClub.org Book of the Year contest.

To vote for the book or add it to your bookshelf, visit this link.

All press releases are available in their entirety in Chelsea DeVries’s press kit available for download here

#MentalHealthMonth: Giving Away 3 copies of Sticks and Stones

In honor of Mental Health Month, I am hoping to help in the fight through the darkness for 3 lucky readers.

The lovely Darlene of My Little House of Treasures is hosting a giveaway on her blog. Open to USA and Canada.

Feel free to enter starting at midnight tonight and ends May 27, 2021.

Winners to be announced via her site as well as I will share a video on my Facebook and Instagram pages.

Will you be one of them?

Enter here: http://mylittlehouseoftreasures.blogspot.com/2021/05/sticks-and-stones.html

Best of luck and more fun announcements coming soon!

Make sure to follow me on social media, Bloglovin, or this blog by email to keep up to date with all chances to win Sticks and Stones by Chelsea DeVries

#ForImmediateRelease: Author Chelsea DeVries is set to appear at RVA BookLovers Festival 2021

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 2021 

Taking Local Bookish Love to the Internet:

3rd Annual RV(irtual)A Booklovers’ Festival

Chelsea DeVries  is delighted to announce they will be participating in the Author Expo at the 3rd Annual RVA Booklovers’ Festival this Saturday, May 8, 2021 from 11 am to 5 pm EST! This year’s event, RV(irtual)A Booklovers’ Festival, will be accordingly hosted online on Hopin. Register for your free ticket here!

The Festival’s Author Expo will feature books by authors of many genres from around the country, as well as indie presses and literacy organizations. The Main Stage will boast several excellent panels like Framing History through Fiction, Middle Grade Magic, and Get Lucky: Romance, featuring authors like Amanda Quick and Simon Van Booy. The Kids’ Stage will feature book readings all day long, while the Poet-tree Stage will explore some spoken word, readings, panels, and more, emceed by Virginia’s first ever Poet Laureate, Roscoe Burnems.

The virtual event will serve as an opportunity for isolated, international writers and readers to come together, share ideas, and celebrate their love of the written word while connecting with the greater bookish community.

The 3rd Annual RV(irtual)A Booklovers’ Festival is presented by Fountain Bookstore and Brandylane Publishers, Inc. The event is honored to be sponsored by Libro.fm, The Poe Museum, e-Audio Production, and Sam Miller’s.

This event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact smartcookiepr26@gmail.com

Download this press release here

I am currently holding a giveaway on my Instagram for a paperback copy of Sticks and Stones. Enter on the post following the instructions.

Author Chelsea DeVries’s Fireside Chat on the Call To Action Marketing Podcast

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You can listen to the episode here: https://ctamarketing.biz/2021/04/ep-37-fireside-chat-with-chelsea-devries.html

Trust me when I say I was very nervous excited to book my first podcast interview but Shawntay made it easy breezy beautiful.

You can support her by visiting the website and even considering checking out her audiobook.

Don’t forget this is the last week when you can get Sticks and Stones for $2.99 on Kindle.

If you do happen to get a copy before Monday, consider leaving a review to be published in the new version of Sticks and Stones.

Press Release: Sticks and Stones Nominated For Book of The Year!

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For Immediate Release

April 13, 2021

Chelsea DeVries, Publicist

smartcookiepr26@gmail.com

Sticks and Stones currently #1 in Drama and Poetry

Sticks and stones by Chelsea DeVries, which is a collection of prose and poetry for anyone healing from a painful experience bringing up themes of mental health, suicide, and love and heartbreak. It is currently nominated for a Book of the Year award.

Anyone who has read or even those who haven’t can vote on the site. The winner of the award wins $5000 in advertising services. They award in both category and overall.

The book is available in paperback on Barnes and Noble.com and worldwide in Kindle format on Amazon.com

About the Book: In Sticks and Stones, DeVries paints a poetic picture of rising above toxicity, love found and love lost, and delves into what it means to find strength in the human spirit. Through poetry, the reader finds a voice of strength and the rebuilding of one’s heart a home with all the sticks and stones thrown upon it. 

About the Author: Chelsea DeVries wanted to be a writer at the age of 7. Her first publishing credit came at the age of 14 with a poem in a student anthology. She then wrote nonstop while doing IB classes in high school. She published two YA novels while still in high school which after over 10 years she rewrote as a NA romance that she looks to put out in the coming year. She is a seeker of justice and uses her words to free this world’s outcasted, peculiar, and underdogs from the chains that bind them. When not writing she runs and does PR for authors and musicians with her bookish brand The Smart Cookie Philes. Though she’s Florida born and raised, she has New Jersey in her veins. She currently lives in Port Richey, FL with her squad of three dogs.You can follow her on Instagram and Facebook at @onegirlrevolution26_, and her squad at @dasquad26. In October 2020, DeVries was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome which is a form of Autism.

Download her press kit here