My Book Launch

The last couple of days have been so surreal. I mean it’s not every day that a TV news reporter sends you a private message on Facebook asking if they can come to your home in an hour to do an interview with you for the 5 o’clock news (and it’s already 2 pm) and it’s not every day that you get to celebrate the “Launch” of your recently published children’s book. But now I can actually say I’ve done both and last night I was surrounded by so many amazing friends (new and old) and family which was graciously hosted by two of the most incredible human beings I know who opened up both their hearts and their home to host this fabulous party and I am just so damn lucky to call them my friends. And looking around the room last night and seeing just how many people came to support me and to celebrate me and my new book I know I am truly blessed. I feel like this has all just been one long dream and I’m afraid to wake from it because I still have so much left to do before then. I didn’t get a chance to take many pictures as I was too busy trying to be in the moment and soak it all in (and signing lots of books too!). Part of the proceeds of sales last night and from some other recent and upcoming events will be donated to CMHA, an organization I have spoken about many times. I am attaching my speech below that I read last night (it’s kinda like a blog!) as it captures the true essence of what last night meant to me along with what this book truly means to me and it turns out it was harder to write than any ole book or blog I could have ever written.

Good Evening Everyone,
I just want to start off tonight with a very special thank you to Jeff and Karen who are 2 of the most honorable, kindhearted and virtuous human beings I know (the true meaning of a mensch!), who selflessly give so much of themselves to others and continue by doing so tonight having opened up both their hearts and their home this evening to celebrate me and my new book. I am forever grateful and beyond blessed to know you both and having your friendship and support means the world to me.
I’m just so overwhelmed with so many emotions right now (I know that doesn’t take much for me!). Over the last five and a half years I have been both blessed and honored with meeting so many new and wonderful people whom I now call friend, I have also been blessed and honored with becoming re-acquainted with so many old friends who quickly became new friends again and of course I have been so blessed and honored to have so many wonderful friends and family in my life who have come along with me on my journey since the beginning. And I am so blessed and honored that so many of you are here tonight to celebrate with me. It truly means so much.

Trust me, I know it hasn’t been easy at times but I’m so appreciative to have each and every one of you in my life. If I may quote Oprah here for a moment because well, she’s Oprah and she’s one of the wisest people I know (she’s no Dr. Phil, but still!) and every teachable moment is an opportunity for some new insight and growth! Oprah reminds us that “lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you really want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down!” And maybe one day I will be able to get back into that limo again but for now my pockets are overflowing with all the tokens I need, knowing just how many of you continue to ride that bus with me.

As most of you here tonight know, I started writing a blog almost 3 years ago chronicling my journey, being my true authentic self, speaking as openly and honestly as I can about my illness and about mental illness in general. I have had such an overwhelmingly positive response by so many people just by being so open, by being so honest and by being so vulnerable and I know it has helped many others to start important and necessary conversations, understand the many challenges and complexities surrounding mental illness and most of all it’s helped more people feel like they are not alone, that it’s okay to not be okay and that it’s more than okay to reach out for help.
Just the other night I received a private message on Facebook from a friend I probably haven’t seen nor spoken to in over 30 years except for the occasional like or comment on our Facebook pages. She told me how inspired she was by my blogs and by my recent book. She then proceeded to tell me about a relative of hers who has been battling with severe depression and the struggle to find proper treatment and hope. She asked me if I would be willing to talk with her relative and offer them some guidance and support. This is just one of many messages I receive on a very regular basis nowadays and it warms my heart knowing that she chose me to confide in and it reassures me that my words are reaching those who matter the most.

Since publishing my book “Where Did Mommy’s Smile Go?” only a few weeks ago I have been asked quite frequently what my inspiration behind writing it was. Well I think I may have just answered that question a moment ago with that brief anecdote but of course you all played an important role as well in writing my book with every heartfelt word of comfort and support you send my way, encouraging me to keep telling my story. But what truly inspired me to write this book were my three children, Jacob, Hannah and Rachel because this is their story, this is our story and I needed to share it in hopes that it would help so many other children and families too.

The book is seen through the eyes of a young girl with her two siblings right by her side as their father helps them cope with their feelings and helps them to understand the difference between sadness and depression. And although my kids were in the throes of their teenage years already when I first became ill they were still just as confused and just as scared as any child would be trying to cope and understand an illness they cannot see. At times they have needed the same reassurance that a child of any age would, they have needed to know that they are safe, that they are loved and that they are in no way responsible for their mother’s illness.
They are the heart and soul of this book, they are my heart and soul and they are my 3 reasons why! They have been faced with many challenges and have encountered many difficult situations due to my illness and they are who inspire me each and every day to fight this disease to the end. I love you forever, I’ll like you for always, as long as I’m living my babies you’ll be!
Becoming an author still feels so surreal to me and getting here hasn’t been easy. I’ve had plenty of sleepless nights (well those I’d probably have had anyways), I’ve shed many, many tears (well that’s a given!) I’ve driven Rich up a wall (well that’s a given too!) and I’ve wanted to give up more times than I can count but I didn’t and that’s because I was never alone, nor could I have ever done this alone. I just want to take a moment here before I promise to wrap this up to say an extra special thank you to some extra special people, some of whom I have finally gotten to meet for the very first time this evening.
Shirley, thank you for always going that extra mile for me and my family too, and for being one of my greatest cheerleaders and biggest supporters. You are truly one of a kind and I could not have been able to do this without you.
Lana, thank you for believing in my book and for placing it at the forefront of the amazing organization you work with. You made other’s believers too and I am forever grateful for the incredibly kind and generous gift I received from “Aunty Janis'” which has allowed me to take my book to exciting new heights.
To Shawna, I am beyond grateful to have found you. You took my vision and you brought my book to life. We did this together and I am so proud to have your name on the front cover alongside mine and to share this moment with you. I am so lucky to call you my friend.
And last but certainly not least, my partner in life, my best friend, my confidant. Rich, I don’t know where I’d be right now without you by my side every step of this journey. You have proven time and time again that love conquers all, that in sickness and in health we are in this together til death do us part. Your children are so damn lucky to have such an amazing role model to look toward when choosing their future spouse because as the saying goes “everyone needs a Rich!” and there ain’t nothing further from the truth!
Thank you all once again for being here to celebrate with me tonight and never forget that #youareenough!
Sent from my Samsung Galaxy smartphone.

Author: Kim Fluxgold

Wife, mom of 3 beautiful children, dog lover, creative sole and children's book Author. Sharing my journey with depression and anxiety through blogging in hopes of educating and ending the stigma.

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