When it Hurts to No End


“I haven’t thought about suicide in a long time. I’m thinking about it now. I feel very dumb. I feel like a midget in a world full of giants. Giant successful CEOs, athletes that think quick on their feet, good looking men and woman who have the gift of conversation and looking good while doing it. I am a midget, I can barely make a sentence sound intelligent. I am short with no special talents that will make me any money. When I am in complete despair with not a single positive springing care I chose to end it. I don’t think it is selfish. Depression is a pain unlike any other. It’s like a black hole in the middle of your body, slowly sucking in your body parts from the inside out. Eventually your chest and your abdomen hurt like there’s nothing in there.  I imagine an open casket viewing …”

“Not much make up but I want blush so I look alive. I haven’t looked ‘alive’ for some time. My blonde curls pinned up with little white flowers sprinkled about them. My three favorite rings. Minimal jewelry as I have always been. I have a bouquet of flowers in my closed hands. Big beautiful callalillies, white mums and miniature white roses. I love green plants more than flowers so there is eucalyptus and ferns within the flowers and there are multiple trailing vines flowing out of the bouquet. I am in a sweet little girls white dress with eyelet embellishments. The dress has cap sleeves and a boat neck. The skirt ends just above my ankles showing my tattoos. I am barefoot with no toe nail polish. I love to be bare foot and feel I should go that way. Hardly any make up, very little jewelry and no shoes. That is me and that is the way I want to go. Where I can finally rest and the hurt ends.”

(The above message was printed with permission by family member)

Note: I am sadden to say, the above message was sent a week before a beautiful soul fatally chose to end her life. She leaves behind family members: a loving and grieving mother, father, sister, brother, grandparents, aunts, uncles, nephews, cousins, and a devoted boyfriend who had found her on that tragic day. All are left with unanswered questions, blame, guilt, and of course, deep sorrow. As I pray for this entire family, I am heartbroken. As a mother myself, this sadness knows no bounds.

September was National Suicide Prevention Month. Not all disabilities are visible. Why do most of us suffer in silence? Having suicidal thoughts does not mean someone is weak or flawed. We all have meltdown periods. I’m sure we’ve all have felt hopeless before, and we all know what it feels like to walk under a dark cloud – it can happened to anyone regardless of age, gender, race or status.

Please be mindful of those around you. Don’t take your loved ones for granted. Won’t you reach out to those you hold dear? Will you let them know that they are loved and you appreciate they’re in your lives? Hold on to the moment. Some don’t have that privilege anymore.

© M.A. Pérez 2015, All Rights Reserved



Filed under Suicide Awareness, Suicide Prevention

Hail to the Queen!

I attended Houston Writers Guild first IndieFest Conference “Indiepalooza” this past weekend. With Indie-Publishing becoming more and more popular, this event held vital tools and information in phases through the process of Self-Publishing. The two-day conference included guest speakers, authors and a panel of experts in the industry. I couldn’t take notes fast enough! I am happy to report that this will be an annual event.

One special moment for me was finally meeting Kathy L. Murphy, a licensed cosmetologist and an avid reader who opened a beauty/bookstore called Beauty and the Book in early 2000. Eventually she started a book club for women who like to read and to have fun. Pulpwood Queens became the name for her club. Today, the Tiara wearing Pulpwood Queen Kathy presides over nearly 600 book clubs and she herself is now a published author. In 2008, Grand Central Publishing released her book, “The Pulpwood Queens’ Tiara-Wearing, Book-Sharing Guide to Life.” It not only sold well, but I hear there’s also a movie in the making from Dream Worlds!

As an author, whether you decide to publish the traditional route or the self-publishing route, here are some takeaways I jotted down from Kathy’s presentation Saturday night:

You have to know how to present yourself. Get a look! Be kind to everyone. Never burn a bridge. Never be so busy that you can’t autograph someone’s book.

Kathy’s recap (with permission) is as follows:

1) Finish your book before you ever submit it to anyone and that means a clean, well written copy that has been edited, free of any mistakes. I don’t want anyone calling me to tell me about their book that they have not finished or as an author have anyone calling me to tell me my publisher misspelled Ruston, Lousiana.

2) Create a look, brand yourself as a professional author. For me it’s big hair, Tiaras, and leopard print, my Pulpwood Queen signature look. It’s hard to forget someone if they look the part. Dress for success. Men wear a killer suit, women create your own signature style. No gift was ever as happily received as one that is magnificently wrapped. No matter how great the gift, if it comes in a Wal-mart bag, well there is not much enthusiasm.

3)  Gather your tribe. Friends, family, clients, network people. Since I started my Pulpwood Queens Book Club, that’s a given, but I am also a member of The First United Methodist Church and Rotary International, I let the word get known to them that I have a book and will speak. But don’t limit yourself there, area book clubs the best word of mouth, (which is to me, STILL, the best advertising in the world. Free program = big book sales.

4) Think outside of the bookselling box. If you wrote a book on underwaterbasket weaving well for goodness sakes, contact YMCA’s, swim clubs, basket weavers, craft shops. Volunteer to give a demonstration and then send out a press release when it is going to happen.  If you don’t have a media list. Take a day to call every newspaper, radio station, email blogger, what is their contact for  press releases. Hmm, that’s how I did it and it worked. And if they don’t respond to your press release, follow up with a personal phone call. Be polite, don’t burn bridges. They may not choose to feature you this time but The Wall Street Journal calls me now periodically for quotes.

5) BONUS TIP!  If you have a secret talent, share that talent. On my Beauty and the Book Show which you can watch all twelve on YouTube.com. I asked authors to share if they had a secret talent. Fire baton twirl, can say all the President’s names in under a minute, you name it! The audience loved those moments, make you stand out from the million book authors published a year and have some big time fun while you are doing it!

And there you have it, great tidbits from the queen herself! Overall, it was a great conference.

12010552_10208088477557552_6115741121659932474_o“Oh hail Queen Kathy!”

© M.A. Pérez 2015, All Rights Reserved


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Presenting… Mary A. Pérez!


A sincere thanks and appreciation to Kev for featuring me and for all the support from his faithful followers!

Originally posted on Kev's Great Indie Authors:

Kev’s Author Interviews, Presents… 

 Mary A. Pérez

  Houston, Texas

 A Short Bio

Mary A. Pérez is a noted writer, author and blogger born in the Bronx to Puerto Rican parents. She grew up running the streets of Miami until her late teens. Her award-winning essays have been featured in The Latino Author, La Respuesta Magazine and Sofrito for Your Soul. Her debut memoir, Running in Heels: A Memoir of Grit and Grace (Chart House Press, 2015) has received rave reviews and her fans keep growing.  She now resides in Houston, Texas where she is blessed to be the mother of four grown children, “Mimi” to a couple of gorgeous grandchildren, and happily married (the second time around) to a phenomenal man for twenty-one years.

Kev: What is your latest book about and what is its genre, Mary? 


Running in Heels is a memoir of the…

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Filed under Author Interview w/ Kevin Cooper, Interviews from Bloggers

Making a Difference

A couple of weeks ago, I was asked to give a presentation at a local women’s shelter on self-esteem. As I have been training to become a certified sexual assault advocate, I was delighted and agreed to speak to the group of ladies and give a one hour presentation. I titled it, “Phenomenal, Beautiful You.”  I gave that presentation today.

Now due to numerous reasons and past experiences, I myself struggle with low self-esteem. I still don’t find certain tasks easy, comfortable or painless. So, everything that I shared with the ladies today, I was speaking to myself. Sometimes we just need to speak words of affirmation over ourselves! I let those precious ladies know that I am just like them, only now, sitting on the opposite side of the table. However, not without from being well acquainted with the struggles that they face. I shared my story, my insecurities, and spoke on what the definition of insanity is: Doing the same thing over and over expecting different results. Here is one of the quotes that I printed out on card stocks for each lady to take:

When you change your thinking, you change your belief;
When you change your beliefs, you change you expectations;
When you change your expectations, you change your attitude;
When you change your attitude, you change your behavior;
When you change your behavior, you change your performance;
When you change your performance, you change your life.

This is the kicker to today’s event – today would have been my sister’s birthday, had she not passed away after being struck down by a hit-and-run drive, some 40+ years ago! I was a lonely, neglected child. But when my sister came into the world, from early on I gladly took care of her. Many times it was just the two of us while our parents were gone. But I didn’t mind. It was better doing things together than doing them alone. I promised that I would love and care for her forever. When tragedy struck, she was only two. How do you think this nine-year old big sister felt at the time? Do you think she struggled with self-esteem, insecurities, and self-doubt for the majority of her life? Yeah, you can say that all right. And I will continue to work at it.

I share my experiences because it is possible to make a difference in this world. Just like my pastor says: If you have a pulse you have a purpose! Today’s message was well received and the hour flew by quickly. Afterwards, no one wanted to stop chatting and visiting with me. They felt inspired. In the end, they knew I was one of them.

When I look back on my life, I see pain, mistakes, and heartache. When I look in the mirror, I see strength, learned lessons and pride in myself.


© M.A. Pérez 2015, All Rights Reserved


Filed under Self-Esteem Presentation

REVIEW: Running in Heels by Mary A. Perez


I thank Heidi for her warm and heartfelt caption to “Running In Heels”.

My hope and desire is for others to know that no matter what they’re going through, they are never alone nor have to be ashamed of their pain. We all have a story and may more of us come to understand that some things are not necessarily a “quick-fix” event in getting out of a hell hole, but it is more of a process.

Originally posted on Inkorkeys:

Running in Heels jumps from one anecdotal incident to another, opening with Mary’s mother and then boyfriend stealing Mary and her older brother from daycare…

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I’ll Never Forget 9/11

I imagine most of us remember where we were or what we were doing on September 11th, 2001.

Around 7:50 a.m. while driving to work, the morning newscast blared over the radio that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center in New York. As soon as I arrived at the office, I ran in and flicked on the TV to see the live broadcast of a massive hole in one of the towers caused by the plane’s impact minutes before. As fellow co-workers gathered in the small conference room, we couldn’t peel our eyes away from the screen. Black smoke billowed out the building, soon engulfed by flames.

We heard what our ears didn’t want to hear and continued to see images that will forever be etched in our minds. My insides plummeted as I saw a second plane hit the other tower. Buildings collapsed minutes later and we all gasped in horror knowing that hundreds—thousands—lost their lives.

My heart went out to those who lost loved ones on that fatal day.

That same evening, President Bush spoke powerful words: “Freedom itself was attacked this morning by a faceless coward, and freedom will be defended.”

Freedom isn’t free, I thought, and freedom is worth any cost.

(Excerpt from “Running in Heels: A Memoir of Grit and Grace,” chapter 43.)

May our presidents keep us free from terror, both at home and abroad.
May Almighty God keep us safe and secure in our hearts and in our homes.

photo credit: inktheworld.blogspot.com



© M.A. Pérez, 2015, All Rights Reserved


Filed under Remembering 9/11/2001

What Does Co-dependent Look Like?

Such a complex word.

Here’s what it looks like to me …

My former husband was in love with himself. His needs, desires and wants came before all else. I thought if I did everything he wanted, I’d make him happy. I believed if I agreed with his every comment and wishes, only then would I have some measure of peace. I figured if I made the peace in letting him have his way with me, then surely he’d show me tenderness and love, preferring me over his need for others – hobbies, friends or conquests. But I was merely fooling myself. I received no respect and he continued his ill-treatment toward me. Silently, I resented what he was doing to me, but not enough to do anything different. By me allowing the offenses, I was giving him permission to continue to do me wrong, as if I signed all my rights and life away. I was slowly dying inside. I felt undone, unloved, with a low-self esteem and zero self-worth. I felt lonelier with him than without him. Yet I still wanted him around. As I yearned for his approval and acceptance, I lived in constant fear with him and lived with the fear of losing him.

We think if we can control our environment, we will find peace and tranquility. But in reality, serenity is usually miles away. You might have a false sense of peace and trust me when I say it isn’t lasting. And oh, the price it comes with!

I’m no psychologist, nor am I a psychiatrist. But I also think there’s another side to this spectrum. Sometimes a person may love so much and love so deeply that they tend to do everything for another, thereby potentially stagnating and handicapping that loved one from doing anything for themselves. That person then becomes dependent on you for their needs and outlook in life. They are hindered from growth and maturity in making wise decisions or choices.  They are emotionally immature and can remain psychologically traumatized.

Such as in the situation with my mom. From her childhood early on, Mama was an introvert and extremely shy. Grandma loved her so much that she felt sorry for her. She tended to overcompensate in trying to help Mama by doing everything for her. Mama naturally grew dependent on others to do things for her all of her life. Then in my early years, I tried looking out for Mama and did everything I could in trying to protect her. Most of the time my help was unwarranted, as she sought and relied on her significant others to fulfill that need.

So, co-dependency can be a vicious circle and left untreated can fester like a sore that won’t go away.

Here here are some examples of what it means being co-dependent:

• The need to be needed
• People pleasing
• Trying to control others (aggressively or passively)
• Focusing on helping others before working on your own issues
• Being consumed with other people’s problems
• Rescuing
• Self-doubt
• Unclear boundaries in friendships and relationships
• The tendency to date (or marry) alcoholics or addicts
• Perfectionism
• Workaholism (or always being busy)
• Exhaustion

Your turn. What does co-dependency mean to you?



Filed under Behavior, Co-dependent, relationships



Age. Aging. Ageless.

I rarely think about my age but the body has a way of reminding me whenever I throw my back out or my knee pops. And yes, in the mirror I sometimes notice an extra line here, another wrinkle there, and as I gaze upon certain areas of my physique I find myself wondering, where did “it” go and when did “that” change?

From time to time I muse about my early years in having to grow up so fast, and then in my teens and young adulthood in raising four children. Next thing I knew my twenties were gone, and my marriage was deteriorating. Divorced in my thirties (I felt like a failure but ya know, the world did not end), and remarried by my mid-thirties (thank God for new beginnings). I can shout from the rooftop that no marriage is so good that it can’t be made better! (You see, I’ve been married most of my life.) Then when I approached my early forties, the seasons changed again for me, this time, embracing the wonders of grand-parenting.

So, in my fifties, as I reflect on this aging process—knowing I certainly don’t have all the answers—I’ve learned a thing or two about what life has dealt me.

I read in Psalms 90:12: So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts to wisdom.”  This passage speaks to me and tells me to make each day count. I must remember to live in the present, not in the yesterdays or in the tomorrows. I must laugh often, love deeply, pray sincerely, and believe that my best days are before me.

As my birthday quickly approaches around the corner (like tomorrow the 27th), I can’t help but think: have I done all I ever wanted to do? Of course, the answer is a resounding: Not even close. Am I running out of time? I believe life is a gift from God and I’ll take each day and cherish the moment. He is the reason for every good thing, every heartbeat, and every second chance.

Age … aging … ageless …?

I’ll take ageless!

I may not know what tomorrow holds, but I know Who holds my tomorrows.



Filed under Aging, Birthday

Are You Damaged Goods?

Definition of damaged goods: inadequate or impaired. Products that are broken, cracked, scratched, etc.: a person who is considered to be no longer desirable or valuable because of something that has happened: a person whose reputation is damaged.

Is that you?

Regardless of your past or present, you don’t have to remain that way.

Was that ever me?

You betcha!

Read on …

Hollow. Pure loneliness. Dark, like a bottomless pit. Ripping in my chest. Piercing my heart. Again, he stays out all night. Overcome by torment. Abandonment accompanies me. Consumed with depression, isolation wraps itself around me. My mind races with wild imaginations of where he has gone, what he is doing, and with whom.

Instead of going to bed to sleep, I am wearing a hole in the couch. At the sound of every car approaching, like a jack-in-the-box I spring to peek out the window hoping he has returned. With every disappointment, my stomach turns into knots. My own sobs mock me until I cry myself to semi-consciousness. Hideous lies will follow after he returns and add to my anguish and emotional decline. 

This was me back then dealing with my former (cheating) husband. His words like rubbing alcohol pouring over fresh wounds, stung! No band-aid could heal my emotional pain. No quick-fixes. Deeper and deeper I sunk into a dark abyss, crushed beyond repair. For several years, that was my pathetic frame of mind. I know now it didn’t have to be. So, what was the deal?

I had an overload of abuse: physically, verbally, emotionally. I had low self-esteem and zero self-worth. I believed and accepted a lie about me and my situation. I figured since this was my lot in life, better make do. I witnessed my mom go through a cycle of abuse, but I was obviously blind to my own. I made him mad againMaybe I deserved it … Talk about co-dependency!

How do you perceive yourself? Have you been lied to, beaten down and trodden upon? Feel like you’ll never come up for air? Are you tired of stumbling around in blindness, things so bleak you can’t even see your own self-worth? Drowning in sorrow and self-pity? Or maybe you feel you’re at the point of no return in trying to please another. You compromise your values, your mental state, your resources, your health!

Stop allowing someone’s negativity or ill-treatment to rob you of your joy and develop a callous heart. Realize you are worthy. You are valued and matter. There’s nothing wrong with being fragile … but let it be like fine china. Just know that you are not damaged goods; a throw away or a faded memory. Don’t be someone’s victim because you listened to their lies and empty promises.

Get up! Rediscover yourself. Feel your wrist. What is that? A pulse? Then you have purpose! Allow the Master’s hand to reach down and set you on high places. He’ll wipe the tears and dust the soot from off your heart. If God could get me out of the pit, He can get you out, too. It takes a made-up mind. A determination that today is the best day of the rest of your life.

What’s in your hands? What’s in your heart? A dream? A gift? A precious child? You have something worth fighting for. Choose your battles.

 If you don’t know my pain, you’ll never understand my praise.



August 20, 2015 · 7:00 AM

Garment of Praise


Photo Source: unknown

What exactly is “praise”?

There are many definitions of praise – I will focus on one.

Definition of Praise: The offering of grateful homage in words or song, as an act of worship: a hymn of praise to God.

When I was new in my walk with the Lord, I commonly heard the term “sacrificial praise.” I was like: Who feels like giving praise when you’re going through hardships and struggles?

But I have learned in doing just this very thing, it can unlock a lot of the weight and heaviness of one’s heart. This was a huge breakthrough for me, and I imagine can be for you as well.

We don’t praise God for the trials, we praise Him because He is faithful to get us through. How? That’s His business! Our business is to trust and rely on Him.

You’ll begin to focus better, see clearer, and think sharper.

So praise God during your struggles.

Praise Him with your tears.

Praise Him in the night seasons.

Praise Him through your fears.

Praise Him in the midst of confusion.

Praise Him with your mess.

Praise Him in all your questions.

Praise Him on your quest.

If on a mountain peak,

Or down in the dump;

Even if things look bleak,

or stuck in a slump.

Your load will soon feel lighter.

Your heart slightly fuller.

Your mind a little sharper.

 Your steps a tad bit quicker.

Then you’ll praise Him that the fog has lifted,

Praise Him the pain has eased,

Praise Him for the circumstances shifted,

 Praise Him that the gloom has ceased.

Lift your hands in surrender to Him.

For the spirit of heaviness, put on that Garment of Praise!


If you don’t know my pain, you’ll never understand my praise.



Filed under Devotion, encouragement