ok, this i am prepared is going to take me quite a while to share, but i hope you will bare with me and really sincerely give an open ear to what i have to share here and learn by my example anything you can take from it. i believe with all of my heart and soul that what has come together for me (finally) this evening will change your life only for the better forever. it will most likely feel like i'm going somewhat deep here. i'm challenging you i'm daring you to challenge your old way of thinking ( for some maybe the only way you have ever thought about things). i know beyond all doubt that things i will share about here can and will guide you to being a truely happy individual in everything you do, places you go or just whatever you do, and it will last. it's designed this way. when i was a little girl i went through quite a few degrading, humiliating, and things that tore away from me or ripped me off of any self worth i may of had at this time. throughout my life the traumas and challenges kept coming. a few maybe, but by the time i was a teen i couldn't take it anymore. i was sincerely trying to figure out how to handle all of these things. they robbed me of everything and anything good i was meant to experience. i had to figure a way even only for my benefit but i needed to figure out how to make all of this bareable or doable ok manageable. i didn't have my parents or anyone for this matter to lean on or look to for answers. i have always been a pretty deep person. i will look at things to a deeper perspective than most would dare go. something that was quickened to me as i sat in my room one day thinking was this...i came to believe the only way i at least at that point and time in my life was going to make all of these things maybe ok if you will or bearable for others was this....i was going to have to find the good in each and every trauma that i had been through...i considered this may not be able to happen everytime just being realistic..so it came to me if i could not find the good in it i would have to make good come from it. the idea of doing this and practicing this gave me a new challenge a new way to look at all of these. i have always been of the most gentle heart. i want good things. even though i was only shown that i couldn't possibly deserve this i had to believe that i did. i had to find a way to be happy. i needed to figure out what this was going to take so my most deepest search began. i was always observant of those people around me and how they acted towards me and those around me. i did have some good examples as i classified them and i definately had some not so hot. i always tried to take those things that i did not like or agree with about life and how it had been and challenged them as well, find a good lesson i could take away from it all. now i loved my parents with all my heart and soul but i didn't nor couldn't appreciate their choice in methods of parenting. i have always wanted to believe people and life are a matter of the heart. if the heart is messed up then it only made sense that the other parts of ones life wouldn't or usually couldn't be very well managed. i know it's crazy i really did think about all of this by myself. i was also adopted so to know the reassurance, support, understanding, and confidence building i believed i needed as a kid i never had. my parents were always far too busy making money this is where their priorities lied. i didn't agree with it at all. i had determined that if or when i were to have children of my own they were going to come first. i wanted them to have all the things that i desired as a kid to have. i had to believe if i could provide these things for my own children they could make themselves or become whatever their little hearts desired. i wanted them to have the confidence to accomplish it. i have never been well to do, but then again i saw first hand how working so hard only to earn the almighty dollar costs to a family. it wasn't worth the price tag to me. i always figured i would make it somehow someway as long as my kids needs were met and i could be there for them to encourage, support, love on them and all the other stuff we look for as a kid i have done my job. btw ironically when the market crashed with the 911 incident my parents lost every penny they spent all those years away from us kids making. they lost it all. it turned in to a total loss situation literally everyone lost by this. one of the things that i became determined to figure out and try to set out and look for was just what it took for someone to be happy. not just for moments but all the time in everything they do. i believe that i was very much entitled to this especially given all i had been through. i just had to believe if i could find the answer to this my life would be whole or complete no matter anything else. my search began. i have always been into watching people, watching most everything i could possibly eye around me, and just take or make meaning for even the littlest of things that happened in my life. i totally believed positive thinking was going to be essential to seeing this or maybe even figuring it out. honestly i had hoped i would find it much earlier in my life after all depression has totally had control of my life for as long as i could remember. but i must say i had let the idea of it really happening go just over this last year. when i moved to where i am now i wanted to find me a church. this was a part of my growing up and is a part of my makeup if you will. it is my foundation. not that i have always walked the walk or anything but, but even growing up in churches and christian schools i must say although everyone was nice and all i didn't ever really feel accepted for being just the way i was nor for who i was, but i did believe this is how the church was meant to be and i had always hoped that someday i might come across one just like i believed they should be. that is totally accepting of me just the way i was, loved unconditional, and any support and encouragement i might of needed. i had really begun to think that maybe my expectations were set too high. well, last year i was encouraged to visit one of my customers church. i was actually kind of excited about trying it. theoretically it sounded good, but was it really all it was cracked up to be was the question. about a month or so after i was told about it i finally worked up the gutts to go and check it out. now my experience when checking a church out has been to go in, sit down, listen, and when it's over slide my way out of there maybe having one person notice i was there thus saying hi. but being able to come and go unscathed. when i visited this one i never expected what happened there. they were so welcoming, more people noticed me than i was honestly comfortable with, they all introduced themselves to me told me their names asked for mine and told me they were so glad i came..they actually meant this...i know people well enough to know sincerity and it was there...i met roughly a good 11 people or so on my very first visit. this church was everything i had come to believe when i was younger that a church should be. they really did exist. i felt so good and felt so worth something when i left my first visit i kid you not i ran around higher than a kite with the most amazing feeling that i was worth being noticed and not only notice but talked too also. this is when things began to change for me as far as finding at least what love felt like if not how to obtain it forever. time passed and as most know i was in the hospital in jan and feb of this year. my depression actually at the worst it had been in a while. these two times were so intense i began to think of some of my other visits there as not neccesary or a walk in the park comparitively. when i left the hospital in feb. they let me go a day and a half early or before they were suppose to telling me there was nothing more they could do to help me. i hadn't felt this hopeless this worthless, this lifeless in a long time i would say. i began to go to church more after this and i actually had come to believe well there was nothing more dr's can do for me there is only one hope left for me in my eyes at least. this was my last chance. i had to turn to God. the people at the church offered to get quite a few of them together to pray for me and honestly i have been totally and completely better ever since this very time of prayer. no joke. i began to experience all kinds of good things, and this wasn't just a one time occurance as i had anticipated it would be cause thats how it had always been in my past. one thing right after the other began to happen. positive and encouraging things began to happen. i had begun to develope a very real and constant happiness. i am not telling you all this to try and convert you not at all this is simply what happened in my life and began to bring me some self worth, i felt encouraged and heard, i felt loved and supported. these were the very things as a child i longed for, and guess what my feelings that those things could improve my life i was totally right on about. this was too encouraging. time had passed and even bigger things have begun to happen at the mental health center where i am a client of. they mostly my therapist had noticed so much of a change in me and knows how much i love to try and help people she suggested me to the group leader of those with the severe illnesses such as schizophrenia and those types of illnesses. i was first encouraged to just check it out the following week i was asked if i would like to become a mentor for this group. of course i had to say i would be honored. something my first thing outside of my children that has given me a purpose and one i liked a lot. just a few weeks ago my therapist then shared with me that there was a training coming up to become a peer support specialist. she also mentioned they were planning on creating some more of these positions there at the mental health center. she asked me if i would be willing or would like to do this. i had to jump on it. remember when i shared that if i couldn't find good in something i would make good. i always felt that one way that maybe i could do this was by helping others through their rough patches. be there for them to support and encourage them something all of us require to one degree or another. when my therapist told me about this it was like i found how i could make some good. i of course told her i would do the training for sure. i felt again i had even a greater purpose now. i'm serious i had never known this outside my kids. while i always loved my kids and this was all very important to me i had just always desired to be something more. i didn't really have any idea how i wanted to pursue the helping people desire i have always had but it now seemed as though a door has been opened just for me. my self confidence, the fact that i believe everything that a happy person deserves and maybe even more so than the average person givin i had been through more than they had. this is the events that have led up to this evening. in case you haven't noticed i have really been trying to help you all see for yourselves that you deserve all the very best that life has to offer. this is why i also believe that if things can turn around and change for me as -- Continued in first reply/post.