For Spring Break a few weeks ago I went to North Carolina where my aunt and uncle live. My publisher who owns the company Indigo Sea Press is also located there. My aunt put on a book signing and 20 people were there. Flashback to the year I got married in 2007 and I never dreamed I would be at a book signing for my memoir in 2016. If you would have told be that I would have written a book and standing up talking about it along with educating people about bipolar disorder I would tell you that you had lost your marbles. You see back in 2007 I was beginning my new adult healthy life. I was ready to leave the crazy past in the past and start a new life as Mrs. Susan (Susie Johnson.) My husband had no idea what I had gone through as a person living with a mental illness and I was fine with that. Heck I didn't really want people to know because society still associates bipolar disorder with being crazy. So there I stood as my publisher introduced me saying my book hooked him in right away and he could wait to see what had happened next. He described my book as riveting. I stood at the front of the room with notecards in hand to help me organize my thoughts. I had waited for this chance for the past year. A chance to share my story. To speak out. I had joined Toastmasters (A public speaking group a year ago.) My knees shook as I started and stopped as my words came out. I shared what I do for a living. I work in an elementary school and teach kids who have learning disabilities. I am a Drake graduate who has a B.A. in Sociology. Of course my husband Gary was mentioned along with the love of our lives our Siberian cat Angel-Ann. Then I started to read my story. A calm came over me. I was really doing this. This was not some dream. I began to share intimate details of my first manic high along with my diary entry about a deep depression . Then I cracked a joke. I found that using my sense of humor for such a heavy subject is a must. Then the question and answer part came. I had some good questions and was pretty good at thinking on my feet. After my talk my publisher came up to me and said I did wonderful. It felt great. I sold 20 books that night. I said a prayer and thanked God for giving me the strength and the courage to speak. This is what I want my future to be like. To share my passion with the world and to bring hope to others. I just don't know how this is all going to go down. So I pray and ask the Lord to show me how. I have no doubt he will. In his own time.