Annabella’s Epiphanies Resurrected From the Dead


Yes, it’s true. Annabella’s Epiphanies has been resurrected- for now.

Before I get to the goods, thanks is in order- to all of you who have supported me and my blog, Annabella’s Epiphanies, a big thank you. I would not be where I am today had it not been for this blog and all who have followed my work. Some of you may be wondering where I’ve been, others know. This is, for the most part, for those who followed until I disappeared, and for those who continue to find my blog on search engines world-wide.

When I started this blog, the technical aspect of my writing was hideous to say the least. (Trust me, I’ve looked back.) Perhaps it was because I started this blog as an experiment.

On the other hand, the content seemed to strike a chord with an insane amount of people. In short, Annabella’s Epiphanies circumstantially became a platform for my writing career.

A few months into Annabella’s Epiphanies and a lot of research later, I got an opportunity to write an opinion editorial (op-ed)  for the Daily News Journal. That op-ed morphed into a year-long gig. A few more op-ed’s and I was off to the sports section, where I became a regular guest NFL columnist. (Thank you, Greg Pogue.)

During this time, I was doing triple duty dabbling in some side projects; to be specific, I was volunteer blogging for a cause near and dear to my heart. I also spent a short time with a “start-up” NFL website. (Which turned out to be an epic fail and shall remain nameless.) Nonetheless, I was able to maintain some kind of consistency with Annabella’s Epiphanies.

February 2010 changed all that.

Almost simultaneously, I received two semi-permanent job offers. The first was from a man who had found me through my various articles and blogs floating around the internet. His company, iTrip, was looking for a person to write three blogs a week pertaining to the vacation rental industry. I knew nothing of vacation rentals and very little about travel, so I was quite enthralled that he was asking me to be the face of their blog. I learned quickly and soon picked up the title of  social media marketer as well. (I should add that the pay was not bad either, but I didn’t like that I was made to look like a ghost writer over half of the time.)

The Murfreesboro Post, a local, independent newspaper came next. With a human interest piece under my belt and pro football still in season, the editor decided to throw me back on the NFL wagon. (Good choice. No, really, the editor said so herself.)

All Things Must Come to an End

Sometimes things happen that are out of our control, as was the case with iTrip. I had to resign due to an unexpected obstacle, but I’m not one to believe in coincidence. Even before the aforementioned obstacle, I was beginning to feel weary. I wanted to get back to writing about my true passions-  football, sports entertainment, (WWE and TNA) entertainment, op-ed’s, and of course, my personal memoir. Now, that’s exactly what I’m doing.

I will be blogging on Annabella’s Epiphanies as often as possible, if even only to update you all on my freelance writing adventures.

Again, thank you all so much for making writing worth doing.

See you soon!

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Changes- Future Next Exit


Changes

I want to say a quick hello and thank you to all of you who have supported my blog these past few months. I’m sure you’ve noticed my lack of content recently, but I assure you I have not stopped producing content.

Some of you know that I am a freelance writer and sports columnist specializing in all things Tennessee Titans related. My columns run in the Daily News Journal. Sometimes they run weekly, sometimes bi-weekly. (We’re still working out all the kinks.) My other areas of expertise are mental health advocacy and awareness, and on occassion I still join in on the fun of devaluing the unenviable right wing pundits of America. 

When I can, I volunteer blog for two wonderful organizations, Everyminute.org and NAMI TN’s “In Our Own Voice”, where you can find more of my “entertaining and controversial” content. But- don’t let the branding fool you, my views on these issues aren’t anything I take lightly. In fact, my virtual tone on the subject matter is intensely vociferous in its nature.

With that said, I want to reiterate how important my readers are to me. I also realize just how many of my readers live out of the states, which make some of my articles harder to locate without the use of my blog. This is where the change comes into play. In order to keep my blog consistent, I would like to introduce a new column on my blog , a kind of “journey through the life of a writer”  manifesto. There aren’t enough writers/journalists involving their readers in the process of becoming one of the “elite” in the industry, and I would love to involve all of you in my journey.

Here is what I expect to be changing-

1. Short up to date summaries of the projects I’m working on.

2. Journal/SEO style blogs concerning the struggles connected to becoming a successful writer.

3. For aspiring writers, tips on what to do and what not to do when trying to break into the industry.

4.  URL links, and in some cases, clips copied and pasted on to my blog to make it easier for those having a hard time finding my content other places.

5.  On occasion you will still find some of “Annabella’s Epiphanies” in the form of music, pro football, sports entertainment, the entertainment industry, and informative advocacy pieces that do not generally fit commercially in the mainstream media.

Coming Soon

 There will be a survey for you all. I’d like for you to tell me what content you are interested in seeing me write about. 

I look forward to hearing your feedback, and I’ll be sure to follow-up with any statements or questions you may have.

Thank you all again, without you, none of this would be possible.

-Annabella

“Mental Illness Falls by the Wayside”


A few months after my article ran in the Daily News Journal and the archive was no longer in the paper’s database, I found that it had been re-printed on a non-profit mental health news site by the name of North Carolina Mental Hope. (Which is now North Carolina Mental Hope National/World News.) I was both flattered and humbled to have my article posted on a site that frequently re-prints articles from newspapers such as, the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times.

To date, this article is the one that I am most proud of, because the content is of such importance. But-  it is sorely neglected by both the media and by society. This is largely due to lack of education and the stigma attached to mental illness. However, with proper exposure and a dose of radical education, I believe the discomfort American’s continue to feel towards those with a mental illness will greatly decrease.

This article is a localized version only- imagine what the statistics would look like world-wide. Being that it was an opinion editorial for a newspaper, I was limited in terms of “word count.”  This is a start, but expect to see a much more in-depth article featuring U.S. statistics very soon. I look forward to your feed back.

-Annabella

Mental illness falls by wayside –
Murfreesboro (TN) Daily News Journal

By ANNABELLA HARGROVE • July 6, 2008

Often, while perusing a myriad of news sources, I run across a health awareness/advocacy piece. Past and still important topics of concern include AIDS, cancer, heart disease, and diabetes; It comes as no surprise really, given the provident advance in science and modern medicine, as well as the recent surge in political superiority concerning the health-care issue as opposed to the diseases themselves.

What is appalling, however, is the lack of education and acceptance where mental illness is concerned. While it is true that various media outlets have given a brief, and mediocre at best, viewpoint of the issue, it is almost always glamorized by the tragedies bestowed upon others; or it’s in relation to the uninsured. We need to address the real issue, mental illness itself and the ineffable pain it causes the individuals, families, friends, and communities.

According to The National Institute of Mental Health (N.I.M.H.), “An estimated 26.2 percent of adults 18 and older (1 in 4) suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder,” and “nearly half (45 percent) of those with any mental disorder meet criteria for two or more disorders, with severity strongly related to co-morbidity.” Tennessee is no exception. A survey conducted in 2002 by the National Mental Health Information Center, and provided by StateMaster.com, lists the state of Tennessee at number 16 out of 50 states, with 237,202 residents diagnosed with a serious mental illness.

More disturbing than the vast number of people with mental illness, is the stigma attached to the disease- which far too often leads to death. An average of 741 residents die of suicide each year in Tennessee alone, which equals about two suicides per day. Suicide is currently ranked number nine as cause of death in Tennessee. Poisoning, otherwise known as accidental overdose, is the second-leading cause of death in Tennessee. Although, if half of the undetermined intent poisonings were self-inflicted, suicides in this state would rise another four percent, according to the Suicide Prevention Resource Center.

Mental Health America recently released findings from a study done on public understanding and comfort with mental illness. While the study showed improvement in the areas of knowledge, the social acceptance and support of  mental disorders such as bi-polar, schizophrenia, and major depression fell short in comparison to other diseases such as cancer and diabetes. “The discomfort Americans continue to feel towards people with mental illness is disconcerting. Societal acceptance and support is instrumental in helping individuals and families facing mental health issues recover and enjoy healthy, fulfilling lives in their community,” says Dr. David L. Shern, president and CEO of Mental Health America.

The bottom line is, until we stop ignoring the glaring signs and our society decides to treat mental illness as a serious health concern, we will continue to see horrific tragedies such as suicides, overdoses, and gratuitous school violence on a regular basis.

When AIDS first surfaced as a health crisis, a term was coined, “Silence equals death.” I find this term to be more than suitable for the situation at hand. We must embrace this issue in order to better promote a peaceful resolution. We must, or else silence will most assuredly equal more avoidable deaths.

Annabella Hargrove resides in Murfreesboro, TN. She is a freelance writer, photographer, and poet. Among projects, she is currently working on a memoir.