Jenelle Marie Pierce – The Girlfriend Takeaway

Her Instagram handle is @tatted_std_warrior, and she’s aptly named. Warrior, indeed! She’s the sword-wielding heroine-type who inspires onlookers and crusades to destroy the enemy. And who is the enemy, you ask? Stigma – and its time is up.

Jennelle Marie Pierce is the Executive Director of The STD Project, founder of The Herpes Activists Network (HANDS), and the spokesperson for Positive Singles. She’s a walking testament to the fact that being diagnosed with an STD/STI does not define a person, nor does it determine their fate. And although her missions are many, the one that stood out for me the most (my girlfriend takeaway) is this:

“Down with shame; Up with empathy.”

Valiant! If anyone reading this has fallen victim to shame, you’ll know the pain of it all too well. We’re prone to lighting the fire ourselves, but society freely hands out matches, while stockpiling fuel to add to our self-destructive flames. And regarding those among us who cast judgment? Enough. Done. Give it up.

Jenelle battles shame and stigma in many ways, but education is her greatest weapon. Knowledge is power, so I strongly encourage you to listen to this week’s interview on my podcast Girlfriend, We Need To Talk! to gain some power of your own.

Regardless of the circumstance, STD related or otherwise, no one among us deserves stigmatization, and all flourish in the face of empathy. Thank God there are people like Jenelle who defend the targeted and refuse to shy away from controversy. I, for one, would follow this warrior into battle any day.

You can listen to Jenelle’s interview on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, Google Podcasts, or by clicking HERE.

Learn more:
The STD Project
Positive Singles
National Coalition for Sexual Health

Follow Jenelle:

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Rhyme or Reason

From where do waves of sadness come
When all is going well,
That, “Pull the covers overhead
And disappear,” type hell

No rhyme, not even reason,
No logic to be found,
Just wallowing and sinking low
Into non-fertile ground

Shut out the world,
Shut out the lights,
Shut out the constant questions

Why am I this?
Why do I that?
Why paths that lack attention?

Am I to do the bidding
Of this soul that I encase,
When all the while the outer world
Spits squarely in my face?

I do believe, I always have
And will continue to,
But then these waves, these rhythmic fiends
Wash out my will to do

But carry on I will, I will
One short step at a time
And when I’m asked the reason why
I’ll tell them, “It’s to rhyme.”

~ Leana Delle
Sunday, April 14, 2019
2019 Sunday Poetry Challenge – Number fourteen of fifty-two

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Sarah Hepola – The Girlfriend Takeaway

This week’s guest on my podcast, Girlfriend, We Need To Talk!, was Sarah Hepola, NY Times bestselling author of Blackout: Remembering The Things I Drank To Forget. In it, she provides a startlingly honest account of life under the influence and how her own journey to sobriety played out. Our discussion dug deep into the subject matter, while showcasing her sharp wit and command of the English language.

My biggest takeaway from her interview? Phew! Tough call, because I loved so much of it, but this stood out:

“I got very, very tired, and I could feel my soul was really slipping away.”

And herein lies the signal for drastic change. I’ve felt it before, myself. The first time, prior to divorce. The second, and most recent, when alcohol began threatening to destroy all that I’d ever wanted to be. So, I left it behind for two years – along with a crap diet and dating the wrong men – and I didn’t return until all three relationships could be unquestionably deemed healthy and nondependent.

Sarah left it for good. She’s 8.5 years sober. And in a great many cases, permanent sobriety is the only option. We’re both here to tell you that that’s okay. It’s doable. And that the list of personal gains will far outweigh the losses.

If you’re wondering if – or you’re sure that – you’re in a dysfunctional relationship with alcohol, and especially if you feel like your soul is slipping away, this interview (and Sarah’s book) are a must. Equally, if you have a friend or loved one that you’re concerned about. The message is empowering and gives hope to the millions of people in our society who are suffering in silence.

You can listen to the interview on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, Google Podcasts, or by clicking HERE.

It’s Alcohol Awareness Month. Please don’t not listen to this interview, because the topic makes you uncomfortable. Listen, because it does.

Connect with Sarah:

Help, if you feel you need it.
Help, if you’re worried about a loved one.

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Trust In The Ride

Permission I ask for
I bargain, I plea
To simply do nothing,
I ask it of me

Set aside projects
And put down the phone,
Ignore a few deadlines
Hide out alone

Yet, each time I query
I counter, it’s true,
With a voice of ambition
And a list of to-dos

Whispering, taunting,
Causing me strife,
With threats of my living
An unfulfilled life

Neither side loses,
Neither side wins,
And the next day it starts
All over again

Maybe what’s needed
Is some kind of truce,
Put down the blowhorns
And stop the abuse

Quiet the body,
Silence the mind,
Praise my soul’s driving
And trust in the ride

~ Leana Delle
Sunday, April 7, 2019
2019 Sunday Poetry Challenge – Number thirteen of fifty-two

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Nicole Gaitan – The Girlfriend Takeaway

I love art, and I often imagine myself creating it full-time. Challenging when I hold a paintbrush like an injured bird, but I can make a mean collage/vision board. Those living the dream intrigue me, including this week’s guest, Nicole Gaitan. I stumbled upon her work on a trip to Jackson Hole, WY and fell in love with it.

Her interview revealed my assumptions to be true: Artists have all of the same doubts and fears that we do. They just have a more creative way of working through them.

My favorite takeaway from Nicole?

“When you make room in your life, things come in.”

I’ve actually seen this in my own life as it relates to, well, pretty much everything. Peace, creativity, money, and yes, even love. If you give something the focus it deserves, “it will grow,” as she so appropriately added. Not in a day, a week, or even six months to a year, but it will grow. I’d like to add that doing with an open heart, not attached to an end result, adds yet another magical element.

My guest has figured this out, and she also (like myself) practices visualization and manifestation. Each of her pieces, along with herself, are strong evidence that they work.

Nicole’s interview on Girlfriend, We Need To Talk! is both enlightening and inspiring. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, Google Podcasts, or by clicking here.

This is definitely a woman you’ll want to follow:

Watch Nicole paint with BBQ Sauce!

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