I started writing over a decade ago. Just started this blog one day and started writing. No game plan other than to write. I was tired of trying to drown my thoughts out with music. Tired of trying to explain how torturous my thoughts were to those close to me. Tired of feeling “crazy” or like I was seeking attention.

I think normally or maybe just generally, people want to be around happy people. It is perhaps a natural gravitation and part of individual survival. For the most part it’s connections and relationships that get us through the deeper and many times shittier parts of life.

Nonetheless, I was tired of trying to explain depression. I needed to find people like me who had been through it. That understood it. And I found a boatload of people to connect with right here on this blog.  You are all a part of the valuable healing process I had to go through.

I’m not sure there is anything harder than trying to explain an invisible illness and what it does to you. How it hurts you. I published books trying to explain it in poetic form. I spent countless hours here on this blog and on other WordPress blogs connecting, learning, and trying to find ways to kick depressions ass.

Skip to the present.

I have a boyfriend Byron Hamel who literally spent a few weeks weeding through my poetry trying to understand depression. My depression. He bookmarked and sat with over a 100 poems. He combined many that said the same things. He clarified a few thoughts. He edited and arranged each poem into an overall story.

He took the time to try to help me explain depression and in order to do that he had to try to understand it. He wanted me to know he loved me enough to try to understand me.

I mean… I have no words.

That’s how “If Not Words” was born. It’s a story about me and the man who loves me. It’s about listening and learning and growing.

I hope you buy the book. That you read it. That you maybe learn not just about how depression feels but about how two people found a way to communicate about something invisible. And I hope you enjoy the journey with us.

The picture below will take you to Amazon. Be kind. Listen to one another.





Partners in life and in business, Hasty and Byron split their time between Oklahoma City and Winnipeg.  Though they have produced several films together one of which is “If I Go Missing” .  You can also find a series titled “How to Get Beat Up” on YouTube. Follow their production company Wierdo Hat to stay up to date with their new projects.  “If Not Words” is their first co-written book.










17 thoughts on “IF NOT WORDS

  1. Depression sucks. I know. It’s a difficult journey. I hope your book sells, Angela. I truly, truly do. Most poets do write, in one way or another, about their mental illness. Often we find things in life that challenge the childish notions we had growing up, and we confront a very real evil. That’s normally what depression is, is that we’ve tasted something evil, whether outside or even within us. Most great poets are trying to struggle with it, mostly through dealing with the plot of their novel. A lot of it is just trying to overcome that thing out there that we know exists.

    So… art is pretty cathartic for that reason. We can deal with the very real demons in us by basically showing through metaphor how to beat them on the page.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s true. For awhile my only mission was to teach and help people listen to their thoughts and write what they said in as few words as possible. It helps.

      Now I want those who don’t understand or have depression to understand it so they can be a more compassionate partner. To be able to see maybe depression doesn’t mean they aren’t a great partner, because it has nothing to do with how great things might be

      Liked by 1 person

      • Love isn’t the antidote, though. I’ve found that out the hard way. People we love tend to be the ones who disappoint us the most, and tend to hurt us the most. I’ve found, just in my own life, the cure for depression—because I’m rarely depressed anymore—is to just be kind and generous. It’s to cut family the slack we ourselves want.

        I’ve actually cured my depression just by working on how I process abuse. I find there is a lot of it out there, and I have to beat it with kindness. Not that it somehow stops people from being abusive, but it helps my conscience knowing I did everything I could to help them suffer less. That’s why I’m a Christian because it teaches me how to respond to the world around me. I don’t mean o preach, but knowing that Christ died for me lets me commit fully to being a better person, and then I don’t have that dar hole inside of me anymore. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • Love is not enough any many circumstances. Teaching those who don’t have depression understand it is hard. It’s chemical and can do different things to each person. We have to know how to listen to our bodies and thoughts, we learn to predict it’s wave of torture and how to sidestep it. We do things like get sober and maybe go on meds or eat differently. We tend to need a bit more sleep before it hits. Lots of things. Glad you are better and to hear what works for you ❤️

          Liked by 1 person

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