@Milton Franklyn Goedhoop- Photographer / Amsterdam / February 2016


I am not usually sad when a month is over, and although I am happy when November ends, this year I am sad because it was the best month of this year. For so many years, this month was my most hated month weather wise, because it’s the most depressive month of the year, however, things have changed this year or should I say I have changed. Furthermore, I didn’t want to write about the topic of depression publicly, but my emotions and thoughts want to storm out of me.


Perfection causes Depression

@Idona Photography / Hamburg / Octorber 2015


Depression is not a sickness of some crazy people anymore, it is the sickness of most people. We cannot all be crazy, but we can all make mistakes or break down from the problems in our lives. As a woman who suffers from PCOS I always had to fight with depression since I was 17, but writing became my therapy. I managed the depression periods myself, by changing something in my life for the better. When I had to apply for a new job, I was asked why I changed my workplace so often, but it was difficult to answer. The reason was that I didn’t like the jobs anymore and became bored because I had learned everything I needed to, in which there is nothing more worse for me than stagnancy! 4 years ago, I started in a totally new field than before, where you constantly need to learn new things, working in a lawyer’s office that dealt with people’s debts. I had to talk with the debtors and send them letters and found it great, because I could advise them with their problems. I had good and bad times in my company, but I still regarded it as my second home, although I didn’t realize how much I allowed my work to control my life. We were trained to find ways to get better, as well as never trusting others, and I had the pressure of becoming better each day. I worked 8 or more hours a day, went home, prepared dinner for myself and continued to work for another 4 to 6 hours online. I had no free time for many years and the last holiday I had was in 2002. I was a workaholic and I was never happy with my work, but I tried to remain calm whilst continuing to try hard. Then one day in July 2015 my team leader misbehaved towards me, it was just a normal check-up they do, so I had nothing to worry about, but this time, she was in a very bad mood and she chose me as the person to let her anger out on. The check-up was taking about an hour, but it ruined my life, all that I had achieved for myself regarding self-confidence was destroyed by her, and in the following week, I couldn’t go to work due to terrible stomach pains. That pain never really went away, it was just getting weaker, then in October 2015 it was getting more worse, but silly me I kept on working and doing things for the plus size community. I never received a thank you from my company, nor from the people within the plus size community for all my effort. I was an idealist, but since last year I became a realist because my work created too much negativity in my life and when I got confronted by the negative people within the movement, I was constantly getting angry. Up until today, I still don’t understand why people fight each other over petty reasons; growth is not possible with jealousy and hate. Forgive each other, as I have forgiven everyone, or it will destroy you!


A life of mortification increases a bad health condition

@Milton Franklyn Goedhoop- Photographer / Amsterdam / February 2016


The stress at work caused me to collapse in November 2015, and I was not able to work since then. Furthermore, I was advised to never go back to this workplace because the effects of it on my soul might cause more terrible health problems for me. I gave too much importance to this job and ignored the down sides, but today I know this was my mistake. It was not my mistake to be the one who had to handle the verbal abuse of my team leader, that was her own fault and she must live with the consequence of her behaviour. It was too late for me to get out of this without any consequences, and I was in hospital several times, had tons of check-ups and was only surviving on painkillers in times of strong pain. I kept on fighting and doing my posts as usual, no matter how bad I felt; but I didn’t realize what was not right with me until my doctor said I have a depression. Then this year my old page partner Norman Spee became a member of my team again, and a few months later I had another member named Justin J. White who writes the most amazing articles, plus things got better within time. Nevertheless, my own life was not working well, on some days I was not motivated, and on other days I could just walk around with a sad face, because I couldn’t even cry anymore; on other days, I could at least go out for a short walk and then were the days where I was scared of leaving the bed, because there could be something out there. There was nothing even though I feared no single thing. I tried out psychopharmaceutical, but I gave it up after a few days since I couldn’t handle them well, and today I am happy that I didn’t take them again. The painkillers for all my pain were hard enough; it is safe to say that the year 2016 was horrible and I had to realize that this is not just one of the less harmless depressive moods I had before, this was a real problem that could have cost my life. Unexpectedly, my first bit of help came from books of a certain author. I don’t want to mention him yet, because his books might not only help me but might also help my family. My second help was God! It’s that simple! Well, it’s not only God alone that changed it, it was also my understanding of the world and the humans. I see many things from a different perspective than before, I had to deal with people who let their anger out on me everyday. This didn’t hurt me, because I know I am not responsible for their misery; but I lived a life that was ruled by mortification, people humiliated me for no reason and blamed me for their own problems. My team leader was the worse one out of all of them, because she was not happy with her life; the mortifications that I received and those that I gave to others caused me to live an unhappy and angry life. I learned that to receive love, you must give love and if the people try to hurt you then let them do that, because it will only affect them!


Review EVERYTHING, even your own thoughts and behaviour

@Christphoto / Paris / January 2016


Interestingly, not only did I had to review everything, but the whole US nation did too. The win of the new president was meant to be an eye opener for millions as it was for me, and 2016 was not an easy year for all of us, but it is what we need. 2016 is God’s way of testing us, it is his way of helping us to protect us from the future. I know today that having a sickness is a blessing and I thank God for this, because only through this I managed to become stronger, wiser and more sensitive than ever before. To achieve this, it is important to review your life, your actions, your thoughts, your reactions and your own behaviour. Look for patterns, look for the cause and effect and start to analyse your life and the lives of your family. I learned that the worst thing we can do is to hurt someone; it doesn’t have to be me who got hurt, it could also be one of my parents who got hurt by a family member or by their partner. Unfortunately, this negativity stays in us and it is very difficult to find healing, unless you try to find it in God. I think that religions, no matter how much they seem to separate us, were given to us to help us, and you don’t need to become the perfect Jew, Muslim or Christian, but you need to learn from your mistakes. You need to forgive yourself, because if God can forgive you then so will you. Accept your mistakes and learn to love yourself with all your failures, because you are a beautiful soul!


GOD really loves you, no matter what

@Christphoto / Paris / January 2016


It was hard for me to understand, why he helped me to stay alive, it would have been easy for him to take my life, but he chose another path for me. Is it because of the help you get from me and my magazine? I don’t know. I can only guess that I still need to achieve a few things for him. It might sound grotesque, but facing my own end was helping me the most, if I should have died, then he would have made sure it happened; but he would rather help me to survive and grow. I am not scared of dying anymore, because I know my soul will never die. I had my first good time this year in June and July, when I was in a rehabilitation facility; I couldn’t believe how many people suffered from depression like me. Being there without any contact of the outer world helped me to rethink my life. I realised which mistakes I made and I understood the effect of the cause of my life! The effect is very individual and you need to rethink it all, but what you need to do the most is pray to God; I have never felt such a huge amount of peace and happiness after I realised that God still loves me. You may think that you cannot achieve anything in life because others told you that or because they also think low of themselves; but this is not true. You can achieve everything you want to, if God wants you too. This is not just a saying, this is my honest experience. You need to understand that suffering is part of life, our mind learns from mistakes, but our soul learns from suffering, and God is the one who allows the suffering in your life because he loves you. This might make some people angry, but his love is the reason for your suffering, and yes, some people suffer more than others. I can’t change that, I can only try to understand that without the depression and the stomach pains I wouldn’t exist today, because my soul changed for the worst. This problem is solved now, but it doesn’t mean that it cannot happen again, we are as healthy and as happy as our thinking and behaviour; we need to understand that there is much more than a body and brain. The most precious thing about us is our soul and we don’t protect it at all, the soul is the energy that runs through you and this energy creates your life situation. God knows that and therefore I am happy to realise that he loves me so much that I had to go through a whole year of suffering to improve my life!


Embrace the Challenge and see the Improvement afterwards

@Christphoto / Paris / January 2016


Besides posting I tried to organise new articles during the year. I know I didn’t answer many emails and I kept many articles back, but I will get back to those ideas when I feel better. It was very difficult to manage them before, it was difficult to keep on working on my first issue, which I started to work on last summer before the problems started. I couldn’t write nor evaluate what kind of problem I exactly had. I always said I didn’t see things clear because it’s like looking out of a window with a curtain restricting your view. I was very proud of myself that I went to London last weekend, it was planned for many months in advance, but I wasn’t sure if I would manage. It was not easy and I still had to rely on pain killers, but it was the second-best experience of this year. The best one is private and since family comes first for me, it was my best experience. Nevertheless, traveling to London and getting to know new people was not less amazing, it was like meeting a new family. I must say that the organiser of Ms Curvaceous UK contest and his family made sure I was all well, which is the most important thing for me. Traveling there and meeting new people was a difficult challenge for me, but I am happy that I dared to do this. This is how I was before, I embraced the challenges; achieved my goals and I was proud of myself, and for about 2 years prior, I didn’t achieve any of my goals and whenever I tried to do something new it failed horribly. You should never give up, you should always keep on challenging yourself, there will be many failures and many people will hurt you, but you should never allow them to get too close to you; these people might have a whole bunch of problems, because people who speak and think negatively have a lot of unsolved issues within themselves. Therefore, it’s better to stay away from them when you are not strong enough. I couldn’t even speak to some of my oldest friends because I was not strong enough, things have changed since I managed my travel and jury challenge in London, and I am a lot more positive right now. I can plan, I can organise again, and I can cry as much as I can smile at the same time. I am re-connected with my soul and with mother earth!


Love and Hope

@Milton Franklyn Goedhoop- Photographer / Amsterdam / February 2016


When I was younger, we travelled back home to Romania during the summer holidays. On one of these trips I asked my Romanian grandmother ‘what does God mean to you?’ She answered ‘Love and Hope.’ I didn’t understand back then what these simple words meant to her. We always regarded my grandmother as a crazy religious fanatic in some ways, because she would do everything for her Orthodox church, especially giving them more money although they already had tons of that. It made me angry back then, but today my perspective has changed. I finally understand her and I know what she went through, I also understand what God’s love is and how amazing the feeling of hope he gives you is. My brother learned this at a very young age and even though I followed him to church I didn’t realise it until I was live on the razor-edge. I will never forget the feeling of the needle in my arm whilst I was in the hospital feeling helpless knowing that only God could help me. With his help I also survived the most difficult year of my life!

I learned a lot of things this year and you should also learn the following:

You have to let go,

You should really forgive the people who hurt you deliberately or unintended,

You must really analyse your behaviour and your thoughts,

You should really change both to avoid a negative effect,

You must really accept your mistakes and failures and see yourself in a positive way again,

You should really understand why you are alive and what purpose in life God has for you,

You must really accept the suffering and embrace the challenges,

You should really lose your fear over the future; whatever happens lies in Gods hands,

You must really believe that if other people want to do you wrong, then it will only be them who suffer the most – not you!

You should really love your soul and the people around you no matter what,

You must think, speak, behave and suffer in a positive way!


@Christphoto / Paris / January 2016 / Standing at a bridge in front of Notre Dame


Goodbye November! You surprised me by being the best month of the year in 2016. You also surprised me with your wonderful sunny weather this year, but now I say hello to December 2016. Let’s see what improvements happen this month for my soul! <3

Kind regards,

Lyz Lupo


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