"Tanya J Peterson NCC @tanyajpeterson1 May 19 @Nikkyy44 Good morning! Thanks for the RT! Btw, I've meant to mention that I like your profile picture. " That is how our friendship started. Do you remember?
I used to read your posts on 'healthyplace' since you took over when Jodi stopped, but I hardly commented at that time.
Several weeks after your twitter message, I joined you on Facebook and participated to the event that was promoting your novel "My Life in a Nutshell".I was one of the lucky ones and won a copy of the novel. I was so excited!
I'm writing you today to say how grateful I am to be your friend. It's not a post where I want to talk about your books and how much I loved them. I'm not writing about Tanya the author who made me fall in love with all the characters of her novels. I'm writing to Tanya my good friend. You are so generous and considerate. You know how to make others feel comfortable. You're not afraid of being yourself and showing your vulnerability. You helped me to see and understand that knowing how to deal with problems is important, but it doesn't mean we can avoid facing them.
You have no idea how important your regular messages are to me, whether it's a long message or just wishing me a good day. It made such a big difference in my life because I'm not used to receiving messages unless in reply to something I have sent. I'm usually the one trying to keep contact and looking for connection. Receiving what I didn't ask for makes me feel important and loved.
Reading your novels helped a lot my journey of self-love. as I told you once: if I was one of the characters of your books, I would fall in love with myself immediately. As damaged as your characters appear, or feel they are, they are extremely lovable.
Thank you Tanya
Tanya J. Peterson holds a Bachelor of Science in secondary education, Master of Science in counseling, and is a Nationally Certified Counselor. She has been a teacher and a counselor in various settings, including a traditional high school and an alternative school for homeless and runaway adolescents, and she has volunteered her services in both schools and communities. Peterson is an active volunteer with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), including acting as a co-facilitator of the Connection support group as well as the secretary of the board of directors of her local NAMI chapter. She is a regular columnist for the Anxiety-Schmanxiety blog on HealthyPlace.com.
She draws on her life experience on both sides of the couch (counselor and client) to write stories about the psychological aspect of the human condition, specifically mental illness and the impact it has on human beings. Her goal is to use writing and speaking to change the way the world thinks about mental illness and the people who live with it.
Peterson believes that fiction is a powerful vehicle for teaching fact. Further, she knows that people empathize with characters in novels, and commonly they transfer their empathy to real-life human beings. To that end, she has published Leave of Absence, My Life in a Nutshell, and the YA novel Losing Elizabeth. Additionally, she has published Challenge!, a short story about a person who finds the confidence to overcome criticism and achieve a goal, and a book review of Linley and Joseph’s Positive Therapy: A Meta-Theory for Positive Psychological Practice that appeared in Counseling Today, the national publication of the American Counseling Association.
Tanya J. Peterson, MS, NCC
Mental Health Novelist, Writer, & Speaker