I had never done anything remotely this dramatic before. The circumstances that I had been living under for much too long marked my actions as “appropriate” though. Eighteen years earlier, I was widowed. What was left on my plate was enormous. Still a kid myself, I needed to raise four more now, on my own while, making a living and juggling everything else that came with these unforeseen circumstances.

Help from family was minimal. Left to my own devices much of the time, I ended up rising to the occasion much better than anyone could expect. By all indications, I became quite successful. My family was flourishing; my work, richly rewarding; and my choices, plentiful. But I was dying inside, slowly being crushed by the weight of it all. Years of stress had taken its toll. I was depleted, forcing my mental health to land on shaky ground.

Then it happened. I began to feel as if I was having an emotional break down. Unable to stop crying, I turned to a friend for comfort and advice. It was that conversation that caused me to change my life completely.

Two months later, I had sold just about everything. My house, many of my belongings, my businesses…everything that was weighing me down and making me ill. In exchange, I bought a house in the country, moved me and my children there, and picked up a pen.

Selfish? Yes, but I needed to be. And many women should be when times call for it. No, it wasn’t easy on the kids but they ultimately ended up fine. Frankly, it would have been harder on them to be raised by a sick and depressed mother than moving. Weighing one option against the other, the answer was obvious.

How did my story end up, you ask? My third book is about to be released. Every one of my children are happy and learned from my decision, a lesson they are now using to navigate their own lives. And I am in love.

What many might have called impetuous and crazy, I call “life saving” and “liberating”. Suffice it to say, I no longer need such dire circumstances to perpetuate my taking monumental risks. I suggest you don’t either.