Local News

March 14, 2014

Chatsworth woman hopes books inspire others

Four years ago, the church Sharon Schwartz was attending at the time asked her to speak at a ladies’ retreat.

“I was nervous,” she recalled. “I have never liked public speaking, so I thought I would just read them some of my poems and talk about my life.”

Schwartz, a Murray County native, had written many of the poems during times of struggle in her life and during times of triumph. They detailed her battle with alcohol addiction and her eventual discovery that she was a “child of God” and her path to healing.

After the retreat, another member of her church put her in touch with a publisher, and that eventually led to her first book, “Healing Poetry: Steps to Him,” which was published recently and consists largely of the poems and photographs of her life that she presented at that retreat.

“I wanted to write it for my kids. I want them to understand where alcohol will take you, how one thing can lead to another when you start drinking,” she said. “I also wanted women to read it because too often they don’t have self worth. I had no self worth until I recognized myself as a child of God.”

Schwartz said she first drank when she was 14.

“I had no self esteem, no self confidence,” she recalled. “I don’t know if it was because of puberty or because I was in middle school. But when I drank I thought I had confidence. I could talk to people. I thought, ‘I have this under control.’”

But she soon learned there was a downside to alcohol.

“I started doing it more. It didn’t happen all at once. But the weekends turned into weekdays. The weekdays turned into everyday,” she said.

She had her first child when she was 19. That was the point when she began to turn things around.

“I got straight during my pregnancies, and I’d stay clean for a while. But I gradually returned to it,” Schwartz said.

But she said she finally hit her bottom around the time she was 30, and made the decision for herself and for her family to turn her life around. Schwartz said during that time she documented what she was going through in poems.

“Since I was little, I was told I have good penmanship. I was always encouraged to write, and it’s something that has always helped me cope,” she said.

In addition, to her poems, she wrote a storybook for her eldest daughter talking about the relationships between mothers and their children.

“I think I was writing about the type of mother I wanted to be,” she said. “I hoped that even if my kids acted like I did when I was young that I would try to remain stable and let them know I loved them even if I thought that what they were doing was bad for them.”

That turned into her second book “Can Somebody Tell Me Please What’s a Mommy Really For?”

Her children are now 24, 15 and 12, and Schwartz says they are excited that their mother’s books have been published.

And she said the reaction from friends and others who have read her books has been positive.

“They’ve told me that they can relate to the things I wrote and the way I felt,” she said.

Both books are available online at Amazon.com.

“I haven’t really tried to really push them. First and foremost, I’m a wife and mom. That’s my main focus, then my job (as a certified nursing assistant) which I’m passionate about,” she said. “But I do want people to hear my words. I believe in them, and I think they can speak to others.”

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