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Updated: Dec 31, 2022

In a period of a month, my life has gone from an incredible high to bad to worse. The incredible high was my re-baptism as Barbara on June 26th at the Harmony Springs Christian Church. At that service, I also read my original poem “Baptism.” A video of the entire church service is available on YouTube at:

Harmony Springs Sunday Gathering 6-26-22 Inclusive Church and Baptism

The bad occurred when I received the devastating news that the publisher that I had a contract with decided that they only want to publish self-help and cookbooks from now on and not poetry. They are reneging on the contract. I was completely blindsided.

My first inclination was to just give up on poetry. It is just too hard.

I am disappointed, depressed, and a little angry. This is really a very shitty way for a publisher to conduct business. Apparently, the publishing contract that we both signed has no meaning despite the several months it took to finalize it. However, I see no benefit in working with a publisher who no longer wants me, and this is just another blow to my already fragile self esteem and feelings of unworthiness.

So, I am left with a completed full-length manuscript that I worked so very hard on and that contains the best poetry that I have ever written and no publisher.

It is time to take a break from everything for a while, especially social media, breathe, wait, and listen. I am incredibly grateful for all of the support that I have received on social media and in person.

Nonetheless, I have fallen into a very deep depression. I think that part of it is the medication that my doctor decided to try. I have no idea what possessed her to prescribe Lyrica. The side effects include drowsiness, weight gain, blurred vision, depression, and suicidal thoughts, all of which I am susceptible to and all of which I am now experiencing. In addition, the medication has done very little to alleviate my nearly constant headaches. The neurofeedback that I have been trying has not been helping very much either. I am reaching a point of desperation, and my doctor is on vacation until the first of August. The relief doctor that contacted me yesterday just added to my frustration level. I am really a mess right now, and I’m so full of different medications that there is no wonder that nothing is working.

Barbara Marie Minney is a transgender woman, poet, writer, speaker, and quiet activist. She is a retired attorney and originally from West Virginia. Now based in Tallmadge, Ohio, her first collection of poetry entitled “If There’s No Heaven” was the winner of the 2020 Poetry Is Life Book Award and the Akron Beacon Journal Best Northeast Ohio Books 2020. It is available at Follow her at

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