(KUTV) Fresh Living invited Josie Thompson Solomon and her husband Brighton Solomon to the studio so we could find out more about The 444 Project: Finding Light in Darkness.
Josie grew up in Mesa Arizona and is one of six children. As a young girl and teenager Josie lived a full life and excelled in every task she undertook. As a student at Mesa High she participated in sports student government and a multitude of service opportunities.
After receiving a scholarship she continued this path of excellence. As her second year of college began so did the darkness of depression. It continued to increase in intensity until Josie could no longer attend school or work. After seeing more than 20 different medical professionals, trying more than 30 different medications, working with three different naturopathics, hospital stays and having 12 treatments of electric shock therapy, there was still no improvement.
She felt a short reprieve from the darkness when a cousin invited her to live with them on their cattle ranch in Montana. She was actually able to work again and teach piano lessons. But when she returned home to get ready to leave on a mission for her church, that all too familiar darkness returned with a vengeance and she was not able to serve. Josie could no longer ignore the feeling that she had to get out of town.
In the fall of 2012 she packed for a two to three day trip to visit a friend in New Mexico and ended up being gone three months! She ended up in Buhl, Idaho in a small mother-in-law apartment in the back of a stranger's house. It was there late one night that she decided to give full disclosure to the crippling form of depression/bipolar/OCD that she struggled with.
She went public on her blog which she had started a couple of years earlier expecting nothing in return. Little did she know all that would follow from just one blog post. After she hit enter, immediately the phone calls, text messages, Facebook messages, and countless emails began flooding in. Prior to that, she just wrote about the silly, comical and more trivial elements of life but then she finally realized that by going public, she just might be able to help others with similar struggles.
It was then that Josie realized she had an opportunity to do some real good.
In spite of the darkness and all the things Josie has experienced in the last few years, she has never given up hope and is never seen without a huge smile on her face. On her blog she is brutally honest and attacks reality head on as she spares no details sharing the countless times she has spent immersed in an involuntary darkness. But most importantly, she writes about how to come through it and how to find JOY in the journey no matter what your challenges in life may be.
She started The 444 Project and has traveled the world finding and spreading joy. She ventured out on a Humanitarian Trip to the Phillippines and is preparing to visit Tanzania this summer.
If you would like to join Josie as a volunteer, you can find more information at the444project.com.