Reclaiming My Life; MY Story

One of the ways I turn away from pain is by collecting domain names. It's a cheap high. I only buy names that have meaning to me. For years I have owned, and still do, the domain I never really knew what I would do with it except it always meant in my heart that when things got tough I could mentally call in prayer 911 Jesus in an emergency for help with my pain. He was always there for me.As a terrible twist of fate 911 became my worst nightmare. For many years, I had my offices in New York City at One World Trade Center on the 79th floor. My School of International Protocol and Ambassador Roundtables were held at Windows on The World. In late 2000 my Mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer and I moved back to Miami to be her Guardian and Caregiver.

World Trade Center
              World Trade Center

Soon after the horrors of 9/11 happened. I lost many friends. Sadly, it is the people whose names you don't know but would see and speak to or smile at daily that haunt me the most. No one on Windows on the World at work that morning made it alive. The faces of those that helped me succeed were now only a memory. Who from the 79th floor made it out? Why was I saved by fate when so many others died?

I kept asking myself why not me? 911 Jesus took on a new meaning. It was now bigger than just me and bigger than my pain. I began suffering with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder- PTSD. To help me cope I founded a program called WorldLink Cyber Peace Mission connecting over 300 classrooms around the world to share with their student counterparts and try to understand what 911 meant to their future.

In 2003 I traveled, at the invitation of the US Department of State, to Saudi Aribia to meet with the Royal Ministry of Education to try and learn more about their teachings and help American students understand. My program was connecting students in Miami with their counterparts in Riyadh to learn more about their cultural differences and similarities living on the same parallel on different sides of the world. It was difficult for me even to understand and grasp knowing that 11 of the 15 terrorist where Saudis that trained in flight school just a few miles from my home. They lived as our neighbors hiding in plain site in South Florida until the day before they flew to Boston on their determined mission to use America as a launching pad for their evil terrorist plot. It was a turn of events that would change our world, and change my world and security forever.

Aon Building
Aon Building

In 2004, soon after my Mother’s passing, in her honor, I fought one of the most nationally publicized Federal lawsuits against my Town of Bay Harbor Islands, Florida for my constitutional rights to open a Public Forum. (visit my website Diva vs Goliath .com for more about my story) Even Bill O’Reilly invited me on his show. Bill and the show also saved my life. I revealed on his show how many death threats I had while fighting against the town. Bill said to call him if I needed help. The next day our Chief of Police in my town called me into Town hall for a meeting. Shortly after, he left office. My threats went on record. A few days later, my Mayor called a Press Conference on the Town hall steps and said that both he and his family had also received death threats. I went on my local TV and asked for peace between all religions and cultures in Miami.

After three years in the courts I finally won my case and opened a Public Forum in my town for all faiths. I was awarded the Salt& Light Award, the highest honor given by The Center for Reclaiming America. I also forced my Mayor to step down from office for blocking seven of my constitutional rights. That year I was named one of the 50 most powerful women in Miami Dade-County. How could on the outside I appear to others to be so powerful, when on the inside I was powerless against fighting my depression? After the Battle of Bay Harbor, I began an emotional downward spiral in addition to my PTSD. My depression became severe and my panic attacks more frequent. I was losing control over my life, sinking into a black hole, slowly but surely.

In 2009 I moved to Chicago to start over once again. My first job was in the AON Building which was a mirror in design to the One World Trade Center in NYC. My offices this time were on the 70th floor. Everyday going to work there were reminders of the tragedy of 911 that was related to the architectural structural of the twin towers in Manhattan. This experience carried over. I was reliving my former life.

In my thoughts I asked what twisted hand of fate was following me? This time I relapsed and sank into darkness. I was truly living my worst nightmare. Why me? Again I cried out to 911 Jesus for help in my drowning sorrow and self-pity. I had real trouble myself being depressed and Christian. How could I be depressed if Jesus loves me? The Bible even says, "that I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me." Than why did I feel so weak and just want to hide away from the world?

In 2014 I was in an out of the ER and in the hospital. My blood pressure would sometimes go over 200. I had a hard time breathing and my body would get very hot. After many test I was misdiagnosed with cancer. The next following months were very hard for me trying to understand how the misdiagnosis happened. Finally, the doctors said that I was suffering with panic attacks.


In 2015 I was at great odds with my company and self-harmed and attempted suicide while at my desk at work. Workplace depression is very widespread. For me, it was having “Bad Bosses” who had no understanding of what depression really was. They would even send me e-mails saying WTF are you doing? You can read more at my website dedicated to those who are suffering with depression and anxiety work. Together we must work to change the stigma in our companies. Also, join with me to stop bullying in the workplace. I consider profanity and being yelled at by bosses as being bullied. 
Bad Boss

Sandra Snowden Today, I am blessed to be alive and given a second chance. In my recovery, I still have panic attacks, depression, and suffer from PTSD. However, today I am reclaiming my life to be the positive person, I was meant to be and live the life I deserve to the fullest.

If you need help and inspiration please email me. Jesus is always there for everyone, which includes both me and you. I share these stories with you to let you know that if you are suffering with depression, I feel your pain. Know that you are not alone. Remember, it is not how you look or appear to others on the outside. It is how you feel and believe in yourself on the inside. There is strength in numbers. Together we can stay strong and fulfill our dreams.

Write to me your story and dreams. We can see things through together.