Hope is like the involuntary breaths I take to live. It is always there as I encounter obstacles in my path. With hope, I can conquer mountains. I know it may be hard and emotionally and physically painful, but I can do it. With hope, I can change and become who I want to be.

Hope for me means being of service to others and to live with respect and humility. It means showing up and being present as I participate in life. Sometimes that takes the form of a pleasant smile that greets a stranger as they pass me by on the street. At other times, that means being there for someone during a dark and lonely time. I keep my hope alive by recognizing perfect moments as they occur and by acknowledging that everything changes.






What it feels like to have PTSD

People often ask what does it feel like to have post-traumatic stress disorder. I imagine it feels different for everyone, but I was able to capture what it feels like to suffer from this most frustrating condition. I often wear a mask on the outside, but on the inside I used the following poem to describe how it often felt. From my book Untangled, A story of resilience, courage and triumph

It doesn’t matter if it is cold, hot, sunny, snowing or raining. There is no telling when it is going to strike.
Are they alive or dead? Is that pain real or echoes from pain long ago that Resurface with a memory?                                                                                       It’s like being held hostage by your mind Thinking today would be the day I am free.
I look like everyone else. I know the difference between right and wrong.                                                                                                                                               Yet in my head I often can’t remember The last ten minutes of my life, or what day, year or time it is.
Are those smells real or is that a smell from a place and time when I was being held against my will?                                                                                         Am I really hearing the sounds of helicopters, planes Cicadas and birds? Or is that the sound coming from a place that no longer exists and should never be talked about?
I want so much to be like everyone else. So I will keep pulling myself up the rope, Out of the clutches of PTSD and all the skeleton hand of the past that keep trying to pull me down. I am like everyone else only my job is to live, so I CAN live. That is all I can ask of myself if I am going to have a future.