About seven years ago I made a commitment to myself that I wanted to live not just survive. (my personal legend) I knew the difference between the two, as I’m sure most people have their own meaning of what surviving vs. living is. I was clear. I knew that I couldn’t begin to fully live if I didn’t try to recover from my past trauma. I couldn’t connect to the world, be a role model to my children or release some of the PTSD symptoms that had a firm chokehold on me if I didn’t fully commit to myself; which meant having the courage to speak my truth. Even after seven years there are days when this feels too big to conquer, but my personal legend is tremendously important to me. It motivates me during the most difficult moments of every day.
I’m still learning and accepting how much my past trauma impacted every aspect of my mind and body, spirit and soul. I’m in therapy, I read, I have a magnificently supportive family and circle of friends, and I continue to seek out and build a network of people who live, grow, and change with the season. I keep my eye on my goal.
In the fall of 2014, I had an amazing experience. I had finished my first draft of Untangled. I had written the truth. I decided to publish the book for a few reasons. I started to think that maybe others who were going through, or had been through trauma, might find something in the pages they could relate to. I also thought the book could be helpful to someone who has a loved one with PTSD, to help them understand why that person acts or thinks the way they do, or to simply hear what it feels like to be a victim of trauma.
I wanted to stress resilience, the ability to survive and eventually thrive. I had reached the summits of many mountains on my journey towards living. I’m optimistic about having a beautiful life. I do have a beautiful life! I’m still very much in the middle of my healing process, it’s never linear, but there is always growth.
Untangled has been published for almost three months now. It has been an amazing and gratifying experience to have spoken at conferences, be interviewed for podcasts, and hear the feedback from those that have read Untangled. I feel like I’m not alone in what happened to me, and I have found that some others don’t feel so alone now either. I also learned, that we, as a human species all have the same feelings. You do not have to go through horrific trauma to feel intense sadness, grief, fear, anxiety, not-good-enough, shame or failure. By the time we are adults, we do not go through life unscathed and everyone’s “trauma” counts as their own valued experience. It’s getting to the place where we have the courage to go to the uncomfortable places where we decide it’s time to look deep and be vulnerable and live or stay in survival. Either choice is okay…it’s simply a choice.
I trust my journey of growth and change is never-ending. I begin each and every day ready and willing to claim my life, my truth, and my health, and to stand tall with blinders off and my eyes wide open. The story of my life is my truth, and no one has the power to take that truth away from me ever again.