The Crystalline Tree

What will happen to the crystalline tree
that sits under the streetlight?

She is glistening confidence
standing beautifully alone
as the cars drive past
not noticing, not caring, not seeing.

When the ice melts do the fairies that live
in the branches come out of winter’s hibernation?
Is that when the crystalline tree will go to sleep?

Does she rest after months of protecting
her roots, branches and all those who use her
as a place of refuge?

Or does she bloom bright flowers
and release her seeds when the wind blows
across the parking lot
creating a dynasty of crystalline trees that take root across the land?

Do the ice fairies light the night sky as fireflies or
do they find their way to the fairy houses in
the gardens in the city?

As we listen to music, talk and laugh the sounds of friendship
I look out the window and wonder
when the touch of mother nature’s hand melts
her branches winter coat
What will happen to the crystalline tree?

©Alexis Rose, image source: Pixabay

Thank you for reading my new book, If I Could Tell You How It Feels, available in both ebook and paperback from Amazon.


Easing into Spring

The whispers playing off the breeze
entice us to look closer 
at the bouquet of color
rising up 
from winter’s cool hands.

We catch our breath
and like 
water rushing
around the rocks

we ease into spring.


©Alexis Rose, image source: Pixabay

Thank you for reading my new book, If I Could Tell You How It Feels, available in both ebook and paperback from Amazon.

See Me, Hear Me, I am not my PTSD

The other day, my son checked in with me again to understand the difference between my brain getting overwhelmed when shopping and my brain getting overwhelmed while working. He wanted to know if when shopping,  I recover after a couple hours. He understands that if I push it while working, it can take me out of the game for a whole day. I appreciated he asking me because anything that takes the elephant out of the room is wonderful. But, I also understood that he asked me because I became so overwhelmed at the grocery store when we were shopping together, that he was concerned that my plans would be affected later that day.  I’m grateful for his concern and his honest question because he understands how my life is impacted by my symptoms. I felt both seen and heard.

When I describe myself I don’t use adjectives that describe my illness.  I describe myself as a kind, compassionate, person with a great (sometimes dark) sense of humor who tries to live an authentic life. I have strong friendships and solid family support from my husband and children. That’s how I would define myself. My PTSD doesn’t define me, but it does impact me every day of my life.

The effects of my trauma and the resulting PTSD has changed my life. It prevents me from being able to work,  hopping in the car to run errands, enjoying busy or new restaurants, traveling without a companion. I have to consciously work with the triggers that cause flashbacks, and other assorted symptoms. While that doesn’t define who I am, it does have an effect my life. If you ask me about that, I will tell you.

I’m in a position, as perhaps most people who deal with a chronic or debilitating illness to find a way to live with my symptoms and try to have an illness free identity. It’s hard.  I spent years minimizing my feelings, being angry at my PTSD, thinking that I’m weak; after all, I survived unimaginable circumstances, why can’t I just get over this thing. That thinking wasn’t helping my trajectory of healing and it certainly didn’t honor my past, my feelings, or the fact that I did survive.

While I am not my PTSD, it certainly impacts my life. I am more than my past, more than my trauma, more than my illness. And the truth is that my terrible past includes significant trauma that resulted in an illness. I have found that often when people hear, read, and understand that there are some really awful people in the world, it makes them uncomfortable. It’s uncomfortable information, and it should be. We shouldn’t feel comfortable, complacent and unfazed when hearing about abuse. It’s something that can be stopped, abuse is something that is done by one person to another.

To understand what and who we are at our core, our intentions, and how we want to connect with others can define us. We aren’t defined by our circumstances, illness, or professions, but they often dictate how we have to live day-to-day. My illness has been a struggle to accept this in my life. But it has also changed what I’m passionate about. I no longer hide in the shadow of shame and stigma. I choose to speak and write about what it’s like to live with a mental illness. To live with PTSD.  I want to be seen and heard for who I am as a person. I am not my PTSD, but I do live with this mental illness. Ask me about it, I will be glad to tell you what it’s like, the same way I would tell how what it’s like to live with a physical illness.


image source: pexels

Thank you for reading my new book, If I Could Tell You How It Feels, available in both ebook and paperback from Amazon.

Thank You to the Never Give Up Institute

A Huge Thank You to NEVERGIVEUPINSTITUTE.ORG for including both Untangled, and If I Could Tell You How It Feels on their resources page.

Never Give Up Institute is a fabulous organization, founded by Alexis Acker-Halbur that helps people understand how unresolved stress and trauma can cause illness, increase financial difficulty, and keep you from living a meaningful life.

Alexis Acker-Halbur’s book titled Never Give Up is incredibly powerful and validating for anyone who has faced devastating physical illness, trauma, and loss. More than a self-help book, Alexis brings her own experiences and vulnerability into each chapter. Never Give Up is both relatable and validating for people who have been through trauma and/or serious illness. Part spiritual, part self-help, part memoir, Never Give Up is very inspiring.

Check out and give a follow to the blog at

She Becomes A Lotus

Rising from the mud
Shaken by the moon that shines behind the shadow trees
She tenses and listens.

Hearing the leaves rustle in the wind
the cicadas hum, and the birds
flapping their goodnight wings
her mind feels tricked by the sounds of the night.

The humidity in the air creates
a slow-motion dance of fog
circling the dark shapes on the ground.
A chill, a shudder, and it’s over.
The night is over.

Now the sun hits her face, drying the mud.
Slowly, she turns around and walks away
knowing that without the mud
a lotus would never rise.

©Alexis Rose, Photo by Christopher Campbell on Unsplash

Thank you for reading my new book, If I Could Tell You How It Feels, available in both ebook and paperback from Amazon.

A Painted Journey

The painted journey of life
twists and turns with our inner and outer landscape

We travel alongside the footfall of critters,
birdsong, the buzz of insects, human hubbub,
and things laid to waste.

The aliveness of the water, rocks
and sky remind us that our collective journey
is painted with the colors of tranquility,
the vibrant sounds of life, these present moments.

The painted journey of life attends to us.
It strokes our curious minds, our wild hearts
and our tender souls.

A painted journey is in all of us, it’s our life.
It’s both shared and it is solo.
It’s the sacred connection to us all.

©Alexis Rose, image source: Pexels

Thank you for reading my new book, If I Could Tell You How It Feels, available in both ebook and paperback from Amazon.



When we make plans, meet, and our first thought
is to give each other big-smushy hugs
filled with the gratitude of friendship
it feels like the down of a favorite comforter.

Both present, talking authentically
about the stuff that matters
while the server quietly takes our plates
that’s the time when our shoulders are relaxed
and we exhale fully. breathe…because
it’s safe
we get each other without judgement and with total acceptance.

When the tears well up in our eyes
and sometimes spill over because of life’s pain
or life’s happiness, it’s always met with
open heartedness and sweet empathy.

When the fear or suffering of illness
for ourselves or a loved ones
comes sneaking into our lives, rest assured dear friend
that we are walking together, holding hands
on our our sometimes dusty paths.

©Alexis Rose, image source: Pixabay

Thank you for reading my new book, If I Could Tell You How It Feels, available in both ebook and paperback from Amazon.