The Story We Tell Ourselves

Am I enough? Am I worthy? Do I contribute to some greater good?   What impossibly high standard do I still hold myself compared to what I would think reasonable of another person?

What story am I telling myself? 

Will people like me if they really know me? Would they run away? Am I too opinionated or am I not judgmental enough? Am I engaged or is it okay to rest, retreat and just be? 

What kind of please others, what will they think of me kind of expectations do I have of myself? 

Am I aging gracefully, or do my forehead wrinkles and sagging parts make me unattractive? Am I keeping healthy enough or still feeding into the impossible societal standards of weight, exercise, and beauty? 

What kind of pressure am I still putting on myself? 

Am I letting myself rest? Am I finding contentment in my everyday lived life, Am I acknowledging the love I have and the love I give? 

The answer is Yes…

So then what kind of story am I still telling myself? What kind of story are you telling yourself? 

Thank you for reading my memoir, Untangled, A Story of Resilience, Courage, and Triumph

 

 

 

 

Resting In My Thinking Place

I have found myself deep inside that thinking place of mine.  I don’t dwell here very often. I believe it’s because for the past eight years I have been in a constant a constant battle with my PTSD, setting a goal, or “doing” growth and change.  I haven’t allowed myself to just sit and think for a while. When I write, I will let the words or ideas simmer, rest, then make changes, but even that seems active and doing on my part.

Resting in my thinking place I have been pondering change. Change is a fact of life. Our bodies change, as do our cognitive abilities. Our circumstances change, the weather changes and so do the seasons. We change our minds, our clothes and our cell phones. Sometimes we embrace change, but sometimes change can be frightening. The fear of the unknown and the anticipation of what could be, can be paralyzing; the feeling of vulnerability can prevent us from moving forward.

But change is inevitable. There are unforeseen events that occur daily. Some may feel insignificant or be a nuisance such as a flat tire. Some are as life-altering as the diagnosis of cancer. Even then, we have the ability to choose how we handle the challenges in our lives. We can use the momentum of change to keep growing as a person.

Since I was diagnosed with PTSD, I have had to change almost everything about my life. I had to learn how to cope with this debilitating illness, adjust to the dramatic change in my financial situation, deal with horrific and terrifying memories that were quickly filling in the blanks of my past, and accept that my ability to be self-sufficient in most aspects of my everyday life was severely limited.

I realize that nothing stays constant and there is always change. In the context of what I am writing about,  I believe there are two kinds of change. One is the inevitable events that occur on a daily basis. The other kind of change is mindful and purposeful. It takes courage to work through both. It is a courageous person who is willing to work through their past and knit it together with who they are now.

I no longer wanted my past to dictate my present day life. The effects of my trauma sometimes dictate my everyday life, but I can tease apart the difference. I made a conscious effort to understand the past, feel for myself with the same kind of compassion I would have for others and integrate who I was, with who I am now, and who I am striving to become. I take full responsibility for my life, and that brings a sense of freedom and empowerment. With that freedom brings a calmness to understanding that all things change, it’s inevitable and that is part of living a very lived life.

As I think about all the change I have been through the past eight years, and acknowledge how huge this undertaking has been, allowing myself to feel tired, introspective, and content, I can rest in my thinking place. I’m not sure what happens next…I’ll have to think about that.

image source: pixabay

Thank you for reading my memoir, Untangled, A Story of Resilience, Courage, and Triumph

Alive in this Perfect Moment

Your senses notice the sky ablaze with color.
The sun emits a soft steady light
while slowly sinking into the depths
marking the close to another day.
You are alive with the beauty of knowing
that this is a perfect moment.

©words and photo: Alexis Rose

Thank you for reading my memoir, Untangled, A Story of Resilience, Courage, and Triumph

 

Ready for the Pitch

After ten months of research, phone calls, and email exchanges with producers, meetings with screenwriters, taking classes, writing, rewriting, and rewriting again, my collaborating partner and I have completed our project. It has been read, and given a thumbs up from our beta-readers, and is currently being edited.  We will be ready with a final version by the end of this month.

I’m experiencing a myriad of emotions, running the gamut between elation and fear. I’m  proud of our work and feel ready to release it to the world. At the same time, releasing your creative works out into the world is an extremely vulnerable experience.

I have tried and been fairly successful with staying in a beginners mind when it came to writing, publishing, and marketing my books. Especially with Untangled. Not only because it’s my memoir, but because I understood the gratitude I would feel each time someone purchased the book and read it.

That same beginner’s mind is the attitude we are taking for our next step; The Pitch. My partner and I have an attitude of openness, eagerness, staying full of curiosity and wonder as we continue to make contacts and set up meetings. Will it be a lot of work? I hope so! This passionate project has already been a lot of work. We are committed to sharing the message that no matter what happens to a person (a real-life person), even if they live with sometimes debilitating PTSD, they can not only survive but with help can thrive.  There is no sugar coating in our movie, but there is a resiliency and stubborn hopefulness that leaves the audience feeling resolved after a wild and thrilling ride.

We will continue to try to stay in our beginner’s mind as we pitch this project. We have wrapped up the writing a treatment phase, and now it’s the just the beginning!

Look for it on a screen near you…it’s going to happen…why not?

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image source: Pexels

Thank you for reading my memoir, Untangled, A Story of Resilience, Courage, and Triumph

 

With a Wink and a Smile

Sometimes the climb to the top of the mountain is rigorous and uneven.

Rest and gather strength on the summit.

Look to the person next to you who never strayed from your side.

Then with a smile and a wink set off together for your next adventure.

©Alexis Rose,  image source Pixabay

Thank you for reading my memoir, Untangled, A Story of Resilience, Courage, and Triumph

 

 

 

PTSD Awareness Month

 

My PTSD

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 sometimes in my head, I 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.

©Alexis Rose

 

image source: google images

Thank you for reading my memoir, Untangled, A Story of Resilience, Courage, and Triumph

Trust the Journey

She connects with the world through her heart.

Tending to one flower, one smile, one child, at a time.

As she walks through the woods, the trees remind her to

find peace and trust the journey.

©Of Earth and Sky; Collaboration: Alexis Rose, photographer, Shelley Bauer

 

Thank you for reading my memoir, Untangled, A Story of Resilience, Courage, and Triumph

 

Reflections from my Inner-Spirit Mirror

I stand in front of a mirror. Not the kind of mirror that reflects your outside self, it is the kind of mirror that reflects your psyche. It’s the kind of mirror that reflects how you think, emote, or not emote, and feel. It is the kind of mirror that reflects back the years of psychological and emotional damage. I call it my inner spirit mirror.

It took a lot of courage to approach this mirror the first time.  I was terrified because I knew that if I tried to stand in front of this mirror before,  I wouldn’t have seen any reflection. I felt like a nobody with no-body. But something compelled me to look at the effects of the trauma and how it damaged my mind, and spirit and left my soul in tattered ruin.

Countless times, I could only stand looking into that mirror for mere seconds before running away in shame. But I was determined to keep going back. Each time I went back,  I began to have the courage to view my reflection and started to name what I saw. Even though it was difficult to see myself, I’m glad I was brave enough to stand in front of that mirror and look deeper into my spirit.

At first, all I could name was the lies that were told to my soul. The lies that perpetrators tell their victims to legitimize what they are doing or have done. At that time, all I could see was the hurt, pain, fear, and wretchedness of the first twenty years of my life.

Then to my amazement, as I stood steadfast in front of my spirit mirror, I began to see a light emerge from my core. My reflection of who I am, who I want to be, and what they couldn’t take from me, started emitting a stronger and stronger beacon of hope. At first, it was hard to trust the truth of the mirror. I could have turned away, and continued to believe the lies, or I could believe my truth, and trust my reflection.

Today when I stand in front of my inner spirit mirror, I see my reflection. I acknowledge the courage it took to stand there, to refuse to look away in shame. Now my inner light shines through, giving me hope that I have the ability to face each day, to stay the course, to continue to heal and grow. To trust, to believe that although at times, I’m still experiencing the choke-hold of  PTSD symptoms, what I see is the true reflection of me.

Thank you for reading my memoir, Untangled, A Story of Resilience, Courage, and Triumph

 

Lessons of the Flowers

I take with me the lessons of the flowers. 

I will persevere and grow

silently displaying my beauty and strength.

I will reach towards the sun

hold fast during storms

I will live life fully in bloom.

 

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©Alexis Rose, image source:pixabay

 

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Thank you for reading my memoir, Untangled, A Story of Resilience, Courage, and Triumph

 

 

A Finished Manuscript

Two years ago today as my fingers were steadily typing out the words flowing from my brain, I stood up, heart beating like a hummingbird, started doing a dance to the tempo of the sound of the keyboard strokes and exclaimed, “I think this is the last paragraph.” My memoir was done. A huge milestone, an incredible accomplishment.

When it was published a few months later (after the grueling editing process) I set a goal to sell a certain number of books in two years. I am 13 books away from that goal. I’m so excited. When the book release anniversary date comes around, I will update you if I made that goal. But this close to reaching that goal on this very special day brings back that wonderful feeling I had when the manuscript was completed.  Thank-You, to all of you who have read Untangled, told your friends/family to read it, and shared it on your blogs. I continue to be humbled and full of gratitude for the incredible support and positive reviews.

Enjoy, the Introduction from Untangled, A Story of Resilience, Courage, and Triumph

My body is streaked with sweat and dirt from my desperate search to find safe shelter. I’m barefoot, in a grimy torn t-shirt and shorts; my hands and feet caked with dirt. My hair is filthy and matted. My mouth is dry; I can smell and taste the gritty dust that hangs in the air. I sit down on a curb at the side of the road, and I know it’s over.

I’m unbelievably weary, all my energy spent in the act of sitting down. I’m devastated…emotionally, mentally, and physically, and the worst of my wounds are invisible. My eyes fill up, but no tears fall. I can only sit amid the rubble, trying to trust the safety of the gray, silent sky.

Six years later, the scene has changed. I’m no longer living in fear of the tangled web of sadistic people who use threats to keep their victims terrified and questioning their sanity. I feel grateful. The therapist that I call my Sherpa is sitting next to me. He’s listened to and witnessed my entire story, and never deserted me. He understands my journey and sometimes shares my grief. He’s helped me honor my resilience; taught me the value of telling my story and the importance of just sitting with my truth. So we sit here together, quietly resting in that truth.

I’ve fully remembered and told the story of my first twenty years, of surviving the abuse, neglect, abandonment, and fear. I’ve left behind those who terrorized me. I’ve untangled myself. My courage has set me free, and now nothing can keep me tied to the past. I can truly live today with blinders off and eyes wide open.

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Thank you for reading my memoir, Untangled, A Story of Resilience, Courage, and Triumph