A New Road? ~ Let’s Take It!

It has been four years since I began my blog. Wow! Time snuck up on me. Thank-You to everyone who has clicked the follow button or just stopped by for a moment for a quick read. I always appreciate a follow, a like and a comment, or even a pass-through. I have had the pleasure of meeting some wonderful people here on WordPress. And even when some of them no longer choose to blog, we have remained connected through email and messenger.

I love everything about blogging. I love the connectedness; the variety of writers, the amazing group of survivors that have taught me that, not only am I not alone but that I can be a touchstone for someone at a time in their lives when they need to know they are seen, heard, and cared about. Peer support in our blogging community looks and means different things to all of us, but it can offer amazing and real connections.

About a year ago, I wondered if I could muster up some courage and begin to support survivors in a different way. I began to trust that I had come far enough on my healing journey, that I could use my voice in a more confident way to provide support and hope to survivors of trauma.

This past year, I’ve had several opportunities to speak about living with PTSD. Because of these opportunities, I have met some astounding advocates for survivors of childhood sexual abuse, and trauma.  I have learned that there are many different and successful programs and support that are offered in conjunction with traditional therapy.

One of the biggest lessons I learned this year is the importance of peer-to-peer support organizations. For many people, a group where they are supported by thriving survivors after going through their own dark, ruddy road of healing can help bridge the gap between therapy sessions. Or for many, peer-led support may be the first time a person realizes that they no longer have to suffer in silence. They are feeling heard, have a safe place to tell their story, and can get help finding resources.

This past summer, after getting to know one of the local non-profit organizations I was asked to join their team. As they enter their sixth year, they found the demand for services has grown beyond what the director can manage on her own.

At first, I was reluctant to accept. Imposter syndrome and self-doubt came out loud and strong! I just couldn’t get myself to believe that I would have anything useful to offer this successful organization. Then, I stopped myself. I began to accept that there was no way the director of the program would ask me to join the team if she didn’t think I could contribute. So, I accepted. I joined the team of EmpowerSurvivors in September.

I have always used the metaphor of climbing a mountain when I speak or write about my healing journey. The more I’ve healed, the metaphor has changed to roads instead of mountains. I like to take different roads as they appear in the distance. Being a part of EmpowerSurvivors is definitely a new and wonderful road and…I’ll take it!

 

image source: madhu-shesharam-unsplash

Thank you for reading my books: If I Could Tell You How It Feels, and Untangled, A Story of Resilience, Courage, and Triumph    

Owl’s of the Past

A little fiction…

Looking back, she realized it may have been her secret intention to leave her known world behind all along. She had been dreaming of the ocean. The diamond-glinted turquoise waters, and the sound of waves comforting her restless soul. She wanted to find some peace, some quiet, some insight into why her life had unfolded into the daily grind of never-ending responsibility.

Knowing that an ocean adventure was well out of her budget, she set her sights closer to home, and thought a little weekend away at a cabin in the woods was just what she needed.

The advertisement for the cabin had been benign, but enticing. North woods rustic cabin with expansive views of Owl Lake. Firewood included. That was the draw, she was willing to go without indoor plumbing, but cut and available firewood was the luxury item that sparked her interest. There were photos of nearby labyrinths to walk, and a telescope ensconced in a grand old gazeebo pointing to the stars that called to her desire to connect with nature.

The name of the lake also caught her attention. She felt at peace with the sound of the owls. They brought her comfort. Never quite knowing why she was drawn to them, just knowing that the call of the owl always relaxed her and made her feel safe. She began dreaming of sitting by the fireplace; reading, writing in her journal, snacking on simple meals and resting. She made reservations and was on the road the following week.

The drive was uneventful. Miles of cows, forest, big blue sky, and puffy white clouds. The radio-gods were with her, playing song after song of beloved classic hits of her teens and twenty’s.  Each song bringing back memories of unabashed fun with long-ago friends. The time of life when she was invincible; a free and easy spirit. For just a moment, before the next song played, she began to think about how it all went sideways. How did she end up, in a life that was unfulfilling and stagnant? She shuddered and left the thought behind as she belted out the next song.

Her GPS indicated that her turn off was a mile away. As she drove the twisty turny dusty roads she noticed how thick and foggy the woods were becoming. Not the thick impenetrable fog that you can’t see through, this was different. This fog felt almost enchanted, full of dancing colors of green and blue. She laughed to herself, thinking that she must really need a vacation.

At last, she arrived at the long narrow driveway. Parking her car and looking around she felt a sense of electricity in the air. The trees were a dense dark green, the ground was lush and moist with the dew that hadn’t dried off from the morning sun. But there was something else that had caught her eye. The sparkle of Owl Lake that expanded from the back of the cabin was stunning. It almost looked like the ocean she had been dreaming about the past few weeks. Closing her eyes for a moment, she thought she heard the sound of waves crashing against the shore. Shaking her head, she got her bearings, grabbed her backpack and unlocked the door to the cabin.

Immediately she was drawn to the sliding back door. Drawn to the deck as if a siren song was playing in the distance; as if she was being called to the aft of a ship to look for mermaids. Dropping her backpack on the floor she slid the heavy door open, stepping onto a thickly wooded platform she found she was suddenly floating on a vast ocean.

Stunned at the sudden jolt of being adrift on the high seas, she began to scream for help. She was steady on the deck, but as she turned around the woods had disappeared, there was nothing behind her but ocean. Not knowing what to do, she threw open the sliding glass door, and stepped back into the cabin, hoping that she had just experienced the most intense hallucination of her life.

Back inside, she closed her eyes tight and said a quick prayer that this was all a dream. She prayed that when she opened her eyes she would see the dense woods through the front door and her car at the end of the driveway.  But all she saw was the waves of a turquoise sea lapping against the cabin that had suddenly transformed into a boat.

The realization that this wasn’t a dream brought her to her knees. She sat down and with her head in her hands wondering if she had died. Was she in heaven or hell? Was she dreaming? What was happening?

The boat seemed to be on a course, somehow steering itself. Was she on a ghost ship? As fear overtook her, she curled tight against the wall and fell into a dreamless sleep.

She woke up to the rhythmic rocking of the cabin on the sea. A bit disoriented, but with steady sea-legs she opened the deck door and stood in the clear starlit sky. Breathing in the sea air she suddenly developed a knowing and trusting awareness. She decided to quell her fear and not think about what was happening until the morning.

As the pink sky appeared over the horizon she noticed the unmistakable outline of land. Her heart quickening, she found that the fear that had overtaken her when the cabin became a boat was again tightening her chest and constricting her throat. Where was she landing and who would be on that island?

The current brought the cabin to rest on the island. In front of her lay a beautiful white sandy beach and a green, steep mountain range. Getting off the boat and nervously looking around she felt a strange sensation; electric shivers coursing through her body. Looking up towards the highest mountain peak, she noticed a black owl totem, with piles of firewood neatly stacked in front of it.

Hugging herself, she looked back towards the turquoise sea, the sun glinting like diamonds upon the water. Behind her the call of an owl high on the mountain reminded her she was home. Walking up the mountain, she turned around once again, and remembered!

garden-948927_1280

photo:pixabay

Thank you for reading my books: If I Could Tell You How It Feels, and Untangled, A Story of Resilience, Courage, and Triumph      

 

The Whispering Dark Shadows

Dark shadows once quiet
whisper
come with me

Tempting me
with safe corners
in darkened rooms

Shadows playing on the wind
then falling
deep into silence
tempting me to follow

I learned long ago
to listen to the shadows
to feel the yin
to acknowledge the damp, deep cold

I’ll settle in
with the softest of down
and multi-layers of love
until the whispering dark shadows
are quiet once again

Thank you for reading my books: If I Could Tell You How It Feels, and Untangled, A Story of Resilience, Courage, and Triumph      

Farewell, Bad-memory Lane

I took a drive down bad memory lane
and saw you looming on the street
You looked much smaller than I remembered
standing there alone and unfamiliar

When I turned my head to pass you by
I thought I heard you shutter and sway
quickly trying to shake the ghosts awake
saying, look, look who’s back

Did I take a wrong turn
or did I need to see that the power is gone
and the ghosts have long passed

I wasn’t back; I had to be sure

With a wry smile
I headed north on a twisted road
the air turning clean and crisp
north, where the sun dances with the sky
and the stars are thick with wonder
far, far away from bad memory lane

©Alexis Rose, Image source: Pexels

Thank you for reading my books: If I Could Tell You How It Feels, and Untangled, A Story of Resilience, Courage, and Triumph      

Evolution

I could longer
run
hide
deny
because it ate away my soul

I could longer
fight
pretend
act invisible
because it eroded my identity

So I learned to
see My-self
accept who I am
have self-compassion
embrace growth and change

I slowly evolved

Now, even on those darkest days
there is light in my soul
dancing in the sun
and hope in my heart
©Alexis Rose, image: Pixabay
Thank you for reading my books: If I Could Tell You How It Feels, and Untangled, A Story of Resilience, Courage, and Triumph      

 

Check out this new book – Making Sense of Psychiatric Diagnosis! — Mental Health @ Home

I’m honored to be one of the contributors to Ashley Peterson’s new book: Making Sense of Psychiatric Diagnosis, Understanding the DSM-5.  Follow the link to find out more information, including how to order your copy. Thank You, Ashley, for including me along with the other amazing contributors. https://mentalhealthathome.org/2019/09/09/release-making-sense-diagnosis/

 

Making Sense of Diagnosis: Understanding the DSM-5 Available today! Available on: Amazon as an ebook or paperback Apple Books Barnes & Noble Google Play Kobo Mental Health @ Home Store (at a discounted price) The ebook version is available on all of these sites. 40 more words

via Released today – Making Sense of Psychiatric Diagnosis! — Mental Health @ Home