The Quiet Descent to Tender Ground

Eight years of muscle straining, oxygen deprived, mind exploding, grief-laden work to manage the grip of the skeleton hands of the past.

The rocky terrain and deep crevasses that held the traps of programmed words ready to pull me down into oblivion were navigated at a snail’s pace of impatient mindfulness.

Deafening winds and echoes of the past kept knocking me down, pushing me sideways, making it hard to grip the rope.

After every storm passed
I took the time to rest in the snow caves of acceptance.

So many times, wanting to give up, give in to the beast of symptoms.
But trusting, knowing, that my Sherpa would guide me through the sharpest peaks and deepest valleys.

Summiting many times, thinking there were no more hidden mountains.
Then catching glimpse of the last, gnarly climb looming just around the bend.

Everything inside me screams, “No, leave it!”
I intuitively understood that climbing all but that last steep incline would leave me stuck, and breathless. Allowing space for the blinders to slowly creep back into place.

I push through. One last climb to release the locked, cold grip of the past.

Then quietly, I make a gentle descent.
The thick, foreboding, dangerously tricky mountain range emerging steadfastly behind me.

Scar tissue replaces open wounds.
I work to try and accept my abilities in the wake of my past.

A sense of accomplishment for not giving in to the siren call of hopelessness fills my fragile, resiliently strong whole self.

Committed to finishing that arduous climb and having trust in a committed therapist gave way to a quiet, gentle descent.

With calloused feet on the tender ground
I exhale gratitude every day.

Today, with the mountain range in the distance
I continue to heal on flat land with a warrior tiger as my teacher.

The quiet descent to tender ground holds fast and strong with truth,
with acceptance, and unwavering commitment to living in the light even on the darkest days.


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

©words and photo: Alexis Rose

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Hello and Welcome

Wishes and Dreams
Gratitude and Peace

Hope and Faith
Trust

Self-acceptance with compassion
Letting go with confidence

Finding the beauty in
Full moons
and
Crunchy leaves

That’s both
the Justice and the Restitution

Hello and Welcome
to the next 365 days

©Alexis Rose, Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

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

Wisdom reminded me too…

Breathe in
Breathe out
Surrender and release

Illness led me to rest
But I forgot to breathe

Triggers led me to
grounding techniques
But I forgot to exhale

Life situations led me
to worry
take action
then anxiously wait
resulting in exhaustion

Wisdom reminded me
Just Breathe
Just Be

Then I
breathed in
breathed out
surrendered and released

©Alexis Rose, image source: Pexels.com

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

The Waves

Surfing the waves…

I feel thankful, I feel happy, I feel stunned.

I feel tired, I feel confused, I feel scared and sometimes terrified.

I feel sick.

I feel a sense of peace and connectedness to the world around me.

I feel hope, I feel calm.

I feel numb.

I’m full of anxiety, fear, doubt, distrust, restlessness.

I am up, I am down, I am happy and I am sad.

I feel fear, I feel safe. 

I feel content.

Emotions; We all have them, and they come and go like waves. Some of them are little sets of gentle ripples and some are as intense as a tsunami. Waves come, and waves go, each breaking on the shore of our mind and bodies, each is time-limited. 

I have learned to sit with the emotion, to understand that even the most intense feelings will soon ebb. Even though it sometimes feels like they take up all the space, I know that if I remember to breathe and sit for a moment that it will pass.

When I feel the intense emotions begin to rise, there are times I try for control. I want to balance perfectly and ride them to the shore with ease. But the reality of life is that even the most eloquent and prophetic surfer wipes out. It’s okay. Another set of emotional waves will come soon enough.  Sometimes gentle, sometimes stormy, sometimes so small they are barely noticeable. That’s normal, natural, human nature. 

I feel grateful.

surfer-1034603_1280

image source: Pixabay

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

Reflections From My Inner Spirit Mirror

I stand in front of a mirror. It is not the kind of mirror that reflects your outside self, but 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 had 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 can 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 symptoms, what I see is the true reflection of me.

Excerpt from the book, If I Could Tell You How It Feels

photo: Janet Rosauer

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

 

 

 

The Strength to Keep Growing

Acknowledge and be humbled
by the teachers, we encounter along the way.
They give us our strength to spread our wings
and fly.

Notice the lessons of nature’s bounty.
The colors, the beauty, and secret determination
that at times may only be visible to you.

Display your strength.
Shout it from the highest mountain
or silently persevere and grow.

Reach towards the sun, while staying
firmly rooted to the ground.
Hold fast during storms and remember
that you will live the life you seek
proud, and fully in bloom.

©Alexis Rose, Photo by Larm Rmah on Unsplash

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

Shaming myself into silence?

I have been in a contemplative place lately. I’ve stepped back from a lot of things to organize my thoughts, needs, wants, and realities. Part of it was an intentional rest from years of writing and marketing my books, part of it was because I found myself falling into old patterns of not having good boundaries by not speaking up for myself when it was appropriate. And part of it was because I was trying to figure out how I wanted to continue to use my voice to de-stigmatize living with PTSD.

I have been in a poetic place. It’s been easier for me to express myself in poetry vs journaling style. It’s a way to get at the meat of my feelings. I absolutely love the creativity of poetry. It feeds my soul, it takes me to places where I say to myself, “If I could paint a picture, this is what it would look like.” But, I found that I was holding my feelings at a bit of a distance, and it caused me to pause.

I wondered if I was falling into a place of shaming myself into silence. If I was becoming fearful that some of the messages of  (let go of the past, it happened a long time ago, can’t you just get over it, you can decide to be happyyou don’t look sick) were beginning to seep in, and I was pushing play on my tape of shame that I live with complex PTSD.

I’m not ashamed of my past. I’m not ashamed of my story. It is the truth of what happened in my life, to me. I didn’t choose it; the people in my life made those choices to traumatize me. 

What I find I struggle with, is living with the effects of the trauma. It manifested in ways that affect my life, probably for the rest of my life. I have found the past four years when I began to speak publicly that I am not alone. A lot of people struggle with mental health issues directly related to trauma.

The good thing is that there is a tremendous amount of research being done to help trauma survivors right now. There have been some fantastic treatment options to help alleviate or extinguish symptoms. But, not all symptoms can be extinguished. They can be managed, and quality of life can improve to a level that wasn’t thought possible even five years ago. Some people depending on their symptoms of PTSD can absolutely be cured. Some of us may struggle for many more years to come. 

I had to re-evaluate that if I’m one of the people who have persistent and pervasive symptoms do I stay silent?  Do I watch as I see people struggling, repeating the lines and trying to live up to the many memes of, just do (or think) this and your life will be better? No, I just can’t do that. It goes against my nature because of all the survivors I’ve met along the way. Yes, there is a place for the feel-good memes, but it can shame us into silence if we don’t self-regulate.

I’m the most obnoxiously optimistic person I know. I love affirmations, I love mindfulness, I love yoga, meditation, dharma talks, and I really do get out of bed and say, “Today is a brand new day.” But I also have to make sure I am living with my feet firmly on the ground. When I’m sick, I’m sick. When I have symptoms I need to talk to my support system about them. I do not want to shame myself or watch others feel shamed into silence.

The other day one of my most trusted friends said to me, “You seem to be very calm about everything unless you aren’t telling me what’s really going on inside.” The reality was, I was calm and at the same time, I wasn’t being completely honest about how I felt. I was calm, I was numb! I didn’t realize it until I went home and thought about how I was feeling. Right now, numb is an okay place to be. My brain and body are resting after being very ill, and experiencing a recent trauma.

I will continue to use my voice to bring awareness and help de-stigmatize living with PTSD. I think it’s extremely important to create a community where people can relate instead of hiding and feel ashamed for having an illness. I continue to work on creating boundaries and will keep learning to speak up for myself, and I will not allow myself, to shame myself into becoming silent again. I’m grateful and acknowledge how far I’ve come in my healing that I recognized that may be happening and reaffirm my tenacity to stay the course on the long, winding road of healing.

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