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 nevergiveupinstitute.org blog at http://nevergiveupinstitute.org/my-blog/

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Transient

The past 2 1/2 years of blogging have been wonderful! I never imagined myself as a blogger, in fact, I didn’t even understand that blogging was more than a way to share recipes, and travel pictures for family and friends. Wow, I was so wrong!  I absolutely enjoy bloggers who share recipes and travel adventures. I look forward to reading their posts and make a point to follow as many as I can.

I didn’t think I would find myself in the niche of mental health blogging. Maybe it’s not really a niche. Maybe my posts just fall into that category because that’s what I know and that’s the part of my life I  share in my posts. The mental health community that has become a big part of my life.

Writing and connecting with so many other bloggers from around the world has opened my eyes to something I feel like I know for sure: We all want to feel happiness, we want to be seen and we want to be heard. Whatever that looks like or feels like is completely individualized.

We found a community.  It’s open and it grows and is inclusive. The country where we write from, the time of day or night, the topics from just a hello, to deep thoughts and feelings are welcome. People are interesting…we may not think we are, but we are! We are also transient.

I found myself thinking about that transience a lot the past couple of days. We weave in and out of each other’s lives by virtue of a post. We cheer each other’s victory’s, good recipes, beautiful pictures, job search’s, and day-to-day musings. We provide support for our health issues, our fears, our struggles, and our disappointments. We write opinions and comments, and “likes’ when we want to make sure that “you” have been seen and heard.

It doesn’t really matter to me if we have been following each other for two years or two days, I find I’m invested. I have a full life outside of blogging, and I’m also a blogger. If I didn’t find a connection, I wouldn’t be doing this. I take the time to read through the posts, as I hope people take the time to read through mine. Sometimes we find a solid connection, sometimes it’s fleeting, sometimes it’s just a respectful read.

I understand the transience of social media and blogging. I understand the impermanence of people coming in and out of our lives. Some of them become our teachers, some of them become cautionary tales, some of them we find are our neighbors and we become friends. It’s a strange and wonderful world.

As I find myself thinking the last few days of bloggers who have passed away or those who have simply moved on to other things in their lives, or the ones who have cried out for help and went silent, I find myself feeling a sense of peace. For a moment in time, we have provided each other (whether your following is 1 or 10,000) with a way to be seen, be heard, and to connect.

Thank You to all who take the time to follow me!

Photo by Slava Bowman on Unsplash

Book Signing Bliss

I had a wonderful experience at a book signing yesterday.  It has been an absolute pleasure to see how quickly If I Could Tell You How It Feels, my life journey with PTSD is selling.  Meeting a variety of readers and getting to hang out with other artists was an added bonus.

I just really want to take the time to thank all of you here on WordPress who have bought the book, and the people I meet face-to-face who come to book signings, support me on Facebook and my friends and family.

My hope that this little book will continue to bring awareness to PTSD and begin to break down the stigma of living with a chronic mental or physical illness. Let’s begin to emerge from the shadows together.

Photo: Alexis Rose, author, and Janet Rosauer, artist

 

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 Sally Cafe & Bookstore

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore has added If I Could Tell You How It Feels to their bookshelves.

Follow the link and find fabulous books by a variety of authors. All the books have a link to where they can be purchased.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/19/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-alexis-roseangie-dokos-annika-perry-paulette-mahurin-and-geoff-le-pard/

Thank You Sally Cronin for all you do to support the large author community on WordPress.

Thank You everyone for finding your way to my new book, and for writing the 5 star reviews. Its been an amazing and humbling couple of days.

If I Could Tell You How It Feels ~ Book Release Today!

 If I Could Tell You How It Feels by Alexis Rose is now released as an e-book on Amazon.

Here is the back cover description:
If I Could Tell You How It Feels is a series of essays and poems about living authentically with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).  Alexis Rose takes us on a journey into the reality of living with triggers, flashbacks, and the challenges of working through trauma.

She writes with intimate vulnerability about the tough subjects of family, friendships, loss, grief, parenting, and therapy. With a sense of universal hope and honesty, the author collaborated with artist Janet Rosauer to add a dramatic and soulful dimension to many of the chapters.

Whether you are a survivor, someone living with a mental or chronic illness, a professional working within the mental health industry, or you are simply interested in learning more about the intricacies of living and thriving with PTSD, this book will provide new insights and an appreciation of this invisible illness that affects millions of people around the world.

Thank You for reading, If I Could Tell You How It Feels. If you liked it, and choose to give the book a good review on Amazon, that is always most appreciated!
A paperback version of the book will be available on Amazon soon.

If I Could Tell You How It Feels…Introduction

If I could tell you how it feels was the internal mantra that I used in my early days of therapy. Even though I yearned to share with friends and family how it felt to live with a past full of abuse and neglect, I couldn’t say the words.

The painful memories and shame of my trauma were palpable. That shame kept me from exclaiming, “I’m a survivor!”

I felt the safest hiding behind the mask of what I thought was “normal.” One day, in answer to my friend’s question of how it felt to live with PTSD, I wrote a poem and risked the vulnerability of sharing it with family and close friends.

Soon writing became my way of expressing how it feels to try and cope with, relate to, and safely express my feelings. What I couldn’t verbalize, I found I could write.

Writing is my light from the darkness and has taken the form of books, blog posts, articles and simple prose. To be seen, to be heard, and to connect can be a catalyst for growth and change.

Sometimes we just want to say, “I may look okay on the outside but, If I could really tell you how it feels…”           

From the Introduction of If I Could Tell You How It Feels ….. Release date soon on Amazon in both paperback and ebook formats. 

 

     

Release date soon…

It’s been over two years since the release of my memoir, Untangled, A Story of Resilience, Courage, and Triumph.  In that two years, I  have had numerous requests to write another book. A what happened next kind of book. I resisted at first but then decided with the help of my collaborator; artist, Janet Rosauer that I could bring a relatable way to take you on my journey of living with PTSD.  With a release date coming very, very soon…Here are the description and cover reveal for If I Could Tell You How It Feels.

If I Could Tell You How It Feels is a series of essays and poems about living authentically with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Alexis Rose takes us on a journey into the reality of living with triggers, flashbacks, and the challenges of working through trauma. She writes with intimate vulnerability about the tough subjects of family, friendships, loss, grief, parenting, and therapy.

With a sense of universal hope and honesty, the author collaborated with artist Janet Rosauer to add a dramatic and soulful dimension to many of the chapters.

Whether you are a survivor, someone living with a mental or chronic illness, a professional working within the mental health industry, or you are simply interested in learning more about the intricacies of living and thriving with PTSD, this book will provide new insights and an appreciation of this invisible illness that affects millions of people around the world.

 

The Waves of the Sky

The sky is a beautiful shade of deep blue.
The puffy white clouds move
at a meditative pace, changing shapes
as they roll overhead.

The waves of the sky.

Gazing at this wondrous expanse
with a seemingly empty mind
I’m quickly brought back to reality.

The reality of my symptoms
The reality of living with PTSD

They return because
just as I was mesmerized by the sky
I was triggered by a long-ago memory.

A memory of that one day, when
I looked to the sky for help
for escape.

Today, as I sit with the unpleasantness of the truth
I know I do not have to suffer.

I’m resting in the power, and knowledge of my truth.

Taking a deep breath
I’ve learned I don’t need permission
to enjoy the perfect moments
I just allow them to happen, like a wave.

I can surf the waves of the sky
just as I can surf the waves of emotion
the waves of life.

The sky is indeed beautiful today
Beautiful, alive, full of awareness and hope.

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

Keep an eye open for my new book, with an anticipated release date of January 23, 2018

If I Could Paint a Picture

I’ve decided to promote my memoir, Untangled, A Story of Resilience, Courage, and Triumph one more time, before my next book releases in January. Thank You to everyone who has read Untangled. I’m so grateful for the feedback and the positive reviews on Amazon. An appreciative pre-Thank You to those who may decide to read it after seeing this post and reading the introduction to Untangled below titled: If I Could Paint a Picture.

From the introduction of, 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

Why I Write

I’m in the (almost)  final steps of getting my next book ready for release. My final edits should be here this weekend. After making those edits, sending the last pages to my beta readers, having my proofreaders take a go at it, and meeting with my artistic collaborator I believe I will be ready to release it out into the world this January.

My movie-writing partner and I are in the pitching phase of selling our screenplay. We are getting little nibbles from production companies and receiving lots of support, to keep going. That continues to be a wonderful experience. We have learned to grow very thick skin while trying to stay in a beginners mind and keeping our sense of humor.

As I sit at my desk and reflect over the whirlwind of the past two years. Releasing Untangled, emerging from the shadows of silence, blogging, speaking to groups,  pitching a movie project, and now preparing to release another book, I ask myself, Why do I write?

When I speak to groups and open it up for questions, I’m almost always asked, what made you write a book, or have you always been a writer? The answer to both is, “no!” I never wrote anything beyond copy for ads or random newsletter articles for my jobs before 2011. I didn’t keep a journal, never was a huge letter writer, I really never gave writing a thought.

When I began therapy my therapist suggested that I journal. Most of us have been told by our therapist’s to journal our thoughts and feelings. I despised journaling. I would become so emotional because often, the pages looked like one big opus for wanting to end my life. I would literally tear up the pages after I wrote them, despondent because I couldn’t separate my feelings from what I wanted to write about. It was all emotion and no substance, no thoughts, no depth and it felt destructive. So I refused to continue to journal.

But, I found myself writing emails to my therapist and we would talk about them at our next session. It was becoming evident that I was looking for a way to write down my thoughts. My therapist went to a conference on PTSD. At the conference, he learned that when clients journaled on a keyboard, (not pen and paper) that it was easier for them to keep journaling. The act of using a keyboard was incorporating bilateral stimulation which helped put some distance between the terrible trauma and intense feelings and they were able to keep writing longer. That made perfect sense to me, so I began to use writing as a healing tool.

Writing gave me the courage I needed to address the pain I was feeling. I would write even when I thought I had nothing to write about. At first, I strictly used it for bilateral stimulation. I would write and send what I wrote off to my therapist. I started to find that I was able to write down what I couldn’t say aloud.  At first, I think it provided distance from having to use my voice, but then I found it actually gave me a voice.  When I still couldn’t speak a truth, I found if I read it out loud to my therapist, that I was speaking the truth.

Eight years after that first assignment to journal on a keyboard, I have written four books, have a number of published articles and enjoy engaging on my blog. I reflect on writing from a different perspective. Now, I write because I love to share what I’m thinking, feeling or musing over. I write because I’ve had feedback from others, to help give them a voice, to put feelings into words that they may be unable to describe. Writing is a way to be seen and heard, especially by a group who suffers from mental illness and are often marginalized.

I write because I will no longer be shamed into silence. But, I also control the volume of my voice. I want to be effective in destigmatizing mental illness, invisible illness, for me, PTSD. I know that I’m a quiet word of mouth writer. It fits my personality. I love the writers who are more vocal and speak with confidence and often, they know the volume of their voice and can reach a much wider audience.

I write because it fills my cup, it satisfies my creativity and it keeps me connected to the world. I care deeply about what I write and share, hoping that the connection between us continues to grow. Sometimes that starts with a simple written word.

Why do you write?

 

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