Guest Blogs

GROWTH

Patricia Grace

Living a reclusive life doesn’t mean no opportunity for growth. No matter how I hide it comes knocking, and knocking me down. Those closest offer the greatest opportunity at overcoming long standing behaviors that keep me from my best self.

Instead of pouting, turning off and away with coldness from loved ones who hurt me, the pain and tears come. And come some more. Old wounds not healed, (can they ever be?) are easily made to open causing today’s hurt to compound into pain that doubles me over.

So this is healing. Tears, pain, then more of both. The damage done was that much.

And after the tears, though more leak out over time, there is a lightness and forgiveness for those whose insensitivities caused so much pain. Pain that did not match the circumstances. Pain that went much deeper.

Why does this affect me so? Going there, opening the…

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Guest Blogs

Those Days

This poem deeply resonated with me.

Untangled

Those days
when
you know you are
okay
but you don’t feel
okay

those are the hardest
days
to navigate.

Nothing is wrong
but
everything feels
overwhelming
exhausting
scary
unsettled.

Those days
are the hardest
to just breathe.

Just be…
Just be what?
calm?
relaxed?
grounded?
trusting?

How in the present moment
when there is nothing wrong
can
I exist in a state
of uncomfortable
wobbliness?

Because those days happen!

Because that is the nature of my PTSD.
©Alexis Rose, Photo by Duangphorn Wiriya 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

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Guest Blogs

Book review: I Walk With a Limp

An in-depth review of my new book from a wonderful mental health blogger. Please follow her blog to experience her insight and wisdom – shared from the heart of one who knows the challenges many of us face on our journeys toward healing.

Mental Health @ Home

Book cover: I walk with a limpI Walk With a Limp: My Personal Journey as a Trauma Survivor by Barbara A. Lawrence describes the impact of the physical, sexual, verbal, and psychological abuse she first experienced as a child at the hands of her family.  She writes about the PTSD she developed as a result, along with a myriad of other issues including alcoholism and bulimia.

The book is divided into four sections: backstory, living with PTSD, breaking the silence, and a journey of healing.  It’s a mixture of narrative and poetry, and also contains pictures from her childhood.  Warnings are given at the beginning of chapters in which material may be triggering to readers.

The author sets the scene well, including small details that help the reader to create a strong visual image.  While the psychological impact of the horrific physical and sexual abuse she describes might be the most obvious, she also writes about…

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Guest Blogs

why heal?

The Wisdom of Tears

159.why heal

When we want to give up on something, we hopefully weigh our options. We ask ourselves why we want to give up, and what would the cost and benefit be if we gave up. 

“Why live?” is a familiar question to this blog, so I wanted to think on the question of “Why heal?” Why go to therapy? Why read these books and articles about my ailments? Why try being healthy? Why take time to think of things that hurt so much to even recall, and had so little justice or affirmation?

I always told myself that I do these things because I don’t want to end up like my parents, whose refusal to heal turned them into the horribly broken and abusive people I know them to be. I would also remember how I want to be a wife (and maybe a mother) someday; a woman who’s…

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Guest Blogs

How to validate our emotions

Emerging From The Dark Night

Validating our own emotions is not easy for us raised in emotionally dysregulated or neglecting homes.  It is something I have struggled with so much in my sobriety and feel sad that its taken me at least 23 years in sobriety to get this lesson right.  What am sharing here below comes from the excellent book Calming The Emotional Stormby Sheri Van Dijk, MSW.

Calming the Emotional Storm

(the first step)… is to increase your awareness of how you think and feel about your emotions.  If you don’t know how you respond to your feelings, you won’t be able to change your response.  You can practice the following mindfulness exercise to help you become more aware of and accepting towards your emotions.

Sitting or lying in a comfortable position, take a few moments to let your body relax and rest, letting your breath come comfortably and naturally.  When you are ready bring your…

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Guest Blogs

Tattoos – NO APOLOGY

This survivor reclaimed her power in a beautiful and deeply profound way.

Touched2 MySoul

I hope our relationship has room enough for this conversation. I don’t require your approval. Though I do ask that you respect my decisions.

My tattoos are not some “old fools” thing. My tattoos are me screaming. They are my validation. When I was a child being strangled, and beaten and scared beyond my understanding. I screamed and no one heard me. No one saved me – including you.

My tattoos are me screaming now. Screaming at the top of your lungs for hours, isn’t allowed as an adult- they would lock me up in a psych ward and throw away the key! So I choose to get tattoos. They represent my survival. Though they are hidden most of the time. Those rare moments when they are visible and someone says they are beautiful – it helps to validate my pain. The very pain that no one validated when I…

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Guest Blogs

Dear Symptoms, Please Go Away

I strongly relate to this and thought I’d share it with you.

Untangled

There is a saying: “PTSD: It’s not the person refusing to let go of the past, but the past refusing to let go of the person.” That saying is a simple way for me to understand that try as I might, there are reasons my PTSD symptoms sometimes still have a firm chokehold on me. The list can be long depending on the time of year and triggers.

Autumn is beautiful and just started here in the Midwest. Blue skies and Vermillion colored trees often coexist with 70 degrees temperatures. This time of year, from late August until it snows represents trigger, after trigger for me. While I can appreciate the wonderful weather, the long season can be challenging with prolonged symptoms and what can seem like constant symptom management. If only my PTSD understood the calendar, and I could time my flashbacks to happen on certain calendar dates, instead…

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