Where Have I Been All Your Life?! :)


IMG_20171003_185056Time to come out of hiding again….this is what I do! I go through, then out, then I pop back up to share with you what I’ve learned from this crazy life I’ve been given.

WHERE HAVE I BEEN ALL YOUR LIFE? 

This year (and last year, too!) has been a crazy one for me. My sixteen-year-old nephew passed away suddenly last month, which felt almost as devastating as the death of my 2-year-old nephew 15 years ago. Our dear long-time friend, Peachie, passed away, and my Mom has had quite the year, but she’s super private so I won’t go into the details here. Suffice it say, she’s a walking miracle in so many ways, but getting to that point has been quite a ride for all of us this year!

SEIZURES???!!! 

About a year and a half ago, I started having seizures, sometimes up to 50 a day. We went to one of the best neurological hospitals in the country, twice, and found out it’s not epilepsy, instead its what’s called PNES, Pyschogenic Nonepileptic Seizures. They have both psychological and physiological triggers, as my health has been pretty poor since the birth of my daughter 3 years ago. After the birth, I developed a life-threatening postpartum uterine infection and was given high doses of IV antibiotics that killed off all the good stuff, too. Since then, I haven’t been able to eat most foods, my body is not digesting what I do eat, and I’m missing several of the “good bacteria” strains that one needs to digest food. So, I’m in a slow recovery there, but I’ve made significant progress this year. I keep learning that my body does not like quick fixes, it wants me to be gentle and take things slow, which can be really hard sometimes!

NAMING THE BEAST IS EMPOWERING

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Final words at This Is My Brave Sedona, May, 2017. I was one of 11 BRAVE storytellers who shared their experiences surviving mental illness.

The diagnosis of PNES led me to a diagnosis of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder earlier this year. It was very liberating to finally name “the beast,”  by acknowledging how much I have been through. I spoke about that in my piece at This Is My Brave Sedona this Spring (which has received over 2,400 views!).

It’s been a year and a half now since the seizures began, and I’m still working on accepting that I have a seizure disorder. I’m learning that my body needs more time to process everything I’ve been through, and that’s ok.

I went 110 days without seizures this summer after successful EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapy, among other things, which I’ll have to tell you all about in another post because it’s amazing! A couple weeks ago, the seizures started up again, and I’ve been fighting them off every day again. I have a lot more tools to cope with them now (yes, I do know all about CBD oil, etc!). It’s still hard to feel out of control of what’s going on in my body, but as I wrote about on my Facebook page, I’ve learned that the seizures are my body’s way of informing me that it needs attention.

What’s made the biggest difference in my life this year is the practice of radical self-love. This video by Matt Kahn, Feel Good Now, has taught me, “whatever arises, love that.” I’ve finally come to see I have the power to bring love to any situation. The seizures have forced me, once again, to find the strength to bring love to the darkest places. I’ve seen my body melt under the healing force of my love, and I’ve learned that LOVE is one thing illness, death and loss can never take away from me. 

STILL WRITING THE BOOK!!!

IMG_20171003_185646In the midst of all of this craziness (I’m laughing as I write this, because humor is my latest, greatest coping mechanism!), I have remained deeply committed to sharing my story with you. I’m on my 3rd major revision of my book, and have been sharing it chapter by chapter with an amazing writing critique group. The night before I joined the group, I had a dream that an old mentor of mine led me into a room in a book store, where about eight people sat at two round tables reading physical copies of my book. He introduced them to me, “These are your readers!” That dream was so true! Their input has been invaluable this last year, and has pushed me to find my voice, and my truth. My goal is to be finished with this final revision by Christmas, and querying literary agents by Spring!!!! I’ve also changed the title of the book….what do you think?!!!!!

The new title is:

Rise Again: The Grim Reaper Girl Chronicles

Because it’s not just one book, is it? This story is so incredible, it’s going to be a series!!!!!

I’ll be sharing updates on the progress of the book here, as we enter the final stages of getting it ready to find a publisher, so stick around! (Comment below, and let me know what you think of the new title!)

In the meantime, check out my 9-minute talk, “I Don’t Need Help” from the worldwide show This Is My Brave, that travels the world recruiting locals in each city to share their stories of how they’ve survived mental illness.

I’ve also been asked to give this talk at the upcoming Mental Health Summit 2017 at Cliff Castle Casino next week, on October 13th! Over 140 mental health professionals will hear about my triumphs through postpartum depression, anxiety, and PTSD, and be able to use that to help others.

Take a minute to look around at the new design of the website and let me know what you think, and comment below to tell me what’s been happening in your life since we last connected!

I love you all, thank you for being here with me, paying witness to my journey as I pay witness to yours!!!! I’m so glad to be back!!!!!!

2 thoughts on “Where Have I Been All Your Life?! :)

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