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ON DECEMBER 30, I posted an article here on my blog that contained some very personal trauma history. I felt nervous. I felt over-exposed. But I wanted to be brave, like Lucky Otter, Prairie Girl, Katie’s Dream, Shattered in Him, Alexis Rose, BethanyK, Aura Gael, Marie Abanga, Pam Wagner, Object of Contempt, HarsH ReaLiTy, BDECKARD92, and so many other awesome women and men who bravely bare their souls online.
I left that post up for three days, fighting the urge to take it down. Meanwhile, I went to church on the first Sunday of the year. On the drive there, I prayed about how I had failed to keep my 2016 resolution to finish writing my memoir by the end of December. I did not even come close to meeting this goal. After I prayed, the thought came to me that a big part of the reason why I did not finish my book was because I spent so much time reading and commenting on blogs.
On January 2, I woke up feeling horrible. I thought the reason I felt so bad was because 2016 had come to an end, and I wasn’t even close to finishing the first draft of my book. Impulsively, I unfollowed all of the blogs I was following, then I made my own blog private. “There!” I thought. “Now I can focus all of my time and energy on writing my memoir.”
Within a couple of hours of doing this, I realized that I was running a fever. I took my temperature and was shocked at how high it was. Suddenly I felt very sick, so sick that I thought I might be dying.
I feel much better now, thank heavens, and I am back to writing on my memoir. But WOW, I really was very sick for a while, with a fever that went up above 102. When you’re in your sixties, a fever that high is serious.
TWO GOOD THINGS came out of me being so sick, though. The first thing is that I lost a couple of pounds, woo hoo! The second, and much more important thing is that I had an epiphany about my book. A whole new book title came to me, along with some other major ideas. Of course, I wondered if it was just my fever that made my new title seem so terrific. But when I told my husband about my idea for a new title, he exclaimed “That’s IT! It’s perfect!”
I searched on Amazon and was amazed to see that no one else has used this title for a book. (I’m going to keep my new title under wraps for now, until my memoir is ready to publish.)
I need to log out of WordPress now, before I get lost in blog land again! But first, I want to share with my readers some helpful resources I’ve recently discovered. The first one is this: if you are writing a memoir, or even just thinking about writing a memoir, I highly recommend the website Write Your Memoir in Six Months.
I also recommend Brooke Warner and Linda Joy Myers book, Breaking Ground On Your Memoir. I’ve read dozens of how to write books, and this one has the most practical advice for memoir writing. Especially if, like me, you keep getting STUCK.
If you are struggling with trauma issues, I urge you to read a wonderful book that I am currently reading, Bessel van der Kolk’s The Body Keeps The Score.
What I love about this book is the way Dr. van der Kolk explains, with pictures of CAT scans and fMRI images, exactly how trauma affects the brain. Finally, my peculiarities and struggles in life make perfect sense! He also explains, using double blind scientific studies, what kinds of therapeutic treatments work for trauma, and which ones don’t work. Talk therapy, for example, does NOT help PTSD. Prescription medications, which may be useful for short term emergency use, do not get at the root issues, and their side effects often make things worse in the long run. (Trigger Warning: Dr. van der Kolk’s book includes a lot of details about the history of some of his trauma patients that I wish he had left out. But even so, his book is so helpful overall, that I believe it is worth the risk of being triggered.)
If you are feeling rejected and alone, hopeless, broken, and carrying a load of shame and self-blame, which is how I was feeling when I freaked out and made my blog private, I offer you the one thing that has helped me the most with all of those miserable feelings:
Out of my distress I called on the Lord; The Lord answered me and set me free. The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can [mere] man do to me? ~Psalm 118:5-6 (Amplified Bible)
When I am frightened and my PTSD is triggered, I don’t have the ability to just snap my fingers and turn off my fear, through sheer willpower alone. But as Mark Twain said: “Courage does not mean the absence of fear and doubt. Courage means moving ahead in spite of fear and doubt.”
I believe that’s what the Bible means when it says to “fear not.” Although I sometimes feel fearful emotions, I refuse to let the emotion of fear STOP ME from doing what I believe God has called me to do.
However, I have decided to keep my tell-all December 30 post private, at least for now. While I am working on my memoir, I don’t need the distraction of worrying about what people think of that post.
Thank you for stopping by and God Bless! ❤