We all have stories to share. Have you ever felt like telling yours?
I'm in the process of doing just that, in collaboration with my life coach and co-author. She also happens to be my therapist. My trauma recovery therapist. Since 2010.
When I moved to the Middle East in 2012, we continued our work together via Skype. I was blown away at how, as she put it, "energy is energy."
Wait, back up. Are you wondering what, why, how, about now?
I'm glad you asked. And I'm going to answer very simply.
Trauma. Mine. Definition of trauma: not so much the "what" as the fact that it results in overwhelming emotional stimulus. And that the nervous system, our very body, holds unreleased energy from the experience. Bessel van der Kolk explains this in his book The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma.
Because on my return to KC from London in 2009, I didn't understand I was living with trauma. All I knew was that I was severely anxious, barely making it through each day. In a demanding job. That although I was working with a very qualified therapist, I wasn't getting better. In fact was getting worse. And because in early 2010, after having coffee with a friend (who also happened to be a therapist), I took her advice to make an appointment with a new therapist in town who specialized in anxiety disorders.
Through the care of my incredibly talented and compassionate Somatic Experiencing certified therapist. Using the trauma recovery therapy modality of the same name, founded by Peter Levine, author of Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma, over twenty years ago. My therapy lasted for six and a half years (yes, even the year I lived in the Middle East), and I now go for monthly maintenance sessions.
I'll add that this experience has been bar none the most difficult thing I have ever done. The darkest most frightening years of my life. I wanted to die. I really wanted to die. Instead, I chose life. I clung on during the stormiest experiences ever, and I survived. I journaled and illustrated my way through. I started painting and writing.
And in doing so, I developed a passion for getting the word out about how my life was saved by Somatic Experiencing. Turns out, so did my therapist.
So we, together, are writing a book. We have a basic framework created, with key milestones, and are working on the introductions/prologues and first chapter. Sharing our combined story, alternating back and forth. Mine in first person present tense, hers in first person past tense.
Our goal is by the end of the year to have it ready to promote to agents/publishers.
The title is not set in stone, nor the cover. What is solid however is the truth that through these years, I moved (and continue to move) from a fear based life to a love based life.
This book will help people.
Maybe you. Or someone you love.
Stay tuned. In the meantime, watch this short video to learn more about trauma and Somatic Experiencing. (By the way, gswoj is short for go slow: woman on a journey.)