Progress! Exiting the 7th Circle of Hell

Oh. My. Gosh. I am feeling SO MUCH BETTER. Summer break is giving me the opportunity to recharge and get re-centered. I’m focusing on positive self-care, getting back to basics. I had gastric sleeve surgery seven years ago, and I have “fallen off the [bariatric] wagon” to the tune of about 25 pounds. My original weight loss was over 125 pounds, and my lowest weight post-surgery was 104. I’m not looking to get THAT small again; I was actually too thin at that point. But I’m also not looking to be scale-obsessed, either, because that’s not a healthy place for me to be. I’m re-establishing a daily workout routine that includes the elliptical and walking my dogs. Once I fully get over the migraine headache cycle I fell into the last week of school, I’ll be unstoppable. (I’m getting there, with the help of my neurologist.)

I am so grateful for my family, both blood-related and chosen, for their unflagging support as I dealt with the worst year of my teaching career. 2023 has been a GREAT year for my writing career, with the release of FIND THE MOON and the wonderful reviews for it, and I have confidence that the 2023-2024 school year will be wonderful, as well.

I’m looking forward to the future and teaching in a new place in 2023-2024, a place that I can stay a looooooong time. I want to find “home” again, as I once had in two other places I’ve worked. I’m considering the possibilities and I’m totally recharged and excited, a fresh slate and ready to move forward! Writing the blog post, “Leaving and Letting Go,” really helped me. I truly did exorcise that terrible school year by writing it. The post is password-protected. I shared the password with a limited number of people and have since changed the password so that I truly have control over who reads what I wrote.
If you have been through an experience that feels like you were in the “7th Circle of Hell” as I did, I really encourage you to “write it out.” Resilience is the most important concept I learned when I was in therapy for CSA, and when Dr. Matt E. Jaremko and I wrote TRAUMA RECOVERY: SESSIONS WITH DR. MATT for PTSD victims, we wrote a lot about resilience. It’s an invaluable, essential ingredient for recovering; for finding relief from the pain of trauma. I actually REREAD the book I co-wrote as a component of getting over the cycle of pain I was stuck in after this school year. I am SO GRATEFUL to Matt, who guided me to becoming a whole person in the early 2000s, because I reached out to him when I felt “broken,” and he suggested (1) that I reread our book; (2) that I join a support group; and (3) that I buy Dr. Patricia Resick’s newly released book, GETTING UNSTUCK FROM PTSD (more info about the book below the video that follows.) Matt and I have known each other about twenty years now, and I love him like family. Thank you, Matt! Love you!

Joining a support group through NAMI has been life-changing for me. Even though I am feeling better, I will continue attending the weekly group because I get so much out of it.

Another essential component of my recovery that I STRONGLY recommend is GETTING UNSTUCK FROM PTSD by Patrick Resick, PhD, Shannon Wiltsey Stirman, PhD, and Stefanie T. LoSavio, PhD, and their program for working through being “stuck” in negative thinking, fear, and pain. It’s reader-friendly, empathetic, and extremely helpful. CPT for PTSD is their website, as well, and you can access resources there. The publisher of the book, Guilford Press, also provides easily downloadable materials that are referenced in the book.

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