Healing Words: An Author’s Search For Trauma Recovery Through Writing

Brandi Kennedy talks about how writing and mindfulness has helped her recover from chronic abuse on bettysbattleground.com

A guest writer series about the ways we heal-on bettysbattleground.comHey readers, I apologize for missing my Wednesday post this week, but I’d like to call your attention to the article I was busy working on instead.

When I was pregnant and on methadone, I was caught in the Front Range Flood. Well, not caught in it per se, I was just outside of it, but my clinic closed and I couldn’t get to the one that was designated to courtesy dose us. You can read more about it in the article, but it is truly horrifying how unprepared many methadone facilities are for ensuring continuity of care. Unprepared is not even the right word; there are actually plenty of protocols in place, as I learned while researching this piece, but many programs and hospitals choose to turn patients away. It’s unfair, and unconscionable. Imagine going through the worst disaster of your life, and also being in intense opiate withdrawal? You can read it here.

Let’s also remember that while all of this has been going on, massive flooding has been destroying parts of Southeast Asia. More than 1,000 people have died, far higher than the death toll from Harvey.They deserve our care and attention too.

I’m glad that my blog is equipped to have outbound links open in separate windows, because I also don’t want you to miss this guest post from Author Brandi Kennedy. She’s a fiction writer and a poet besides a blogger, and it shows in the beauty of her narration, but the subject is deeply troubling. Despite my own traumatic experiences, I never cease to be shocked by the capacity for pain and cruelty this world holds. I’m glad the assignment I’m writing this weekend focuses on human kindness instead, but for now..let’s read Brandi’s story of recovery through writing and mindfulness.

Author Brandi KennedyRead about Brandi Kennedy's healing through writing on bettysbattleground.com was a survivor before she knew she was a warrior. Through her love of reading, she found temporary escape from the abuse that was an ever-present part of her childhood; through writing, she’s found healing and renewed life. These days, Brandi is a romance novelist and mental health and lifestyle blogger who spends her moments writing her way toward her dreams. Through self-expression, the courage to share honestly, and the desire to weave words into the very magic she once used as escape, Brandi is learning to embrace life as an Undaunted Woman – and hoping to welcome others along on the ride. Read her full bio here.

 

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Sober After Trauma: 10 Simple Ways To Prevent Relapse When Triggered

The Trauma-Mama Guide To Staying Sober During Triggering Times-www.bettysbattleground.com

Life is hard.

PTSD is hard.

Staying sober is hard.

When you have PTSD, and an addiction history, and your life suddenly weaponizes against you, staying sober becomes a monumental feat.

Right now, my life is a landmine of triggers. I lost someone I considered a good friend, who I cared about and was unbelievably hurt to learn didn’t care so much about me. If you have been following my blog at all, you know that losing these long-time friends is a deep fear of mine. Then, I had to attend a Family Court Services interview in which I was asked to disclose the intimate details of my worst abuses to a stranger; I haven’t even disclosed a lot of this stuff to my therapist yet. And, that was only the first half of the interview. I have to go back next week. In a couple of days, I have to actually see my abuser. I’ll be in the safety of a court room with my big, BBJ trained husband by my side, but still…I have PTSD. It’s not cool.

Needless to say, it’s been a tough couple weeks.

Once upon a time, I would be high out of my mind right now and approaching an overdose.

But I’m not. I’m sober. And not by chance. I have worked really, really hard to have a clear head right now. So today I am going to share with you some of the tricks I have used to keep myself from relapsing despite being assaulted by triggers for two weeks straight.

I should tell you guys that I do not adopt the 12-step mentality, which commands that once you’ve had a problem with a substance, you can never get intoxicated again. I do smoke weed (I live in a state where it’s legal) and drink alcohol occasionally.  I am able to control myself, and I do my best not to use these things in a self-medicating context as that is a dangerous action which could lead me back into an addiction. I’m not smoking or drinking now, for example. But I just thought I should tell you, for the purposes of full disclosure, that every once in a while I’ll kick back and have a couple tokes or drinks after the kiddos have gone to bed.

That being said, these tools can help you stay sober in whatever form of sobriety you choose. They can help you stay 100% abstinent from all mind-altering chemicals (okay that’s a lie; oxygen is a mind-altering chemical and I can’t help you with that…but you know what I mean) or they can just help you avoid the substances that cause you problems. I respect whatever form of sobriety you have chosen for yourself. Recovery is hard. Judgment does not help (hear that Anonymous folks??)

Without further ado…

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Mindful Mothering: Six Simple Indoor Activities To Do With Your Kids When You’re Kinda Sorta Maybe Really Freaking Out

Six Indoor Activities That You Can Do With Your Kids When You're Kinda Sorta Maybe Really Freaking Out

When you live with PTSD, or any anxiety disorder, you know to be ready for an episode any day, any time. Symptoms can range from mild to severe; an episode could mean heightened awareness of other people’s micro-expressions, or it could mean a full-on, totally debilitating panic attack. Anxiety won’t wait. It doesn’t care where you are, who you’re with, or what you need to do. The other day, I watched a member of my peer support group gasp for air in front of everyone after sharing her experience of loneliness. She ultimately had to be wheeled to a medical floor until she was calm again. Anxiety allows its victim no dignity.

As a mother living with an anxiety disorder, I have an intimate knowledge of the disruption which anxiety can wreak upon daily living. But all of us mothers, hyperanxious or not, know that we don’t get ‘sick days.’ We can’t triage extended self care into our schedules, no matter how much we need it.

The abuse which caused my PTSD was prolonged and severe. The symptoms, therefore, likewise. I also live in the Pacific Northwest, where we receive abundant servings of yucky, rain drenched days. Between the weather and my moods, I spend a lot of time indoors with my kids. Don’t worry, they get lots of physical activity at daycare, and I do make a special effort to go out when the weather is nice. The truth is, however, that a lot of our time together is spent indoors, and that I spend a lot of it trying to covertly treat my anxiety. As a result, I have created an arsenal of simple, kid-friendly indoor activities that also provide secret opportunities for mindfulness and other forms of de-stressing.

If you’re a mama, papa, grandparent, or some other person who spends lots of time with young children, and you’re also prone to bouts of anxiety, give these six activities a try!

 

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