Healing Words: The Power Of Touch

A guest writer series about the ways we heal-on bettysbattleground.com

Hello! Welcome to Friday. I am extra excited about today’s guest post. If you have ever visited my guest post info page, you may have seen mention of a series called “Healing Words.” For the past several months I have been gathering stories about healing and recovery from trauma survivors and professionals; today, I begin sharing them with you!

“Healing Words” opens with Stephanie, who lost her brother suddenly to a mysterious illness while he was overseas. In her story she talks about the intense, life-changing grief she experienced, and then walks us through her process of recovery. Now, she is a healer, who uses a combination of massage and talk therapy to help others struggling with trauma and grief.

At some point, grief touches all of us. It comes in many forms. We grieve the loss of  those we love, or our pets who have served as our companions for years; we grieve losing an ability due to injury or trauma; we grieve relationships that fail, and potential which does not come to fruition. Grief comes in many forms, and coping with grief is a normal human function. Sometimes, however, loss is sudden and traumatic, and grief overwhelms us. When that happens, we need help moving on. Moving on does not mean forgetting those whom we lost, and it does not mean “getting over” the loss; it means finding a place of peaceful acceptance within ourselves so that we may continue to live. Read Stephanie’s story to learn one approach to healing and moving forward from traumatic grief.

Stephanie HarrisRead a guest post on healing from traumatic grief by Stephanie Harris on bettysbattleground.com is a New Zealand-based writer and coach, specializing in grief. Raised in South Africa, she graduated with honors from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology in Cape Town with a diploma in somatology. She is a professional bodywork therapist who incorporates her knowledge of the physiological impact of grief into work with clients and ongoing research. Stephanie’s career has taken her around the globe, from the Maldives to Iceland, and Cambodia to the British Isles. She has swum with dolphins in the Caribbean and held baby crocodiles in the Amazon. Now, she lives in Auckland, New Zealand with her golden Labrador retriever, Knox. In addition to coaching individuals and groups, Stephanie is a frequent public speaker and contributor to numerous online outlets. Learn more about her writing and research at www.StephanieHarrisCoaching.com.

Read how one woman turned to therapeutic massage to help heal from her brother's sudden death-on bettysbattleground.com

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Parenting With Mental Illness: Maria (PPD)

Parenting with Mental Illness, a feature interview series on bettysbattleground.com

I have been putting together this series behind the curtains for a while now, almost as long as Betty’s Battleground has been live, and I am really excited and honored to launch it today.

“Parenting with Mental Illness” is an interview series featuring parents battling mental illness. Mental illness is an unparalleled struggle even without having children in your care, but when the pressures of being the caretaker for a beautiful young life gets paired with the battles of living with mental illness, the difficulties sometimes feel insurmountable. But they are surmountable. Those of us who live through it prove that everyday. We often live this reality in silence, however, feeling judged and ashamed by our circumstances. This series aims to lift some of stigma surrounding parenting with mental illness. My hope is that those on the outside will gain some compassion and insight toward what we deal with on a daily basis, and that those also living through this will realize it is okay to be who they are, and to seek help. Please remember: Shaming drives people further into the darkness. It is only through radical acceptance that people begin the journey of change.

Before I introduce you to the first brave interviewee, I want to say a few words about my Abuelita. She died one year ago today, at the age of 100. She lived a long and full life, so her death was no tragedy, but I still miss her every day. Sometimes my grief is quiet, like a murmur in the background of my day, and sometimes it wails and brings me to tears at random moments. My Abuelita was a beautiful woman. Born in Chile to a Cuban mother and British father, she traveled across Latin America during her childhood, before finally settling in Cuba, where she would marry the love of her life, an English teacher, and bear her five children. In 1966, amid the turmoil of a new government, she would leave her mansion home with the tadpole-filled pool in the back, and jasmine bushes in the front, to move with her family as refugees into a small studio in New Jersey. She would live in New Jersey the rest of her life, and though she would never regain the comforts she had known in Cuba, she would improve her economic situation enough to be a world traveler through her 80s. She was a vivacious, gentle soul who love to sing, write poetry, and read Agatha Christie. She possessed a rare, youthful beauty which did not diminish with age. She died one century and a handful of months after she was born. Though she had five children, she would be a grandmother to only one-a little girl who she would love unconditionally through all of the child’s various turmoils and disgraces. She would live to hold her eldest great-grandson, and to talk on the phone with her two younger great-granddaughters, all of whom she cherished.

My Abuelita was perhaps the only person who loved me no matter what, and I suspect I will miss her for the rest of my life.

Elizabeth Brico's Abuelita bettysbattleground.com

Stella Blair with one of her daughters, 1916-2016

And now, I present to you another beautiful soul: Maria, who mothers with Postpartum Depression.

Meet Maria: A Mother with PPD on bettysbattleground.com

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