#Recovery In Real Time - Grief Births the Process

Publishing for a Change, LLC presents Gail Dickert, author of #RecoveryInRealTime as shares more about the writing process behind her "Anti-workbook" for surviving multiple traumas.

#RecoveryInRealTime was not a project that happened overnight, but it did launch quickly. It was as if I was drinking water from the fire hose of trauma and started spitting out hashtags for the grief process. 

It was June 2015 and I was notified that a dear friend of mine was killed tragically in a car accident… 

Devastated, I found myself in yet another grief cycle without many resources for processing the loss… why does everything have to start with death? But why am I so equipped to handle loss? 

Is it just me or do some of us have an unfair share of bullshit to deal with in our lives?
I was only 37 years old… she was 35 when she was killed… 

And as I walked in literal circles on a path through my local park, it hit me:

I am a trauma survivor. I’m all too familiar with empty places in my heart.

I said that to myself as I walked for over two hours, crying on this circular path. I even played a song on repeat as I marched.

The song is “Fighter” by In This Moment:
“’Cause I'm a survivor
Yeah, I am a fighter
I will not hide my face
I will not fall from grace
I'll walk into the fire, baby
All my life
I was afraid to die
And now I come alive inside these flames.”

It was then that I decided I knew too much about grief to stay quiet – everything about trauma is a cycle of grief and it was “fresh” grief that reminded me of this.

It’s been almost two years since my friend’s death and as I tear up now, knowing I’m going public with the stories behind the hashtags of #RecoveryInRealTime, I dedicate this post to her vibrant life.

Survivor stories are coming alive in the flames of her untimely and tragic death.

What better tribute to grief is there than gathering our stories and telling them bravely?

What better way to memorialize our cycles of denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance than marveling at our abilities to keep going?

I recently told a survivor, “We only know one direction – forward. Survivors never actually turn back or look back. The past keeps finding us, but our lives are forward-motion through cycles, but always forward. If you want to learn about letting go… look at how a survivor of trauma gets out of bed and doesn’t make excuses for hard days. Look at our lives. We will show anyone what resilience looks like…

Brave readers, keep sharing. I’m here with you. #RecoveryInRealTime happens today.