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 born out of multiple traumas and sparked to life by the untimely death of a friend… but what do I know about trauma? Like literally… who am I to write a book about trauma?
I could discuss my awareness of human behavior and the relevant pieces of academic knowledge that I’ve acquired over my college and graduate school life, but that’s not why I wrote the book – I didn’t write it directly for professors, therapists, and social workers who TALK about trauma...
I wrote it for us - Trauma survivors and our loved ones – who get up every day and because of our commitment to healing, we get our shit together and get through a day without giving up.
We put labels on the hard days - maybe we call it PTSD, technically, but it’s also called “Being a Survivor.” It’s not that we are destined to have lifelong triggers, but this book was designed to give us all a break when it comes to diagnoses and treatments. We need those too, but we also need real talk.
We need a break.
We need a companion.
We need recovery in real time.
There’s no forgetting our traumas and no matter what we do to desensitize ourselves too it, life will find a way to re-sensitize us to it.
So there are 125 hashtags in this book, yet I’m starting this blog series with Hashtag #83. Why?
Why start in the middle… with #TriggersAreEverywhere?
Because that is the way recovery in real time works... we don't start at the beginning of a grief cycle and we don't start neatly at page one of any workbook.
We start when we are triggered.
And the triggers? They are everywhere!
I know because as a survivor of multiple traumas, there's no escaping my triggers.
And every time I was triggered, I would hear the same message:
My sensitivity to triggers implied that something wasn’t whole or healed.
What kind of unrealistic expectation is that?
I’m supposed to be so perfectly removed from the fact that my primary caregiver was emotionally abusive… so if someone I trust takes advantage of me, it doesn’t affect me?
I'm supposed to be so perfectly removed from the memories of being touched by my older neighbor for 5 years… so if I see a Facebook thread about sexual assault, it doesn’t affect me?
I’m supposed to be so perfectly removed from the fact that I watched a man die in a suicide… so if there’s a loved one struggling with depression, it doesn’t affect me?
Am I to be perfectly removed from my own life and experiences?
Is that how we define healing?
I wrote this book because the answer to our healing isn't to be desensitized but to be recognized... 125 times, 125 different ways, for as many cycles as it takes to know how brave we really are for recovering at all! (125 at least!)
With 125 different hashtags, you can carry a book that exists as a mirror - a book that says, "I see you healing," rather than a workbook that says, "Work harder and you will be healed."
Every day you said yes to being alive is a day you have continued your healing.
Every day you knew that #TriggersAreEverywhere, but you kept going, you have continued your healing.
It's not always a hard day... but this is what I know about trauma and why I could write a book about it:
I know how to live with it and keep my shit aptly together so I can be present with the process of recovery.
So, I say… congratulations, survivor.
Congratulations, loved one of a survivor.
Today is another day that despite our reality - #TriggersAreEverywhere - we are making it.
Brave readers, keep sharing. I’m here with you. #RecoveryInRealTime happens today.