Guest blogger Matt Pappas is joining me again today. If you’re trying to conquer a traumatic past, and you live with PTSD and Dissociation, then you’ll likely be able to relate to his guest on this episode of his podcast, with Alexis Rose.
Living with PTSD as a result of childhood trauma, that’s a big part of what this blog has been about from day one. It’s always been my mission that, in addition to sharing my own story, to share the story of others in an effort to help inspire everyone who’s trying to live free from their past.
Alexis reached out to me earlier this year about coming on the podcast, and after talking with her and learning more about her story, I knew this was someone who I had to get on the show. One of the first things that we discussed was how our survivor stories, and healing journey are similar in many ways, yet each of us has our own unique way of approaching healing and the struggles that come with this journey.
Alexis Rose began her remarkable healing journey in 2009. Sparked by a family tragedy she began to piece together, for the first time, a personal history of abuse and trauma. Supported by her spirituality and writing, as well as family and friends, she has profoundly grown and changed over the years.
While learning to live with the effects of her trauma, and working with the deficits caused by PTSD (Post-traumatic Stress Disorder), she has co-authored three inspirational books. Her memoir, Untangled, speaks to the courage, resilience, and triumph over her unimaginable hardship. Her newest book, If I Could Tell You How It Feels is a series of essays and poems about living authentically with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Alexis is an experienced speaker on the topics of living with Post-traumatic Stress Disorder. She is also an active blogger who writes about PTSD, Mental Health, and Trauma, with a bit of poetry sprinkled in along the way. She is passionate about bringing awareness to help break the stigma of living with a mental illness, particularly PTSD.
One of the things you notice when you check out her blog, is that she is very active in her writing and passionate about being real in both her struggles and her triumphs. The feeling that she puts forth in each post is evident from the time that you begin reading. It’s easy to connect with Alexis because of the vulnerability with which she shares. One of the things I mentioned to her during the podcast, is that I’ve found when you write with emotion and passion, you not only reach others in a very personal way, but you continue your own healing and open yourself up to even more support from those who relate to you.
There are a few key topics that we discuss during our time together; one of which is some memories that she recalls while working with a therapist early on in her healing. There were times, many times, when she would be completely unable to do any healing work outside of the safety of her therapist’s office. The pain of the memories from her past were so traumatic, that even the thought of trying to work on them on her own, caused her to dissociate and become increasingly frustrated and full of anxiety.
When you don’t feel safe working through your trauma, healing is exponentially more difficult.
It took Alexis quite awhile to feel safe within her safe to be able to continue her healing outside of the weekly sessions, once she began to fill up her survivor toolbox with the skills she needed to help herself stay grounded and cope, things really began to take off in a big way.
She shares with us some of those skills, and elaborates more on how they helped her then, and still today as she lives with PTSD:
- Reach out to family and friends who are safe.
- Learn to be vulnerable in your authentic self.
- Distraction can make us feel guilty, but it’s necessary in healing; color, draw, go for a walk in nature.
- Bilateral stimulation, that part of journaling helps keep you grounded in a big way.
- Sometimes you just aren’t going to be ok…that’s ok.
- Grounding skills
Of course there are so many skills, and not everything works for each person in the same way, or even at all, so it’s important to have your toolbox filled with skills that feel right for you. After all, if you don’t believe in the skills you have and they don’t feel congruent with you, then you’re less likely to utilize them.
We cover these topics and much, much more on the podcast, so I do hope that you’ll give it a listen and leave us your thoughts in the comments, or in a review.
Alexis’ story is one that so many of us can relate too; it’s a story of extreme trauma, difficulty in confronting the memories as an adult, the struggles of a healing journey, and the triumphs of being able to write about it and tell others.
Thank you again Alexis for being so vulnerable, open, and inspiring. Your books, blog, and sheer will to no longer remain silent and a victim, is something that we can all look too for inspiration when we need it.
Podcast – Ep. 64 – Tools and Insight on living with PTSD, with author and survivor, Alexis Rose
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