The idea for this blog came from a book written by one of my absolute favorite authors, Nora Roberts. The book is titled "The Awakening." The book lit a fire inside of me; it opened up something I didn't know genuinely existed. I couldn't put it down and found a part 2, which was equally as riveting. I will admit, that having to wait until right before Thanksgiving for book three is driving me a bit up the wall, to the point that I reread the books. The series is about a young girl forced by her mother to live a safe life and the life she wanted her to have. This girl's life was laid out for what she was supposed to do every minute of every day. I related to this a little, not that I grew up like this; my childhood was the exact opposite, but some of my jobs and bosses did this, so I related. Then the girl found documents in her mother's house about the money her father sent her that was in an investment account, which changed her life. I did not find money (I wish! Lol), but how her gay best friend helped to push her to use some of the money to have fun and to take the time to find herself, that part is what I truly started to relate to. Her journey took her to Ireland in search of her father (who she later found out was deceased), and her gay best friend who accompanied her on this trip convinced her to start a daily blog documenting her journey to finding herself. She loved to write, and I realized that so did I. I was called the grammar nazi at work and always asked to rewrite memos or emails; I didn’t mind doing it because it came easy to me. So, I decided to try it, but; I was hesitant and anxious about it, and I had no idea where to start.
The more into the book I got, the more captivated I became. I mentioned it to my counselor during one of our sessions, and she thought it might be a good way for me to express myself and what I felt to heal more. That weekend I started researching how to get one started and took the leap. I titled it "How Do You Cope," "The Act of Coping in Everyday Life." My original intent was to share my experiences and how I would cope with them in hopes that it would help someone else. Instead, I am sharing more than I ever thought I could go with the world to let you know that you are not alone, that what you feel every day is validated, that you are not a burden, that your feelings matter, and that you matter.
Over the years, I have formed bonds with some of my Soldiers that go beyond the typical "bond of brotherhood." Sharing experiences, even traumas, has been the best way for me to cope and heal, and the incredible bonds I've formed with current and former Service Members are because of shared experiences. We helped each other cope, we've been rocks and outlets, ranting and crying shoulders, whatever we needed to be there for each other, and we have all grown so much from it. That also helped me realize that doing this blog might be the best thing for me; not only would I be able to cope better and heal more, but I might be able to reach more people and offer them the same type of hope. I looked back and realized that when I started advocating and standing up for Sexual Harassment and Assault Prevention (SHARP) survivors and sharing my own experiences, it helped me share those traumas with others, standing up for them and fighting for them. I wanted to continue that desperately, and I hope to continue to do that (in a way) with this blog.
I am so grateful for everyone who has and is supporting me on this new and exciting, and terrifying journey. When you read my blog, I hope you can cope and heal to become the person you are meant to be.