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Health After Trauma Newsletter An eZine for survivors of trauma and those who support them
March 2008

Dear Reader:

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In This Issue:
  • From Dr T and Creekside Communications
  • Healing Chronic Disease and Health Problems
  • Writing for Wellness--Story by Story
  • Health After Trauma Newsletter Will Be Moving
  • Recovering from A Severe Accident
  • DrT Speaks: Conference Announcement
  • Important Town Hall Meeting about the Linkage Project
  • Wait: Don't Leave Yet

  • Healing Chronic Disease and Health Problems

    There gets to be a place in chronic illness where you realize that being ill is not going to stop you from living well.
    --Rachel Naomi Remen

    When you carry the burden of a chronic disease or health condition, life can be downright hard and seem quite unfair. Still a ray of freedom resides in the form of choice. You may not choose to be a diabetic, but you can chooses how to respond to your diabetes and manage it to the best of your ability. In an interview published online in Share Guide, Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen, author of Kitchen Table Wisdom and My Grandfather's Blessings notes that "the place in chronic illness" mentioned above is "where your freedom lies."

    She goes on to say, "Yes, I'd love to see perfectly, I'd love to be able to run three miles. I can't do those things. But the quality of my life is so much deeper than it was when I was able to do those things. So there's a freedom to transcend your illness, not by curing it necessarily, because a cure is not available to everyone, but by making your life larger than it is. Growth is possible for everyone, even if a cure is not."

    Note that she speaks to the fact that a cure may not be available to everyone, but healing can be activated nevertheless. "Curing" speaks to the elimination of disease or disease symptoms, often through the use of medicine, surgery, or psychotherapy. "Healing," on the other hand, refers to restoration of being whole, aware of the rhythms of the world and in our lives, and being empowered by this understanding. Healing brings peace, acceptance, and love.

    To read more about this topic and how your personal writing can help you heal, click here

    DrT notes: You can learn more about Dr. Remen by visiting her website at This article quotes Dr. Remen from an interview posted on the Share Guide website which you can access by clicking here. To learn more about Share Guide, click here.

    Writing for Wellness--Story by Story

    Whether you are a survivor of trauma or abuse or a professional supporting survivors, you no doubt have many, many stories to tell. Perhaps you have thought, "I should write a book." Or friends and family have said, "You need to write a book!"

    Either way, make the leap from talking stories to writing stories by joining us in Half Moon Bay, CA, this coming April.

    From the course announcement:

    Save Saturday, April 19th, or Thursday, April 24th, 2008, to attend a one-day workshop at Cameron's Inn at The Outback. 1410 S. Cabrillo Highway, Half Moon Bay, CA. Choose to attend whichever day works best in your schedule or elect to attend both days to experience the same material with a different group of attendees.

    The $95.00 fee includes lunch.

    When you attend one of these workshops, you will become a Creekside Communications Seminar alumni and this affords you the opportunity to attend future events at significantly lowered rates.

    Health After Trauma Newsletter Will Be Moving
    creekside com log

    At the end of this month, our address-in-the-cyberspace will be moving to another server.

    Towards this end we will be sending you several emails asking you to "opt in" or stay subscribed to the eZine by clicking a link and signing up for the eZine again.

    We apologize for whatever inconvenience this causes you. However, in the long-run, life will be better!

    If you do not wish to keep getting this eZine, then just ignore these email invites.

    Thanks to so many of you who have already signed up. Your continued readership inspires our work.

    If you want to continue getting this newsletter, you do not have to wait for the email invite. You can just click below and sign up now.

    Recovering from A Severe Accident
    First Strike program

    A little over ten years ago, Marsha Gentry learned first hand that you don't have to be a combat vet or a survivor of a horrendous personal violence assault to experience first hand the devastating ravages of trauma. She survived a bus accident that killed three other women.

    Left shattered and broken with massive blood loss and numerous fractures requiring days in an intensive care unit, she recovered and then wrote After the Accident to share her experience.

    This book will enlighten many of us who work with survivors of trauma but have not experienced similar trauma ourselves.

    An Amazon editorial review states, "Recommended especially for members of the nursing profession as a chance to "put on the patient gown," this harrowing and highly detailed account of trauma survival pulls the reader through the arduous process of long-term recovery and rehabilitation. Gentry, new to writing since the bus accident that almost took her life ten years ago, tells her tale with gut-wrenching self-examination and a sense of catharsis, and delivers a fairly scathing critique of the health care profession. She offers a strong dose of caution regarding professional control of the recovery process, citing the inhumanities of hospital bureaucracy and disinterested or over-worked staff. An ardent testimony to the personal, medical, and social challenges inherent in recovery, Gentry's narrative is also suggested reading for those who are struggling with serious illness or otherwise navigating our current health care system."

    Writing about such experiences can be quite healing for the author. They can also be quite beneficial for readers by giving us the distance to grasp the author's struggle and pain in such a light that we change how we care for others.

    DrT Speaks: Conference Announcement

    The 10th Annual Warren Wetzel, MD Trauma / Emergency Medicine Symposium will be presented May 14, 2008 at Jacobi Medical Center in New York.

    Dr T's presentation, Taking Aim at Intimate Partner Violence Trauma, will be from 1:25 p.m. to 2:05 p.m.

    Note that you will save 25% of the registration fee if you register online.

    Important Town Hall Meeting about the Linkage Project

    Phil Arkow writes to say, "Health After Trauma readers will be interested in learning about the upcoming National Town Meeting & Summit which will be a national think-tank to address the links between animal abuse and family violence." The National Town Meeting & Summit will be held in Portland, ME, on June 8-10, 2008. If you could publicize this in your e-newsletter, we'd be most appreciative! Many thanks.

    Wait: Don't Leave Yet

    Time for a little chuckle or smile
    A Cure for the Workplace Blues

    I hope you enjoy this video. It was sent to me at least two or three times. Each time I got a nice chuckle or two from it as Mrs. Hughes wrings some humor out of her family life.

    From Dr T and Creekside Communications

    This month sets the stage for gearing up for our local Half Moon Bay workshops offered next month: Seeking Wellness--Story by Story. I am excited that at least one mother-daughter team want to come on the same day.

    Thanks for reviews of our Audiobook, WellWriting for Health After Trauma and Abuse, read by Moana Re Robertson.

    Comments submitted so far:

    • I really, really love this book

    • It is a piece of the link that I believe is missing in our culture of domestic violence intervention/advocacy, which is moving beyond surviving to a place of health, confidence, hope, and dream-building. In other words, now that the crisis is over, how can I continue to heal, grow, and expand? This is a question we have not historically helped survivors to answer.

    • The concepts are much more widely applicable than to survivors of DV and other abuse-in fact, anyone who has met a bump in the road that has slowed them down (which I guess ultimately is everyone-just that some bumps are bigger than others) can use these strategies. The tools help to identify and feel emotions, clarify goals and dreams, and facilitate movement and change.

    • I like the emphasis on listening to the subconscious, or our own deep core knowledge, which is illustrated by your statement: "I believe that free writing or expressive writing works because, deep inside, we know, but we don't know that we know".

    • The book has a terrific mix of instruction, illustrative stories, and references to the writings of many experts in the field. I found the rhythm and balance of the content to be very comfortable. The doors that you open for further inquiry with tastes of many different researchers and writers, leave the listener with a sense of possibility and curiosity.

    Some reviewers have checked in and are still working on their reviews. Their comments will be included in future issues of the Health After Trauma eZine.

    Please note that while the WellWriting for Health After Trauma and Abuse book is a self-help book, it does not replace the need for any therapy or counseling that you are already in.

    To learn more about the Audiobook, click here

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