Was 2020 a crazy year or what? Yes, much has changed since 2019. Our communities have weathered many storms in the past year. Social and racial injustices, a deadly pandemic, and influential powers of our great United States that have provoked violence across our country. Yet, here we are, still standing as the sparks of the storms begin to lighten.
We’ve all had to live through adversities, but it is what we do with those adversities that truly shape us. Instead of “mission impossible,” here are a few ways to make a positive difference. First of all we need to begin communicating in a way that has a powerful effect in shaping the interpretation of all that comes after to create a more productive perspective. We need to make sure negative data is accounted for, but try to pair it with positive data. After an entire childhood and young adulthood, I decided I was the sole person letting all of the traumatic events I had experienced control my thoughts, my emotions, and my actions. I realized I had to look at all of the bad situations that ate away at my very being and try my best to pull something good from it. Before I knew it I had pulled some of the most important good in my life from these situations. I was a better mother because of what I had endured. I was a much stronger person than I had ever been. I realized that I was resilient and had tipped my hat toward resiliency instead of abomination.
I had to remind myself of this again when my first memoir, Sin Child, was released on March 31, 2020. I had worked for several years writing Sin Child and had long anticipated holding that first printed book in my hand and spreading it to the world. The process of writing and editing the book made me dive deeper into Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which led to the establishment of a non-profit organization, PTSD-ACED Foundation. I had decided to launch the foundation at the same time as the book launch. On March 19, 2020, California was the first state to issue a stay-at-home order and other states began to quickly follow suit. As the launch of my first book that had taken me four years to write, and a brand new non-profit that I had been preparing to launch for two years approached I found myself becoming distraught. Speaking engagements were postponed in the beginning and then indefinitely cancelled. With each passing day my frustration grew and I found myself slowly giving up.
I finally realized that once again, I was the only person who could change how I was dealing with matters. I began trying to push the negative aside and started looking at different ways to handle the situation we all were forced to live in. It was then I was led to an amazing publicist who would change the way I think about being an author forever! While I had dreamed of a book tour and meeting tons of wonderful people along the way I had to accept that for now that was definitely not going to happen and I was forced to step outside of my comfort zone and into a world that was strictly online. Soon I was doing podcasts and online speaking engagements. I was again pushed out of my comfort zone to write guest blogs and articles for online publications. The sales of Sin Child ending up exceeding expectations for it’s first year and I stepped up to challenges that have made me a better writer and a better speaker. I also know that I have been able to reach far more people than an ordinary book tour alone would have allowed me to reach and that was my goal while writing the book, to help as many people as possible. It was learning how to navigate change that made this achievable.
it’s impossible to know what lies ahead, but it’s like a great book. While we may not know the ending, we must keep reading.
Angela Howard is a first-time author and the founder of PTSD-ACED Foundation, Inc. Angela is a registered nurse and has worked in the medical field for the past 20 years. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and certifications in Life Care Planning and Medical Case Management. She is highly impacted by the adverse effects of PTSD secondary to ACEs. She herself has overcome extreme adverse childhood experiences with the highest ACE score of 10. Angela’s health has been adversely affected as she suffers from multiple autoimmune disorders. Angela’s desire is to bring increased awareness of ACEs by educating those affected and individuals in medical and educational fields.
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