A few days ago I posted a short excerpt from Sharing Strength. It is a book I have been working on sporadically over the last eight months or so. It is a very special project for me and one I feel extremely close to, however that becomes not only the driving force to finish it but also the thing that pulls me away.
This story follows a tiny support group for people suffering from PTSD, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. This diagnosis can be devastating because there is no cure for PTSD, you can cope but you cannot be cured. I know, I received the diagnosis myself almost ten years ago. It is something I have lived with but it wasn't until recently that I became more involved with the world especially the part containing others like me.
I look back at some of my behaviors over several years. The reactions I had to people and situations, the constant fear I felt, right down to the nightmares and lack of sleep, it is all easily traced back to what I had experiences and what my frustrations trying to deal with the symptoms. I was flailing in a sea of emotions but the most difficult part was that I wasn't even aware that I was there. I thought I was standing firmly on the ground even when I was drowning.
Two of the characters in Sharing Strength are based in one way or another on me and my experiences. Because of this I struggle to write what they have been through as it forces me to relive my own trauma. At the same time I am more dedicated to making sure that I get it right as much as possible because I feel like I owe them the world. Like most writers I feel these characters are real and that causes guilt for what I have put them through.
Rachel and Jasmine are strong people doing everything they can in order to handle what life throws at them and even though they are extremely different women they form a bond that inspires me every day. I am dedicated to completing the first draft of this project by my birthday at the end of February and will be looking for beta readers. Mostly though I am looking to make sure I give each of these characters the chance to be the message to others out there like them that they are not alone.