Life is good even though it’s often hard


So I thought it’d be easy to write a book. Ha! Well not really- it was sort of easy to get my first book published. I am working on a rewrite at the moment and I’ll post a link soon but it was fairly easy but it was also just a compilation of my blog posts because I write each post as if it’s a chapter in a book anyway. So for me – that worked. What is harder is to share my real struggles from my first blog, Continue to Live and Flourish. That is where I bare my soul and not even all of it.

I have decided to share that story in a book which is far harder than I realized. See I have survived childhood sexual abuse, domestic abuse at the hands of my first 2 boyfriends which lasted 4 years for one and 5 years for the other. It involves complicated relationships and hardships and one of the most amazing come-back stories of all time (wait yeah – that was me in 1998) and the most amazing love story (that was 1999 and meeting my husband and most amazing supportive force, John). I have survived a lot in my life which prepared me for all that we have survived as a couple and all the medical issues and stressors that have been thrown our way.

This is actually my fourth blog. My original and first one was “Talk Sister” which was intended to share my very personal story but I chickened out and only got to 12 blog posts and closed it. Then I wrote “Allie Knows” which does sound egotistical but it was a medical advice, life advice type question and answer blog. I have 3 kids with a genetic seizure disorder and I did a lot of research and fought doctors til I found the treatment that worked for us and it was not in the ‘norm’ of medical treatment (bananas – we used bananas and other potassium rich foods to help ‘cure’ a potassium channel blocker seizure disorder). Once my friends heard about the success of the treatment with my kids they began to ask my questions too. First one was about food allergies and it went from there. I’d get a call or an email at least once a week with someone in crisis mode and I’d happily go search online and find them the answers I was looking for and it helped a lot of people and I felt good doing it. But alas, it didn’t take off and I closed that one down too.

Four years ago I started Continue to Live and Flourish and I had spits and spurts where I was able to blog often and other times I let it slide. I was still worried what people would think and I did not share it often on Facebook and I kept it really for myself and the few people that read it. Then after 5 years of homeschooling (oh I forgot I did do another blog involving homeschooling but that’s another story for another day) I had some free time and decided it was time to start anew and that is how Advice From Allie got started. It was a combination of all of the blogs. It was original content- all new stuff- but it was the real me. It was the survivor, the parent of medical kids, the former homeschooling mom, the wife, the mother, the friend. It was all of me and I wasn’t going to hide any part of me any more. I was going to share my life as I lived it with the advice that I lived by and I hoped it would inspire people.

You do not have to have experienced what I have experienced to benefit from this blog. You can have one blip on your radar of life and feel better by reading. You can walk away from here with the knowledge that you too can overcome any adversity and be better off for it. That is my mission. Yeah- my childhood wasn’t the greatest. Yeah my first experiences at relationships were horrible. Yes- I was almost murdered by my second boyfriend but I survived and I am here to say that I wouldn’t change a thing.

What if those things had never happened? Who would I be today? How would I be different? I almost don’t want to know. I do know that because of my experiences I am more empathetic. I get why women do not leave abusive relationships and I have counseled many a teenager about this issue so they can leave their boyfriends that are not so nice to them. I have advised my boys on how to behave with conflict and their anger so that they never abuse anyone in their life. I have spoken very openly in any situation that warrants it to help others in this situation. I wouldn’t be able to do any of that had I not lived it.

All of my past life before I met John prepared me for the wild roller coaster ride he’d take me one. He’s the love of my life and the sweetest man I’ve ever met. He encouraged me to get help to process my past and get therapy for my PTSD.  He let me quit my job and supported me for 2 years while I got my stuff together. It was the best gift anyone had ever given to me and it was not easy for him or for me. Thankfully we made it through that rough patch and got married and had 3 amazing kids.

The stress of my past helped me when our first born had seizures on day 2 of life and was whisked away by ambulance to the big Boston hospital. I had experienced horrible stress previously to this so I knew I would be ok and that Quinn would too. With John by my side we could survive anything and we did and Quinn and Meghan and Cole would be fine. (yes they all 3 had seizures).

When we experienced job loss- I knew we’d be ok. When we were relocated from Massachusetts to Seattle and then back to Massachusetts and then off to Chicago I knew it was just one more hurdle to overcome. I feel like finally here in Chicagoland we have found our home. Our safe place, our new beginning. I love New England and I will always miss it and of course we will go back and visit but I love the new life we have made for ourselves here. We are in a place in our lives where the stress is manageable. The kids are all back in school and doing well. We just had our first real break over Thanksgiving (why I’ve been quiet on here) and we are ready for whatever comes next.

Life is good and I’m happy now (have been for a long time) and I feel confident enough in myself to share my innermost thoughts and struggles. I will release Continue to Live and Flourish- unless I come up with a better title sometime in December or perhaps early January. It just depends on how long it takes me to put it all together. I have a lot of the writing done already- I’ve been working on it for a while but I need to tweak it and continue to add more. I also have to dig in the basement to see if I can find the real nitty gritty chapters which describe the night my boyfriend strangled me and left me for dead. That was supposed to be the first chapter but I am going to keep it lighter and leave a section at the end to explain what I survived so as not to trigger those that can’t handle it.

Anyway- so that’s what I’m up to. Writing a book and surviving and thriving. I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend and that you are ready to embrace the Holiday Season with joy.

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