The Year Ahead: Hope and Change

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When I reflect on 2017 and look ahead to 2018, several things come to mind: (1) the release of a book I co-wrote with one of my heroes; (2) gastric sleeve surgery that is a huge step for managing my eating disorder and losing weight; (3) devoting myself to working out daily on my bike and by lifting weights several times a week (and doing so even if I get headaches—I’m going to try harder to overcome that challenge); (4) writing my next novel; and (5) hope that our political landscape will change.

(1) The release of my 5th book—a groundbreaking approach to talking about PTSD & trauma recovery:
(1/2 of 2016 and through July of) 2017: I completed co-writing a trauma recovery book with Matt E. Jaremko, Ph.D. We found a publisher for it in October.

2018: The galley for our book should be available around mid-late January 2018. Late spring/early summer, Trauma Recovery: Sessions With Dr. Matt will release from Anyi Books, an imprint of John Hunt Publishing, which is a UK-based publisher with worldwide reach: “This book is a starting place for hurting people who are seeking healing, either on their own or in partnership with a therapist or other helping person. Dr. Matt E. Jaremko maximizes readers’ understanding of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) by explaining its origins in easy-to-understand language and offering insight into the process of reclaiming a life from trauma. Beth Fehlbaum shares her insight from the perspective of a person who experienced trauma, was once scared to death about going into therapy, and is now recovered.
Most powerfully, Dr. Jaremko and Beth Fehlbaum created characters: a psychologist, Scott “Dr. Matt” Matthews, and his ongoing therapy group, to illustrate how recovery can and does happen. The situations these characters survive; their struggles and triumphs of reclaiming their lives, and their potential for thriving are all realistic. We reassure people who are terrified of trying therapy by providing them with a “fly on the wall” perspective of observing the recovery process.”

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Find out more about our book by visiting our website and blog!

(2) I’ll be having gastric sleeve surgery in March, pending insurance approval:
The best way to let you in on my journey through eating disorder recovery and gastric sleeve surgery is by pointing you to a post, “When I Made Up My Mind,” because it is very revealing about the realizations I had about myself and how I’d been lying to myself about how far I relapsed into my eating disorder. I also have an insightful blog, Deep Thoughts. Also, if you are unclear as to what Binge Eating Disorder is, here’s a helpful link. Another helpful resource is the National Eating Disorders Association.

(3) I will work out regularly, adapting to my current reality, (which involves chronic migraines that are triggered by exertion, among other things.)

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12/5/2017: I had a fitness assessment and the person who did the assessment prescribed me to start out: 3-5 days per week: stationary bike, 5-15 minutes, to progress in 15 minute increments, and then to progress to every day.

Weights: start out: 2-3 days per week, 1-2 sets of 10 reps per exercise, to progress from 5# to heavier and 3 days.

2018: I’m gonna do it!

(4) Another book in the works…

As noted above, I finished writing/revising/editing Trauma Recovery: Sessions With Dr. Matt, and then I “gifted” myself with time up until March, to study and reflect on eating disorder recovery. I’m feeling like I’m ready to combine fiction writing with my reflections.

(5) 2017: A political dumpster fire with faint glimmers of relief. 2018: Hope that Progressives will continue to resist.

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2017 was a dumpster fire in the Oval Office, and given the daily reminder via Twitter that the fire is still burning (fueled by consumption of Fox News, deep fried fat, paranoia, and bigotry,) it’s a challenge for me to look back over the year that’s been and feel optimistic for 2018.

2018 brings midterms, and, given the victories in Virginia and Alabama, I am optimistic that those who were politically engaged and aware in 2017 will continue being activists for change, and that Dems will take back Congress. I highly recommend the podcasts, Pod Save America, Stay Tuned with Preet, and Lovett or Leave It for accessible information about what’s going on in our country and guidance on how to be involved and make a difference. I used to contact my congressional representatives maybe a few times a year. But now, I regularly phone and email their offices to express my opinion, even though I don’t think they listen to me at all. I won’t give up, though.