Tag Archives: written expression

Book Recommendation: Powerful Memoir of Grief, Trauma, and Healing

I read a lot of memoirs, and I have read some really beautiful ones in the past year (I’ve posted about many of them here under the book recommendation category). The one I just finished, The Choice: Embrace the Possible by Dr. Edith Eva Eger is without question one of the most exquisite memoirs I have ever encountered.

The friend who recommended this book warned me that it is not light reading. At the time, I shrugged, saying “I’m willing to read about heavy topics.” Until the experience of reading this book coincided with my own experience of post-traumatic stress. And I completely lost any tenuous grip on emotional control.

This book is so powerful because it’s a very honest, often raw, account of the author’s life experiences. It is explicit in detail and messy as hell. And yet, that’s part of what I loved about it so much.

Her early experiences include the Holocaust. Her later experiences find her navigating relationship challenges and beginning a career in psychology. So many of us who are drawn to psychology and psychotherapy are motivated by an intense awareness of our own wounds; and an equally intense desire to heal.

This book moved me in ways I did not anticipate, but am so grateful to have experienced. Certainly, it added to my recent moments of crying and feeling my own grief; and I’m good with that. I have cried more in the past two weeks than in the past year. Which was not anticipated…but arrived anyway.

Our stories are so powerful, and it is very healing to share and have them witnessed. This book absolutely made me cry and it broke my heart; it also brought a message of hope and resilience.

This is a beautiful memoir of an extraordinary life that has so much wisdom and insight many of us can relate to; that is the power of choosing to share our stories. There is healing, not just for ourselves but for others as well, in choosing to shed light on the truth of what we have experienced.

Everyone has a story. I am witness to so many people’s stories, and at the same time, I allow others to witness mine as well. Grief and trauma are real and so is the healing power of sharing our stories. Post-traumatic stress looks different for each of us, and we all navigate it in our own ways; it’s not linear, nor is it easy.

I cannot recommend this beautiful book enough. It is not always easy to read, but it is full of hope, resilience, and is more than anything a story of healing. Dr. Eger is right, we cannot choose what we experience, but we always have a choice as to how we respond. That awareness alone is powerful beyond measure.

Copyright©2020 by Diane McDermott, All Rights Reserved, “Book Recommendation: Powerful Memoir of Grief, Trauma, and Healing”

The content of this blog is the original content of Diane McDermott, Between the Lines LLC Ghostwriting Services, founded in heartfelt alignment, joyful integrity and creative expression

Getting Unstuck

Writers block is very real, and it is beyond frustrating. My recent encounter with it has been one of the worst episodes I’ve ever experienced. I tried absolutely everything to alleviate it, and nothing worked. Locked in a massive battle with words, having things to say and knowing they’re right below the surface but won’t come through is maddening.

More than the typical productive procrastination, writers block is a special kind of agony. It’s the absolute worst. And it makes me rather irritable and cranky to say the least. A frustrated writer is no fun to be around.

What finally allowed me to move through this most recent bout arrived through another writer. And it involved playfulness. Through a guided activity, designed to loosen our grip on the pen and get out of our own way, I was finally able to move through and beyond the point that had been incessantly tripping me up.

The relief following getting unstuck is like a high, and maybe that’s part of what keeps us coming back to whatever creative endeavor we prefer. For me, it’s writing. I cannot stay away from words, nor can I escape them. Ironically, the point that had me so frustrated recently…involves words and the meaning we attach to them.

Much of the process involved in writing and publishing a book can be a lot of fun. It’s creative, unique, and very much a collaborative process. Much more collaborative than I ever realized, but I like that aspect of it. I’m as independent as I am collaborative.

At the same time, the process involves massive amounts of frustration. Points at which it feels like you’re making absolutely no progress and can’t see how to move forward. It feels impossibly hard and makes me want to throw the laptop at the wall, because…fuck this!

I was warned that I would reach a point of being totally and completely sick of the damn book I’m writing. Well, that point has certainly arrived. I’m sure there are more experiences of feeling completely stuck ahead. But I can keep using a variety of methods to move through them. Including a perspective of playfulness and curiosity, thanks to the reminder from another writer to get out of my own way, and loosen my grip on the pen.

Copyright©2019 by Diane McDermott, All Rights Reserved, “Getting Unstuck”

The content of this blog is the original content of Diane McDermott, Between the Lines LLC Ghostwriting Services, founded in heartfelt alignment, connection and creative expression

Levels of Access and Boundaries

Boundaries are a key ingredient in my life and I could talk about them for days. My guest blog about Boundaries and Barricades is a great reference point.

Boundaries inherently involve both levels of access and discernment.

There are billions of people on the planet. I do NOT want, need or desire to have that many people close to me. I am intentional and discerning in who gets access to me.

There are levels of access and these aren’t concrete, they are fluid and flexible. One of my closest people describes concentric circles of access and I love that visual. People will land and move between those circles with myself at the center.

Being at the center of my own concentric circles is huge for my recovering people pleasing self. Unapologetically giving myself permission to guard, enforce and uphold the boundaries of access to me.

At times, honoring that permission to grant and deny access involves cutting. When I cut it is swift, complete and can feel harsh to those removed. The other side of that is the very powerful and aligned honoring of myself and my values. For that I give zero fucks and will never apologize. Unapologetic permission is freeing.

Honoring and upholding my own core value based boundaries is only and always my work to do. To allow those that prove worthy closer, while continuing to release those not aligned.

In conversations with close circle people lately, we all express there is tremendous freedom in both honoring and recognizing aligned and non-aligned connections sooner rather than later. It saves everyone time and energy.

For those of us that are highly intuitive and empathic, it’s beautifully liberating to witness both those who are aligned and those who are not. Either way, we see you and will take steps to honor our own values. Embracing heartfelt connection and removing ourselves from those who haven’t earned access to us.

Within recent days I noticed myself intentionally moving physically closer to those I trust most. It’s based on a feeling and defies logic but feels right, true and heartfelt. All of which are deeply meaningful to me. It also feels fun and joyful.

Onward and upward always. Trust yourself, listen to the whispers of guidance. There’s tremendous power in trusting yourself.

Copyright©2019 by Diane McDermott, All Rights Reserved, “Levels of Access and Boundaries”

The content of this blog is the original content of Diane McDermott, Between the Lines LLC Ghostwriting Services, founded in heartfelt alignment, connection and creative expression

A Bit of History on Yet Another New Beginning

I’ve been a writer (and reader) for as long as I can remember. In elementary school I was in a gifted and talented program for reading and writing. My senior year in high school I received the English Department award for outstanding achievement.

I could easily have been an English major in college but Psychology was a natural fit and also involves quite a lot of writing. I have brilliantly deep conversations with my therapist friends. I love and savor those connections.

And yet, I’ve consistently denied my talent in writing and written expression. Storyteller and writer? Oh no, certainly not me.

Close friends have been sending me things to ghostwrite for YEARS and acquaintances who don’t know me well but read my work on my own blog or as a guest blogger note the inherent power of my writing.

A natural gift and talent of mine has been evident and confronting me for decades while I resisted and denied it. Until I recently chose to start giving in and embracing it. Allowing instead of resisting. Surrender and trust more than rationalizing all of the “what ifs”.

My personal life experience involves a journey into being joyfully divorced. Writing has been a huge part of that journey and what started as a list of gratitude noting “gifts of divorce” evolved into my sharing the insight, wisdom, ups, downs and vulnerable truth of my journey both in writing and in speaking.

The Maya Angelou quote “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you” is woven into the foundation of Between the Lines ghostwriting services. I know it to be true in my own life and the lives of others.

We MUST find a way to tell our stories. The honest and messy, the brilliant and brutal stories of our life experience. Because doing so invites and provides others with permission to embrace and share their own stories. Freedom, liberation, vulnerability in the seriously brave wilderness of our most authentic and messy human selves.

Writing is a natural gift of mine and one that I use not just for myself but in the interest of helping others share their unique insight, wisdom, ideas and life experience. Writing, listening and intuition are all interwoven in my personality.

Some have asked why I’d want to write without any credit as ghostwriting is in essence behind the scenes. My answer? It’s not about the byline, it’s about expressing the message. I’m passionate about that expression and know SO many experienced, brilliant, insightful, wise, hilarious and talented people with so much to share. Using my writing to participate in that expression feels more beautifully aligned and genuine than I can explain.

Stepping into ghostwriting and writing in general feels passionate, ecstatic, brilliant, aligned, true, genuine and so damn badass. Between the Lines, welcome to the world.

If you’re interested in some of my recent personal writing, check out my other blog at Charlotte’s Best Buyers Agent (my former identity). I only half joke that I keep killing off old versions of myself.

The former habitual minimizing me has shed yet another skin and my writer self just took a huge step forward. I am beyond proud of myself, equally exhilarated and terrified but even more alive than ever before.

Onward and upward. With heartfelt connection, creative expression and magical badassery. It’s about damn time.

Copyright©2019 by Diane McDermott, All Rights Reserved, “A Bit of History on Yet Another New Beginning”

The content of this blog is the original content of Diane McDermott, Between the Lines LLC Ghostwriting Services, founded in heartfelt alignment, connection and creative expression