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  • Writer's pictureSuzanne Venuta

Solid In My Words...

Updated: Feb 28, 2020

Five Months Post Tour Du Mont Blanc…

To say the last few months have been interesting is an understatement!

As I mentioned in a previous post, I came back from the Tour Du Mont Blanc a different person. How could one not after such a life changing trek- where I pushed myself mentally, physically, and broke preconceived notions about myself.

It has taken time for me to process all of this, and integrate the “new me” into my present life. As I mentioned “some changes and observations are easy to spot, but I also know that behind those, are the many more subtle, maybe even more important lessons to come.” Well, to not repeat myself but, That’s an understatement!!!

I have been processing and working through all of this, especially the last few months which have been a struggle. I would just start to feel like myself again and then, it would be gone the next day. To say it was exhausting and frustrating is an understatement. (I know sounds somewhat like an Outward Bound Course)-Then in January I cleared everything but two things off my calendar. One was a speaking engagement to a group of grade 11 psychology students, and the other was a dry run through for a presentation to doctors- more on that later.

So, once I cleared my calendar, I hunkered down, drank lots of tea, had some walks and hung in there. I knew as painful and as hard as it was-in time, it would pass. I pulled in my supports, started seeing my family physician for a weekly check in, and saw my therapist. Friends checked in with me daily, others arranged to get me out of the house for coffee, and my hiking group got me out for small hikes. My hiking group is an amazing group of women. They got me out among the trees, accepted me for where I was at, and how I was feeling, and, like the others, held space for me to be where I was in that moment. This is powerful medicine!

So, eight to twelve long, and at times painful weeks later, I am coming out the other side. I am once again blown over by the kindness of folks, and I have felt a shift in my growth and healing, or as my son would say “you have leveled up Mom.”

When I came back from my first Women of Courage course in 2005, I knew then that I needed to do something about the professionals and public understanding on mental health, trauma, and dissociation. So, I started advocating, writing and education. Right from the very start I wanted to speak to doctors.

Earlier this month,-and fifteen years later,- I was part of a small working group, giving a presentation to family physicians about how childhood adversities can affect a person throughout their life time. This is a pilot project by the Doctors of B.C. and the working group I’m with applied to be able too present it in our community. We were one of three chosen on the province. I felt the presentation went over well.

I was a little nervous on the evening of the presentation to the doctors, but there was something else. I felt different and I couldn’t put my finger on it until the next day. The next morning while drinking my tea, it came to me. I felt sure and confident and had absolutely no doubt in my mind that my words were solid, I was solid, my core was solid. Its like when one prepares the ground to put in paving stones, and then once the stones are down, one fills the edges in with sand, to keep the stones from moving, to keep them solid. That’s how I felt that evening. I realized this the next day and understood this is what I had been working on the past 8-12 weeks.

Yesterday I was at a meeting and heard the feedback-from the presentation. It was overwhelmingly positive and the participants commented on the advantage of having a person with lived experience speak to them. Needless to say, I am over the moon about this.

Its been a long road to get here.

I have never felt so sure and so solid in my words before. A couple months ago I printed off all my blog posts and pieces of writing. It comes to over 180,000 words. I have been slowly going through them with a highlighter and “picking out the nuggets” as my book coach has suggested. Next week, we have a phone conference to take the next steps with my memoirs.

I have never felt so solid about my words before, written or spoken. This is all new to me and I look forward to seeing where it will lead me. Please stay tuned and follow me along to see where this, and other adventures will take me.

Thanks for coming along for the ride


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Debbie Drake
Debbie Drake
Mar 26, 2020

I really enjoying reading about your adventures. You are such a strong woman and how lucky are you to have such great friends to go on hikes with?


Debbie Drake
Debbie Drake
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You've come a long way baby!

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