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Dear Jessica

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Dear (younger) Jessica,
I hear you and see you. You didn't get the chance t be seen or heard when you needed it. And now you have decided to take over. I appreciate your passion, but I am kind of trying to love and fully embrace life right now. So let's have a chat.
You were hurt. You were assaulted. You were wronged. And then...they shamed you and lied about you and did all the terrible things no one should do to a child of 15-16 years.  Not you. THEM. But they have also moved on.  So should we. Let go.  You are such a badass woman now with so much to be thankful for.  Let go. Dion't forget, never forget. Just relinquish. They were wrong. You were a child and you had a boundary. It was violated. That is nothing to be ashamed of, what would you tell your child? Let go. It's time to stop being angry. It's poisoning you. There have been and are amazing men. Amazing people. They have loved and do love you. They have supported and do support you. You are safe. You are accomplish…

Discovering my WHY was bullshit.

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The minute she said that "your WHY is soul deep" I knew I was in trouble.
Let's back up a bit. By now you know I was (am? it's an on going debate) a runner. It's one of the core components of this blog. It's a huge part of my survival story, my healing, and...my downfall. Apparently. How did I come to this realization? I listened to a badass ultrarunner named Sarah break down the 'WHY.' Her entire talk was a freaking gut punch. And that is when I knew, the layers of the onion that is Jessica's healing and recovery just got even more complex.
This latest layer peeling begins with something called the Women's Movement Collaborative (click the link womxn to join up!!), and a 2nd life altering weekend at OSI in Fuquay-Varina, NC. A gift from the universe. There have been a lot of these lately, and y'all, I won't even pretend to understand. I am just going to say I have mountains of gratitude. Ok, so there is this WMC thing, there are all …

My path to recovery, there is HOPE.

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I am taking the advice of a phenomenally badass friend of mine and video blogging. 
It's raw, it's real, it's in my hotel room. Take a listen, be open.




I want to add that physical activity/movement is part of my self-care. It is also my job, so I guess that is why I didn't mention it. I love being outdoors, trail running or playing in the woods. I am a MovNat certified trainer, and I teach movement as well. There is healing in finding our way back into our own bodies, learning to breathe again, being present, regaining our physical strength and capability. A topic for another time, perhaps.

As promised, I gathered some resources, just in case you or someone you love need a little help. Remember, you are not alone, and you never have to be alone again.
If you would like to send me a message directly, I would love to hear from you: jessicagroveschapmanphd@gmail.com

Resources for Help
Drug Abuse and Addiction Information and Hotline: www.drugabuse.com
Alcoholics Anonymous: www.a…

How are you really feeling?

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Some days you just need to write, and today is one of those days. I have finally cried, tears I have needed for months. Big, gasping, bucketfuls of tears. So many my head and throat and eyes hurt. I imagine I will be quite puffy tomorrow, and yet, I don't think they are done. I sense many more in my near future.

Once upon a time I believed that crying was weakness. We are supposed to be happy, always. To be anything else was utter failure. Humans are happy. Elated, even. Except these over simplified emotions never fully explained the complexity of life events for me. Since I couldn't have the emotions I thought I was supposed to be having every second of every day, I used drugs and alcohol to help me. If I was completely numb, then all the emotions blurred. Of course, as you can imagine, that didn't work out so hot. Alcohol did exactly what it is supposed to do and provided very temporary positive effects that spiraled into heavy doses of magnified anxiety and depression e…

Resilient Scars

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New writing rule, Amy Winehouse for the hard shit. Girl totally got it. RIP.
So, I have been struggling connecting with chronic pain, something a lot of our clients (and my partner) live with daily. According to Brene Brown's synopsis on empathy, the path to connection and true empathy is being able to find the similarities in other's experiences. I have been in pain: check. I have been in a lot of physical pain: check. I understand the neuroscience and physiology of the pain response in the body: I mean, holy shit, that takes it all, right? NO. Stuck. I have been so fucking stuck on this. How do I relate? I pushed out two humans unmedicated from my vagina and thought I was going to die both times. I finished a marathon hobbling from a leg injury. I get pain. I just don't get non-musculoskeletal continuous pain. Or so I thought. Y'all, be really careful what you wish for, the Universe doesn't pull its punches.
The other day I was telling a client about this, she i…

A Tale of Two Pictures

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Can you see it? It's funny how you see it in others and miss it in yourself. I was going though old pics from a year ago, exploring the images I took from a solo hike shortly after my last drink, and I came across this image. It seems perfectly juxtaposed against the second image from our recent vacation. Can you see the difference? To think, this was how I was interacting in my world.  Sad eyes. Fake smile. 

I didn't fake it till I made it to this point. Honestly, I barely made it. Some days I was 100% certain I wouldn't make it at all. I struggled. I fought against the healing that I needed. Yet here I am. Not every day is a win. But each day is another day. For that I am grateful.
This summer has been slow for our business. Not unheard of in our industry, but it is scary as hell when this is your livelihood. The very thing that keeps a roof over your head and food on the table. Instead of seeing it as an industry trend I was internalizing it as personal failure. I kept…

Happy Sobriety Year to me!!!

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One year. One beautiful, messy, super fucking hard as shit year from hell. One year in which all the crap I ignored for 20 years bubbled up...and I am still wading through it. In the thick, so to speak. I am fortunate, though, I do not wade alone. And even when I do, life rafts are near by, held in place by people who love me. People I didn't know a year ago, and people that are slowly becoming my family. Thankfully, I also married a former life guard, and while he is on his own journey simultaneously, he is a quick learner. I never really had a clue how much connection played a role in addiction. I could tell you a whole lot of random shit about what addiction does to the brain, how it's a fantastic learning model, what it's like to give cocaine to rats...but connection? Funny, that never made it on my radar. It is everything, though. And the addict will tell you straight up how isolating life is when using. I don't need people when I have my vice. But like air, wate…