For almost five years now women have asked me when they could hold my words in their hands. The 52 Mondays series of seasonal mindfulness journals was my first attempt at this. In particular, a first attempt to move through fear to put my words into the world in some tangible, hold in your hands, kind of way that reflects my heart and way of seeing life.
I had no idea when I started writing my journals that they would carry me through the final days of my son’s life.
And now that they’re done, and he is gone, I need to keep writing.
Several years ago I starting working with an agent and walked away. It wasn’t time.
Last winter, around the time my son wrote out his will and tried to end his life for the first time, a publishing house reached out to me with a book deal. I needed to be present for my son. It wasn’t time.
This fall, 2 months ago, I decided it was time to start writing and then a serious car accident derailed my plans. It still wasn’t time.
You can donate to the O’DaviDesign Art Scholarship created to honour my son and help remove shame and stigma around living with mental illness and simply being human in a messy world. Learn more here.
Unshackled: Remembering My Way to Freedom
A small whisper tells me that maybe if I can just get through the first 100 days that I’ll be OK. I don’t know if the voice is right or not, but I started counting.
Some mornings I wake up and feel like I’ll explode if I don’t get some of the swirling rage and pain and love for him out of me and onto paper. So I write.
I aim to write raw and honest. Unshackled.
I’ve always wanted to write this way, though. Back at the start.
These days I’d simply call it “telling the truth.”
Telling the truth is my mantra for this year. A year of trauma and loss and Covid and uncertainty and rising suicide rates. A year of growth and practicing self-compassion and always walking out what I suggest my clients or readers might do.
I’m looking forward to birthing Unshackled into the world whenever it’s ready – the goal isn’t to write well or if it sells. No idea if I’ll self-publish something or publish it traditionally.
EDITED TO ADD: I have signed a book contract with Homebound Publications and my book is scheduled to be released into the wild in spring 2023!
My intention with not quitting on my book is to tell the truth and because writing and teaching help keep me alive and whole and brave and rooted.
I often resist writing yet it’s one of the ways I find my way forward
— gently and on purpose.
P.S. I’m currently working on two books: UNSHACKLED: Remembering my Way to Freedom will be available in Spring 2023. And I’m collaborating with my friend, Kathy Escobar, on a book to support parents through child loss (launch date TBD). We lost our sons to suicide in 2019, just 5 days apart from each other. Writing and publishing deeper works has been part of my Vision for my work from the start and though I’m in the hardest season of my life, I know that it is time to get started.