During a family vacation at the age of 13, Michele faced a life-threatening illness that baffled every one of her doctors. Hospitalized for months, she recovered, but the mental toll that the illness had taken on her young life lingered and caused her incredible grief. She convinced herself if she could just focus on the future, without facing the past, she would be able to live a fulfilling life. This life plan led Michele down a dark and gloomy road that only served to worsen her pain and suffering.
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For the next quarter of a century, Michele's life was in a devastating spiral, a slave to fears that her illness would return and a never-ending playback of the trauma she had survived all those years ago. Diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) while in her late 30s, Michele began what she describes as a "healing rampage" from the trauma by walking away from the life she had always known as normal, vowing to become a new and improved, more wholesome and happy version of herself.
Best part of story, including ending:
This story hit close to home for me because at the time I read the book, I was pushing through my own recovery from PTSD. I found Michele's very candid, honest and hopeful storytelling to be a bright light shining upon a topic that so few have the courage to openly discuss.
Best scene in story:
The most life changing scene in the book - the moment that Michele receives her PTSD diagnosis - was my favorite scene because from there, she never turned back again. This diagnosis was a turning point in the book and in her life and from there, the book provided me with nothing but hope.
Opinion about the main character:
Michele is a strong human being who proves that any challenge can be faced and overcome with the right attitude and determination. It would be hard for me to dislike the fact that trauma upended her life for so long, because I know firsthand that you're a slave to it until reality sets in and healing begins. I disliked that illness caused her such pain; her attitude, courage to change and purpose to inspire and help others now is a beautiful attribute she shares with her readers.