Written by Jennifer Hobbs
I read in a book one time that “struggle is inevitable”. We all face struggles of many kinds, some of which are traumatic and leave everlasting wounds. Sometimes those struggles make us even stronger, or at least they can. Sometimes we lose ourselves while we are going through those trials, but through that fear and overcoming those struggles, we find ourselves a little bit.
For me, I am grateful to have found myself through my trauma and my growth.
Calmed. Growth After Trauma was inspired from a deployment to Iraq in 2004 as a 19 year old soldier in the Army National Guard. That year taught me so much, but made me feel and see things most 19 years olds never see in a lifetime.
I walked away from that deployment at 21 years old, crawling and barely surviving. I didn’t know who I was anymore and how to go on. Who was I if I wasn’t Specialist Buffington? Who was I without the family of battle buddies I shared the most devastating fifteen months with?
It was then that I used my words to cope. I journaled about it and let it out in those darkest times. I returned to it sporadically over the years, but it sat in the darkest parts of my memories. It was hard to return to. It was hard to face and if I’m being honest, it usually happened during my most depressed times. It took more than I thought I had to go to that space.
Starting To Heal
Then, change started a few years after my return from a combat zone. It was then that I knew things were not good, and I was not thriving. I was barely surviving. I was just going through the motions and my mental health was starting to have a ripple effect on others in my life that I loved and cared about. So, I reached out for help. My healing began.
Little by little I started to grow stronger and breathe again. As the years passed, I started to do more than just survive. I was trying to live, but that process of post traumatic growth continues on for a lifetime.
A little over fifteen years after my return, a traumatic brain injury pulled me back into that dark place I hadn’t visited in a long time. I was left self-medicating and coping in unhealthy ways. It was then that I was able to look at myself in the mirror, really look at myself.
Once again, I knew I couldn’t do this alone anymore. I didn’t want to be who I saw in the mirror. I missed happiness. I missed living.
Healing Through Writing
As I drowned myself in my sorrow, I committed to myself to get better. I started with some simple goal setting. “I will get back to writing.” There it was, out of left field, the thought, the goal, that would change my entire path. It was what my soul needed and it was part of my journey to continue healing.
The fire that was barely burning inside of me was reignited and started to burn fierce. With courage in my eyes, I started the process of writing my book and taking those journal entries to shape the message I wanted to put out in the world.
I doubted myself and had no idea how I would ever make my dream come true, but fortunately I didn’t have to do it on my own. I secured an amazing book coach, Lauren Eckhart, with Burning Soul Press and she became my accountability partner and coach to help me through the process.
My Writing Experience
If I’m being honest, it wasn’t the most beautiful journey at times. Writing a dual memoir inspired from a traumatic deployment I shared with my husband dug real deep into both of us. We had to have difficult conversations that came with anger, sadness, and guilt. We had to relive moments of sorrow and allow ourselves to go to that place of complete and utter fatigue.
My story was inspired from my life experiences, but mostly from the traumatic fifteen years that started once I entered a combat zone in 2004. I will forever be changed, however it is for the better. Some parts of me will always hurt and always be damaged, but sharing my story and writing gives me hope that I want to share with others.
Growth After Trauma
You see, one thing that I have learned through my struggles and my post-traumatic growth is that we are the ones that can change things. We are responsible for our destiny. I do not believe it is something we are necessarily born with. You have to want it.
You have to acknowledge where change is needed. Then shift your mindset to be okay with the things you need to work on. We have to be comfortable with failing because it’s only when you fail, that you learn how to get back up. It is only when you fail and get back up, that you become stronger and more resilient.
Thomas Edison once said, “If we did all the things we were capable of, we would literally astound ourselves.”
My personal growth has definitely proved that to me and I haven’t even begun to tap into 100% of my potential. I think we are far more capable of what we think we are. When people find themselves in the hardest times of life, many factors may put fear in us, making us doubt our resiliency. It is then that we need to remember our why and why we made it to where we are today.
The Inspiration Of Life
The inspiration I got for my book continues to inspire me in my life. Stepping into the unknown and the fear of putting my story out there was such a huge barrier for me to overcome.
Looking back on it now, I see that there is a reason for my soul calling me to do it. I see that it was needed for myself and my growth. Now is my time to help others find that strength in themselves.
Find More From Jennifer Hobbs:
Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/author_jennifer_hobbs/
YouTube: Jennifer Hobbs – YouTube
Link for ordering my book and the link for the audiobook:
Celebrate the Struggle podcast (various platforms):
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