I am Alisha Sommer, wife to my husband, and mommy to my 3 babes. I drink coffee and wine. I love fresh-baked bread, laying in the sun, and the smell of the sea. I am sensitive but strong. I believe that almost any ill can be cured with a good hug.
Sometimes, when I think about the beauty of the human race, my eyes water. In between dishes and diapers I write, write, write and try to connect with as many people I can. I scribble poetry on the back of napkins and sometimes in the palm of my hand.
A nomad my entire life, I’m ready to settle down and build my community (virtual and real). I know that I am you, and you are me, and we are they, and that makes us.
Seven years ago, bulimia and a diagnosis of Bipolar II Disorder left me feeling dead. Marriage and children (and the lessons that come with such responsibilities) brought me back to life.
I am obsessed with truth – both mine and yours – and how sharing it helps set us free. I understand the power of words; that if we change our words, we can change our lives. I’m on a mission to discover the words and the stories that are keeping me (and you) stuck and transforming them into stories that heal and propel me (and you) toward greatness. I dig deep, find the truths and the stories in my soul that need to be told.
So if you will allow me, I would like to take this time that Jenn has so graciously given me to spend with you here to really connect with you. To dream with you. To inspire you. Let’s encourage one another to explore our truths and live them.
Let’s share the stories in our souls.
Share with me at my blog.
Chat with me on Twitter.
Or just email me to say hi.
Can’t wait to meet you.
Storytelling from the soul
It was always dark when I arrived. The fluorescent cross illuminated the parking lot and I heard sirens coming from the other side of Paseo. Each morning I nodded to the security guard and took the elevator up to the 9th floor where I was greeted by the nurses and promptly handed a hospital gown for my daily weigh-in.
Group sessions started after every breakfast on the eating disorder unit. We took turns reading an affirmation and then the counselor held space for us to talk about whatever was on our minds. Sometimes I heard jokes. Sometimes all I heard was the clacking of knitting needles. Sometimes all I heard was silence and pain of stories left untold.
I remember the morning I watched Clara’s* hands as they danced, the needles poked the air, and the yarn curled around her fingers. She looked pale that day (malnourished), thin black hair pulled into a ponytail. And on that morning she decided to speak. She told her story – a painful one – of violation and shamed-induced silence. She told of how she named names but that her words fell on deaf ears. So she ate them.
(Or did they eat her?)
If there was to be only one thing I learned in the treatment program, it was that the only way to heal was through speaking your truth and sharing your struggles. I realized that by writing down my stories and telling them to others, I released myself from the burden of those unspoken words. Those stories no longer held me back. They no longer held power over me. With that newly found freedom I let myself breathe again, dream again, write again, live again.
That is my wish for you: to dig down deep, explore your soul, and tell the stories that need to be told.
You just might save your life.
*name changed to protect her privacy