It’s official, folks! I am now a published author, a paperback writer!
More than three years ago, I had to face facts and accept that my physical disabilities were keeping me from doing my job. It was one of the most difficult decisions I’ve ever made in my life, and it really sent me into a mental tailspin.
Who was I if not an impassioned criminal defense attorney? A loud-mouthed voice against injustice? A work horse who could seemingly push through anything?
I felt I’d lost all value to the world and any sense of identity. I knew I was in no shape to work, but there had to be another way to contribute.
I started thinking: Maybe I could tell my story so that others could benefit from my mistakes and achievements? Maybe, by being vulnerable and sharing my truth, others would take comfort in knowing they’re not alone in theirs?
That first summer, I began researching the wild worlds of memoir writing, seeking out a literary agent, and getting a book published. The fall of 2017, I began writing, and by the fall of 2018, I started sending out my manuscript. In the spring of 2019, I secured a publishing contract, and as of today, I’ve become a published author!
The last three years have been a whirlwind for me. During that time, I left my job and my home in Del Rio, Texas, moved back in with my parents while Yvens trained for his new job, gone through the maddening process of applying for disability retirement and benefits, finally received an accurate diagnosis for my debilitating pain and accumulating neurological deficits, had my second spinal surgery, took the trip of a lifetime with my mom, moved to a Detroit suburb, amassed more than a dozen new medical conditions and endured more than a dozen new surgeries and procedures, said goodbye to one puppy and welcomed another, purchased a new home, made some wonderful new friends, reassessed my values and priorities, and contracted COVID-19.
Through it all, drafting and editing my book felt like a safe port in the storm. Organizing and summarizing my thoughts on every significant life event I’ve been through thus far has helped me make sense of things (to the extent possible) and let go of a lot of hurt.
We’re all works in progress, but in my opinion, as long as we keep working on ourselves, leaning on each other for support, and learning more from and about one another, we’ll be in good shape.
Far from a strategy guide book to the video game we call life, Relentless: From National Champion to Physically Disabled Activist, is my love letter to every good and bad experience I’ve had thus far.
Whether you are physically disabled, facing an incurable illness or chronic pain, or a victim/survivor of sexual assault, have ever neglected yourself in an effort to take care of others, pursue your dreams, or appear more attractive to others, have ever had to redefine your definition of “family” or reset your romantic standards, or have ever had to reinvent yourself after life throws the world’s largest wrench in your plans, I think you’ll be able to relate to my story.
In honor of the paperback’s release, I have decided to share the book’s table of contents and introduction with you today. If it intrigues you, I hope you’ll consider purchasing the e-book or paperback version on Amazon by clicking here.
All my best,