Rave Writers – International Society Of Authors (RWISA)
August is Watch RWISA Write month. We will showcase a different author each day. Today, we celebrate author Laurie Finkelstein.
By Laurie Finkelstein
The bulk, padding, and steel plates weigh me down. The protection of a bulletproof vest is necessary. No matter the weather, I wear the cloak. The weight is a burden, but I trek on because wrapped is the only way to navigate my journey. The jacket protects my heart from being blown to crimson shards of death.
A direct hit is avoided for days and nights, lulling me into calm and complacency. “All will work out fine,” I tell myself. The truth tells a story I want to change. All my will and might does not make an impact to stop the bombardment.
Experience and time separates me from tragedy. At any moment, the bullets strike. Inside or out. My house cannot provide security, nor can a million people surrounding me. With nowhere to hide, I am a target. Shelter and safety are nonexistent.
Discharges are held back while luck and grace harbor me. The slugs will come, however, in a piercing barrage without warning, and will pummel me.
Knocked to the ground, I am immobilized and rendered helpless. My breathing is halted. My movements are stopped, and I understand what assaulted me.
The shockwave subsides, and in small increments, I am able to take in air. Incapacitated, I continue to lie until I am rescued by the rational thinking buried under an avalanche of pain, doubt, and fear. My thoughts check my vitals to make sure I am in the here and now. “Stay in the moment,” I tell myself. “I can manage this. I will persevere.”
“Rise,” I command. The mass of the garb constricts my movement, but I stand, analyze what must be done, and begin to act. The warrior in me comes out. Battles will be fought. My impervious attire gets me through another crisis, and its weight comforts me. Without the guise, I am unable to prevail against the onslaughts, which pop out of the dark corners of another day.
Yes, my vest is cumbersome, but without my swathe I will not withstand the painful projectiles. Clips are filled, ready to punch and knock me down, disabling me should I forget for a moment to cloak myself within my protective armor.
My bullets are not made of lead, surrounded by a dense metal. The projectiles do not come from terrorists intent on decimating me. The ammo does not come from a police state or a dictator’s command. A barrel is not involved.
My bullets are made of depression, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Composed of irrational thoughts, insipid ideations, and ignorant rationalizations, they are crushing invisible forces. The capacity to shatter my resolve and render me dysfunctional invades me.
My unsociable enemy is treatable, but never disappears. My therapists validate my experiences of being trapped, resentful, guilty, shameful, ill-equipped, grief-stricken, lost, uncertain, and disabled. My growth in therapy helps me accept the challenge with compassion and empathy in my heart.
NEXT THERAPIST PLEASE by Laurie Finkelstein.
Blessed with anxiety, depression, and OCD, Janie Weiss has seen her fair share of therapists throughout her life. So many, she doesn’t even refer to them by name, only by number. Some have helped her, some have not. But she has learned from all of them.
Years after her last therapist, #6 to be exact, Janie finds herself widowed and navigating a new life filled with old and new anxieties. She loves expressing herself through her art, but she’s wondering if she’s ready to move on in her personal life.
From Janie’s cottage on Balboa Island to the Doc’s home in Palm Springs, follow Janie on her quest for health and happiness as she recalls each therapist that came into her life. Grab a cocktail, make a toast, and enter Janie’s world in this humorous, heartwarming novel.
As a reminder, here are the first seven Members on the tour lineup. Their names are linked to their RWISA pages:
1 – Yvette Calleiro – WORDS
2 – Karen Ingalls – A FISHY DAY
3 – Laurie Finkelstein – BULLETPROOF VEST
4 – Beem Weeks – WORDLESS
5 – Gwen Plano – LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT
6 – Wendy Scott – NAVIGATOR
7 – Jan Sikes – RESPECT