by: Betsy Nazar
The Hometown News recently sat down with Easton author Ellen DuBois to discuss her newly published book I Never Held You, a book about miscarriage, healing and recovery. Although the book centers on her own intensely-personal experience of miscarriage, the coping techniques outlined are applicable to many life events. This is not a book to be read and put on a shelf, but a self-help guide and reference. Readers in many life crises will find comfort and wisdom in the healing techniques Ms. DuBois eloquently illustrates.
Fifteen years ago, Ms. DuBois suffered a miscarriage in her second trimester of pregnancy. She felt alone in her grief. Callous treatment by medical personnel ("first pregnancy miscarriages are common," she was told), insensitive remarks ("grow up and get over it"), a lack of support services coupled with society's dismissive attitude toward miscarriage colored her experience.
When asked why she bravely chose to write the book, she confidently responded, "I felt like there was a purpose for the pain I went through-to reach other women in this neglected area of loss."
DuBois describes sitting at her kitchen table early one morning, feeling as if "a voice spoke to me and said it was time to write about my miscarriage and healing." Serendipitously, through her miscarriagehelp.com website, she met Dr. Linda Backman, a psychologist who had also suffered a miscarriage. The two women bonded and soon Dr. Backman was on board as the book's medical advisor.
In the book's chapter on grieving, DuBois talks about feeling isolated and detached in her grief. She offers suggestions for friends and family members supporting a woman after miscarriage. "I'd like to see family and friends listen first and foremost, if the can't be empathetic be sympathetic. Realize the woman has lost a baby and the hopes and dreams for that child. If she lost a walking child, she would be treated differently. Allow her the time to heal." She urges.
Recalling her own callous treatment at the hospital, she recommends greater sensitivity toward the grieving woman, patient physician discussion, referral to support groups and mental health professionals as necessary. In summary, DuBois stresses, "Acknowledgment of the loss is key."
In recounting the period immediately following the miscarriage, she explains, "Nothing helped at first. You need to feel the pain of the loss of the baby you have dreamt of. You cannot deny the pain. We need to be gentle with ourselves and not beat ourselves up for feeling. Good or bad, allow yourself to feel. Promise yourself you will feel and acknowledge your grief." Noting the importance of consulting a mental health professional she counsels, "It takes more courage to get help than to stay stuck. It's far better to talk to someone unbiased."
Crediting her own spirituality in her recovery and healing, DuBois notes, "I derive much of my strength in believing in something greater than myself. I get out of my own box and help others, drawing off the Divine."
DuBois' empowering self-help tools and techniques will resonate with readers faced with many life challenges. The power of exercise channels negative emotions into positive ones and "does wonders for anxiety" she shares. Readers will relate easily to the book's chapter on relaxation. Emphasizing the need to "recharge your batteries," DuBois shares her favorite relaxation techniques-journaling, Reiki, yoga and meditation.
The frenetic pace of modern life often leaves little time to nurture one's creative side. DuBois advocates, "sitting down, thinking about what you used to love but forgot about, decide what nurtures your and your soul and make time to do it."
The power of positive affirmations is not to be discounted. DuBois devotes a chapter in the book to the topic, noting, "Repeating negative words gets you into the tarp of negative thinking. She advocates writing down positive affirmations daily to change perceptions of thinking."
In closing, when asked to describe her book, DuBois related, "I want it to be the type of book a woman can easily digest in a short time span and used as a reference tool. you cant let the pain of miscarriage knock you down and keep you there, or, over time, take that experience to help a woman who's there now." The frank writing style of the book makes I Never Held You an easy and compelling read. Find the book on Amazon.com. Access the book's companion website at MiscarriageHelp.com.