Sooke resident Deborah Hawkey has gone through a lot of tough stuff in her life.
Instead of letting it drag her down though, she decided to do something about it. She wrote a book.
In Glorious Me, My Journey on the Path to Self-Love, she takes the reader on a journey of triumph over childhood emotional abuse, life with a rage-alcoholic father, PTSD, and possibly her biggest challenge ever: being abandoned by her mother at the age of six while battling for her life against terminal cancer.
Hawkey is also the first person in Canada, diagnosed with acute blast cell leukemia, to reach the five-year milestone after experimental bone marrow transplantation.
In the end, her intent was to not only tell a story, but to create a book about the power of the human spirit and its inherent resilience against all odds.
“It is more than a story about childhood illness and emotional trauma, it holds the key to what is possible when you trust, love and forgive,” she said.
Growing up in a dysfunctional family, writing was a way for her to deal with her frustration and anger. She eventually realized that what she was writing was the same thing, over and over.
“I was so angry when I was growing up that I’ve written this book many times and I kept on shredding it, because that’s how I was working on my anger,” Hawkey said.
Everything changed when she joined a writing group in Victoria eight years ago, which allowed her to not only become more comfortable with telling her story, but with writing as well.
“My writing coach told me, ‘the more vulnerable you can be, the better it is for the reader,’” she said. “In the end, I just put all the stories together and added a bunch more, so that’s how it happened.”
She added that at first she was a bit hesitant to share such an important story with everyone, but when the website and everything else came together, she felt more self-confident.
“It feels pretty darn good.”
Hawkey will have her official book launch on Nov. 18 in Victoria, and as far as plans for her second book, she’s not sure yet.
At this point, she plans to take life coach training and then use the book as a vehicle to try coaching clients who are going through similar trials and need support.
For more information, please go online to deborahhawkey.com.