What happens when an ordinary teenager has to turn into a warrior to survive? Amy Oestreicher had ambitious plans for college and a Broadway career, until her stomach exploded the week before her senior prom. Months later, she awoke from a coma to learn that she might never be able to eat or drink again. After years on IV nutrition, her first bite of food awakened her senses to life's ordinary miracles but also brought back memories of sexual abuse by a trusted mentor. With determination, imagination, relentless resilience, and an inner “hunger” for life, Amy created a roadmap where none existed. Her journey through life's unthinkable detours is nothing short of miraculous, but the creative path to healing she forged is accessible to anyone. As a survivor—and ‘thriver’—of abuse and extensive medical trauma, Amy discovered sources of resilience she didn’t know she had but it turns out we all possess. In this book, she shares the story of her beautiful detour, empowering others to find gratitude in every setback and discover their own infinite inner strength. Amy’s journey is ultimately a celebration of ordinary and extraordinary challenges and miracles.
In a coming of age story, a young woman explores what it means to “find home” when unexpectedly sucked into the world of trauma, and soon discovers that when the trauma passes, its ghosts still linger in her world. Embarking on an archetypal hero’s journey, she refashions “home” from the creativity she finds in the world around her. Forming a bold, new identity in spite of relentless adversity, she discovers that, “home” can never be re-found, but can instead be re-imagined through the power of family, the freedom of creativity, the wisdom in nature, and the stories that unite us all.
Amy's Unthinkable Journey memories shares the tremendous gifts to be reaped from trauma, its lessons which have illuminated her path, and how these gifts can be discovered by everyone as a remarkable way to navigate any kind of uncertainty.
Interwoven through her miraculous story of reclaiming voice and cultivating resilience after near-death experiences are insights on traveling any detour in life, including:
What is a “detourist”– and why is it important to take those detours?
The importance of detours for college students
How to transition from being a “survivor” to a “thriver” – your first three steps.
The four hardcore skills to resilienceFinding your own unique path to recovery: the first three things you must do
How to find our uniqueness: it’s not what’s happened to you, but what you choose to do with it
The power of art to heal: five ways to incorporate art in your healing process
Our innate ability to be artists, and why creativity is an essential mindset
Why sharing your story is imperative to healing, and how you can use creativity to reframe your narrativeHumor as a way through
Turn messes, mistakes and setbacks into beautiful artistic detours
How NOT to be daunted by a blank canvas, page or Square One
Storytelling through the arts can reframe the narrative of an individual
Transform passion into business: how to turn creativity into a livelihood
How to take your own hero’s journey through obstacles
My Beautiful Detour offers practical strategies for individuals and a world of hope for the families of trauma survivors. The book includes numerous “trauma insights,” and is enriched with humor, art, poetry, and useful takeaways for readers. Reading one woman’s heroic adventure through trauma, recovery, and discovery of new directions in healing the body and the mind is an empowering tale of not just getting through, but thriving.