What happens when we’re pushed to the edge by life’s tragedies? We’re overwhelmed and unsure how to handle the pressure. How do we cope? How do we make sure that stress doesn’t over take our physical and emotional well-being? What helps us move forward with our lives? Resilience.
“Second Wind” praises the resiliency of women by retelling 12 stories of inspiration and hope, showing that women have the ability to bounce back after all types of adversity. Emily’s self-respect was been beaten and battered by two abusive husbands. She had twin baby daughters, no job and no income. After running away from her second husband with only $500, Emily founded the anti-domestic violence organization that she leads today. Candace incurred traumatic brain injury from a biking accident, resulting in a coma. Doctors thought she wouldn’t live and, if she did, that she probably would never walk or talk again. Yet in the spring of 2011, she ran in the Boston Marathon. Other accounts describe stories of divorce, job loss and the passing of loved ones. Regardless of the tragedy, these women made it through with strength and fortitude.
Using examples from the stories themselves, Brykman discusses the elements and qualities necessary to build resilience. Several of the women gained stability from friends and family. A few helped others in similar situations, enabling everyone to move forward together. Others turned to their faith for comfort and strength. Some called on the power of their innermost selves to get them through the tough times. No matter what the situation was, they worked through their traumas with “I can get through this” attitudes.
This book applauds the ability of women to bounce back from all types of adversity. It’s about moving away from crises and going forward again. It’s about more than just surviving; it’s about making life manageable, meaningful and fulfilling again. It’s about women catching their second wind.