I had heard of Elise Snipes from Rachel Hollis’s Made for More Amazon Prime documentary. Elise was a speaker at one of her first Rise Events. I had seen this movie in theaters first and went home and googled Elise who is a Marriage and Family Therapist. Or maybe I am making that up, brain injury problems. Maybe it was the Rise Podcast where I found her.
Either way, I found her on Instagram and her website. She had these events called “weekends” in Dana Point California. They sounded amazing, catch phrase of a years worth of therapy in a weekend. I was so in and for it. It wasn’t the cheapest, but it was so worth every penny. I went into it not thinking I needed a lot of therapy, didn’t feel like I would give much to the others either. 5 women total were there, including me. It was how I wanted to spend the 1 year anniversary of my TBI and accident. What better way than at a weekend of therapy.
I flew to California, to John Wayne. I planned this trip out to work best for me, which is allowing myself a day before and after to process, relax and not be so go go go like I used to be. I didn’t have to be to Weekends until Friday around noon, so I flew in Thursday, which is the day one year prior my life was forever changed and the date of my accident. I had a hotel for a night first and relaxed and just prepared for the weekend ahead. It was the one year Anniversary of my TBI while I was at that hotel alone. But I was in California alone, able to travel by myself and see some friends while there. How amazing was that and how freaking lucky am I to be able to be there and do that. 1 year prior I was in a coma for 7 days without anyone knowing If i would wake up. I passed around some “share love everywhere” cards in the community and at the hotel. I met up with an old friend I hadn’t seen in years for breakfast Friday as she lived close by. It was so great to see her. I was so excited for my Weekends too and Friday took an Uber from my hotel to Weekends.
Friday I went to Weekends. Besides showing up to the wrong house at first, I finally figured out I was next door and got to the right house. The entrance was so cute and decorated. I walked through the banner and knocked on the door and was so welcomed by Elise. Inside I met a couple of the other women who I would be spending the next couple of days with. The house was beautiful and overlooked the ocean and sat up on a cliff. I found my room and welcome bag. Inside the bag was a weekends journal, adorable Mexican blanket, cute travel mug and more. I settled into my room and the house and made my way upstairs and joined the others.
There were 5 of us women from all over the United States. We all looked different, and we were all very different. Throughout the weekend it would be much more learned about how different we all were and what we all had walked through and why we were there.
At first, after hearing these stories, I was thinking to myself why am I there? I didn’t feel I had near as deep things going on or that happened in my life to be there. But as Elise had made it clear, we could all learn from each other’s stories and find pieces of ourselves in each of them.
I learned SO much that weekend, specifically on the hike we did where we reflected back by dividing our age by 7 and at each check point reflecting on the years you had for each of those seven stops. That’s where I realized I married a man that resembled my dad in so many ways, I had lived my life so insecure and it had so impacted my relationships and myself. I realized that when I discovered what and who I really wanted to be and who I was becoming. It was an awakening moment for sure. I learned that finally at almost 38 years old I was content with who I was and where I was at and where I was going in life, brain Injury and all.
I invested in myself, my mental health, my self worth. I also traveled to and from Oregon to Cali solo, I navigated traveling, hotel check ins, Uber and meeting up with two different friends. All 1 year post a devastating injury that I got so lucky and came out ok from. The fact I could do any of what I did is amazing and I’m so thankful for it. I will not let my life sit still as I recover. I will do anything I can, especially things that are positive, scary, involve growth and that I’m able to do. I’m so thankful to be able to do what I can still. Yes there are struggles and nothing is like it used to be, but I CAN still do so much and I don’t take that for granted, so many people aren’t as lucky with my injury.
The Weekends event was definitely life changing. It was also the best way to spend the 1 year anniversary of my traumatic experience. It was worth all the money, time and travel. I was worth it. I decided to spend the 1 year of a life changing, traumatic event in the most positive way, a weekend of therapy. What Elise does with her weekends and therapy is SO amazing. I could hear pieces of my story in so many others stories and same goes for others. I realized I needed to be there, even though going into it I didn’t think I “needed” a weekend of therapy. I can’t fully put into words how amazing it was and I highly recommended it to anyone. Check out her new Weekends that are located all over the US and even a wild women retreat out of the country. I will put the link below, it was worth every penny and when you calculate the cost of a years worth of therapy in one weekend it’s really not expensive.