The Revolution

It isn’t what I pictured, that’s for sure.

At the beginning of 2020, I was:

~ authoring chapters for a few collaborations
~ editing new projects
~ working on content for an international virtual conference
~ accepting more interviews
~ moving through my daily role at ATS

… all while of course supporting my family. I looked at my bracelet from my BFF Christina Abernethy — the MyWord bracelet that says “revolution” — and I thought I had it all figured out.

I had so many plans for 2020 — a few more collaborations, maybe create a course, start creating the book of my dad’s poetry that I promised to publish for him, and put some more work into a memoir that has been almost two decades in the making. I meditated, prayed and agonized over when it would be time to release this book to the world. I decided 2021 made the most sense as it would mark 20 years from the incident where it all began.

I brought everything to a screeching halt in March, and started to say “no” as much as I wanted to maintan my constant “yes.” What happened?

Uh, COVID happened?

We’ve been surrounded by illness, anger, fear, protests, riots and even death. It is a time where we all, collectively, are moving through a trauma and are finding a new way forward. It’s been devastating for all of us, certainly including myself even though I didn’t realize it until months later when I was called out on my own BS by people very close to me.

“Cathy, you’re NOT ok. It’s time for a break.”

Ummm, say what? Hello?! I’m still working every day, running the errands, maintaining the house, making sure everyone has what they need day in and day out …

… during a global pandemic, that is.

As you will read in my book, there was a time when a psychiatrist forced me to look in the mirror at my tear-stained reflection and she asked me, tenderly:

“Cathy, what do YOU need?”

My, how I forgot this critical daily question. My, how I tend to forget it more often than I should.

Lesson revisited.

I stepped away to focus on strengthening and healing myself so I could return to doing more of what I love. As I reflected on what was most important on the “to do” list, after considering the encouragement of people close to me, and as I found myself visiting Dad to search for answers, it came to me.

Imprisoned No More could not wait any longer.

After some brainstorming with my publisher and dear friend Chou Hallegra, we quickly came up with my final subtitle: A Mother and Son Embrace Autism and Journey to Freedom.

The launch plan and final assembly of the manuscript has come together in warp speed. Mama Betty even got in on the act, serving as the final book editor. It’s fitting for so many reasons.

I felt in my heart — I KNOW in my heart — that 2020 needs our story desperately. Families impacted by autism around the world need this book to provide inspiration and hope.

The Pre-Order Party is scheduled for July 14, 2020 on The Caffeinated Advocate on Facebook. Be sure to RSVP and join the page for exclusive content including quotes, videos, interviews, special posts, and of COURSE a giveaway (or two)? This date was selected to pay tribute to my father, who passed away on July 14, 2009.

The book is set to release on August 23, 2020. Those who know me well know the significance of THIS date — HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOURS TRULY!

The revolution is ON. I hope you’ll join me as well as share with others who need to hear what I have to say.

Imprisoned No More: A Mother and Son Embrace Autism and Journey to Freedom RELEASES ON AUGUST 23, 2020.

I have tears and chills (even in 90 degree heat) typing this again.

Keep up to date with my latest happenings through writing and speaking by registering for updates. It’s EASY! Click on my contact form, and provide me with your name and email address. In the subject, write “SIGN ME UP!”

Ah, life indeed is what happens when you make other plans.

Wishing you all a Happy 4th of July — filled with burgers, iced tea, sparklers and great joy,

Author: Catherine Hughes

Passionate Advocate. Innovative Storyteller. Engaging Strategist. Author. Editor. Blogger.

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