The Beauty of My Shadow: A Story of Strength

The Beauty of My Shadow: A Story of Strength

by S. D. Michael

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781483511849
Publisher: BookBaby
Publication date: 11/27/2013
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 157
File size: 1 MB

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The Beauty of my Shadow: A Story of Strength 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
ReadersFavorite4 More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite The Beauty of My Shadow: A Story of Strength is a memoir written by Samantha Doris Michael. Michael was in an accident at the end of the summer before her freshman year in college. She had been participating in a weekend outing with her friends, and the young women were out drinking at a bar. On the way back to the cottage where they were staying, Deborah, the older sister of one of the author’s friends, lost control of the car. Michael was rushed to the hospital with traumatic head injuries. When she woke, she had years of rehabilitation ahead of her and had little memory of what had happened before in her life. Her college plans were put on hold indefinitely due to the effects of the traumatic brain injury she had suffered. The Beauty of My Shadow: A Story of Strength is the story of that challenge and how she met it. Samantha Doris Michael’s memoir, The Beauty of My Shadow: A Story of Strength, is awe-inspiring and somewhat humbling. Michael tells of those first few months, and later, years simply and honestly. The pain at having been literally abandoned by her friends is shared with candor, as is her despair at having such a monumental task being arbitrarily dumped in her lap. It’s not self-pity, however, that comes out in this awesome memoir; rather it’s a shared memory that was put out there to help others who have likewise been faced with a life-altering accident and for those who have a family member or friend in that situation. There’s so much in The Beauty of My Shadow. There’s her success with meditation, her work with Pilates and dance, and her idea to start the non-profit she sets up to help others. Michael’s memoir is also beautifully written and marvelous to read. I’m so glad she’s continuing to write. I’ll be looking for her other books.
ReadersFavorite3 More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers' Favorite The Beauty of My Shadow: A Story of Strength by S.D. Michael is a courageous story of recovery that will help many individuals who are recovering from traumatic injuries. Samantha Michael's world comes crashing down after being in an accident. Once out of a coma, she realizes that her life is not the same anymore and she has a lot of things to deal with; memory loss, physical scars, personality changes and also emotional pain. She accepts reality instead of clinging to her past and this book speaks of how her positive attitude helps her to cope with life and its challenges. The book is the story of her resilience, strength and perseverance and will motivate many readers to bring about changes in their personal lives. It is definitely a heart-wrenching memoir which displays strength of character. It is a book that will bring awareness to those suffering from head injuries and it also inspires readers to accept the traumas that happen in life and rebuild themselves in a good way. Her physical problems and the emotional pain she undergoes strike a chord with readers. The author shares her struggles and her healing process in the book, which reveals the strength and willpower of a woman who wants to live her life. The few pictures the author has shared with readers give a glimpse into her personal life. The author's experiences teach readers through this courageous story of recovery and healing.
ReadersFavorite2 More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Suzanne Cowles for Readers' Favorite The Beauty of My Shadow: A Story of Strength by S.D. Michael is a riveting memoir about a then eighteen-year old girl who recounts the tragedy that befell her one night in 1991, when her intoxicated friend drove her home. Unfortunately, Samantha instead was helicopter-lifted to a Toronto hospital and placed in ICU from massive head injuries caused from a single car accident. The horrific accident put Samantha in a coma with a respirator, catheter, feeding tube and IV. However, that was just the beginning of a lifetime struggle for recovery. The lingering injuries from facial scars, to vision and hearing loss, as well as brain damage were on the surface, but the real internal damage to psyche was buried deep. PTSD continued many years later as Samantha’s friend seemed oblivious to the consequences of her misjudgment. Without the ability to erase time, Samantha proceeded day by day to recapture her youthful vigor and started a not-for-profit, An Aid to Help Foundation. Channeling her negative emotions of anger and fear, she used Princess Diana’s lifetime of service to inspire her and motivate a positive change. This factual story recounts memory loss and emotional pain in a way that inspires others who are in the same situation. In addition to the book, there is a song on CD “Songs for Everyone” set to a relaxing tempo to accompany the reader through a heart-wrenching journey. Anyone that has ever been in a car accident knows the pain and suffering and life disruption involved. Nevertheless, few can imagine skirting death only to have to rebuild a life from the bottom up. S.D. Michael in The Beauty of My Shadow: A Story of Strength does more than explain the aftermath of a fatal mistake; she provides a powerful account of bringing awareness about brain injury and the devastating effects, and encourages others to persevere.
ReadersFavorite1 More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Patricia Reding for Readers' Favorite S.D. (Samantha Doris) Michael, seriously injured in a car accident at 18 years of age, tells her story in The Beauty of My Shadow. When Doris, who just left home for college, goes out with friends one night, the sister of one of her friends is to drive them home. Drunk, the 21-year-old woman causes an accident in which Samantha Doris is the only person injured. She is brought, via helicopter, to a Toronto emergency room where her parents and Aunt Gisele meet her. They learn that she suffered a severe closed-head injury and is now in a coma. Her face was severely scarred. Some time after the event, unable to re-connect with her life as “Doris,” the young woman changes her name to Samantha. The injury causes a “disconnect” between her and her former friends and between her new self and “Doris,” the young woman she once was. Though her journey is accompanied by many difficulties, her family and new friends help to usher her into a new life. Also, Princess Diana’s legacy lives on when readers learn of her visit to the recovery hospital where Samantha Doris spent some time. After years of legal disputes over the extent of her injuries and of undergoing medical procedures, Samantha emerges triumphant, building her own organization, An Aid to Help Foundation, dedicated to providing important life skills to young people to help them make good decisions.  The Beauty of My Shadow is a story of injury and recovery, pain and perseverance, anger and forgiveness, and emotional pain and healing. S.D. Michael walks readers through her journey with an honesty that is sometimes painful and always insightful. She provides information for hope and healing to others who have suffered similar injuries. Through her foundation, S.D. Michael offers her memoir, books for children, and a CD to promote meditation, an exercise that was instrumental in her recovery. While Samantha Doris will always know some loss, the gains she made in finding herself are the themes that readers will hold and carry forward. With her efforts to assist others and her finding the means to forgive others, Samantha Doris is more than just a survivor — she is a force for change.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Anne-Marie Reynolds for Readers' Favorite The Beauty of My Shadow is Samantha Michael’s story. It’s the story of how her entire life changed in an instant. At just 18 years old, Samantha was involved in a horrific car accident, caused by a young drunk driver. Pulled from the wreck, Samantha is barely holding on to life, but it’s when she comes out of the coma that the real horror begins for her. Suffering a brain injury, Samantha has to learn to live all over again and faces a life full of challenges. Twenty years after the accident, Samantha decides to tell her story, to talk about her recovery. She tells, in a sometimes humorous way, of her struggles – emotionally, physically and medically. She talks of how the accident affected her whole life including her friends and her family. She talks of when she decided to start up a non-profit organization to help others, called An Aid to Help Foundation. This is a story that will touch everyone who reads it, a learning curve and a warning of the dangers of drunk driving, of how it can destroy lives. But it’s also a story of triumph in the face of adversity, of having the strength to go on and live in spite of everything. The Beauty of My Shadow by Samantha Michael was a real revelation.  Both heartbreaking and humorous, Samantha wrote her book in such a way that I felt a part of her story, as if I was there living it with her.  Having worked in a head injuries unit, I could empathize with much of what she said, having seen the effects of drink driving for myself. A wonderful story, told in a beautiful manner and holding many lessons for people to learn.
sportzmomof5 More than 1 year ago
I was given this book in exchange for an honest review. What would you do if you were in an accident, causing a coma? What about if after you come to you have memory loss, physical scars, emotional pain/stress. This is a beautifully written account of how one woman turns all her negative into positives. Love this story and the authors ability to tell it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Samantha Michael's struggle to heal after her car accident in 1991 continues after she wakes from her coma, past the day she exits rehab, and even further than the day she decides to start her own non-profit, An Aid to Help Foundation. Reading Samantha's constant struggle with day to day life has been a humbling experience. Situations and experiences I feel may be nothing, can be larger obstacles for her. She is dealing with memory loss, personality changes, physical scars, emotional pain, and a minimized threshold for stress all while surrounded by the people who are expecting the person she was to fall right back into her old life. I can't begin to imagine that struggle. To her credit, she comes out embracing the person she is today and not focusing on the person she was. This could not have been easy to do. Her attitude allows her to find ways to adjust and cope with her new life. The Beauty of My Shadow is designed to be a book to bring awareness, understanding, and healing to those who are suffering from head injuries or trauma. For me, it was an amazing story of the strength and a long process of learning or relearning emotional intelligence. Throughout her story we watch as she tackles her physical problems head on, but when confronted with emotional pain she forces it away. While no one will experience the same pain Samantha went through to heal, she has an innate ability to write so the reader experiences each emotional step in her journey. Periodically, the book presented chapters that held what only can be described as random babbling, but those chapters were few and far between and left her main objective intact. At times the memoir was frustrating to read, at others it seemed tedious, but more often I was humbled by the strength and will of a young woman to face her uncertain future and ability to build herself a therapeutic way to reclaim her life.
NadineTimes10 More than 1 year ago
The Beauty of My Shadow shows us what a process making lemonade out of life's lemons can be: sometimes a lengthy process, yes, but a worthy one. S.D. Michael is determined not to be a victim of a serious, life-changing accident but a survivor of it—yet, her story makes no attempt to sound like it's being written by some perfect angel who instantly learns every noble lesson possible from her traumatic experiences as they come. No, Michael fesses up to her humanness, and the primary tense of her memoir allows us to see her grow through the progression of her story. To me, the most poignant line comes when Michael, speaking of Doris, says, "I miss her and always have," and I literally applauded while reading the author's discoveries in the last chapter. Plus, I'm a big proponent of books including pictures. I can only imagine things like having pieces of glass locked into my skin for years, or needing to tell myself, "Yes, you really are crying" because I've lost the ability to produce tears of emotion to accompany my weeping, only a sampling of what Michael goes through as a result of her head injury. It's interesting reading about all of the "parallels" she notices over the course of her journey and how she does not chalk them up to coincidence but to destiny. I know what name, or several names, I would give to the "director" who seems to be leading the author forward as she's making decisions regarding her purpose. There are moments in the memoir when the telling of some details seems repetitive, but this could be a result of the course of Michael's journey, how the steps had to build upon each other, and it's likely that if one particular detail hadn't been repeated as much, I probably wouldn't have been applauding by the end. Michael's goal of pursuing prevention over punishment and making the best she can for others out of the hand she's been dealt can serve as an inspiration for many. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.