The Still Standing Group (2019)
Reviewed by Christine Watson for Reader Views (12/19)
“Still Standing” by Valerie Silveira is an inspirational book about a woman who overcomes the events in her life that knock her down to come back stronger and more empowered. She uses the hardships she endures to build herself up instead of quitting on herself. She is a powerful example of what is possible when you learn and grow from your life experiences, no matter what.
Ms. Silveira shares some very personal and difficult times in her life, including childhood struggles, relationships and parenting trauma. She worked hard to support her family as a single parent, and later with her second husband, Rich. One of her most difficult challenges was trying to help her daughter overcome her own demons, including drug addiction and a dangerous relationship, which eventually led to her murder. Her guilt and shame were debilitating as she scrutinized her life choices and wondered if she could have changed the outcome of her daughter if only she would have done things differently. She also had a son to care for during this traumatic time. She openly shares her wounded heart with the reader, revealing her vulnerability which eventually becomes her strength.
The second half of the book is all about learning how to overcome the devastating feelings that take over when life’s events feel too difficult to bear. The author credits “The 9 Actions” to her overcoming her hardships and learning to live a fulfilling life again. Some of these 9 Actions include standing up in strength, connecting with your spiritual self, self-care, friendships and connections, attitude and meaning among other actions. Ms. Silveira chose to see herself as a warrior instead of a victim in her life.
I really enjoyed this book and as a life coach myself, I connected to her words of wisdom. She was able to use the terrible events in her life to rise above and overcome so much tragedy. She will always love and remember her daughter, but she is also able to move forward and create a valuable life she can enjoy. I highly recommend this book to anyone struggling with feelings of hopelessness, loss and guilt. The author provides great tools for picking yourself up and learning to live again.