A candidate for Vernon council in last year’s civic election has penned a memoir detailing a life that has included trauma, addiction and recovery.
Jenelle Brewer, sqilx’w woman, Okanagan Indian Band member and mother of two, is releasing her first book early this year. The new author has been described as vibrant and energetic, and always seeking challenging projects.
Brewer fearlessly welcomes uncomfortable experiences, knowing they provide opportunities for personal and professional growth.
Because Brewer likes her privacy, writing her debut book — called Releasing Jezebel: Embracing the Lioness Within — was challenging. However, providing hope for others inspired her to share her story, which includes achieving trauma and addiction recovery.
On overcoming her feelings of shame, Brewer said: “I have turned my shame story into a success story, and one day, I decided I couldn’t let who I was stop me from who I was about to become.”
In the memoir, Brewer lived what other children dreamed of on her family’s ranch on a reserve with her faithful dog, beautiful horses, a turtle-filled pond and abundant acreage. However, her fairy-tale life could not be told without the presence of a villain, in this case child abuse.
Brewer struggled as a victim but also as a witness to the repeated abuse her close friend endured. Trauma shaped her personality from a very young age as she repeatedly faced and escaped her demons of shame and fear.
As a teenager, Brewer used alcohol to numb emotional pain and eventually turned to drugs to forget what no child should have to experience. Addiction quickly led her on a rollercoaster of highs and lows as she desperately tried to bury her past.
With every turn in the memoir, Brewer takes readers through tonnes of near-death encounters while dangerous men simultaneously implant the seed of unworthiness and its self-destructive consequences.
After becoming a mother, Brewer created a better life for herself and her children by tapping into the sheer will and determination to heal. She continues to fight the adversities of PTSD as she walks the road of recovery with integrity, leadership and compassion.
People can purchase a signed copy of Releasing Jezebel or a ticket to Brewer’s in-person book launch event for 20 per cent off until Feb. 14, or until quantities last.
The book launch will be held at the Vernon Prestige Lodge and Conference Centre April 1. Tickets are currently $79 and include a copy of the book, appetizers, keynote speakers Angie Lohr and Jade Seabrook, an author reading, a burlesque performance by Femme Fatale Dance and a dance with a live rock band, Sonic Rebels.
For more info and to purchase tickets, visit jenellebrewer.ca.