This may be an over share, but my heart tells me that it is truth and transparency that shows strength. Not weakness.

I have been fearful for years of revealing my extremely challenging journey with ‪#‎Dystonia‬. Mainly, because I am in the film business and have been for twenty-four years.

I was an agent, then a manager and now a film and TV producer.

And a published writer. A person who lost all anonymity after being on Oprah, The Today Show, a TEDx speaker and on pretty much every network. I’m a public figure and in many ways it’s not fun.

So, I was fearful of clients thinking I was too busy for them. And simultaneously thinking that I was weak because I was so ill and getting worse. I felt ashamed and scared in so many ways and could not tell anyone.

I was fearful of people in the business thinking I was weak. So, I overcompensated. Numerous clients were cherry picked by CAA when I was at my worst, but working my ass off. I felt betrayed by so many people whom I had worked so hard for. I felt angry. Two producing partners abandoned me when they shouldn’t have. They should have supported me. More anger.

Here is my point. Fear is crippling. And I decided not to ever be afraid after I almost died recently.

I told no business friends. No friends. Not even some family members. I still saw it as something that would be perceived as weakness.

But no longer.

I was rushed to the hospital twice.

The second time I could not walk and had no idea what was happening to me. I had zero use of my legs. I was taken to the ER.

I had tubes coming out and into everything. IVs infusing my body with various things.

I was admitted to the hospital immediately and in the middle of the night I was awakened by a team of nurses and a doctor.

The doctor said I needed a blood transfusion right away. They tested me for everything for everything under the sun. They were concerned that I was bleeding internally.

I was alone. I called my parents hysterically crying at 4am and begged them to race to the hospital. They did.

I was hesitant to get a blood transfusion and the doctor and nurses gave me a look I will never forget.

Then I finally knew I was seriously ill. Gravely ill. So, I signed consent forms for them to move forward with the transfusion.

Oddly, at this point, I kept my sense of humor. Gallows humor, as usual. Someone else’s blood was being pumped into me.

Into me! Surreal.

I was advised that they had to continue to test my blood to see it or if I was still losing blood.

It was truly touch and go.

But my body held the blood. After hours of not knowing if i would live or die, I was mostly out of the woods.

They thought.

When the sun came up and my parents had gone home, I drifted off to sleep. Total surrender. I was at peace, even if I died in my sleep.

I was awakened by a whole new team of nurses and a new doctor. I was alive. My transfusion worked.

Finally, three doctors came in and told me that I almost died. That hit me hard. I think I was in denial. I knew it was serious, but to have a team of doctors TELL me that stunned me.

“Ms. Hartmann, you almost died.”

Then it was real. I almost f*cking died.

I was released two days later. I highly recommend blood transfusions. They should give them at spas because suddenly I felt and looked more alive than I had in years.

I decided to remove numerous things from my life, including wine.

It was so easy and freeing. I felt like I had been shackled and then set free. I had so much pain that I had engaged in some self-medicating. I was not addicted to alcohol. The doctors said it was very common. Self-medication was over. Again, it was effortless and freeing.

I then decided with total purpose that I would have brain surgery for my Dystonia. Dare I say, it was fun for me. I was totally unafraid before and after the surgery.

Both surgeries.

Now I feel like the world is my oyster. I never worry. I’m in a state of euphoria.

I’m impervious to pain. Except when I stub my toe.

I have no desire to sleep at normal hours. Hence the time of this post. It’s 5am. I’m not tired yet and am having tea. And decaf.

I get great sleep. So soundly. The perfect sleep cycles. I am healthy.

As you can probably tell that I don’t care what business people think. I work very hard. And I work well. I’m a very active producer and writer.

And I can walk again.

Do I have rough moments? Yes. But they are fleeting.

Thank you for indulging me.

I finally do not care if people see it as weakness.

It is strength.

As always, with gratitude to those true friends who have taken the time to read this and to understand me and my journey. Who stuck with me.

I’m no victim of those previous negative experiences. I view them as teaching moments. Gifts, not grudges. Truly.

Don’t count me out. I’m in. @beatdystonia (Click to Tweet!)

Rogers Hartmann is a longtime literary manager and now producer and activist.  She founded a non profit and personally amassed a database of DYSTONIA specialists. She works with the NIH via the Dystonia Coalition and funds a global Dystonia registry, which is key for getting an idea of those who are afflicted with this cruel and lonely disorder. Rogers has appeared on OPRAH with Michael J. Fox, THE TODAY SHOW with Meredith Vieira, TEDx and countless other network programs. She speaks to kids and adults alike across around the world about her journey to wellness while battling Dystonia. You can follow her on Twitter or FB.