A routine that goes beyond the food and shelter necessities of life and extends into the purposeful use of creating whatever you desire for your life. For me, I wanted chronic wellness but I was “too busy”.
Most people stop at busy and just live there. Which is fine, if you are happily busy.
But when I think about how busy feels, I know that it is also unhealthy. This is because busy “controls” you. Because you are “busy” you allow more bad choices for yourself. Tell me I am wrong… those were EXACTLY my actions when I was letting busy control me.
Nothing to be ashamed of, nearly all people use busy as a reason to stay “stuck” unhealthy. The truth was though, that I lacked routine, on top of having underlying emotional issues and an eating disorder as well as my medical conditions on top of those things!
Once I established healthy routine for myself I began to see the changes more consistently because well… I was using my routine.
I needed some structure while being on disability to keep my mental health progress from slipping, and taking my physical health with it. Or vice versa depending on the hormone situation.
Routine kept me at least with intentions and learning focus for days when bed was my only option. My rest became active and purposeful with the routine I created.
This is what I came up with to keep it simple but effective for ME and my big plans for chronic wellness!
Set up Sunday. It is self explanatory. I set myself up for the week on Sundays. Meal planning, I check our family calendar and school emails to make sure that I plan my energy for extra activities. This 10-30 minutes saves hours of energy. Something as simple as just knowing what is coming helps eliminate energy obstacles.
My suggestion is to set yourself up for a better week with a little forethought.
I use Monday’s to take care of appointments and errands. If I have a project or a desire to do a “me” thing for my self care journey. I typically plan it for Monday. Me Monday is about taking time to appreciate yourself, in ways that you have been too busy to try before. Self care is not selfish. I have spent many Monday’s working through that lesson for myself by practicing and getting to know ME. Me Monday has been so helpful to my growth.
Hahaha! Yep that says see you next Tuesday well because it is true, and funny at the same time. Tuesday’s are for goal setting/ progress check in for me.
On this journey, you inevitably set goals and rise to challenges. Tuesday’s for me are the day that I take a few moments to review where I am at with progress and add any to -do’s to my weekly list.
Every Tuesday I check in, and my goals are achieved faster than ever with this practice!
Water Wednesday is the day where I typically get lazy with the fatigue of the mid week energy crash.
I give myself a break here on the physical output and just go back to basics. Water consumption is my focus on Wednesday.
Thorough Thursday is the day I tidy my house for the weekend, as well as attempt to tie up any loose ends from goal setting Tuesday for the week.
Fun Friday. Friday has always been my favourite day. So I like to make it fun. We typically will do date nights or mini adventures.
Adventure Saturday. Self explanatory. We try to have some kind of adventure on Saturday. Typically outside. Our family favourites include hiking, paddle boarding, cliff jumping and camping. We are all outdoor lovers!
Your story might not fall down the trauma rabbit hole as far as some do, and that is good news; and it doesn’t make your trauma or emotional hurt any less or be any less valid than anyone else’s.
Part of my journey has been figuring out how to articulate my lessons back to people struggling and this is what I developed so far as a starting point for anyone.
I set my intentions, ground and centre myself, look at my position and goals, make sure I am nourishing my body, complete a secondary check in, release it all with love, play and adventure before starting right back at setting intentions. That is the routine to follow for your own self love journey!
Love yourself first, establish a routine that encourages you to grow forward!
You need to make a choice first and foremost. Do you want to change? Or do you want to stay the same?
Uncertainty breeds anxiety and anxiety creates fear that isn’t helpful.
Make a choice.
Do you want to really live?
Do you want to breed anxiety and CREATE fear in yourself until you eventually die?
The choice is obvious to me, I want to live!
I had the advantage of having already been in a deep dive of my mental health; a forensic examination of myself when the pandemic was first announced.
I had already decided that I was going to live!!! Especially IF (it was an if when I began) I was going to be made to live most of my life from my bed… I was going to live!
I was going to figure out how to live whatever I have left happy- because I knew that I needed nothing more than was available to me in my four walls! More than anything else I want to be an amazing mama!
I was angry and pissed off at the world for taking my life as I knew it from me at first..,, but by the time the pandemic started I was already in it and learning… and in many ways the pandemic has afforded me the opportunity to see the broad scale of human emotions and how everyone’s capabilities are affected in crisis in others on a larger scale.
It made me feel less alone. My awareness of my own processing has literally what helped me adapt as I went.
I adopted the concept of asking myself if actions I was about to take were serving me.
For a while, while I was first learning my way through living alongside my CPTSD, I was using a forced thinking pattern to “watch” my thoughts.
What I would do is: at a decision point I would consciously stop and ask myself… “is this hurting or helping?”
That was the language I used with myself. “Is this hurting or helping?” Just that question. Is this hurting or helping?
Then I would decide what service the action was taking, if any.
Then, from there I would decide what action I was taking; with all of the information.
If I made an informed decision to do something I acknowledged was harmful- I acknowledged that it was a coping behaviour and allowed some of it at first while I was first navigating. It’s amazing how much simply being aware of coping behaviours makes them so much less desirable!
I began to find more ways to help than to hurt- and I had the benefit of feeling the difference of what a lack of self sabotage can feel like.
I actually got to witness in the world around me, in real time the shift in the people around me from their own personal “balanced” demeanour; to one filled with fear however fear presented for them as the pandemic wave of fear overtook many anxiety sufferers, and created new anxieties for those who haven’t experienced it before.
It was informative to experience people around me experiencing and coping with post trauma/ active trauma stress cycles.
I experienced in myself the benefits of the self help/ health work I had already started.
During change or uncertainty there will be instability during calibration of the new circumstances always.
Change feels unsafe. Any kind of change. The brain is wired to resist change and find comfort because change is “scary”. The human brain can make anything scary!
Agoraphobia is a real thing that affects humans! It is the fear of being unsafe outside of the home- and resisting leaving home for any reason. To the majority of the population, this seems silly and irrational, but to a person with this condition- outside is life threatening. They believe it so much that dressing to go out can give them physical illness symptoms from the anxiety alone. Agoraphobia is an extreme example of an anxiety- but anxiety does create physical symptoms.
Physical symptoms created by anxiety/ depression cause real chemical reactions with real hormones being released into your system. Your physical body can not always tell what is anxiety and what is real – a stress hormone cascade is a stress hormone cascade. Same adrenal impact! Same emotional responses.
The mind is a powerful tool that impacts how the body responds. Awareness is the first secret to learning the craft of the tool. Mindfulness is the craft.
Mindfulness practices reduce anxiety and depression- which lightens the load of any illness and can heal central nervous system related symptoms.
I brought awareness first. Spent some time asking myself if things were hurting or helping me. Introduced more mindfulness techniques as I went, but in the beginning I really focused on my helping or hurting concept.
What I noticed as I was climbing out from rock bottom, is that the more awareness I found for myself…. the more I realized that people in general are not aware of themselves.
The pandemic has been a time of growth and reflection for me personally… but so was the year leading up to it and every year of my life preceding these ones. I am a growth focused individual. Progress and growth drive me, always has. (I’ve sloughed off the need for perfection so progress comes faster than ever)!
I have learned that people who have never chosen any form of self help are not even aware of their thoughts. They don’t recognize the patterns that they live in that are not helping or serving them in any way!
The choice is yours to make. Change or stay the same. The simple act of allowing awareness of your thoughts, and asking if your actions are hurting or helping you will bring you awareness of your thoughts.
I needed to change to stay out of my bed. You can choose to change and not do the whole rock bottom thing.
Awareness is where you begin, and hurting or helping was how I expedited understanding what I was doing and how it impacted my life.
What I noticed so much about myself by doing this, I simply welcomed awareness.
Vlog #3: a look into my video journal on my journey to post traumatic growth.
That is the mindset that the people closest to me had adopted at the time that this video was made, and I am positive they have their reasons.
This video was taken right in the middle of a huge shiftstorm of mine!
When you begin to heal generational trauma, you create a shiftstorm that makes people uncomfortable.
Talking about trauma makes many people uncomfortable and sometimes angry depending on their own personal experience with it all.
So, when you write about your journey the way that I do the generational trauma subject gets a little hot around those who have not wished to acknowledge theirs. Especially with those who are implied to have a taste of the t word by association. I’ve learned that people don’t have the same sharing is caring attitude about healing their traumas as I do; and that’s okay.
For me, it was worth the risk of the stigma; and it is worth the risk of abandonment to be free of CPTSD and central nervous system symptoms. Others may feel differently about how shameful it is to talk about “that stuff” but I disagree. Generational trauma by definition means that the human or humans that nurtured you have trauma too. That is impossible for people to acknowledge; until they are ready just like anything. We all have some form of trauma, we require it to exist as humans somehow. It’s just the truth.
People that I loved were apparently using the stigma of mental illness to internet diagnose my conditions; behind my back of course, as though they had a clue what was happening for me on the inside.
People closest to me decided I was suffering from Bi-polar disorder; and from that there was a plethora of unsolicited advice on how I should handle myself. They were of course incorrect. As we often are when we judge other people in lieu of at least attempting to understand them.
From my perspective and from my level of healing at that time the compound effects of being stigmatized by loved ones forced my cptsd symptoms to present themselves in my closest relationships. This simply added fuel to any preconceived notions that people already formed of me, CPTSD looks similar to BPD in the textbooks.
All said and done I was removed from all close relationships that I had when I started healing my traumatic past. It even put my marriage on thin ice for a while there. My trauma was deemed to big and scary to have anyone face it with me; and this happened for months on end. I was looking at my trauma in an attempt to heal my body; and I had already found the trauma link for myself and had already been practicing post traumatic growth…. I was failing because I was mostly unguided and we later found out it is because of the traumas I experienced as a small child.
I knew about it, but I still had lots of self love work to do at this time.
Please remember that my videos are not edited, I keep them authentic (ugly crying face and all) because I want my journey to bring comfort to anyone in similar situations. I was weathering a shiftstorm.
Looking back it is beautiful to see myself then and how far I’ve come. How far my relationships have grown; the depth of healing I have achieved from being willing to learn about how what happened to me impacted my health today.
The trauma link. The big ahh ha moment for me! I’ll never forget it… I was so excited.
I’ve been studying trauma in depth for over two years now.
Don’t worry… I’ve since stopped referring to myself as crazy! Our marriage is also learning to navigate post traumatic growth! 😬 this self love journey thing is a wild ride!
There is a path through to post traumatic growth for everyone I hope that sharing mine gives others pieces of what they need for theirs.
I think it is typically noticed and understood later in life for most people, the shiftstorm or I could be naive.
The storm of emotions that pulse through us and create physical and emotional obstacles for us all to overcome and evolve through. This shift from being seen as someone who is capable to someone who is not- either on a physical or emotional level. Followed by the desire to fight for some semblances of grace in the space in between what you are calling your “new normal” while you try to calm the shiftstorm that is currently your life.
I have seen it in older generations when something circumstantial happens and they are forced into a shiftstorm due to a fall or something like having their drivers license taken away. This shift is life altering and adds a layer of needing to rely on support where you used to be completely independent. This is a devastating process for many as it is both a physical and emotional adjustment. It certainly had significant impacts on me that gave me reason to use the term shiftstorm quite literally. Being deemed disabled took me out at the knees; it initiated my shiftstorm my season of change.
Not only have I weathered many shiftstorms of my own, for my own personal life, but I used to partner a small business that catered to this specific need. I have looked at this type of life shiftstorm from many angles for the purposes of finding ways to make this kind of shift easier and more comfortable for people.
A hard lesson for me was that the world doesn’t do that shit; the systems that people need to access don’t care about ease of use, or the abuse the system creates.
No one is out here trying to make chronic illness or mental wellness more comfortable for people. No one is offering customized support for basic human needs, many of them offer isolation and abandonment in colourful ways. I had hurricane sized shiftstorm over this, this one hit me hard over and over trying to access what I needed. There were many more lessons in this shiftstorm, and I welcomed them all.
I’ve been the helping hand, and the creator of calm for people particularly when chaos is their normal. It’s one of my specialties; calmer of chaos and shift storm navigator.
I’m a weathered chaos calmer; I’ve embraced many shiftstorms, been knocked down and found ways to get back up.
I’ve worked with vulnerable people my whole life, advocating for people in the most trying and vulnerable times of their lives. Listening to frustrations that no one else takes the time to even acknowledge; because I’ve been unheard and unseen and I know how painful it is.
I hold space for the shiftstorms that people need to navigate; creating and encouraging growth. I’ve done this as my career in many different forms.
I help people, that is what I do. I have an ultra soft spot for vulnerable humans because I know what it is like to be unseen and unheard in the face of the changes you need to make to initiate it all.
I have a way of bringing calm to any shift-storm. I have dedicated years of my life to learning how to thrive during a shiftstorm because my life has been a consistent weather pattern.
I’ve spent my entire life adapting and learning ways to live in abundance in each moment and honour myself as who I wish to become. I’ve weathered this storm over and over; now I have the advantage of navigation tools.
The shift is what happens in the moments when you are courageous enough to embrace the vulnerability of the changes that need to be made as we adapt through our individual lives.
It’s in those moments that when you aren’t sure how, you just know it will all be okay as long as you stay true to the intentions you laid out. That’s what I told myself anyhow and I was either right, or found myself in another lesson… Touché universe; touché.
There is typically a calm before any storm if you take notice. The shiftstorm is no exception. Practice taking notice of it, and using this time wisely to ground yourself in gratitude and abundance; this is the battening of the hatches for the shiftstorm.
It’s in those pivotal moments where there are decisions to make, and you need to make them without insurances or the benefit of precedent; when you are the way-finder; That is the work that creates a shiftstorm of change!
The changes that are created from the conscious decision to help yourself move forward creates this palpable energy; it’s like the energetically filled air before a thunder storm.
Welcome to your shiftstorm. It’s beautiful chaos that brings positive changes. Ground yourself with gratitude and abundance; and allow the resistance to dissolve especially in the eye of the storm…. breathe.
It’s important to note that if you are in the middle of a shiftstorm; big or small..: pause and breathe.
Take as much time as you need to clear your mind and find your intentions amongst the noise, and then move forward a little tiny bit every single day and the shiftstorm will pass.
This is also where so many people give up because of fears about the very change they are trying to make.
It is where the brain tries to resist changes, and the resistance it creates the chemical compound of the emotion of fear pulsing through your adrenals keeps you scared; and gives you even more resistance to changing which is really not helpful when one is trying to make multiple significant changes.
The real secret is that you will never be satisfied going backwards once you have decided to know better, learn forward.
That is really when the shift hits the fan. When you try to “go back” after you have already moved forward.
It might not seem like it, but you have more control over the shiftstorm than you might think, your thoughts create your feelings after all.
You have the strength to weather any shiftstorm.
I promise you this it is going to take determination and intention with consistency… it is hard but one day at a time makes it all possible.
If I can do this all while I am up against CPTSD, I believe that anyone can do this stuff.
The path to Post Traumatic Growth is a bit shiftstormy, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. These little shifts I’ve been making have been adding up to lasting changes.
Stay well, love yourself first!
I’m excited to share some of the shiftstorm moments I have been collecting during the course of my wellness journey. Exciting things are on the horizon…
I am in love with my journey to Post Traumatic Growth so far!
Seriously, who else would you want making every little decision about your life?
It seems simple, right?
It should be you, obviously.
So why then do we often forget that we are capable, and unique, that we ought to be the CEO of our own lives?
It’s easy to get lost in the emotions when you are the one putting in the labour of love and doing the work on top of your daily grind, whatever that looks like for you; right now it is exhausting.
Many people choose to just ignore themselves and how they are feeling until they can’t ignore it any longer.
Truth be told we all have work to do; some more than others. I had more than most, and I’m far from finished my journey but I’m here showing up as CEO for myself every single day!
As a reminder, Perfection simply isn’t attainable, it is a delusion; even as CEO of your life. Perfection mindset and the addiction to it is very unhealthy.
It’s hard work, and it is all in service to yourself and your personalized journey.
However it is easier to understand the emotions, and their places when you take a higher perspective, and act as the CEO of your life.
If you are an adult, and you haven’t looked into doing what is being called “re-parenting” yourself, you could be leaving huge decisions that belong to YOU inadvertently in the hands of other people or even systems. It is a process by which you establish your values as they serve your life, and shed the beliefs and expectations of others.
The ones you want to shed are called limiting beliefs.
Once you have established a limiting belief for yourself you can then start to look at it as though you are the CEO of your life.
Meaning , that if you weren’t feeling restricted by being the person inside of the “grind”, how would you solve it in your best interest?
From this CEO perspective, you might be able to see things you may have been missing.
Elaborate coping patterns are noticed, and then can be handled when taking on this leadership role for yourself.
All of a sudden, you have the freedom of a few more choices that you weren’t open to before.
Naturally, you will be responsible for whatever comes of your actions; good or bad.
It can take on a snowball affect if you really want to start taking your CEO role in your own life more seriously.
All because of perspective.
Without this CEO perspective people experiencing stress tend to do things that they know are bad for them, with all kinds of reasons as to why. Why they can’t stop or start something; or why they can’t maintain something.
It was surprising to me, it is usually because of something someone else did or said. Or because it goes against what else expected.
Think about that.
So it is just their own perspective holding them back.
The beautiful thing about being the CEO of your own life is that you get to practice being in that role right away. Staring with the small things, practice with this one comes quick once you get it! Like a training period for a career… as the CEO of your own life! 😘
When you embrace the CEO role in your own life you are then in charge of making all of the decisions for yourself, in whatever way you choose.
That FEELS powerful, because it is powerful.
What we don’t realize is that when we make these decisions based on old information- we are propelling ourselves into the past. How counter productive; we can only live in the present!
If you decide to act from a place of “old news”- you are probably not encapsulating the lessons you would have from the knowledge of making your information current. A CEO always maintains the most up to date information to make decisions with.
Many times in life we will face challenges and obstacles beyond our current scope of practice, this pushes us to grow and learn.
Like any good CEO you accept challenges and make the best of what you have with the resources available to you.
If you fall short, it is you who has to plan to make up the difference, and follow through if you want to succeed.
It falls on you as the CEO, it is your responsibility.
That is what being in charge looks like.
This is what practicing taking your power back is!
I want to live… like really live… no matter what my circumstances are; I want to feel alive! This path to post traumatic growth has me feeling excited and alive!
I had to create ways that I could live with the things that are chronic for me, so that I can have those feelings of being alive within my journey.
There are many “extra” things that I must do to promote the rejuvenation advantage for my whole body. Even after releasing the old traumas… there are years of damaged neuropathways to restore and keeping on top of my routines helps heal my cells faster.
Things that other people don’t typically take the time to even consider. Like the specific fabrics that I can handle on my sensitive skin, or the “me-isms” I have had to navigate through, and heal the trauma pieces.
I required more steps to meet the baseline of “normal” in many areas of my life. Sometimes my conditions force symptoms that are unwelcome and overwhelming.
You can not see my disability, but I promise you it is there, creating obstacles and additional considerations for me to make.
The perspective I decided to take is that Each time my disability creates an obstacle, it also creates an opportunity, or many, depending on what learning comes as a result of the obstacle.
I had to learn about what cultivating motivation in the face of failure really meant. And then practice it in real time; over and over and over. Often failing, sometimes catching a break!
I did that because I was pushed to; and because I had truly had the desire to be better fused together.
I found out that I was clueless, emotionally illiterate. I had always assumed that the self care I needed were the things that we purchased to take care of our bodies and how we feel (about them).
I had confused self care with consuming cosmetic products/ services.
The way I was thinking, the way I was consuming, and the thought patterns and addictive thought loops and very cleaver coping strategies I had created were all adding and compounding the impact of this lived experience, that I couldn’t seem to shake.
Depression and severe anxiety, chronic eating disorder, emotional self-sabotage were featured as obstacles on my journey. Those cycles help to foster the complex PTSD, chronic pain, medical trauma rumination stigmatization trauma and all of the cognitive implications of the above mentioned and then some!
I had to create determination in chronic fatigue, chronic pain and then try to cultivate motivation from it, through chronic severe anxiety, depression, battling with my body and my brain the whole entire journey.
I was determined to find a way to figure it all out and co-exist with this “thing” that attempts to high-jack my life at every opportunity.
It took a long time, and it consumed energy that I would have loved to spend elsewhere… so I wanted to share my favourite 7 changes I made to my life, to accommodate my new needs.
1. Mindset work: honestly, I had to make serious adaptations to my mindset. This work is truly important. Without an adapted mindfulness people remain in the beliefs that other people have given them, and never facilitate creating their own. You can not change what you are not aware of! Do your mindset work, if nothing else; seriously. Science is screaming that mindset matters! You are what you think… your thoughts create your reality. Etc.
2. Gratitude. Yep. I know. Any time literally any time I used to come across a new helping person they would say practice gratitude…
But seriously, do it!
I needed the why behind this one; and there are many! So many neurological and physical/ mental health reasons to practice gratitude. What I have noticed is that practicing gratitude helps me feel safe with what I have, and gives me the gift of feeling abundant in the present moment. When I practice gratitude I am grateful for right now, and everything is in perspective.
3. Move your body! Every single day. I walk 10,000 steps for my BRAIN every single day. I do it to keep the inflammation that causes depression off of my brain. I do it because I have been practicing it for so long that it is my routine. My body craves that energy boost, that brain rejuvenation time. The time to inhale fresh air and clear my thoughts and stresses. It is a release, and I love that my body craves it now!
4. Find a SAFE trauma informed person to help you navigate your stuff and move into the present moment. A coach, a counsellor, a trauma-informed friend. **often times your close family and friends will have a hard time understanding… it is a good idea to get a professionals advice*** this is a very hard truth that I learned some hard lessons with. It is a good idea to speak to someone who has sufficient trauma training.
5. Consumption/ Action ratio: how much of your time are you spending consuming, and then complaining that you aren’t enjoying the life that you ought to have? Daydreaming about one thing while time wasting and not taking action, that is self sabotage. This was a problem for me while I was stuck in limbo playing the waiting game with the medical system.
6. Routine: a healthy life has a routine, and baselines that are intended to be met to achieve the routine. This includes everything from food, sleep, stress cycles, vitamins routines that you have, when you have time for you, traditions or rituals that you keep. Truth be told; when I find myself in chaos, it is typically accompanied by being out of routine. Find your groove, make it a routine, repeat!
7. Consistency is key. Take everything in the first 6 steps and apply them to your daily life. With as much consistency as you can cultivate for yourself. It takes willpower and determination to achieve consistency… but consistency builds results. Watch a weightlifter; they use routine and consistency to get stronger faster.
They seem like simple things; and as principles they are. It is when you put them into practice collectively you can impact your life in a dramatic way.
If you are a beginner start with #1. Go find some mindfulness for beginners stuff online and give yourself a week… 15 minutes a day, for one week; and see what you learn about yourself!
I could sit here and list all of the reasons why our relationship is abusive, but that would be a waste of my breath and your time.
We have both known for a long time that this day is coming, and it is here.
I’ve heard myself whisper “I deserve more” too many times to not listen.
I’ve broken into a thousand pieces and picked myself up over and over again, with the help of few- all because YOU were holding me up when I couldn’t. I didn’t know how to take care of my needs so you decided to lend a hand where you could, always causing more harm than necessary.
Being held by you is a dangerous place for my sensitive heart.
I need you to let go now, please.
You have had plenty of time to adjust your presence in my life to something that we can BOTH tolerate.
For the past two years you have had pretty much free reign to find your place with me to walk the rest of our life together.
Together we walked through cognitive dissonance and existential way finding- for that I will forever be in gratitude.
I don’t even mind the sideways looks when I say that I am grateful for you, the root of my demise and source of my originally perceived brokenness; it is quite a juxtaposition for a closed mind to conquer.
I will come to appreciate your presence more as I release the last remanence of you and me that intertwine; releasing me back into the world where colours are brighter and the weight gravity feels less depressing.
It seems like an odd thing to say in a moment such as this, but I love you.
Thank you for walking me to this part of my journey in life.
It’s been a year since I was given the answer to the question I had been asking.
365 days since I found out exactly what I was up against.
A year since I learned the name of the thing that tries every single day to take my life by taking my health.
A diagnosis may not seem like much, after all it is just a few words.
Mine was :Centralized Sensitization Syndrome- a disorder created and rooted in unresolved or ongoing traumas; causing adrenal functioning chaos in the central nervous system, as well as PTSD symptoms as a mental side effect.
Receiving the information gave me a gift, an invisible one, but one that I wouldn’t have been able to survive this journey without. I would still be searching for the answer to “what is happening to me?”
It gave me understanding, it gave me direction, it gave me hope. I am curable!
An understanding of the past present and future possibilities, both good and bad. Knowing my diagnosis allowed me, for the first time, to comprehend how I would obtain either of the future possibilities. It opened my awareness to choice and intention.
From my diagnosis I was able to stop frantically searching and start doing “the work” all because I wasn’t consumed with looking for an answer anymore.
I could now implement change by utilizing the appropriate knowledge I had acquired about my conditions.
I say using the appropriate knowledge because with my type of condition while you are piecing together everything, if you don’t know to protect your body and adrenal glands- you will end up chasing symptoms of your disease in addition to the symptoms of the side effects of the medication prescribed from each and every practitioner you see for your illness. If you have a chronic illness you will notice that most often, prescribed medications are the only “help” they offer.
The big one I was considering for the symptoms was the big c… ovarian cancer- I have 8/10 of the main symptoms- and the decline in my functioning as my Central Nervous System struggled to survive as I fought. With the increasing number of practitioners I had lining up to refer me on- or simply point blank say that I am not sick enough to qualify for certain treatments known to help my condition.
I was actually terrified of the big c… the probabilities are good; given my family history.
I have cried many tears, and journaled hundreds of pages of gratitude for being curable!
I’ve witnessed that fight, and that loss. I’m grateful to be curable; so grateful that it was found that I have a complex syndrome; and not a biological disease.
But where it gets muddy and really hard to find helpful help is when you have a syndrome or a group of symptoms that are kind of all over the place, like mine.
This is where the systems that are supposed to be in place to protect us; actually become a cycle of abuse for patients who are in need of anything beyond acute care.
Because of the condition of my body and no one really knowing what was happening I chose to protect my body, and questioned every single prescription I was being guided towards.
At first I had my trust in the doctors that were prescribing me these medicines. Until I was at the doctor again chasing a new symptom, was offered another drug to take care of something for sleep… because all of the other pills are making it hard to sleep.
This is when I said enough is enough to symptom chasing prescriptions! My sensitive central nervous system didn’t stand a chance.
A diagnosis of a popular disease typically herds you into a specialized group of people that handle that disease. “Specialists” or for cancer, you go to the cancer centre nearest you; there are even cancer support groups for specific types of cancer etc.
I’m not saying that any of the systems are perfect, because they are far from it… just that there is a hierarchy to illness, and patients are resourced very differently between a popular illness and one like mine that has the specialists for central nervous systems scratching their heads.
Same goes for diabetes, multiple sclerosis, ALS, when you receive a diagnosis for these illnesses there is a path for you to follow. Resourcing is available, and support is immediate or at least available for you to access independently. There is nothing like that for my disorder; or the thousands of other disorders like mine. We have to rely on medical professionals who have never heard of our “new” syndrome.
For those of us who are dealing with the possible pre- cursors to these illnesses- we are largely left to our own devices until we get a “popular” diagnosis.
I see the same struggle across the board with people who live with chronic conditions that are coping just above the threshold that would provide some relief.
It’s like making 1000 over the tax cutoff for any benefit, and having the access to it removed because you tread water better than others do in your situations… not by much; just enough to get fucked over.
At the point of my diagnosis I had already made some pivotal decisions about my life.
Mentally, I had put myself into a position that even if it was something incurable; that I would use every skill I have to live my damn life to the best of my current ability at any given time.
I thought that was a goal that could be in line with being chronically well, or on the path to it every damn day until I got there, on purpose, and in alignment with what helps me heal is where I decided I was heading.
I’ve been heading in the direction of healing trauma for a year now- I’ve made amazing progress in a year, I am so proud of where I am today!
I have been learning what that means for me and practicing implementing loving myself first all over my life.
I developed this concept for myself after combining all of the information I had gathered about my complex conditions and really boiled it down with some solid ocd overthinking- and unlimited access to the internet to read all about pain science and really study how to speed up the process of this getting better business.
Mama wants my body back!
I want to be able to pursue my career dreams; as uninhibited by this central nervous system disorder as I can.
I have the advantage of my age to reverse whatever is happening and I believe I still have time to get healthy before I am struggling with a full time condition. I am advocating for early intervention harm reduction for myself and for my body!
I know how precious health is both mental and physical, I always have known, I watched family members struggle with cancers, and grief, addictions and traumas of their own my whole life.
I learned through every circumstance that I have faced there are a few first steps that make the rest of the journey easier… like pre-requisites!
First is having gratitude for the journey that brought you to the present moment, acknowledging and really digging deep to find it for all aspects of your past.
Then finding gratitude for your resiliency- finding love for your grit; light in your darkness, getting your power back and gaining strength and motivation to grow further, dig deeper.
Then learning how to unconditionally love yourself, all of who you authentically are; with no filters or masks. Learn to dance within the shadows and bask in the sun.
If you LOVE yourself first you get one step closer to the rejuvenation of your cells… that’s the name of my game. It starts with self-love on this really high trauma informed level; it ends with my sensitization reducing with practice.
My full time job has been literally LOVING MYSELF FIRST, by learning and practicing things that heal my body while I wait.
I am overwhelmed with the network that I have created now. LOVEyourself first is the mindset that created the network of help I have access to now.
I’m so excited to continue to keep sharing my journey! Thank you for all of your support!
There’s this misconception in my life that somehow I am not as sick as I say I am or something. It is interesting to interact with people and have them treat me based on how real they believe my illness is or how much my illness effects me. The assumptions that people have about me
If I am capable of hitting the baseline of showering and doing my 10 minute makeup routine to make myself feel 75% better than when I don’t do that, it somehow discounts the fact that some days it takes me a whole day just to get to that baseline, and sometimes, often times I don’t make it.
Some days it takes me until noon to feel okay, some days I don’t get to achieve that feeling. But I am really sick and tired of being judged when I am graced with a good day where the stars line up and the inflammation is down and I feel as good as it gets for me.
I refuse to stifle those feelings. I need to encourage more of them and welcome them, it needs to be okay for me to be okay.
I am going to celebrate and encourage my body to do that. I will not hide it in shame, that is what we are supposed to do when we are on disability, we are supposed to only be sickly, never appearing tooo healthy, or they will re-assess you for your eligibility of being on disability.
Here’s what I have concluded. I have been deemed physically disabled. I am fortunate enough to have insurance that in the event that I remain disabled until I am 65, I am covered. To be clear, this is not the life that I want, I would much rather be contributing to my family income, than collecting disability while I wait for surgery, and possibly longer. I would rather build financial freedom than collect a tiny insurance cheque every month.
I’m not really sure why it comes as a surprise to loved ones that I am not doing well, because living in my body is not luxurious. I have been mentioning that in increasing intensity for almost two years now. I have been forced into my bed and abandoned by everyone I thought I could rely on at some point.
There was a point where I was so confused and didn’t even know if I could rely on myself.
I wouldn’t wish what happens to me every single day on my worst enemy. I just couldn’t be that cruel!
I don’t even want to live my life in my body in this condition, I couldn’t imagine forcing someone else to live in the pain that I carry it is torture for me- and I am conditioned to it.
I have danced with the demons that chronic illness brings, brings and have adjusted the expectations that got me here, and realigned them with where I intend to go.
Just because I carry it all so well, because I have practiced carrying trauma alone, for my entire life does not make it easy, and it certainly doesn’t mean I should continue to carry it alone. The brave face that I have worn as a mask for my entire life has come off. I have unmasked myself, and asked for help.
Not like I had a choice in the matter. If I wanted access to help, I had to ask for it. And asking for help with processing your thoughts puts you into a category, the one with the huge stigma… mental health. It doesn’t matter that a huge trigger is your medical condition and your treatment for it and the mental health care and the navigation that goes with all of it is pure torture.
Life with a physical disability is not luxurious.
Life with a mental health disorder like anxiety and depression or an eating disorder are not luxurious.
Life while you are healing from past traumas is definitely not luxurious.
Finding ways to live my life and find pleasure in my life could be seen as luxurious and I definitely do that!
I find as much pleasure as I can in each of these areas, I literally squeeze every ounce of pleasure out of every single moment- never letting any of its magic go to waste.
I find it, seek it out; and if it is nowhere to be found, I make it.
I make my own luxuries when they don’t exist. I choose to do this instead of putting on the old mask.
I only have the privilege of the luxuries that I have worked to obtain, nothing that I have has ever been handed to me.
My life was a sequence of consequences for other peoples actions, or lack of them. Followed always by how I could use my talents please everyone. I became an expert at finding efficiencies that made more time, but then not keeping that time for myself, literally ever. My creativity was always used for the benefit of others, and never really to help me achieve my deepest desires and goals. Even my down time was always spent focused on where I could be of help to anyone but myself.
The consequence on your life when you are the helper that never accepts help, is that you surround yourself with people that prefer remaining apathetic over taking the actions that you normally take, and when you are no longer physically able to give- the relationship dissolves, almost always when the helper is looking for support.
As an abused person who was controlled, not having a real say in your medical treatment and having to fight your way through it for survival is absolutely not helpful, and certainly not luxurious. Being told while you fight for your life every single day that you have to wait in a line that doesn’t have an end date is devastating. It literally affects my self worth… how can my life be this worthless? I am deteriorating, literally, and I am supposed to sit quietly and wait?
Gaining access to help is not luxurious. For me it is literally traumatizing.
My life is not luxurious.
I have trauma surrounding my health.
I have trauma surrounding my mental health.
I have trauma in my relationships.
I have trauma in my life.
I have trauma.
Trauma is no luxury, unless you decide it is.
I decided that if there was a luxury; some kind of gift it could give me, that I would find it, seek it out; and if it is nowhere to be “found” I will create it, and I did, on purpose.
The gift my trauma gave me is really what I learned for myself through it.
That is the gift that my trauma gave me, the luxury that you see, it is my Authenticity.
The gift that I have found in my trauma is this…Authenticity. My own authenticity, my authentic self.
I’ve been many versions of myself as I have grown into the woman I am today because of my journey to find my authentic self.
There were times when authenticity was far from a priority, and being perfect and liked took the reins and truth be told, that is where I lost myself every single time.
I could never achieve true pure happiness for myself, until I committed to authenticity.
Authenticity is far from an all holy attitude. Authenticity is the raw and hard, but pure and clean white hot truth.
It is that hard thing to say that should help bring understanding to strong relationships, but also it will highlight the fractures in relationships that are unhealthy to begin with. The whole truth, that is authenticity.
Authenticity is always the right thing, no matter how hard; it’s the raw answer with the reason why that comes from your souls purpose.
Being authentic for me meant seeing where my actions might have been a disservice to myself and perhaps to others, and making the commitment to changing those actions and behaviours.
In order to be authentic, you will have had to experience the determination to change, or the will to defend your honor in some way.
Authenticity requires a little bit of grit in the beginning, but it gets less rough with practice- it does take practice.
In order to achieve authenticity; you must first be aware.
Without awareness there is no authenticity, only ignorance.
I started with being authentic with myself and realizing that I needed to make some changes. I took the steps I needed to take for me, on my path, and my journey, with the information that I had available to me at any given moment.
I became aware of the trauma surrounding my health, and took steps towards what would authentically be the most powerful and most helpful treatments for me, and I have taken action towards getting the trauma informed treatments that I need to heal.
I acknowledged that the trauma surrounding my mental health needed to be addressed. I took the steps I needed to take to get the kind of help that I actually wanted. There are many different kinds of mental health help available. It is important to find practitioners that share your values.
I acknowledged the trauma that was in my relationships, on individual bases. Being authentic in any relationship can sometimes put that relationship in the balance, especially if one person is acknowledging a trauma that the other person is not ready or willing to face for themselves.
I acknowledged all of the trauma in my life, in all of the places that I found it when I observed. I replaced it with authenticity, for all.
I showed up my authentic self, and those who didn’t want to face their own lack of growth threw shade and abandonment my way. I took that white hot pain and turned it into the motivation I needed to succeed, and the proof that no matter what I will always have my own back.
What happened from there is the birth of my new life, the new me Authentic me.
And then I learned what self love was, authentic self love.
When you have achieved authentic self love, your possibilities are limitless.