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!
Someone to witness my progressions and my failures as they are, in relation to my journey; not theirs.
Someone to wanted to understand my perspective from more than just a superficial level.
It seems so simple, yet very few people are capable of this whole hearted task; to simply witness someone’s experience.
No judgement, no need to influence the outcome, just a witness to what is true for you.
If you truly want to help someone through, just be a loving witness to their journey.
When you are not at your best, the truth is it is hard to let anyone be a witness to the vulnerability that is the healing process. But if you want to heal, being willing to be vulnerable will expedite the process.
The only way out is through, so why not double down and make something really happen for yourself, if the cost is a bit of courage to be vulnerable in exchange for healing, I had to take the chance.
Vulnerability is the currency of healing.
For me, practicing vulnerability has been a challenging task, because of the needing a witness part of healing, because I am traditionally a people pleasing/ self-sabotage type.
My brain nearly exploded when I recognized that the witness was there to see the weaknesses and the lies that I was telling myself too; not just the masks and anti-vulnerability facade’s I used to show the world.
I people pleased as my career, in my life and in my relationships. Pleasing people was much easier on my heart than disappointing people.
Then I realized that the way I was showing up in my life was serving everyone but me I decided to make changes and start to learn how to not excessively show up for people who don’t ever do the same for me.
I began setting boundaries.
I began being vulnerable.
I stopped people pleasing and started focusing on what I needed.
Here’s the thing about what happened next; it was the worst case of tough love from the universe I’ve experienced this decade.
I was faced with a choice. I change the way that I think, act and behave, or trauma would probably consume my life and my bed would be where I lived from. I chose no bed. And I knew that my journey would be challenging, so with all my courage I asked for help.
I let the people that I thought could help support my journey by at least witnessing it know what I was experiencing, intimate details. I over shared because I had a false sense of safety.
The people that I had been people pleasing the absolute most all turned their backs on me when I needed to take care of myself. And couldn’t people please anymore.
When I shared my vulnerabilities, raw and authentic, I was intentionally isolated and abandoned by people that I considered family, and some that are literally family.
The people that I had been people pleasing the most were the closest relationships in my life. Our lives were all connected, stitched together apparently by my ability to over please people.
This is very common and not really talked about. The unhealed traumas we all carry with us from what we missed out learning from our parents. We are all in it blind packing our unhealed traumas around hurting eachother with them until we find a witness.
That’s the basics of generational trauma. pick a trauma any trauma, if it is not healed or “handled” in a healthy way you keep repeating the lesson until you learn it, passing the unhealed parts to your children and so on.
Mine is an example of abandonment trauma.
If I don’t behave in a certain way I believe that I am not worthy of acceptance, or love because I was not worthy of love without conditions. That is a belief I used to adhere to. I would people please around it.
Take your family, or those you consider family and look at the dynamics. How often to people you know use their hurt to hurt people? Intentionally or not. How often did you use your hurt to hurt people?
How often has anyone lovingly witnessed your raw vulnerable hurt?
Everyone is so triggered by people experiencing their own hurt, their own felt emotions that there is never space for the person trying to express themselves, because of someone else having a response to their own stuff.
So here’s the generational trauma healing secret… because some of the people you love simply won’t witness your hurt, they don’t want to, and you can’t make them want to.
So you have to use the best resource you have.
If you need support figuring out where to start contact a coach, counsellor, friend, group, podcast, or a book on the topic or area that you wish to engage in.
Every single one of those things is going to teach you how to be a better resource for yourself. Self regulation, self soothing, self self self. How to get self from one place to another. Goal setting and getting yourself there.
You can witness yourself moving forward and making progress; it takes making the actions to make the progress though.
Witness yourself. Observe yourself. Notice your goals and intentions becoming achieved realities.
Witness yourself from the loving and understanding space that you’ve always needed.
Practice it on yourself first, because you need it most.
Witnessing unconditional love in any form is beautiful, but there is something about experiencing it for yourself, from yourself.
You can be your own witness, start by learning self love. What does it mean to you? Define that and see how your life changes when you meet the definition of self love you created.
All I needed was a witness, so I learned to observe myself creating more unconditional love and be one.
I became the witness to what I was experiencing, and I learned how to differentiate feelings from reactions.
I learned to hold space for what is true for me, and what is true for other people even when things are contradictory. People believe from their own lived experiences, myself included.
I witnessed and celebrated my progressions and failures, I learned to take them as they are and not make them a reason to sabotage progress.
I learned to understand where some of my behaviours are stemming from, to learn why and heal those parts too.
I have become capable of so much more than I ever anticipated by witnessing my emotions and not suffocating them.
If you learn to observe yourself without judgement your healing journey will be a beautiful experience.
You become the witness that you need in the times where you are left alone to battle your own shadows.
After all, you’ve been the only one experiencing your journey all along… you are already the only witness to all of your combined experiences.
Be your own witness, cheer for your own small victories one at a time, and witness them change your life.
Post traumatic growth and judgement from others will always be bonded together in our judgmental,stigmatizing, segregating societies.
It is a social norm, and it is disgusting to me.
Just look at how people are segregating other people however they can by color, sexual orientation, nationality, abilities, wealth, vaccination status, physical stature, race, religion, etc this list could go a mile!
Judgment will come no matter what. Just be aware of that, and be your most authentic self anyway.
Shine your light brighter, right in their judgemental faces. Be you, authentically you, let them judge, allow for it. Remind yourself that if you are bothering them by being you, that’s on them.
So those of us that choose post traumatic growth as a lifestyle are signing up for the relentless judgment and criticism from all of those around us, but especially those who even claim to love us.
The choices we make for ourselves are criticized and often even sabotaged by those closest to us, after all we are making changes away from the bad habits we all created together!
Changing your lifestyle to better yourself is criticized by those who haven’t figured those pieces out yet, and celebrated by those who have.
There has never been much said about the path between trauma and post traumatic growth. Typically this is the butterfly phase , where the majority of the population hides in their Cacoon, only to emerge when they are “all better”. People retreat into themselves or addictions because of the fear of rejection they receive for admitting what they need to survive.
This is why it is so celebrated by those of us who have emerged the other side, we know it is harsh and lonely and we know what it takes to make it through to post traumatic growth.
Warriors celebrate the survival of other warriors it’s what we do!!
So, what about for the people like me, who have come to find out that the cocoon method just isn’t going to be in line with my enhanced values; or moral code of ethics. But I wasn’t quite feeling like a warrior yet?
We practice, and it looks a little sloppy at first, because we need practice. Hence the practicing!
It got gritty there at times, and I wanted to give up. But I didn’t. I practiced being a warrior instead.
It might appear messy the way that I have done my journey but it isn’t. It’s just my journey, the conversations and emotional out bursts were things that needed releasing, then boundaries were established to create a healthy environment (my hypothetical caccoon) followed by repeated efforts, in the face of failures I pushed forward.
I’d be some hypocrite to be asking others to be the changes we wanted to see if I were not doing the work for myself.
I practiced being a warrior, rather than submitting… over and over.
I failed and I learned and I tried again, broken and battered, bruised and scared.
I kept standing up, like a warrior.
Post traumatic growth is unchartered territory for the majority of people. It was new for me too, but I learned to be braver faster to become a warrior in my own story.
The only people who seem to have ever heard of post traumatic growth are emerging trauma practitioners, and trauma focused counselling and coaching practitioners.
Trauma is becoming more widely understood out of necessity as the world is still in the midst of the chaos/ aftermath confusion of the pandemic.
In hindsight we are able to see things more clearly, so I have the advantage of both perspectives here.
This journey is mine, all mine. It might get a little messy, but that’s okay, I’m a little messy sometimes. I think we all are; Ive simply decided not to be ashamed of my emotions, or myself anymore.
I get to choose my path and make my own decisions based on what I know. I ought to be able to live without judgement, but the reality is that judgment is a trait that many carry through their lives. It is easy to judge me I’m sure, and judge away if you believe it will serve you.
You could waste your time judging my journey, or you could set out to be your own warrior or your own journey.
Until you’ve lived my journey your judgement will never have authority over my decisions so put your energy elsewhere and save us all your judgment. We have warrior practice to attend!
Hold your judgment; this is my journey not yours… and I am late for warrior practice.
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.