Start Here.

Start Here. -B. 💋

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?

Or…

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.

Start Here.

-B. 💋

Lesson One. You always have a choice, always.

You always have a choice, always.

It will not always feel like it, but there is always a choice and it is always yours and only yours to make.

Take your time. Make space to think, decide and respond how you wish to respond.

Make choices that serve your highest intentions. Always remember that people pleasing is a trauma response.

Your mindset is a choice in and of itself.

For some matters you may want to seek outside counsel, advice or expertise these things are all often welcomed and encouraged. Seeking outside advice is lovely, but it ultimately still leaves you with the decision to make. What to do with the advice given by counsel.

Many people get stuck here, and often times it is because the advice they sought came through a transfer case of the other persons personal flavour of limitations, and apply those to their own creating more stuckness feelings from having your own stuff muddled up with someone else’s.

Often times we end up taking on the beliefs of someone else and favouring with what they advised over what we intuitively might be feeling; we do this without realizing it as an underlying response pattern. I most certainly replicated beliefs that weren’t mine to hold on to or to try to embody.

I am a recovering people pleaser, and I always have a choice!

The compound trauma response patterns that stem from being conditioned in the ways that I was as a child affected my brain, literally causing minor brain damage, swelling and inflammation cycles that wreak havoc on my body to this day. This is what cultivated the illness my body struggles with today my traumatic childhood combined with never being loved without conditions, as a result I created self-sabotage habits that compounded over time right alongside my undiagnosed complex trauma. They fed off of eachother.

The antidote to trauma I had decided was closeness, kindness and affection. And when I couldn’t find those things to get what I needed I looked for them in the self sabotaging forms- but low level because my ego wouldn’t allow me to be an alcoholic, and I couldn’t be a prescription drug addict my vanity and ego wouldn’t allow me to step to that level. It’s probably the shame I would have endured that kept me away.

My big heart used to take shame right in, that’s how I was abused for a long time! Shame was a punishment in our home, and I was a delinquent.

Emotional connection was not available to me until I figured out how to navigate it for myself by failing at love in the toxic relationships I found myself in along the way.

I found that people never loved me for me, they loved me for people pleasing me ONLY.

That’s when I made the choice to stop people pleasing and be authentic!

I had to slough off so much expectation of myself on behalf of other people.

I had to start moving in patterns that confused people to start breaking free of my old ones.

When I stopped people pleasing the connections that I had in my life as a result of my behaviour were shot out of the sky… and carnage of decades of “love” were left at the rock bottom, and that was my reality.

I was abandoned for refusing to accept being actively abused by people who claim to love me. Who shamed and judged me for how I am achieving my goals on my way to post traumatic growth for myself.

I was abandoned for doing the work, lacking control and grace along the way, and I am okay with it, that is a choice that I made;to be imperfect and authentic.

I choose to be okay with whomever can not accept my journey, they don’t have to!

The bonus part that I learned as a recovering people pleaser is that I don’t have to care about what other people think of me anymore.

If we choose to acknowledge our own needs, alongside someone else acknowledging their own needs it turns any relationship into a beautiful space to hold space for eachother without judgement, jealousy, a desire to adjust an “ism” of the other persons. There is simply space for each person to authentically exist within healthy boundaries.

I don’t know if this makes sense for anyone except those who cope with people pleasing like I did, but I do know that I encounter people who don’t see their choices all the time.

If you begin to release yourself from the invisible obligations that you create, and actually take some time to consider what might make sense for you on a higher level you begin to think in post traumatic growth patterns by looking for choices.

Decide. Choose. Live Authentically. Repeat.

-B.💋

What is wrong with you?

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’m so grateful for my journey.

-B. 💋

All I needed was a witness.

That’s it. A witness to what I was experiencing.

Someone to hold space for what is true for me.

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.

A witness.

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 learned.

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?

Without judgement?

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.

You.

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.

All I needed was a witness.

-B. 💋

Hold your judgements; this is my journey, not yours.

And… I’m late for warrior practice!

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.

-B.💋

Establish yourself as the CEO of your Life.

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.

Been there.

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.

You.

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!

Simply BE the CEO of your own life.

-B.💋

Some of the many days that I have practiced being the CEO of my own life over the past two years. Overcoming and learning as I go… slow and steady! -B.💋

Dear Trauma,

Dear Trauma,

It’s not you, it’s me.

I’m asking you to leave.

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 time for you to let go.

Goodbye Trauma.

-B.💋

It’s been a year… My Diagnosis Anniversary!

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!

-B. 💋

Step Into Awareness

I no longer fear abandonment, because I am aware of how it affects me. I am finally aware.

I spent the early parts of my life appeasing other people to the point of self sabotage in the form of abandonment of my own needs.

I unintentionally abandoned my needs, and I am facing the affects of this in my life today in the condition of my cells, and their ability to keep regenerating.

Abandonment, and the attachment style that nurtured me used to play a guiding role in my life.

I used to behave and act in conditioned ways.

I was practicing behaviours that really didn’t serve anything that I was trying to cultivate or implement in my life.

I was living without awareness.

I was shocked to learn that as you learn what it means to love yourself; this means that you also learn what it means to not love yourself. If you have been there, you know, it is really no surprise that if you are going to change something about your life, you must first become aware of it.

This means that you have to become aware of how you are showing up for yourself before you are capabale of showing up for anyone else. I only became aware of what I was actually in control of after I learned to have awareness.

Before awareness, I was doing “really well” all things considering ; looking back to where I came from, I was thriving…or I thought I was. Right up until my whole world flipped over with this condition, and I realized I was not serving myself in really any of the ways I could be. I was caught in the cycles of life without awareness. I was lost.

If you do not have awareness you have not started the work yet.

Awareness is a prerequisite for this kind of work.

Without it you are often sitting in the dark most likely with discontent scattered around your life.

Being fully aware of the circumsatances you are facing is a messy place to be. It is challenging and it can get pretty dark for most people, but this is where most of us muster the desire to change. This is where the changes happen, this is where the heightened awareness really happens.

Awareness isn’t really about finding all of the good, that comes well after for most of us.

Typically speaking lack of awareness comes from people who aren’t able to see the positives in situations. The most negative people are the most ignorant to awareness and its benefits.

Once you have awareness you have the base for everything else you need, because you understand where you are, the good, the bad and the ugly and then you have to cultivate a plan to get through it all.

Awareness allows you to see yourself in the whole picture, where you stand in relation to everyone and every thing around you.

You can see your own faults, and how you must change to fulfill your personal alignment… you acknowledge the things that don’t serve you and take action away from old habits; but it all starts with awareness.

It’s about taking awareness to the depth that allows you to look at your ego, and acknowledge those shadowed pieces of you too. It took the abandoned shame and guilt and the awareness.

Once you step into awareness, you give yourself more opportunities to heal.

-B.💋

Mind the gap.

There is no easy way around it.

There will be a gap.

The gap between where you are and where you want to be. The gap between who you are and who you want to be.

The inevitable gap.

The secret is that YOU are responsible for building the bridge over your gap.

I was searching high and low for help, someone who could direct me through making sense of all of the nonsense.

I had a few pretty good ideas about how I didn’t want my life to look, including what was at the time, my reality. Being in my bed during my pain cycles or staying heavily medicated so that I could participate in normal daily activities was not the way I had originally planned to live my life. If there was a way to get out of that situation- I was going to find it.

I was living the life that I wanted to escape, and much like anyone who is faced with a huge shift in perspective with a trauma, mine was that I was forceably removed from my career, and my life, placed firmly in my bed to chase a mariot of symptoms with zero resources or funding, or real help available to me.

I was left to bridge the gap, without the energy to even get out of bed, let alone shower and take care of myself…. when I have children and a life to tend to.

As a survivor of abuse, feeling helpless triggers something far deeper for me emotionally and then there are physical symptoms and consequences that follow for my body.

I have been living this life for a year and a half.

I haven’t been just laying down and waiting. I have been fighting and advocating for myself through both the medical and mental health systems as well as the insurance company that funds my long term disability.

I have been learning, and researching ways to bridge the gaps that I have. I have also been relentlessly searching for helpful help that is available, with zero funds, symptoms piling up oh, right, and a damn pandemic, you know just to see how skillful I really am at this balancing act called life, with both of my hands tied behind my back.

I have had to battle hard against my past to bridge the gap for me emotionally, shifting to more emotionally intelligent ways of responding to situations- rather than reacting.

I am learning how to bridge those gaps. I am using cognitive behavior therapy techniques to bridge those gaps, to change the beliefs that I thought I had about myself. This is gritty work, soul work when you take the time to do it with your wholeheart.

I was looking for a way to help myself, because frankly, I couldn’t wait any longer.

I found a podcast by Brooke Castillo. She is a Master Life Coach, she teaches coaches how to coach- first themselves, and then other coaches. It was called “how to feel better”. It is the first podcast that she created, and I listened to it- and kept listening to everything that she has to offer.

Her teachings offer ways to coach yourself from the root causes of your issues, and build self-confidence and resilience in the fact that the emotions that you experience have reasons to be there. She does a wonderful job of explaining the map to mindfulness in a way that doesn’t feel like she is trying to sell you something. Her podcast is totally free and touches on important cognitive basics, that I was surprised to find I was doing to myself. Not only does she offer suggestions about what might be wrong, she also offers the solution that fixes the root of the issue.

Listening to her podcasts let me know that I was not alone in the things that I was experiencing. Although she doesn’t directly dive into the mental health aspect of things at first, self help really is mental health maintenance or mental health insurance and she does encourage mental health as a way to literally feel better.

For me, my whole health depends on me bridging the gap for as many things as I can every single day, and my mental health is no exception, consistency is literally the key to my wholebody wellness.

If you are a science nerd like me and want to dive into the pain science behind Centralized Sensitization Syndrome, or even just the basics of chronic pain science you will begin to see the patterns of how small steps of consistency create upward trends in feeling better that are long term, because they actually regenerate brain cells and neuroplasticity.

I want to break all of the cycles that are within my control, that are no longer serving me and learn to manage myself better around the things that are out of my control- and not worth my energy. That was the goal that I made for myself.

From my bed I started to establish the gaps that I wanted to bridge.

There were so many gaps. I am growth focused, so I am always willing to learn.

I faced as many of them as I could handle at any given moment with every single scrap of energy I could muster… I progressed forward- at a snails pace…and far from perfect… but forward.

I faced the hard conversations with my husband, over and over again, until we got through to each other what we each needed to hear- that alone almost cost us our relationship. But we inched forward.

I wanted to actually break cycles of anger that I had left from my childhood.

Be a better Mom, a better wife, a better me. Those were my wishes from my bed. I wanted desperately to be whole body healthy, and to feel better so that I can get back to being a Mom, wife and get back to work and into my life.

I started to listen to the podcast, and I started to connect the dots for myself. I started to un-learn and grow through the things that used to hold me back.

Over the next few months, I was finding the courage to have conversations with people that were supporting me.

I had the courage to speak my needs, and speak my authentic feelings and share terrifying experiences that I was re-living during what some people define as a spiritual awakening, or cognitive dissonance if you want to keep it psychological.

I was opening up to people in ways that I had never experienced opening up. I was sharing, I was elated to feel myself again, alive and connected on deeper levels.

I had cultivated motivation, and seen the growth that I could accomplish with mindfulness and determination.

I shared my authentic experiences and was told that I was no longer welcome with people that once welcomed me with open arms because of the experiences.

This year is my gap year I suppose. Considering I just finished high school last year as an adult, I suppose it is ironic enough to fit nicely in the juxtaposition that is my life.

I didn’t realize that the gap would be so jagged and messy.

I didn’t realize that being authentic would be the hardest-best thing I ever did for myself.

I was vulnerable- and shamed for it, and the crazy part was I didn’t care. I somehow knew that figuring out how to take care of myself was the most important thing.

The thing that helped me feel better the fastest, and safest was mindfulness and self awareness.

I was left alone in the depths of my old experiences, dredging through all of the lessons that I had been too afraid to see before. I went and found them all-brought them into the light,(with the help of some professionals when I was in crisis, but largely on my own) and used them all to build the foundation of the bridge that will one day stand tall over what feels like this huge gap of mine.

I have been using this gap year to build bridges to the things that I want in my life. I have been learning and building as much as I can, as often as I can through my pain cycles.

I want to build bridges to better health physically, as well as mentally. I will wade through whatever comes my way, willingly now, to contribute to the building of the bridge.

One of the things that I started to do really early on in my journey was simply looking at things in the sense of what they are doing to serve me… are they hurting or helping?

I concluded very quickly that things like eating potato chips in my bed was hurting.

Drinking all coffee and nothing else until 3 pm is probably not a good thing to do to a human body, I put that one in the hurting pile.

As I watched the pile of things that I was doing add up, and be so heavily weighted in the “hurting” category- I decided that mental health was a top priority still…. it was still the answer.

I needed to prove for some strange reason that some of my issues could be as “simple” to fix as adjusting a few mental health habits, healthy whole food, and exercise.

What I ultimately have been able to accomplish in the past year is to identify where I need cognitive behavioral therapy, looked at it from a causal coaching perspective, and I have really been able to put together a number of pieces of this big bridge I am building literally by simply practicing being uncomfortable for the sake of positive change.

I have been lessening the gap between who I am and who I want to be each time I make a choice that is helping over hurting.

I am still waiting for surgery and my pain is cyclical- but I have decided to not let that stop me. I have decided that when my number is finally up to have the surgery to take away the physical pain… I want to have my hormones in a condition where I do not need to rely on medication.

When I started my journey I truly didn’t understand the concept of the gap between who you are and who you want to be, or what you are doing and what you want to be doing… it can apply to any goal. Any situation where you are in one place and you want to be in another.

There will be a gap, it is inevitable, and that is where the magic actually happens… if you let it.

So, mind the gap.

-B.