I think it was a Thursday.
I was on my yoga mat, being asked to set an intention for the day. I do this most days. As my physical body relaxed and my mind began to drift, a very clear thought bubbled up and nested in my mind.
Angie, you can feel better.
I know I’m not the first person to be shrouded in grief, depressed about managing ongoing health issues and engulfed in trauma from an adverse childhood. I’m also not the first person to have prolonged elevated levels of stress hormones coursing through my body, causing multiple body systems to malfunction.
Chronic stress from deep seeded trauma over the course of many years may be the root cause of my autoimmune issues.
I’ve recently learned that you can reprocess the way your brain stores traumatic information, especially memories from childhood. When we’re kids, we don’t have the knowledge and reasoning skills to work through extreme emotions and situations unfolding before us. These moments linger in our minds and surface when triggers remind us of the way we felt, what we smelled or what we saw in those moments.
Trigger after trigger after trigger can become unbearable to the point of physical and mental paralysis. Nerves in our bodies freeze. Our reasoning skills cease. The smallest tasks become overwhelming. Our bodies can only fight, run or shut down.
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I’m not a doctor, nurse or medical expert. I’m a patient living this experience and doing everything I can to understand what my body is experiencing, so I can finally heal.
If any of this resonates with you, I suggest looking up information on the ACES study, EMDR Therapy and reading the book The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma by Bessel van der Kolk M.D., a trauma researcher and expert in Boston.
I never really understood the full definition of trauma and the layers of effects it can have on our physical bodies and mental health until my therapist unraveled the mystery for me.
I finally have the tools, courage and support system to make another stride in my healing journey. It’s taken months to decide if I’d let this be public, and although I’m not sure to what degree I will share, I hope my candor and insight helps lead others down a path of wellness and unapologetic care for themselves.
I can heal. You can too.
Until next time,
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