heartbeat: Reversing PTSD
I'm back tonight with another edition of the "heartbeat" series. I'm also doing the "heartbeat: EQUILIBRIUM" sessions on Facebook Live in the Facebook group I manage, Sammamish Eastside Community Group" for the next month to help break down the real issues regarding privilege in the oppression of the poor. Those sessions will be a true heart look at what privilege really is and why those with abundance (of all backgrounds) have a specific responsibility to help those who don't have it (of all backgrounds). Privilege is what happens when those who are abundant make it harder for those without abundance and create intentional obstacles for those who are poor and low income to get forward. It's not just a race issue. It's a rich versus poor issue. Those sessions will be devoted to re-establishing equilibrium and shutting down ignorance and privilege so that the pathway for those who have less privilege have a better pathway forward. If you are local and on Facebook, I hope to see you there on Sundays at 11am PST.
Tonight's session though is focused on something more personal and intimate in my life. Some of you may know that I was diagnosed with PTSD a few years ago both on a psychological and physical/neurological level, and this means I had both the psychological and physical components that confirmed the diagnosis of PTSD. It had affected my entire body and had taken a significant toll for years. It wasn't until I walked into the office of a functional medicine doctor two and a half years ago that I was able to finally say that I'd had enough. I was tired of feeling the way I was. I was tired of feeling the setbacks and feeling so far away from how I used to be.
My counselor once told me after this that what was will no longer be again, ie. I couldn't get the woman I was back. I was traumatized, and it forever changed me. The woman I would ultimately be would be different than the woman I was before the trauma. That's what she said, but I was convinced that I could get back to the way God created me in my natural light. I didn't have to let trauma destroy me and who I am. I could get back to what was natural, good, right, rhythmic, intuitive, adaptive, and strong. I could do this, but I couldn't really see the road to how to get there. The trauma, at that time, had more power. My natural force and rhythm was simply deeply disturbed. I had a long way to go from where I was two and a half years ago. To even process the idea that this same functional medicine doctor would start to tell me that I was stabilizing in PTSD and possibly reversing it was unbelievable to me. This meant that, somehow, this monster of rape and abuse had lost its control over my life and that my body was healing.
At first I wasn't completely convinced that my doctor was telling me the truth on this. My body was still having horrible surges and I didn't feel normal yet. This was a very strange new normal to get used to, and I didn't want to get used to it on any level. So, the idea that my body was healing and reversing PTSD was not completely convincing. My doctor continued to work with me and discovered adrenal fatigue and other answers that would ultimately help clear these under the surface problems and start to correct some of the horrible surging that I experienced with PTSD. My physical therapist had done amazing work with my autonomic nervous system that ran synergistically with what my functional medicine doctor was doing with Applied Kinesiology, chiropractic, and cranial sacral care. I was doing my clinical nutrition work and research on PTSD to discover answers there, and between all of us, there was marked improvement in my PTSD without the use of SSRIs or other harmful medications. The new protocol I began started to help the surging, and suddenly, I actually started to look like that vibrant woman I used to be. She was coming back to greet me and show up in my life so that I could live out some level of victory over this monster called PTSD. I was grateful. I'm still recovering and rebuilding my energy after these years of ravaging PTSD, but there is hope.
This series is all about that intimate transformation and connection to the heartbeat, and I vowed to stay as close to authentic progress and connection as I could possible be. It's no longer about staying up with the current politics and pop culture. It's about whether or not I can connect in the life that I'm living rather than having to protect myself everywhere I turned from harm. I've made a point to build a culture where safety plays a strong role but to create an environment where I'm not holding onto more burden than I need to. There's something beautiful about listening to the body and believing in the body to heal. When you are healing, what doesn't belong naturally falls away and what naturally belongs comes to you.
As I've been healing more deeply the last few months, I've noticed how many memories of areas of my life have come up for remembering and just the same for releasing. It was amazing what my body held onto mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically. I remember when my physical therapist was working with me early on that he was just focusing on helping me release all of the trauma rather than focusing on it. It wasn't so important to even talk about it all as much as it was to get it released. It had caused enough damage in my life. This healing feels different. Sometimes, I want to rush it, but I have to remember that my body knows the way. It's been used to living a certain way to be protective, so to live in a way that is more healed simply means that I'm not carrying around so much baggage into everything I do. That's important. If you are carrying around so much baggage that it affects your mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical state, then you are not living your best self and life. You can't even begin to see things as they really are. You become stuck in perception, the culture, and all the old habits of being. I wanted something more than that. After all, I had chosen not to be too involved in the politics and culture of the times (which is more of a power struggle) to focus more on the intimate details of my personal and professional life to create more stable thriving. It didn't require me to keep up with the current state of politics but only to commit to healing.
So, I'd like to end this with this song, "Only Us." It speaks to how I feel right now about these moments and the tentative breakthroughs that could be real and honest. It doesn't mean that everything "out there" is healed. It just means that the work that I'm doing within is making a difference and that I can make clearer decisions about how that is resonating in my daily life and what kinds of people will be in my life because of it. My hope is that it helps me reach the kind of alignment that helps me bring secure relationships into my life. a relationship that will lead to good marriage, good vitality and thriving, and a family. This is why I heal. This is why I commit. There is something higher at work here, and I'm hopeful for the transformation ahead.
We can do amazing things if we are committed and willing to recapture the innate essence we were given from the moment of creation. Thank you to the beautiful people who have been apart of my healing so I could start to get back to the beautiful woman I am. I'm grateful to you, and I hope to be apart of the circle in the times ahead.
'Til we meet again,