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overcoming trauma: dealing with PTSD & healing through self-care

May 22, 2017

hi guys!

today i shared my first ever solo podcast episode… talking all about trauma, a specific experience i went through a decade ago that left me with lingering and lasting PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) that i still deal with to this day, how self-care and wellness has been a true game changer for me, dealing with addiction and depression (with someone you love) as a highly sensitive person, and sharing the details of my story in hopes that it may resonate a bit with you. 🙂

the thing about trauma is that it’s different for all of us. it shows up in so many different ways, and can get triggered by the tiniest thing. when we suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, a traumatic experience gets lodged way deep inside of our nervous system and never really goes away.

it works its way into our heart, our brain, and even our body… and in my experience, it can get so bad it can even make us sick. have you ever had the experience of feeling so overwhelmed and stressed out that you catch a cold or come down with the flu? i believe that that was me for the first two years of college because i was a walking advertisement for PTSD… and i had NO IDEA how to deal!

so over the years, i have found my tools. i’ve learned what i need to deal with my emotions and in order to feel good. i truly believe that trauma is not something one “recovers” from, it is a lasting part of us that we learn to deal with and move past. the journey has it’s positive aspects too — it makes us more compassionate, more depthful, more loving beings capable of digging DEEP and appreciating happiness on a whole new level.

so, what has helped me deal?!

in this episode i share that i actively CHOOSE happiness every single day. it is not bestowed upon me just because i live this rad life where i have my dream job, loving humans around me, etc. it’s true work every day to tune in and choose happiness. sometimes my PTSD still gets the best of me. it shakes me to my core when it strikes me so deeply that i don’t even feel like i can get out of it.

the truth is… it crept up really bad recently, to the point where i knew if i didn’t share my story in a podcast episode then i just wouldn’t be sharing my authentic self or really living my fullest truth.

it can still make me feel short of breath and totally paralyzed by sadness, even a decade later. MORE than a decade later. and i know that my trauma story isn’t as bad as it gets — not nearly — we ALL have our crap, but this is how i dealt with mine. and now it’s out there to be shared with you loves via the podcast. 🙂

i wrote a few more blog posts about this, what lead me to the re-emergence of feeling this way last week, etc. and i will be posting those this week and next. also, tommy (you’ll know exactly who he is once you listen to the episode…!) wants to come on the blog for a Q&A session in the coming weeks, so stay tuned for that also. 🙂

i think THAT will be the true post to read. his story is something else and he inspires me very much.

my non-negotiables:

as i mentioned in the episode, i feel very lucky to have so much support in my life and to generally have found so many coping mechanisms that work for me. some of them (not all… but i think all of them are in the episode!) are below, and i credit so much of my health and wellbeing to these things every day…

+ being surrounded by loving humans: this might seem like a no brainer, but surrounding myself with people who lift me up, who GET ME from the inside out (and don’t get totally thrown off and freaked out when i have a PTSD moment), who are compassionate and loving and driven and understanding of sensitivity — those are the people i choose to spend time with. it has caused me to have to separate from some others in my life who i was once much closer to, but it’s better for everyone this way and gives me more room for the people who REALLY set my soul on fire and make me feel heard!

having a SUPER grounding self-care practice: this one is huge for me, and it has taken me this full decade to come up with my self-care routine, which of course is still ever-changing. right now my routine includes… morning meditation, keeping a pretty consistent early to bed early to rise routine (or trying), kundalini breath work, crystals, working with awesome holistic practitioners for reiki, acupuncture, functional medicine, bodywork, massage and more… doing yoga every day, taking baths, reading, and taking time to myself when i need it. i didn’t do this for a long time, in fact i pushed myself to grind HEAVILY for years on end, so this is a huge shift for me that has changed my life in a million amazing ways in the last few years.

YOGA: yes, this falls under self-care but it also deserves a category of its own. yoga has been my go-to, my refuge, my therapy, my happy place, my sweat lodge (lol, but #true), and my greatest teacher for the last decade. ever since the DAY i started yoga, which was about 2 weeks after this traumatic event that i discuss in the podcast… it has been that way for me. i have a blog post all about being back at my home studio, my first ever yoga studio (!!), that is going up later this week that i can’t wait to share.

BREATHING: very simple, very powerful. learning to take deeper, fuller breaths both from kundalini and from my public speaking coach (and soon to be my amazing friend Jenna who teaches breath work classes at the same studio where i teach!) has shifted so much for me and is such a powerful way to reconnect.

embracing my HSP self: i used to be terrified of the intense feelings that would creep up surrounding this experience. i mean… INTENSE. my therapist once asked me if i heard voices in my head and i wasn’t sure how to even answer him because i was so discombobulated from the PTSD that i wasn’t sure what reality was any longer. for the record, i don’t think i ever heard voices that were not my own but i do believe i was on the verge and was about to tip over the edge into serious mental illness if i didn’t get help when i did.

WRITING & turning my deep emotion about my trauma into art: i call it “art” but that is writing, yoga, journaling, being real, making true and real connections with people i love, and so much more. that requires a lot of intense self-work from therapy to meditation to multiple teacher trainings to shed the layers and dig deep into myself… and well, that’s helped me a lot. <3

i would love to hear your thoughts on the episode if you end up listening – it’s episode 32 on the soul on fire podcast which you can find here on my site and here on iTunes!

and if you have not subscribed, rated or reviewed yet and you are a fan of the pod – it would mean the WORLD to me so we can increase visibility in iTunes and keep this pod going, going & going.

love you all, this subject is so dear to my heart and it feels so good to get it all out and share. <3

would love love love to hear your thoughts and your stories below. XO