One good thing about having a challenging past is that I’ve developed cat-like ninja reflexes for trauma recovery. 😊 The turnaround time from impact to recovery is quicker for me the more often I experience it - and I’ve had A LOT of trauma in this lifetime. I realize now that not everyone has the tools to deal with fear/pain/transition so I thought I’d share a few of mine...
Let’s start with an extreme example so that we can work our way back from the worst case scenario: that moment when the bottom falls out and everything stops. You know, that time when whatever it is hits you so hard that there is nothing but slow motion silence and (for me) a distinct hallow pressure/weight on my body. That’s the ‘uh-oh’ launch point that will kick off the cascade of the days and weeks to come.
At the moment of impact, I typically vapor lock and fall into a silent void where I have no thoughts, hear only my breath or a high pitched ringing in my ears, and taste metal. Depending on the severity of the incident, I’ll hang there for an indeterminate length of time before slamming back into my body. That’s when the mind and nervous system kick in and all hell breaks loose...
Enter scrambling thoughts and cortisol dump as the egoic infrastructure tries desperately to make sense of what’s happening. Body tremors, knees buckling, nausea/vomiting, the feeling of electrocution and out-of-body experiences are common at this juncture. I’ve found it best to just surrender and let the full force of the tsunami hit me at this stage, realizing that triage and damage control will come later. I’ve also learned that this is a good time to reach out for support as this is usually the peak intensity. There’s literally nothing else to do but breathe (and scream if you need to).
You’ll likely think at this moment that you will die. Or at least that you want to.
But you won’t. ❤️
From there, we tumble around in strange, harsh, chaotic waters. Nightmares, flashbacks, racing thoughts, panic attacks, anxiety, and insomnia all accompany this round. I used to hang here for months but have gone through it so much that I move through now in days or hours. Eventually, things start to settle down.
THIS IS WHERE RECOVERY BEGINS.
1) Ask for help - having somebody sit with you here can be crucial because we often make it worse for ourselves when we are alone. Having someone to talk to or physically help us here makes all the difference.
2) Eat - or at least try to. Eating will help ground and stabilize you. I’ve found that orange juice and popcicles give me enough glucose to function when I can’t take solid food yet.
3) Hydrate - your body just ran a marathon energetically so drink as much water as you can. I opt for coconut water and Pedialyte to help my body restore.
4) Support Your Nervous System - for this I like epsom salt baths, float tanks, CBD, ashwagandha, drinking aloe vera juice, tapping/EFT, acupuncture, Solfeggio frequencies (youtube), punching a pillow to release rage, and having a good old fashioned cry.
5) Surrender - This is the shitty part. The mind still wants to know ‘why’ and the ego wants everything to go back to normal - but that’s not possible. A tug of war ensues between what was and what currently is - and this is a very uncomfortable place to be. I’ve found that the quicker we can surrender to the discomfort, the faster we move through it.
FACT: Trauma is a part of life. I used to feel sorry for myself and launch into the ‘poor me’ cycle - but now I know better. I may whimper on the ground for a while, but now largely I remember the bigger picture: I’M BEING TESTED BY THE UNIVERSE. This is yet another opportunity for growth, insight, and self realization. This is me meeting myself full throttle to see what I’m made of and how I’ll choose to handle it. THAT VERY AWARENESS is how I’ve been able to go from burning in agony for months to full recovery in less than a week.
After all the sputtering is done, I ask myself these very important questions:
What’s right about this that I’m not seeing?
What is the gift in this death/rebirth cycle?
What choices, decisions and actions did I make to co-create this experience?
Have I been here before? If so, what did I not learn the first time?
Remember, there is always a nugget of gold buried in the pile of shit.
And that, my friends, is how I roll. I hope this is helpful for whatever trauma you have experienced in your life ~ I love you.