Chronic Illness, Trauma, Healing
I’m inspired to reflect a bit today since I’ve reached the 5 year mark of my diagnosis with Lyme disease. If you’re sensitive to the topics I list above, now’s a good time to stop reading.
It took some months in 2018 to discover that my auto-immune symptoms were linked to Complex PTSD. Before Lyme symptoms hit like a tsunami, I’d already had a clue for some time that healing work was necessary and yoga and the buddhist path were foundational in providing me with down-regulation tools and developing the skill of being able to witness my own mind.
At one point, a western psychologist I went to briefly had me make a list in her office and we came up with at least 20 separate experiences I’d had that qualified as capital-T Trauma. At the time, I thought I needed to work on processing the experience of my husband’s two year brutal fight with leukemia and his tragic death. As it turned out, my work uncovered much more material, including years of abuse by a now deceased orthodontist who would incapacitate me with high doses of nitrous oxide during visits.
This is just one example of a memory that was locked in my subconscious mind. When I finally recalled it during a myofascial session, it made sense that the chronic pain in my jaw, issues with my teeth, and my always contentious relationship with every dentist thereafter had been informed by this particular trauma.
People are usually surprised to learn about the extent of the stuff that’s happened to me because I present as high functioning and achieving. The nexus of my survival strategy has historically been the power of my inner fire. That’s looked outwardly like fearlessness and grit on good days. During less skillful moments it’s been destructive, with many people having been burned by the very fire my mind carefully designed to protect me. I’m at the point in my path where the work is sorting, grieving through, and letting go of old identities. That also involves letting go of relationships with people that are clinging to old versions of me. Really, really rough work - this healing path.
I realize now how perfect the Lyme was/is as a catalyst to healing and finding a deeper sense of meaning in my life. The last three years especially have been an intense magic carpet ride of transformation work using psychedelics, shamanism, body work, sacred s e x u a l i t y and other cathartic healing methodology. I can’t believe the people I have met world-wide, everything I have learned and how I have integrated it into my life. It’s been a huge gift to be in touch with my soul and to have a clarity on what my soul purpose is. It’s also been thrilling to see the impact that my own work has made on my ability to support the clients I work with. I hate the chronic pain I have been in all these years, but I can't honestly say that I regret having Lyme. That’s huge!
Lastly, I feel like I have to say that the cathartic model of transformation works WAY, WAY faster than therapy but it isn’t for everyone. I would not even recommend it for most people with Complex PTSD, despite the fact that it worked well for me. I think you have to come into the work with a high degree of motivation. I think you have to be utterly sick of being imprisoned by your past experience and willing to do anything to break out of that jail. I say this because the work is not as pretty as the results and essentially, every wheel will fall off before you can begin to put yourself back together. There’s everything to gain though.
This summer, with a couple of regular clients out of town, I have space in my calendar for sessions with anyone who is curious about Cathartic or Transformation work. If that’s you, DM me. I love you, keep going!