FOR MY SISTERS AND BROTHERS WHO’VE BEEN THROUGH INTENSE TRAUMA…
I’ve had Keeping Up with the Kardashians playing in background as I worked in last couple of days.
Of course I had randomly chosen the season when Kim gets PTSD from being robbed at gunpoint in Paris.
That episode grabbed my attention. It was amazing watching firsthand on reality TV what PTSD can do to a life….it was like watching a part of my life, fifteen years ago, being played out on the big screen.
She became reclusive. And exhausted. SO SO EXHAUSTED. She talked about this repeatedly afterward….”I’m so exhausted”…”I’m just so tired”….”I can’t do anything.”
YUP ✅ exactly how I felt when my PTSD symptoms destroyed my life back in 2004 after working on a high profile murder case in my career at the time.
I literally could not continue to work. It was like my body had completely run out of energy, and it felt so clear, deep within me, that my energy wasn’t coming back anytime soon. That there was nothing I could do to speed up the process of getting it back, either.
I had to take time off, to rest like a moFo, and I remember waking up, day after day after day, with no workplace to go to, no appointments booked, yet still completely unable to finish 9/10 of the very basic life-keeping things that I needed to do.
😔 getting up to brush my teeth felt like the biggest chore on the planet
😔 I couldn’t keep on top of bill due dates for the life of me. After years of making great money, winning grants, scholarships, awards, high level specialized positions in my career-I couldn’t do the most basic of tasks anymore.
😔 my heart broke every time I thought of (which was at least 20X a day) my cat needing fresh water and more food but it would have to wait a tiny bit longer. I literally could not move (he did not go without food for longer than 12 hours, to be clear, but it killed me to not be able to get up to just give him fresh water and food whenever I wanted to, like I used to!)
Yes, it was that bad. Trauma can demolish life as we know it, so so thoroughly, then there’s nothing to do but WAIT afterward. For time to heal the burnout, recover the nervous system, rejuvenate and replenish the cells, our hearts, our souls 💫 most of all that sense of feeling safe again.
I was so scared all the time, I felt so unsafe in the world, just like Kim did. I was so confused about why I was always scared too!
None of it made sense. I was a high functioning woman one day, the next I couldn’t even cover the basics, that’s all I knew. This was my life now, for who knew how long.
When Kim gathered courage enough to get on stage in front of a huge audience again, she said it felt like she was being kind of silly before…that really there wasn’t anything to be scared of at all (yet of course she honoured her feelings regardless!)
YUP AGAIN ✅ That sense of not being able to trust, right? Especially ourselves. Because what if something happened again? What if that sense of total disempowerment and near-death stress came to overrule and demolish again?
It’s PTSD messing with us. Yet it’s also part of the natural healing process. Toggling back and forth, to process the feelings that couldn’t be totally felt and processed during the trauma – processing them slowly, all the way through, slowly slowly as we’re ready, chunk by chunk—until there’s space enough inside of us again to breathe, be, trust, have energy to live and function again.
This healing journey is intense, so if you’re at one of the hardest spots, be patient with yourself, Love ❤️ it can feel so counter-intuitive to just rest, and BE with the discombobulated feelings of un-groundedness, un-rest, the intense pockets of emotion flying wayward about us on their own terms, at their own pace, on their own schedule – leaving us with a feeling of having zero control, over anything.
The one thing we can do, is go easy on ourselves. Focus on loving ourselves all the way through, exactly as we would do for someone we love, watching them go through this.
Give yourself your all. Do whatever you can with whatever energy you have right now to feel joy. Sleep as much as you want and need to—and let time do her magic, until you move out of this acute phase and you’re ready to get more proactive in your healing. Maybe even start an online business or hobby, one day, to feel more YOU.
To step back into high-achieving you. Slowly slowly slowly. On your terms, with your laptop in your bed with you as you need to.
Right now is FOR YOU.
Be good to you!
Your joy WILL return, I promise you.
I love you!