(be sure to read to the end and submit your comment!)
So, it’s like this....
We all have our trauma and recovery stories, right? To be honest, there was a time I thought I’d never heal.
You see, in 1981 (when PTSD was only being talked about in terms of veterans of the Vietnam War) I survived a horrific trauma. A thirteen-year-old civilian kid, I was given a routine antibiotic for a routine infection and suffered anything but a routine reaction.
An undiscovered allergy to the medication turned me into a full-body burn victim -- inside and out, almost overnight.
I spent weeks in a quarantined burn unit room in a New York City hospital. I lost 100% of my first two layers of skin. I had a Near Death Experience that rocked me to the core. And, oh, yeah: None of the doctors had ever seen what was happening to me. #nohelpatall
By the time I was released from the hospital I had experienced fear, terror and excruciating pain. Yes, I had lost my skin. Even more importantly, I had completely lost myself.
For the next twenty-four years I struggled with anxiety, fear, anger, insomnia, recurring nightmares, mood swings, depression, suicidal thoughts, fibromyalgia, hypervigilance, control issues, anorexia, digestive issues, mystery illnesses no specialist in Manhattan could diagnose -- and the absolute inability to speak about what happened to me.
I lost jobs, friends, lovers, and seriously deteriorated my closest family relationships.
A complete mental and physical meltdown drove me into therapy. Five years of talking about the past worsened my symptoms until I feared for my life. Something had to change.
I decided to take control of my recovery. I decided I wanted to be free once and for all of every symptom that had been interfering with my life.
So, I dove into research about trauma psychology and healing methodologies. I read everything from the dawn of trauma theory in the 1880s to modern day. I started to understand that simply talking about the past does not heal it. The memory of trauma lies buried deep in our body's cells and our subconscious mind's programming. I came to understand that these are the most crucial elements to engage in healing.
Without structure, plan, guidance or guarantee of success, I launched my own trauma recovery protocol. Not knowing what would happen next I made the commitment to myself that I would keep going until I reached the final outcome I desired. In short, I launched what I now affectionately call 'my healing rampage'. (Spoiler alert: It worked!)
First, I found a trauma trained professional to diagnose PTSD.
Second, I combined a physical program (I went on a joy quest that had me moving my body in a healing way every day of the week) with the professional assistance of a practitioner trained in holistic modalities designed to rewire my subconscious mind and deactivate the trauma neurology.
Within a few months my physical, mental, and emotional symptoms started to wane. Imagine my surprise (and relief!) when they ultimately and entirely disappeared.
I learned a lot during my own trauma and PTSD recovery. I learned about the importance of hope and belief – from inside myself and from those working with me.
I also learned about the critical elements of self-empowerment, vision, meaning and identity. Plus, how we can harness those core strengths and apply them to healing trauma.
By the time I completed my trauma recovery transformation I’d learned a lot about what it takes to release the past, connect to the present, and build a new future. I’d also developed a really deep desire to do something with all that knowledge.
Since then I have made it my focus to inspire, guide and assist survivors to overcome sadness, worry, and fear as they rebuild their lives after trauma and adversity.
I've taken my ideas to the stage as a keynote speaker; to the web as an award-winning PTSD blogger; to the page as an award-nominated author; and to the audience as a trauma recovery specialist, workshop/seminar leader and mentor.
For many years I hosted the radio program and podcast series, Changing Direction, a show dedicated to interviewing the top experts in the fields of trauma, psychology, and neurobiology.
It's been almost 15 years since I made my full recovery. But I’m not unique. Take a look at what other survivors have to say about their experience of healing. This is the third and final step in your prep for our VIP Experience:
Follow this link to dip your toe into the healing pool, and then shoot me a note through the form below about which survivor’s healing comments most closely resonate with your own desires. Is it one in the videos, the audios, or the written word?
I'm looking forward to hearing what matters most to you - and then putting our heads together to hatch a plan to get you there.
Holding the vision for your healed self…