*TRIGGER WARNING: violence + sensitive topics*
Sometimes people think that those who have deep trust in life haven't struggled.
I assure you, it's not so. Some of the most devotional, visionary, opened-hearted people I know have been thoroughly broken by life.
I don't talk about my past much because I honestly don't think about it much. But I realize, too, there can be medicine in our stories.
As a teen, I suffered from depression and eating disorders. I was in and out of treatment centers.
I started drinking heavily and using drugs. I became addicted to meth. I was shooting up anything in front of me. I overdosed several times. I was arrested for drug trafficking.
I was sexually assaulted, including having a gun pulled on me twice.
I was violently assaulted in relationships — held underwater, hung out of a window upside down, tied up, smashed into walls and floors, hit, choked, had ribs cracked. My life was threatened. I was stalked.
I got pregnant young. I left the father and raised an infant on my own.
Even after I pulled the outer remnants of my life together, my insides were still burning.
I struggled with my mental health. I had PTSD, severe anxiety, manic-depression, even a diagnosis for dissociative identity disorder at one point.
I suffered chronic pain and illness for which I could find no cause or relief.
Some say that we will always live with our wounds; we just learn to cope better. Or that once an addict, always an addict.
I have not found this to be true.
I have learned from my past, hopefully, I have expanded my ability to show up more compassionately for others.
But I am not weighted by it. There is no chain around my neck, no constant referencing of some sad or scary story — no fear of myself or my choices.
There is no struggle with addiction or self-harm or mental health. Even my chronic pain is now gone.
Some subtle remnants of trauma do still exist. I notice them in a tendency to hold my breath, or pull my body in around itself protectively in certain situations.
I have learned to become much more intimate with myself because of this. I have learned how to care well and tenderly for myself.
And I imagine, with continued attentiveness (specifically, nervous system care), these symptoms will someday disappear too.
I am genuinely happy in my life now, deeply content.
Even when it is hard, I am madly in love with this life. Truly! I am here for all of it. I am delighted by all of it, engaged with all of it.
I share this all because I am proof that radical healing is possible. And for that, sometimes radical hope is necessary.
I am free.
And you can be too.
Whoever you are, whatever your suffering, I want you to know that even in the midst of the darkest of nights, you are immensely loved. You are held by a love that runs through and through and through. You could not escape it if you tried.
My personal path of healing has been non-traditional. It has been one of listening deeply to my heart, to my instinct, to guidance from Spirit.
It has been learning to lean-in, instead of pull away. It was illness that taught me how to heal illness. Trauma that taught me how to heal trauma. Pain that taught me how to heal pain.
If you'd like to explore the best of what I know about self-healing, I invite you to join me online on October 27th for Deep Nervous System Care.