Often we don’t get that change is happening until it’s already here. The birth of change can be troubling, right? Because sometimes we get a little stuck. But ultimately, change has already happened by the time it registers in our brains and what we actually need to do is accept that our reality is different now.
Of course, reality is changing from moment to moment anyway. But when it changes A LOT in a short space of time; when the process is sped up or jam-packed or just significantly different than our current concept of life… that’s when the proverbial hits the fan, yeah?
So all I know is that mid-November, I had an inkling that things were Different. I mean, I had a pretty major hair cut, which is something women do when they’re acknowledging change on some level.
And when I say major, for the first time in 10-15 years, I significantly changed my hair style. Are you hearing me? I’ve more or less had the same hairstyle forever. And as I sat there in the hairdresser’s chair peering at myself in the mirror, these words rose up: Can you chop it off and make it look good? I want it to be a LOT shorter.
Immediately afterwards, I loved it. The girl who’s always had hair at least 3-4 inches past her shoulders now had neck-grazing hair length. It wasn’t short-short, but it was short enough. And to quote a friend: choppy and swishy and good.
But I didn’t really get it then. I was still caught up in the oh-my-goddess-will-I-get-a-new-job-soon momentum, avoiding (for a little while) my health, and planning for my trip to Bali while wondering if I could really afford it. Funnily enough, everything panned out.
I landed a job I love (and still do); I quit sugar – which has had a major impact on my health; my Bali trip was awesome AND due to the speed with which a new job turned up, it wasn’t a financial strain. I found a new and wonderful naturopath and we’re on EXACTLY the same page in terms of treating my health; and, my yoga practice and teaching are going from strength to strength.
Life is getting… better. At the start of this year I was desperately afraid that it wouldn’t. But so far, setting my intentions for Healing and Acceptance has been crazy-powerful. Consequently, there’s all sorts of healing and acceptance going on without my having to put too much effort into it. Or so it seems.
Yet, I was still afraid that all of this good stuff wouldn’t/couldn’t last. That at some point, it was all going to go away again and/or fall apart. Weirdly, I was carrying this around as anxiety that wouldn’t quit. Kinda silly, huh?
Then, last Saturday brought with it another major milestone.
In late 2010, I started having regular kinesiology sessions when I realised I was still struggling with PTSD in some ways. Sure, I wasn’t a complete mess like I had been. But I couldn’t talk about it freely without falling apart. Even though I was once again a functional human being, I wasn’t really okay. Not in my heart of hearts, and it was compromising my ability to move forward in life.
Every single one of my kinesiology sessions delved into the past, purging some other aspect of trauma from my body and mind. I can only liken it to wringing a towel dry – you’ve gotta keep it up til you get all the moisture out… Sometimes dealing with the past was just about being assaulted, but more often than not it also included other traumas from my past.
Because, if you face up to real healing you have to face up to all of your un-dealt with stuff. All of it. It is VERY hard work.
For the very first time last Saturday, I had a kinesiology session in which the past didn’t come up at all. Not once.
Instead, we were dealing with this transition time between what has been, where I’m at and what will be.
I can’t tell you how weird that was. There’s been so many false starts where I thought I was “healed”. Most of it was wishful thinking, however: I wanted to be better but I hadn’t really faced up to the whole truth.
Now I have.
Of course, I’m not saying that I’m 100% sure I’ve dealt with everything that needs dealing with. I mean, can anything ever be 100%?
However, for the first time since late 2005, there are no painful shackles imprisoning me to traumatic memories. I’m no longer just a small shift away from tears and falling apart. I’ve inhabited and owned those experiences instead of dissociating from them.
It’s such a powerful feeling because I’m in control. And free!
These are two things that trauma survivors can’t relate to very easily. For example, being assaulted wasn’t something I had any control over. Neither were the years where I didn’t know I had PTSD, or the flashbacks, anxiety, or depression. I didn’t have the tools or emotional wherewithal to do much about it for many years. I also didn’t have much control over the crash-landing of my adrenal system, resulting in an auto-immune condition.
But now I do have tools, control and wherewithal. I’m physically, emotionally and mentally stronger than ever. However, to become strong I had to expose my weaknesses.
So now you can’t even unintentionally hurt me by talking about assault or PTSD. You can’t accidentally kick over my carefully constructed defences and expose my raw underbelly: my wounds – deep gorges and hidden crevices that they were – have healed properly this time with all infections excised and treated.
Managing my health will be an ongoing balancing act for the rest of my life. But, I know what helps and what hurts. And I’ll do everything in my power to minimise the impact of Hashimoto’s on my body and mind.
Yep, I’ve only just noticed that all of this change – in the form of renewed and strengthened personal power – has arrived.
But then, I got my hair cut again last Friday. Even shorter than last time. Yep.