This is the fifth article in the series, “The 12 Healing Tools“. These articles outline the things that I have found most useful in my journey to overcome childhood trauma and abuse, drug addiction, and debilitating depression.
I put off writing this article because it’s a pretty deep topic for me. There are so many reasons why yoga helped me, some of which I continue to learn about based on scientific research1, 2; and the ways that it helped me are vast and continue to unfold every year I practice. So I suppose I will start at the beginning, even though the beginning was pretty boring. 😉
One of my friends suggested we sign up for a series of Wellspan Health yoga classes around 2003 (don’t quote me on exact dates). I remember it being a struggle financially for both of us. We were single females in recovery and it seemed like there was barely enough money for the basics, much less something frivolous like a yoga class. But somehow, we found a way.
I don’t remember feeling like much was happening in the beginning – unlike during the free Buddhist meditation classes we were also attending around the same time. If anything, I felt self-conscious and really out of place! But for whatever reason, I kept trying to find affordable classes to attend.
Continue reading Yoga as a Healing Tool
In September of 2019, I watched my stepdad (Joe) take some of his last breaths on Earth. His cause of death was Stage IV lung cancer. I witnessed others die while volunteering at hospice, so I certainly didn’t think that my stepfather’s death would have any more of an impact than the ones I already saw. After all, Joe and I were never really close.
But I was wrong.
Watching Joe die, going to the funeral, and the whole grieving process brought up the loss of my grandmother and the separation with most of my family that occurred due to her death. It brought up a sense of sadness that I never really knew this man that was the closest thing to a dad I ever had. And of course, it brought up all the painful memories that this man had given me through his years of addiction and abuse.
Continue reading Why I Decided to Drastically Cut Back on Social Media
This is the fourth article in the series, “The 12 Healing Tools“. These articles outline the things that I have found most useful in my journey to overcome childhood trauma and abuse, drug addiction, and debilitating depression.
At the end of 2003, I hit rock bottom – again. Looking back, I think it would be appropriate to say that I had a nervous breakdown. The stresses of a bad relationship, living a life not authentic to who I was, working long hours at a high stress job, my past drug abuse, and undiagnosed PTSD all took their toll. But, as many of you know, once you hit bottom, the only way out is UP. So once again, I pulled myself together to find a way out.
I had been practicing yoga and going to Buddhist meditation classes for about a year after this breakdown when I decided to go on an elimination diet. My gut was totally messed up and I was hearing a buzz about how going gluten free could fix that. So for two weeks, I ate all veggies and rice. When I introduced bread again, I thought I was going to die. The stomach pains and racing heart were unreal! I had my answer and stayed entirely gluten-free after that.
Continue reading How Changing My Diet Changed My Life
Check this out: Research is being conducted on probiotics’ impact on the gut-brain axis and how these supplements can alter your mood. Research in pigs was the first to find a connection between levels of gut bacteria and stress hormones, and a study of mice demonstrated a relationship between the gut microbiome and anxiety. Sometime in the near future, we may better understand how specific ‘psychobiotic’ supplements can help boost mood and impact symptoms of depression.
Read the full article here: https://ubiome.com/blog/post/can-psychobiotics-actually-alter-mood/
I am feeling called to share my story during Mental Health Awareness Month. I will try to keep it brief, even though I could go into great detail about a lot of things here!
Looking back, I think my mental health issues were set in motion around age 5 when I was separated from my grandmother, who I looked to as my primary caregiver up until that point. After that separation from my grandmother, I found myself being raised in an explosive household with an abusive alcoholic / drug addict stepfather and a very young mother who barely knew how to take care of herself, much less another tiny human. All of this early trauma set me up for a lot of issues surrounding safety, trust, anger turned inward, etc.
Continue reading May is Mental Health Awareness Month: My Story
I write these words because I am 100% sure there are many more out there who have felt this way and/or are feeling this way right now. I want you to know that you are not alone. And there is a reason for everything that is happening in your life. Have faith, stay strong, keep seeking, and amazing things can happen.
As far back as I can remember, I felt like ‘reality’ wasn’t quite the way it seemed. And I especially knew that things were NOT the way those ‘grown ups’ in charge of me were telling me they were. It always felt like I was missing an important piece of the puzzle, like everybody was holding out on a key piece of information and I didn’t know why.
I remember things that my family tells me I shouldn’t remember – I was too young to remember they say. I feel like I came into life with a lot of memories. Memories that most of us want to forget when we embody, that blissful state of amnesia we choose to operate from most of our lives. But some of us ask to remember, NEED to remember – so we can do the work we came here to do. I am one of Those.
Continue reading A Burning Desire to Know the Truth of Reality