A Case Against Positivity

life sucks

Hear me out.

I overheard a girl talking to her two friends on the way down from the Chief a couple of days ago saying:

“I’m really trying to be more positive in life and look at the bright side of things.”

There were excited mini-cheers of endearment and support following from her buds.
Which is cool n stuff…truly, if you’re at a place in your life where equanimity floods your daily conduct, and Muggle things like getting eggshells out of your scramble leaves you unphased, or running through the pissing rain has you all “extra shower”, or your roommate’s bass from their music upstairs (why is it ever OK to listen to Pit Bull okhmmm?) then (*cough cough Buddha) you’ve past some lifetimes and #jahbless.  But this is a case for being Human and understanding that the only way out is through.

Enter the concept: spiritual bypassing.  Basically, this is when we try to act as if we’re already where we want to be in life, without taking the truck through shit to get there.

This is not a negative striving though, truly, it’s actually pretty damn (not darn, never darn, sweet Jesus) beautiful.  The fact that we really genuinely want to be the best people we can be as quickly as possible is lovely.  The problem is that the very experience of human states and accepting our annoying complaints without superimposing rainbows and butterflies into our life is what leads eventually to that learned lesson in life.  When we go through the acceptance, the ability to let go of Life’s little annoyances I think eventually lets go of us.  Because the thing is, maybe we can teach ourselves to plaster a smile on our faces whenever we feel a frown, and conditionally impose the stimulus-response Pavlovian science on our human habits, but for how long? How long before we see a puppy shit on our newly planted vegetable garden and just lose it? Before Pit Pull comes on in the checkout line when we’re hangry and our blood curls and we take it out on a loved one when we get home after seeing that dinner’s not prepared as was promised?

My point is that I believe if we are on the path to self-betterment, then naturally we will want to achieve what we aspire towards.  Of course, ideally, I really wish that I wouldn’t get to frustrated when my gut is fucked up (STILL) from antibiotics and I’m shitting like 10x/day.  Of course maybe you don’t want to feel anger running through you when you hear yet another vegan rave about cashew cheese or zoodles (is that just me?), or when your latte tastes burnt, or your yoga class is cancelled, or or or or…but fuck, we feel those things though, don’t we?  Is it really our faults we came to this earth, learned our behaviours, got shit passed down from neurological pathways and evolutionary tendencies for survival of the fittest such that our minds are wired to be little pieces of shit?

Nope.

So, I stopped the group of friends on they way down and 1.5x podcast speeded through the above to them (thanks for not telling me to fuck-off), and they were like “Whoa, true, hey?”

I honestly trust that there’s a process we go through to get to where we want to be, how we want to feel.

I don’t let go of my thoughts.  I meet them with understanding, and then my thoughts let go of me.

–  Byron Katie

So, I’m choosing to acknowledge the suck.  I choose to accept that I feel pissed right the fuck off sometimes, and others, maybe pissed a little the merde ouf.  Either way, I feel it, name it (powerful practice to name the emotion–creates a distance from living it, and observing it.  With this space, we can see it pass through us and not embody us), accept it.  That’s step one.

I think if I tried to just press fast-forward, I would end up exploding and throughout the process, most likely indulge in more coping mechanisms to dissipate the excess “scabbing” that takes place to bottle-neck the emotions.

e-motion: energy in motion.

A.K.A. that shit has gotta move.  Somewhere.  So avoiding it just traps it.  Facing it is bloody bold and courageous.  Feeling the feeling, and acknowledging it is both empowering and admirable.  If we simply express the anger without acknowledging it, then we are no more awake that were we to superimpose happiness on shitty situation.  So the golden formula is:

Feeling + Acknowledging = Growth

The whole point of spirituality is connecting more deeply with ourselves.  And what better way than to let ourselves feel.  After all, truly, our soul genuinely is love, and with compassionate understanding, the shit will eventually brush off of us, and with gentle insight and inquiry into our feelings, we’ll uncover what’s beneath them.

Something like that.

Namaste, mother lovers.

Ps. If you haven’t yet listened to Iliza Shlesinger saythatfivetimesfast then you have so much room for activities!

A “Human” Professional

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Hi, my name is Melanie, and I’m a recovered Bulimic, and recovering Anorexia Nervosa monkey-minded human being.
I’ve sat with crippling depression, anxiety, and taken laxatives while scared shitless of the idea of imperfection.
I’ve run trails in a healthy state, and I’ve also gone to morning swim practice in Uni while probs still drunk from the bar having come home a couple hours before.
I’ve aced papers, and I’ve also retaken courses.
I’ve googled ways to purge, tried many, and I’ve searched the shit out of the internet about how to heal.
I’ve gone to India to become a certified Yoga instructor, and I’ve pranayama’d the shit out of datstuff.
I’ve traveled across the world to New Zealand and am now a certified Holistic Nutritionist.
I’ve been a vegetarian, I’ve done Paleo, I’ve hashtagged #lchf like it’s going out of style, and I’ve been a devout “I Quit Sugar” spokesperson.
I’ve gone from eating full tubs of sugar-free/fat-free yogurts with 8 packets of TwinSugar in one sitting, to beef jerky.
I’ve found that food isn’t as important as the emotions behind it, and that sugar is OK.
My beliefs have changed more times than pugs fart (and they fart a lot….#teamantipugs).
I’ve learned that you can’t hate yourself into a version of yourself you can love, and that you can’t find yourself in New Zealand, or anywhere other than inside yourself, for that matter.
I’ve learned that happiness has no correlation to your pants size, bra size, or bathing suit size.
I’ve learned that being present is the most important part of life, and that awareness brings solace in darkest of times.
I’ve observed myself self-numbing, escaping, and also sitting right with pain; a bloated belly post-binge, an emotional smack in the face after a sexual abuse, a stress fracture from literally running away from myself.
I’ve honoured and dishonoured myself, and I’ve fluxed the shit out of life.
And through it all, I am exactly where I am today, flawed as ever, and loving myself anyways and always.

No one is perfect, and no one will ever be a “certified perfect professional”, in my humble opinion.

I’m certainly not, and this by no means takes away from the ability for someone to have a gift to help, myself, or anyone else.  In fact, the warriors with battle wounds, healed and healing are the ones I connect with and trust the most.

I’ve been afraid of sharing my story lately, uncensored, because of the stigma of mental health shame, and the thought of being unhirable in flaw.

Fuck.
That.
Shit.

This is me, there’s you, let’s do this shift.

Bang Head Here

Grasping: the act of holding on to something, anything, under the belief that it’s the answer to all problems. 

What do I grasp for when I feel dis-ease?

  • Can’t run? At least I can ride.
  • Can’t find peace in Toronto? At least there’s other space in the world.
  • Rain? Indoor trainer.
  • Out of coffee? Go to cafe.
  • No wifi? I’ll use my data.
  • No eggs? I’ll buy some.
  • Didn’t get the job? Another one will come. 

Alternatives are great. There’s merit to adaptability, faith and trust.  My purpose in this post is about how this is all a form of filling a gap, filling a “supposed” gap. Filling space. But what happens if that space is left empty?

I’m filling space right now. My laptop’s broken, and I’m jonesin for my fingers to type in the search engine for the comfort of knowing I’m working towards finding a job on Vancouver island. So I’m writing about this feeling. I’m writing this on my phone as an alternative. 

Behind the filling of space to use my phone is the filling of space to find a job. I didn’t get the job I applied for in Tofino at The Homestead. The job was at a retreat centre where I would be a yoga instructor and holistic wellness practitioner. I allowed myself to feel like this job completed me. I felt pretty down after finding out that the retreat was shutting (had to laugh bc phone autocorrected that to shitting…) down for winter and there was no job for me. I was to be the hostess and caretaker of the place during the winter season as they’re an Airbnb. What really shook me, was the I got the call (e-mail….and I called back) after sharing my social media platform info which is not discrete about my journey in fighting Eating Disorder. 

And so, I felt like it might be that this was the reason for the decline of my position. I felt like💩.  Is mental health battling a reason for being unhirable? I asked if there was anything in my application that I should be aware of for future applications that may have been deferents for hiring. She said no.

You know what I did then? I went in my IG and took “ED Warrior” off my description. I only put it back on yesterday. 

What I realized: RIGHT NOW, I have everything I need to be the practitioner of my soul’s calling. Not when I get “the job”. Not if I eat _______. Not if I get 7.8K IG followers. But now. Any place I expend this energy in, is only a platform. But right now, this is me and I have all I need. So, damn straight I’m an ED warrior.

I can easily fill space, find alternatives with another job, a bike ride, a steak…but to sit with the space unfilled, damn. 

Can I bang my head now? I think I think too much.

I’ve saved a wicked (long….read it in #pigeonpose, very worth the read) article to share which expresses this concept. I highly recommend you read it: https://tinybuddha.com/blog/connect-with-yourself-in-a-world-designed-to-distract-you/

No grasping, trusting. No biking today, no “certainty”, no saviour in any alternative, only the beat of my own heart and breath right now. 

And everything is alright forever and forever and forever.

The Body on Stress

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I truly believe that the person eating a Big Mac is better off than the one stressing over whether their dinner is made with “free-range-organic-non-GMO” meat.

Stress is the response in the body when our resources are strained from an event that requires adaptation to our current state.

I’ve been addicted to a certain level of stress brought on by the hormone cortisol.  I think that our society in the Western world is addicted to a high level of cortisol.  It my belief that is is why we crave more and more sensation, more and more distraction, more and more numbing. We find these outlets through both addiction to highly engaging substances, or ones that cause us to dissociate:

  • drugs
  • coffee
  • alcohol
  • food (sugar)
  • exercise
  • endorphin rush from stunts
  • self-harm (general term)
  • the third arm: the phone

I’m bringing awareness to my addiction to cortisol, and I’m using mindfulness-based techniques to tune back to my inner nature, one of peace, calm, ease.  

So much of my days have fallen pattern in the go-go-go lifestyle, with the supposed belief that in order to deserve, I must have endured.  That the level of stress is a badge of honour.  This is a false belief that my subconscious has taken to believe as truth.  This is a false badge of our society.

This is why concepts like Blue Mind and Shinrin Yoku which are predicated on the foundation that nature is a healer.  Shinrin Yoku, or roughly translated, “forest bathing”, is actually a treatment prescribed by doctors as a means to lower stress and anxiety.  The invisible illness of mental unrest is of integral vitality to these cultures, whereas in our society it is often swept under the rug to make way for illnesses that are recognized and can be visibly seen.

After all, the people who I admire the most are the calm ones who in spite of struggle, are able to be peace.  

I don’t think I’ll ever forget one spin session in uni when I was an avid member of the Triathlon Team, when my beautiful pro triathlete friend Angela Quick (yes that’s her real last name, and it rings true to her ferocity as an athlete) had a big brick workout this particular training day.  We were together as a group doing a 2-3hr ride, and a run.  I had a 2 hour ride, 30 min run.  She had something like a 3 hour ride, 1-hour run (prepping for some longassrace).  I had been really anal about getting enough sleep and rarely had fun in the final year of uni.  This chick, who comes out first among the top athletes in the whole world at national events, hopped on her bike at the start of the ride expressing quickly, “I am so tired and hungover from dancing all night at Cowboys yesterday.”

I was like:

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She proceeded to engage in #beastmode and finish the workout so strong.

Ange continues to be the support I call on when I’m whining about my anxious mind when I am sick/injured and can’t train.  This is where my mind is craving that set-point of habitual stress I have come to be addicted to.  I’m weaning off it.

Angela honours her needs:

If she is sick, she rests.
Injured? Rest.
Pool closed? You guessed it: rest. (not like I was in uni, instead, finishing a ride, whereas she went back to bed — swim is at darkoclock in the AM).

She’s an inspiration.

So stress:

Are you addicted?

Do you find yourself busying yourself, rushing so fast when you have nowhere to go, no plans.  And even if you have plans, WHAT is so important, that even 5-10 mins late is worth the cortisol in your body?

I truly believe that the person eating a Big Mac is better off than the one stressing over whether their dinner is made with “free-range-organic-non-GMO” meat.

Let’s bring awareness to the stress level at which we function most often.  Let’s look at that dial, and dial it down a bit.

What if life were easy?

#riddlemethat

How I Overcame my Eating Disorder: Forest Greenwell

Forest is a dear friend of mine who I met when I first moved home to Toronto from New Zealand.   She was behind the counter at a cafe I walked into, in a state of low, really ungrounded and upset.  She immediately took me to the back kitchen, leaving the front counter, and sat me down for an hour without blinking an eye, wordlessly signalling to the staff to cover for her.

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She is one hell of a woman, and has founded the wellness initiative Her Habitat, a safe space for anyone to share their struggles that accompany our belonging to this collective human condition called Life.  She connects people and helps the world feel supported; her purpose is brilliantly described in the powerful statement;

You are not alone.

Bless her soul.

She is a warrior of a myriad of Life’s journeys, and battles on while dancing, singing, and doing really cool shit.

Here is her story:

My Eating Disorder Journey:

For a significant part of my life, foods purpose wasn’t to nourish me. I used it to mask, unplug, hide from my feelings. I fluctuated constantly between states of starvations and near illness from binging. I hated my body because I was always tired and never felt good, I hated my mind because I felt weak for giving in to either side of such an intense spectrum, and consequently I hated my friends who had healthy relationships with food. I hated my clothes that never consistently fit me properly, I hated the emotions I was hiding from instead of dealing, and more than anything I hated anything that challenged my way to cope.

I am not proud to say that I actively chose to stop eating. I willingly chose Anorexia over health. I did this with the knowledge that it would get the attention of those around me, and that this would be an easier task than asking for help or doing the very hard work of implementing what I had learned in my years of therapy. I often found myself bingeing and soon my middle ground became Orthorexia instead of Anorexia. I was obsessive about eating healthy. It completely consumed me. And I was still bingeing – now I was just extending my stomach with fruits, veggies, and whatever else I had deemed healthy enough to be able to enter my body.

My breaking point mentally was in Wal-Mart. I was staying with my grandparents for a summer in British Columbia after I had finished high school, and they watched me suffer through hours of running, strict meal plans and timing, and forcing myself into yoga positions that didn’t heal me because I didn’t understand. I was grocery shopping and my grandmother asked me if I wanted any cookies.

Do you know what it’s like to be 18 and having a tantrum in Wal-Mart because your Grandmother asked if you wanted cookies?

I’ve never felt so ashamed in my entire life.

Not just of the reaction, or that situation, but also at my cart full of unsatisfying foods that were not healthy for my mind, not healthy for my soul, and ultimately not even balanced or nutritious enough to give me proper nourishment. I was withering away, moody, disrespecting those that loved me, and fighting against a body and a mind that were desperately needing to heal.

I spent hours meditating in the woods trying to find answers to this longing I had. This void I needed to fill, while simultaneously being terrified of what would happen if I was full. If I did feel joy. If I allowed myself to be human.

The answer was simple, and because of this, so much harder to face:

I was looking for attention.

That’s all it came down to for me. Even though I tried to make myself and my habits invisible I felt offended and unimportant that no one had intervened. I was upset that no one could see that I wasn’t healthy, I was hurting myself. But then I realized I could see it. I could see what I was putting myself through and it was only my job and responsibility to deal with that.

It still took me years to get out of the habit of purging and bingeing. I still fall back on it sometimes. It’s an easy way to remind myself of the “power” I have. It’s also a slap in the face when I feel like shit and realize that there is no one to blame but myself. Not my stress, not my work load, not my roommate or partner or friends. The way that I choose to deal with things, and also the things I choose not to face are not exempt from my hand just because I don’t feel up to dealing with it.

I think the biggest and most important part of my recovery was being accountable.

Yes, all of the tools I learned to avoid bingeing and purging are invaluable to me, and my own intuition and understanding of my body’s signals and messages are paramount. But just how I can take pride in what I am doing right and how far I’ve come, this also comes with the acknowledgement that sometimes I don’t do right by me. Sometimes I do give in to that cyclical pattern. But now I understand what it is, am learning more and more why. I’m finding that the more I’m aware of my triggers and emotions that sway me, the more inclined I am to be conscientious of my eating choices without being paranoid or obsessive about them either.

I can eat a slice of cake without worry about eating the whole cake, or about needing to starve myself before indulgence.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to her on any of her links for connection:

https://www.facebook.com/herhabitatblog/
https://www.instagram.com/herhabitatblog/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkrAlmDZwwsv_iyGr-4Vdxg/
https://twitter.com/herhabitat/

You.
Are.
Not.
Alone.

Jah bless xo

 

Prioritizing Feelings

There are many things in my life that I am (wanting to) chang(ing).

  • Better health
  • Stronger body
  • Self-love
  • Environment
  • Man
  • Career

And I’ve been focusing on these.  I am realizing that by focusing on what I want, I’m living in a state of being insufficient as I am.

Truth is, I’m, we’re, already complete, right now.  When I look at the list of what I want and where I want to go, I’m living in this state, this feeling of lack.  I’m living in a state of non-presence (either pining for what I had, or looking forward into the future for what I want).  This is taking away the power of my now.

I am learning to prioritize how I want to feel.  Instead of taking on the feelings of; lack, insufficient, sick, weak, lonely, hurt, useless, I look to feel what Danielle Laporte calls “core desired feelings”.

When I have my heart set on feelings that I want to embody, I’ll unblock myself from the “lack, insufficient, sick, weak, lonely, hurt, useless” that is serving to keep me exactly where I am at: a state of tired, sleepy, weak, lost.

So, my core desired feels:

  • Strong
  • Purposeful
  • Helpful
  • Calm
  • Beautiful
  • Compassionate
  • Creative
  • Intuitive
  • Funny
  • Light

I much prefer this list.

I feel that these emotions will flow into the goals I wrote above, but the feelings before that have no tie to this.  It’s like the quote that stripped me of my coping through Bulimia;

You can’t hate yourself into a version of you that you can love.

Honestly, this is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy stuff.  I feel that the way to bring this shift into the body is by using body-awareness sensation cues.  I am going to practice the cultivation of these feelings in meditation.  I want to see where in my body I feel peace.  I know anger pretty well – it’s in my solar plexus and throat.  I wonder if peace is in my lower belly, all cozy like a kitten sitting on my lap.  I wonder if funny is like a shoulder massage.  etcetcetc.  Feel me?

And so it is.

Hey, what’s your list?  Please share, it’s (you’re) worth it:

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“The story I’m telling myself about this is___________________.”

“The story I’m telling myself about this is___________________.”

Brene Brown talks about stories we make up about shit.  We prefer to be certain over correct. We like definition, we like palpability, graspability.  And we often have default “storylines” we turn to in order to put experiences into boxes.  To create a sense of comfort.  The unknown is not comfy.  It’s like a turtleneck vs a cozy sweater.

Brene say we have default emotions we fall back on when we feel a rumble happening, a conflict, when we feel tested.

These stories are direct reflections of ourselves.

Here are my stories:

  • Everyone thinks I’m an entitled piece of poo because I’ve fabricated this self-made struggle of coping through Eating Disorders.
  • People think I think I’m entitled and self-righteous because I am endeavouring in entrepreneurship and don’t have a 9-5 job.
  • I’m not pretty without makeup.
  • I’ll be undesirable if I fart, poop, or have a softer tummy.
  • I’m worthless unless I suffer.
  • I should suffer because I don’t have a job and I’m making myself go through this suffering (wow is that not a cyclical self-defeating belief!?)

Brene quotes:

People learn how to treat us based on how we see us treating ourselves.

***palms of hands***

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How to sit with a Binge

(starting this post with shameless self-promotion for my emotional eating workshop where Deanne and I will be sharing our insights and human honesty with our binge and emotional eating journeys)

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Was that a binge?

I’m letting myself eat.  I’m listening to my needs.  I’m realizing that even when there’s some kind of feeling telling me to nourish, even when I’m not in a state of being famished, I follow it.

Ever have what my friend once explained as “itchy teeth”?  She called it the feeling where you feel like munching on something but aren’t necessarily hungry.

It’s times like these where I have to tune into my gut, ask myself what I need.

What am I hungry for?

  • Connection?
  • Love?
  • Self-care?
  • Rest?
  • Creative expression?
  • Meaningful work?

Today, I finished lunch very aware of my craving for connection.

BUT: there are times, especially during this re-feeding, where I am actually physically needing nourishment, and in spite of my mind saying “You’ve had enough!”, body’s actually asking for nourishment.

My dear friend expressed herself after feeling like she’d overeaten, I asked her what part of her felt full, or like she’d binged.  She said her tummy wasn’t bloated, it felt comfortable and sated.  Her mind, on the other hand, didn’t want to believe that her body required that much food.

That’s the shit though, eh?  I’m hearing both voices, the mind and the soul when I eat.  I often feel like I can have an extra spoonful of peanut baetter, hummus, extra handful of nuts.  

And then, I’m full.

It’s a new feeling.

Sometimes I’m in shock at how much I am eating, and it fucking terrifies me.

My mind wants to flee, to distract, to numb.  I want to busy myself and get back to that feeling of being “in control” of how much I’ve eaten, or of how much I’ve decided my body needs.

How silly is that though!?  As IF my mind has enough say over how much nourishment my wise-ass body needs.

And so, fuck man, if I overdo it a bit, or if I’ve err’d on the side of a little too much, so what?  I’m not perfect!

The fear is in old ways of void-filling with overeating; bingeing and purging.  But my soul has found its own wisdom there to overcome that.  I’m tuning into all parts of myself; mind, body, soul.  I won’t dishonour my needs anymore.  Nor should you!

If you eat a piece of cake, or three, OK: it’s always OK–the key is to be so damn present and aware of the fact that you’re coping, that in your presence, you can be with yourself.  The whole way.  Man, that’s fucking powerful!

In the evenings, generally this is when my body speaks about if I’ve undernourished or not in the daytime.  This is when rules go out the window.  This is the scary time!  

You can’t trick your body into fake nourishment!

AMiRIGHT?!

There’s a reason for the fridge light…and nighttime #humancondition in form of binges.  This is when the body is like:  bitch please

“I’m still LE HUNGRY!”

This is when the body tries to play “catch up” with the under-nourishment, lack of nutrients, fasting.

So, it’s not willpower we lack.  It’s the idea that we can fool ourselves into in-authenticity, into being something we’re not.

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And the first things we try to do after feeling like we’ve overeaten, or if we have overeaten, or goddamn under-eaten for that matter – is run, is escape, is distract, numb: sex, self-pleasing, cigs, alcohol, work-addiction, drugs, even distracting with mindless media scrolling, which is fucked because of all the images of sculpted abs and the impossible flat tummy post-meal…we don’t want to face what our body is speaking to us.

BUT

This IS the pivotal moment to connect and to stop the binge cycle in the future!

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From Michelle Yandle Health

I’m sitting with it when I do it, I’m breathing, in lotus pose bc itsbetterfortheburps….I’m journalling.  I’m asking myself:

  • “was that too much?”
  • “Did I under-eat during the day? or even yesterday?”
  • “Did I turn away from another part of myself I needed?”
  • “Was I trying to fill a void?”

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And, after this reflection, know this:

This too shall pass.

It always does.  May we be wiser for next time.  Tune into our needs periodically so we don’t get hit with the headinthefridgesyndrome.

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Comparative Suffering

“Let’s compare scars and see who’s is worse.”

That’s a song lyric I remember.  I’ve been humming on this for some time, especially in this stage of accepting trauma.

A couple of trauma definitions:

Trauma:  any situation that overwhelms a person’s ability to cope.

“Trauma is a breach in the protective barrier against stimulation leading to feelings of overwhelming helplessness.” – Sigmund Freud 

I love the above definition that I heard while watching a podcast from Molly Boeder Harris because it can relate to any barrier; emotional, physical, mental, that makes us feel like we’ve been robbed of our sense of safety within ourselves.  It’s a breach into our sacred space that people shouldn’t be coming into.   This breach affects the brain and leads to a specific set of symptoms: trauma.

These definition encompasses so many things; from sexual abuse (a subjective experience), to surgery, to parents who weren’t able to attend to their child’s needs, to bullying, emotional abuse, emotional neglect, birth trauma (for both baby and parents), loss, a physical injury, natural disaster, witnessing horrific events/violence (often invalidated by the person experiencing, because they justify that it didn’t happen to them), etc.

What is especially important here is that the physiological response is very real, and the experience is subjective.  Molly talks about a book called “The Body Keeps the Score”, and the title in itself is enough to explain how the body keeps in it the trauma, muscle memory is so real (ever get some kind of massage, or move in a certain way, go in a stretch, and have “a case of the feels”?).  The body remembers trauma, deep in our tissues, whether we know it or not, it stores it inside our subconscious.

Did you know that it wasn’t until up until the 80/90’s that babies weren’t administered anaesthesia because it was believed that they didn’t feel pain?  The body remembers that.

One of the questions answered in this podcast was about whether there was a gage of trauma severity: to see if one traumatic experience was worse than another.  (to which Molly applauded and expressed was a passionate topic of hers to discuss).

Trauma is trauma: Molly explains, “We’ve created a hierarchy within our understanding of trauma which has neglected a lot of people’s needs and leads to a lot of self-blame, shame, of  ‘Well, I didn’t go to war…all I did was have a really terrible surgery, so why am I so messed up, it could’ve been so much worse, what happened to me!?'”

Or with sexual abuse, maybe there was only verbal harassment not contact, but the person has all of the symptoms of someone who was raped.

With trauma, it’s not about the event, but how the person experienced the event, what resources were or were not available after the event, what was the relationship to the person or the environment.  All these factors matter, not only the main traumatic event.

One trauma is not comparable to another.  One is not “worse” than another.  It’s so unique to each person’s experience.

This is big for me because I often invalidate my own experience of trauma, and so many other people do too.  This is why we get stuck inside the trauma and this is why I’m having a time moving forward: it’s hard to acknowledge my trauma (I’m having a hard time even writing this.)  But it’s time.

So that’s that.  No trauma is worse than another; the physiological and psychological expressions in the body are the same.  So here’s a cheers to compassion for all.

Myself included.