I Met Myself on the Mat
If you have not picked up on this by now, the amount of down-time I let myself have is minimal. I consider myself to be a homebody and always say things like “I cant WAIT to relax tonight.” But let’s be real – I never relax. I don’t know how to relax. A few weekends ago I sat down to watch Hamilton (which by the way, if you haven’t seen it, drop everything you’re doing and go watch it right now because it’s amazing), and I had a really hard time focusing. I found myself on my laptop, working, while watching the movie, because it felt too unproductive for me to just sit there and enjoy the show.
Now, please don’t be fooled into thinking that it’s a good thing to be busy 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Chronic business is often an attempt to avoid difficult emotions. This is especially the case for me. I keep myself so busy that I constantly feel drained; but the second I have down time I start to panic because I don’t know how to sit with the feelings that come up when I am still.
For the reasons above, I really hated the practice of yoga when I first discovered it. I tried going to yoga classes on and off for years, but I couldn’t stand to sit with the feelings that would come up when I was on the mat. The last time I took a yoga class was when I first started uncovering repressed memories of trauma. I quit because I got sick of never being able to pace my breathing or move through the poses in a mindful way. And don’t even get me started about the savasana at the end of each practice. I’d rather endure torture than sit in savasana with nothing else to do but simply be.
It has not been until recently that I gave yoga a try again. Over the last 6 weeks or so I have been trying to regularly incorporate the practice back into my life because I am working on trying to “be with myself.” This might sound strange, but many of us trauma survivors spend a whole heck of a lot of time running from ourselves. The yoga mat itself is a scary place for me because I know I’m stepping into myself every time I step onto that mat. Yes, I sweat, I shake, I stretch, I breathe – but most importantly, I feel. There’s nowhere to run, there’s nowhere to hide, there is just me, as I am.
What I have been surprised to find is that over the last six weeks, any time I try yoga, I have been having these moments where big feelings spill over me in the middle of a pose. To be clear, the feelings don’t hit me like a ton of bricks. They don’t knock me out and send spiraling into a crisis. Rather, they spill over me in a way that I’ve never been able to experience before. It’s grief and anger and immense gratitude. It’s disappointment and sorrow mixed with joy and hope for life’s next adventures. It’s fear and guilt and shame but also laughter and chaos because life is so beautiful even in its darkest moments. When I’m on that yoga mat, I sink back into myself, owning every part of my history.
While I’m not yet at peace with so much of my past, I have made major strides in being able to sit with my memories without the urge to run. So for those of you who have tried yoga and didn’t enjoy it or couldn’t sit with yourself, don’t write it off just yet. Yoga will be there for you one day, when you’re ready to feel your emotions instead of running from them. Lately, yoga has been a life saver in helping me to heal outside of my therapy sessions. For the first time ever, when I meet myself on the mat, I like myself, depression and all. That woman on the mat is brave and strong and loving and smart and has a purpose in this world. She will not, can not ever be tamed. Thank you, yoga, for allowing me to tolerate, and even like myself. And thank you to me, for being brave enough to step back onto the mat after years of running.
Dropping My Defenses
Let’s call a spade a spade: Last week was an absolute train wreck. Anything that could go wrong DID go wrong. And to be honest, as someone who is in recovery from complex trauma, my nervous system is overactive even on my best day. But this past week has been a smorgasbord of one difficult situation on top of another, none of which I had control over, all of which triggered feelings of rejection and abandonment.
When I feel rejected or abandoned, my default defense mechanism is to shut the whole world out and pretend like everything is just fine. I’m stubborn and fiercely independent, so most times, I’ll be damned if I ever admit I’ve been hurt or feel rejected by others. This isn’t helpful. Humans need other humans – I know I certainly do. I’ve spent years in therapy trying to break down this defense, but it’s one of my stronger ones; and although I’m much better than I used to be, whenever my life feels really out of control, I fall back on this defense.
But here’s the thing I tell myself and my patients over and over again: If I’m hurting/upset and I don’t tell anyone, how can anyone be there for me? How can the problem ever get resolved if we don’t let people know there was a problem to begin with?
This past week, I was hurting way more than I care to admit. I was feeling so rejected and unloved. Running/hiding from everything that was going on felt so much safer to me. If I run and hide, then no one will know I am upset, and therefore, I won’t give anyone the opportunity to further hurt or reject me, right? Right! BUT (and this is a big BUT): When you close yourself off from the world, you also shut yourself off from opportunities to allow others to prove that they are there for you.
Intellectually, I know this, yet emotionally, I still have a hard time. So this week I fought with every ounce of strength I had to shut down the urges to isolate. I reached out to my mentor, to my treatment team, to one of my dearest friends, and to my colleagues. I cried to my husband, I held my dogs, I sought help from wherever I thought I could find it. I was not shy about it, nor did I apologize for needing help, nor did I try to mask how distraught I was.
I showed up as my vulnerable self and asked for help despite being deathly afraid of seeking support. And I got what I needed. I had been so convinced of this idea that no one cared, that no one would help me if I asked for it. And it’s not true! Every single person that I reached out to made space to be there for me in one way or another. Did I ask/expect people to drop everything they were doing to help me? No, that would be inappropriate and disrespectful of the boundaries of others.
But people made time for me. They listened to me, validated me, helped me to shift my ways of thinking, and ultimately helped me to feel supported. I even had a few people reach out to me who had no clue how badly I was hurting, but they reached out just to connect, or tell me something funny/nice that someone had said about my podcast. Even small moments like this made me feel like I was so loved. I went from feeling alone to feeling like people were wrapping their arms around me.
The pain didn’t disappear. The grief and frustration didn’t go away; and the problems that arose last week which I ultimately have no control over still have not been resolved. But it feels more manageable when I let others in and give people the opportunity to show me that not everyone in this world is bad. There are good people – people that stick to their word and can be there for you if you let them.
For those of us that have been so hurt, it seems easier to shut the world out, especially when life feels so chaotic. But it is in those moments that we need to lean on others the most. This week was a huge lesson for me in learning to have faith in others. Yes, there are people in this life that will always disappoint and hurt us, but don’t allow this to keep you from ever getting the help and support that you need. It’s dark and lonely when we live in a constant state of defensiveness to avoid further pain; but when we allow ourselves to be open to the light that others have to offer, it can be so very beautiful.
I am feeling overwhelmed (in the best way possible) at all the support and feedback I have received since the launch of the Light After Trauma podcast about a month ago.
To provide a little bit of background info, it took me about 8 months to put together this podcast. By no means did I wake up one day and decide I was just going to wing it. I have spent countless hours taking online courses, getting feedback from others, writing down ideas, trashing them, brainstorming new ideas, trashing them, panicking that I wouldn’t be able to do it, looking in the mirror and asking myself if I was worthy of having a podcast, losing my mind over the thought of putting myself out there, and then pushing forward and pursing my dreams anyway.
All of this is to say that I did not take this process lightly. My heart, soul, blood, sweat, tears, hopes, doubts, and fears are all poured into this podcast – a podcast that I created to allow myself and other trauma survivors a safe space for growing, learning, healing, and holding onto hope.
When anxiety about starting a podcast crept in, as it often did, I told myself repeatedly “Even if just 5 people listen, it will be worth it. Even if this show only helps one person to hold on to hope, it will all be worth it.” But low and behold, 4 weeks into the launch there are nearly 600 downloads and I. AM. SHOOK.
But let me be clear – I’m not ecstatic because of the numbers, per se. The numbers don’t mean much. Rather, it’s what the numbers represent! They represent PEOPLE – human beings whom I hope and pray are realizing that they aren’t alone in their emotions or their experiences. People are hearing me, they are hearing the voices of the wonderful folks who come on my show; and most importantly, they are learning that in spite of so much grief, anger, and sorrow, there is hope and healing and happiness.
I am so grateful for the love and kindness you all have shown this podcast. I am also grateful for the opportunity to hold space on the show to allow others to speak not only about their own trauma histories but also about the incredible things they are doing in their careers as a result of their traumatic experiences.
One of the outcomes that I could have never predicted when starting the Light After Trauma podcast is the beauty that comes with allowing others to share their stories on air. It was not until I finished my first several interviews that I realized how vulnerable my guests were becoming. I saw how creating space for them to speak was also helping them to take one more step in their own recovery process.
I believe that every time we speak, we heal a little bit more. And while I hold space for my patients to speak in my role as a therapist, it’s different with the podcast because I am not the therapist. I am simply the listener, the space-holder, if you will; and it has been profoundly beautiful to watch the healing take place right before my eyes.
So I thank you all from the bottom of my heart. Light After Trauma is still in the baby stages, but I have such high hopes for the future. In the words of the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg, “Real change, enduring change, happens one step at a time.”
I Called It Love
The way in which the body stores trauma never ceases to amaze me. You may not be consciously aware of what is happening, but your body gives you subtle hints and clues to let you know that it’s storing some difficult feelings. This has been so true for me lately. The end of August leading into September has brought on lots of body aches, stiffness, and tightness in my back and hips. My sleep has been interrupted with nightmares and I have little desire for food (which is a huge red flag for a foodie like myself). I’ve been so busy lately that I have barely taken a moment to realize what month we are in….
……until this week. September. Sweet September. The month I fell in love with a man who promised me the world as long as I agreed to trade my soul.
He told me he’d love me since no one else would ever want me; and I called that love.
He told me he’d pick me up for our date. I waited by the window for hours only for him to tell me he found something better to do; and I called it love.
He told me he didn’t want anyone to know we were together. It would be our secret; and I called it love.
He told me my friends and family hated me and that I should leave everyone behind and start a new life all on my own with him; and I called it love.
He drove me to class because he said he didn’t trust that other people wouldn’t try to steal me away from him; and I called it love.
I was forbidden to speak when we were out with his friends. He said this was so he could protect me from getting mixed up with the wrong crowd; and I called it love.
He took my car keys, my cell phone, my shoes, and he hid them for fear I’d leave; and I called it love.
He slept on top of me so I couldn’t run away in the middle of the night without him knowing; and I called it love.
He locked me in a room when he wanted a break from how much I stressed him out; and I called it love.
He told me he had my best interest at heart and that I just needed to trust him; and I called it love.
It breaks my heart to see how lost I was. None of that was love. If someone is telling you that they love you, but the relationship leaves you feeling horrible about yourself, that is not love. Please do not confuse empty promises, degradation, and codependency for romance. If you do not feel emotionally and/or physically safe, you are not safe and it is not love.
Years later, as I look at the sweet man sitting on the couch next to me, I thank God that I was able to get away from this abuser and go on to marry the safest, kindest man I’ve ever known. And while the memories of my abusive relationship always resurface around this time of year in the form of aches, pains, and nightmares, I find so much comfort in knowing I am safe now.
My husband lets me fly free, pushing me to pursue my dreams and cheering me on in every way he can.
My husband greets me at my car door with an umbrella to protect me from the rain when I arrive home from work on a stormy night.
My husband sits with me in therapy to help learn ways he can support me through my recovery from PTSD.
My husband is so proud to walk through this life with me.
Now I call THAT love.
The Deep Diver In You
What a week! I’m telling ya, PTSD has a way of making you feel like you’re on a rollercoaster and sometimes, you just want to get the heck off! I’ve had some really sad moments this week, and some really happy ones, and then some moments where I have been so angry I can barely think straight.
I acknowledge that I have so many good things going on in my life right now. The support I have received from the podcast and the connections I have been making lately are more valuable to me than I can put into words. When I think about it all, I want to dance and sing and celebrate. And then other moments, like this past weekend, when I finally got to see my newly remodeled office, I started to cry….and then the awful thoughts crept in:
Do I deserve this?
What if I fail?
Will I be taken seriously?
It has been hard to shut these thoughts off lately. And I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not the best at using “coping skills”. In fact, I hate the term “coping skills”. When my mind is racing a mile a minute and when I’m filled with anxiety and doubt, I don’t want to meditate. I don’t want to do deep breathing. I don’t want send thoughts of gratitude out into the universe. Yes, all of these things are wonderful and helpful, but when myself or anyone else is feeling off-the-charts types of emotions, it can be very difficult to get grounded by using the skills listed above. Sometimes, I need something fast and powerful to snap me out of my panic, anger, and shame. I’ve been utilizing a specific DBT-based technique lately that has been helping me tremendously, and I wanted to share it with you.
Yep, I said it. Cold showers. Or if you cannot shower, place ice packs or bags full of cold water on your face, or you can fill up a sink with cold water and dunk your head in!
So let me just back track a little bit. I first learned about taking cold showers as a way to deal with stress, panic, rage, self harm, etc. in 2014. And I immediately rejected it because I am notorious for taking showers so hot that it’s a wonder my flesh has not melted off yet. But a few months back, I rediscovered the effectiveness of temperature change in the body when helping to ground yourself and regulate your nervous system.
I get what you’re probably thinking: “If I’m going to be told that freezing my ass off will help with distress tolerance, I want to know who, what, when, were, why, and how it works. “
So here’s what we know: Humans have something called the “mamalian diving response.” This is an automatic physiological response that occurs in our bodies when we come into contact with cold water. What we know about the mamalian diving response comes from an experiment in 1962 that was done on free divers, which showed that as people dive into colder waters, their heartrates slow down, no matter how vigorous their activity. Some divers were swimming as fast as they could and their heart rate still remained lower in the colder, deeper water. In addition to this, it has been learned that when in colder, deeper water, blood circulation tends to flow away from the limbs and moves instead toward vital organs in the body to protect them and keep them functioning at full capacity.
But here’s the thing, simply dipping your toes in cold water won’t be enough. You need to be all in, well, at least your face. You have trigeminal nerves in your face, which, when in contact with cold water, will send signals to the vagus nerve. The vagus nerve allows for communication between the body and the brain and will cause your heart rate to slow down.
As someone who hates cold showers, I have to say, this technique works!
So when you feel like you can’t turn the intensity level down on your emotions or if you feel like your thoughts won’t stop racing, go try out a cold shower and discover the deep diver in you!
To read more about the mammalian diving response, please click below:
Sometimes We Get It Wrong (and we’re still worthy!)
One of the many reasons I love working with kids so much is how blunt they can be. Don’t get me wrong, I also love working with adults, but adults have learned over time to sugar-coat some of what they say, or say things in ways that are not as direct. Kids, on the other hand, just let it out. And I love it. They make me a better therapist, a better human being, and I know they are going to make me a better mom to my own children one day when I start a family…
Yet, as much as I love it, there are some days when my teenagers say something that hits a nerve, as teens are often prone to do!
One of my kiddos really struck a nerve this week (not his fault at all and this is NOT a bad thing). Let’s call him Frankie. Frankie has struggled for years to put words to his feelings. For the first year of therapy, Frankie sat in my office and said very little. He did not appear to have any words to label his feelings, nor did he seem to believe in therapy. Despite giving me only shrugs and nods in response to my questions, he continued to show up week after week, voluntarily. It was a test in my patience to say the least, and let it be known that when it comes to patience, I have very little of it (I’m working on this one)!
But now, two years into therapy, Frankie talks the entire session. He is very aware and observant of the therapist sitting across the room from him, a concept which might easily be taken for granted, but when it comes to developmental trauma, some people have a hard time truly acknowledging another caring, supportive person in the room with them. He has made incredible strides in counseling, and he and I have an awesome therapeutic alliance, which I really cherish.
This week, while talking to Frankie during his session, I attempted to provide some feedback on what he was saying, to which he flatly replied “Umm, nope. No. You’re wrong.” He wasn’t trying to be offensive. He wasn’t trying to do anything except communicate exactly what he verbalized –that I had misinterpreted what he was trying to tell me and I had gotten it all wrong.
This happens in therapy – sometimes we do get it wrong. Most adult patients might have phrased it differently and said something a little less direct, such as “Well, no I don’t think that’s exactly right…” But not Frankie. Frankie was to-the-point, something I know I can always expect from him, and something I truly appreciate about him and most other kids who I see for therapy. But for whatever reason, on this particular day, his response about me being wrong sent me into feelings of shame. I started saying to myself:
“How did I get that wrong? How could I have misinterpreted what he said?”
“What is wrong with me? I’m such a moron.”
“Get your sh** together, Alyssa.”
Figuratively speaking, I beat the crap out of myself. Even as I drove home that night, I felt horrible for being “wrong”, as if being wrong is the equivalent to being “bad”.
This is the shame talking. Shame exacerbates even the most harmless situations until suddenly we feel like crawling in a hole and dying for making a simple, common mistake. Shame makes us feel like we have to be perfectionists, and that anything less than perfection is unacceptable. In believing this, we set ourselves up for failure because we are all human beings, each and every one of us fallible.
Thankfully, I have wrestled with shame and perfectionism long enough in this life to be able to (mostly) push it away when it comes up. I’m much better at talking back to the part of me that feels like making a mistake is the equivalent to being a horrible human being. When I was in the moment with Frankie, I was able to kick the shame and other defenses (i.e. the urge to defend what I was saying) out of my office so I could hold space for him to further explain his point to me. And guess what?
He was correct, and I was indeed wrong!
And that is OKAY! Sometimes we just get it wrong (yes, even therapists!). What’s important is to be able to hold space (whether you’re a therapist or not) to listen to others and acknowledge when you’re wrong without being defensive or letting shame get in the way. We’re all human, and no amount of chastising yourself is going to make you infallible in the future. We do not have the power to be perfect, but we have the power to acknowledge our imperfections, accept them, have compassion for ourselves, and move forward.
Besides, how mundane would life be if we were all perfect?
Thankfully, we’ll never know.
A few weeks ago, I finished reading Abigail Pesta’s book, The Girls, a book about the USA gymnasts who took down sexual predator Larry Nassar back in 2018. If you are not familiar with the case, Larry Nassar was a highly esteemed doctor at Michigan State University. He also served as the doctor for the USA gymnastics national team, where under the guise of treating young gymnasts, he spent decades sexually abusing them. Larry had convinced his victims that his “treatment,” which included digital penetration, was medically necessary for their recovery.
As Larry’s heinous crimes continued to escalate, he would often abuse children while their parents were sitting in the same room, using his body to shield the parents from seeing what was happening. He worked double-time to develop sincere relationships with the girls and their parents….so much so that they came to view Larry as a friend, a confidant, and a trusted doctor.
After Larry was convicted in 2018, the presiding judge, Rosemarie Aquilina, gave each of the survivors the chance to speak about their abuse and how it affected them. One by one, the women rose up and spoke their truth about the ways in which Larry’s abuse ruined their families, their psychological wellbeing, their ability to form healthy relationships, and so much more.
The victims blamed themselves for never speaking up, for trusting an esteemed doctor who appeared to have their best interest at heart. Parents of the victims also blamed themselves, finding it inconceivable that their child could have been assaulted while they were sitting in the very same room.
Let me crystal clear about this: There is absolutely no blame to be shared among the victims or their families.
The fault lies entirely with the abuser himself, as well as the other adults who were aware the abuse was happening and chose to do nothing.
What? Others knew and did nothing?
That’s right. NOTHING. There were so many people who did not believe the girls when they tried to ask for help. They explained away Larry’s actions, which left the girls feeling more confused than ever. For decades, people were able to pretend as if this horrific abuse was not happening.
But it was. And the sad, disturbing fact of the matter is that there are many more predators out there, just like him. Abigail Pesta’s narrative about this particular scandal is such an important read for everyone because it shows how even the most vicious of wolves can be dressed in sheep’s clothing. This is what makes abuse so confusing, this is why some people cannot see it coming, and this (among a million other reasons) is why victims should never be blamed or asked “Why didn’t you speak up?”
Predators are often the ones who work their way into your hearts, gain your trust, build a sense of safety around you, and then shatter your sense of safety by violating you. It leaves you feeling so confused that you don’t speak up. You don’t say anything. Because you spent so much time believing that this person could be trusted that you continue to believe he or she didn’t mean to abuse you – that the violation was just a mistake, or a slip-up. You tell yourself whatever it takes to keep up with the belief in your mind that this person is good for you and has your best interest at heart. To think anything less than that is too much to bear.
Time goes on, this person continues to build trust with you, and then just like that, there comes another violation, another boundary crossed. But at this point, you feel that it is too late. If you speak out now, people won’t believe you because they will question why you didn’t speak up earlier or why you continued to be in contact with a person if you knew he or she was sexually abusing you. So you sink into the shame and guilt, blaming yourself for getting into this mess in the first place.
Before you know it, you have lost all sense of self worth. You continue to find yourself in dangerous situations because you think, after all this time, that you deserve the abuse that you got. You find yourself wondering if your life is worth living, since your body, mind, and soul, no longer feel like your own.
So many people don’t understand nearly enough about this type of abuse, which is why I highly recommend reading The Girls. It is a devastating, sobering, and extremely important book that is helping other survivors of abuse to realize that it’s okay to speak their truth.
I feel it in my bones – the world is changing. The silence of all of the disbelieved, disregarded survivors is becoming louder. For so long, victims of sexual abuse have been told:
-You shouldn’t talk about that unless you’re REALLY sure it happened. You could ruin that person’s life.
-Are you positive you remember it that way?
-Maybe you shouldn’t have gotten so drunk.
-Maybe you’re confusing this memory with something else?
-Well maybe he/she was just being really friendly?
-Did that really happen? That’s a serious accusation. Are you just doing this for attention?
No more. No more. NO MORE. We are finding our voices.
Can you hear us? If you don’t, you will soon. We’re just getting started.
-To the army of survivors who rose up to take down Larry Nassar: I have the utmost respect for all of you.
-To the judge who gave those survivors a voice in that courtroom – I hope you know that you broke the mold and changed the world, especially the worlds of the victims.
-And to the ones out there who still suffer in silence, to the ones who are not ready to speak, to the ones who are not quite sure yet or cannot find the right words to say what happened – there is so much hope. You are so much more than the abuse you endured and you can reclaim what taken from you.
Speak up. Seek help. Find support. And know that you are believed.
I am left speechless from the feedback on last week’s blog post! Thank you to those of you who reached out to tell me how deeply you resonated with my words. I value your input and the story that you have to tell because I know how painful and isolating eating disorders can be. I also know the intense emotional pain that lies beneath eating disorders – the pain that most people do not like to speak about, the same pain that we MUST speak about in order to recover. This is such a huge part of what sparked my inspiration for the Light After Trauma podcast.
I view eating disorders as a coping skill for the pain. While I do acknowledge that disordered eating can be learned from family members and societal norms, I have found that more often than not, people use their ED symptoms as a way to cope with painful feelings associated with trauma or abuse. For example, a man may starve himself because he feels like it is the only way he can gain control after feeling so out of control from being sexually assaulted. Or a woman may develop binge eating disorder because the food helps her to stuff down the unwanted feelings that are starting to surface. If she binges until she feels sick, then she will not have any space left over to process her feelings.
With that being said, when I first sit down with a patient who is presenting with ED symptoms, I never ask “So, what’s your trauma history?”
Although I am a trauma therapist, I never directly ask about trauma. If someone is seeing me for help with an eating disorder, then that eating disorder is serving them a purpose – and that purpose is usually to distract or cope with suppressed or repressed trauma. It may take someone months or even years of being in therapy to feel comfortable enough to disclose trauma, especially when it comes to childhood abuse. People will often spend years in their ED, trying to fight off the demons that lurk beneath the obsessive calorie counting and over-exercising. It is not my job to push others to express or acknowledge more of their history than they are ready to. Therapists don’t walk in front of people, pulling them, nor do they walk behind people, pushing them. Instead they walk beside their clients, exploring emotions on the client’s terms, not the therapist’s terms.
But why? Why are people developing life threatening disorders and addictions instead of dealing with their core wounds? Doesn’t it just seem safer to deal with the trauma instead of developing another disorder or addiction?
No. Not necessarily. The feelings of fear, horror, grief, and loss that accompany facing our core wounds can be so intense that our brains cannot process it – either because we are still in the trauma (i.e. an abusive relationship) or because we do not have a sufficient support system (i.e. friends, family, and a good therapist to help you through the process). Unless you’re enveloped in safety, your brain will not allow you to process your trauma because your brain is just trying to keep you alive. We do not choose to be afflicted with disorders and addiction as a way to cope with our pain. The fact of that matter is that sometimes, it is our only option until we can get to a safer place in our lives where we can face the core wounds.
Trauma work is painful. It’s ugly, messy stuff, made even more difficult by those who ignore it, deflect it, and deny it. I have been shut down for speaking out on more occasions than I can count, and I would tell myself over and over again “Some day, the world is going to hear you!” It looks like that day is about to be here soon!
My goal with the Light After Trauma podcast is to help you realize that you can live again after whatever it is that you endured. You can reclaim a life full of love and happiness and support. On my platform, on my blog, in our Facebook community, and on my podcast, there will be no deflection, no ignoring, and no denying anyone’s experiences. While I am undoubtedly nervous about starting up this podcast, I know that it is time to shed more light on what people have gone through and the ways in which they have had to cope in order to survive.
I hope you know how resilient you are.
I hope you know how much happiness can be found on the other side of your seemingly unbearable pain.
I hope you know you are capable of and worthy of an incredible life.
The Light After Trauma podcast launches on August 25th and can be downloaded on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, and wherever else you like to listen. I hope you all continue to interact with me on the podcast in the same way you speak to me through this blog. I know sometimes life can feel so dark, but my hope for all of you is that this podcast can help trauma survivors learn to take back their lives! I am so thrilled to be on this path of recovery with you all.