I haven't posted in a long time, but there is a specific reason I am feeling called to do so now. So let me share everything that's been happening in the last couple of years in my life, and in a few days from now I will connect the dots. I have had a fear of sharing, because I believed it showed weakness on my part especially as a Reiki practitioner/Intuitive Life Coach but there is a bigger purpose.
I have been through what many refer to as the Dark Night of the Soul. But here's what I've learned, at some point almost all of us can go through it. It's nothing to be ashamed of or to hide from. For me it was losing the foundation of who I was, where my life was going and what my purpose was in the world. Was I being and doing all that I wanted to accomplish? I felt so empty and unsatisfied with what was and had been my life. Not with being a mother or grandmother but what I was providing for others outside of my immediate world. I was just existing and was so empty inside.
All of this began to manifest in ways that I was disconnected from. I quit eating regularly, correction, I barely ate at all. I drank coffee all day long. Oh, I did continue my work and I'm not sure how I put out the quality of work I did! My clients were happy & that made me happy. It was perhaps, one of the happiest components of my life. It was my happy place!! But when I wasn't working there was that emptiness again and memories of the past began to rush in. Traumas that I thought I had dealt with long ago and were 'over'. I would wake up anywhere from 1a to 3a every morning and sometimes stay awake all day long or take a 2-3 hour long nap. I would try every trick in the book to reset my inner clock but to no avail.
Right before the world shut down in 2020 I had to have emergency gall bladder surgery. Everything went smoothly and I recovered quickly. I had begun doing monthly or almost monthly solo spiritual retreats to try and get my spirit back. I had also begun working with a trauma therapist to deal with a multitude of sexual assaults & rapes from my past of long ago & also with the deaths of my brother, sister & parents not to mention the caregiving of my parents and the death of my best friend. I had never dug so deep into all of those experiences as I was doing then. It was so painful but yet I knew in order to get through this darkness that had enveloped me it was necessary.
The surgeon who performed the emergency surgery recommended that I have a scope of my stomach because he was concerned I also had an ulcer. It was upon reading the notes from the gastroenterologist that I saw the word anorexia. I couldn't imagine what she was referring to! Not me!! To make a long story short, yes me. You wouldn't have known it just by looking at me but I was starving my body and even worse, my brain. By the beginning of November, 2020, I was preparing to fly to Chicago for inpatient treatment but my intuition just days before told me that it wasn't going to happen. I needed another plan. Three days before I was due to leave I woke up and Spirit gave me that plan. I AM NOT RECOMMENDING THIS FOR EVERYONE!! REMEMBER THAT WE WERE STILL AT THE BEGINNING OF THE PANDEMIC! I was told, by Spirit, that I would need an eating disorder therapist, dietitian, spiritual mentor, maintain my trauma therapist and find a place to rent for at least a month to isolate myself. The day before I was to leave for Chicago I received a call from the treatment center that due to the rise in COVID numbers my admission had been cancelled. I had no other options but the plan that Spirit had given me. So that's what I did. Some of you may remember that I took a sabbatical for over a month at the end of 2020. The month away went so well and I thought to myself, "This is easy!".
But then I went back to my home environment where my ED (eating disorder aka disordered eating) was comfortable & habitual! Trying to get disordered eating out of your mental and emotional life is not an easy task as some of you may know & it takes a lot out of you. More thinking, talking, planning of meals, stress, emotions, moodiness, loved ones watching what you're eating or not eating and all while your trying to run a business and hide the problem from clients. Then in February I received devastating news that my dear friend, Steve, had suddenly died, the husband of my best friend who had died 8 years prior. Steve & I's connection had deepened more so when Ny got cancer again. The three of us were bonded together in a fight that eventually she would lose. She had made me promise to care for him when she was gone, I had to sit witness as she told him where everything was in the house, how to pay the bills, that he would be ok on his own, that he should move on without her and then he and I sat holding her hands as she prepared to take her last breath. We spent many nights on the phone, we would visit each other and I would check on him during the difficult holidays. Our friendship became just as close as mine was with Ny. Now he was gone too.
Another traumatic experience to process and another situation to assist the remaining family members in figuring out what of Ny's things needed to go where as I knew the history of every piece of jewelry, picture on the wall and piece of furniture in the house. And, yet, through it all I still ran my business, had my client sessions and tried to appear 'normal'. But then I began experiencing a pain running down my left leg in April. Figuring it was my low back needing adjusting I went to the chiropractor. Another long story short: After 6 months of the pain getting worse, seeing a chiropractor, physical therapist, acupuncturist, Reiki practitioner and taking muscle relaxers I demanded an MRI. A bulging disc was the problem and in such a place that it required surgery.
I had surgery in late September, outpatient, and it went extremely well. I took two weeks off and back to work I went being totally discharged from care and physical therapy after six weeks. That weekend I went to a friends in Buena Vista, CO. I was so excited to finally get to drive and go somewhere. We had so much fun! Then on Monday morning while I'm driving back to Denver something happened that I don't remember to this day and the doctor's say I probably never will. I had a partial head on collision with a semi. I do remember them putting the collar around my neck and putting me in what I realized later was the ambulance but at the time all I knew was that a group of men were strapping me down. Talk about triggers. The next thing I remember is being woke up and told that I would need to cough to help them get the tube out of my throat. It was Tuesday morning, I was told later. I was also told later that I was lucky to be alive and that I only had a severe concussion with whiplash. It's so hard to take all of that in when you don't have any recollection of an accident. My family & friends were showering me with love and saying how grateful they were that I didn't die, which don't get me wrong touched my very soul, but was difficult to fully understand.
I was out of the hospital in three days but the concussion left me tired and with such muddled thinking. And I was forgetting words and where I put things. It reminded me of my parents when their dementia was at its worst. I got so frightened that all of it was permanent, that my work which I so loved was done. Then I started going into my Reiki room and laying on my table. I would lay there and meditate with my hands on my body doing Reiki at the same time. I did it every day. A very close client sent me some magnets to use and I would lay on those during that time. Then during one of those meditations, it all of the sudden came through and hit me! I choose my brain over my body. My brain healing & being strong is more important than my body not being fed. I am WORTH a strong, vital brain! And of everything that has ever happened in my life, what happened to my brain was like the final straw for me. It made me angry at me that I was hurting myself, angry at other people in my past that they were so full of self hatred/loathing/worthlessness or whatever, that they hurt me and that I had never learned how to place boundaries in my life to make myself a priority. I finally saw so clearly the patterns that had plagued me my whole life and the past couple of years all came crashing in on me to force me to walk through this Dark Night of the Soul. The culmination of this walk was an accident that, according to the doctors, could have or should have taken my life.
There were many lessons learned from my amazing team of professionals, my spiritual mentor, my family & friends, Spirit and all of it came rushing back in after that accident. Not that I wasn't listening before or not trying to integrate it into my life. I just finally got to the point where I had enough of the darkness surrounding me and feeling like I wasn't moving forward. Enough was enough! I realized that all along I had choices and the strength deep within me to overcome all that I had been through. And there are so many others in the world that had been through so much more than I. I didn't want my journey to be a tale of sorrow but one of finding the strength that I believe each and every one of us have within us to tap into, to not just change our trajectory in life but to maybe assist even one other person along the way.
In a few days I will post again about connecting the dots and some exciting new changes happening at Vitalitree in the future!
RAINN (Sexual Assault Hotline) - 1-800-656-4673
NEDA (Nat'l Eating Disorders Assoc.) - 1-800-931-2237