Tag: ptsd

a woman looking away, with a green and gold background and title trauma is not your fault but healing is your responsibility

Trauma is not your fault, but healing is your responsibility.

A few years ago, I went through a trauma that really messed me up. Afterwards, it was like I lost all control of myself. I felt like I couldn’t breathe no matter what I did, and I couldn’t think about anything else. My entire body would shake, panic attacks were constant and I couldn’t close my eyes without seeing what had happened to me. I cried myself to sleep and then woke up screaming from the nightmares. It honestly felt like my whole world had been ripped apart.

Everything I thought I knew felt wrong and I was terrified all of the time. I had trouble finding motivation to get out of bed, lost interest in all of my hobbies, and moved through my life like a zombie for months. I’m pretty sure that everyone could tell that there was something wrong with me long before I was officially diagnosed with PTSD.

My husband convinced me to go to therapy and during my very first session, the therapist said something that changed everything.

“What happened to you was not your fault, but healing is your responsibility.”

At first, I was livid. Why was I the one that had to do the work when I was the one that got hurt? I wasn’t the one who made life-destroying choices, yet I was the only one suffering.  How was that fair?

All I wanted was to go back home, crawl under the covers and continue shutting the world out. But as we talked through it, I realized that he was right. No one else was going to fix me. I could sit around and let myself drown in my misery, wishing things had been different, or I could work towards rebuilding. I’m really proud of myself for choosing to rebuild.

I’ll be honest with you; there are times where I’m still going through it.

I still have bad moments some days where I start thinking about the past and feeling bad for myself. Moments where I am suddenly terrified or angry or wracked with pain.  But while they used to consume me every minute of every day, now they’re few and far between. I’m so much better than I was, and I’m continuing to get better. I’m building a life that fills me with joy and purpose. Because I am so much stronger than my trauma, and once I owned that, I was able to change everything.

Over the years, I have made some MAJOR changes in my life.

The most important change was becoming a mom. My daughter breathed a new life into me and motivated me to work even harder to heal and become stronger. And then my son increased that drive and made me even more determined. Every single moment with them is healing on it’s own.

On top of those little blessings, I cleaned house on all of my toxic relationships, set some major boundaries, and started learning about self-care and empowerment. The relationships that were good for me were strengthened and I found a whole new sense of self-worth. I also traveled, left my full-time job, started my own business, moved to a new state where I’ve been renovating my dream house, and started conneting with other women who want more out of life. I’ve taken a bunch of new classes and got certified in things that have interested me, participated in multiple summits for women who want to take their lives to the next level, learned new skills, and so much more.

Not bad for someone who just a few short years ago had pretty must lost the will to live, right?

The point of all of this?

Basically, I wanted to tell you that if you’ve been through something traumatic or scary or sad that wasn’t your fault…

You didn’t deserve it. How do I know? Because no one deserves to be traumatized. But even if you were a victim- even if you were just the collateral damage of someone else’s horrible choices- you still need to heal. You need to do it for you. That is your responsibility.

Don’t let them take your life from you. Don’t let them win.

Even if it seems like your world has ended and there is no hope of happier days, you need to try. Start with small goals and don’t be afraid or ashamed to ask for help. Some days, your goal might just be to get out of bed, and that’s okay. Heal at your own pace and start building a life that you love. I promise you, you will not regret it.

You are stronger than you think.

If you take nothing else from this, please just remember that you matter.


And of course, a reminder that if you need a little extra support, I’m your girl. I offer one on one coaching as well as a free facebook community for support. You can check get more info by clicking the links, and of course feel free to reach out to me with any additional questions.

a piece of paper with the word no on soil with leaves and paints near it. green and gold background and title Boundaries are an important part of self care.

Boundaries are an important part of self care.

I talk a lot about self love and self care. It’s really the whole premise of why I got into this business in the first place- to empower women to love themselves and treat themselves well. And so I wanted to write about boundaries, because in my opinion, that’s the most important version of self care that there is.

What are boundaries?

The simplest way I can think to explain boundaries would be rules for how you allow others to treat you. (And for how you treat yourself.) When you set boundaries, you’re telling the people around you what you will accept and what you won’t. They define your needs, your wants and your deal breakers. I firmly believe that these should be put into affect with every relationship in your life- romantic, friendship, professional, stranger, etc… (Though the boundaries you have with one person may be different from the ones you have with another.)

Boundaries are something that everyone should have.

It should be a given that everyone would have boundaries, but that isn’t always the case. For instance, I didn’t really have any boundaries at all for the first 29 years of my life. I’m an empath and I was a chronic people pleaser so I let people walk all over me and take advantage all of the time. It was rare that I stood up for myself or expressed my needs, and when I did, I felt guilty. It took me a really long time to realize how important boundaries were, and that they’re actually a necessity for every person looking to live a healthy life.

You’re allowed to say no.

The biggest change in going from someone without boundaries to someone with boundaries is realizing that you can say no. You don’t have to be everything for everyone anymore. Just because you’re capable of doing something doesn’t mean that you have to. Even if it wouldn’t be that hard or you can do it better than someone else, you can still say no. But it isn’t limited to just saying no, I don’t want to do that. It also involves saying no, I will not allow that or no, I’m not going to think about this or even just plain no. No is a complete sentence.

At first, it might feel selfish.

This doesn’t mean that it is. But when you’re used to saying yes all of the time, no feels uncomfortable. Give it some time and some practice and you’ll be amazed at how easy it starts to become. Eventually, you’ll accept that saying no to someone else can mean saying yes to you. You’ll realize that you have more time and energy that you can spend doing the things that you want to do rather than being stressed about situations you may have been guilted into. This doesn’t mean that you can never help anyone ever again- it means you get to decide. To pick and choose.

If you always say yes to everyone else and you allow people to get away with anything and everything regardless of how you feel, you will be the one that suffers. Odds are you will find yourself exhausted, stressed and maybe even resentful. You’ll probably burn out and not be able to help anyone at all after a while, and then you’ll have to watch as the users and abusers start to disappear and leave you to fall apart because they can no longer get what they need from you.

Boundaries are a way of valuing yourself.

By setting boundaries, you’re putting an emphasis on your values and your own beliefs. You’re standing up for yourself, asking to be treated well and not settling for anything less. By saying you won’t tolerate a certain type of behavior, you’re also saying that you know you deserve better. By stating what you are comfortable with and what you are not, you’re recognizing that your feelings and opinions matter. (This is important, because it’s true!) By enforcing your boundaries, you’re requiring respect from those around you. You’re stating that you are just as worthy as the next person of being treated with consideration.

Not all boundaries need to be rigid.

There are different types of boundaries depending on the situation. Some may be make or break, absolute requirements. Others may just require some discussion or be open to compromise. The easiest way to navigate this is communication.

By communicating your boundaries with the people involved in the situation, you can figure out the best way to move forward. You may have to take other people’s boundaries into account here as well. Sometimes, a compromise may be in order. Other times, maybe it’s best to just go your separate ways. Again, it depends on the situation.

How to set boundaries

The first step would be to look at your life currently. How do people talk to you? Touch you? Interact with you? Does any of this make you uncomfortable? If so, that would be a good indication that you need to set some new boundaries. Figure out what you are comfortable with as well as what makes you anxious and start making a list. What is okay and what is not? Maybe somethings are okay with one person, but not another. As you go through the different areas of your life, you may see a need for different boundaries. That’s perfectly okay. Figure out what’s already there and what needs to change. What do  you want? And what do you need?

Once you’ve figured this out, you can start to communicate those wants and needs to the people around you.

Some people are going to give you a hard time. Some may be offended and maybe even get a little hostile. That my friends, is usually a giant red flag. In my experience, the people who get mad at you for setting boundaries are often the people who would benefit from crossing them. They don’t want you to be strong and stand up for yourself because it means that they have to change and can no longer take advantage of you.

On the flip side, there are going to be others in your life who will embrace your new boundaries. They may even applaud you for them! Even if the new rules require some changes and effort on their end, they’ll try for you. Those are your people. Hold onto them. Because these are the people who want you to succeed. They want you to be happy and to have what’s best for you.

Boundaries can be a neat little tool for figuring out who’s who.

Boundaries can change.

Your boundaries at 20 are going to look different than your boundaries at 30 and at 40 and so on. As you go through life, you will have different experiences, different challenges, different feelings, etc. The things you go through will change your wants and needs, which means you will have to adjust your boundaries. This is totally okay. You can literally wake up one day and decide you want something different. That just means you have to set a new boundary, and be sure to communicate it to the people in your life that may need to adjust a certain behavior or expectation.

It’s really important to show yourself some compassion and patience as you figure out what you want your boundaries to be and how to enforce them. But you do have to enforce them and have actual consequences! Otherwise, people will just keep crossing them and they will inevitably be pointless. By enforcing your boundaries, you’re choosing yourself. And that’s really the best choice you could make.

I hope you choose yourself today. You deserve it.


If you’re struggling with boundaries and would like someone to work one on one with you to move forward, I’d love to work with you. I offer one on one coaching as well as a free facebook community for support. You can check get more info by clicking the links, and of course feel free to reach out to me with any additional questions.

 

photo of a flower growing through rocks; green and gold background, choosing a mantra

Choosing a Mantra: Your Intentional Guide

If you’ve been following me for a while now, you probably that I have a huge love for mantras, affirmations, and anything along those lines. Today I wanted to talk a little more about choosing a mantra and why it’s so great to have if you’re healing from PTSD, dealing with anxiety, struggling to stay focused, etc. I went live in my facebook group last night talking about choosing a mantra so I thought it made sense to come write about it here as well.

What is a mantra?

To put it simply, a mantra is a word or phrase used to help adjust your mindset and cause a certain thought to take root. This way, it can act as a guide for your thoughts, emotions, feelings, actions and reactions. Mantras have been used for ages to calm your mind, reduce stress, promote healing and help us get from Point A to Point B. (I’ve found that they can be especially helpful when healing from PTSD.)

How can a mantra help me?

A mantra can help different people in different ways. But one of the most common ways is to help to quiet the mind and reduce anxiety. That makes this really great to have in your pocket during trigger moments! When you repeat a mantra, you are focusing your mind on a single thought, which can help to quiet the other thoughts that may be causing anxiety, stress or distraction.

A mantra can help to create a sense of safety and security. For example, someone with PTSD might feel like the world is a dangerous and unpredictable place. By repeating a mantra that creates a sense of safety and security, such as “I am safe” or “I am protected,” you can begin to shift your perception of the world and feel more grounded.  Similarly, someone who is feeling anxious might choose something like “I am capable” or “I can do this.”

A mantra can also help to promote healing. By repeating a mantra that promotes healing, such as “I am healing” or “I am getting better every day,” you can actually strengthen your belief in yourself and your ability to heal.

It’s important to make sure that whatever you choose feels right and powerful to you, so that it is easier to put your belief and energy behind it. The one I started with, that to be honest, I still return to when I’m feeling the need, is “Even though what happened happened, I will be okay because I am strong and I am healing.”  So mine was a longer one and that worked really well for me, but you need to figure out what works best for you because different types of mantras are going to work in different ways for different people. It can also change over time. For instance, right now, my current mantra is “slow down.” It’s a very personal process.

How to use a mantra:Once you have chosen your mantra, here are some possible ways to use it:

Set your intentions.

What is it that you want to achieve? What are your goals for the mantra? Is it more self-compassion or stronger boundaries, learning to say no or maybe learning to say yes depending on the situation? Less nightmares or more positive connections? You want to create an association between this intention and your mantra so that you can stay connected. So keep this intention in the back of your mind as you repeat the mantra to yourself.

Now, this is where you have some options.

One way of doing it is to just start repeating it to yourself.

You can say it out loud, in your head, or write it down. You can set a timer for ten minutes and just sit there repeating it or you can go a more relaxed route of just saying it throughout the day when you feel stressed, anxious, or overwhelmed.

Visuals and journaling

Create a visual of your mantra and put it somewhere that you’ll see often. It can be simple- just words on paper. Or it can be fancy and beautifully designed- whatever motivates you to look at it and take note of it. Also try writing it out again and again each day in your journal. Even if you don’t go back and read your journal entries, for many people, the simple act of writing something can help it take route deeper in your mind.

(As I mentioned in my word of the year post last week, as well as in my live training last night, I can help you to create a completely custom journal for this process, burning your mantra right into the cover! Just reach out to me if you’re interested!

Brown leather journal with slow down burned into the cover and a black pen sitting on a marble background

Pay attention to the results

Once you’re repeating, writing, reading, hearing your mantra all the time, you want to make sure that you are paying attention to the way that you’re thinking and feeling. Notice how the mantra is effecting your life. Are you more focused and more present? Are you thinking more positively and strongly about yourself and the world around you? Making changes to be more in tune with who and where you want to be? Your mantra should be helping you to be more in touch with your goals and more in control of how you feel, act and react.

The right mantra is important.

Having a mantra can be super effective as long as you’re willing to do the work and make sure that you’re choosing the right one. Again, choose a mantra that resonates with you, set your intention, and then repeat repeat repeat.

If you need help creating the perfect mantra, you can either grab my free affirmations quiz or I have a training for that in my facebook group and I’d love to support you. Pop on over to get instant access, or shoot me a message for a direct link to the training. It’s a multi-part training that includes a lot of information about mantras, and I also guide you through two different methods of forming your perfect mantra. The goal is to leave the training with a mantra to try.

If you do create a mantra and give this a shot, feel free to come tell me how it’s working out for you because I would absolutely LOVE to hear all about it and help cheer you on.