A Moment of Thanks to Strong Lotus Yogi

I think one of the benefits of pausing to be grateful and reflect on positives is that it helps with perspective. I’ve struggled so much through the last few months, and living with PTSD can be a pretty hopeless situation. I’ve felt that I just can’t so many times, and taking steps in recovery have at times seemed to difficult or overwhelming or inaccessible.

And that’s why I’m grateful for Amanda at Strong Lotus Yogi!

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Photo from Strong Lotus Yogi – Benefits of Side Plank https://stronglotusyogi.com/2018/05/29/benefits-of-side-plank-vasisthasana/

One of my biggest challenges has been exercise or really body movement of any kind. I have mostly just wanted to stay in bed and block the world out, and I am still working through the situation of my brain thinking an elevated heart rate means I’m going to die. Amanda’s blog and her yoga practice have been such a calming and accessible way for me to stay mentally engaged with what I’ve wanted to do even when it was too hard to make my body do it, and she has kept me motivated to stay with it until I could get back to yoga practice myself.

She has many videos in which she breaks down yoga poses so that it’s clear and understandable how to hold the pose in a way that’s most accessible to you, and I think she is a wonderful example of what conscientious yoga teachers do to make the world a better place. She is a truly beautiful person and her good energy is contagious, even in the blogosphere!

Thank you, Amanda! I appreciate you so much!

1% Attempt #2

I did it!

My goal has been to slowly begin to improve in areas that I have not been able to achieve goals. One is exercise, another is having a well-exercised design muscle. This past week I wanted to do 10 kettlebell lifts and one little bit of design every day. I only missed Saturday, a day that I had a lot of family stuff going on. I even got it done yesterday, when I barely got out of bed and didn’t feel well most of the afternoon. Success!

This week’s goal is 10 kettlebell swings and one little bit of design every day.

Living with PTSD: When Good is a Trigger

In the last two days I have started to feel good. My PTSD symptoms seem to be significantly reduced, I have more energy and am more interested in personal projects, and I am willingly exercising, taking breaks from work and stopping work when it’s time to stop for the day. I’m looking into creative projects for myself and for work, and I seem to be paying much more attention to what’s going on around me.

The last two times this happened I was blindsided about a week later by trauma. It has taken me months to recover from both.

My parents are headed on a vacation that my mom is really excited about, and rightly so. They’ve been through the same trauma, and it’s been a long, hard effort to get everyone well and stable. I’m excited for them, and I think it’s long overdue.

My parents were supposed to leave town the day after my brother’s accident. They spent the weekend and the week after in the ICU with him.

My body remembers. Parents plan to leave town: trauma. I start feeling really good: trauma. I’m usually blindsided by trauma anniversaries and triggers, and I spent the month of October struggling to cope with the terror lodged in my brain. This time I know what’s coming, I know how I feel, I quickly recognized the circumstances, and I am making a plan to address them the best I can. I’m having someone stay with me this weekend so that I’m not alone (and therefore all up in my own head), I have plans to do things I enjoy with people I enjoy, and I don’t have any set responsibilities, only a plan of action in case an emergency happens. I communicated how I feel and what this is like for me, my concerns have been acknowledged and accommodated without negativity from anyone involved in helping me, and I am so, so grateful that even though positive growth and change can be a trigger, then can also be an opportunity for better.

100 Days of Healing – Day 90

I have a Fitbit for feedback. I like to know where my resting heart rate is, I like to know how much I’m moving, I like to know how I sleep, and I count calories. I used to do it obsessively, but I’ve stopped that and now just use it for data. I stopped counting this past weekend when I let my phone battery die. I ate when I was hungry, I rested because that’s what felt good, and when I got home the weather and some chores I wanted to get done didn’t give me the time to go for a walk and get in a little exercise. And that’s ok. My weight is back up a bit, and that’s ok. I listened to my body and gave it what it asked for.

And now it’s asking for something else.

Yesterday started out sleeping a little bit too long and being rushed to get out the door to an appointment. As soon as that was done though, I went back to the routine I wanted, slowed things down, took some time to check in with my schedule, make some plans and decide what was important for this week.

I also decided that I was going to go low calorie through Thursday and start engaging in some small exercise every day, because my body needs balance. I don’t do balance, that has been escaping me my whole life, but I think I am ready to begin balance.

And maybe I have viewed balance as something it’s not – a constant state. I think maybe it’s more acknowledging that things are rocking and responding by doing the things that bring harmony back.

I indulged in food, now I am going to un-indulge.

I’ve avoided exercise, now I am going to practice it.

I’ve ignored unhealthy relationships that called and demanded my time and energy, now I’m being intentional about connecting with people who are meaningful and supportive of me.

I rushed out the door, now I’m taking a few moments to calm and center and drink some tea before I go to the next thing.

It’s a small start, but practice begins with those small starts.

100 Days of Healing – Day 75

I was still feeling an anxiety hangover when I woke up yesterday after staying in bed most of the day Friday. I was tempted to stay in bed again, but I didn’t want to, not really. So I told myself I had to do just three things: go for a walk, edit a document sitting in my email and clean my bathroom. And if that’s all I got done and if it took me all day, that’s what I was going to do.

I got dressed and out the door, and I was slow. I think it took me an hour and a half to walk three miles. But I did it, and when I got back I was a little more motivated. I ended up handling my three part list, plus started my next personal project, cleaned out a couple of garbage bags of stuff from the box pile I need to cut in half, worked for several hours and went to dinner with my parents.

It’s possible, even when it starts with one small step.

100 Days of Healing – Day 57

I lost 5.4 lbs on my juice cleanse last week. No surprise there. I gained a little more than half of it back the next day after a bean and cheese burrito, a handful of chips with salsa and a small piece of cake. Figures.

I immediately started thinking up my next crash diet. Keto! I’ll do keto for a month and get my weight down. And not because I really believe in fad diets or think this is a sustainable lifestyle, but because it’s important for me to see right now that I can. Did the weight come back immediately? Yes. But more to the point, I did it. And I can keep doing it. I am starting to believe I can make the changes I need to long term for a healthier lifestyle.

I’ve been walking this week and tracking my calories, or at least close enough to it. And I’ve lost nearly 2 lbs since the post-juice weight jump. I’m 3 lbs down total, and I’m pretty pleased with that, because that wasn’t crash diet, that’s real, and the juice was the kickstart I was hoping it would be. I needed to see that I could do it so that I could have the confidence to continue through what will be a longer and greater challenge.

100 Days of Healing – Day 34

The Sahara Dust is killing any ideas I have about walking outside (I tried it Monday and won’t be doing that again), so I’m probably not achieving my exercise goals this week. Eh.

I also am losing interest in food as a way to numb/cope, which feels weird but is good. I haven’t stopped eating, I just am not focused on eating, and can go hours without any interest in food. It’s such a change from before, and it’s nice! I’ve also been sleeping a lot this week, and letting myself sleep. Things are still getting done, even if they are not all getting done today, and my resting heart rate has dropped another 3 beats per minute – a sign that I have less stress and anxiety.

I had a really great conversation with my boyfriend last night, much closer to when we started dating than recently. We talked about Things Going On In The World until late, and that free flow of ideas and questions is such a gift, because I can’t do that with just anyone, and it reminded me why I like him so much.