For me, trauma is something I’ve experienced in multiple forms. In my younger years with parentification, then school bullying, and also at home with complex family issues. You could say crisis and trauma have always been my baseline—what I’ve considered normal. These life experiences shaped me and ignited a passion for helping individuals like you, navigating stressful experiences or healing from past events. These events can leave you with a hyperactive stress reaction. That means that you may feel hyper aware of other peoples emotions because it was a way you kept yourself safe when you were young. And this is where the connection between trauma and chronic illnesses is as our early childhood traumas effect us later in life. What this means is that the stress we encounter early in life effects how our nervous system developed and through our fight or flight responses, as having cortisol flooding the body with these traumas can cause later illnesses.
After these experiences, I eagerly trained to become a crisis counselor, driven by my passion to help others in similar situations. As when I had all those challenging times, I also had crisis counsellor support me through it, even when I didn’t think I could survive it. This inspired me to learn how to provide the same help for others in crisis. As I studied, I immersed myself in volunteer work at my local police station, assisting victims of traumatic incidents on scene, often after the worst day of their lives. I worked in different crisis centers and I loved going to scenes and following up providing long term support to survivors experiencing the stress and shock of the trauma. I knew what to do, and I felt calm and collected as I sat with them in their distress because I had experience in trauma. Sometimes, being there was the most powerful thing anyone could do for a survivor. I continued to follow up with them throughout the first year as they navigated grief of loss, anxiety that comes after trauma, and confusion—the most challenging period after death or trauma. This became something I excelled at and found meaning in. Seeing the growth in my clients as I provided personal support, fueled my dedication as I pursued my degrees in clinical counseling. Studying and volunteering deepened my love for helping others. And through exploring the ways trauma therapy can heal the wounds we carry away, resonated with me and fueled my passion. Therapy, is a powerful way to work through struggles and heal, it certainly helped me.
As I went through my training in counselling (i.e., a BA, MA, and additional training), I envisioned a certain path for my life, but it took an unexpected turn. Perhaps you relate? Sure, there were bumps along the way, typical for those who have experienced trauma. Yet when multiple chronic health conditions emerged it felt like I was being veered off course. These diseases are often a consequence of our bodies struggling to cope with high cortisol that damages us after years of stress and trauma. Balancing these health conditions while attending university and raising two kids was and is incredibly challenging, especially in these young years. Accepting and coping with these conditions has proved to be both difficult and confusing.
The frustration often set in because life wasn’t going according to plan. Our bodies tend to internalize emotional wounds and stress, akin to physical injuries, leading to lasting damage without proper intervention. Attempting to maintain a fast-paced life despite my health conditions exacerbated these issues. Perhaps you’ve received a diagnosis, are living with a disorder, and feel stuck, unsure of where to go from here, or are fighting it alone? Throughout my journey, I’ve frequently felt that way, and after 10 years these frustrations have forced me to learn more about illnesses and adapt to a new way of life, through seeking out new coping strategies.
Determined, I combined my knowledge from clinical counseling styles, neurobiology, and research into chronic illnesses to develop tools gleaned from my lived experiences with chronic health and trauma. I aimed to manage illness while navigating my daily life. And after years of coping with chronic illnesses, I graduated with a Master’s Degree, created online programs, resources, and an online therapy practice to assist others dealing with mental health, trauma, and chronic illnesses. Maybe I can help you?
#ChronicFatigue #ChronicPain #MentalHealth #Trauma #PTSD #AcuteStressDisorder #Fibromyalgia #Migraine #ThyroidDisease #Caregiving