I have been putting off dealing with this because well, really one thing at a time. 14 months ago my body suffered a massive trauma. This trauma extended to every area of my life and therefore my body was forced to endure the burden of what I was going through. The keeper of my pain, it has suffered greatly. I was driving back from Vancouver and when I was half an hour away from home I got a call that sent me into shock.
‘Chels, where are you ?’ He asked.
He seemed a little incoherent and I thought maybe he had been drinking and was calling for a ride home. A good friend of mine, but better friends with my fiancé, Rene. Since my man was out of town I thought maybe he was calling for a favor.
I asked him if he needed a ride, if he was OK?
He said, ‘ it's about Rene, you need to come home.’ When I think about it I can still feel the numbness that swept through me. As if my body temperature had dropped, I froze.
I grasped at possibilities, ‘should I go to the hospital?’
Silently begging for a yes.
‘No, you need to come home.’
I don't think anything else was said.
I was driving, and my mind racing. How the hell was I going to get myself home?
From the car I called my sister probably 19 times. Voicemail. Over and over again.
I screamed, ‘answer your fucking phone,’ as it rang and rang.
Finally, I gave up and called a friend.
That's was the start of my profound dissociation from myself. From all aspect; my emotions, my mind, and my body.
It got worse, when I found out for sure. He had died.
That moment is seared into my psyche. I can't actually remember him telling me, I can't picture his face or anything, but I can feel it. I have no access to certain details and other seem disgustingly clear. From there things spun out of control.
For this last year my body was of little concern to me, and it bore the brunt of what I have been going through. The physical container for unbearable emotions. I pushed it hard in the earlier days, I was numb so would demand of it in yoga practice and training where the intense energy could be moved through me. I was flooded with hormones leaving me indescribably high. This lasted months, and even today I can still get there. It happens less and less often but when something seems overwhelming, or I drink just the right amount, I can get right back there. Overtime that has faded into extreme exhaustion, fatigue, and full body pain. It aches, and is stiff; my body still holds much of the trauma. I wasn't too concerned with what I was eating, often eating for comfort. I sleep when I can, but can be up all hours of the night. My nervous system is still in overdrive, my digestion is poor, and I'm exhausted from being in fight or flight for so long. Truly, I am amazed at the body's ability to protect us, but through this mine has taken a beating
The disconnect I have from my body has protected me, and I needed that, but now I’m not comfortable in my own skin. I don’t want to live that way. I have felt the desire to get back into fitness classes, but honestly my ego nudged it aside. I have gone to some classes randomly but have been discouraged with how weak I am. Not comfortable in this body I have resisted getting to know it. It will be humbling to say the least, but it's time. I am not where I was, my body is not what it was, and it will take a lot of work to find the strength I once had. But today I was inspired by our staff meeting where we talked about all the people who have come to Oranj Fitness and slowly class-by-class have found strength. I have been scared to see where I am really at, but do trust my colleagues. I will remind them that living through death has taken a toll on my body, and remind myself to be patient. Every week I will make a plan for the classes I will be attending for the week to come. Keeping track of how my body is adapting to the exercise, slowly building my strength and finding my way back to myself.
I see this in many people, their bodies have changed so they get frustrated, or ignore it all together. Maybe you have had a baby, maybe you have had an injury, a big life change, or maybe it has been a long time since you have check in with yourself. Remember, you have to start where you are, we don't have a choice. We can't go back to where we were, but we can start from here. Like my yoga teacher once told me about my practice, let it meet you where you are.
Maybe I will see you in class. ~with love