Oh yea, I have a trauma brain too
I've started my business, technically I started my business or at least thinking about and taking preliminary steps to creating my business February of 2020. But lately I have increased posting, made a workshop (no one has purchased as of yet), created a YouTube channel and created a business plan that I seem to deviate from continually.
Fast forward to today and I feel like a crazy woman. I threw my back out end of December and that either caused or just coincided with a bout of depression. I'd never take myself out but I definitely sat on my couch in sweats and tears and wished a part of the roof would cave in and just do it for me.
I came out of that about a week later and then I felt fine, happy actually, too happy and thought, shit, am I bipolar?? No idea...let's go with no as I don't have the bandwidth to add another worry.
Feeling better for a couple of days and getting into my business, posting, creating, looking at my bank account.....I left a part time gig middle of December.....do I have money....posting oh shit and now I feel completely untethered.
What the hell....oh, yea, I have a trauma brain. My brain, my nervous system was changed by childhood trauma and while I have done lots of work around rewiring and regulating I have to remember to do the work regularly, trauma recovery is a lifetime journey.
I am working to build a business on my own, I don't have anyone else that financially supports me and right now I have no money coming in....that feels super unsafe for me and out of control. Big triggers, triggers I've worked on and I know intellectually I will always have to work on but in day to day I totally forget. As I read that prior sentence I am not sure I forget as much as I end up being triggered and my ability to think rationally goes out the window!
I grew up with uncertainty and chaos and while my today doesn't look the same as back then, it is uncertain and chaotic, this feels the same, "normal" but isn't actually good.
The uncertainty sends me into chaos. I frenetically get up in the morning, at 5am, and start. I exercise - I have to, how I felt at the end of December terrifies me, I can't feel that bad again, so I move. And then I create this day, external and internal of created chaos....do this, omg no this and you forgot this and oh, shit, I don't have any money and oh, here is an email offering, a new free webinar that is going to be THE ANSWER! Watch it...ok, now do this or wait, do that, what should I do.....overwhelmed!
Breathe Amy, sit. What is funny and well, so freaking stupid of me (thank you inner critic for your evaluation) is that my workshop is working WITH a trauma brain and increasing sales....apparently I need to watch it.
I feel like if I feel this way so do many others. Childhood trauma changes us, it just does. It looks different for each of us but there are some definite commonalities. We function in survival mode, makes it hard to focus especially when we are feeling uncertain and unsafe.
We easily slip into our sympathetic nervous system, I can hear my Amygdala saying, "Come on, Bring It!" Not helpful, but thank you.
I've found myself rolling my eyes at self-care, yea yea take a bath whatever but that's a meaning I've placed on self-care or, and here is probably closer to the truth, a part of me that doesn't feel like I deserve self-care, to stop and care for me. Self-care is fundamental to us all, but self-care for a trauma brained individual is truly paramount.
We have to settle, we have to get into our parasympathetic nervous systems, step off the hamster wheel, create our own safety. And if that's a warm bath, then run that water, strip down and get in!
I am a hot mess right now and it is because I haven't taken the time to do the work that I am trying to get others to do. I have to self-care, I have to stop and put my hand on my heart, breathe into, feel my feet on the earth. I have to tell myself that I am safe, feel into that and believe, because I am.
I also have to break my work down in small parts, turn off the outside noise, yes Amy, that means no more "free" webinars! It's too noisy and while I find comfort in chaos it isn't where I want to be anymore, I'm exhausted. And it isn't productive.
I nightly allow myself an hour to an hour and a half of TV while I eat dinner, I figure this is self-care. It isn't, first that fact that I "allow" myself like I am some unruly child, not good for my subconscious, we already struggle with our value and worth. While I am having my "TV time" I am thinking about the things I should be doing, need to do, oh shit there is that bank account again....this isn't self-care.
I need kindness and grace self-care, I need sleep and rest. I grew up in uncertainty and chaos, my body and mind have been through a lot and reprimanding, pushing and shoulding myself will not help me manage.
I have to regulate my nervous system with breath, yoga and a grounding meditation, these are self-care for me. Spend time visualizing me sitting in front of the ocean, under a tree, by a river - things that I find peaceful and grounding, bringing my alignment with Mother Earth, leaning on her power when I am not feeling my own.
And finally, play, dance, sing!
If you are reading this and you have a trauma brain, I encourage you to remember to take the steps that work for you to feel into your power, your strength - let go of any frustrations around not being "fixed", we never will be and I believe the saying that our beauty is in the broken, our gifts lie in our wounds.
Sending you all a giant big warm hug!!
Peace & Love