Welcome to Nate 90
Going on ten years ago now, I went through several months of a mysterious sickness. The doctors were not sure what was going on. I had some sort of infection, and they couldn't get it to go away. It got so bad that I couldn't sleep at night. I would finally drop off to sleep around 5am sometimes 6am, and then wake up a few hours later.
This went on for about three months before they figured out what was going on. Even then, it was another few months before it was totally resolved. During the final few months of healing, I remember being afraid - every day - that I would do something to cause the infection to come back.
Years ago a friend of mine had a problem with his shoulder that wouldn't resolve, even after surgery. He relayed to me that he struggled with a lot of fear and anxiety about it. He was afraid he would aggravate his shoulder again and start the healing process all over again.
One of the biggest struggles we can face after going through a hard time in our lives is learning how to ground ourselves in the present reality of safety. Our bodies and our minds can become trapped in a past traumatic reality.
The most obvious example is someone who has been a soldier in a war situation, and then comes home. Their bodily reactions and their mental state can be stuck back in the war situation.
But as we talked about this in the last three episodes (16, 17, and 18), all sorts of traumatic experiences can get stuck in us. One of the key ways to deal with this trauma is to learn how to ground yourself in the present reality of safety.
If you are not in a present reality of safety, as much as with in your power to do so, you should seek out safety in your life. This is a full discussion of its own that we cannot touch on today.
For today, I want focus on those who are presently in a safe situation, but they are struggling to feel safe. For people who are struggling with reactions of anxiety and fear even around safe people. For folks whose body is tensing up even when they are in a safe situation. In my case, even after I had recovered from my infection, I struggled with anxiety about it for months afterward.
When we have struggles like this because of past psychological trauma, we will find our minds and our bodies living in the past upset instead of the present safety. Ask yourself a question:
Is it safe now...in the present?
Then, slowly begin to look at all the reasons it is safe in the present. You will need to take time to do this. And, you fill find that you will need to do this often. For some folks, it ends up being a life-long exercise. Others, they are able to recover in a short time.