Last May I wrote about my plans for an ebook on chronic illness and trauma. I had thought I’d have it completed within a month or two.
My plans turned out to be more ambitious than my mental and physical energy levels could keep up with.
[I’ve since completed it and you can download the free PDF here (no email required).]
After almost a year of regularly working on it between blog posts and life’s other adventures, having to spend other weeks resting and recovering even as I chomped at the bit with the ideas and the joy of writing, I finally have a workable draft of this little gem.
It could still take me a few months – or six? – to complete. I am no longer predicting when it will be ready, given that my body has ongoing variations in energy levels. But it finally feels within reach.
My ebook has gone through many iterations – including a first draft that was over a 100 pages long. And which I decided to segment into more reasonably sized bites. It will be free and downloadable from this blog.
Relationships Between Chronic Illness and Trauma
This first book is an overview of what I’ve learned about chronic illness and trauma. It’s the latest update on what I’ve discovered over the past 15 years – from the research, from working with clients before I became disabled by fatigue, and as a result of observing, experimenting, applying and refining the process of recognizing and healing from my own trauma – and consequently from my chronic illness.
The process of healing is ongoing. It is gradual. But the relationships between chronic illness and trauma continue to reveal themselves, one subtle and surprising layer at a time.
I increasingly believe that the trauma perspective – as well as healing from trauma – can take us a long way into the process of recovery and healing from chronic illness. That is just one of the gifts that we gain from exploring whether we have experienced trauma and whether these experiences may have contributed to our risk.
Here’s my new working title:
Can Trauma Cause Chronic Illness?
How to recognize if you’ve experienced trauma,
why it’s real,
and how healing trauma offers hope for reducing the symptoms of chronic illness
I’ve eliminated the work sheets and questionnaires I had originally written. I am instead keeping to examples that will enable you to quickly assess whether you may have experienced trauma. And to begin to determine if there is a relationship between your chronic illness and trauma, whether you have Parkinson’s disease or multiple sclerosis, chronic fatigue or asthma, lupus or fibromyalgia, inflammatory bowel disease or type 1 diabetes, and more.
The benefit of this exploration is that it is possible to heal from trauma. And healing the effects of trauma can also have a profound impact on reducing and improving the symptoms of chronic illness.
A Call for Readers
In my next phase I would like to get feedback. I will start with a few of my designated friends and colleagues. I would then love to get additional input from a few readers who have a chronic illness other than chronic fatigue (which is what and another reader have) and who are not familiar with the field of trauma or trauma therapy (it’s fine if you have been reading my blog and learning about trauma in this way). I would like to know what it’s like to read this material through fresh eyes, to learn whether it makes sense or needs clarification, whether it feels relevant, helpful and compassionate or needs any particular new details, etc. The text is currently 35 pages long (about 15,000 words). Email me if you are interested.
If you would like to be notified when my book comes out and aren’t already signed up to receive blog posts by email you can subscribe here. I’ll introduce this book in a post as soon as it becomes available.
For now I wish you all the joy and little pleasures of the turning of the weather. Of the blooming of the tulips. And of the emergence of Spring and new life.