Guy MacPherson invited me to his Trauma Therapist Project for a chronic illness and trauma podcast. We talk about the science and some of my own story of how this became my passion. It was a joy and Guy’s inviting style holds depth of curiosity and wisdom, with questions that get right to the heart of the matter. We covered a lot of ground in 30 minutes!
- 10 min: ahas that got me thinking about chronic illness from trauma perspectives
- aha #1 “what if physical symptoms are like PTSD, but in our physiology?”
- aha #2 learning about Tony Madrid’s work with moms and their kids with asthma
- a story of asthma recovery suggesting the real potential for healing
- 17 min: Guy, “It seems like the trauma link to physical symptoms is a no brainer”
- onset triggers and stressors are common before onset of many chronic illnesses
- 19:50 – I didn’t think I had any trauma in my own history
- perspectives on how it can take time to improve chronic illness, including my own
- the science that is helping change perspectives on trauma at a global scale (ACEs)
- what led me to change careers and leave medicine
- books I recommend for the chronic illness and trauma connection (Stephan Hausner’s Even if it Costs Me My Life) and Peter Levine’s books
You’ll find the podcast here
Guy MacPherson on facebook and twitter
Many of you know I am taking time away from my blog and the topic of trauma and chronic illness for 2022 (learn more here).
It’s feeling great to be following this impulse and I’m enjoying spending less time at my computer :-).
My energy levels are also intriguing in that I am now having cycles in which I have enough energy for increased activities on some days and then enjoy hibernating or doing less on other days. The fascinating part is that while I feel tiredness during the down cycles, these cycles are not driven primarily by exhaustion as they used to be (which is the hallmark of chronic fatigue syndrome aka ME/CFS.) Instead, these slower periods come with light impulses in which I want to slow down, read, stop or watch a little TV that’s not too intense (such as The Great Pottery Throwdown), rather than being forced to do so from extreme physical fatigue. I’m observing this with a gentle eye and a large degree of curiosity because it is looking a lot like a healthier pattern of pendulation that is emerging in my nervous system :-). This could be a sneaky sign of progress on my healing journey. We’ll see and I’ll let you know what I discover!
Veronique, I am so glad to hear that your hibernating time is so beneficial and even invigorating. My body responded to our series of storms here in Colorado, and like all good barometers, I knew the storms were coming this time 96 hours in advance. I had two days this week where I was barely able to get out of bed due to physical pain and exhaustion. I made some wise choices at the end of 2021 to prioritize interventional pain management to get my chronic pain diagnoses better managed if/as we are able(that is my medical team). In making this wise choice, so that eventually, I will be able to make other healing choices, I am carefully tuning in to what my body needs, is asking for, and intuitively what it is communicating to me. Despite the bumpy week this past week, I am on track for a better 2022 as I felt no need to push anything this week, allowing for self-care and growing my compassion for decades of struggle. Know I treasure reading your blogs and your participant’s commentaries and sharing their own stories. It sure helps to know I am not alone and can take all of the wisdom shared here and put it in my armamentarium. In November I converted to Judaism(Reform Tradition) and the peace and assurance of this wise choice for me has already manifested abundant calm, peaceful centering and a previously unmatched joy to immerse myself in the healing wisdom of my faith. Wishing you every blessing on your hibernating journey. Peace and Love, Shalom, Pam
Veronique Mead, MD, MA says
Dear Pam, Congratulations on your listening, insights and choices that support your journey and that feed the cycle of things that help with healing. Feeling no need to push sounds like a Big Accomplishment :-). Peace and calm sound like wonderful confirmation for converting being a good things for you! Thank you for sharing all this, and further supporting all the others who come here and realize they are not alone either! All my best wishes for your healing journey and thx for yours on my hibernating journey!!! xoxo
Thank you, Veronica, for your website & posts. I’ve had CFS for 35 years. I discovered your blog a few years ago, and while it resonated with me, it also felt like too much to deal with. Now I’m discovering that there’s no escaping dealing with past trauma. I’m suddenly forced to deal with an aging mother, who has already managed an act of betrayal, which brought up a lifetime of that plus more. Being a responsible person I will continue to care for her. But needing to deal with the feelings I am, at age 67, enrolling in Irene Lyon’s year long course to care for myself at the same time. Your blog helped me to realize that I need to do this. I’m already feeling some peace by acknowledging the trauma instead of trying to grit my teeth, stuff it, and bear it. It will be interesting to see if this improves my energy levels & immune system in the future. I have hope, and your work encourages me.
Veronique Mead, MD, MA says
Dear Terry, The past trauma seems to rarely allow us to escape without us saying hello to it on some way. Thank you for explaining how this took shape for you as I know this is the case for so many – we each can only go at our own pace. It will likely be reassuring for others too. Self care in the ways you name is huge. Dealing with our trauma doesn’t always have to look a certain way and really does include things that involve self-love and ease and gentleness in them (even if it can take great effort to put them into practice). Sending you all my best wishes for what you might discover as you explore this “way.” xoxo