Healing from Trauma & Mental Illness

Growing up, I didn’t realize how much trauma I experienced.  I was bullied throughout middle school and early high school, but I didn’t think it affected me.  I’ve had physical injuries, as well as emotional ones, but I just kept plowing along.  I just kept a straight face and thought that I was strong.  While I may have been strong, I was also hurt.

It has taken me many years to actually become aware of deep hurts within me.  My illness didn’t help with this, and largely contributed to the trauma that I experienced.  However, I used the same tactic that had worked growing up:  I just kept acting like nothing could affect me.  Only after healing from the illness, and feeling safe enough and stable enough for long enough, was I able to let my guards down and realize how deeply hurt I was.

I realized that I had to grieve the losses and the pain that I had endured.  I had to feel it so that I could release it.  In yoga practice, we learn that the body has “cellular memory”, where it stores our experiences and emotions, etc.  Going through the illness felt like being beaten to a pulp over and over again.  I was holding so much pain inside, but I just kept going.  I had to in order to survive.  Now that I have been able to relax a little bit, I’ve been able to let my guard down without feeling like I’ll be beaten to the ground again.

These past five years since starting homeopathy, I’ve considered myself “healed” because I no longer required medication, but I realized that I still had a lot of healing to do.  I have continued to work on improving my health, managing my resources in a useful way, maintaining balance, and rebuilding my life.  It has been hard work, but I have continued to grow and move forward.

I think that trauma can contribute to mental illness, and that mental illness can cause trauma.  Ultimately, as human beings, we learn to heal.  We adapt, we grow, we get stronger, we get wiser, and we move forward.  I believe that each one of us is perfectly suited to our own unique environment and circumstances.  It is what we need to grow, and our gifts and strengths are also uniquely suited to our environment for how we can best serve the world.

I am so grateful for all of the experiences that I have been through, because I am all the richer for it.  It is our experiences that give richness and meaning to our lives, which allows us to live more deeply and more fully.  We all share in the human experience!  I wish you the very best on your healing journey.  God bless you!


5 responses to “Healing from Trauma & Mental Illness

  1. Reading this blog has made me nervous. I have bipolar disorder and tried homeopathy, Traditional Chinese Medicine, acupuncture with some of the world’s best, radical diet changes, meditation, exercise, reiki, etc. for over ten years. Nothing made a bit of difference until I broke down and went to a psychiatrist. Medication changed my life. I got married and have been able to raise my children, hold down a full-time job, and have healthy relationships thanks to being on psychotropic medication. Every time I try to go off it (because in reality there isn’t a person out there who actually wants to be on medication) and return to a holistic alternative, my life unravels completely to the point I can no longer take care of myself or my family. I really don’t know what the right answer is. I feel a bit lost. I want desperately to be free of prescriptions and I always set out truly believing that this will be the time I heal myself naturally only to come horribly crashing down. I’m so happy to hear you were able to find a way out. I, however, am losing hope that I will experience a similar success story.

    • I completely understand. My journey was my journey and it was unique to me. I’m sure modern medicine has improved in the 15 years since I was first diagnosed. At this point I’ve come full circle and would probably be open to taking some medication if I needed it and it helped me to function. To me, success is just moving forward and living a good life, however that may be. I feel for you and I know how hard it is. Just know that you are not alone. I wish you the very best. God bless you!

  2. I think it’s so amazing that you were able to take such a traumatic and personal experience and turn it around to help others. It really takes a selfless and humble person to do that. I believe God has placed each and everyone of us here with a purpose and sometimes that means we must go through some things to shape and mold our character. Clearly God has called you to reach the broken and wounded and the only way to have done so is to have been afflicted with same pain. Your story is so sad and tragic and I’m sorry you had to go through it, but God will be glorified because of it.Your stronger because of it. People will see the light at the end of tunnel because of it, and I know their is hope for my sister and my older brother because of your very powerful testimony. Thank you Joshua. Please never stop sharing your story and I pray you will continue on your healing journey. God bless you always!

    -Elaine Rivera

  3. thank you for sharing your journey ..my daughter was diagnosed with this disease 1 year ago with many years thinking it was lyme disease..thank you for your account..and onward we go on our journeys..cheers to you

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