Post Traumatic Growth


I have been learning more about trauma these last few months; much of it about my own experience. I had complex PTSD which occurred from soft trauma and hard trauma combined. The former is harder to pinpoint--it's ubiquitous. The latter is a singular event you could point to on a calendar. It was a tough one to heal, but heal I did. That is, psychologically...

What most people don't think about is that trauma doesn't just happen to your psyche, it happens to your body too. It damages your nervous system, which then starts to wreak havoc on your tissues. (think chronic pain, fatigue, fibromyalgia) I often forget that and forget I did when last year handed me a boatload of stress that my body and nervous system weren't equipped for. It was good stress, but stress is stress, believe it or not. So, I got sick and my body started breaking down. Chronic—global—pain, chronic fatigue, a separated shoulder, strained ligaments in my ankle & elbow, my back went out, my IBS reared it's ugly head. Boy was I hurting and grappling for a cure.

When I plummeted into deep depression, I recognized the markers and knew I needed an intervention. So, I turned to my body, I turned to her for advice. I practiced mind-body awareness and nurtured the hell out of my physical self. The dis-ease forced me to slow down. And feeling better now, on the other side, I don't think of a tunnel but a light at the end of a rainbow. The pot of gold, the richness of your experience.

There's something in PTSD recovery that not enough people talk about and that's Post Traumatic Growth. It's how we learn and transform so tremendously from the painful experience. And this makes me grateful in two ways: 1) PTG is the reason why I found my life path: teaching Ki Yoga to reduce stress for psychological & physiological wellbeing. 2) PTSD never stops teaching me. I thought I was cursed last year when I got sick again, that this bullshit would never end. Instead, what all that dis-ease taught me was to love the skin I'm in. To have patience for my vessel that has endured so much. And I love this body now, more than ever, more than I could have ever thought possible.

Kiara McBain