Discovering My Power
Updated: Mar 9, 2020
If I was to share with you one of the most powerful and personal moments of my life, this would definitely be one of the top 3!
I Thought I Knew. My Self-Diagnosis Was Wrong.
After my divorce I struggled with depression and anxiety. At least that’s what I thought.
As a Clinical Social Worker I was pretty sure of what I was going through but turns out I was very wrong.
Now, if you have ever truly had a panic attack you know how incredibly horrifying and debilitating they are. You are completely out of control of yourself. It’s so deeply terrifying it shook me to my core.
What was going on?!?! How could my body be completely out of my control? I could not control my breath, my heart, my whole body. It was deeply heartbreaking and I was so scared. I remember sitting and thinking, oh my god. Is this my life now?
The pressures of a negative work environment, raising a child alone, struggling for money, and dealing with my divorce was just too much for me. I was defeated. After I was able to come down from having a few "panic attacks" I would be knocked out for days. A shell of myself. Broken. Sitting here now as I share this with you I still cry. I still feel it in my body and heart. I remember that woman, so scared, so overwhelmed, so lost and nothing left.
Going to Therapy & My PTSD Diagnosis
A good friend of mine, another Clinical Social Worker, told me about her therapist. I decided to go, thought I could build up some coping mechanisms and support around me and maybe learn to control the panic attacks.
I do not remember how many sessions it took but after a few he told me more or less in these words. "Bethany I want to tell you something. You aren't struggling with depression and anxiety..."
WHAT! I was floored, could barely breath. Oh my god. What’s going on, I thought.
He looked at me kindly and said "I believe you have PTSD".
I completely broke down. I cried a lot. Then I started to come out of it and I was connecting dots. They weren't panic attacks. I was having flashbacks. I was being triggered. With my knowledge of trauma I was blown away that I didn't see it before. It made so much sense.
I was so scared at first when he said that and then..... then there was a moment of peace. I knew about trauma and therefore I knew I could get better. Like really better! It would be hard, super hard, but I could do it.
In that moment my life changed forever. I always knew the brain was powerful but now I REALLY KNEW, I was floored. My brain, in its attempts to protect me, wasn't broken at all. Rather, it was in survival mode, doing what it should.
The power of the brain is magnificent. I had learned about it and yeah I believed it, but I didn't really know. Not like this. I had not felt it first hand in this way. It made me a different person, who I needed to be to survive, to protect myself and my son. My brain was so powerful, it knew better than I did in many situations. Everything made sense now, and now I was dangerous but in a good way because I understood EXACTLY how powerful the brain is.
If your brain can make your heart race, your blood boil, your whole body light on fire in protection, just imagine what else it can do. If it can alter your whole reality, your memory, your interactions, your body. Imagine the power it can have once its healed from trauma and is allowed to flourish not just survive.
It took me many years of therapy to say I am again in control, but now I am in more than control. I am using my brain’s power to become whatever I want. To manifest the life I desire, to attract the life I dream of, and it’s here. Little by little it’s working.
We All Have Trauma. You Are Not Alone.
I share this with you because we all have trauma. It is way more prevalent in our society than most understand, which is sad and scary. Some of us are debilitated by it. Some of us walk around engaging in interactions and relationships not even knowing it’s impacting us. However, if I can share one gift with the world out of all the pain and anguish that I have endured, this is it.
You have power.
You are powerful.
You have more control than you know.
Seek help when you need it
Rest when you must
But then figure out how to harness your power, fight everyday to overcome and heal from your trauma.
Then use that power to bring good to yourself and those around you.
All the love,