July 20, 2022
This is Ambers 100th podcast episode and the topic was formed from a PTSD flashback she had the night before recording.
Amber uses PTSD and CPTSD interchangeably, but there is a difference. The main difference between the two is PTSD usually occurs after a single traumatic event, while CPTSD is associated with repeated trauma. Amber has CPTSD.
In this episode Amber shares her experience with PTSD and the lessons learned from this latest flashback - her first one in almost a year. One of her biggest lessons this time was how PTSD has affected her relationship with food and her struggles with maintaining a healthy weight.
Amber talks a little bit about EMDR experience in which she calls a miracle treatment for trauma. If you're unfamiliar with what EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is, it's a psychotherapy treatment that enables you to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that come with trauma. Here's an EMDR website that describes it. www.emdr.com/what-is-emdr
Here's the link to the NIH study and article she mentioned: The Weight of Traumatic Stress: A Prospective Study of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms and Weight Status in Women.
If you'd like to do your own research, just Google "weight gain and PTSD", or "weight gain and trauma". There are a ton of studies and theories. Most come down to healing the pain that the trauma (or traumas) created and stored in your mind and body. It can't be buried, ignored, or swept under the rug. That pain will surface in all kinds of ways and will create things in your mind and your body that will hold you back in life. It may not hold you back completely, but it will prevent you from living a fully experienced life.
Excess weight and the (seemingly) impossibility of losing it may not be how unhealed trauma shows up for you, instead it may be one of the following....
- Anxiety or panic attacks that occur in what would be considered normal situations
- A feeling of shame; an innate feeling that you are bad, worthless, or without importance
- Suffering from chronic or ongoing depression
- Practicing avoidance of people, places, or things that may be related to the traumatic event; this also can include an avoidance of unpleasant emotions
- Flashbacks, nightmares, and body memories regarding the traumatic event
- Addiction and eating disorders in an attempt to escape or numb negative emotions
- Sleeping issues, including trouble going to sleep or staying asleep
- Suffering from feelings of detachment, or feeling "dead inside"
- Dissociation to disconnect in situations and conversations
- Hypervigilance - a constant feeling of being on guard
Suicidal thoughts or actions
- Uncontrollable anger
- Self-harm, cutting, and mutilation
- Not being able to tolerate conflicts
- Unexplained or irrational fears of people, places, or things
Amber has personally experienced 14 of these at different times in her life and along her healing journey. And, now today, due to her deep healing work, out of that 14, she only still experience 5 of them on occasion. If she can do it, so can you!
So now it's your turn for some self reflection. Get yourself a piece of paper or your journal, write down the following questions, and answer them. If you're working with a professional healer, coach, or therapist, you're highly encouraged to share the answers with them.
- Do you recognize any of the symptoms or experiences in that list of 15 above in yourself?
- Where are you stuck in life - what area(s)? Health, Career, Relationships, or general Fulfillment? Be specific!
- What kind of support do you need? From what or who? What does that look like?
- Have you found tools that help you? If so, what are they and why aren't you using them? If you are using them, why aren't they working?
- How do you celebrate your wins? Is it something that you feel benefits you - like if it effects your health negatively, you might want to find another way to celebrate?
- Why do you start treatments/programs/plans meant to benefit you mentally or physically and not finish them?
- What do you think is holding you back from living your best life?
- What can you do to change or eliminate those things all together? Really give this one a hard think.
- Where have you found the most success so far in your healing journey?
- Who inspires you the most on your healing journey? Follow that person. Read their books or publications. Listen to them. Watch them. Learn all you can about them. But, please for you're health, don't put them on a pedestal or make them your guru. Learn from them.
- What are the top 3 things you have done to help yourself?
- What is one thing you would say to someone you love who feels the way you feel about yourself and your life when you're feeling low?
Now say that last one to yourself! Maybe even turn it into a mantra. Put it on your mirror. Say it every day.
You are worthy and you deserve to live a joyful, peaceful, full, healthy life!
Self-awareness is so huge when it comes to helping you get there! So, why not take some more time for yourself and answer these questions? Then re-commit to becoming more self-aware and getting to the bottom of what's holding you back! What happened to us in the past doesn't have to have a big negative impact on our present and our future. True healing is possible for all of us.
In this episode shares an exciting update about her current offerings too! To connect with Amber you can visit her website, or follow her on social media.
And, don't forget to join us in The Dragonfly Connection Community on Facebook. It's a private group for fans of this podcast, guests that you've heard on here, and anyone wanting more connection, and support on their healing journey. It's a great group, full of love. If you have any questions or comments about this episode or others, you can post them in there, and even ask Amber or her podcast guests questions directly.