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Feeling Happy

I only get twenty minutes and I have to go slow.  My closest friend goes with me.  I'm occupied chattering with him and then there are these girls running the trail ahead of us.  They're slow.  I'm supposed to be running slow--I should stay behind them.  I try to...

Hallelujah

 I'm pretty sure I will lose my shit if people are walking back and forth behind me on the treadmill; hyper-vigilance is tricky that way.  But this is what's standing between me and running, so I stalk across the main floor looking for...

PTSD Nightmares

"Regular dreams or PTSD nightmares?"  And then I burst into tears.  I don't even know what regular dreams would be like.  Maybe some of my dreams are regular dreams--but they still terrify me. I dream that I'm in a shower stall...

Afraid of Men

What is it, then, that makes me hyper-vigilant with a hug from Scott or a smile from the guy in the grocery store?  What makes me shudder when I get a stray...

Safe Here

Ray hands me my computer, some papers.  I take my pillow from the bed and we try to move to the next room.  He's too close as I try to pass.  "You need to step away from me," I bark out in a strained voice.  I shouldn't have told him...

Daffodils

I told my husband our marriage was over last night.  I lope back toward the house, and daffodils line the roadside.  It is the first time I've seen them.  The daffodils mean...

See the Light

After a few minutes, I begin to feel the pain of longing for the home studio I left when I fled my marriage.  My head throbs slightly, and tears pour down my face into my ears and hair.  Breathe, I exhort myself, and lie there with my sorrow and resentment.  I breathe and remind myself...

Five Minutes

I hit the trail as the sun is setting; with the entire wood seemingly to myself, I push my toes aggressively into the dirt as I walk.  I do not limp.  I pick up pace.  I feel the toes of my right foot a little tighter, a little weaker, but they comply.  The remaining sunlight...

Joy

I remember the little goat, but I can't quite re-experience it.  Instead I'm aware of the present moment body sensations; tense and headachey.  I ultimately lay on the floor for the rest of the session where at least...

Being Loved

Oh my god.  That's really bad.  I've just broken up with him.  I can't engage with him over his choices.  I stand in the kitchen, my chest tight, swimming in grief and agony.  It's Valentines' Day.  There is nobody I can call, nobody I can talk to, nothing...

RUN

Sitting down in the room, I felt sick and anxious.  My heart was pounding.  I stared intently at my right quadricep covered in brightly colored yoga pants, reminding myself to breathe.  I told them...

I Keep Going

My vision blurs again. I shake my head and push my toes into the pool floor. I'm getting disoriented. My breathing is shallow. I can feel my eyes wide and my lips trembling. My chest feels tight. When I look up...

Moving On: Part 2

After sitting for some time, I can feel what I need--it's a nagging, insistent ache.   I hadn't planned this, and I'm not certain it's a good idea, but...

Moving On: Part 1

Not long ago, I held that white box again.  Almost everything I own has been in storage these 11 months since I left.  I held that box and cried again at that relic of once great hope now lost forever.  What on earth could I do with it?  I couldn't stand the idea of...

Healing In Community

I remember teaching that class, lying on the hospital floor with my students, noting with growing alarm while cueing them to observe the sensations in their bodies that my own body was clenching and that I couldn't stop it.  I began to panic.  I wasn't ready to talk about it.  I asked them to lie on their bellies with their foreheads on their hands--a position I'd always noticed this particular class loved.  I told them I would be silent for about a minute.  I struggled not to cry...

Here Comes The Sun

That's not an unusual morning--some ugly dream and then I wake up feeling awful.  Naturally, I want to go back to sleep and try again--maybe I won't feel so tired and desperate.  I understand that each choice I make will either take me deeper into that black pit of despair--or out of it.  The coming out won't be fast, it won't be painless...

Face The Day

Running is like breathing to me--as natural, as simple, and as necessary.  Without it I often feel like I can't breathe--a great deal of my best coping happens as my feet beat a steady rhythm on the trails.  In the woods, I feel powerful and fast--that pushes back against the anxiety and fear. I've let out a lot of anguish in the shelter of the trees.  I've passed so much joyful time...

Letting Love Carry Me

I ran my marathon in November--and my community helped me exceed my fundraising goal well ahead of schedule.  It was really moving for me.  The thing is, I wanted that to be the end of my lesson in asking for help and trusting the universe.  Asking for that money was uncomfortable, and vulnerable--but initially, I couldn't even admit...

A Wounded Healer

I struggle with deep shame over my mental illness.  Though I'm very clear it is not my fault, though I know that this is a response common to trauma survivors--the shame is very real, very persistent, and very convincing.  It tells me that I am too powerless, too broken, that I will never recover or experience healthy love.  I am so afraid that these things are true, I'm tempted to stay silent in...