The following is a journal entry after my second TRE session. 

Something was wrong-very wrong. But I didn’t know what.

Looking back, it seemed like the past 5 years I’ve been in this altered state, a confused and hollow fog of existence. My body would be somewhere, I’d be doing something, but deep down I knew I was actually far, far away. People said I was a bit of a “space case” my attention sporadic, my wholeness shattered, and my presence obscured.

The things that brought me joy before, were meaningless. I was an empty vessel-it was sad, but I never felt sad. In fact, I didn’t feel anything at all. I was in a constant state of numbness, my body’s sick and twisted way to protect myself from the horrors that exist in this world. When you are so deep in trauma, you lose sight of what’s normal. The world around you looks scary. You forget about the beauty that exists abundantly in the world around you. And when your body betrays you with a host of physical symptoms-you usually try to fight it.

But it’s a fight that you will never win. It’s an internal battle, against Trauma, an entity that lives within you.

The more you resist the more it persists.

There was this feeling of a rubber band contracting my chest-in the exact same place where I had spinal cord surgery 5 years ago. Also, the same place of my heart that didn’t feel loved or accepted, and shamed. “I am enough” I’d say but I didn’t feel it.

My body was tense, my mind overwhelmed, and in a state of survival mode. In trauma, your body feels heavy and your sleep is light. How could one put themselves in a deep restful state-one that was so vulnerable to being hurt again. The energy it takes to host such this sinister and elusive demon is draining.

Anxiety, stress, depression, lack of meaning and purpose, lack of gratitude, distrust, and a general feeling of brokenness were all offshoot symptoms of this elusive syndrome.

As I lay down in the trauma release exercises, I immediately felt my legs start to the shake. This was my second session, and I thought I knew what to expect. However, the judgment and expectations dissipated quickly as I drift into an altered state of consciousness and just let go as my body shaked, tremored, and moved. I went along for the ride, it reminded me of a rollercoaster.

As I transition from the shaking into the integration portion, there’s a stillness and a deep level of relaxation. Every muscle in my body relaxed and my nervous system dropped.  It’s so purifying and rejuvenating. I felt energy moving through my body in new ways. I tapped into a new sensations flowing and felt deeply connected with my body.

Even though I thought the shake portion of the experience was over, my body started shaking again, almost uncontrollably, convulsing up and down like a snake. Sweat poured down my forehead and I felt strong emotions arise. Something was happening, something profound.

All of a sudden I experienced the fear that I had numbed out for years, as I flashback five years to my traumatic experience of my spinal cord surgery. However, I re-experienced the fear in the safety of my warm living room and I knew I was ok. I could smell the sterile hospital room, I see the IV going into my arm, I remember the man in white lab coat counting down, and falling asleep knowing how helpless I was about to be, not knowing how I would wake up. Even though I was fully unconscious at the time, another flashback hit me with the memory of the knife digging into my back. In my living room, I screamed “helpppppp”!!! This was profound because the body remembered, even though the mind was off at the time.

As I lay down post TRE session, in my warm and safe living room, I noticed my pulse was out of control. It felt like I was running at a 100 miles per hour. I was breathing quickly and shallow, almost gasping for air.

Next, I started coughing. It was a nasty couph, toxic stress, shame, helplessness, was coming up and I was dispelling it from my body. I felt courage to use my my voice. “AHHHHHH” “AHHHHHHH”. Voicing the trauma as a sound made it real and made it come out even more. Everything that was happening, was just happening. My body was in control doing its natural process of processing, my mind was just going along for the ride.

I once heard, healing is not something you do, but something you allow. That resonated deeply as I built the courage to trust and not resist. With curiosity I ask myself, what strange thing my body was doing?

A rush of anger flushed through me. Living with trauma is in itself traumatizing-the insidious grip on my body, and the tormenting fluster of thoughts, my body on red-alert constantly, and seeing the world through a shifted, scary lense. So much anger, so much regret, so much unnecessary suffering. I felt it all, all that I had previously numbed out.

Next, my heart rate started to slow down and my breathing start to normalize again. A warm smooth flood of gratitude entered. I could tell that something profound had happened, and I assumed I had completed the trauma cycle. I had processed it. I felt naked and vulnerable, but free. I reached for as much courage as I could muster-to nurse this new sense of freedom into staying in its new home. I felt a little fragile, like a newborn baby entering the world, yet it wasn’t a broken fragility, but one of strength. It came with accepting of myself and the dangers in the world. And being ok with it. This was the definition of bravery.

I was thankful to have had this rich, healing experience. It felt like I had just finished some esoteric, shamanic, mythological journey. It was like the trauma-thing lingering inside of me, constantly zapping my nervous system and taking over my thoughts, had finally left.

I opened my eyes and noticed the outside world. I noticed my clothes were now soaked from sweat. I felt drained of energy. I then realized how deep in an altered state I really was. I remembered the flashbacks, the screaming, the shaking, and found it all so curious.

I felt so light. I laughed. Tears rolled. It all felt so natural, biological, and innate. The grip behind my sternum evaporated-like the vulnerability that happens during last breath you take a split seconds before being startled.

I started feeling new sensations, clarity, wholeness, feelings of self love. That wall in my life that made me feel stuck crumbled. My inner world, that before was full of chaos, had become still and empty. I noticed my surrounding, it was clear and crisp and beautiful. I kind of laughed because all the things in my life that were so heavy, now seemed so light. It was all so easy, and I liked it.

As I slowly sat up in the seated position, I felt a little uneasy entering this new world. Still feeling totally vulnerable and naked. I had to muster my courage, but it came with a feeling of empowerment, resiliency, awareness, and feeling fully alive. The room around me was bright, still, and vivid. I noticed the colors-plants around the room, objects had a warming and fascinating intricacy to them. Textures caught my eye. I was present, out of my head, and noticing the details.  I was no longer a space case, and connected and mindful of my environment. A breeze brought a cool feeling to the skin on my cheek.

It was cathartic, I felt cleansed, I was re-born in a new world, and it was beautiful.