Fibromyalgia, Trauma, and Healing…

Just capturing current thoughts in this post, I could source and link the research, but I’m just not  up for it now… however, if you have questions on it, leave a comment, and I’ll try to come back to it soon ❤

Here we go:

There are links between developing fibromyalgia and experiencing trauma.

Trauma is anything your brain can’t process.

Fibromyalgia is essentially having a brain stuck in fight or flight mode.

The bio-psycho-social model of addressing pain is relevant, and I don’t know why it’s taken doctors all my adult life to understand that everything is connected, when they wouldn’t believe me it was from the start.

I’m really glad to have found a few doctors who seem to GET IT. Including the newest few practitioners.

I’m interested in pursuing this EMDR treatment to address trauma.

These are all pieces of a structure that’s working to build healing.

I’m interested in further exploring all of this and it’s connections to art, particularly the method of art I’ve been practicing, and how I might use it to help heal trauma for others in the future.

IF I EVER FEEL BETTER. thoughts. hope.


off to walk the dog, get some sunshine, and then come home and paint it all out.

memory and trauma

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Studies are now showing that memories pass through DNA. What does this mean for trauma? There’s also a component of Fibromyalgia that it is familial, and mostly women end up with it. And then there are thoughts occurring, I don’t know of research yet, about how our culture is causing complex PTSD, through drone war tactics, media inundation, and constant hate speech.

I have always felt incredibly sensitive, I know that tensions and hate fueled agendas take a toll on me, but now it is suggested that I might suffer from complex PTSD, and need treatment to heal the trauma, to release it from my body, to change the way my brain perceives these situations, presently, and in the future. Now, part of having fibromyalgia is having a brain that is in constant fight or flight. My body always thinks there is a traumatic situation happening – and in this society, I can’t really convince it otherwise.

There are instances of clear trauma for people – fighting in a war, witnessing violent death, physical abuse, sexual assault, physical injury, weather disaster… but some are more murky and happen over time, like living in extreme poverty, or a family of narcissists, or holding a constant fear of one of the more obvious traumatic events. Layered together, one trauma might not even stand out from the next.

I also think that we experience instances of trauma to our collective psyche. And we don’t even know how this manifests. Complex PTSD is a newer term in the field of psychology. Exploring how someone like me might be affected by the whole of society’s traumatic events, or how women may carry the traumas of all women before them, through DNA and collective consciousness/unconscious, is probably something we’re not going to hear about for a long time. This doesn’t mean it isn’t there somehow, that these experiences aren’t felt now. Maybe just that they don’t have a name, and we don’t know what to do with the information.

Bodily knowledge is it’s own kind of truth.

 

 

It’s the same source…

Everything I make is an echo of something infinitely larger and infinitely smaller than myself. It’s within my programming, something I understand and carry with me to everything I do. It’s beyond words. It’s a feeling that’s both the most true and the most mysterious, like some shiny rock I keep turning in my hands, studying, peering into, holding up to the light, examining in the shadows. Everything I make, photographs, graphic design projects, sketches, paintings, sculpture, etc., each of these is just an iteration of something of greater importance. It doesn’t exactly matter what I make primarily, at any given time, what matters is what I bring to it, and being open to that great unnameable thing.

Trees & Seasons

Getting ready for the Red Tent tonight. Here’s the tree sketch I did for an exercise about giving thanks for what we grew and harvested, what we are drawing into our roots for the coming winter, and what we need to nourish and fulfill us.

Now I just have to come up with what I’m taking for our shared meal. If you want to learn more about the Red Tent, you can visit our Facebook Page here: The Red Tent at the Wise Women Natural Health Collective

Sensory

At the pain center fibromyalgia group, we talked about ways to distract ourselves from pain. Things that engage the mind, such as puzzle games were common. Some people had another coping mechanism, like a fidget cube or a tapping habit. In physical therapy they taught us how to do tiny motions, that wouldn’t cause stress to your muscles or increase your pain, but just send another signal to your brain other than the pain. Another method on that uses the same science is using a light tracing with a finger or something gentle to counteract pain signals. It sounds weird, but when I was in really terrible pain, I would have my husband lightly brush the palms my hands with a soft round watercolor brush. It would help me get the pain under control. TENS machines work for the same reason, and I think this is why sensory stimuli are so popular culturally right now.

Google ASMR, if you don’t already know what it is. Look at how things like playing with slime, cutting sand, and other sensory experiences are popular on Instagram and YouTube.

I have heard that even though we’re more connected than ever, we’re also more lonely. I don’t doubt it. Is it possible that we’re seeking these simple sensory experiences because we’re lacking simple sensory experiences? Maybe we’re in so much pain from our cultural PTSD, that we’re looking to cancel out those painful signals we’re receiving with some other stimuli? I think about this a lot, and what it means for us, our personal and societal mental health, and physical well being. Are sand cutting videos and people pretending to cut our hair taking place of authentic and connected touch?

And what role can art play in this?