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Why you Disassociate and How to Reconnect with Yourself





Hey Conscious Babe,


Welcome back. This week's blog is so special to me. Feeling disassociated from life was one of the biggest hurdles I had to overcome when trying to move past my trauma.


I do want to preface this by saying I am not a doctor. If you're experiencing any mental health problems and feel like you are in immediate danger, please contact your local authorities or mental health provider immediately.


For decades, I didn't feel like I was me. I was disconnected from everyone and everything.


And although I was lucky enough to create small goals here and there, they were mostly very safe goals that served only to keep me going from day-to-day.


One time, I was in a session with my therapist, and I proudly started telling her how "nothing ever bothered me" and "I was so laid back," and she said to me.


"Yes, well, that's a symptom of disassociation"…um what? So it's not a superpower?


Actually, it is. But I'll tell you why in another blog.


But anyway, back to my point.


When you look at disassociating from a trauma perspective, it's actually a pretty amazing coping mechanism.


Disassociating is our mind's way of helping us cope with feelings of helplessness, fear, and pain. It's our mind's way of making the unbearable feel bearable.


It helps us feel like our trauma is a big cloudy dream that can't hurt us.


The problem is that we have to stand very still to keep the illusion up. We can't allow ourselves to jump back into life, less we want to burst the safety bobble and allow ourselves to feel the pain again.


For decades I never allowed myself to leave that bubble. Heck, I didn't even know there was really a way to get out of the bubble. I thought that's just the way it was.


Until I did.


It had been about ten years since my last trauma. I generally felt safe with my husband. While I didn't necessarily love life, I was ok with my everyday routine.


Until one day, the worst happened. I found out he was having an affair. POP…the bubble burst.


I immediately started experiencing the stages of grief. But worst than that, all the past betrayals and traumas of my life came rushing back at once.


I no longer felt safe. In fact, I felt like I was in immediate physical danger. I wanted to die just to make the pain stop.


Then something interesting happened.


I want to tell you the truth about this part because I don't want you to think it was an easy process. But it freakin' worked.


I went through all the steps again. I cried on the floor, decided I needed help, went to therapy, and got on meds.


In retrospect, I think the feeling the medication they gave me is what saved me. But not in the way you think…


For one, the meds numbed me (as I expected.) I hadn't taken meds in a while, so I'd forgotten. I forgot that they took away (all) my feelings. I didn't feel despair anymore, but I also didn't feel any joy, anger, or relief.


I was just a shell of myself.



Then one day, I just decided I would snap out of it. I'm not exactly sure what triggered that feeling. It might have been a mix of my internal prayers for guidance. It might have been the hatred and repulsiveness I was feeling about my life at that particular moment. Maybe it was a mix of both.


But in one moment, I made the decision to change everything.


What came after was the journey to where I am now. And that journey was a road filled with pit stops.


I stopped at the spirituality gift shop. I stopped at the Self-Help store. I even stopped at the religion museum. And the whole ride, I only listened to positivity.



What I mean by that is that I tried it all. And even though I now consider myself Christian, I know that every little bit of my journey helped me heal.


But I think the key takeaways were these:


  • I got off the meds. (do not do this without talking to your doctor). And I just allowed myself to feel. I'm not gonna lie, the first couple of weeks were a little bit of a hell, just because physiologically, it was a big change in hormones.

And after that, I had to feel my feelings. I had to feel the betrayal, the redirection of my life, the loss of the husband I thought I had. It was A LOT. But after a couple of weeks of allowing myself to dwell on it- the worst was over, and it has only been uphill since then. Allow yourself to feel.


  • I forgave. Even though I stayed in my relationship, I refused to belittle my husband or mistress. Yes, the first few months were hard, and I was grieving, but after that, I forgave.

I took it a step further and forgave everyone in my life (including myself) for all the things I blamed for holding me back. I let it go.


  • I stretched and moved my body a lot. Keeping your body stiff, traps your emotions. You have to let it out. You have to walk or stretch and release it. The body always remembers the pain, so it's important to heal it too.


  • I surrounded myself with positivity. I stopped watching the news (the important stuff always comes through anyway) and only watched positive things. I listened to helpful podcasts and read encouraging books. And my bible studies were non-negotiable. I literally submerged myself in positivity.


By the way, this isn't to say you should always feel positive. It means that even when you're feeling low, you can see the bright light at the end of the tunnel. As opposed to the dark pit you're in when you don't see a way out.


  • I stayed in the moment. Yes, I was hurt before. Yes, it was hard to move ahead when any decisions I made at the moment seemed…complicated. Yes, it was hard to trust myself. But I made it a point to stop thinking about anything but now. And that made me realize that I was ALWAYS safe.


Anytime my thoughts started running with me, I brought them back to the moment and took away their power. That allowed me to be safe and focus on what I could do to serve me right now.


  • I stopped drinking. I know it's so fun to turn to a glass of wine when you feel crappy, but when I realized that alcohol was causing me more anxiety than it was worth, I slowed it down. I still drink, but now I only do it for fun on special occasions. Alcohol only gets access to me when I allow it.


  • I became intentional about everything. If it didn't serve my healing, I didn't (still don't) want it around me. The people, the food, the parties, the things, the books…nothing.



  • I accepted everything happens FOR me. Listen to me; if there is one thing you get out of this blog, it should be this: all roads work for you. It's impossible to get lost. Sidetracked? Sure. Lost? Never. The lost job, the lost love, the failed business... are all leading you to a better place. Keep going.


  • I allowed myself to have a purpose. Once I started feeling better, I allowed myself to dream BIG. I found a purpose that was bigger than me and ran with it. And that has made all the difference.


And by the way, if I'm being completely honest, it took more than being a mom. I know, gasp! While being a mom remains my priority and most important job in life, I had to find something outside of my family to get me excited about life again.




Alright, guys, I might have to do a part two on this because there is SO MUCH I get excited about with this topic. But If you want more content and want to be entered to win monthly prizes, go ahead and click the subscribe button.




Try doing any of these things, and let me know if you start feeling the connection to you again.


Also, if this sounds great but you need extra help moving past your trauma, then shoot me an email at hello@ednaestrada.com to inquire about my trauma coaching services.


Have an awesome week, beautiful.


Here's to your success,


Edna.


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