Have you ever received personal news so devastating that it felt as though you were looking death square in the face? Or that you wanted to curl up in a tight little ball and just disappear?
Have you ever felt that Death was crouching at your door? Maybe you felt as though your heart had stopped? Or the world started spinning way too fast? Your body becoming as stiff as a board? Your mental faculties completely shot? The mouth as dry as chalk? And you now know, all of your efforts at one last chance to live have all been in vain! This news can come in many forms.
My devastating news came in the form of a large, thick envelope that was hand delivered to my front door one sunny Saturday morning. The air became thick and heavy with darkness almost instantly. I have had this feeling a few times in my life. I have described a couple of those occasions in my blog posts: “In The Lion’s Den”, and “A Suicide Stopped by a Rainbow.” That is what the grip of death feels like I am sure of it. A sentencing falsely accused!!
I was told by a man who was an EMT, “Don’t ever hesitate when it comes to issues of the heart! Go have an EKG scan done right away!” It was a Sunday, I had my parents watch my three children as I raced to the emergency room and checked myself in. All the scans were done. My heart had been so stress induced that the effort to beat for life was wanting to give up! It felt like a tight grip, an unhealthy weight, the cold fingers of death trying to squeeze the life right out of me. What was the cause? You might ask. It was the sight of that large, thick, formal, manila envelope with the address from an Australian court, hand delivered from the postman directly to my front door.
What could this be? Nothing I wanted I was sure of it!! Just the sight of the address made me start to tremble and become nauseated. I had finally escaped the life of domestic violence and abuse that I had endured for far too long. I was back in my hometown, in an apartment of my own, with my newborn baby and my two toddlers. I thought I was safe, hidden away! How did the man who had tried to kill me in the past know my new address? I was absolutely panicked!! And that is when my racing heart stopped, it just gave up for a moment in time.
Back at the ER, the doctor told me my heart had been over stressed for far too many years. He recommended I receive massage therapy. I booked in the next day to see another doctor, to have a complete physical exam and to get a referral to High Peaks Physical Therapy. Even sitting in the small room with the doctor, the door shut, my mind began to flood with terrible memories from my past journeys. It was all too difficult, too much to bare. I began to sweat, my skin cold and clammy, my stomach wound up in tight knots, my breath short and labored, feeling light headed, my mind reliving past events, tears threatening to escape. Post traumatic stress disorder, something I had been dealing with for years. And there I sat, in a safe place physically, but mentally trapped in anguish, in pains deep in my heart, deep within my soul.
I was welcomed at High Peaks Physical Therapy by the owner, Judy Baumgardner, who had heard of my demise through my parents. She was so encouraging, telling me how proud she was of me for breaking free, for taking the chance of starting my life over again. I was so grateful for her words to me, because everywhere I went for months, I felt like an outcast, hiding with my head down, not wanting to look anyone in the face, full of dreadful anxiety just going to the grocery store, no ring on my finger, three small children, feeling isolated in the town I had grown up in, yet had not been in for nearly 15 years. Judy’s words were like a precious gift, wrapped with a gold ribbon and a bright red bow.
Then I met my sweet, kind, patient physical therapist who worked two days per week on my aching body. Correcting the alignment of my form through her gentle touch. Working deep within my right shoulder that had been injured years ago through domestic violence. Correcting the alignment of my hips that were so far out from pregnancies, carrying children on one side, all the work of motherhood. Over her months of work on my body I would begin to rest so peacefully on the white pillow, white sheets, away from the cares of the world for an hour. Needles placed into my skin with a small vibration to work the fibers of the muscles into new positions. I would actually fall asleep at times, after reminding my mind that I was safe now.
Once each week I would have massage therapy. I was amazed at the fears my body had memorized at the touch of another human hand. It made me so nervous, especially when she would massage near my neck where I had been choked, and suffocated, strangled by my ex-husband. The massage therapist worked gently with her soothing voice, taking care to reassure me that I was safe now, in a safe place, surrounded by the calmness of a peaceful, quiet room, receiving the therapy my body was craving. She encouraged me to let go of the unnecessary emotions that were embedded deep inside my soul. Those emotions that were agonizingly trying so desperately to dictate my mind, my life. To take those negative thoughts, let them surface, recognize them, and let them blow away into the trash and not retrieve them again. Often I would just let tears roll down my face. Other times the therapist would leave the room for a time and just let me sob, and release the 10 years I had bottled up inside, the fears, depression, anxiety, trauma, and grief.
Thanks to the months of therapy I received through HPPT, I started to once again feel as though I could work out in their gym, to learn to hold my head up a little higher, to know that the staff that worked at HPPT were passionate about the mental, emotional, and physical health of individual lives. A staff dedicated to the recovery of all forms of trauma induced incidents to the body. HPPT prides themselves on accommodating all patients’ specific needs and providing the very best rehabilitative care. Each therapist caters to the specific needs of each patient’s lifestyle. You can contact or learn more about them at: http://www.highpeaksphysicaltherapy.com.
I met with Judy, the owner of HPPT, a few days ago. I am thrilled to say, that 5 years later, I am so blessed to be able to give back with a thankful heart through teaching yoga classes in her facility. I will be offering a variety of different yoga classes for specific needs throughout each week starting in January, 2018.
Life has a way of bringing everything back full circle if we allow it to do so. I see it as a full circle of recovery, of healing. Through my life, being touched by so many in the community where I live, it is my hope that I can bring everything back full circle and bless others in return for all of the care and help they have poured into my life. Touching lives through my own experiences, standing up strong for those who have lost their way, a listening ear to those who are living in a mind full of fear, as I once did. Changing the world, one breathe at a time.
Eventually all the pieces fall into place. Until then, learn to laugh at the confusion, live for the moment, and know that everything happens for a reason…
If you have managed to read through all of this, I would love to hear from you. Please leave a comment and if there is anything I can ever do to encourage you in your darkest hour, drop me a line.
Sincerely, with an understanding heart,