Have you ever experienced personal trauma in your life?
Would you share it with others?
How did you overcome it?
I asked these brave volunteers to share their story of trauma and overcoming to maybe give you a spark of hope that you too can overcome the adversities and trials of your life!
(Links to each volunteer provided if you would like to reach out to them further)
Several years ago I died and had 22 minutes of CPR to come back to life. I was and continue to be a nurse practitioner. I recognized multiple troubling physical, emotional and cognitive deficiencies post-resuscitation. Literally crawling back into a life I learned so much about the power needed to not only come back but to master life afterward. I was completely lost, afraid and angry. I was actually suicidal – continually focusing on what was wrong and bad. Finally, out of the depths, I recognized I needed help. I could not go through this alone. I began to ask for and accept help. I engaged trusted friends, family and colleagues asking them what I could and should do and followed through. Things started to get better – I was gaining traction.
I also decided if I was to get my cognitive ability back, I needed to return to school. I earned a master’s degree as well as a doctorate after my survival. My doctoral research expressly involved trauma…looking at others who endured significant harrowing events and eventually and overtime not only survived but thrived; not in spite of what happened but as a direct result of the traumatic event. I created a word to designate this opportunity and capacity for enhanced recovery, Metahabiliation. My research brought forth a better understanding of this ability as well as a clinical pathway guiding one toward a more productive and growth outcome.
This research, as well as post-doctoral inquiry, provided the foundation for my book: Turning Tragedy Into Triumph. Metahabilitation; A Contemporary Model of Rehabilitation. It also empowered me-provided me with a distinct purpose in life: to assist individuals enduring challenges and traumas to survive but also to growth post-event.
I created a course at Sacramento State, where I just became a full professor, called: Traumatology; An Introduction to Posttraumatic Growth. My ongoing area of research involves trauma-informed care with an expertise on post-traumatic growth (PTG)…or using traumatic experiences to empower survivors to master their fate and grow.
Joyce Mikal-Flynn Ed.D, RN, MSN, FNP
Survived Gas Explosion
I am a survivor of a near-death gas explosion in my mid 20’s. I was literally blown out of my house, lost everything I owned and have 35 stitches on my face and a hole in my head that has since healed.
I overcame the trauma through tons of yoga, eating clean, self-care and the biggest one was finding my purpose and calling in life.
When you can find meaning in a trauma is helps you heal. I took the event as a sign that I needed to do more with my life. So I got certified as a health coach and quit my job 2 yrs later and never looked back. I now empower other women to find meaning in their life.
Jenn Edden, Huntington, NY
Jenn Edden, CHHC
Sugar Addiction Expert & Empowerment Coach
Grab a complimentary copy of Jenn’s book: Woman Unleashed & learn how to kick cravings in under 7 days!!
Survived a Hurricane
On September 6, 2017our home in St. Thomas was destroyed by Hurricane Irma, a category five hurricane that ravaged the island. As I look back on that experience, there were many traumatic moments along the way. The first was watching our home fall apart.
Yes, my family and I were in the house when it was destroyed. We had to run into the bathroom and hide there for hours while the storm passed. Hiding in that bathroom, terrified because I didn’t know if we were really safe there,not knowing what we would do if the roof in the bathroom blew off, sitting on the edge of the bathtub scared while my daughters crouched in the bathtub scared as well and my husband on the verge of tears from the fear was on the worst moments I ever had in my life.
I just sat there and with each moment, I prayed as hard as I could to God to please let us get through this and keep my babies safe. But in reality, I couldn’t even breath. As the hours passed and the storm started to die down, the tension started to release from my shoulders as I slowly began to realize that we made it. We survived unhurt. Little did I know this would just be the beginning of the major changes we were about to go through as a family.
As we came out of that bathroom, like refugees hiding in a bomb shelter, and we saw the destruction in the house, I looked around and told myself, “Now is not the time to think about this. We need to create a shelter where we can spend the night until the daylight comes back.” And that is what I did. I went into auto mode and we used one of the only rooms where the roof was still on, put a couple of mattresses on the floor and spent the night there.
However, what I just did there was put myself on auto mode for this whole experience. When we woke up the next morning, again on auto mode, I told everyone not to worry about the damage in the house, that we need to focus to clear the road, dig ourselves out so that someone can come and get us out of here. My focus was that I could not let my babies sleep there again. So, we spent most of the days cutting down trees and clearing the road so that my father could come and rescue us. Once my father arrived and he took us back to a safe place, we all ate something, our first real meal in almost two days and we took a hot shower. The house he took us to had a full generator and was not damaged. As I sat in that shower, seeing the smiles on my daughter’s faces, I wanted to just burst into tears.
What in the world just happened? How did I get here? But I didn’t want them to see me cry, or anybody else for that matter, so again, I put myself on auto mode. The next few days were about trying to recover what personal items we could from our destroyed homes. Tears filled my eyes everytime I stepped into the house and saw all of our things scattered as if they meant nothing. It got to the point where I couldn’t even go there anymore to salvage items. My husband took over and left me behind to organize what was retrieved. As time went by and I was trying my best to figure out how to make life normal again for my family, Hurricane Maria arrives and creates more destruction on the island.
At this point, we were forced to move to Miami. The trauma of having to break the news to our daughters, who cried because they didn’t want to leave their home, to have to leave all of our loved ones behind, including my father and then packing whatever clothes we could for the journey was overwhelming. I remember arriving in Miami like a zombie. I couldn’t even eat. I just wanted to crawl into bed, pull the covers over my head and hope that the next day I could start again. And this is when we started the journey of building our new life in Miami. It was not easy. The adjustment on my daughter was difficult and building a new home and life for us was no easy task. But we did it.
What I didn’t realize is that I put myself on auto mode for so long, that I didn’t realize I was still in auto mode. I was going through the motions of life but you could tell that mentally I was checked out. Somehow, I made this my way of dealing with all this trauma. But it was not a good way.
It wasn’t until someone said to me, “We are alive. We made it. Just focus on that and be happy.”, that I realized, he’s right. I need to wake up, accept what just happened as a life experience but move on and live life. If anything, this taught me that life is fragile and so important. That, someone, was my husband. Ten months later, I still remember what happened like it was yesterday and I still shiver at the thought of it. I still struggle with committing to long-term plans because part of me has realized that the future is never certain and can be changed in seconds. But I am working on it. I keep reminding myself every day that we are alive and safe and use that as motivation to get over this traumatic experience and live life with my beautiful family.
God found it necessary for us survive, I can’t let it be for nothing.
(from Trixie…I cried editing this whole piece. When I got to this part, I burst into tears. This is how I feel about my Cancer, my life, my obstacles. If you have survived, triumphed over tragedy, tell yourself this regularly! For some reason, we were meant to survive. We can’t let it be for nothing)
Check out her blog at Thoughts and Feelings
Survived Life’s Constant Obstacles
“Childhood abuse, chronic illness, asthma, depression, anxiety, panic
attacks and Total Brokenness…
Auto/Semi Truck accident, Fibromyalgia, Lupus, multiple life-altering
injuries that left her disabled and bedridden for twelve years…
Anyone of these could cause someone to quit and stay down…
But NOT Elizabeth, she’s an overcomer who gets back up and keeps fighting.
Through her stubbornness, will to survive, and strong faith she manages to
get up every time and fight to not only to Survive but Thrive.
She fights not only for herself but for others who are struggling with
hardships in their life. She earned her Masters Degree in Naturopathic
Medicine and uses it along with her experiences to spreads her message,
through professional speaking, writing, and coaching. that you are stronger
than any adversity that tries to knock you down.”
Here is her story…
I have experienced many traumas throughout my life, from childhood abuse to an auto/semi accident that left me disabled and bedridden for twelve years. Recovery has been a long road of difficult ups and downs. It always seems just about the time I recover from one blow another comes along.
The traumas I experienced as a child began with being taken from my childhood home, where I had lived my entire life with the only family Iʼd knew, to live with my biological mother and stepfather at the age of six. Soon thereafter the emotional, mental, and physical abuse began.
I spent years as an adult feeling unwanted, unlovable, guilty, and unable to trust anyone. I spent years in counseling, recovering from the total brokenness from my childhood. As a Naturopath, I knew the importance of healing mind, body, emotions, and spirit. I worked hard to recover in all these areas.
After seven long years I was finally back on my feet and ready to pursue my dreams, only to be knocked down again by an auto/semi accident that left me disabled and bedridden for twelve years. You would think after all of this I would just quit, give up and stay down, but an overcomer is one who gets back up and keeps fighting. Through stubbornness, will to survive, and strong faith I manage to get up every time and fight to not only Survive but Thrive.
I am now the CEO of two successful businesses, a professional speaker, and wellness coach. I help others overcome trauma and adversity so that they can relentlessly pursue their dream.
Clamon Natural Health
As you can see…
…many other people, including you, have gone through some major personal traumas, adversities, and trials in their life. It never fails to amaze me, the people who can endure great, tragic, horrific and consuming trauma are able to find a way to overcome them. They not only overcome them, they leap over them, they push themselves to endure, persevere, and keep moving forward no matter what. I did not know until 2011, after taking Brave Girl’s Soul Restoration, that I had it in me to overcome. Since then, I have been conquering my obstacles one hurdle at a time. Sometimes those hurdles are small and you just step over them. Sometimes those hurdles in life are pole vaults and you need the “coping mechanisms of life” as your pole to encounter, endure and overcome them.
Regardless, those obstacles in your life, those traumas, those adversities, those trials, those experiences, are not brick walls. You CAN overcome them. You CAN endure. You CAN persevere. You CAN become the fabulous YOU that you were meant to be.
Isn’t it time for you to RISE UP and be the FABULOUS PHOENIX you were meant to be?
For more, Read my Transformation Story
and be the PHOENIX you were meant to be