Archive | July, 2014

The Wounded Healer

21 Jul

I don’t know much about healing as I am still young in this journey, but I can tell you what I do know. Healing is continuous and lifelong. Healing is necessary and it is scary but healing is also freedom. The other side of healing work feels like an exhale from a breath you thought you would never release. Healing is restoration and power. To heal and to unravel makes the phrase, “Life is a beautiful struggle”, ring true. The root meaning of the word heal is to “cure, make whole, sound and well”. I believe that we are born whole and life, through experiences and shaping, makes us forget that we ever were whole. We become anxiety ridden, and ego driven closed off creatures of response and self-preservation.

To Be Made Whole: We have never lost anything. Ever. No one can take anything from us, because “we” are our “own”. We have only forgotten and unlearned our truth whether it be from childhood experiences that filled us with shame or current experiences that go toe to toe with our self-worth. In some cases, self-worth is always down for the count. The process of healing is uncovering who we truly are and were meant to be before all the shit got piled so high on top of us till we forgot the beauty the blue sky held. In reality, we were given what was needed to navigate through any struggle or storm. We have that guidance to tap into and the gumption to push through. The deepest part of our being wants to be heard, wants to heal, and wants to shine bright….like a diamond. We have, through our experiences, learned to mistrust ourselves.

I remember sitting in the bathtub shortly after a break up and crying silently so no one could hear me outside of the bathroom. I had forgotten how to love myself. I didn’t even realized how far I had slipped away from this self-love until I was so far gone and came face to face with my fragility. I cried into my bubble bath, partially weeping out of frustration. When was I ever going to get it? When was I ever going to finally figure out how to see the beauty in who I was and let go of who everyone else thought I was? This great task, to love thyself deeply and truly, seemed to be so out of reach for me. Then it hit me, the small still voice said to me, you already have the ability to heal from this. Trust it.

We are given what we need to get through what life may throw at us but it will never do us any good if we have forgotten this.

My truth is this: I am a wounded healer.

After my first year of sobriety I was given the opportunity to return to the treatment centre I had went to so that I could witness the work but also share a little bit of my story. After only a year of sobriety I was terrified and off went my mind asking what I could possibly say and furthermore, what gave me the right to say anything? Again, it hit me, I cannot speak from the amount of time that I have been sober because after relapsing when I had nearly 3 years of sobriety, I realized that time means nothing. However, I can speak from a place of healing because I know that I have dug deep into the mire and slayed the beasts that threatened to swallow me whole.

Healing is hard work and it’s dirty and scary and it rips you open. But I’ll be god damned if us addicts aren’t the most beautiful emotional lepers when we dare to venture into the light and bare our wounds. We have been wounded. We have wounded others. We have wounded ourselves. But we are fucking beautiful once we navigate past our walls of self-preservation and over our moats of anxiety and fear to be real again.

I used to think that feelings would be the death of me. I now take them as markers that I am alive. I can sit with these feelings and experience them and not lose myself. No sadness will drown me. No madness can astound me. I am real again.

This is the work that lays ahead of the alcoholic/addict, to leave no stone unturned. To explore those dark past traumas (in a safe and supported environment), to feel, and to be kind to ourselves during this process.

When I started doing some of this work I became a blubbering mess. I cried for days on end and even the crying part was difficult for me. I had to let myself know it was in fact OKAY to cry and have emotions for myself and on top of that, work through whatever I was working through. There was a lot of crying.

I had ran from this healing for 24 years and could have ran even longer. I held a secret. The secret was that I was inherently a bad person. I was the little Indian girl who was the source of all the problems. Something was wrong with me. Every abuse. Every incident. Everything was my fault. I never wanted to reveal this secret for the fear of someone looking at me dead in the eye and saying, “Yes Helen, there is something very wrong with you”.

24 years. 3 hospitalizations. 2 Suicide attempts. 4 stints in rehab. 4 sexual assaults. More liquor than a fleet of sailors could drink and enough cocaine to make Tony Montana happy….for a year.

I found freedom in telling my secret. I told it with a howl from the gut, clenched fists, and enough crocodile tears to put Louisiana swamp waters to shame. That moment was almost as painful as giving birth to my beautiful son…and in a way it was a birth. It was my rebirth. My secret was not my truth. The truth is that I am a divine expression of Creation and I have been put on this Earth with purpose. I have the capacity to heal, to love, to cry, to experience, and to evolve.

Like I said, I don’t know much about healing but I know what I’ve experienced and know that the call is necessary. God Speed. Creator Bless. One Love.

Dr. Eric Perry

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