FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

With Help, Things Can Get Better

About a month ago, my life changed practically overnight.

I’ve had migraines nearly every day since 1995. There are all kinds of other quirks about my body too. I needed at least 10 hours of sleep, and I couldn’t get up before noon. I was hungry all of the time. I had (and still have) random aches and pains that no doctors could figure out or solve. Plus a lot more.

Among other things, my various maladies made it hard to hold down a job. It made difficult to have friends, and impossible to date or have roommates. Therefore, it made me less able to earn money, but also less able to be frugal.

The general narrative we have in this country to explain people like me who can’t get up in the morning or work a 40 hour week is that they’re lazy. I felt lazy, even though I was literally doing all I could.

About three years ago, I realized that the root cause of all of this was childhood trauma. I researched therapy methods, and found one called somatic experiencing. I was already making some gains with a type of bodywork (similar to massage) called myofascial release. Two years ago, I began working with a psychotherapist who does somatic experiencing.

After slow, gradual progress for years, about a month ago I had rapid progress nearly overnight. One week I had a good therapy session, and I started waking up at 9 a.m. instead of noon.

The next week, I had another good session. I got a terrible migraine that night, then slept all weekend. Monday morning, my entire life changed.

Suddenly, I’m going to bed at midnight and waking up at 7 a.m. every day. I’m only hungry at what other people call “normal mealtimes,” instead of constantly around the clock like before. For the first time in my life, food doesn’t require self-control.

When I’m awake, I have more energy. I’m happier. Sometimes, I just can’t stop smiling. I feel lighter.

I’m taking everything slowly, allowing my body to adapt to its new reality. At some point, I’m going to be a more productive person than I ever dreamed possible. And happier!

The difference is as extreme as trying to function while having the flu, and then getting over the flu and being healthy again. Nobody can get much work done with the flu.

I wasn’t lazy, I was sick.

I’m not all the way better — yet — but even my progress so far has given me a life I never thought possible.

Just to be clear, I’m lucky. In many ways I haven’t lived the life I wanted to, but I come from an upper-middle-class family and I’ve had access to doctors and a good education. I had what it took to figure out what was wrong with myself and then get the appropriate (and unfortunately, very expensive) treatment.

Trauma is more common than most of us think. Mine came from mundane, everyday things, all of which seemed normal to me when I experienced them.

And yet, when we see people struggling with addiction, living in poverty, or struggling to succeed in school or work, we judge them. We call them lazy, or irresponsible, and we think up “solutions” like cutting off welfare or putting people in prison.

I was lucky — I could get help. But how many others are simply victims of trauma, in need of help like I was? Mental health treatment should be part of our social safety net, just like food aid and other health care.

More articles by:
bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
July 22, 2019
Michael Hudson
U.S. Economic Warfare and Likely Foreign Defenses
Evaggelos Vallianatos
If Japan Continues Slaughtering Whales, Boycott the 2020 Tokyo Olympics
Mike Garrity
Emergency Alert For the Wild Rockies
Dean Baker
The U.S.-China Trade War: Will Workers Lose?
Jonah Raskin
Paul Krassner, 1932-2019: American Satirist 
David Swanson
U.S. Troops Back in Saudi Arabia: What Could Go Wrong?
Robert Fisk
American Visitors to the Gestapo Museum Draw Their Own Conclusions
John Feffer
Trump’s Send-Them-Back Doctrine
Kenn Orphan – Phil Rockstroh
Landscape of Anguish and Palliatives: Predation, Addiction and LOL Emoticons in the Age of Late Stage Capitalism
Karl Grossman
A Farmworkers Bill of Rights
Gary Leupp
Omar and Trump
Robert Koehler
Fighting Climate Change Means Ending War
Susie Day
Mexicans Invade US, Trump Forced to Go Without Toothbrush
Elliot Sperber
Hey Diddle Diddle, Like Nero We Fiddle
Weekend Edition
July 19, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Rob Urie
The Blob Fought the Squad, and the Squad Won
Miguel A. Cruz-Díaz
It Was Never Just About the Chat: Ruminations on a Puerto Rican Revolution.
Anthony DiMaggio
System Capture 2020: The Role of the Upper-Class in Shaping Democratic Primary Politics
Andrew Levine
South Carolina Speaks for Whom?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Big Man, Pig Man
Bruce E. Levine
The Groundbreaking Public Health Study That Should Change U.S. Society—But Won’t
Evaggelos Vallianatos
How the Trump Administration is Eviscerating the Federal Government
Pete Dolack
All Seemed Possible When the Sandinistas Took Power 40 years Ago
Ramzy Baroud
Who Killed Oscar and Valeria: The Inconvenient History of the Refugee Crisis
Ron Jacobs
Dancing with Dr. Benway
Joseph Natoli
Gaming the Climate
Marshall Auerback
The Numbers are In, and Trump’s Tax Cuts are a Bust
Louisa Willcox
Wild Thoughts About the Wild Gallatin
Kenn Orphan
Stranger Things, Stranger Times
Mike Garrity
Environmentalists and Wilderness are Not the Timber Industry’s Big Problem
Helen Yaffe
Cuban Workers Celebrate Salary Rise From New Economic Measures
Brian Cloughley
What You Don’t Want to be in Trump’s America
David Underhill
The Inequality of Equal Pay
David Macaray
Adventures in Script-Writing
David Rosen
Say Goodbye to MAD, But Remember the Fight for Free Expression
Nick Pemberton
This Is Heaven!: A Journey to the Pearly Gates with Chuck Mertz
Dan Bacher
Chevron’s Oil Spill Endangers Kern County
J.P. Linstroth
A Racist President and Racial Trauma
Binoy Kampmark
Spying on Julian Assange
Rose Ramirez – Dedrick Asante-Mohammad
A Trump Plan to Throw 50,000 Kids Out of Their Schools
David Bravo
Precinct or Neighborhood? How Barcelona Keeps Rolling Out the Red Carpet for Global Capital
Ralph Nader
Will Any Disgusted Republicans Challenge Trump in the Primaries?
Dave Lindorff
The BS about Medicare-for-All Has to Stop!
Arnold August
Why the Canadian Government is Bullying Venezuela
Tom Clifford
China and the Swine Flu Outbreak
Missy Comley Beattie
Highest Anxiety
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail