Digestion Aspect: Living With and Healing from Trauma on a Daily Basis

emotional health, anxiety, mental health, depression, anxiety, eating, food, grieving, ptsd survivor, podcaster, author, blogger, blog, blogger life, digestion, regurgitation, hypersensitive, trauma

emotional health, anxiety, mental health, depression, anxiety, eating, food, grieving, ptsd survivor, podcaster, author, blogger, blog, blogger life, digestion, regurgitation, hypersensitive, trauma
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

In our Living With and Healing from Trauma on a Daily Basis Series, I dissect issues and symptoms of PTSD/trauma. This is in hopes of letting people know that they are not alone, as well as giving people the freedom to comment, and talk about how PTSD/trauma has affected their lives in these areas. The last post in the Living With and Healing from Trauma on a Daily Basis Series was one dealing with the Holiday Aspect of trauma. You can find that post here. Today’s post will focus on the Digestion Aspect.

One surprising revelation for me was realizing that PTSD/trauma actually affects your digestion. I stumbled upon this realization in June of 2014, a couple of months after getting divorced. There are three things that I noticed when it comes to trauma and digestion:

Trauma and grief will come out in the form of regurgitation.

I am not trying to sound gross here, so please bear with me. Due to complications with my ex-husband’s health, as well as the fact that I had stuffed my emotions for so long, my grief was delayed. Grieving my divorce, and all the events surrounding it, were delayed. Alleviating some of the symptoms that I was experiencing seemed downright frightening because of stuffing for so long.

This caused me to be in a vicious cycle of stuffing and feeling like my face and chest was going to explode, with very little relief. Trauma is in the tissues, and so I discovered, along with reading information on my own, that movement, grief, and massaging helped to release it. The problem came into play when I finally felt like I could release the trauma. However, the underlying feeling was that if I started crying, there would be no bottoming out. Subconsciously, I knew it was going to be a bad release.

Instead of my system waiting any longer, it released the trauma and grief in the form of regurgitation. Initially, I thought that it was just that maybe something upset my stomach. However, after four rounds of this, and feeling grief in between each round, I knew that wasn’t the case at all. It didn’t take long to put two and two together.

I felt very vulnerable, and my son kept asking me, “What did you eat?” I told him that it had nothing to do with the food. It was physiological.

Trauma will cause your system to get confused about hunger and fullness.

Another weird discovery that I made is that every now and then, stored trauma and unreleased grief will make your system confused as far as satiety is concerned. There are times when I have felt like I could keep eating forever. Then, there are other times that I feel hungry, and then attempt to eat, but will all of a sudden feel full.

Lastly, there are times when I can literally feel my emotions trapped in my midsection, causing my body to try to figure out whether it is satisfied, or it needs more food. It is the weirdest thing. It doesn’t happen as much anymore. However, when it happens, it can be very frustrating.

When doing research, one of the explanations that I found is that because of PTSD/trauma, at times, the blood that should flow into the stomach, moves away from it, going to other areas like the arms.

Trauma will cause you to become hypersensitive to certain foods, causing severe panic attacks when consumed in normal portions.

The last issue that I would like to discuss is how trauma causes hypersensitivity to foods. These foods vary from person to person. For me, it was sugar. I first discovered this when I decided to eat a glazed donut in 2015.

Within five minutes, a severe panic attack came on, I felt like I was going to hit the roof. The only thing that would help my system to calm down was drinking an excess amount of water, and then deep breathing, and a lot of prayer. Taking multivitamins has helped , but it is still not the same.

My system has improved a little. However, it can’t handle what it once was able to. Sometimes, I get frustrated with this fact. It is what it is. I have learned to accept the fact that a few moments of pleasure for an hour or more of panic just isn’t worth it.

How has PTSD/trauma affected your digestion? What are some of the ways that you use to cope with it?

God bless,

Katina

Advertisements

The Holiday Aspect: Living With and Healing from Trauma on a Daily Basis

Christmas, holiday, Thanksgiving, emotional health, mental health, anxiety, holiday aspect, living with and healing from trauma, blogger, podcaster, speaker, writer, blog

Background on The Holiday Aspect: Living With and Healing from Trauma on a Daily Basis

About a month ago, I discussed The Flashback/Images/Nightmare Aspect of Living with and Healing from Trauma on a Daily Basis.  You can find that post here.  Today, I will discuss The Holiday Aspect of Living With and Healing from Trauma on a Daily Basis.

Christmas, holiday, Thanksgiving, emotional health, mental health, anxiety, holiday aspect, living with and healing from trauma, blogger, podcaster, speaker, writer, blog

The Holiday Aspect: Living With and Healing from Trauma on a Daily Basis

 

Holiday time can be tough in general.  Let alone, if the holiday time is when you experienced a series of events that led to PTSD/trauma.  When the holidays come around, it can feel like you are reliving these events.  This is because the energy from them are still residing in our bodies.

The holiday season of 2012 is when a great majority of the trauma that my kids and I experienced in the last six years took place.  It started a little before Thanksgiving, and reached its peak right after New Year’s Day.  Almost daily, emotionally draining activities and sabotage were done to myself and the kids in order for me to put him out, so that he wouldn’t have to be the “bad guy” who left us.

Christmas, holiday, Thanksgiving, emotional health, mental health, anxiety, holiday aspect, living with and healing from trauma, blogger, podcaster, speaker, writer, blog

The peak was a fake-suicide stunt with my ex-husband starting up the car with the garage door down, and the engine running.  It was a last attempt to pull me back in emotionally, and to get me back to being the person that was a doormat/enabler, with low self-worth.

God had already begun to work a miracle in my life six months prior to this event, and so this “doormat” person was not there anymore.  It was God’s grace that I went downstairs to check the garage, or this fake suicide stunt could have killed all of us.  The kids were sleeping upstairs at the time.

Christmas, holiday, Thanksgiving, emotional health, mental health, anxiety, holiday aspect, living with and healing from trauma, blogger, podcaster, speaker, writer, blog

Ever since then, the holiday time has been painful, and a time that I struggle.  It has gotten better in some areas, and worse in others.

The first holiday season (2013) after my ex-husband left, was very difficult because I wasn’t able to tolerate any Christmas music or movies.  A friend of mine dropped me off at the grocery store, and she waited outside for me.  I had to pick up a few items.  I remember Christmas music playing on the radio, and literally feeling trapped.  The reaction to the music surprised me.  Before I knew it, I was caught up in the “Overwhelmed Aspect”.  An explanation of that aspect can be found here.

I quickly found the items that I needed, and got out of the store as fast as I could.  This continued being my normal for the first year.  A few weeks after that, the church that I was attending for Divorce Care offered a session for dealing with grief during the holidays.  I gladly signed up for the class.  We discussed all the practical unexpected things that could happen during the holidays, and how to handle them.

I can listen to more Christmas music now than before.  I can also watch Holiday movies, with breaks in between for some of them.  It is almost like the smell outside and the feel in the air knows it’s November, and then the trauma aspect kicks in for me.  Down below, I have listed some things to help you ease through the holiday aspect of living with trauma during this season.

 

Self-Help for Making it Through The Holiday Aspect

Take advantage of the community that God has given you.  Talk to friends on the phone.  Have a girls’ or guys’ movie night.  A month ago, me and my friends got together to watch a home movie in front of the fireplace.  It was a wonderful time of eating, fellowship, and laughs.  When you are dealing with anxiety or depression, you need something to help lift your emotions.

Christmas, holiday, Thanksgiving, emotional health, mental health, anxiety, holiday aspect, living with and healing from trauma, blogger, podcaster, speaker, writer, blog

Therapy.  This therapy could involve going to see your therapist, writing in your journal, poetry, painting, or cooking.  There are several activities that allow us to be creative and are therapeutic at the same time.

Movement.  Give your body the gift of movement.  When you exercise, the blood and oxygen starts flowing, and the natural feel-good hormones rise to the surface.  I like going for a walk, even if it’s cold, just to make my adrenal glands happy, and feel refreshed at the same time.  I also like dancing to 70s’ and 80s’ music and walking the stairs for a certain amount of time to get my heart pumping.

Christmas, holiday, Thanksgiving, emotional health, mental health, anxiety, holiday aspect, living with and healing from trauma, blogger, podcaster, speaker, writer, blog

Doses of Music, Movies, Etc.  Try to allow yourself to watch or listen to music, movies, etc. a little at a time in order to build up resilience.  Everyone is different.  I found that when I tried to ban everything, it only made the trauma worse, so I introduced a little bit at a time.  I am still in the process of giving myself little doses here and there.

Self-Care.  Practice self-care by trying to get enough sleep, rest, and food as possible.  Taking  your vitamins and drinking herbal tea can be relaxing.  It might be a time to take get bloodwork done to see if your vitamin D is low, since we are in the winter months, and there is less sunshine.

Prayer.  Ask others for prayer, and lift yourself up in prayer as well.  Listening to uplifting Christian music can be comforting and minister to your soul.

Send some comments to let me know what you use to get through the holiday aspect of trauma.

Prayers for you and your family as you march through this season!

Katina