Sleep is one of those things that we can’t live without. At one time or another, we’ve all had problems sleeping. But what happens when lack of sleep starts to get the best of you? Read the poem below to find out.
We all love a good night’s sleep. When I picture falling asleep, I think about having just the right amount of flat sheets, a soft comforter, a few pillows surrounding me, just the right temperature in the house, and having sweet dreams. Just thinking about this scene would make all of us stop and long for sleep.
Sleep can be one of the sweetest things in the world, and then on the other side of that coin, it can be that of agony for a person living with PTSD/trauma on a daily basis. There is also no rhyme or reason as to when sleep deprivation will occur.
Breakdown of My Sleep Aspect of Trauma
Five years ago, unbeknownst to me, I entered an extremely toxic work environment. At the time, I had already been dealing with sleep issues as a side effect of the trauma of my divorce, as well as the events immediately preceding and following the divorce. I would describe the events as a crazy Lifetime movie. Unfortunately, this movie was my life. Although I was already having problems staying and falling asleep, nothing could compare to the level of sleep problems that occurred as a by-product of working at this company for nine months.
People living with PTSD/trauma often face two issues when it comes to sleep: falling asleep and staying asleep. I had and have both. During the time that I worked at this company, I would try to fall asleep around 10 pm. From 10:00 pm to 3:00 a.m, I would fall asleep for a few minutes, wake up with my teeth and whole body tense and clenched tight, and the cycle would start all over again.
Breakdown Part Two
I am going to keep it real here. The first couple of times that this happens, you find yourself trying to stay positive and you start telling yourself not to overly think about. “Don’t be concerned about the time.” However, when you have done this 5 or more times within five hours, and realize that you have only had a total of maybe one hour of sleep, and you have to get up pretty soon for work, the positivity can wear off real fast. I had to wake up at 6:00 a.m. to get ready for work, which if we all do the math, we know that this isn’t enough time for restful adequate sleep.
The toxic job, along with this vicious cycle of sleep caused major life-threatening thyroid problems, along with an overactive adrenal gland.
God granted me grace by allowing me to be let go from this toxic environment. It gave me time to heal and try to breathe again.
Sleep Aspect: What’s Going On Now
I still have issues with my sleep patterns due to trauma. They are not as frequent as they were, but they are still a problem. Last week took me clearly by surprise.
I had been suffering with sinus and allergy issues since August, and last week these issues came to a head. And guess what came with it? Sleep deprivation from trauma. I had two nights with four nights of sleep.
Then, I had one night with five nights of sleep. Just as I thought I was turning the corner, the following night was an all-nighter with only one hour of sleep at best. I nodded off for ten minutes at a time, woke up, and then stayed up for hours, with my body attempting sleep several more times.
I have to get up at 4:00 for work, and so, when this time came, and I was still awake, I reluctantly resigned to calling in and staying home. What I had to do was to give myself grace and compassion. I had to tell myself that I needed a time-out to rest, get in as many liquids as I could to help my sinus issues, and just relax. Finally, I fell asleep at 5:00 a.m. and slept until close to nine.
I would have liked to sleep until one o’clock. However, that didn’t happen. What did happen is that I literally laid down for part of the day, and sat up part of the day and allowed myself to rest physically, emotionally, and spiritually in Jesus. Sometimes we just have to admit that we are having a bad day, week, month, year, and simply REST!!!
Sleep Aspect Conclusion
Sleep deprivation from trauma is real. I won’t downplay it. However, God is also real, and he can meet us right where we are. When we have these hiccups in our schedule, the devil wants to make us think we are right back where we are. WE ARE NOT!!
Unfortunately sleep issues are a part of living with and healing from trauma on a daily basis, but it doesn’t define us. God does! And guess what? When I couldn’t sleep during the night, I had praise music playing in my head as if I had turned on a radio. Even though my feelings were telling me different, God was telling me that he was with me.
God bless and have a wonderful rest of your week!!!
What are some of the things that you do to help yourself when you are dealing with the sleep aspect of trauma?
Episode 50: The Journey Reading Healing Our Brokenness Podcast Seri...
00:00 / 00:24:51
Show Notes: The Journey Reading
How many of you have gone on a journey? We take many things with us when we embark on our journeys. When you went on your journey, what did you decide to take with you?
Sometimes, there are things that we plan to take on our journey, and other times that are things that happen to us that are totally unplanned. Today’s podcast will feature a reading from my first book. I would classify it as an autobiography/ faith journey. There were several things that happened to me on my journey. If I had a choice, I wouldn’t have planned for a lot of the things that happened to happen. However, it is through this journey that God has made me stronger, and allowed me to see that he is my only security, and that it is through his grace that I am where I am today.
Episode 45: Be Still: The Healing Aspect of Living with Trauma Healing Our Brokenness Podcast Seri...
00:00 / 00:14:52
Be Still Podcast Outline
Definition of Still
Definition of Know
Dissection of Psalm 46: 10
What Happens With the Combo of Trauma and Constant Busyness
Good afternoon! Welcome to Healing Our Brokenness, episode 45,
Entitled, “Be Still:” The Healing Aspect of Living with Trauma on a Daily Basis”
What does it mean to be still?
Being still means without movement, without speech, calm,
I like to think of stillness as the act of eliminating busyness
In Psalm 46: 10, God tells us, “Be still and know that I am
To know means to be aware of through information and observation. For us to know something or someone, we must
spend time with that person or learning about that topic. If we want to know
God, we must quiet our spirits, stop the striving, distractions, busyness, and
do what is required to be in a relationship with him. If we want to heal from
trauma, we also need a stillness to exist.
This stillness required from healing that helps us to know
about our mind and body connection, can only happen when we purposefully have 2
things: time and space.
When we are busy every minute of the day, we don’t have time
to know our bodies. Our bodies reveal the secrets behind our emotions. Just recently, and recently being about 3
months ago, I started working a full-time job. After a month, I realized that I
needed to tweak my schedule for the weekend. I had to block out 3 hours on my weekend
mornings in order to make sure that I could continue having my time of
stillness. Without stillness, it is hard to gain clarity.
Before working full time, I had more time and space for this
stillness to occur. Now, since my schedule has changed, i must be more
intentional about giving myself margin.
Right before starting work with this job, I had a traumatic
event to occur. Along with learning new things at work, and relearning how to
drive after 30 years, I was exhibiting “ADHD-like” trauma symptoms, and having
a hard time focusing. I knew that it was
only a matter of time till the emotional effects of this event would come out. My
system had to be relaxed enough with stillness, and time and space to go
through the steps of processing everything that had gone down.
The first symptom that was exhibited was that of nausea. I
knew immediately that this was grief. And how was I able to tell that? Four
years ago, when I was living at my previous residence , I became very nauseated
one evening after eating. It was the
worst case ever. I thought that I was
coming down with the flu or some type of virus. It was also during this time
that I had not begun to process any of the traumatic events that had occurred in
the previous 3 years. My system was on
emotional and mental overload.
All of a sudden, before I knew it, I ended up regurgitating 3
to 4 times. In between each time, I felt like I needed to cry very deeply. This
is how I was able to make the connection that nausea for me equals the need for
grief to be released from my body. At
the time, my son asked me about the contents of what I ate that could have made
me so sick. I told him that I realized that it had nothing to do with the food
that I ate.
When I told my therapist about what happened, she said, “Yes,
this was definitely physiological.”
Another symptom that occurred recently is where my lips started
to become numb. I knew immediately that
this represented anger that I needed to work through. Once again, if I did not have the time within
the last few years to process some of the trauma, I would not have had a clue of
what was going on. I probably would have
gotten myself all worked up and anxious, perpetuating the problem.
I was then able to go to God and ask him, “What is this
anger about? Is it just this traumatic event, or something else along with it?”.
Having my time of stillness, and space for reflection allowed me to get to the
root of the problem so that I could start healing from, it. That anger had been coming out sideways for about
2 1/2 weeks.
Music is one of my main go-to’s for enabling me to process
trauma , and so when I added more of this into my time and space, I gained even
more wisdom and discernment , along with being able to release the grief from
my system through crying heavily.
Changes are good. However,
changes are only fully embraced once the old has been grieved. All of the “would
haves”, “should haves”, and “not any more’s”. If you are having problems
healing from trauma, ask yourself if you are allowing yourself the time and
space of sitting in God’s stillness. The
pain, loneliness, and loss have to be grieved. I don’t want to mislead you. There
will be pain in this process. There’s no way to go around it. And I promise
you, if there was, everyone would be signing up for it. There is God’s grace,
mercy, and presence there. And it is
very much needed. It is also in this stillness that our mind, body, soul, and
spirit will begin to reveal the answers to our questions. It will help us to
lead the way and or continue our journey to a life of thriving.
First, try starting off with one hour of lying down without
any distractions and see if you can notice the difference of what this new
stillness brings. Initially, it will feel very uncomfortable because you will
want to quickly fill up your time with busyness. However, this quiet time will
begin to declutter your mind and allow you to get to the root of your issues, along
with the help a therapist.
I hope that “Episode 45: ‘Be Still: The Healing Aspect Of
Living With Trauma’” has been beneficial to you in some way. If Healing Our
Brokenness is making a difference in your life, please leave a review, tag a
friend, and give a shout out on social media. God bless! Have a wonderful week!
Background on Recovery: When you are recovering from PTSD/trauma, it requires a lot of in-depth work. This poem depicts just that. You have to regain your sense of self, learn to listen to your body for its story, and be still with patience as God does his work.
Today, I am featuring another aspect in the “Living With and Healing from Trauma on a Daily Basis” series. This aspect is that of music. Music can have several effects. It can make you go from feeling relaxed to nervous, anxious, and scared, and then switch over to anger, frustration, and sadness in a heartbeat.
Whether you are suffering with trauma/PTSD or not, listening to music can take you back to twenty years of memories that can feel like it was yesterday. Our emotions get stirred, and if we are not careful, we can start riding the waves. You can start thinking about old relationships and all sorts of things.
When it comes to music and PTSD, it can be both a good and bad thing, depending upon the situation. If the music is loud and harsh, with screaming involved, it can cause you to have the trauma symptoms of irritation, dissociation, and anxiety.
Unfortunately, I have experienced all of these. About five years ago, my son was listening to some metal Christian music. I had to ask him to turn it down, then off. It was just too much. The screaming caused the Fear Aspect of Trauma to settle in. I started to feel unsettled in my spirit, along with feeling agitation and anxiousness.
Whether you are listening to loud or soft music, if you haven’t processed memories that are associated with a particular song, you may not be able to tolerate that song or style of music for a while. You’ll usually know if you can tolerate the song/style because you will be able to listen to it without any problems. If the song is intolerable, you usually end up with bad flashbacks or dissociation.
Just recently, I realized that I am fully able to enjoy gospel music again. Starting in 2013, it became hit or miss. Gospel music is associated with attending a missionary baptist church as a kid, leading the choir with my ex-husband, praise dancing, and my roots in general. In order for me to truly appreciate it again, I had to process the important events that this genre held close to my heart. The events weren’t just from one particular time period. They were spread across years.
Recently, my friend invited me to two gospel concerts she performed in. I felt like I was back in the church that I attended as a kid. I knew that this genre had helped me to place the piece of puzzle of my identity in this area back to where it belonged.
Music from the 70s and 80s is also some of my favorites. When I listen to this music, it causes ambivalence. Why? This time period represents a life of simpler times. I have relatives that were alive then, and no longer alive. Community was food, dancing, talking, and enjoying one another’s company. Sometimes, I find myself dancing and crying at the same time.
The more I listen to it, the better it gets. However, I still have moments of extreme grief from trauma, as well as joy at the same time because these memories will forever be in my heart.
How has the music aspect affected your PTSD? Would love to hear your thoughts!
Why are we so afraid to step into our calling? There are various reasons. However, when we see and feel the freedom that it brings, we will wonder why we ever resisted displaying and embracing that irresistible mission.
Episode 29: The Power of God Healing Our Brokenness Podcast Seri...
00:00 / 00:12:35
The Power of God Podcast Outline:
Dissection of Relationships and Our Brokenness
My Witness to the Power of God
Saul’s Witness to the Power of God
Welcome to Healing Our Brokenness Episode 29: The Power of God. Have you ever seen the Power of God in your life? Well, today I am going to give two examples of his power at work. First of all, let’s do some a little dissection.
Dissection of Relationships and Our Brokenness
Whether we are at church, work, or in our neighborhoods, it is important to cultivate relationships with people. Sometimes, in the process of doing this, people become jealous, or they turn on us for no reason. If there is a reason, it is one that doesn’t make sense to us.
However, since we are all broken, we all do things that are characteristic of our sin nature. In a few of these instances, there are times when the people who turn on us are toxic, and the best thing to do is to setup boundaries. In many cases, this may involve little to no contact at all. Prayer from a distance is the best way to go.
My Witness to the Power of God
When I was going through my divorce, my ex-husband’s behavior got so out of control and toxic, that I had to setup a boundary that he could not come back to our marital residence to visit the kids for some months. They could walk out to the car to go with him.
However, that was the extent of it. What led to this decision? His behavior was so out of control during one particular visit, that it cut through my soul and crushed my spirit. It was also during this time that my grandmother was dying in the hospital. I ended up having an emotional breakdown of sorts and was hanging on by a thread.
All correspondence was done via email for a while. What I didn’t find out until later from my son, is that he had decided he was going to come in anyway. However, as the Lord would have it, the first time that he attempted this, his car broke down. Every time that he decided that he wouldn’t follow the paperwork from the court for his financial obligations, his car would break down. My friend joked with me and said that she would never cross me. I said, ” Why?” Her response was that once I started praying things happened.
Saul’s Witness to the Power of God
Saul became jealous of David because the women sang songs about how David had slain ten thousands and Saul had slain thousands. Saul’s anger got so out of control, that he decided that he would kill David. He sent his messengers ahead of him to find out his exact location.
As God would have it, his messengers ended up prophesying. They entered the place where Samuel and his prophets were praying and prophesying, and God caused this to happen to them. Saul sent messengers out two more times. The same thing happened. Finally, he went himself, and God caused him to be filled with the prophesying spirit. This was done long enough for David to escape.
When David had fled and made his escape, he went to Samuel at Ramah and told him all that Saul had done to him. Then he and Samuel went to Naioth and stayed there. Word came to Saul: “David is in Naioth at Ramah”; so he sent men to capture him. But when they saw a group of prophets prophesying, with Samuel standing there as their leader, the Spirit of God came on Saul’s men, and they also prophesied. Saul was told about it, and he sent more men, and they prophesied too. Saul sent men a third time, and they also prophesied. Finally, he himself left for Ramah and went to the great cistern at Seku. And he asked, “Where are Samuel and David?”
“Over in Naioth at Ramah,” they said. So Saul went to Naioth at Ramah. But the Spirit of God came even on him, and he walked along prophesying until he came to Naioth. He stripped off his garments, and he too prophesied in Samuel’s presence. He lay naked all that day and all that night. This is why people say, “Is Saul also among the prophets?”
Talk about the power of God moving! When we do the praying, God does the acting.
We thank you for your grace. Thank you for having our backs when we are literally up against the wall from our enemies. Please help us to remember to set boundaries and pray when we are surrounded by toxic people.
In case you missed our last episode, “The Sin of Cynicism-Part 2”, you can find that episode here. Today’s episode, Episode 27, is entitled Simply Grace. I hope that you enjoy this special poetry reading.
Simply Grace Podcast Outline:
Dissection of Topics and Reading of Poetry
Welcome to the Healing Our Brokenness Podcast Episode 27:
Simply Grace. The intro and ending song
that you hear on the podcast is entitled “Valley of Grace” and is song by
Timothy Horton. Today is a special episode. Why is that?
I will be ready poetry from a book that I published back in February
entitled, “Simply Grace”. It is
available on Amazon. Simply Grace is a
compilation of simple, healthy recipes that are mostly non-meat, along with
poetry that tackles tough issues that we face every day. However, these issues are seasoned with
grace. I deal with truth, so that the truth
brings healing. We are set free by
true. I also deal with raw emotions.
The first poem, entitled “The Quench” deals with Approval
Reading of the poem
The next poem, entitled “The Source of Self-Worth” dissects
our need for self-worth, and not just the need, but the struggle to get it from
things, rather than the main source.
Reading of the poem
The next poem, entitled” Coat of Favor” deals with the Life
of Joseph, his trials, and his redemption.
Reading of the Poem
Have you ever taken matters into your own hands, instead of
waiting on God? The next poem deals with
just that. It is entitled, “Oh, The Pain
Reading of the Poem
For those of us who have been through abuse, we must relearn
what love is. That is what” Abide My
Love, Dance with Me” is all about: God’s love poured out on me to reshape my
thoughts on abuse. Secondly, it describes
how I danced with my Heavenly Father during a period of trials and financial despair,
and how God “showed me his back” as his showed Moses, so to speak, by allowing
me to feel his presence for several hours.
Reading of the Poem
The last poem, “I am the Vine, And So Is It Time?” deals with
a combination of things: the Crucifixion
of Jesus on the Cross, John 15, and the Clematis vine that I attempted to tie
to the trellis last spring as I was getting bit by mosquitos. The first time that I attempted this adventure,
there were too many mosquitos out. The second and final time I was finally able
to do it. However, just within the few
days of break in between, the clematis vine had completely wrapped itself around
one of the heucheras. It was a wonderful
way to see the scriptures in action.
Reading of the Poem
Thank you for listening to Episode 27: Simply Grace, and if
you are enjoying the Healing Our Brokenness Podcast, please recommend a friend,
share on social media, and/or subscribe to hear us on Youtube, Itunes, Google
Play, Stitcher, and Spotify. You can
also listen to us on the blog.