You cannot imagine my excitement when I found the link to this article in my inbox today. A reason to celebrate indeed! If you read through to the end of this blog post, you’ll understand why.
I became a certified EFT practitioner because it helped me reclaim my Joy de Vivre in spite of a debilitating, chronic condition. And the most wonderful gift it gave me was my husband’s life and a happier marriage than I once thought possible.
I haven’t written before about what it was like watching the creative, driven man I knew become nearly catatonic after the events of 9/11.
Suddenly, my once-active, funny husband was disappearing into an unknown world. I had no idea what was happening to him. All I could do was watch him disintegrate into a man I no longer knew how to relate to.
One morning, not long after that fateful day on the 11th of September, he sat in his bathrobe unresponsive. I knew something had to be done. I was still working full-time then.
I tried calling him as soon as I arrived at my desk. When he wouldn’t pick up the phone sitting right next to him I reached out to his best friends. They took him to the Portland VA Medical Center. A day spent in the ER resulted in a PTSD diagnosis.
At that time, we followed the traditional therapy plan of drugs and classes the VA prescribed. It helped, but only minimally. A few years later, his out of control symptoms dominated our lives once again.
This time, he was on hyper-vigilant guard duty 24/7. Rapid speech, constant pacing the floor, not eating, not sleeping and drinking nearly from the time he awoke is what our daily life had devolved into. He was unable to track in normal conversation. He was so volatile that living with him had become a frightening nightmare.
Later, he told me that he had been fighting the six voices constantly shouting instructions to him, the worst of them telling him to just give in and kill them all. None of his friends or family knew what he was going through or how to help.
I now realize what an amazing soldier he is to have been able to fight those voices as successfully as he did. He defended his loved ones against himself. I honor him for that. Otherwise, our story could have had a very different headline. Thanks to EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique aka tapping) that didn’t happen.
I had already found tapping the year before through Nick and Jessica Ortner’s annual World Tapping Summit. But he thought banging on your face was stupid and refused to try. He banished all mention of it from our conversations. Then he finally hit bottom. He’s a soldier. Soldier’s don’t show weakness or ask for help.
One evening in a rare moment of quiet, I said, “I don’t think you’re going to be able to get through this on your own.” Amazed, I watched the balloon of his soldier on attitude deflate in an instant. He finally surrendered.
The next day we reached out to Marilyn McWilliams. She had been part of the Veteran’s Stress Project and selflessly donated her skills as an EFT Coach to help veterans in crisis. All she asked is that they pay it forward.
At his third appointment, he enthusiastically exclaimed, “I can’t wait to get triggered!” Why? Because he knew he had an effective tool that would reduce the adrenaline/cortisol rush his body was so addicted to and find peace. And he did!
For a brief time, Marilyn volunteered with us to serve on a VA committee where veterans gave their input on how the VA could help fellow veterans. We were there to demonstrate how EFT had helped him. Today, I have my husband back. Just like my condition, the PTSD is not gone. But its effects have been greatly reduced. The more he taps, the better he feels.
If you or someone you know could also use this good news, please share the link in your social media outlets. Please contact me for more information on how tapping can help you or your loved one, too. Follow this link to the EFT Practitioner profile. Due to my health condition, I only work part-time.
I have to take a break in the, “What I’ve Learned from the Movies,” series to talk about spending this past week preparing for the taxman. And I know I just posted a blog, but I’ve been living so much in my left brain, that my right brain is screaming for creative expression. Thank you for bearing with me.
I was so focused on completing this task, that all other life tasks were completely ignored; important things like paying bills, eating healthy foods, etc. It was a monumental task for three reasons. One, because the inclusion body miositis mito, (learn more about this bizarre, debilitating disease from the MDA website) turns my brain to mush when I get too fatigued and causes my body to just collapse making it take several times longer to accomplish simple things. Pushing through is difficult, if not impossible, and I end up paying for it later. As I write this, I’m resting in pajamas and likely won’t get dressed today. But as my hubby just said, “I gots to do what I gots to do!” The second reason is that, though I am embarrassed to confess it, we also had two years of back taxes to contend with. The third reason the task was so daunting is the emotional toll it takes to look back through three, difficult and often painful years.
Facing that emotional element is what inspired me to write this post. Anyone else know what I’m talking about? There is a new TV ad from one of the tax prep companies that beautifully illustrates my point as it asks questions about what you accomplished in the past year. And when the years were difficult, the review is equally difficult.
What I realized is that the numbers of your life never lie. It’s quite shocking how much of life is accurately revealed in receipts and bank statements. I can see why law enforcement as depicted on TV often review financial documents to get a picture of a suspects life. As I entered all of our deductible transactions into my Excel spreadsheet, I clearly saw just how much we’ve had to overcome.
The moment I had to leave my much-loved career because my body simply couldn’t handle it anymore is glaringly obvious. That year was the last I filed taxes. As I was dealing with that, my wonderful husband was also contending with his own debilitating PTSD condition. In the subsequent two years, we also faced the death of two close family members as those of you who follow my blog already know. As I entered the deductions of all of mom’s possessions that we donated, I again felt her loss keenly. “How odd it is,” I thought, “that someone’s entire life can come down to a few lines on a tax receipt.” Sometimes, survival itself takes precedence over taxes. Sorry, Mr. Taxman, but there are times when you just aren’t the priority!
Four years later, we have both adjusted to the “new normal” of our lives. We have learned how to face our challenges in mutual compassion and understanding. I could not have sorted through the mountain of receipts without his help. Still, I do not think of myself as disabled. I just have to do things very differently now than I did before. But I am still here. I focus on the things I can do rather than what I can’t. And my hubby is still here, too. We teach each other about acceptance every single day. He is still
learning to cope with the PTSD. We both have good days and some not so good ones. Though he is better now it has forever
changed him, too.
Today, we are finally more able to accept what is. I think that’s because life itself demands growth. There comes a time when resistance is more painful than acceptance. There is freedom in acceptance and that allows for forward motion once again. You could say that some parts of our lives were frozen in resistance to what is. I am grateful that we are now finding ways to break through the ice. So Mr Taxman, it’s ok if you come for us now. We are finally ready and able to deal with you.