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Posts Tagged ‘Healing’

I’ve been writing a lot recently about how things have been changing for me in a very positive direction.

One of those positive directions is my physical health. When I was in the middle of dealing with my PTSD issues, I would go in for my annual checkup. I really trust my doctor, but I also have “white coat syndrome” from childhood issues with a very scary and unsafe doctor. Those were the issues I was currently dealing with. So my blood pressure would be higher than usual in the doctor’s office.

Over several years my blood pressure had been getting a little higher, so the doc had put me on a minimal dose of BP medication.

When I went in for my physical 3 years ago, the nurse took my BP, got a really shocked look on her face. She waited a few minutes, took it again. Got a second nurse to take it. Then the doc came in and took my BP. The alarm – my blood pressure was scary high! It was super scary, but my intuition said it was because I was in the middle of PTSD issues.

The doctor increased my dosage of BP medication, and added a small dose of a second medication.

The result:

I did a lot of work on my PTSD issues, and things began to resolve. I kept track of my BP, and it began to fall into the normal range again. I kept a log for a month, and tracked the results, sent those to my doctor.

I had my annual physical in May, and the doctor agreed I could discontinue the BP medications, weaning myself gradually. He was a bit baffled but said “you’ve done this on your own” meaning the PTSD work I did.

I have been off all BP medications since the end of May, and my BP is steady at 120/80.

My health insurance company has kept calling me because apparently there is no easy check box for “Discontinued BP medication.” You can just hear the puzzlement in their voices.

:)

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Dramatic Shift!

For the last several years, I have been dealing with core C-PTSD issues that revolved around my grandmother. She was a nurse who worked for a super scary doctor. She used his scary presence to threaten me with terrible harm if I disobeyed her. I learned – doctors are to be feared!

I’ve had what I have heard called “white coat syndrome” for a long time. Just being in a doctor’s office causes me to become hypervigilant and terrified.

I have an excellent doctor I go to for my annual physical. I trust this doctor implicitly. A couple of years ago when I went to see him in the middle of the PTSD, I would be in sheer terror all out of proportion to the current situation. The typical readings they take, which had been normal for years, were suddenly extremely elevated. It was uncanny.

Over the last year, I have been resolving the impact of those issues with my grandmother. One of the biggest signals – I stopped using sugar. That had been my way to deal with the fear during the abuse, and for many years afterward.

Today, I went for my annual physical. It was a dramatically different situation.

The whole thing was a non-event, and caused me no distress. I went into the doctor’s office, and my readings were perfectly normal again.

As we did the physical, the doctor said “well you certainly are younger than your age!”

I know – I feel it!

When I left, he said “Congratulations, you won the Healthiest Patient of The Day” award. We both smiled.

I get deeper perspective about how much the healing process has worked through events like this.

It was an incredibly empowering moment!

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Fear of Success!

For years, I would take low paying jobs, and not really understand why. It was like I was avoiding a “success” career track, and jobs underutilizing my skills felt safer or more comfortable.

Then I began to build a very successful career, almost in spite of my efforts to avoid it.

I was working in the oil industry, and got to the highest pay level for my profession. I suddenly got tired of the work, and quit.

I never could understand what was happening for many years.

Then I uncovered a violent incident from my childhood. My Dad let me know it was dangerous to be successful, or to think I was “better than him.”

I’ve worked hard to turn this pattern around.

The thing that has changed – how quickly I can recognize the pattern and let it go when it crops up.

I’ve been writing promotional scripts freelance, for whiteboard video scripts. It is a LOT of fun – I get to weave a story into the description of the product or service.

Recently, I have worked on:

-A community center for inner city Los Angeles

-Scripts for natural cholesterol, blood pressure and sleep aids

-A large scale initiative to develop homeless shelters

-A program to help college students focus and succeed

-A lot of other projects of a more commercial type

It’s a blast! I’m really enjoying myself, and I am very good at what I do. My creativity is in explode phase, and each project is a new challenge, so the work never gets stale.

A couple of days ago, I realized that the past month was my most successful ever, and that I was crossing a threshold to make this a very successful writing career.

Then yesterday, I could feel myself pulling into “it will never work out” feelings.

I realized that those feelings weren’t based in reality, and indeed – the opposite was happening. I was in reality becoming very successful!

I stepped out of the Fear of Success pattern and disengaged from it.

It took until today for me to realize what a huge deal this is.

The pattern will no doubt crop up again, but I have a way to get out of it. Instead of just living in the pattern, avoiding success, and not being aware.

Now I can succeed, and not try to run from it!

This feels very very good!

:)

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I have done a lot of work over the last several years to release the impact of the abuse that led to C-PTSD in my world. I’m now able to do things like giving up sugar, which has freed me up enormously, and was a signal that those old abuse issues didn’t have the same hold on me as before.

But one result of all this work – incredible clarity!

I now know what to do in situations with a certainty and clarity that was just not available to me. It wasn’t available while I was in the fog of dealing with PTSD issues. I don’t know if that clarity has ever been available to me like right now, because I had those PTSD issues from the time I was 8 years old.

An Example

So here’s how that clarity looks.

I had a client buy a job late Saturday night to write a script for him. I specifically asked him if he wanted an informational or story script. He said story, and even gave me a great example.

I wrote the script and sent it to him.

He responded what he really wanted was a “commercial video” type script. He hadn’t mentioned this at all before. Plus, the term is so vague, I could spend a LOT of time trying to figure out what this guy wanted.

I sent him an email saying I had delivered what he wanted, and I was now really confused.

I remembered what a guy said years ago “Any time I start feeling confused, I think dysfunction is at work.”

I then promptly sent the guy a cancellation request, before I ever heard back from him. No wasting time on back and forth while he couldn’t define what he wanted.

No hesitation. No uncertainty.

It was there, and I saw it, and I did it!

WOW!

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A Flying Dream!

Something happened a while back that hasn’t happened for many years. I didn’t say anything about it to anyone for a couple of days, because I just wanted to absorb it for me.

2-5-17

Last night I had a flying dream.

It was unlike any flying dream I’ve ever had before.

I haven’t had one since the ‘80s.

Back then, I only had a flying dream a few times.

Most of the time, I was flying low to the ground, and having to dodge telephone lines.

Once, I had a dream where I was flying high and smooth. It only lasted for a moment.

Once, I had a dream where I shot off the ground like a rocket, straight up.

Then the flying dreams stopped.

The dream last night was totally different.

I was able to fly freely.

High, low, it didn’t matter.

I soared around just savoring the experience.

Gravity didn’t affect me.

There was a lightness I had never experienced in my flying dreams before.

I flew incredibly high into the sky, into a sort of city in the clouds, like the one Lando Calrissian managed in The Empire Strikes Back.

It was so high you couldn’t see it from the ground.

It was on the edge of space darkness, like when Chuck Yeager took the X-1 up where he could see the stars, in the movie The Right Stuff.

There were luxurious rooms, and apartments and hallways.

I was able to float through them freely.

At that point I was more levitating than flying.

I had no fear of falling.

I knew I could fly as long as I wanted.

The dream went on for a long, long time.

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In 1988, I gave up alcohol. That was a struggle, but I haven’t had a drink since. Alcohol was a feeling stuffer in many different ways.

In 1994, I gave up tobacco. My parents had both smoked since I was a baby, and I know I had an associated smoke addiction from the time I was a small child. I haven’t had tobacco since. Tobacco was my feeling stuffer for anger – as I dealt with my anger, I was able to let go of tobacco.

In 1996, I gave up caffeine. it just revved me up too much, and fueled my sleep deprivation. Caffeine was a big feeling stuffer for fear.

The common thread in all letting go of those addictions – when it was time, I was ready, and I could really stick with not doing it again.

The one that has always stumped me is sugar.

I’ve been trying since about 2000 to let go of sugar. I’ve tried a lot of things, and even gotten support, but evidently it wasn’t time. I just wasn’t ready.

Well –

I didn’t want to say anything, but I have been off sugar now for almost three months, and this time it feels real. (Note: this was originally posted on another site a while back. It has now been over a year that I have been off of sugar!)

I didn’t realize how big a deal it was until I started looking back at the PTSD issues I’ve dealt with, especially the ones with my grandmother. She was always feeding me ice cream and lots of sugar.

I remember as a teenager coming home and having half a bag of Oreos and a glass of milk, and calling it dinner.

So sugar has been a constant in my world, not to mention it’s a primary ingredient in alcohol and tobacco.

Then one time I sent an email to my good friend Carl, and said “I’m letting go of the feeling stuffer for my core issue.” He picked up on the power of that statement.

My core issue – the abuse by my grandmother that defined my world since I was 8 years old.

I typed that in very big letters “I’m letting go of the feeling stuffer for my core issue,” printed it, and taped on the wall next to my computer.

It became real why I had struggled all those years. It was back in 2000 that I was starting to become aware of the PTSD and abuse issues by my grandmother. It took a long time to deal with those issues – it just took as long as it took!

I have started to accept over the past several months that I have dealt with the abuse by my grandmother, and it doesn’t limit my world like it used to. (Not perfection, just a lot of progress)

I have finally begun to believe that this is real, and this time – it’s going to take.

I have let go of sugar.

Wow!

 

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Since I was 8 years old, I have existed with a sense of bad things on the horizon.

I know exactly where that came from – abuse by my grandmother, which led me to believe that my lot in life was to suffer, and if I tried to succeed, she would guarantee a horrid ending to my existence.

I could not change this reality – the expectation of doom was deeply embedded in the fibers of my soul. I reflect back on my actions over the years, and they now make a lot of sense – why try to be happy when disaster would be the outcome?

I have spent a lot of time in the last several years working on the abuse by my grandmother, which was the most core source of my PTSD. I have been committed to root out that dysfunction, and do all I could to recover from that trauma.

Last week, my writer friend Randi said something like “be open to embrace the blessings of what is about to happen in your world.” I was ready to act on that new truth – that blessing could be mine! For me, it’s best to just leave it at that – if I try to define the blessings, I limit how wonderful they could be.

The other morning, I woke up and thought “I’ve made it.” It signaled a deep feeling.

I’m not going to claim that I’m free of symptoms, or that I have fully recovered. The nature of the C-PTSD I have struggled with is too deep, and I still expect to feel its effects at times. But my world has shifted in a remarkable way.

I woke this morning and had to chat with my friend Carl, because I was just aware of a new reality in my world – the expectation of blessing!

Good things are coming my way, and I am ready to embrace them.

That is mostly a head statement right now, and I think it will take a while for it to sink in. So for now, I’m smiling a lot and basking in the glow of this new reality.

I’m just letting it sink in.

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One day a friend on twitter

Sent me a message.

She said:

“I’m writing for a magazine

And exploring my next memoir.

Each article I publish

Is a chapter from this next book

Would you take a look

At what I’ve written

And tell me what you think?”

 *

I was glad to help

And began reading

The woman’s story.

It was engaging, compelling

And very interesting.

Then one day,

I began to look

At the magazine.

It was called Life As A Human

Life As A Human

And was a very high quality publication.

I was very impressed.

I began to think about

Submitting some of my own writings,

I asked my friend about it,

And she said they were

A very solid outfit,

And that she thought

It would be well worth my time

To submit some work to them.

*

I contacted the editor,

Thinking this was like other sites

I had published in

Where they would let me republish

Posts I had written

For my blog.

I sent the editor a couple of samples.

She replied that they would be

Very interested in publishing my work

But that they preferred

Original content.

That stumped me for a while.

 *

Then the dots connected

And I realized I had original content

That I wanted to explore.

I was writing my next book

A memoir about a healing journey

That I was taking

To overcome the abuse

"Mamaw" and young Danny

Laid on me by

My crazy Grandma.

She had told me

If I wanted to be

A famous writer when I grew up

They would call me crazy

And lock me up.

I had come to realize

That crazy was not too strong

A word to use

About this grandmother.

 *

So I wrote my first chapter,

Polished and edited,

Cleaned it up,

And submitted it to the magazine.

They loved it!

The editor made a few changes

Mostly tightening here and there,

Then we published it.

Why Is This Fantastic News So Scary?

Got astonishing results

Lots of page views,

And plenty of comments.

I got some wonderful feedback

From the readers.

Doing it this way

Helped me stay focused

On the real essence

Of the story I was trying to tell.

Which was helpful

Because this was going to be

One of the most challenging books

I would ever write.

It was a complex topic,

Covering many years,

And I needed this unique method

To help me see

How to tell this story.

 *

I made amazing progress,

I was writing my next book

A chapter at a time

And publishing each chapter

As I went.

I got editorial insight

Feedback from readers,

And doing it this way,

Kept me moving forward.

Later I would compile

All the chapters

And there would be

My book.

A friend reminded me

That this was a common method

In years gone by –

To publish chapters as articles

And later

Make it a book.

Sounded like a plan to me!

 *

Then something unexpected happened.

It was only after

I had published 25 chapters

Just over half the book

With the wonderful guidance

Of the editor

And the astonishing feedback

From the readers

Which continued as they

Watched the story unfold.

I realized that writing

And publishing

Like I was doing

Was actually part of my healing.

*

Sometimes

I call myself

A very gifted

Slow learner.

I will realize a truth

And be astonished by it

Only to discover

That my friends had seen my truth

Long before I did

And no longer found it remarkable.

That’s how it was with

This experience.

How could I not

Have seen how healing

This process would be?

Well, I just didn’t.

But it happened that way!

 *

Writing and publishing

My healing journey

Became part of

My healing journey

And propelled that healing forward

Like few other things I had tried.

Today, as I look back

At the first chapters,

It’s like I’m writing about

Another person,

Someone who had

A serious writer’s block,

And had walked away from

Publishing two books

Because of what

His crazy Grandma said and did

When he was

Eight years old.

 *

I’m not that person any more.

I will publish this memoir

About my healing journey

In two thousand and twelve.

Healing The Writer - Chapters 1 thru 29, in reverse order

It will be called

Healing The Writer

And in a very real sense

That’s what the book did!

**********

Photo Credits:

“Mamaw” and young Danny, copyright Dan L. Hays

Life As A Human logo copyright Life As A Human magazine.

“In Written Memories”  Mutasim Billah @flickr.com. Creative Commons. Some rights reserved.

“Good Question” e-magic @ Flickr.com. Creative Commons. Some Rights Reserved.

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Then there were times when

    The poetry flowed.

My words fell on paper,

    My creativity glowed.

*

The writing was easy,

   The meanings were clear.

My inner child,

    Always was near.

*

Then came the hurting,

     The word flow did cease.

I spiritually died,

    I knew no more peace.

*

Long years of silence,

    By my poet child.

I tried to be happy,

    Inside I was wild.

*

It grieved me to hear,

    The silence within.

I wanted so badly,

    The words to begin.

*

Years of discovery,

    Led me to causes.

I worked and recovered,

    Without many pauses.

*

I went back to Tulsa,

    My dead father to see.

To tell him I loved him,

    To set old hurts free.

*

It’s now a year later,

    The word flow returns.

Creative freedom,

    Again mine to learn.

*

Now there are new times,

    When the poetry flows,

The words fall on paper,

    My creativity grows.

*

Yet it seems like a new world,

    My heart is at ease.

Not flowing from hurting,

    My words are at peace.

*****

This poem was written in 1999, but I’m having this experience so strongly now that it’s really relevant today.

Photo credit:

“Inspiration” photosteve101 @ Flickr.com Creative Commons. Some Rights Reserved.

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My Dad disappeared

For about a year

When I was seventeen.

The last I saw him,

We left him

Passed out drunk

On the living room couch.

Relatives came and got

My Mom, sisters and me

Leaving Dad

Who wouldn’t quit drinking

Who wouldn’t accept help.

I thought

I might ever see him again.

 *

Later

He returned to our lives

A changed man.

He sobered up

Got back his old job

Built back his old life.

*

But twenty years later

After he died

I realized

I never knew what happened

When he disappeared.

When he was on the edge

Of killing himself

With the drink.

Rumor had it

That he worked

The wheat harvest

Something he had done

In college.

Wheat Harvest

*

I started to write

The story of what I thought

Might have happened.

I realized

The piece I was missing

Was what it would be like

To work on

The wheat harvest.

*

I said to a friend

“Someday…

Someday,

If I ever want to

Really explore

My Dad’s story.

I might just have to

Work the wheat harvest.

My friend Pat

Listened quietly.

 *

Later he said

“You’ve talked about

working the wheat harvest

three or four times.

I just want to mention

Someday – if you want

To work the wheat harvest.

I have relatives in Oklahoma

Who do that each year.”

*

I did what I do

When hit with

The unexpected.

I sat there

Numbly,

Quietly.

And then said

“Thanks for telling me.”

Talk about upping the ante

On a spiritual quest

To walk in

My Dad’s shoes.

My friend had

Certainly done that.

Now I was left

To put it all out there,

Or leave it as “someday.”

*

I finally called Pat

And asked if he would

Do me a favor.

Check with his relatives

To see if I might

Join their harvest crew

For the summer.

*

Meanwhile,

I tried to figure out

If this was

Completely nuts.

Quit my job,

Go off and work

On a harvest crew

To find out about

My Dad’s story.

I checked it out

With Scott – a good friend

Who was really grounded.

He’d give me a solid answer,

Besides, he was

An accountant.

Logical, linear.

I later realized

I was secretly hoping

He’d tell me

“This idea is crazy”

So I could give up

The whole thing.

Instead he said

“Makes a lot of sense

I think you ought to do it!

It will be part of

Your healing.”

Major gulp!

*

Two months later,

I was living in a trailer

In Lone Wolf Oklahoma

With six high school farm kids

Learning to drive a huge truck

Used to haul grain.

And following

My Dad’s story.

*

Bunk trailers and work pickups

Cara - the grain truck I drove on harvest

It was the adventure

Of a lifetime.

We followed the wheat

As it ripened.

Living like nomads.

It was a world

I had never seen before.

Living in an old house trailer

In one place for two weeks

Then moving,

Trailers, trucks, combines

A caravan

To the next farm

As the wheat ripened

From Oklahoma

To North Dakota.

Combines and tractors

*

Combines dumping grain on trucks

I learned many things.

I grew up in the city

But had the heart of a country boy.

I love driving a tractor

Or a wheat combine.

I don’t do well on little sleep.

Living in a trailer,

Farm boys are not

Particularly neat

When Momma’s not there

To clean out the tub.

When pulling wheat from

A plugged up combine

The dust really itches,

When it gets down your neck.

 *

And special things happened.

    I got to visit the filmsite

From Dances With Wolves.

We saw Mount Rushmore,

Me at Dances With Wolves filmsite

My first pic of Mount Rushmore

Both affected me deeply.

All in all

It was a magical summer.

*

It gave me the truth

About what I believe

Happened to my Dad.

How he had

A spiritual awakening

And realized

He had to return

To clean up his past.

I finished the story

I wanted to tell.

I wrote it as a novel.

It will be called

“Nothing Left To Lose.”

 *

But as I look back

What Pat said

When the idea

First came up

Turned out to be the truth.

He had said

“Dan, you think you’re going

On the wheat harvest,

To learn about your Dad.

I think this trip

Will be about you.

You will learn about

Yourself.

Heal yourself.

Claim your own power.”

*

He was right!

I often look back

On the wheat harvest experience

As a turning point in my life.

When I claimed the truth

Dan the writer

Of my path

Not to follow the business world

   Of my Dad and my friends,

But to claim my birthright

As a writer

Dan the writer

A teller of stories.

And a country boy.

I am completely convinced

I did the right thing

In going on harvest

To walk in Dad’s shoes.

Because I found – myself.

********************

Photo Credits:

Photos by Dan L. Hays Copyright – all rights reserved.

“The Wheat Harvest” the slowlane @ flickr.com. Creative Commons. Some Rights Reserved.

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