Healthcare told me I would never fully recover

I will forever be grateful that circumstances led me to you. Not only have I regained capacities I thought were lost forever, but I've gained access to more than I ever had, and it just keeps growing.

My earliest memory in life is my first trauma, which lasted for several years. Since then, it has been compounded by more traumas, bullying in elementary school, destructive and violent relationships, burnout depression, childbirth trauma, and PTSD.

I struggled with concentration difficulties, constant body pain, and was often dissociated. Anxiety, shame, guilt, and self-hatred were my constant companions. I was a classic people pleaser. I self-medicated with alcohol, large amounts of tobacco, exercise, self-starvation, binge eating, work, and more. I've been suicidal, slept 20 hours a day, and had daily panic attacks. At times, I could barely tolerate touch from my partner or be a reasonable parent to our child. My childbirth was one big trauma where I was subjected to obstetric violence, and my child was almost killed.

In 2019, I was diagnosed with PTSD, although I recognize myself more in complex PTSD.

The psychologist I did my trauma-focused CBT with, including exposure exercises and some ACT, in 2020 suggested that maybe I should have a simpler job. (I remember replying that it would be a waste of my brain.) They also said that I was probably so used to having anxiety that I coped well with living with it. I took that as some kind of limiting truth and confirmation that I was good and strong. But to think that it's actually possible to get rid of chronic anxiety and think about what can fit instead of the constant overload system 24/7 that kills you prematurely - quality of life and health.

After completing the treatment and being discharged from the diagnosis, I still had physical symptoms that escalated during exposure exercises: lower back pain, extremely tense all over my body, and I had to start using a bite splint. My stress levels remained high.

In 2012, healthcare told me that I would never fully recover from burnout depression. That it had permanently damaged my brain. I tried for a long time to accept it and had almost reconciled with it until I met you (even though I had encountered the concept of neuroplasticity because I hadn't managed to plasticize so well on my own). Suddenly, I regained capacity I hadn't had for about ten years. (I think it's very dangerous for healthcare to say that. Because it can take away people's hope. And it's also not true, so I hope they've stopped saying that now.) I now have more access to other internal resources that I have never had before. I can feel my boundaries and communicate them well, say no without getting anxious, and I dare to trust my gut feeling and brain. I can be in crowds without panicking and feeling overwhelmed. I feel significantly more stable and stronger in myself.

I still remember the first time I came to you - the energy and total presence you met me with immediately made me feel safe, despite you being a man. Your rock-solid non-judgmental and infectious openness, no matter what I've worked on, is incredibly healing. The unusual clarity and wisdom you possess are a blessing. That you see the whole picture and also work with the nervous system has been crucial to my healing and trust in your methods.

Your way of letting/helping/guiding me find answers within myself instead of making assumptions and giving more or less helpful advice is very empowering. Because you skillfully combine different techniques, it makes the sessions incredibly effective and securely held. Every session has yielded great results, and I have always felt better afterward, regardless of the reason for my visit. You have helped me in all areas of life: my love relationship, family life, parenthood, etc. The tools I've acquired allow me to self-regulate, and I have resilience against life's challenges. After trying quite a bit of therapy, I guess that one session with you equals about 10-50 times in regular talk therapy. I cannot describe in words how grateful I am, and I warmly recommend you to others - in work and personal life - whether it's about breaking habits and creating new ones, resolving traumas, working on relationships, or moving forward with goals and personal development.

Erika Flood, Entrepreneur

Further Reading