Update: Stuck in Survival Mode
It’s been a while since I’ve shared any updates and I hope this finds you well.
To cut to the chase the last few years have not been easy. Slight hip pain that began in late 2017 culminated with surgery in mid 2019 and began a process of rehabilitation that is still in full swing. (Almost 4 years now!) The most important moment of this timeframe came in the Summer of 2019 when my intention changed from “I need to get beyond this physical stuff” to “I am going to learn and transform through this rehabilitation process.”
I mean I was still working with strength coaches and PTs and chiropractors and doing all the ‘right’ things before that shift in mindset but in all honesty I was outsourcing responsibility. I was hoping and praying that someone else would come along and fix my shit. When I look back in 5, 10 or 20 years, taking that responsibility in-house will be one of the best decisions I ever make. Without support from you guys, from my family and friends, book recommendations and challenging conversations, I would have missed this opportunity that I was running away from. Thank you.
Maybe the hardest part about this shift is the lag between choosing to play the long term game and seeing the returns from actually playing that game. The timeframe of that lag is totally unknown. In many ways I think this is the transition from surviving to thriving, from seeking a short term quick fix to playing the long game and building a cycle of sustainable success. To bridge the gap, things like stability and trust and support have been absolutely crucial and I am incredibly privileged to have those pieces in my life. Stability, trust and support remain a big part of the transition and help provide me the space and capacity to have intentionality and continue playing the long game.
What has been most eye opening is learning that this transition is not just a mental shift. Parsing through my injury history with practitioner after practitioner I began to get an idea of how much I had pushed through... concussions, neck pain, body tension etc.. And while I was pushing through, ignoring signs of anything being off, my body was holding on for dear life. That ‘holding on’ began to show up as inflammation, dysfunction, pain, tension and moodiness. While choosing to play the long game may have been the first step, the solution isn’t as simple as just deciding to not be in survival mode and thrive. Instead from a physical standpoint my whole body and nervous system were stuck in survival mode. This is called sympathetic drive. Even if I wanted to relax, I had lost the ability to do so (while sleeping too!). Simply put if we can’t relax, we can’t go into parasympathetic or rest and digest mode and our body has lost access to its window for healing.
And so I am working to restore optionality for my whole body and nervous system so that I can have the ability to relax and therefore heal. I will get into my take on how this plays out another time. At this point in my process I remain deep in the rabbit hole, exploring jaw development and airway space, occlusal / visual inputs, cranial strain patterns and emotional trauma. It has been amazing to begin to learn how incredibly complex and interconnected the human system is. No matter how much I rehab my hips, if something is dysfunctional within my neck or cranium, everything below is going to organize accordingly. And no, it’s not as simple as just adjusting something back into place..
Thanks for reading and I’m looking forward to what comes next.