On February 16th 1998, I suffered a life changing trauma.
I bottled that trauma up, pushed it deep inside and self medicated with booze, drugs, food, and denial.
Over the years, I tried to speaking to Drs and had counselling for my eating disorder but I would always fall back into old behaviours.
Without knowing the cause you can’t find the cure.
It wasn’t until I met Jodie that I understood what I experienced in 1998 was a traumatic event. I never understood it as trauma. Horrible. Yes. Unfortunate. Yes. My old belief system minimised it. But what a penny drop moment to have what I experienced defined properly and powerfully and to finally understand how that trauma affected me and led to my abuse of drink, drugs and my eating disorder.
EMDR was mentioned early in my sessions with Jodie but as time unfolded and as other strategies were successfully deployed it was not used.
Many months after Jodie and I said our goodbyes, I experienced a very triggering event. An event that took me right back to the trauma of 1998. That moment in time, in which I felt who I truly was was swallowed whole by the false belief that I am unimportant, that I do not matter, that the feelings of others should come before my own.
I reached out to Jodie.
Because of the distress I was in Jodie referred me to a Psychiatrist and I was diagnosed with Adjustment Disorder. When the symptoms did not improve I was diagnosed with depression and medication was prescribed. After explaining to the Psychiatrist the reasons for me declining his recommendation that I take medication and my desire to try an alternate approach he discussed with me the results he had witnessed first hand with EMDR. I was immediately interested and my curiosity piqued. How could rapidly looking back and forth possibly help to reprocess memories?
I discussed with Jodie my interest in EMDR and she explained to me its origins and how it’s believed to work. We then discussed what would be the best moment in time to focus on and the corresponding belief linked to that moment. We also ensured I had the right resources to tap into outside of therapy as the sessions, especially in the initial stages, would be very emotionally charged and draining.
I have now completed 6 EMDR sessions. There has been many tears but equally and to my unexpected delight there has been laughter.
I am sometimes bemused by the memories that emerge but as Jodie says we, “go with it”.
I know there is plenty of work left to do but I have already felt the benefits. And, that old belief that I am unimportant, well that it isn’t ringing so true anymore. In fact, it is weakened every time I rapidly move my eyes back and forth and just, “go with it”.