over the last few years, i’ve become increasingly disconnected from my body. i’ve been in my head. thinking. thinking about clients and the best ways to work with them. thinking about the upcoming presentations and workshops – how to make them interactive, interesting and effective. thinking about theory. thinking about research. thinking about how to manage my time more efficiently so i could fit it all in. thinking (and worrying) about clients who were in immense pain and contemplating suicide or actual suicide attempts. thinking about how i wasn’t doing “enough” because i hadn’t figured out how to clone myself yet. thinking (and knowing) that it’s impossible to be all things to all people, yet still thinking that maybe, just maybe, if i worked hard enough i could do it. thinking, thinking, thinking.
trauma resides in the body. one of the ways that survivors heal from trauma is to reconnect with their bodies. i believe the same to be true for compassion fatigue. i started with a massage as a means of reconnecting with my own body. i did have lofty expectations that i would walk away feeling changed/relaxed in a very profound way, however, it was much more subtle and just as nice. it also prompted me to think about my relationship with my body over the years and how it has come to bear the scars of my lack of self-care. i thought about the dental work that i need to get done this summer. dental work that i delayed while working years ago at a rape crisis center because i couldn’t find time to take off because i was hesitant to cancel clients and my dental insurance was woefully inadequate. i literally sacrificed my body. admittedly, i have been delaying dental issues in an unhealthy manner since i began my career in the non-profit field. some of that is my own fear of the dentist, while other parts are very real barriers related to insurance coverage, finances and non-profit work culture. it all seems so silly now. i write that last statement not with judgment, but with compassion for myself and the lessons that it has taken me years to learn.
the massage was the just stepping stone (wink wink) that i needed to start the journey back to my body.