Life after Lightning and how I found my mind again
It was a rainy, Seattle, Sunday afternoon and I was off to see some girlfriends for a few hours. All morning I had this feeling of dread and not wanting to go, but I’d promised to do some business consulting. So, not so merrily, I went on my way. After arriving, it was good to meet new people and have a nice time talking and eating. A real storm started to build after being there at my friends’ condo for awhile. Loud claps of thunder were growing louder by the minute.I moved to the other room to help map out some strategies and new actions for them to improve their lives. Loud sounds of thunder and lightning were steadily growing to the point of shaking the condo we were in.Out of the corner of my eye the sky really lit up. More thunder, rumbling, and a another flash. That one seemed to move away from the building and then came back in through an open window and smacked me on the left side of my head.Not only did I see stars, I felt like my my heart stopped beating, and large amounts of fear and adrenaline filled my person. Have you ever have a surreal moment? This was mine. Being the hypnotherapist that I am, this little voice said, “Become a copper coil and get this stuff out of you.” It made me laugh, so that is what I did and seemed to recover.
Next, I reached for the door handle and the door came of the hinges. Lost my balance and fell into the closet and that door came off the hinges. Wow, the start of being Super Woman! Oh, Lightning Girl! Later I was to experience “Fearful Woman”.
The host came running out and said, “Please don’t touch that bathroom door, let me open it please”. She politely asked, “Do you think if you touch the metal handle on the toilet or sink that they will melt or come off?” My reply was, “Gee, I’m kind of new to this, doors-coming-off-the-hinges-stuff. What do you suggest?” We resolved that I’d touch everything with a towel or something in my hand…a buffer of some sort.
Well, things settled down and I seemed fine, went back in the room and finished the other consulting work that was scheduled.
The after effects
Finally it was time to leave my friends’ house and was I was thinking, “no worries”. So, off to the car I went and all of the car alarms started going off that signaled there was a disturbance in the force.
The next morning I had a “cute white skunk streak” in front and the side of my hair. A lovely very red rash from my neck to my waist on the left side of my body had appeared. Several days later my heart started skipping beats, anxiety, and white knuckled terror attacks. Trips to the hospital.
Good Training Helped
I was so angry that my life had been good and my business had been really taking off. Then Bam! The Universe took away that feeling of being lucky. When you get screwed by the Universe, where do you go for faith?
Inside yourself – remembering my training from gymnastics, surviving being a political appointee for 8 1/2 years, and my fromer coach and mentor Ken Roskie’s words. “When the going gets tough you need to be tougher on the inside”. Ken, knew 1st hand what it took he was a former NFL linebacker for the 49ers.
I hate starting over more than once, but staying down is failure. To regain my life was constant Action Action and More Action was my call to arms, through pain and tears and massive depression and frustration. Surviving is not for the faint-hearted. A long and winding road for sure. Ask any one who has overcome trauma and tragedy.
Silent Screams of Fear
From fearless — to afraid of everything, very depressing. So I compensated by narrowing my life and consulting and hypnotherapy practice significantly. Never had any problems with my helping people during this time. It was so strange. I was working out of the part of the brain that wasn’t damaged.
Rain in Seattle caused nearly stroke-level fear.10-20 terror attacks a day did little to help the progress. Spent a lot of time in the bathroom that had no windows. Kit my large male tabby and I spent lots of time in the bathroom during the storms. He was no fan of the thunder and lightning either. Years later we both now sit through storms together.
I finally got sick of my life and wanted to do something different, but no longer trusted my brain or my ability to learn. Memory was a thing of the past. My humor helped during this time however at times it was orbiting Mars.
My journey of adventures continued for 15 years. There were no problems when I was working. Just the ability to do math and follow directions or find my way home from the grocery store. Brain potholes is what I called these moments. You never know where they until you hit one. My once really great memory was now Swiss cheese.
Your on your own
The health care professionals really don’t know what to do with people like me “a lightning survivor”. Getting the extra electrical charge out of the brain is the problem. I thought my brain was to slow when in reality it was hyper. Discovered this through a Nintendo DS game, Brain Age 2, as a gift.
This game is great for the brain, did the first test and my brain was age 85. After working with it for awhile it’s now down to 37. One of the exercises is to relax the brain, where I experienced a physical sensation of the brain slowing down and working more effectively. That my brain was firing faster than I could talk or process caused the feeling of almost stuttering. The insight from that realization gave me greater understanding as to why under stress my brain knowledge and resources seemed to evaporate.
My husband researched and found that survivors have some unusual affects, your body won’t hold B vitamins very well, sleep disturbances, headaches, pain, severe depression. “Gee Honey, You have about 70 of the 90 symptoms.” Oh joy!
Through acupuncture, diet, walking, yoga and a loving husband friends and famiy, I started to recover but had several devastating relapses.
Oh! crap the relapses
One particular bad relapse happened on a rainy day again in Seattle. I got stuck behind a utility truck on a metal bridge and spectacular storm with lightning for 10-15 minutes, all around us. I finally drove home and spent the next few hours in my car terrified to venture out to cross the street to my home.
It was after years of work I was back at step one. Saddened angry frustration and wanting to quit trying. After some self pity time. Decided this was not for me. I wanted my life back and a better one. The long journey of keeping my dreams alive, in spite of people saying you will never be the same. No I am strong and more committed to heal, to restart my dreams, and steel myself for the process of recovery. I want to move from survival to Thrival as I call it.
Eventually I worked and designed my own programs to begin healing and read several books that helped like Change Your Brain, Change Your Life.
Then my old fears cropped up, like, “Can I learn or remember?” or “What about those mind potholes?” Sometimes couldn’t add or subtract on the same day. Can the challenged brain be retrained to really learn technical computer stuff? These were the questions and fears that plagued me. I knew what life was going to be like if I continued doing the same old things.
There are still days that are challenging in learning. Some times asking the same thing several times before it sticks. But hey, my life is so much better and getter better by the minute.
Yes, I did enjoy learning and persisted beyond my fears. I am now back writing to help others overcome their fears and learn to minimize them. I am go grateful for all the patient friends and people in my life and the professionals that helped. I was and am still so lucky.
Learning again to use the Positive with steel resolve and action in my daily life has given me back my life. “The Positive Works”, yes it does. Not the sweet coated one. The positive healthy part that looks at you realistically and and says get going lady. Make each day count.