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10 Year Recovery Process
Over the past ten years, I've endured twelve (12) surgeries, and thirty-eight (38) surgical procedures, causing severe depression, debilitating anxiety, and post traumatic stress syndrom (and yes, I say SYNDROME because a disorder would mean there was chance I could actually BE HEALED from the post traumatic stress incurred, which is an impossibility) mainly from hospitals and doctors. During this time, I had to figure out what worked best for me in order to stay healthy, both mentally and physically.
In order to remain balanced and depending on where I was in my recovery process, I knew I needed to stay active in order for blood to pump nutrients to my healing body parts for faster recovery time. I needed to eat healthy and needed endorphin release for my mental state and most importantly to stay alive when I had no hope left. The best medicine for me was to be able sweat each day, firing off those endorphins for a positive state of mind and outlook on my daily life.
Waiting on the Veteran Affairs Healthcare System to approve treatment (ultimately a surgery) for each body part -which can only happen consecutively, as well as going through with the process for each surgery, can take up and upwards of 2 years for approval, from beginning to end. It's a very grueling and tedious process for Veterans. Through it all, I do my very best to remain active finding alternative exercises and activities depending on which body parts were working and which were healthy at the time. And in order to keep my mind and body from regressing. Gratefully, *and because of prior education, training in forensic psychology, behavior health and exercise science* I understood what resilient people needed to be able cope with tragedy all the while still being able to move forward with the healing process in a positive direction. So, that's just what I've been doing!
I found escaping deep into the mountains of the Pacific Northwest to be the most therapeutic form of exercise for me, though when unable to escape (whether from a current procedure, due to doctors appointments or the hectic nature of daily life and responsibilities around these monotonous appointments), I found other inexpensive and easily accessible therapeutic exercise options in my community. I learned to enjoy and engage with yoga, pilates, meditation, aqua running, music, friendships, and to create hobbies as forms of therapy. I soon found that being a disabled Veteran qualified me for certain discounts in and around the community (such as at local gyms, pools, clubs, using equipment, etc) and for inexpensive or free passes, vehicle tabs, and wilderness permits, and the like - be sure to ask around when "shopping!"
Below are a few of my staple therapeutic training options that have served me well during my years of recovery:
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