Concussion – and everything else – FIXED!

On Feb 6 2019 I had a wakeboarding fall which resulted in a severe concussion that took me out big time. After the darkest, most gut wrenching year, on 28 Jan 2020 I attended a course called The Switch and saw incredible healing in the concussion and a myriad of pre-existing conditions. Brad attended the course as my support person and he too has seen healing. The course teaches you how to take your thoughts captive, replace them with new ones and calm your stress response. (Stress is responsible for 75-90% illnesses). It’s hard to write all my results as there are just too many to note. I’m so healthy I forget how bad it used to be.

After seeing six psychiatrists the year prior to The Switch I had little to no results. I had also met with multiple counsellors, pastors, youth leaders and respected friends over the 7 years before that to try and overcome some of my issues. Again, I saw almost no results and nothing that lasted more than a few days.

I’m certain there are some which have been forgotten, but here are some highlights after The Switch…

Since doing The Switch:
  • I no longer “do” concussion symptoms including; fatigue, pain, dizziness, nausea, fogginess, sleep issues, noise sensitivity, light sensitivity and chronic headaches.
  • I no longer get lost driving and after almost a year of working merely a few hours and then “crashing” I have worked 40+ hours a week since.
  • After 52 weeks of attending physio/osteo, I went back 3 weeks after doing The Switch. The physio took one look at me and said: “What have you done? You’re talking more than ever, your posture is better and your neck and shoulders are completely loose. If you’re not in pain you don’t need to come back anymore!” I wasn’t, so I haven’t since!
  • I went cold turkey on my meds the day the course started (antidepressants, sleep and pain meds). I had tried this 3 times before with terrible results. NB: this was not encouraged by the course but was my own choice.
  • I no longer do chronic back and neck pain (which had been present since 2013).
  • I no longer do anxiety – after 15 years of symptoms. I haven’t done a panic attack for more than 7 months! I used to regularly get tunnel vision, numb hands, chest pain, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, warped hearing and a ton of other symptoms.
  • I no longer do overwhelmed – I used to yell and scream and basically turn into a toddler regularly.
  • I dropped my antique engagement ring in the ocean and it was lost for 20 hours before an incredibly kind man found it. Before it was found (which was a bit of a miracle in itself after the tides!!) I cried of course, but I didn’t lose the plot, I didn’t have extreme guilt and I didn’t get angry, even though it was 100% my own fault.
  • I haven’t done depression or suicidal thoughts ONCE since the course – after 7 years of symptoms.
  • I no longer do Raynaud’s Syndrome (which my Dr. said was incurable!).
  • I no longer do PMS (Brad is quite relieved!!).
  • I no longer do any period pain at all – I always had intense pains and even Tramadol wouldn’t ease it. PCOS and Endo run in the family and the doctor just said it’s a reality I would ‘always’ have to deal with.
  • I no longer have extreme anxiety about having children.
  • I no longer do extreme anger or lose the plot. I have stopped running away. I can go to the supermarket without losing the plot. I can read what’s on the shelves clearly and I can buy things without getting overwhelmed. I now sleep deeply and soundly.
  • I can try new foods!!! I can now eat tomatoes, smoothies, berries, nuts and other weirdly textured things without gagging – tomatoes are now one of my favourites! I still hate mushrooms but I think most can agree that’s just because they suck.
  • My fingernails are strong now and don’t break easily!
  • I am calm, I can handle situations.
  • I ended up in hospital with 5 stomach ulcers as a result of the extreme stress I’d had before the Switch, combined with high dose medications. I was unusually calm during the 24 hours in hospital, despite not knowing the cause of the internal bleeding for some time. 6 months post the Switch my cortisol levels were at 1057 (the safe range is 200-700) and 10 months post the Switch they were in the 600’s – I am sure they will have dropped even more now as I feel so great.
  • I can buy things without doing stress and guilt over spending money. Back in the day even spending $3 would have me second guessing, calling Brad and Mum and standing in a shop for 20-30 minutes deciding whether it was worth it or not.
  • I no longer grind my teeth while sleeping – I used to need a night guard to stop causing more damage!
  • I no longer do bunion pain – apart from after a 21.1km run which made sense! But overall I’ve had less bunion pain this year than any other time in my life. Again, doctors said there was no cure to this…
  • I have good self esteem and body image. I can actually call myself beautiful and believe it for the first time!
  • I loved our 3.5 week South Island trip and I didn’t do stress and it was our most enjoyable holiday yet. In other holidays I would have panic attacks, have every second planned out and lose it if things went wrong. I enjoy life and can find good in the hard times.
  • We bought a house very unexpectedly and I didn’t “do” stress! We didn’t get to go on our 6 month OE to Europe (hey 2020) that I’d been dreaming about since I was 5 and we still ended up having the best year ever!!
  • My relationships are immensely better, I was able to forgive and move on from past offences too.
  • We joined a new church which is very loud and I can attend happily with no noise or light sensitivity.
  • Our life has been busier, with more responsibilities and expenses than ever and I can handle it – Brad even left a stable salary in the construction industry to go out on his own and I was ok with it. Which is massive (keeping in mind I’m self employed and have always had a fluctuating income).
  •  I’ve been able to eat fruit and nuts and smoothies for the first time ever.

 

I’m now healthier than I was before I even had the concussion in the first place!

Some bigger things:

2.5 weeks after the Switch I was able to travel on my own to Florida, USA, spend a week there, shoot an amazing wedding for 14 hours, dance all night, only get 4 hours sleep, wake up and edit 50 sneak peek images and then enjoy the rest of my time there. I did not struggle with jet lag and was able to navigate the 6 flights on my own. Prior to The Switch I couldn’t even manage to book a taxi to physio and if I did drive I got lost regularly.
Before doing The Switch I’d never run more than 1km. Since then I have started running and did Round The Bays (8.4km) only five weeks after the course and I ran the Auckland Half Marathon 10 months later, without stopping – I beat my all time distance PB by 11.2km and my time goal by 2 minutes 30 seconds. I had also just had the internal bleeding/stomach ulcers a few weeks prior. I’ve just started classes at The Dust Palace so will be on the silks, trapeze and hoops learning new tricks and getting stronger. I joined without doing any anxiety or overthinking!
I had vowed to never wakeboard again due to immense PTSD, but last January I tried wakesurfing behind the same boat I had my accident on and then decided to try wakeboarding one more time. I got up the first time and everyone on the beach cheered me on. I boarded one lap around the lake and back to the beach, grinning the entire time! It’s amazing to have a great memory associated with it now.
As I said before, these are just some of the results I’ve had in the last 12 months and I’m sure they will continue as I uncover more things to “switch” on.
Our brains are powerful and our bodies are often just doing what we’re telling them to do due to longstanding habits. So that’s a wee list of some of the epic things that happened in 2020.
This wasn’t a magical course where you go and walk away healed. Not everyone who does it sees these kinds of results. I had to put in the work. Every time I noticed an old thinking pattern, reaction or symptom I had to do something about it if I wanted to see the change. I was the only person capable of making it happen. I was so desperate to be well that I did “switches” on everything I possibly could. At the beginning I did multiple switches a day and as time has gone on I’ve done less and less. Some things, like the concussion, were healed within a few days, others such as extreme anger and anxiety took months and I am still working on destroying those pathways I spent years building. BUT it’s such an easy process and a “switch” can be done in a few minutes. It’s fast, it’s not overwhelming and it’s empowering. All this to say, healing is possible. I felt so broken and unfixable, thinking that nothing would ever heal me. But this did because it targeted the root of the issues. It’s amazing how fast our brains can rewire themselves. This is in no way to promote myself, but I want everyone to know that there is hope, even if you’ve struggled with something for years. Even if you’ve been told you’ll never get healed from mental illness, I’m living proof that you can!

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