Today, we celebrated Christmas with my family. This year is the first year that I’ve really wanted things for Christmas in a long time. This year, I asked for a new yoga mat and props. One of the things that my mom has always done really well is Christmas. Every year, she’s always worked really hard to give us everything that we asked for. I am so excited this year for my new yoga mat! I’m also super happy about my sandbag…because a sandbag can help me stay present when I’m struggling with flashbacks.

I have roughly 6 weeks until yoga teacher training. I am really excited, but also incredibly anxious. I can’t even tell you the real reason why I’m going through training or what I expect to get out of it. The short answer would be that I’m doing it because my therapist told me I should. That’s not the “real” answer, but it’s definitely part of it. I’m sure the real reason has to do with my love of yoga and the way that yoga helps me cope with anxiety and PTSD.

I’ve only been practicing yoga for 14 months, and have only been attending classes at a studio for 8. I am not super flexible, I struggle to do headstands and arm balances (despite regularly practicing them), and my arm muscles struggle to keep up in a vinyasa class some days. Those factor into my anxiety, but perhaps I’m mostly anxious because I think my shrink wants me to share, face-to-face, with the other people in my training about how yoga impacts me and why I do it. I’m not sure I want to verbalized that. It is way easier for me to write about it than it is to say it. 

It’s scary to be vulnerable like that. I struggle with trust and feeling safe when I open up to people. I struggle with verbalizing my thoughts in a way that makes sense to others. And, aside from my trauma therapist, I’ve really not opened up to many other people about what I’ve been through (only 2 actually – my marriage counselor and my ex-sponsor). The idea of telling a group of people that I was severely sexually abused for most of my childhood is petrifying. Explaining to people who don’t really know me how and why yoga helps me when I’m anxious, dissociating, suicidal, or depressed seems far more than I can handle. What if the people in my class have questions? What if I don’t know how to answer them? Or what if I get triggered and end up wanting to cut when I get home? It’s not that I’m concerned that they won’t be accepting and compassionate. That isn’t it at all. I think I’m more concerned with my ability to handle being open and vulnerable. 

I have 6 weeks to get myself ready and to try to figure out just how much I’m willing to share. In the mean time, I’ll just be hanging out under my new sandbag 😉