10 Rules to Refuel Your Health During the Pandemic of War

Hello Wellness Seekers:

Have you ever thought that war is a pandemic? Since the beginning of time, man has used war to show off their power and greed. Even the Catholic church produced its “holy wars” to change people’s religious beliefs. Like COVID-19, we need to stop the wars in our world—now!

To change this war pandemic, we must first look at ourselves and cultivate healthy attitudes and hope. Here are some tips you can make sense of a better tomorrow—starting today!

  1. Cultivate a peaceful surrounding in your home and community. Pick up garbage along the road, keep your sidewalks clear of snow and ice, and always say ‘hello’ to and smile at your neighbors.
  2. Alleviate stress and depression by reducing your exposure to bad news in the newspapers and on radios. There is so much trauma in our world that escaping the unhealthy effects can lead to depression, stress, and anxiety. To overcome these conditions, see your doctor or counselor for help.
  3. Eliminate the alcohol and drugs you use to ease your pain. This results in addiction, and in my view, this is just as bad as war. While your body is trying to maintain your health, drugs and alcohol can have dramatic and detrimental lifelong effects on your mind, body, and spirit.
  4. Apologize for the mistakes you make. Can you imagine what would happen if Putin apologized to Ukraine for the devastation and human lives that are lost each day? We could usher in a new day. Putin will never do this because he views it as a loss of his power.
  5. Change your attitude. This may seem impossible, but we can do this. We have so many issues with race, sexual orientation (don’t say ‘gay’), religion, females vs. males, poverty, and so forth. This just fills our lives with more stress and anxiety.
  6. Let men know that women and children are not property. They are human beings created in equal partnership. Men have no right to abuse women and children. Our justice system must stop the sexual and physical assaults that happen every day. Sexual abuse is a pandemic across the globe.
  7. Find comfort in reading uplifting books, movies, and podcasts. There are plenty of avenues to clean your soul with happy and hopeful messages.
  8. Become a role model for everyone you meet. We’re all looking for people who can raise our spirits and morale. You can do this! We can do this!
  9. Stop the negativity. Negativity spreads like wildfire and is difficult to squash. Be your own best friend and give this kindness to others.
  10. Make every day your best day—ever! You can change our world by becoming the person you have always wanted to be. Laugh, sing, dance, raise your voice in joy, and never give up! You are the cure to all the world’s evils.

I implore you to take these rules seriously. Your voice can lead others in their voicesand we’ve got a lot to say. Join me in this movement to stop all wars.

Thanks a million!

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Alexis Acker-Halbur is an award-winning author and medical miracle. Child abuse made her seriously ill and put her in harm’s way many times. She survived and shares her experiences and tools with women and men who have been traumatized. To order her book, Never Give Up: Break the Connection Between Stress and Illnessclick here, or her newly published fictional novel, THE BEAR: In the Middle of Between click here.

Exploring the Connection Between Trauma Healing and Physical Health

[This blog was written for the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and recently published on their website.]

Over 20,000 research studies have been done on the impact of stress on the human body According to medical experts, no one study definitively proves that unresolved stress and trauma can cause physical illness. However, my personal experience has led me to believe that it does.

I am not a medical professional, nor am I a therapist or nurse. What I am is a professional patient who has battled a lifetime of illnesses, from Type 1 diabetes and high blood pressure to Graves’ disease and stage IV colon cancer (twice).

I believe my complex medical history is connected to the sexual abuse I experienced in my childhood. Exploring this connection has been a key component of learning how to heal from trauma.

Facing the Impact of Childhood Trauma

Typically, one of the first lessons children learn is the importance of telling the truth. For children who have experienced physical, emotional, spiritual, or psychological trauma, this lesson becomes confusing and stressful. Frequently threatened and told to lie, children like me are led further and further away from a core value: the authenticity to speak directly from the soul.

The result is often a spiritual loss so deep that recovery from stress and trauma can feel impossible.

Late one night, during a hospital stay for surgery to remove two feet of my colon, I knew I was dying. It was at that moment that I vowed, if I woke up the next morning, I would teach my body, mind, and spirit how to heal.

 

Accepting What Happened to Me Was Not My Fault
My journey to healing required an emotional reset. I had physically survived the trauma, but my emotional wounds remained. I was always sad, hurt, and angry because of the years of emotional issues and suffering I endured. I wanted a person to blame and hold responsible for my pain. I wanted the individuals responsible for the abuse to apologize, but I learned amends rarely happen.

The healing journey is also complicated by the constant reinforcement of victim-blaming attitudes (by peers, courts, and media) that validate what perpetrators have been saying all along – that the abuse was the victim’s fault. Part of my process involved learning and accepting that abuse is neither the victim’s fault nor their responsibility; the responsibility lies solely with the perpetrator.

For years after being abused as a child and sexually exploited by a therapist, I carried around the feeling that I was at fault for these traumatic events because I was not smart enough to know better. In a new therapy group, I was shocked to learn that none of these traumas were my responsibility.

Learning to Heal
Healing started the moment I took back the ability to speak directly from my soul. I also found many other ways to cope and heal:

  • Understanding and telling my story.
  • Finding the strength to withstand abuse myths and disbeliefs.
  • Creating a healthy support system.
  • Checking in with my medical and mental health professionals.
  • Strengthening my immune system.
  • Believing in an inner, astute truth: I am not to blame for the abuse I experienced.

I continued my healing by writing several books including Never Give Up: Break the Connection Between Stress and Illness, which won a 2018 Living Now Gold Book Award for books that change people’s lives. Additionally, I reported my abuse to the authorities as a way to take my power back.

The Mind-Body Connection
As I have written in my book, I have come to believe that when people think they are responsible for emotional trauma, this false belief disturbs the mind, body, and spirit — potentially weakening their immune system and leading to stress headaches and muscle tension, depression and fatigue.

Sometimes I worry that the self-blame and negative self-talk following my abuse was actually more harmful to me than the abuse itself. As I blamed myself and took responsibility for my abuse, I found myself in hospitals for illness after illness.

As I look back from an emotionally healed place, I have a message to share: It is our birthright to heal from the abuse we did not ask for or want, and to become the physically healthy person we always wanted to be.

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Alexis Acker-Halbur is an award-winning author and an abuse survivor. Now she shares her experiences and tools with women and men who have been traumatized. You can learn more about her work on this website.

 

 

 

 

How to Safely Move Out of an Abusive Home

GUEST BLOG by Nora Hood

I’m thrilled to introduce you to Nora Hood, a blog writer and today’s guest. Her blog below includes critical information on how to move out of an abusive relationship and home. 

 

(Image courtesy of Pexels)

Find more inspiring articles like this at The Never Give Up Institute’s Blog.

How to Safely Move Out of an Abusive Home

 If you are a victim of domestic abuse, escape might feel hopeless. It can be hard to leave, especially if you have developed a form of codependency with your abuser. No matter what fears you have, leaving an abusive home is the best choice. Once you leave, you will finally be able to start your journey towards being mentally healthy. In order to make it out safely and find a new home, you’ll need to make a good plan.

Be Prepared

Before you leave an abusive partner or family, you should have a plan. You probably won’t be able to take all of your belongings, but you should make a checklist of important things to pack. You will need identification information, personal documents, any money you’ve saved, keys, prescription medicines, etc. You’ll also want to take anything of personal value to you.

If you want to file for a permanent restraining order in the future, then you’ll likely need evidence of the abuse. This could also help you send your abuser to jail. According to WomensLaw.org, evidence could include anything from pictures of your wounds, a personal diary documenting the abuse, objects broken by the abuser, medical reports from the abuse, and testimony in court from you or other witnesses. Having evidence will help protect you in the long-run.

While you will eventually need to purchase a new home, your best option for getting away as soon as possible is by finding a temporary place to stay, whether that is at a friend’s or a family member’s place. You could also stay at a shelter while you’re getting things together.

 Make Your Escape

When you actually leave, you will need to move quickly so you don’t get injured. Don’t try to confront your abuser before you leave because this could make your situation worse. It’s tempting to stand up for yourself, but the safest option is to leave without saying anything. If your abuser has a regular routine, plan to leave when they are out of the house.

In the worst-case scenario, your abuser will catch you leaving and try to confront you. In this case, you should call 911. If you know that a confrontation is likely, you should consider calling 911 as a precaution. If you don’t feel comfortable asking for help from the police, you could also ask a friend to be there with you. Abusers are usually less likely to attack if there is a witness.

Find a New Home

It can be hard to get your life on track, but one of the best ways to get a fresh start is by putting down roots with your very own home. This will give you the sense of independence and control that you crave. As a domestic abuse survivor, your life was in someone else’s hands. Purchasing your own home is just another step of the healing process.

But buying a new home won’t be easy. You’ll need to have a regular source of income and good credit. If your abuser didn’t allow you to have a job, you’ll have to find one, which can be hard after experiencing the trauma of domestic abuse. Another important part of the home purchasing process is determining what you can afford. You’ll need to consider your annual income, the down payment, how much you spend each month, what kind of loan you’ll be taking out, and the location of the home.

Once you’re financially stable enough to buy your own home, take your time to decide which one is best for you. Make sure you do your research on the area and look for a neighborhood with low crime rates so that you can feel safe. After you’ve found the perfect home and moved in, you should make connections with your community. Niche recommends checking out the town calendar and joining local organizations.

Escaping from domestic abuse is hard. The relationship can become addictive, and it can feel like there is no way out. But you deserve to have a happy and fulfilling life. Just make sure that you’re prepared to leave, so you don’t end up injured. If you want to learn more about surviving trauma and healing, The Never Give Up Institute offers a wide variety of information and healing tools that can help you start fresh.

Find more inspiring articles like this on The Never Give Up Institute’s website.

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Alexis Acker-Halbur is an award-winning author and medical miracle. Child abuse made her seriously ill and put her in harm’s way numerous times. She survived and now shares her experiences and tools with women and men who have been traumatized. To order her tools for healing trauma book, Never Give Up: Break the Connection Between Stress and Illness, click here. If you would like to read her 2020 published fictional novel, THE BEAR: In the Middle of Between, click here.

2020

Dear Wellness Seekers:

I recently wrote this poem to try and find some answers to my anguish. This year has been a disaster and yet I keep plodding on. If you feel the same, I hope this poem helps you understand the stress we all are under. Stay safe and I wish you well.

2020

The winds howled in chaos,
and life as we knew it was gone.
From politics to pandemic,
our hearts rallied to stay strong.

We went through months of anguish,
with our democracy shattered.
We cried and prayed and pushed the alarm,
yet, nothing seemed to matter.

I looked for a sign of hope,
but change appeared to be lost.
My depression grew with flourish,
my beliefs and values tossed.

“Vote” they said would do me good,
so I signed and mailed my ballot.
It felt fierce to express my right,
and cleanse our land of maggots.

I’m tired of the lies and
the evil forced on us each day.
The world laughs at my country,
Should I leave or should I stay?

Autocrats will steal my soul,
and make me think like them.
They will never ever succeed,
we will fight them to the end.

So, rise up America,
we need to take our country back.
Healing from 2020 will take years,
start to believe in truthful facts.

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Alexis Acker-Halbur is an award-winning author and medical miracle. Child abuse made her seriously ill and put her in harm’s way many times. She survived and shares her experiences and tools with women and men who have been traumatized. To order her book, Never Give Up: Break the Connection Between Stress and Illnessclick here, or her newly published fictional novel, THE BEAR: In the Middle of Between click here.

Do Something!

Black kitten

I haven’t written a post for quite some time. I admit that this year has me on edge with all the mass shootings, political divide, immigration crisis, and unemployment. Did I miss anything?

Even though I’m an advocate for HOPE, I must say that 2019 has really been a trial for me. Every time news knocks me down, I try to get back up. With the multitude of chaos in our lives, getting up is slower and slower. Do you feel the same?

I refuse to give in to fear. Fear does nothing except cause more fear. Once it begins, it’s like a live fuse already burning toward the end. Can it be stopped?

Yes, but the answer is complex and so many of us want the simple way out. THERE IS NO SIMPLE WAY OUT! We have to go through the flames of fear.

Fear slithers around our bodies, captures our minds, and floods our spirits with darkness. Fear creates stress, stress causes illness, and illness leads to death. How do we stop this dangerous spiral?

We refuse to listen to fear! We find the truth and shed light on the lies. Fear cannot exist when the truth is always told and the light is always on. No one has the power to make us fear – not our bodies and, certainly, not our country!

Stress from Fear Is Like a Three-legged Stool

The healthy connection between the body, mind, and spirit is often pictured as a three-legged stool. If stress takes one leg, the entire stool collapses. The same works for the other legs. Remove one part and your health suffers. Total balance of your body, mind, and spirit results in true healing of fear and stress.

Keep your body, mind, and spirit strong against fear and stress. This way, you’ll understand that fear is fickle and your special connection can release the stress.

How do you handle fear and stress? I would greatly appreciate your answers to this question.

Remember: Never Give Up!