Transforming Woundology

At 35 years old I wanted to become known as an SZ expert. Now at 51 years old I simply want to be an inspiration for having a full and robust life.

As you can see I really don’t care to dwell on the diagnosis at all–there comes a point when a person has to say: “I’m not going to give a medical term the power to affect what I think about myself.”

In 2002 as the Peer-to-Peer mentor for NAMI I taught peers about the stages of emotional response to trauma and how illness can be a trauma. I wrote about these stages and trauma and healing pain extensively at HealthCentral when I was employed there.

The trauma is real–the pain is real–and our feelings about this are real and must be honored and embraced.

Yet the goal of recovery as I see it is to be able to transmute our pain by turning it into a vehicle for finding our life’s purpose.

Caroline Myss–the medical intuitive and author of Archetypes: Who Are You? and Sacred Contracts–discovered a phenomenon in her patients that she termed woundology and this behavior has long since been recognized in the medical field.

Taken from the Myss Website:

“Through the investigation of the underlying reasons why people sabotage their healing processes, Caroline identified a syndrome she calls ‘woundology,’ characterized by a person’s reliance on the power of illness for manipulation of his or her world, as opposed to attaining an independent, empowered state of health.

As with her other seminal research, this syndrome is now a recognized psychological condition.”

How did I heal? I healed through education–by going back to school to get a degree that would help me get a better job and in turn have a better life.

Healing is an individual journey for each of us.

Healing requires self-compassion: the belief that as hard as our life is right now we can move forward day-by-day into a life of passion and purpose.

In our darkest moments hope can seem irrational–yet it is in the very act of having hope that we can float instead of always having to tread water.

I ask readers: do you want to heal? Healing is possible.

Healing starts when we acknowledge and accept that we have the right to recover and that it is our duty to honor whatever form our recovery takes right now.

First we need to accept–because with self-acceptance comes the capacity to start the process of healing.

This works–I’m living proof–it’s all there in vivid color in my memoir Left of the Dial.

You can click on the Left of the Dial category link to read excerpts from the book. On a smart phone the category links are at the very bottom so scroll down to click on them.

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Author: Chris Bruni

Christina Bruni is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir Left of the Dial. She owns a resume writing and career help business. She contributed a chapter "Recovery is Within Reach" to Benessere Psicologico: Contemporary Thought on Italian American Mental Health. As well as an author and activist, Bruni is an artist and a fitness buff.

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