I came to The Bridge one week ago with two very clear goals in mind:
- To lessen this unrelenting pain from a persistent seven or eight on the pain scale to a four.
- To re-connect with me. Since my bout with COVID, I’ve been stuck in a place of emotional frailty. I’ve been mourning the loss of the Naomi I was before this condition really took over two years ago and I’ve been longing to regain the tools (faith, meditation, believing in myself) that slipped from my routines and rhythms so long ago.
So, a week into this three-week program and I’m feeling hopeful about goal #1 and am already accomplishing goal #2.
That’s a quote I’ve heard many times before but it really resonated with me night one of my stay at The Bridge. I have been in pain for nine years – severe pain for a solid two now – and I am suffering. I think it’s ok to acknowledge that. For a long time, I hid the suffering and even now, I still try to give 100% to every day. That’s genuine. But here’s where the suffering comes in… I’ve never really listened to the pain. I’ve never really sat with it. Sure, I’ve found gifts in the pain but not the lessons. Much like anything in life – the team here emphasizes that, “We must find out why we’re on this carousel of despair.”
The days here are busy. We start with meditation and gratitude. There’s usually a “hike” (I go and scoot when I can – and have found love literally all around me) and a lecture on topics like self-care, love languages, boundaries, energy as medicine, emotional release, the power of story (something that resonates with me as a video storyteller, but I never thought about the roles we all play in our lives and how to flip them from disempowering to empowering and positive). After lunch, we see our providers. Many specialize in things I’ve tried before – but I’m totally open to trying anything again to lessen the suffering (see how I did that there?!). Others are new to me and they’re the ones I’m hoping will really move the needle on my first goal: five to six days a week of pool physical therapy (yep, I’m even wearing a bikini!), Rapid Eye Movement therapies, craniosacral or some type of massage five days a week, foot zoning, energy work and shamanic energy medicine.
We then close the day with dinner and another lecture. I’ve ended each day utterly exhausted physically, spiritually, emotionally – but often, spiritually and emotionally energized as well! There’s such grace here for the difficult stretches.
As you can imagine, the people I’m here with are quickly becoming a part of me. There’s so much love and acceptance. Most of all, Tom and the girls are the champions of this experience for me – not only sacrificing financially, but totally holding down the home and business forts in my absence and doing so with tremendous love and support.