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I write this blog post from deep in an Epsom salt bath. I decided it was time to take “grounding” myself a little too literally and made the best darn decision of my life! (Although my coccyx will argue). 

To stay present and stop disassociating I realised I needed to maintain the following things:

Focus mind so no unwanted thoughts could surface.
Extend my sensory input so it is focused and cannot hijack me.
Improve my endorphins to improve mood.
Keep muscles trained to not resist danger.

This almost 40 year old decided, now would be a great time to roller-skate. Heaven help me!

Roller-skating meets all the criteria above. Usually however when faced a difficult challenge with my inner critic would be off the charts and likely to make me angry, hurt and lash out at myself. 

I have no idea how I managed it and I’m sure I could not reproduce if I tried. Maybe because making friends with the floor (repeatedly) somehow tricked my brain that I was punishing myself enough; the inner critic stayed silent. In fact, my inner monolog said “It’s OK. You are going to fall. Head up, weight left, then right, roll, squat, tight core, shoulders back, you’ve got this.”

I clearly did not “got this.” 

But with time it actually worked. 

I persevered, I continued, I smiled (and bruised both the ego, bottom, knees and hands) but I persevered.

Thank goodness I had padding (including my oversized, ate-one-too-many-packets-of-chips-while-watching-lego-masters sized rear-end). 

I befriended a lady with Down Syndrome who clearly 10 – 15 years younger than me, but with lower muscle mass and gross motor control, she was not put-off. Together we crashed a few times, got back up and cheered each other on. My mind has never been so quiet before, and to me, has never been this kind. 

My body has also never done the splits before, but remarkably today I pulled off splits of epic proportions, 3 times! Ouch. But I received a round of applause for my skillfully executed fall. 

So while I am icing my backside and feeling a bit sore and sorry for myself, I realised that if I survived everything I have to date; I can survive a hairbrained idea such as learning to roller-skate. And if I can skate, I can retrain my brain. 

C-PTSD look out. I’m not scared of you anymore.