Who is Kimmy?
About four years ago I started on a journey I dubbed “The Awesome Train”
(yeah, I have no shame in the cheese department).
What I was looking to do seemed so daunting that I’m not even sure anyone could take me seriously.
I needed to overcome alcoholism, smoking, obesity and manic depression. The depression was something that I had battled with nearly my entire life off an on and it often lead me to suicide ideation and on a couple of occasions, attempts and hospitalizations. I was being heavily medicated, taking over 7 different prescriptions and felt absolute despair and hopelessness to put it lightly.
I had lost my family and friends, couldn’t hold down a job and my marriage was disintegrating (as is often the case) The all-consuming hurricane I had become had left significant damage in its wake. My children sadly were not spared.
One morning in my despair, I looked into my daughters eyes and saw that she too felt despair. I then caught a glimpse of my son’s eyes as he was walking out the door on his way to work, they were also filled with despair. My other son wouldn’t even leave his room most days and when he did it was usually to self-medicate with ill -intentioned friends.
Who I had allowed myself become had infected everyone around me and every facet of my life like a rapidly spreading disease.
It was on this day when I realized that I couldn’t sink much lower. It’s not like I hadn’t seen the despair before or heard the stories filled with shame and embarrassment about what I had done the night before. But this time was different.
It was like all my efforts to look away, deny, compartmentalize, make excuses and all the other tricks I had used to justify my behaviors had been stripped away and the walls were closing in. I was like a vampire in the sunlight. Deeply confronted. Yep, rock bottom. The dialogue in my head went something like this. “I can’t do good things because I’m not a good person.” And for once the negative talk was being challenged by a new thought which blasted back “that’s a lie and you know it”. The toxic mind talk continued...”I’m not good enough, it’s too late for me, everything is already ruined....” but it didn’t matter. Each thought was being called out as a liar and the final thought that catapulted it all was “I deserve this nightmare I created” but the opposing thought shot back...”no one else does”. And that one rocked me to the core. I knew I couldn’t weasel my way out of that one.
I thought about my children and what they had gone through. I knew they deserved better but I just didn’t believe in myself. But the dialogue just continued saying “You OWE this to your kids. The least you can do is TRY.”
I was terrified of failing and letting them down but I knew that if I didn’t try that would be a greater risk than trying and failing. That was a guaranteed fail. There was really no choice.
It couldn’t get much worse and I felt that if I didn’t want them to repeat what I had done I owed it to them to SHOW them that change is possible.
So many of us get stuck in believing these intrusive thoughts and the things that we tell ourselves. Things like “I can’t change.”
Sometimes even the people around us can hinder our efforts to change because they feel threatened or they just don’t believe it. Believing dramatic change is possible takes so much faith and determination.
But I knew that if I didn’t do it my children were likely to repeat the ancestral pattern. And so I continued to remind myself everyday that they deserve the gift of knowing that at the very least that change is possible. If there is ONE thing I could do for them, (knowing that I couldn’t take away the past)...I at least had the power to change the now and the future.
So I did. And I continue to make it my life’s path to reach daily for my highest potential.
Do I fail sometimes? Yes. And I show myself grace, compassion and forgiveness in those times. But the target and goals remain the same.
I realize now though that healing isn’t a destination. There is no “Once I do this I will be perfect and happy”. We live on Earth. We live in duality where we are challenged daily. Healing is a forever lifestyle, not a destination.
The key is in the tools. It’s in the learned resilience. A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor. The goal isn’t to remove the water but to learn to navigate these waters with skill.
We can do hard things. Hard things no longer scare me. They challenge me. And I hope they challenge you too.
My Story Part II + My Methods & Why You Should Work With Me.
My Story Part II + My Methods & Why You Should Work With Me.
Now I had to figure out where to begin. Taking it on all at once seemed like an impossible feat. I knew I had to make
it achievable. So I chose one area first, the area I perceived to be the most damaging to everyone.
It was no doubt the drinking. I took it head on.
To begin with, I have to say that while I recognize my story is unique, I did not relapse. Though I believe a big part of that success was my unorthodox approach, I didn’t allow myself to entertain failure. It wasn’t an option for me. There was too much at stake.
I guess to share my story, I also need to share my philosophy and how it differs from the mainstream. I realize this is an issue of controversy, where I deeply disagree with the philosophy of the mainstream approach and many rehab centers because I feel that telling someone to expect a relapse is setting them up to fail from the get-go. How can you succeed when you’ve already planned for failure in the future? I rejected this notion completely. And believe others should as well.
We can clearly look at any other category in life and see how this wouldn’t work. Business, *expect failure*, school, *expect failure*, parenthood, *expect failure*, relationships *expect failure*. Imagine if you entered a marriage expecting divorce or a road trip expecting snow. To me this didn’t seem to be a healthy mindset, so I rejected it completely and it worked for me.
I realize no one is perfect and we will all face trials and setbacks and at times, failures, but to expect a relapse seemed like that would set me on a downward spiral back into addiction for life if I opened myself up to the possibility. So I didn’t. Of course this doesn’t mean it will never happen to any of us and if it does, we should show ourselves compassion, pick ourselves back up and start again.
Another differing opinion I have with the secular philosophies surrounding addiction is the labeling, *addict for life*. I totally abolished this idea. I feel it conditions the mind to believe that we cannot reinvent, we cannot change, and that we are stuck.
When a felon is released from prison we are supposed to give them a chance in society to be a brand new person, are we not? If someone was once a gang member, do we not believe that rehabilitation is possible for them? What about anorexia, do we not believe that this can be overcome with the right approach? Should they be labeled for life?
How is it possible to overcome the past while labeling yourself that which you are wishing to overcome in the present and future? I just couldn’t wrap my head around it or get behind that idea.
And today, I’m here. Living proof that my method can and does work when the participant is both open and determined.
I’m not perfectly healed, no. I will be healing for the rest of my life because Earth is an obstacle course full of challenges. But what I am is perfectly whole, perfectly human, perfectly growing, perfectly open and perfectly evolving...
This is only scratching the surface of some of my beliefs surrounding addiction and overcoming unhealthy habits. Drinking was just the first hurdle of many in which I was able to challenge not only myself but also old paradigms.
Once I had the cravings and the symptoms of alcoholism under control, I moved on to the next “to-do” item on the list, one by one, in order of importance; smoking, weight struggles, digestive issues, sleep issues, back pain and…depression. After consulting with my doctor we both agreed I was stable enough to wean off of my medication and I took over responsibility for my healing personally. It was a slow but steady process.
Through all my experience, witnessing and searching I have found one common thread weaving its way in and throughout it all. What I found across the board seemed to unify every single problem, and that one simple word was “trauma.”
So many modalities tried, routines tried, books read, videos watched, journaling, meditating, working out and learning about psychology, learning about philosophy, learning about ancient wisdom, on and on. My Google searches reveal a one track mind over the last several years. “How to Heal (insert issue)”, “What is Soul Retrieval?”, “Addiction case studies”, “Trauma modalities”, “Best Books for Abandonment Issues”, “How to Meditate Properly”.
I was determined to find the perfect alchemical recipe for healing. But through it all, and as I grew, asked questions and relied heavily on my own intuition, I began to realize that this is not a one-size-fits-all world. Healing is a unique and complex system which should be tailored to the individual.
Throughout this process, I have watched many loved ones struggle in their rock bottoms, offering as much help and insight as I felt I could. Some made it. And witnessing their Hero’s Journey was absolute magic and taught me so much.
But not everyone makes it. Others I lost along the way, people that I love/d very much. Watching them dangle themselves over the Grand Canyon of their minds with a single strand of dental floss as I stood by desperate to help was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. And at the end of it all I realized that I cannot vicariously harvest energy, hope and determination for others. It’s something they have to choose. Everyone is at a different stage of unfoldment in this life, on a different path and they all serve a unique purpose. And although I learned that everyone needs something different, I also learned that my methods cannot be forced on anyone who isn’t ready.
Now I am simply determined to help those who are determined to help themselves.
Once I realized that the drinking, smoking, obesity and depression all stemmed from trauma, I knew I had to dig deeper, and as I dug, I began to unearth the core causes of my toxic, erratic behaviors and vices. These included my inability to connect or find intimacy, the addiction issues, the eating disorders, the hypersensitivity and the realization that nearly all of my relationships were strained.
What was at the root of all these wounds and chaos? And how could I ensure to never return to that bottomless abyss again? I had so many questions.
And I began to make amazing discoveries. The first epiphany of many was I was terrified of abandonment. I felt no one could truly ever love me for the “real me” and so my fears became a self-fulfilling prophecy over and over again. Family. Jobs. School. Friends. Relationships. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. Round and round we go. The same problems followed me everywhere I went like a lost puppy. This core wound began to unravel the tightly woven braids of beliefs that had been hidden from me for decades. Layer after layer, I was led from one core wound to another, revealing to me the parts of me that though often resulted in chaos only sought to protect me from further damage and pain.
It didn’t really occur to me that I could have trauma. “I’m not a Vietnam Vet and definitely no victim.”, I said to myself. Even with a past of domestic violence, homelessness, cancer, sexual abuse and traumatizing event after traumatizing event leading all the way back to the womb, I still resisted the notion. I didn’t like the sound of it. But as more evidence seeped out over the years, for instance scoring a 10 out of 10 on The ACES test (An assessment estimating the amount of trauma a person has accumulated throughout childhood), I also couldn’t avoid the glaring truth. Trauma had infected my psyche for over 40 years.
How I perceived the world as cold and inhospitable, how I perceived myself as unlovable, how I perceived relationships as scary and impossible...
Once I saw it, I couldn’t unsee it. The evidence of the damage that Hurricane Trauma had left on my life was everywhere. It was in my responses, my beliefs and my coping mechanisms. It was in my denial, excuses and lack of boundaries. It was in my poor choices and unhealthy lifestyle.
It. Was. Everywhere.
After connecting the dots of my behaviors it had become clear to me that my entire life had been made up of a single chain of reactions, pre-emptive strikes and firehoses.
Now that my eyes were open I was finally able to see the inner child who just wanted protection, love and acceptance. I no longer had to live in shame, depression and pain…but it was my responsibility to continue healing myself.
I approached the wounds with careful compassion and slowly, I began to heal. Though I hesitate to use this word; “heal”, because I so strongly believe that healing is a life’s work, it’s a lifeSTYLE.
So I make this disclaimer, I’m not healed, I’m healing. I’m not a healer for others but a healer of the self and what I aim to give you is the tools to heal yourself as well.
Now that I had found the root, I had to work on the approach which eventually lead me to the philosophies, modalities and process that I use in my programs.
Some of these include but are not limited to:
-IFS (Internal Family Systems) otherwise known as “parts therapy.” From a spiritual perspective this can be likened to inner child healing and I would say also feels somewhat related to soul retrieval. I cannot even begin to put into words what IFS has done for me without tearing up. It was more than a lightbulb, it was lightning. It was a game changer and a literal life saver for me.
-I also use Somatic Experiencing, which put simply is the ability to release stored trauma (physical trapped energy) from the body through a series of exercises. Yes this is all backed by strong science, not woo-*for those who need the science*…I get it, me too. Fun fact, anxiety is a store of energy in the body and also often a trauma response so somatic experiencing is tremendously helpful here.
Both of the above practices have evolved out of Polyvagal Theory- The theory that our vagus nerve, which is a control switch for fight, flight and freeze, is also the control switch for trauma responses. Two sides of the same coin. What we have here are trickle-down effects of a dis-regulated nervous system.
It’s a highly complicated theory. One that I have studied passionately and continue to study endlessly. The beauty of polyvagal theory is the practical regulation methods that have come about as a product of tireless research.
In addition to both of these methods, I also employ ancient wisdom to help restore the healing practices of sacred ritual which can help to bring balance back into our lives, as well as an abundance of ancient philosophies and methodologies which have served humanity for a millennia. Science is now starting to confirm the efficacy of many of these ancient practices. We stand on the shoulders of giants and when I say this, I don’t just mean science and technology, I mean deep, ancestral soul wisdom.
I have a special penchant for Mayan Wisdom and The Sacred Ritual Calendar which I use to plan my days as well as gain better understanding of myself and others. I also apply Mayan Wisdom through astrological readings called a “Mayan Cross” which can reveal an astonishing amount of wisdom about your calling, your destiny and your past, as well as your present, divine feminine, divine masculine as well as your intuition and physical manifestation and lastly, your relationships. It’s a lot. The charts are extremely in-depth with jaw-dropping precision.
But that’s not it. As a holistic well-rounded approach to healing, I also employ the philosophies of The Philosophical Greats; Joseph Campbell, Carl Jung, Pema Chodrön and Alan Watts to name a few. The insight these exceptional minds provide can help us enhance our perspective and understanding of our own divinity, potential, archetypes and of course, our purpose.
My custom programs are also influenced by and at times incorporate CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy), NLP Neurolinguistic Processing, Yoga, Diet, Specific Routine programs and meditation.
All of this, with a single primary focus.
Though most of us have the tools and wisdom necessary, there is one final key...If I know anything about change and healing, it’s that knowledge is the least of our concerns…
With so much at our fingertips all the time we have access to knowledge 24/7. But what we are usually missing when it comes to change is the support, implementation and accountability and that’s where I come in.
My guidance and coaching programs can take out the guesswork for you. You are no longer alone. With someone to encourage you, hold you accountable, teach and guide, you will be set on a track for success from the start. All you need to bring is a willing and determined spirit.
*I am not a doctor, therapist, psychologist or any other “ist” with a degree or certificate of any kind. I do not make any claims to treat or diagnose any medical condition as I am not a medical professional. What I am is a human with life-rich experience. By choosing to work with me you also consent to and understand that I make no claims to heal medical conditions. I offer coaching and support only. If you need further support please see a medical professional.