The reason I have a bag may be a little different to you. It was the result of being hit by a car which left me with a shattered pelvis and amongst other things damaged sphincter muscles. Without a bag I would be incontinent. It would be easy to think the only trauma I experienced was being hit by a car and yes, it really was hugely traumatic physically and mentally. But when I started to learn about EFT & Matrix Reimprinting I was introduced to a way of thinking about trauma that helped me to heal, and accept my bag, so much more. It is something I always share with my clients, and I have seen how much it helps them to heal too.

First coined by Richard Flook, in EFT and Matrix, we refer to trauma as any event that is an UDIN moment. This means any event that is:

Unexpected:

Out of the blue, caught you off guard

Dramatic:

Filled with emotion / took your breath away

Isolating:

You felt completely alone even if you were with other people

No strategy:

You didn’t know what to do / you had no resources in place and felt frozen in the moment.

So yes, UDIN trauma moments can be big T trauma like being hit by a car AND they can also be the less obvious moments that momentarily shock / unground you, make you take a quick intake of your breath, leave you feeling alone and not knowing what to do. It’s that moment when your teacher called you stupid in front of your classmates and everyone laughed, when you received a health diagnosis or someone made a joke at your expense or you felt they didn’t take you seriously.

So for me, waking up in ICU and not knowing why I was there, seeing my daughter scared to come near me because I had so many tubes in me, feeling my stoma work when I couldn’t move to look after it, the ongoing internal examinations, bladder training, the first time I changed my bag at home, seeing my scars in a mirror for the first time, the first time I had a leak in the shower, learning my bag was permanent, internal examinations by doctors and surgeons, revisiting the site where I had been hit are all UDIN moments.

More recently going for a colonoscopy and the Gastroenterologists telling me that he loves looking inside people where their insides have just been packed back in. I laughed with him because I was caught off guard (and ironically I didn’t want to seem rude) but actually I didn’t find it funny. I was left with this strange feeling that my insides aren’t normal; that I was in fact abnormal. I didn’t take this on as my truth – but I could have.

Sometimes we are so shocked we don’t even have an awareness that trauma has just happened. We are also so used to brushing things off, being told not to overreact, to get on with things, and that we should be grateful we are alive,  that we just try and shake ourselves out of the moment, push on through, and disconnect from what we are really feeling.

However, if we never acknowledge and accept these UDIN moments we may continue to feel ungrounded, super vigilant, powerless or stuck. Or we may feel disorientated, depressed, angry or anxious and not sure why.

I set up Bags of Calm because I felt so many of us pre and post stoma surgery are experiencing UDIN moments that we never have the time and space to acknowledge and accept as a trauma, so we end up feeling stuck; unconsciously frozen in those moments. Bags of Calm offers a safe, professional space to gently look at these UDIN moments and gives you the tools and techniques to help you heal from them. So that you feel calmer, more confident, content and in control and can start to move forward, living the life you want to lead: stoma, bag and all.

For more information on how Bags of Calm can support you please visit www.bagsofcalm.com

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