The Unheard: Jiu-Jitsu, PTSD, & Grounding Techniques.


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The Unheard: Jiu-Jitsu, PTSD, & Grounding Techniques.

I first learned about grounding techniques when I attended a group therapy program for PTSD & Substance Use Disorder called Seeking Safety. The program that sparked my journey to recovery. At this time in my life, I was so suicidal, I was sent to the crisis center. A moment I’ll never forget is when my first therapist, I had been with for about 6 months, looks at me with her hands up & says, “This is terrifying!” Not something you wanna hear from your therapist.
I was a wreck. I was overwhelmed by shame, guilt, sadness, embarrassment, anxiety, depression, you name it. Trauma has kept me off the mat so many times. So many times, I sat there while life passed me by.
I’ve had so many panic attacks & flashbacks on the mat it’s remarkable I’ve made it this far. When I went to the crisis center, I was hanging on by a thread. I could no longer manage it on my own. I was a blue belt in Jiu-jitsu at the time & I just completed the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Instructors Program at the Gracie Academy, so this was the beginning phases of my teaching career in jiu-jitsu & my road to recovering from trauma.
Today, I’m 9 years into my jiu-jitsu journey, 5 years into my recovery,  one year as Jiu-Jitsu Brown Belt, and I’m teaching & training more than ever. No one, including myself, knew I had this much potential. It crushed me because Jiu-Jitsu had given me so much. I understood it as this great tool & I couldn’t use it.
Jiu-Jitsu became a trigger for me, so I reached out for help in every direction because I wasn’t able to leave the house because I had developed agoraphobia:
“A diagnosis of agoraphobia can usually be made if: you’re anxious about being in a place or situation where escape or help may be difficult if you feel panicky or have a panic attack, such as in a crowd or on a plane. You avoid situations described above, or endure them with extreme anxiety or the help of a companion.” -google
Through lot’s of reaching out, I started to find the answers. Grounding became one of them. Grounding helped me get out the door & I still use this technique every single day because I still have a difficult time going places, but I am getting better. Each time I walk out that door I get better.
The way I learned grounding was to look at things without judgment: Chair, Table, TV.
Not: Red Chair, Black Table, New TV. Not only did I learn how to ground myself in the present moment, but I learned how to look at other things, myself, and others without judgment, less & less. It’s a simple, yet powerful tool. Just like Jiu-jitsu, yoga, & meditation.
After the Seeking Saftey Program, I did Dialectical Behavior Therapy. That’s where I was introduced to meditation and shortly after, I dove into yoga. All of this combined plus the amazingly supportive people in my life are what has helped me change my lifestyle, make better choices, and create a better life for myself & those around me.
If your struggling, keep pushing forward, & keep searching. The enemy is within. Let’s start a war.


The Link between PTSD and Substance Abuse/Addiction

Grounding Techniques

How to Help Someone with Agoraphobia

The Unheard: The Yoga Warrior.


Alex Marie Igo AKA Ali describes herself as a Yogi, Hippie, Mother, Wife, Blogger, Dancer, Plant lover, Pet Mom, Win lover, Painter, and an overall Happy Camper.

Ali gets personal in her blog when she opens up about her trauma with her past, her struggle with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and how her journey to recovery started through Yoga.

“Laying there. Bowed over my leg, all I could think was, I’m actually doing something nice for myself. I’m finally doing somthing good. I had probably 15 years of internal and external negative dialog. Here was somthing simple. Free. Right here, that I could do for myself. It felt nice to talk and to think nicely of myself, instead of negativity.”

Click to Read More…


The Unheard: Rainbow Ribbons.

Meet Jess Shipman

Jess starts us off with a story about what led her to wanting to take her own life.

*Trigger Warning*

“I used to think that I needed to be perfect, and being perfect meant that I wasn’t allowed to struggle or feel pain. I knew that I couldn’t ever measure up to the standards I set for myself or the ones society set for me, so I hid what I was feeling from everyone, even my family and closest friends. I hid my struggles with depression, anxiety, self-injury and suicidal thoughts for years, and I pretended to be happy, so no one would suspect a thing.” 

In Fairy tales and Monsters. (Part 1- Aspergers), Jess explains to us what it’s like to have Aspergers Syndrome and ways you can help others with Aspergers Syndrome feel more understood.

In, I Didn’t “Ask For It” , she writes to a man who sexually assaulted her and was talked out of pressing charges because she was told that she was “Asking For It.”

“Shame and I are on a first name basis. This one doesn’t seem to positive, does it? However, we can’t talk about rape without talking about shame. There are so many people that shame victims of sexual assault. The greatest shame, for me, came from within myself. I am still, 2 years later, dealing with the shame. From the dozens of showers that I compulsively took in the first days after the rape to the spiral of thoughts I feel when someone new learns that I am a rape survivor—shame has permeated my journey. In fact, it has taken me years of thinking of writing this letter to actually do so because shame has always talked me out of it. It is exhausting. I am bringing my shame, the shame that I have no reason as a victim to feel, into the light.”

If you want to help… Listen. READ MORE: RAINBOW RIBBONS


The Unheared: Oh, Marnie. What have you done now?


She-Jitsu’s first Unheard Story features a professional writer and Jiu-jitsu Practioner, Marnie Vinge.

Marnie is a sexual assault survivor who speaks her truth about her struggles 9 years later and her battle with PTSD & mental illness.

She writes, “My loved ones have accepted it, but they don’t want to talk about it. They say, “I’m here for you,” but flinch and go deer-in-the-headlights on me when I speak the truth about how I feel.”

Marnie does not sugar coat things. The  story she tells is ugly and painful. It’s messy. It’s uncomfortable. It needs to be heard.

Click HERE to hear her story.