How I Healed Decades of Fainting Spells
It started when I was ten. I fainted when I got my ears pierced — my thin little body slipped out of that big chair at the mall. I felt very alone, although I’m certain I wasn’t.
The next time I remember passing out was as a preteen when I heard the doctor tell my mother I may have bronchitis. I didn’t know what that meant but it sounded scary and the next thing I knew I was smack on the floor. I began to associate fear and pain with passing out. It started happening regularly at doctor’s offices.
My mom was concerned and so she started to warn the doctors in advance that I may pass out. I could feel the tension in the room that arose from that. Nurses and doctors got silent, wrote lots of notes and slowly turned their heads, staring at me with big eyes. Their concern sparked my fear and as a result I would eventually pass out.
Over time, the ante upped to double fainting. I would come to consciousness and then a few minutes later faint again. So, my mom started warning the medical staff of that, too. She was doing her best to protect me, everyone was. But all the attention on it scared me.
What we put our attention on grows and I felt helpless and terrified.
This all led to a two decade rollercoaster ride of fainting any time I sensed danger. I was stuck in a cycle of emotional and physical fear. As a result, I hated going to the doctor. I developed a fear of passing out and a fear of medical staff and that fear extended to fear of being in any kind of situation that I perceived as threatening.
It was exhausting and limiting. I compensated by avoiding situations that made me scared or nervous. That included speaking up for myself, public speaking, asking for what I wanted, and asking health related questions.
Desire As Fuel
It all shifted when I got pregnant. I was 26, excited for my first baby and became fiercely determined to heal this thing. I knew my future consisted of regular doctor visits, blood work, a hospital stay and a birth. I was terrified of passing out while giving birth.
I wanted to be a present, healthy minded mother. I wanted to raise conscious healthy children. I knew I had to heal myself in order to do that.
I somehow knew I had the power to shift this. Instead of the fear debilitating me, the desire to be healthy now inspired me. I felt full-out determination to change this negative pattern. In that moment, I started working with my mind to transform my own reality.
It took unwavering commitment to heal. The first step was to acknowledge the situation and admit that I wanted to change it. Nothing can shift without awareness and acknowledgement.
3 Ways I Worked with My Mind To Shift My Experience
1 Internal Dialogue
My internal dialogue was total self-sabotage. My mind would spin with thoughts like You’re going to pass out now and You can’t do this and that would cause my body to tighten with fear and then I became lightheaded. I noticed this pattern and started replacing my negative thoughts with statements like, I am safe, I can overcome this and You got this girl!
It became a consistent practice of shifting my focus from fear and negativity to self love and possibility. In every moment of every doctor visit (no joke), I was present with the choice to listen to the negative thoughts or think my new thoughts.
Some days were harder than others. I never stopped, though. I did not want to live in fear any longer and I wanted to be a strong vibrant mother.
This investment in myself made a huge difference. I learned to calm my mind and my body reacted in perfect resonance. I slowly rewrote my story to believe that I was safe and well in all situations.
2 Breath Is Everything
As I worked with my internal dialogue, I learned to take deep full breaths and let them permeate my body. My breath became a healing remedy and I used it intentionally, sending love to my belly, my lungs and wherever I intuitively felt it was needed. It slowed down my racing heart and my whole being relaxed. This grounded me and I started to trust myself and my ability to be present in my body.
3 Stop Adding Meaning to Sensations
My meditation practice trained me to become deeply aware of my bodily sensations. I knew that any lightheadedness I felt was simply sensation and I didn’t need to attach meaning to it. In the past, I would feel lightheaded and make that mean I was in danger. When I separated the two, everything shifted.
When my chest started fluttering, instead of telling myself, I am nervous, I would name the sensation. I am feeling my heart beat very fast, my chest is buzzing and my belly feels cold. That stripped off the meaning I was adding on and left me space to add my own new meaning: I am safe and well.
Needles, Blood and Triumphs, Oh Joy!
Each time I stayed conscious gave me the strength to keep going because it meant my methods were working.
Every triumph, no matter how small it seemed, was monumental. It was another step towards my healing. I stayed fully conscious for big moments that I was scared of: both of my births, as I got reports from teams of doctors about my father’s impending death and as 9 educators observed a teaching lesson I taught.
I used to avoid blood tests at all costs, but I am now able to remain fully present. I work with my mind and body Every. Single. Time. It does keep getting easier, though, thank goodness.
As a matter of fact, I even enjoyed a recent blood test. Whaaaaat?
The nurse sat on a stool next to me and as she had me make a fist, I breathed into the moment and described to her the sensations in my body as the needle entered my skin. I feel a stinging in my forearm and heat flooding my body. The heat is rushing quickly from my heart outward into my limbs. I breathed into my body and noticed my thoughts. While all this was happening, we had a beautiful conversation about being a woman. It was a deeply connected and open experience.
With patience and persistence, our experiences can be shifted by changing our beliefs and thoughts. Shift those and you will change your actions and that is what changes your life.
If you liked this story, please mash up the clap button! You can clap up to 50x!
You can find links to my other work on Medium and follow me here. Thanks for reading!