Time to write again!

On the phone with my Mom yesterday, she told me about this Doctor she went to who claimed to be able to help people heal from physical pain by helping them identify strong emotions they are holding onto and releasing them.  She has been experiencing debilitating hip pain which is now keeping her up at night and causing her to limp, so she’s been searching for help from different types of Doctors.  For a mere $97 this particular Doctor provided  a 30 minute session where through muscle testing and a series of questions he concluded that the cause of her pain and the emotional baggage she needed to let go of was from some financial grudge or injury she had experienced at age 25.  If she simply “let go” of that emotional pain, she would heal.  As I listened to my Mom search her memory of where she was and what happened at age 25 and wondering how she was supposed to “let go” of something she hadn’t thought about in nearly 40 years it got me thinking.  Is there causation effect? Does emotional pain directly result in physical pain?  What emotional baggage am I carrying around and which physical symptoms are a direct result of that emotional baggage?  Most importantly, how do we let go of emotional baggage?  No seriously, tell me.  How do YOU personally release emotional baggage?

My advice to Mom was to write down what she needs to emotionally heal from and talk about it in detail to someone.  Writing and talking always seems to help me when I am struggling emotionally.  So then why don’t I do it more often?  I thought about when I have felt the healthiest and happiest in my life and I can certainly tell you, it hasn’t been lately.  I felt much healthier and happier a few years ago.  When I was running a lot, blogging a lot, and talking to Aaron about EVERYTHING ALL THE TIME.  I wore my emotions on my sleeve then.  Well why wouldn’t I?  They were almost always happy.  And when hard things happened, I was pretty good at letting things roll right off because there was inevitably sunshine and blue skies right over the next hill.  Over the past couple of years though, I’ve been through some pretty heavy storms.  Aaron and I, we’ve had some “curve balls” so to speak.  The ease with which I naturally feel happy on a daily basis has been challenged.  And along the way, unfortunately I’ve developed a bad habit.  It has become my habit to either downplay the severity of my negative emotions or simply keep them to myself.  I am a strong person, you know, and I wouldn’t want to admit that I feel overwhelmed and loaded down by the crappy hand I’ve been dealt.  Because isn’t it all in my mind anyway?  I mean, everyone has trials, why can’t I just get over it and deal with mine gracefully?  Just shut up and don’t whine about it, Nan.  Pretend everything’s fine and eventually it will be.
My current state of health?  Constant back and neck pain. Extreme fatigue and occasional dizziness. Low motivation and depression.  Tendon pain in my hands, feet, and ankles.  Irritability, headaches, brain fog, clumsiness, and poor short term memory.  For MONTHS I dismissed my symptoms on poor sleep due to waking up to nurse the baby, back pain due to carrying said 18 lb baby for multiple hours a day, or neck pain from kinking my neck down to gaze into her eyes as I nurse her.  Brain fog and poor memory from laziness in my organization.  Depression from not serving others often enough or not praying sincerely enough or not feasting upon the words of Christ often enough.  And then of course there was that nasty viral cold that everyone and their dogs got this winter and Kelsie and I seemed to have for two solid months.  Maybe I’m just still sick with a virus?  But I could’t help but feel like there might be something more going on.  So last week I finally went to the Dr. for some blood work.  I was not at all surprised when my Dr. found that I have low Iron and low Vit. D, which are to major necessities for energy and brain function.  An Iron IV and some Vit. D capsules are aiming me back towards health now but I still find myself wondering if there is EVEN MORE STILL.  Really, more?  Surely the interrupted sleep, low iron, low vit. D, and simply the everyday stressors of life are pieces of the puzzle, causing me to experience tortorous physical symptoms.  But is my emotional baggage from the storms of life a big final piece of the puzzle, and could it possibly be the largest contributor?  Only one way to find out.  Let them go.
How do I do that?  Any suggestions?  For starters, I’m going to take my own advice and talk.  I’m going to make an effort to open up more often to my husband, my Mom, my family, my friends.  I’ve already started doing this.  Sorry if you’ve had the misfortune of asking me how I’m doing and I dumped a load on you.  Aaron can attest that I’m sweeping plenty of emotional shrapnel out of my head quite regularly here at home. I am also going to try my darned-ness to make time in my day for WRITING.  No wait, I am not going to TRY, I am going to DO. As Yoda suggests.  There is no try.  Only Do.  Yeeeesssss……write……..will I. We watched the Star Wars Trilogy over the past month and my 8-y-o son has been speaking in Yoda tongue all week, I love it.
Aaron has been telling me to write for months, but I just keep making excuses.  I need to nurse the baby, play with the baby, bathe the baby, take a shower, exercise, do the laundry, clean the house, cook, take the kids to their things, shop for food, take a nap, take care of X, Y, or Z….you name it.  There is always other things to do.  But let the house be dirty, the family eat leftovers, and the laundry pile up because I need to write.  Hopefully it will be therapeutic and healing for me.  And hey, since I have this nice little blog here with my name as the title, I think I’ll do it here.  Stay tuned, ladies and gentlemen.  Watch out below!  Baggage drop-off here.



  1. Nan, I loved this post. So honest, open, and unedited. Blogs are usually just the opposite. When things are going welk it is easy to be happy, to serve others, to be faithful etc. I truly believe that this has been a trial of your faith,.and believe it or not, you are passing with fly colors. You and Aaron are an inspiration, and I know that you both will be able to experience that fulness of joy again.

  2. Kaer Neumann

    Hi, I’m Ryan.’s wife. To deal with emotional baggage that has caused me some physical pain in the past I’ve used a script found in the book Feelings Buried Deep Never Die by Carol Truman. Your post reminds me of the importance to take care of Self which gets put on the back burner when we are busy taking care of young children and family. Bless you in your efforts of better health and peace.

  3. Nan, I was so glad to hear you talk about this. I know you don’t know me, but we were at BYU around the same time and I have kept up with your running. I think what you are doing now is helping tremendously, just being aware there may be more behind your physical pain. We all know that feelings of stress can wreak havoc on our bodies, but don’t realize that other emotions we have felt that we haven’t released are doing to us.

    I second Kaer’s recommendation of using the script from “Feelings Buried Alive Never Die” by Karol Truman, a fantastic book. I also recommend “The Emotion Code” by Dr. Bradley Nelson which teaches you how to do the muscle testing yourself and release the emotions. These two books have changed my life, both are written by lds authors. I have been amazed at the emotions that have come up by doing the emotion code, things that go back to when I was a young child that I didn’t realize I was holding on to that literally was causing me me physical pain.

    My best friend has a wonderful blog where she has talked about how she has overcome RA, and healing emotionally has been a big part of the process. http://www.pleasepassthegreen.blogspot.com

  4. Bryanna Johnson

    I’ve been following Aaron’s struggles and Jon and I have thought and prayed for you guys often.

    I had a running injury for a year, and it finally went away when I learned about John E. Sarno and read his book “Healing Back Pain: The Mind Body Connection”. I completely believe in emotional feelings causing physical pain. Good luck to you!

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