Aug 24, 2020
In this week's episode I am joined by Ruthie Lindsey.
At seventeen years old, Ruthie was hit by an ambulance outside of a gas station in rural Louisiana. She broke her neck, punctured her lungs, and ruptured her spleen. Doctors performed a spinal cord fusion using wire and miraculously, she walked out of the hospital within a month.
Only a few years later, newly married and settling into adulthood, a simple turn of her head left her body riddled with chronic pain. Her case confounded medical professionals and in the months that followed, she became addicted to narcotic painkillers, depressed, and bedridden. After dozens of visits to specialists and surgeons, a doctor discovered that the wire holding her neck together was piercing her brain stem. Without another surgery, she would be paralyzed.
As she prepared for the procedure, her father passed away suddenly, her marriage began to collapse, and she surrendered her spirit to dependency and suffering. The surgery repaired her spine but she still felt broken, inside and out, until she chose to change her narrative.
Ruthie went home to the same town where she almost lost her life. She decided to learn joy again, to retrain her spirit to soothe her physical pain, to salvage strength from her suffering. She traded fentanyl for sunsets and morphine for picking wildflowers on the side of the road. Ruthie stopped using her body as a hiding place and started using it as her bridge to connect with the world.
Now a speaker, author, podcast host, and social media figure, Ruthie travels the globe sharing her story, empowering others to find purpose in their pain and to look for beauty in the midst of their brokenness. Her new memoir, There I Am: The Journey from Hopelessness to Healing is available now.
In this episode, we dive into topics like:
- Near-death experiences
- How physical pain turns into emotional pain
- Addiction to prescribed medication
- The tragic loss of her father
- The brain's way of coping with trauma
- Owning our recovery journeys
- The importance of joy
- How we always have been and always will be perfect, whole and worthy
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