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Episode 082. PTSD: A Way to Hope & Healing with Megan Hillukka

Episode 082

Megan Hillukka shows up in a brave way and graciously serves moms with PTSD and mothers who have experienced loss. I’m so grateful she is with us today to share more about her healing journey as well as resources and information about PTSD.

You might be here because you think you have PTSD, you know you have it, you know someone who has it, or you suspect a loved one might be suffering from PTSD. I’m grateful you’re here whatever your reason. I really feel that Megan’s story, perspective, and information can help.

Megan shows us how the label of PTSD can open the door to compassion. She offers us recommendations for getting help, details about what PTSD is and isn’t, treatment options, and so much hope.

Megan’s Bio: Megan Hillukka is a bereaved mother, with 6 children, 5 who are still here. Megan encourages and supports grieving mothers that though the worst thing has happened to them, their life is not over. She also experienced PTSD from finding her daughter Aria when she died, and has done the work to find healing in her brain and her life. From this, Megan wants everyone to know that PTSD is not a life sentence, and that healing is possible. Through her experience of the death of her daughter Aria, Megan has learned tools and ways of shifting grief so that it can become just a little bit lighter, and easier to live with. She helps her clients carry their grief instead of suffer with grief.

In this episode, Meagan and I talk about:

  • The story of her daughter and her children
  • Distinguishing PTSD from general anxiety and depression
  • Trauma and how it manifests into the body
  • Never feeling like you’re “safe”
  • Physical symptoms of PTSD
  • How someone is diagnosed with PTSD
  • Avoidance as a symptom
  • What PTSD looks like mentally, physically, and emotionally
  • Carrying hyper-vigilance
  • Thinking you’re crazy
  • Becoming aware of PTSD
  • The label of trauma doesn’t mean you’re broken or you have to stay there forever
  • A trauma label opens the door to compassion
  • Big T trauma and Little T trauma
  • It’s okay to get help and finish the trauma cycle
  • Processing trauma
  • Somatic experiencing therapy
  • Stigmas surrounding PTSD
  • PTSD doesn’t only happen to veterans
  • You can’t “think your way out” of PTSD
  • EMDR Therapy (Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing)
  • Self-awareness
  • Seeing a diagnosis as a relief
  • Is PTSD permanent?
  • Book: The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel Van Der Kolk, M.D.
  • “Right now my job is therapy.”
  • It’s not possible to be the same after you experience trauma…and that’s okay
  • Healing
  • Steps to getting help
  • Book:
  • Tapping
  • EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique)
  • Podcast: Stuck, Not Broken
  • Using medication…and not using medication
  • Taking shame out of the equation
  • Knowing and understanding your options for healing
  • Megan’s Program: Life After Child Loss + Group Coaching
  • How we can show up for our friends with PTSD
  • The power of “just listening”
  • Having compassion for where people are
  • You’re not broken, there is nothing wrong with you, you don’t have to keep living this way
  • Not settling for a horrible way of living

Megan’s Links: Website, Grieving Moms Podcast (new show every Thursday), and Facebook Support Group

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Ojai Energetics: We don’t shy away from topics here on Elevating Motherhood. Mostly because I believe it’s time we break through myths and assumptions with real conversations, resources, and perspective. Like we are today with Megan…and like we did in episode 15, Intro to CBD when I interviewed Will Kleidon the CEO of Ojai Energetics, a B-corp that produces high quality, organic, water soluble CBD. So many moms wanted to know more about CBD, so I went straight to a credible source. Ojai Energetics has extended a special offer for Elevating Motherhood listeners—free shipping on every order, plus a free tube of CBD sports gel if you order 3 bottles or more. Head to for more info on CBD, links to the Episode 15, and the special offer from Ojai Energetics.

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