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> [!info] Bulletin Board - Last Updated 2023-10.02.Mo
> - Latest Update: [[🪡 2023-07-10.Mo Update]]
# About the Guide
The Integral Guide is a choose-your-own-adventure field guide that I began writing to aid my personal trauma recovery and self-development and to feel empowered and better-equipped to lead an enriched life.
When I was debilitated by symptoms of [[💡 Complex PTSD|Complex PTSD]], [[💡 Anxiety|Anxiety]], [[💡 Depression|Depression]], [[💡 ADHD|ADHD]], and [[🧯 Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder|OCD]] I wanted clarity, I wanted direction, I wanted tools, and I wanted people to stop trying to sell healing to me.
I was dismayed and angry that resources were difficult to find, redundant, compartmentalized, antiquated, contradictory, locked behind a paywall, highly triggering, overlong, full of word-salad, or some combination thereof.
I was triggered and re-traumatized by books full of trauma stories and dehumanizing language, YouTube videos and articles that took 25 minutes to explain what I could say in 5, and the Instagram slot-machine full of contradictory information pulling me back and forth. And if they weren’t triggering, they either monetized my attention or ended with a sales pitch to get the "real secrets." There was little sincerity or lived experience and I felt exploited, helpless, and alone.
Often (though not always) the more trauma a person experiences the less earning power they’re likely to have, the more help they’re going to need, and the more prohibitively expensive that help becomes. How could I be expected to have the time and money for both treatment and self-education — especially when it meant risking what little I had *just to find out* whether something might help?
But I did find things, and then noticed many of them and their developers were ”[[Feeling the Elephant]],” insisting their perspective was the capital-t Truth and the only solution I needed. But I'm a systems thinker and wanted to see more of the elephant. Elephants are neat.
So I took notes in [Obsidian](https://obsidian.md). This solved several problems:
1. I could integrate linear resources into one non-linear web and form insights I otherwise never would have.
2. I could use softer language and teach myself in a way that I wish I'd been taught, which made reviewing what I learned easier and required less [[🕯️ Titration|titration]].
3. I could use clearer language — by unifying the different terms my sources use to talk about the same ideas, and making distinctions when sources use the same term to talk about different ideas, I could create an unambiguous "meta model."
4. I could tuck my findings into links I could put anywhere I wanted, so I could say something once and then contextualize it.
5. I could update my notes as-needed, and they would get better and tighter over time. While most resources are static, the Guide is a dynamic “living document.”
As my notes took shape I realized I was making the resource I needed at the start, and I imagined the relief my younger self would have felt to have found it.
Through [[Support Groups|forums and support groups]] I learned that there are many like me, that trauma is common, but — between living under Capitalism and a shortage of trauma-informed care, resources, tools, and practices — the therapeutic infrastructure necessary to heal us all does not exist. I know I can’t change that single-handedly, but I also know that [[🔑 Healing is no one person's responsibility|🔑 I don’t have to]] and that nobody deserves to feel as lost and overwhelmed as I have, so I decided to publish my notes, in full, for free.
###### State of the Guide
If something looks like it should have a citation and doesn’t, it was likely written before I knew these notes would be published or it got lost in the editing process. This is an ongoing project and I am bound to have made mistakes — I’m doing my best, and you are welcome to [[📬 Contact]] me if you find a significant oversight.
The Guide will change as it grows and condenses and cycles through phases of messy imperfection — you can check the [[🗺️ Roadmap]] to get a rough idea of what I’m working on at the moment, and you can subscribe to my [Substack](https://integralguide.substack.com) to get notified about new updates.
Everyone is welcome here — unconditionally. [[🕯️ Titration|Take it slow]]. You are not the first, you are not alone, and there is much hope. You may not believe in yourself or in your growth, so, just for now, try to believe in me instead and let this Guide's existence serve as proof that I already believe in you.
Thank you for reading. I hope the Guide helps you as much as it continues to help me.
[[🦮 How to Use the Integral Guide]]