All this healing is killing me – Gabrielle Pilicci

I was delighted to be asked to review All This Healing is Killing Me, by Gabrielle Pilicci, and given the journey of healing and self discovery I myself have been on, it seemed like an appropriate book to immerse myself in.

all this healing is killing me

At age 20, Gabrielle Pelicci returned from her modelling career in NYC to her hometown of Scranton, PA where her mother suddenly passed away. At her mother’s funeral, Dr. Gabby had a spiritual experience that left her reeling and set her on a heroine’s journey to learn about both the scientific and mystical explanations of human consciousness. Dr. Gabby studied a dozen healing practices, from alternative medicine to yoga, including travel immersions in Europe, Asia, and Africa. Over the next 10 years, her complex PTSD symptoms persisted. Little by little, Dr. Gabby childhood experiences of domestic violence, and her parents’ mental illnesses and addictions are revealed. At age 30, still grieving the loss of her mother and disgusted with the fact that she can’t overcome her anxiety and depression, Dr. Gabby attempted to take her own life. Luckily, she survived and continued her journey of healing and trauma recovery, earning a Ph.D. and becoming a professor of Holistic Medicine, with a dissertation on Women Healers. In this deeply personal and vulnerable account, Dr. Gabby reveals how childhood trauma impacts our physical and mental health — as well as our adult relationships. She explores how you are only as sick as your secrets and telling your story is the medicine that can save your life. All This Healing is Killing Me is a brave narrative that reckons with the hold of the past over the present, the mind over the body and celebrates one woman’s ability to write herself a happy ending.

all this healing is killing me

It’s often hard to review a book without revealing the entire contents of said book, so you leave little for someone to actually want to go read the book at your recommendation.

As someone who has processed my own journey of diagnosis, missed diagnosis, PTSD and trauma therapy, as well as learning to live with the mind I was given that functions differently from people around me, it’s fascinating to read someone else’s story. The focus on childhood trauma in this book and the mandate that we must share our story and be able to process what has happened to us and made us who we are in, so we can heal, impacted me greatly.

Childhood trauma and childhood experiences are a huge part of what forms us as adults. I would say that now, in this current time, we are more realistic and empathetic to how childhood trauma impacts us as adults and we are more prepared to manage that, but it is still definitely a system that could do with much improvement and more awareness.

Whilst this book is written by a “professional” it’s easy to read, because it’s very relatable. I have struggled with the physical impact on my health, as a side effect or a direct effect from my mental health, and PTSD is a particularly challenging condition to manage when it impacts not just your mind but how your body reacts when triggered.

I love her honesty and rawness. Her personal story of relationships and things that damaged her, and her struggle to process and deal with life, both past and present. The relationships with people who betrayed her and her journey as she navigates some fairly brutal childhood trauma. She, like me lost her mother, and at an almost similar age to me, and that really resonated with me. In fact, she says “there is something about the death of a parent, especially your mother, that brings the finite quality of life into sharp focus”. That short sentence felt like a punch to my stomach, because I don’t think anyone has ever verbalised that to me so clearly, and it resonated with me, as I still process the death of my own mother, despite time moving on.

Whilst this is a relatable read, if you are processing trauma or mental health struggles, it’s not a light read. However, it is a book I had to read all in one go. I can’t explain why, but I felt compelled to finish it without stopping.

It’s definitely a book i would recommend, although it will provoke you and it may make you want to explore areas of your mind and trauma you haven’t yet dealt with.

All This Healing Is Killing Me by Dr Gabrielle Pelicci (Manhattan Book Group), paperback, ebook and audiobook, available in all good bookshops and online

Posted in Book reviews and tagged All this healing is killing me, Gabrielle Pilicci, ptsd, therapy books, trauma.