Trauma survivors—have you ‘healed’ ?

Sound familiar to anyone here? Healing is necessary but dang—it’s not easy. I’ve talked through my trauma with many therapists, mental health counselors and specialists, I’ve done EMDR, I meditate. But yet—I‘m not ‘healed’

I’m working on finding ways to actually heal my traumas. But that hasn’t been my strategy in the past. In the past, I’ve shelved, compartmentalized and kept myself so busy I didn’t have to think of the traumas I have suffered. I have had several experiences in my life that have proven to me that this is not the way... but I didn’t know what ‘the way’ was.

HEALING is the way. But some things feel so “unhealable”... you know what I mean? Some of you know exactly what I’m talking about. And we go through the motions each day hoping time will make it better but it doesn’t—--it just makes us more effective at stuffing it away. So this word “healing” has been more like a fairytale, a unicorn, a mermaid that doesn’t really exist in my world. It sounds too simple. Yet I believe it is the answer... I’m just still working on the how-to” phase. In the meantime, I give myself grace and allow myself to “be lazy” (which I firmly believe is my body telling me it NEEDS to slow down) for a day or two and giving myself some quiet time and more balance as needed and it Does. Feel. Better (I type this as I soak in a lavender bubble bath). Healing yourself means loving yourself and that is step 1 on my healing journey. There is more to come and I can’t wait to find myself one day on the side that I can say I am “healed”... until then, I am “healing” and I’m pretty sure that it’s a long journey. I may not ever be “healed”—the scars will slayed remain.. but healing to any degree has to be a good thing for my mind, body and soul. I found a particularly helpful Blogpost about such trauma and how the brain works in these trauma cases. The author is Vickie Peterson and I wanted to pull out the pieces that stood out to me and cite them here.

The traumatized brain is anything but lazy. In fact, it is overworked, overstimulated, overactive and overstressed. Many trauma survivors have an enlarged amygdala, which triggers the fight-or-flight response. In a survivor, this response goes haywire. It cannot perceive between something that happened in the past with what’s in the present. The brain remembers trauma in the form of flashbacks that constantly recreate the experience. A traumatized brain is always on alert. Hypervigilance is constantly running in the background, assessing the situation and trying to report back to the rational brain what it finds. In order to keep up with everyday situations, it often must work harder than a neurotypical brain without trauma. This is why people who have experienced trauma often burn out quickly. Shifting these priorities can make a huge difference, but it’s especially a challenge for those of us who cope by making ourselves too busy to face our trauma. When we take our own busyness away and replace it with really checking in with ourselves, it often means feeling uncomfortable feelings. It means tuning into body, mind and spirit that doesn’t feel so hot. That takes time and energy that our tired brains don’t have a lot of extra juice for.

Sometimes, it seems easier to push through because it numbs us from fully feeling our pain. The result is almost always an inevitable crash. And when we crash, we feel like we are being “lazy.” And so goes the vicious cycle. If this sounds like you, do yourself a favor: Give yourself permission to rest. Give yourself permission to daydream. Do something indulgent that is objectively and truly “lazy,” on purpose. Recognize and reward yourself for all your brain is doing to heal.

If you can’t relate to this, it’s okay! Just make a point to realize that PLENTY of people around you can and they need your patience and kindness on their healing journeys so please be a kinder, more patient person and remember you never really know what someone is going through-I promise you—the deepest, darkest traumas aren’t shouting what they’ve been through from the rooftops. It’s deep, it’s personal and often times——even those closest to them do not know the whole story/ trauma. We guard that very close to our hearts.

Bottom line-if you needed to hear this, you are not alone. If you didn’t, be so grateful and show the world your gratitude for that and be a little kinder to the rest of the people around you. It can make a huge impact. ❤️

*to read the full blog post exerted above, go here

Below are some healing goals and tips. I hope up find them helpful.

You are not alone and is okay to take so the time you need to process, grieve and feel your pain. Here are some incredible affirmations I recommend on your healing journey created by other trauma survivors;

  1. Healing from Trauma Quotes and Affirmations Here are 76 quotes and affirmations written by trauma survivors, for trauma survivors: 1. You are worthy. 2. You are allowed to struggle. 3. You are allowed to talk. 4. You are not alone. 5. What happened does not define you. 6. What happened was not your fault. 7. You deserve to take up space. 8. It's ok to be the way you are right now. It is understandable that you felt the way you felt. It is understandable that you did the things you did to cope. It is understandable that you didn't know how to do better. 9. Your unhealthy habits were just survival mechanisms that you held onto to protect yourself. You aren't trying to be self destructive! Your brain is just telling you that danger is imminent so you prepare accordingly. But you just need to slowly build new, healthy habits because you aren't in danger anymore. 10. You are safe. 11. You don’t need permission to exist. 12, You are not your trauma. Your dysfunctions are not a measurement of your true ability. 13. It's ok to have a bad day, week or month. Healing is not linear. 14. I fall down and I just bounce back up again. 15. Breathe! 16. This too shall pass. 17. Be kind with yourself. 18. You have the right to acknowledge your feelings without having to justify them. 19. I am not a mistake; I am not fundamentally flawed. 20. You are allowed to ask for help. 21. You are allowed to celebrate the fact that you survived. 22. Change is the only constant. 23. It's ok to feel. It's ok to feel bad. It's ok to let it out. It's ok to cry. It's ok to be hurting. It's ok to be angry. 24. Feeling bad doesn't make me a bad person. All my emotions are valid. 25. Thinking suicidal thoughts doesn't mean I want to kill myself, it's just means I am hurting and in need of care. 26. You are allowed to be afraid and avoid what frightens you. 27. I've managed to survive all this while in the dark. Now that I have the answers I can find my out. 28. I refuse to judge myself according to the standards of a society that makes no place for people like me. 29. You are allowed to do things that make you feel better. You are allowed to heal. 30. I will be patient and love myself as I heal. 31. I am not afraid to be myself. It is safe to be me. 32. I am worth taking care of. 33. Think of emotional healing as being like the physical healing of a wound – one step at a time. Keep the wound free of further contamination. Avoid toxic people and environments. Don't ever swallow any more poison – particularly if you still keep in touch with toxic/unhealed family members. 34. I will nurture and protect myself. 35. It’s ok not to be ok. 36. Your trauma is valid. 37. Everyone makes mistakes. 38. It is normal and human to make mistakes. 39. I am a survivor. My body is a survivor. 40. It’s ok to let go. 41. I'm not afraid to fail. Failure isn't permanent. 42. Your story matters. 43. I don't need permission for how I live my life. 44. I'm not a quitter or an embarrassment. 45. I'm allowed to have feelings. 46. I refuse to punish myself for having feelings. 47. I don't have to be perfect/perform at the same level every time. 48. You have nothing to feel guilty or ashamed about. None of what happened to you was ever your fault. You did not deserve to be treated badly. 49. Healing will take time—a relapse doesn't mean you're never going to get better. 50. You deserve to heal and feel better. 51. Everything is going to be okay, even if it doesn't feel like it now! 52. You deserve to be loved and treated well. 53. You are a good person. It is not your fault. 54. It is ok if all you did today was breathe. 55. You are enough. 56. I am courageous, I am whole, I stand in my power. 57. You have a right to be heard and taken seriously. 58. It can be safe to let others close. 59. I do not have to prove myself to anyone. I am enough. 60. I can decide what makes me happy. 61. I will work hard to only allow safe, trustworthy and respectful people into my life now. 62. I can bring joy into my life that has been missing during my childhood. 63. I am a good person. 64. You are healing now. As you grow in love for yourself and your life, stay away from people who don't align with that self love. You deserve a caring relationship. 65. Givers need to set limits because takers rarely do. 66. It's ok to not know what you need. 67. When life is sweet, say thank you and celebrate. When life is bitter, say thank you and grow. 68. When you forgive, you begin to heal. When you let go, you begin to grow. 69. You have the right to go through your own unique process. 70. My feelings are valid. 71. There is no growth without change, no change without fear or loss, and no loss without pain. 72. Tomorrow will be a new day. 73. You are loved. 74. My life and choices are right for me. 75. I don't need approval for how I live my life. 76. You own your story.

There are other truly great trauma healing resources in this free online guide here. I will do my best to share from time to time when I find helpful things on my journey and I wish you nothing but love and healing light on yours. 🙏🏻❤️😌