There’s a lot of talk in social media about “healing journeys”, which might leave you wondering what to expect on yours. I wish I could say it’s all rainbow and butterflies, but it isn’t….and that is actually a beautiful thing. Here’s what you might experience while healing your trauma wounds:
1. It might feel like you’re riding a roller coaster…..and not a fun one.
Most people assume that when they start therapy, or healing on their own, they will immediately feel better. Although you may feel some quick cathartic release, it’s likely only temporary. Healing is not a linear process. There will be days, weeks, or months that you feel consistent improvements, then plateau. Or maybe you’ll feel worse the first few weeks or months, then slowly feel better. Everyone experiences healing differently, but one thing
you can count on is experiencing pain.
2. You’ll have to do a lot of scary, uncomfortable things.
Making any kind of change in life is new and uncomfortable. If this isn’t something you’ve already experienced, then
you may be surprised and often feel uneasy throughout your trauma healing journey. Think about how many years or decades it took for you build the habits, behaviors, and thought processes you currently have…..then remind yourself that you are unlearning your way of life for the last five, ten, or twenty years. That’s a lot for a person to do! Know that the changes you make will be uncomfortable and scary……but you can still do things WHILE being scared. And that’s perfectly okay.
3. Your view of yourself, others, and/or the world might change.
When a person ventures on their healing journey, they expand their overall awareness. This means you learn more
about yourself, how others behave, and how systems in our world keep us stuck. You may have a hard time looking at yourself or learning why you do what you do. That’s okay. But increasing your awareness, knowledge, and experience will ultimately change how you view things and people.
4. The relationships in your life may change, or even end.
This goes along with the last bullet point. Say for example you learn that your boundaries with others have been
porous, or maybe you play a caretaking role in your relationships. You will see how some relationships in your life are based more on what you can do for another person, versus a genuine connection. If you start healing and changing, this might be threatening to people in your life, including your family. Changes and endings in all kinds of relationships are inevitable and it’s okay that it happens during your healing process.
When you take the first step on your healing, remember these things. listed above Walk forward with an open mind, no expectations, and a willingness to move through the unknown. Practice reframing your view of pain: instead of it being something you want to get rid of, see what happens when you allow the pain to be there….welcome it the same way you welcome happiness into your life. And remember to be kind, patient, and compassionate towards yourself…you need your love and support more than anyone’s during this time. As always, we’re here to support you on your healing journey.