Healing is far from glamorous! It is painful, chaos, confusion, self doubt, balance, rejection, stigmatization, tears and panic attacks, and everything in between.
The transitions from surviving to recovering, to healing, to stabilizing, to growing to thriving have been the wildest, profound, and fulfilling moments of my life. I called on myself to stand up in ways that I had never done before; because I needed to change my circumstance.
I wanted to live, not survive, that is until I found out about thriving in post traumatic growth.
This meant that I needed to change how I was showing up for myself in my life. I had to find the literal strength to live (from my bed), the desire to recover (through complex trauma, stigmatization and isolation), the motivation to do the emotionally treacherous labor of love that goes into healing and doing “the work”. (While navigating chronic illness)
It wasn’t until I decided that I was living no matter what that the impacts of the changes began compounding and forming the foundation that my growth will be based off of for this chapter of my life.
The amount of time I spent researching, learning, solving, creating, setting goals, writing, journaling, and then strategically creating action for myself to be sure that I was not over-extending my energy and creating an adrenal crash became my purpose. My health and living my life became my purpose. My healing became my purpose. Post traumatic Growth became my goal.
I made it my mission to learn my way through this and get myself to the best possible health before I begin to endure the next phase of my healing. Whether that be a physical component, or a mental health component or a combination of both- as all things are. The trauma informed approach that I use now addresses both the physical and emotional components of my basic needs.
Healing, the beginning phases, are the most painful thing I’ve ever experienced, and I honestly wish someone would have given me a heads up that what I was experiencing was normal! Healing hurts, but it is worth it. Consider this your warning!
What I learned along the way is the “work” is never really finished; the hardest parts subside as you heal and release the grip that trauma has on your life. That’s the reason we heal!
The characters in this chapter of my life at the time shamed me and isolated me for the emotions, reflections, and very sensitive and intimate vulnerabilities that I expose during my ptsd episodes, which were activated for an extended period of time. The life I knew was taken from me because of my cptsd symptoms and how I chose to take my journey.
This happens and is part of the process. People who don’t want to understand will criticize, judge and provide unsolicited and very harmful attempts at their version of “helping”. They mean well, or think they do- the damage they cause usually confuses your own process with this injection of “shoulds” from others.
It isn’t usually until someone is through something that they are comfortable sharing their experience… and even then people shy away from anything big- in fear of being emotional or needy, and being isolated or stigmatized, like I was.
Part of my healing path has been this blog, for this exact reason. I share before I butterfly on you, I share so you don’t have to feel so alone in your journey. I share while I still feel the emotions.
I want anyone navigating their path to Health to know that everything you are experiencing is normal and relative to the experiences in your life. There is no shame in healing… it doesn’t belong here regardless of what those close to you do or say, you have the right to choose your own healing path.
Healing was necessary for me to survive, but I believe it is the path for everyone to thrive!!
I’m so glad I made the commitment to myself to start when I did. I had a lot of work to catch up on.
I guess what I am trying to say is it isn’t easy; but if you find a way to be worth the effort it gets easier, and you will feel better. Post Traumatic Growth as a lifestyle feels amazing.
You want to live not just survive, so you can move forward and thrive rather than simply live.
It is possible. Find your path to post traumatic growth… or make one!