Healing from trauma is a journey, a journey that in many cases if you are the one in the thick of it, others may become impatient with. It seems to me in our 24/7/365 society that people become uncomfortable when a friend or loved one remains in a place they perceive as “stuck” or “unable to move on.”
But there are no rules of the road when it comes to making ones way down the healing highway, it is individual.
If only there were a list one could check off much like grocery items on a shopping checklist: 120 hours of grief, CHECK. 90 hours devoted to forgiveness, CHECK. 60 hours of therapy, CHECK…and now I am cured and around the corner I see it that wonderful destination called closure.
No, it simply doesn’t work that way and from my own perspective that is okay. Healing isn’t about holding on to the past, it is about safeguarding the future.
Many years ago while in the infancy of my own journey I had an epiphany during which I discovered I was the only one who could truly take the steps to feel whole again. That single realization found me giving myself permission to naviagte at my own tempo. Truly I have come to believe that healing is a verb, it is on-going.
I can’t always predict what may trigger a memory but I do know this, when I pay homage to the emotion, allow it to wash over me, feel it, be with it, I find myself moving through and forward.
An excerpt about healing from my memoir, Tornado Warning:
New questions skip through my bloodstream like a pebble on still water. Do we really “get over” wrongs that have been done to us? How do we know we are “healed”? The diameter of the the rings grows wider in my blood lake. I can almost see the ripple appear beneath my skin. Maybe “healed” isn’t the objective. What if it is “healing” as in on-going, like the ocean in a constant ebb and flow? the rolling of the waves begins to settle over me, giving way to a more lucid view of the past that has shaped me. It is as if introspection serves as a ceremonial ablution and through that ritual the chokehold of shame is rinsed clean and makes room for me to see that I am not a victim. I am a survivor, but there’s more. I need to thrive, share, prevent. I can no longer stay quiet in this world, I have a voice and I feel it reverberate off my internal walls, making its slow climb upward until its melody can be heard all around.”
I invite you to share what you have discovered about healing, this is a subject I am writing more about and love to hear from others about their own experiences with it.