Starting your healing journey can be a difficult time. You may be feeling overwhelmed or even doubt that you will start to feel better. I will just like to let you know that you can and you will feel better! Often, it is just about making small adjustments, understanding certain things and knowing what is important for you to do.
I understand that you know you want and need to start your healing journey but you feel confused about so many things. You may feel confused about your feelings. You may also put yourself down a lot as you feel that you haven’t progressed as well as you had hoped. This is the start of your healing journey that I hope you continue regardless of how you feel right now.
I have had to address in this article some issues that may come up for you that could hinder your healing journey. Also, other things to hopefully reassure you and help you understand why you may find change difficult.
Why should my healing journey take so long?
If you had broken your leg, would you expect to be fully healed within a few weeks? Would you understand first that it depends on how bad your leg is broken. Some people have a minor break, other’s unfortunately have their leg shattered in several places. The person with the minor break will naturally heal a lot quicker. The person who’s leg was shattered in several places would need longer term support and rehab.
Do you understand where I am coming from here? It just depends on how traumatised you were to beginning with. That is the advantage of having therapy is that you would begin to understand why you were affected by your trauma the way you were. You would hopefully learn how to be more gentle and patient with yourself.
Also remember that your trauma didn’t happen overnight. It took years to build up and get to where you are right now. You just need patience to give yourself time to heal.
Treat the cause not just the symptoms
It is only by getting to the root of the problem, you can fix it. Take for example someone who keeps getting fillings. The dentist, if he is unscrupulous, would just keep giving his clients fillings when they keep turning up at his dental practice. A good dentist would advice his patient on how to brush their teeth properly, what toothbrush to use and toothpaste. That way the patient would be getting support for what is causing him to have problems with tooth decay rather than just getting fillings.
For an effective solution to trauma, you need to heal what caused your anxiety, addiction, anger etc.
When you treat the cause, you would learn so much about yourself. By becoming more aware of yourself, you can decide what you want to change in your life, your relationships would improve as you would know yourself and what you need, you would stop certain behaviours from being past onto the next generation.
When you heal the cause, you don’t need to let it affect your life anymore, you won’t always be an addict or always be in recovery. Very often people feel they have an “addictive personality”, for example, or say that this is how I am. When you understand yourself more and why you are you, you can change it.
Just attending therapy sessions isn’t enough
Sometimes, when we attend therapy sessions, we use the time in between sessions just to reflect on what we have learned. This is great but it is also important to actively do some of the exercises you are given during the sessions.
By doing this it would speed up your recovery and help you to feel better sooner.
I understand sometimes you could be skeptical about what is offered to you but it is about trusting the process. It is about understanding the wealth of experience that is offered to you not just by the therapist but also by who is support them (i.e. qualifications, training courses attended, supervision, other therapists etc)
Discipline and routine is important
In order to change, it requires being disciplined. You need to organise your days and time around your healing. It needs to be a priority. You also need to be consistent with it to do what needs to be done daily, weekly, monthly etc.
Being disciplined and having a routine would help you to one, get more out of it quicker. Two, it would form a habit so you it would be a lot easier for you to have it as part of your life.
Consider having a diary and keeping it up to date of all the things you want to do. This could be either paper or electronic. Try to keep things simple at first then build from there.
Your healing journey is a lifestyle choice!
Accept that change is difficult
There could be several things making your healing journey challenging. Such as not being sure what to do, lack of finances, too much information and opinions.
Accept the fact that this journey to begin with won’t be easy. You are coming out of your comfort zone. It is very normal for you to feel uncomfortable, skeptical, worried etc.
Try not to feel overwhelmed
You may hope to reach a certain point in your life but because it seems so far away, you may feel it too much and give up on yourself. Just remember that small baby steps are all that is needed to make progress.
it is okay to make mistakes
it is okay to take steps backwards
you may feel you are going around in circles. all these feelings are normal.
As I said before, you are coming out your comfort zone so you will feel uncomfortable. The trick here is to live with those uncomfortable feelings for the short term as it would be worth it on the otherside.
Be careful with your energy
If you imagine an old-fashioned set of scales, on the one side you have your past, your recent problems, any health issues, traumas, even therapy itself etc. You need to understand that in order to address that imbalance, you need to be mindful off what drains you. You will already feel drained from these issues so if you add further negativity to you it could feel unbearable.
The only way to balance this out is with self-care. You need to be mindful are you look after yourself the food you eat, sleep patterns, toxic people. all those things that can drain you and cause further imbalances in your life.
Try not to compare yourself to others
Have they been through what you have been through?
Have the experienced the life you lived?
You can let people inspire and motivate you. Those who share some of your experiences, it might help you knowing that they have made it, so can you.
It’s all a learning process
Know that you have just started your healing journey and you will learn lots about yourself and others. don’t be fixated on having absolute opinions on things you don’t need to. You can change your mind on things when you choose.
Do things despite your fears
Fear can hamper us in so many ways
“The best things in life are on the other side of terror, on the other side of your maximum fear, are all of the best things in life.”
“Feel the fear and do it anyway”
Believe it or not this is an exciting time for you as you can become anything you want to be
I am a Therapist based in Sutton Coldfield, UK also available online.
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