Sunday, February 12, 2017

Dealing With Trauma

When you've been through so many horrible experiences in your life, it can be difficult at best to deal with them, try to heal from them and not let them take you under.  Dealing with trauma is not easy and if anyone tells you it is, don't buy the iceberg in the middle of the swamp they are trying to sell.

Sorry, if anyone thinks I'm off my rocker here, but I've had to deal with trauma.  Yeah, I've done a pretty good job keeping the hungry tigers at bay, but sometimes the trauma is just hard to deal with, let alone heal from in life.

I keep trying no matter what.  Some days, I want to give up and say enough is enough with this.  It can be exhausting at times and horrifying at other times.

I don't want to give the impression that if you've been through trauma, life is pointless or hopeless.  It is not!  As hard as it gets, there is hope that you can go on long enough to heal from it and find a measure of happiness and meaning and purpose in life.

Kept putting one foot in front of the other...

When I was really processing the heavy parts of trauma, I often felt exhausted and I wondered if I would ever get through things.  Sometimes it felt hopeless and sometimes my energy level didn't seem enough for what I needed.  In those times, I kept putting one foot in front of the other knowing that "this too shall pass".

In those difficult moments, I turned to nature.  Any time I could get to a park or the mountains or oceans, I would go.  Anytime I could just spend a moment outside in the sun, feeling the warmth of the sunlight or the breeze upon my face, I would do it.  If there was just a moment where I could walk down the sidewalk and escape the difficult moments of the day, I would go.

Creativity helped me deal with trauma...

I used creativity to help me deal with trauma.  Creativity through writing, drawing, painting helped.  It gave me an outlet.  If you're not one that likes to write, draw or paint - that's perfectly okay.  There are a hundred million other ways to be creative.  Just find the one that works for you and use it to help yourself.  Creativity helps you process.  It gives you a channel for those things that are so hard to put into words.

Dealing with trauma is not about ignoring it.  It is about embracing it and allowing yourself to go in and heal from it.  I still remember the therapist that told me how happy she was that I stuck with the therapy.  She told me that all too often, many will quit therapy long before they should.  No, it isn't easy going to therapy and opening these wounds up, but in order to heal - you just can't wish it away.

Dealing with trauma is not one size fits all.  You have to find what works for you and then do it.  Don't wait for others to tell you what works.  Seek out the things that help you and if it is not working, find something else.  Don't be like the friend of mine that was seeing therapists every day of the week and exclaiming nothing was working.  My advice to him was to stop what he was doing and find something that did work.

Therapy that does not connect the body with the mind may help to a degree, but it will be lacking in potential.  The body stores the memories and they can only be accessed and released by doing work on the body.  There are some great therapies for trauma healing such as the Unified Therapy with Dr. Paul Canali.  It is highly effective work and it does not take too long before you begin to see and feel a difference.

In dealing with trauma, I have found that most of the times I had no answers in what step to take.  I just searched and sought out things that would help.  I tried to recognize how my body, my gut, and my heart felt about whatever therapy I was doing.  I am a highly driven person and so I constantly evaluated if what I was doing truly worked.  If it didn't, I found something that did.

But most of all - don't accept that trauma has to ruin the rest of your life!  There is healing and growth from it.  There is a way forward.

Blog Post And Images (c) 2017 by Don Shetterly
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