Baby Steps to Healing ...
January 11 today, and the positive, empowering, inspiring, exciting messages are still everywhere. All over social media. If trauma is still in heavy grasp of you, this may be just too much to bear. Are we tired yet? All that well meaning prompting, pushing and reminding - these are so great - if you are ready to make that step. And if you aren't? Well, then you're just as bombarded as everyone else, and it's more than likely each time you read yet another quote about how successful and joyful you're meant to be, it hurts. Deep within.
Two years ago, even last year still, I read the quotes, tweets, Instagram posts, facebook words of encouragement, intended to help and inspire action to move forward. The issue for me was, I couldn't. I could hardly stand the pressure of the new year, its imminent approach scared and stressed me throughout Christmas, as it loomed its monster head, screaming at me, "I'm coming! And you better be ready! You better do better, be more, find success, be happy you ...." All the things I could hardly even grasp the meaning of, as I was still struggling to survive each day - to breathe and to get through it. In fact, I began to feel bullied by these messages, they each reminded me just how unready I was to climb the mountains the rest of the world seemed so vibrantly ready to conquer. I was not. And I was both hurt by the reminders, and disappointed in my lack of progress. These well-meant messages caused only pain for me. I hid more within myself, and from the world.
New Year 2016, actually, I was on post op pain meds. I'd recently nearly died in recovery after emergency surgery to remove a grief induced cyst that grew to the size of a melon in a matter of a few weeks. Surgery went perfectly and was a success, but in post op I was fading. 45 minutes in surgery, three hours in post op, before I was allowed to be moved to a hospital room.
It was my youngest daughter's face that jolted me back to life, back to the warrior still within me, and I fought my way back to this world.
It is the memory of this surgery that has helped spur me to share any and all healing and wholeness ideas that work for me with the world, so you can hopefully avoid an incident like this.
Back to January 2016, I was on pain meds, and missed much of what was happening, and still, I recall seeing the messages of renewed intent, purpose, excellence, success, and so much more. Usually I love these, any other year I probably shared each one, or posted them myself in ignorance that these could be harming someone out there. If that was you, I deeply apologize.
Please hear me when I say do not feel badly when your insides curl into a tight ball every time you see these. You are grieving, you are healing. And that happens on your time. The change on a calendar does not dictate your process, or its timeline, please feel free to take the space you need. I hope you can find some relief in the fact that this moment is about you. Breathe, exhale, and know it won't last for ever.
I was fortunate enough to realize a key truth in these days of darkness - that any element of this process I chose to rush, would just return later. And I wanted my warrior back, I wanted my me back, so I tried hard not to rush. I had a therapist who's known me since childhood remind me of this a few times, who knew I was battling so hard to cope, to heal, to find wholeness again, and who intrinsically knew my spirit would return, and she knew how to offer at least this: the permission no one else was willing to provide. I remember the deep exhale of relief, my shoulders dropped a little, and I cried with gratitude. It was okay to insist on the space I needed for however long I needed it for.
Now that we've reclaimed our space, let's talk about what we can do during this time, when you are ready, and only then. And don't worry if you're there one day and then not for a week. That one day is about building muscles, and they need time after being worked out.
Okay, here are a few of my favorites: