That's right. Do it your way. This healing thing. Healing is as varied and personal as a snowflake. We each have our own unique needs, which become even more specific during high stress times. No one knows what you need, when you need it, as well as you do.
I'm here to tell you, this is your time. Everyone and everything will learn to wait for you to enter your process. And for you to journey through this your own way. On your time.
I've always been a people person. I always had friends, I loved to go out and visit and gained a significant amount of strength from being a social butterfly.
This part of my personality changed a little over the years, as I focussed on raising on my daughters, but still, I loved to be with others.
Everything changed the day my trauma occurred. Everything. I tried to speak with friends, but couldn't get the tears to stop streaming down my face, and even over the phone stopped working, I just couldn't get past the sobs to actually have conversation.
A few months in to my recovery, I went for coffee with my parents for my birthday at the end of September, and still couldn't speak. I just sat there, mortified, because the tears would not stop streaming down my face. Right there, in public. For me, this was the last try I would make for months. Vulnerability was never my strength - yes, this blog is an exercise in that regard, because I hunted high and low for online help and found nothing but one site which was filled with so much anger and hurt it didn't help me at all - hence this blog, to help whoever I can, who is hunting for positive help, based on a real experience.
I want to encourage you to be okay with the tears. Regardless of where they decide to flow. This is a significant part of your healing journey. Give yourself permission to let them happen.
I want to encourage you to feel the outrage and anger. You've been wronged. In whatever way, and here you are, traumatized and needing to locate a new reality within your Self, and in your world.
I want to encourage you to feel the sadness. There is loss. Painful to the depths of your being, and this, too, needs to be felt and journeyed through. I've written in other posts about providing a safe place for this grief you are carrying, and I will mention it again - find a safe place, insist on it, for you to process your grief. There are long term ramifications if we do not process the grief with a deep respect for it. Perhaps go back to the breathing exercises I recorded for you a few weeks ago, to help with processing the intensity of the process.
I ended up hiding from the outside world. Friends came to my front door, and I could not get myself to open that door. Friends called me on the phone, and I did not answer. I wanted to, as I stared at the ringing phone, but simply couldn't. I disappeared from social media, because I did not want to write anything I would regret later. In short, I cut myself off completely. It was such a lonely time, and still, I could not embrace any sort of company.
I behaved like a turtle, crawling deep within my shell, as I worked my process to rebuild my me. My big outing of the week was seeing my therapist. I was in such a weakened state, it took all I had to drive there safely and get through the session.
About 4 months in to my recovery, I found my camera and began to see beauty in the world again. I began to soak in all the world's colors, and tiny details of breathtaking magnificence that I photographed. Slowly, using this process, I began to feel hope again. The more I photographed, the more I found to capture.
About eight months in to my process, which was lengthened because of my emergency surgery that Christmas, I began to take phone calls again. One phone call in the morning, and I would sleep for hours. It took so much energy out of me, and required so much focus, I was exhausted after.
15 months in to my process, I was back on a film set, and was able to do what I love most, act. It was my first, and extremely tentative, step back in to the world. I was terrified to go, this was a huge step for me, I cried as I said good bye and got on that flight. Absolute fear gripped me, and I had to dig deep deep down as I forced myself to put one foot ahead of the other. I spent eleven life altering days in that small town. I was far more ready to leave my little healing bubble than I'd thought. It felt incredible.
I share this with you because no matter how far and deep I needed to crawl in to my shell, in my own way, listening to myself as the ultimate guide to what I must provide for me, on my terms, I was able to rejoin the world in time. In the end, I listened to my own needs and forced myself to take the time it would take, and it worked.
I didn't just want to be okay. I wanted to return stronger than ever. And this is exactly what happened.
I also didn't want outside opinions on how I should feel, think and proceed with decisions. Those were, and still are, mine to make. I found myself really needing to hold on to the fact that this process was mine, I needed to trust I would find my way, stumbling and tripping here and there, but always proceeding in the forward direction. And no one could take this journey for me.
And I'm so glad I did it my way. I followed my intuition, without even realizing it, and rebuilt myself from the inside out. I read, I listened, I cried, I hid, I wrote, and then I used my love of art and beauty to guide me back to life.
No one told me to do it this way. I recall my therapist commenting on how long this was taking for me. And then a therapist friend of mine telling me to take more time, and be patient, and encouraging me to keep up the work. Both left me frustrated and impatient with this journey I was on.
In the end, though, I followed my inner guide. And that is what continues to save me - listening to my intuition with awareness of where I'm at any given moment.
So yes, please listen to your inner guide.
If you are ready to stretch your muscles, and it exhausts you, that's okay. Sleep after.
If you aren't ready today, and you are tomorrow, that's okay. Be patient. And hear your own needs as they make themselves known one step at a time.
If it hurts like hell right now, breathe and remind yourself you can get through it.
If you can use a passion of yours in tiny bits to help guide you back to your you, do it.
If something feels good, healing, and healthy, embrace it when you can, and build on that.
You will have strong days, and not to strong days. And that's okay.
Throughout your process, remember, as long as you're heading in the forward direction, you're doing this healing right.
You deserve to heal. You deserve to rebuild your you.
You deserve to do it your way.
Remember, you are not alone. And you are worthy. Hear your inner guide above all other voices, and move forward.