Healing doesn’t always look like healing.
Healing doesn’t always feel like healing.
But if you have gone from crying every hour to crying once a day, you are healing.
But if you have gone from feeling like you can’t get out of bed every day to not being able to get out of bed once a week, you are healing.
But if you have gone from having a rage attack once a week to having a rage attack once a month, you are healing.
Healing takes time. A lot of time.
Sometimes others see it in us before we do. Many times we don’t recognize it in ourselves because we believe that we are constantly battling the same shit in our heads day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute. But in reality, we are no longer involved in minute-by-minute battles. When healing occurs, the mud puddles, our trauma-based reactions, that are on the path that we have been walking on begin to get to the point where we no longer have to walk around them. The puddles are still there. But as we continue to walk forward, we see that the puddles ahead of us, those that remind us of what we endured, are drying up and getting smaller.
When we start looking at life outside of our head more than inside, our mind starts to recognize the freedom from the flashbacks, the twitches, the depression, the rage, the fear. It starts to crave the freedom over the captivity in our heads. And we recognize that craving, that desire, for freedom, that is when we recognize that we are healing. Healing does not mean everything stops.
Healing means that we are able to manage our trauma-based reaction to that which causes the reaction. Healing isn’t just opening the door and looking out from the confining walls of our mind. Healing occurs when we start going through the door, leaving the confinement of the terrible memories, stepping into the freedom of the world outside.
Healing happens, whether we see it or not.
We are all on a Healing Path. We take breaks now and then to regain the strength to keep going. But the further up the path we are, the easier it gets. The incline isn’t as steep and we don’t have to stop for breaks as often. Taking a break is perfectly okay. But when we choose to not stand back up and keep moving forward, the healing stops. The choice to heal, to continue moving forward, is ours and ours alone. Our therapist can’t make that decision for us. Our spouse/SO can’t make it for us. Our kids can’t make it for us. Our closest friend can’t make that decision for us. Only we can choose, “do I stay put, or do I get up and start moving up the mountain?”
The choice can be very scary, but it’s a choice that has to be made. There’s no middle ground, there’s no compromise, there is just the decision — stand up and walk; or remain sitting and not move. And it has to be made. As the saying goes, “to not make a decision, to be apathetic, a decision has been made already.”