Have you ever had a nasty cut on one of your fingers? As you struggle to function as usual through your daily routine it can be challenging to keep the wound dry, and protect it from further injury. Somehow you stumble along and cope, with or without medical assistance. Eventually the cut heals. While you will always have the memory of that injury, it no longer takes centre stage in your life.
What do you do when trauma happens to you?
The loss of someone you loved dearly can leave you feeling as if there is a hole in your being. Moving on with life can be very difficult, and you may want to simply curl up at home, and immerse yourself in memories.
The loss of a job or career can strip away your sense of who you are and leave you feeling helpless. Even the thought of trying to look for a new job can be paralyzing.
Accidents and other injuries can remove you, at least temporarily, from interacting in your normal ways with your family, at work, and in your community. They can impose on you a high level of frustration, anger, and depression.
Front-line workers like police, EMTs, firefighters, and military personnel too often meet with trauma in the course of their work. What you see and experience on your job or assignment can be horrifying, or terrifying. It can make you question what life is really all about. Anger, depression and PTSD can arise and dig in for the long haul. Sadly, deep depression can cause some individuals to consider suicide. They really don’t want to die. They want the pain to stop.
These and many other types of trauma seriously affect who you are and how you navigate in your relationships.
Is there any good news about having experienced trauma?
Working with a trauma-informed professional life coach or therapist can help you sort through what happened to you. Trauma is exactly that – it is what happened to you. Trauma is not who you are.
When you meet with a professional who has their own ‘lived experience’ with trauma, they ‘get’ you, and a bond of trust is easily formed. An ‘enlightened witness’ provides you with the compassionate listening that is crucial to your healing journey.
As you begin walking your journey of healing, with your own level of determination, you will begin to experience moving forward in ways you may have previously considered were impossible.
Impossibility thinking is all the messages you, or others, have implanted in your brain. The revelations of science and neuroplasticity (the brain’s ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections throughout life) now tell us that these negative messages can be changed into healthier ones that will support you in the ways you truly desire to live your life. The memories will shrink, leaving a scar. But, they no longer need to control your life.
Don’t let what happened to you keep you from living your life with purpose and joy.
You can move forward.