Published in Sep 2019 / Updated in Oct 2021
Healing is hard. The process of healing is incredibly misunderstood.
The road to recovery is unpredictable and often unclear. We tend to think of healing in terms of time. Time heals all wounds. Right. Bruises completely fade in approximately two weeks. A broken arm will usually heal by two months. But there are no guidelines for emotional wounds. Yet, we're extremely tough on ourselves. We expect to be over something in x amount of time. If we're not, we tend to berate our mental abilities.
There are days when I feel like I'm digging down deeper into the hurt and spiraling out of control.
Wallowing. It can feel messy and hopeless and the stress can keep me up at night. In these moments, I don't want to get out of bed. I want to isolate myself and replay painful memories in my mind on repeat. Words haunt me. Everything seems impossible. I feel immature and weak. I wonder why I am unable to move past things that don't seem to bother other people. I think I'm ridiculous and small and unable to change.
In these moments, it helps to remind myself that I am making progress.
Even though it feels like the exact opposite, life is difficult at the best of times and learning how to cope isn't easy. Practicing self-compassion is an invaluable skill to learn. If data could be presented on a graph, the recovery process is a wild zig-zag. It is crucial to embrace the dips when they happen. They are there to propel us back up.
Healing isn't a straight line or easily measured. Everyone is unique. We all possess radically different coping mechanisms and thought processes.
Judging our capabilities to move past something against someone else's is a guaranteed way to feel even worse about ourselves. Healing is a slow, slow process. Some days it might feel like we're moving backward. This is normal, and setbacks are to be expected but not feared. Figuring out our limits and our abilities to overcome difficulties can be character building. It might sound corny, but we do find great strength in our weaknesses.
Better days are inevitable.
Humans are endlessly resilient and capable of huge personal growth. Reaching the highs after the lows allows us to appreciate how fleeting our emotions are. Everything is temporary. No matter how bleak things seem, the universe will manage to shift our perspective if we let it. Believing that everything will fall into place is an amazingly powerful mindset that will help you stay strong through the process.
Healing looks different on everybody.
It is fragile, erratic, and time-consuming. It is painful and tough, but you will get there. Like all wounds, you will be left with a scar. That scar will represent the challenge you faced and won. No one escapes suffering in this world. Pain is inevitable. We are more than capable of facing anything that life has to throw at us. Have patience and trust your mental process. You are doing the best you can.