Personal trauma is the most intimate from of suffering, but you can heal.
It happens to everyone differently because everyone's experiences are completely individual and unique. No one trauma is the same, and that's part of the difficulty of trying to cope with it.
No one is broken or needs to be 'fixed'. That's not the goal here, nor is trying to revert to who we were before whatever happened happened.
You have to find a way to power through but also it's not a matter of getting to one arbitrary point of 'progress' or 'completeness' that magically makes everything better. The margins are negligible.
Just like how the day before your birthday you're broadly speaking like a 24-year-old, even if you only technically turn 24 in a couple of hours. It's a matter of technicalities but also small steps that eventually lead to big goals and improvements.
Here are a couple of ways to grow stronger and move on from your personal trauma.
1 – Don't close yourself off from new opportunities because of fear from the old experiences
I'm not going to pretend to be able to sweepingly encapsulate all the forms of trauma that might have happened to you, but there is one thing I do know. Hiding doesn't help. We know that.
But also pushing yourself out of your comfort zone can be super scary. Again, we know that. We need to find somewhere in the middle of that can of worms to be happy and if not happy, safe.
Maybe getting in a car again is impossible. Maybe no force on earth could get you swimming in the sea again. But you might start to feel curious about how riding a bike would feel instead.
Or maybe going to the beach and staying on the dry land but keeping a watchful eye. These aren't replacement activities or even compromises as such, they're just new experiences to flush out the old ones.
You can add joy to your life by being open to new things. You won't be thinking about all the things you no longer feel like you can do. Moving on and maintaining a full, wholesome life is so key so you don't feel like you're missing out.
2 – There's absolutely no time pressure here, you can take however long necessary and everyone will be ready and waiting to support you
Everyone's felt a degree of heartbreak and suffering. I know there's no way to equate it universally, but we all know that sometimes life sucks. There are just no two ways about it.
If you need to take a moment for yourself and sit in your room or go on a long walk, by all means, do it. You don't need to think about anyone else's needs at this point or your obligations to other people.
Everyone understands. Sometimes hanging with people works and reminds us that we need each other, but other times human contact is like… unhelpful.
That's chill, if you need a post-breakup weep that's okay. No one will pressure you to get back on the bandwagon and if your friends are immediately insisting that you get back on tinder, they're not really acting in your best interest.
There's no timeline for recovery, live your life on your own terms. God knows we spend that much time thinking about what everyone else is thinking.
3 – Don't worry about forgiving people that aren't deserving of it, but forgive yourself
The people responsible for your suffering are not worthy of your forgiveness. There is nothing that you owe them or that they deserve. Don't give them the time of day.
Just come to terms with what your life is now and what you want to make of it.
Even better if it will spite them!
Personal trauma is not something we ever leave behind us, but we can use it as a stepping stone, part of us, but not all that we will ever be.