I have been crushed by the weight of anxiety and trauma, as I’m sure many of you are familiar with. I’ve felt like I couldn’t possibly bear the weight anymore, unable to think, breathe, or function countless times. But I’ve been investing in my safety nets lately, like hugging myself, talking to friends and family, and doing my favorite hobbies which are always there for me.
This doesn’t heal me or replace the work I need to do for my mind, but it does make it bearable so that I can move through heavy and difficult emotions. Sometimes the emotions are so heavy I wonder if I’ve been making any progress at all, but I’m rethinking my sensitivity as a super power. I can feel the beautiful things in life just as intensely, and just because I have an imbalance now doesn’t mean I always will.
However, I want to be balanced now! I want to be able to process my triggers, shame, and anxiety without help, quickly, and easily. But that’s not realistic for me right now, and that in itself can be disheartening. So that’s why I am advocating for creating some of your own safety nets and giving yourself the time to heal.
Part of my journey with healing trauma and anxiety was coming to terms with just how long it takes. Once I got to a low point, realized I needed help, and began to get help, I was so excited for my brighter future. I started going to therapy and learning all about myself which was a huge leap for me. I was finally starting to take care of myself in ways I couldn’t before. But now, after five years of intense therapy, I know many ways that I can be better, but I just can’t bring myself to do all of the things all of the time. It’s like I have an outdated processor and I’m trying to overload it with new software and it just crashes. Or like I’m running a million miles a minute but my feet aren’t keeping up and I keep tripping and falling flat on my face. I’m wondering why it’s taking so long, why I’m still in pain, and if my work is really progressing at all. But I only play with the idea of giving up for a moment until my therapist pulls me back into reality and reminds me of the progress I’ve already made, and that ‘good enough’ is just that. I am good enough, even though I know there’s a long road ahead. I am exactly where I need to be, and it’s going to take time for my body to catch up to my mind.
Trauma is stored in the body and unfortunately for us all there is no overnight cure, so we have to give ourselves time and love while we are working so hard to take better care of ourselves. This concept has taken me a few months to process and I’m sure it will come up again, but I just thought some of you might find comfort in the fact that it’s a long journey and we can’t cut corners. But the journey is honorable and worthy of our care and attention, and just as I am good enough, so are you. We’re all hard on ourselves and that doesn’t help us heal the pain that’s been building up in us for so long. I’ve been coping with trauma my entire life, multiple decades, and it takes work to undo that. So be gentle with yourself, give yourself a hug, and know that I’m proud of you for starting and continuing your lifelong journey.
Do you find yourself becoming frustrated or being hard on yourself for seemingly not making any progress in your mental health journey? How can you reorient yourself to the progress that you have made or focus on the strengths that you do have? Comment below!