When I first began my journey of healing my trauma, I didn’t really understand what was happening to me. I had never experienced anything like this before, nor had I been aware of anyone else going through such things. When I talked to people about what I was experiencing I would usually just tell them that I was experiencing anxiety – which was true. But that wasn’t the full experience. It was just easier to say. Easier for some people to understand that way. Anxiety has been a huge symptom of my recovery, but it doesn’t all boil down to an “anxiety disorder”. These terms help people to understand what the symptoms are and what they feel like and they organize and group symptoms together which is helpful. But what mental health labels like “OCD” or “Anxiety Disorder” don’t do is describe the entirety of a person’s experience.
Healing has been a journey of peaks and valleys – my healing crisis began with anxiety and panic attacks. But there has been depression, flashbacks, PTSD, panic, worry, fear, overwhelm, great joy, freedom, opening, softening, boundary-setting, love, deep sadness, loss, grief, immense growth and strength. Anxiety is a symptom, not a “disorder”. What lies underneath the anxiety, what are the root causes and contributing factors? Those are the things we need to be addressing in order to heal. That isn’t to say that you shouldn’t also treat your anxiety or OCD in healthy ways – you certainly should. But you need to be treating not only the symptoms but their causes as well. Otherwise you are just throwing a cloak over a bear. Finding ways to resource yourself is so important. Self Care has been one of my biggest lessons – and learning to trust my intuition, my body, my instincts. Learning to forgive Myself and love Myself more deeply and truly than ever.
Resourcing yourself while simultaneously addressing the healing of your trauma and inner wounds is the real key.
For me, resourcing Myself can look like any of the following:
–Going for a walk in nature or by the seawall
–sitting in a park and feeling the grass underneath me, connecting with the support of the Earth
–cuddling with my partner or pet
–epsom salts or aromatherapy baths
–soothing music (spa or light acoustic)
–massage from someone you trust (partner, parent, friend, RMT, bodyworker)
–just sitting with yourself and being quiet, allowing time and space to be
–journalling, making lists, organizing
–de-cluttering an area of my home
–talking/sharing in a meaningful way with a friend/parent/partner
–cooking a nice, comforting meal for yourself and/or others
–spending quality time with family, friends, loved ones
–engaging in grounding activities like cooking, cleaning
–simply knowing that being in My human Body and having my experience of the world is enough
Doing the healing work around my trauma can be any of the following:
–going to regular therapy sessions with a trusted, professional therapist who is trained in trauma
–cranial sacral therapy
–accupuncture or energy healing sessions
–being in a supportive, loving and safe relationship
–developing close friendships with supportive people
–speaking up for myself when I’ve been hurt
–setting healthy boundaries in all areas of my life
–being kind to myself
–being an example to others, so they may begin or continue along their healing paths
–mending relationships with parents or family (when possible)
–sharing my experience and letting go of shame through sharing in a safe space
–working on owning my feelings, understanding my emotions
–being able to own and apologize when I have hurt someone else (this can be tough for me in some situations and I am still working on this one!) **also important to note: I may not have intended to hurt someone, but that’s not the point. I can still be curious about their feelings and take ownership if my BEHAVIOUR was hurtful. This doesn’t mean I am “wrong” or “bad”. It simply means that my words or actions had an impact on someone else, knowingly or unknowingly. It is my responsibility to recognize that.