Maybe you’re not healing because you’re trying to be who you were before trauma. That person doesn’t exist anymore- there is a new you, trying to be born.
Breathe life into that person.Anonymous
I have not written a blog for a long time. My life has taken another trajectory. I still mentor clients 1:1 using writing for wellbeing and anxiety management tools. What has changed is that I have also become the researcher. I am a PhD student, researching the effectiveness of using narrative and metaphor in reframing the trauma narrative in therapy.
Exciting and interesting but what has this got to do with the opening quote?
It has everything to do with it, as healing is not linear nor is it only about healing the physical but also your mind and life.
When I set up this website, it was off the back of writing the book that was inside me wanting to be expressed and shared. It coincided with a physical ‘wake up call’ being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2014. Up to that point I was muddling through, not having ‘healed’ from the trauma’s and grief of previous years. My ‘drug’ of choice being education, not only that, education to help others. I also wanted to share what had helped me; journaling, positive psychology and using metaphor.
In Greek mythology the centaur, Chiron was known as the “Wounded Healer”, coined by the psychoanalyist Carl Jung. Chiron was poisoned with an incurable wound by a poisonous arrow. Jung believed that to treat another person the doctor or therapist had to examine themselves too.
‘…it is his own hurt that gives a measure of his power to heal’ .
What keeps us from healing?
Our bodies can heal, by having the treatments offered or available. We can seem well on the outside but still be in pain. We can learn to tame our minds by being mindful of our thoughts, words and reactions. But we can still be in turmoil as the fire burns the tracks of familiarity and leaves us vulnerable and uncertain of our next steps.
We can go to therapy, and can either have a break through or a break down, or a combination of both, only scraping the surface of what has happened. So, we repeat what we know. We hold a few more tools and tricks to get us by. We breathe, we ground, we listen to the bird song and walk in nature. Then return to the place we are running from.
Why do we not heal?
Back to the quote. The definition of heal from the dictionary is misleading ‘cause (a wound, injury, or person) to become sound or healthy again.’
It is the aim of course. But so much has changed, the body has changed because of the injury, the brain the mind even the life you had before the illness or trauma. You have changed!
Is it any surprise why we feel ‘unhealed’?
There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens…Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
There is a period of stillness and of gratitude. There is also a time for grief, for what was before and who we were. This is all part of the healing process and it is not smooth sailing. Growth is painful, letting go is hard, forgiveness of others and ourselves can seem impossible. But we need to make space for the new you trying to be born.
Breathe life into that person