Imagine your life when painful events from the past no longer interfere.
Have you stopped loving wholeheartedly? Are you overcome by your emotions? Are you easily angered? In your attempts to avoid pain, do you inadvertently avoid pleasure? Do you feel past feelings with such intensity that it feels as if you are re-living the pain all over again? Are you needlessly recycling old heartaches? Do your thoughts leave you feeling exhausted and anxious?
If you have experienced an extremely painful or disturbing event that’s left you feeling emotionally out of control or powerless, you may have been traumatized. Shock, upset, rejection, loss and failure can cause severe emotional pain.
No one emerges unscathed or unaffected after pain or trauma. In other words, we don’t come out the same way we went in. Trauma can leave one struggling with relentless upsetting emotions, memories and anxiety. It is not unusual to feel disconnected and unable to trust others.
While in the midst of your pain, you may have been told, “it will pass” or “it will make you stronger.” Pain might be how we gain our wisdom and strength with time, but hearing this is not helpful. Friends and family often don’t want to see you hurt. Consequently, they tend to invalidate your thoughts and feelings in their efforts to get you to feel happier.
Reliving pain from the past is inevitable. However, beating yourself up over your inability to “get over it” or obsessive “what if” thoughts are dangerous. These actions often result in a loss of confidence and take a toll on your self-esteem and worth.
Recovery takes time. Everyone heals at their own pace, however, if weeks or months have passed and your symptoms are not letting up, consider professional help.
Having the support of a therapist can speed your recovery. Getting through past pain is a process. It does not happen overnight. It will take hard work, some of which may be pretty excruciating in and of itself. The key is to recognize that you have the strength and resilience within yourself to heal and overcome the pain.
Healing doesn’t mean the pain never happened. Healing means the damage no longer controls your life.