July is hard, August brings healing. Trauma is a strange thing. Every year I think I’m over it, I think I’ve processed enough. Then September comes, and my mind is occupied with holidays and other things. Sometime in January I take a breath and look around.
Perhaps we have done it. Perhaps it’s over.
I slide freely through the winter and into spring. And yet again when July comes around BAM I’m hit with the hard reality again of my trauma.
The aftershock of trauma is hard to shake.
Not that it doesn’t get better. Every year I am more able to move closer to healing. There are things I’m able to process, events I’m able to talk through more freely. I’m less caught off guard when something happens that takes my breath away.
Every year I process through my grief differently. The fact that I experienced the trauma changed the course of my life and needs to be worked through. Then I need to process through the loss of what I thought life would look like. It’s a continual process of readjusting and then grieving the loss of my expectations.
I can feel myself growing in being able to talk through the events and work to even being able to help people who have walked a similar path. Although I’m constantly surprised with the parts of trauma that come up that need to be worked through. Every year I think it’s done, but then the seasons change, and I the feeling of the air brings back memories. The way my body feels during this season puts me back in a place where it doesn’t feel during other seasons. It’s amazing what your peculiar environment can do to bring you back.
The fear. The irrational fear that I’m experiencing the event again. It’s impossible, but somehow my body thinks I am.
When these feelings strike, here are the things I have done, and that I am doing, to help myself grow.
- I sought professional help to sort through my trauma. Along with a great group of dependable friends, a professional counselor really helps you work through things in a way that a friend can not. They are able to offer sound emotional and physical advice, as well as identify if there is a serious issue.
- Remind myself this too shall pass. Sometimes in the midst of the moment, I need to remind myself that this is a small part, and I need to sit and be present at that moment. I work on things to do before and after to help, but sometimes when you’re in the trenches of a memory you just need to remember to be present with yourself.
- Remember to do small things I love. Small acts of self-care bring a strong sense of help in those hard moments.
- I open myself to talking about my feelings about the trauma with close trusted friends and family.
Everyone experiences traumatic events in a different way. Just because you know someone who experienced a similar situation, that does not mean you will feel the same way through your process of healing.