There isn’t a 10-step program on how to heal from trauma. There isn’t a rule book. There are numerous articles and books out there that speak about ways to aid the healing process. But the simple truth is, trauma affects every person differently.
Even with years of therapy, many still struggle years later. And that’s okay.
What I’m here to say is relevant to all of you.
You don’t need to rush your healing. And you don’t need to apologize for not being okay.
Many people feel pressured. “It happened so many years ago. I should be over it.”
That isn’t true. Trauma may always affect you. It doesn’t mean you’re broken or that you’re weak. (I want to take a moment and say that if you feel weak, that's really valid. There's so much pressure on survivors to be "strong" and it's completely okay to not feel that way. You are just as worthy whether you feel strong or weak.)
In many situations, one may not notice the effect a trauma has on them until many years down the road. This was the case for me. I spent years thinking my trauma didn’t affect me. Only to realize it did, and there were signs all along.
I can find myself doing great for periods of time and then out of nowhere, I’m a mess on the floor again. And I’ve learned to accept that it’s okay.
Overcoming trauma doesn’t mean you won’t fall back. It’s a roller coaster. You may do better for awhile and then you may fall down again. This may happen years down the road. This doesn’t mean you’re failing.
There’s no set time line in healing from trauma. Everyone heals at their own pace and in different ways.
Lastly, you don’t have to try and be the person you were before your trauma. It’s okay if you’ve changed, because your worth never will. And trying to be that person may just hurt and exhaust you. You are just as worthy now as you were before trauma. And you will always be worthy.
(I recently started a new trauma podcast with my partner, the link is here if you want to check it out!)