When memories of your trauma resurface or your PTSD comes back, you are not taking a step back in your recovery. You have not failed to heal. In fact, you can continue to improve your mental health alongside these waves of trauma that crash over you again and again. Here are the three things that will keep you constantly healing. Hey there! I’m Arien Smith and you are watching Arien Inspires, a weekly online web series where I help survivors of abuse find peace, joy, and prosperity. I myself am a survivor and one of the things I know best is that trauma hurts when it resurfaces. When you’re doing great and then BAM a wall of flashbacks, panic attacks, and trauma memories come back up. It feels like all of the work that you’ve been doing for months or for years was worth nothing. That’s totally not true, but I get why it feels that way.
Because it hurts when this happens. We don’t want our trauma to come back up. We want to get over it, to completely heal it, to no longer be affected by the abuse that we faced. This just isn’t how trauma recovery works. We need the pain of our past to come back up in order to heal it. It’s by feeling that we heal. My trauma is still a very present part of my life. I know that it can seem sometimes like, when I’m making these videos, that I’ve conquered all of the impact that past abuse has had on me. But that’s not true! I live joyously and I have a love-filled life, but just like you, I have trauma come back up and it’s pretty frequent too.
I just know that I’m still on the right healing path, that my life is more than my trauma, even when it’s an ever-present part of my experience in this world. So how do you keep healing and improving your mental health, even when past trauma is resurfacing? These are the three key things that you need to do. First, accept yourself. Accept that you were hurt, that you were victimized and that you were abused. Acknowledge that this happened and know that it wasn’t your fault and that you do, even when it’s tiring, have the strength to recover from this. Accept when that pain arises. Place your hands on your heart and remember that you are strong enough to get through it.
That these emotions are not a bad thing to experience, even when they’re intense. You can look up things, like Tara Brach’s concepts on radical acceptance, and I’ll have some links below to help you dive deeper into this. There is nothing in my opinion that is more powerful than accepting and validating your emotional experiences. Second, work on self-care. The kind that really nurtures you. Make sure that you’re giving yourself the basics: food, sleep, connections with other people and fun. Then indulge in self-care. If you find that you are waking up anxious, make sure to take some time to find some peace in your day before jumping into work. If you have a flashback in the middle of the day, make sure to handle it with loving and healthy coping mechanisms. Don’t try to ignore it or force it away. Don’t reject these feelings, since they are trauma memories that are asking to be healed. Make room in your heart for this healing and make room in your life for this healing with self care. Finally, work on broadening your perspective about the trauma that you have faced. I know that, in the midst of emotional pain and overwhelm, it can seem like this pain is your entire life.
Like there is nothing happy, nothing good. Like it’s all just trauma and hurt. But that’s just because you are focusing on the cloud that’s right in front of you. But you’re floating in the entire sky. There may be a lot of clouds and they might be dimming the sun, but they don’t erase the sunshine. There is sky beyond the clouds. So zoom out and work on seeing it, notice the little things that are like spots of sunlight in your life. Maybe it’s the taste of good food, a cup of tea, a relaxing place to sit, or a good conversation that you had. Whatever it is, work on seeing beyond the cloud that you’re in. Accept the cloud, it’s part of the sky too, but know that it is not the entire sky, even if it’s a big storm cloud. So which one of these: self-acceptance, self-care, or broadening your perspective about trauma will help you to improve your mental health the most? What do you know you need to work on and what can you do right now to start? I’d absolutely love to hear what you have to say, so please leave a comment below! Lastly it would mean the world to me if you could share this video with a friend, or a loved one, or on your favorite social media channel.
I know how little help there is for us survivors of abuse, especially in the personal development field, so that’s why I find these videos so important to create. So if you did enjoy this and you know a survivor that could benefit from this as well, please don’t hesitate to share it. As always, there are a ton more resources over at UncoverYourJoy.com, so head on over, check it out, and leave a comment! While you’re there, be sure to subscribe to our email list. You’ll receive exclusive monthly self-love letters, weekly blog updates, and free resources I send only to my email community. Trauma is a big part of your life experience, but your life is more than that.
Even when it resurfaces, all of the healing work that you have been doing is still in play. It’s keeping you alive and someday you will be thriving, even when past trauma hits. And, as always, never forget that you are worthy, you are loved, and you are capable of so so much..
As found on Youtube