The Choice to Heal

Some things fell into place last night, man it was nice. Lately I have felt like I can’t catch a break, like everything I touch goes sideways and it is so exhausting to move through these phases of healing.

However, last night I felt the physical weight of some of my stress release from my shoulders.

Celebrate the Small Victories

The things that finally aligned were here on my site. I am not very techy with the back end stuff but I am pretty quick to pick up software operations. When I found myself running in circles on the back end of my website (about two weeks ago) at first I avoided it, then I began looking for 3rd party work arounds, but all that did was create a lot of extra work and oversight.

All I wanted to do was connect a payment option to my website for membership collection but my site and the third party payment site were likehell no, we don’t feel like communicating with each other. Ugh, headache.

I wish I could tell you what exactly I did last night to rectify the situation but I honestly don’t know. Again, not techy – but nevertheless everything began talking and suddenly a whole new world of possibilities opened for me. 

The direction I am going with my peer support work opened up completely.

As I assessed these new possibilities I began working on some new merchandise and it led to a conversation with my husband about trauma healing.

Healing is a Choice I Make Every Day

I showed him a couple items I created using one of my own quotes from a realization I came to about a year ago:

“Healing is a daily choice, not a final destination.”

-Shanon Page

When I showed this to my husband he started trying to reword it. He told me it didn’t make sense, that it should say something like “Healing is a daily journey” or “Healing is a process”.

I stopped him so I could explain what it really means to heal from childhood trauma. I conceded that yes, healing is a journey, it is a process – but I impressed upon him as best I could that if I do not make a choice every day, I will not heal.

If I don’t choose to face my reality and move through it, I will get stuck in it. Or I will avoid it and disconnect. . Or it will control me and my actions in this world. The changes in my brain and body are on a physiological level; my healing isn’t automatic – I choose to be an active participant in my own healing every day.

There is No Final Destination

Healing from childhood trauma also has no final destination. There is no sudden endpoint and after that I no longer feel the sadness of what I have experienced. This is probably the hardest part of acceptance. My trauma doesn’t go away, healing happening through my choice to live fully in spite of it.

Healing happens with awareness of my triggers and responses. It happens with awareness of my emotions and where they come from. And it happens as I take personal responsibility for managing them and ensuring I care for myself properly through the process.

Healing means that every day, I choose mindfulness and connection. It means I listen to my mind and body with understanding and compassion, giving myself what I need without judgement.

On the days that I need to rest – I do. On the days I need to cry – I do. One the days I need to withdraw – I do, and on the days I want to share – I will.

Finding Acceptance

Acceptance of my childhood has been very difficult. The five stages of grief are only a guideline and I’m learning that acceptance doesn’t always happen before I have cycled through other stages a few times, learning different lessons with each pass.

For a long time I have been so angry about the long-term effects of my trauma, it has been the hardest part for me to accept. Having to accept the physical changes to my brain, accepting my deep seated responses to danger, and my constant struggle with self-worth has pissed me off. It just isn’t fair that I have to work a little bit harder when life gets stressful due to the abuses I endured by someone else.

I was a kid, I didn’t have a choice. 

I do now.

My anger is finally starting to dull around the edges and it is being replaced with both sadness and overwhelm as I begin to understand more deeply the work I have to do.

Every time a layer is peeled back and I feel a deeper connection to how my healing is happening, and what my part in it means for me, I know that I am on the right track.

Check out my Survivors Speak Interview Series; a series dedicated to amplifying the voices of survivors by providing a platform for you to speak your truth. Submit to participate.

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6 thoughts on “The Choice to Heal

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  1. I’m glad you were able to get the website issue dealt with. It’s frustrating to have things like that taking time away from the places where you’d rather devote energy.

      1. It’s tough sometimes, because like you said it really does have to happen many times with some seriously uncomfortable stuff before it starts to stick.

        All we can do is give a cheeky smile and keep on going, 100%. 😊

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