Hey guys, what’s up? How you doing?
Last week I tweeted that I needed to take time out to heal. I’ve never been so vocal over something like that before, but here’s why it’s important to be open about you time..
The last time I took a hiatus from writing, it was because I was going through something. At the time though, I couldn’t admit this.
Instead I literally stopped writing, even though it meant so much to me. But, I just didn’t feel connected to my work. The desire or will to continue was completely gone. I also didn’t mention to anyone that I was going to stop.
In my head, I thought who cares about what I get up to? We’re all so busy with our lives, never mind checking what everyone else is getting up to (or not). And I didn’t really want to burden anyone with my issues.
But I still wish I made a bolder statement that I needed ‘me’ time, instead of quietly slipping away and trying to internalize my trauma.
And I’m talking about psychological and emotional trauma: “[which is] the result of extraordinarily stressful events that shatter your sense of security, making you feel helpless in a dangerous world. Traumatic experiences often involve a threat to life or safety, but any situation that leaves you feeling overwhelmed and isolated can be traumatic, even if it doesn’t involve physical harm.”
I knew I had gone through a few situations just like this, but struggled to accept that it actually happened. Suppressing it all felt like the best thing to do.
What would’ve helped, was realising that whatever I was going through was real and to move on.
And this is super important, the human body stores all trauma in its tissues. In an article on Huffington Post, it was found that the amygdala and hippocampus (located in the brain and heavily involved in emotional responses and the formation of emotional memories) can amass memories and associations with regard to past traumatic events. This can place enormous strain on ones mental and physical health.
It can make you feel anxious, very stressed and cause all kind of ailments you’ve never had before.
But when you’re open and honest about what you’re going through, you can avoid this or at least make it more bearable. Instead of bottling it all inside, you’re vocalizing it. Giving your pain, anger, hurt and anxiety a face. And then processing painful emotions thoroughly.
You’re acknowledging: I am feeling this, I need to recover from this. I also need the space and time to do it.
Now, Twitter may not be the best medium for everyone. For some it’s too open and intrusive. But letting close ones know, like friends and family is also a way of being honest about self-recovery. Allowing them to have an understanding of your head space works wonders for your growth and strength.
When I finally opened up to my friends and family about my anxiety, I felt like I was able to cope better. They listened, accepted what I was going though and this encouraged me to take better, more proactive steps. I sought out a counselor and got the help I needed.
Taking time out to heal can also be done in many ways. “Waking up and taking care of myself, even in these small, seemingly normal ways, centers me so I can function. They are my gateway to thriving in both my recovery and as a person,” is how one woman recovered from an eating disorder. Her consistency also made all the difference in how successful her recovery was.
Some find it helpful to finally take-up that hobby that was left on the back burner. Or dedicate yourself to losing weight, in a healthy way of course! The point is you’re taking control of your ‘you‘ time and finding out what works best. You’re creating a safe environment to deal with any trauma head on.
So, essentially healing from trauma is a form of self recovery. As I said, this looks and happens differently for everyone.
This will allow you to not only recover better but explore other coping techniques for the future.
So, whenever you feel like slipping away quietly. Or not letting anyone in, to deal with it all your own – don’t.
And I know this is a really hard ask. The way the world is set up, it often requires us to buck up and be super strong. Sometimes, it’s your own personality and pride that gets in the way. So it’s not always easy address your feelings. But trust and believe that with any trauma, this is the first step to dealing with it.
Open up, be honest and don’t let your trauma define you.
P.S A bit of tumblr – inspired self recovery for ya!