This came in my letter from Michele Rosenthal, http://yourlifeaftertraumabook.com/. She shares her recovery methods from PTSD. I’m sharing her words to let you know that you are not alone in finding this time of year is tough. But it might not be the toughest time for you. Each person has their own times of struggle. Sometimes a holiday or an anniversary of a horrific event or another time that may be particularly hard. But the bottom line is most people have their time of struggles.
You’ve just about made it through the toughest part of the year — congratulations. 🙂
Getting through the holidays is a big accomplishment. Now, you’ve got a brand new year ahead of you. What’s your plan for healing?
What do you do when getting through one more hour is all you feel like you can do?
Here’s the deal, not everyone is at the goal setting stage. I spent several years of my life just getting through the day. My goal one year was to stretch my time being up during the day from 20 minutes to half an hour. I don’t want any of my readers feeling like they have to set a particular goal or resolution or anything. What I did learn is if I didn’t try to go somewhere then I stayed exactly where I was. Three years in bed with no end in sight. I hit rock bottom. I prayed for release from this hellish existence. I prayed. My answer, “What are you going to do about it?” I didn’t know what to do. My first goal was to learn more. I stopped reading fiction and turned my energies to reading all I could on the type of problems fit my symptoms. I felt so alone. I asked for help from the time I was 15 years old. Nobody seemed to know and Heavenly Father put it right back in my lap. I was discouraged and sad and finally determined. Some basics that became important to me.
1. Be happy now. Right now. Not when I was better. Not when I achieved something but now.
Shocker for me, my life could be a total mess and I could find some bits of happiness.
2. Bloom where you are planted is the next part of this. Sometimes we can change our circumstances but sometimes we can’t. If you can’t change your location, bloom where you are planted.
3. If you are not up to the point of setting goals, start a truth campaign. Stop lying to cover for other people, stop lying to yourself that it is not that bad, stop lying that you are doing OK. If you can’t set a goal, you are not doing OK. I was astonished when I started my truth campaign as to how often I lied to myself, to others, even God wasn’t given the whole story. Please be aware, when you stop lying to others and yourself life will be uncomfortable. I also had to learn the difference between the truth and an opinion. Many opinions masquerade as truth. Fortunately, I had an excellent counselor that helped me sort through the garbage in my life to help me recognize which were lies and which was truth and which were opinions. I am still careful about some memes that sound good on the surface but actually are more fancy lies. My sister uses meme debunking to reveal the truth behind the smooth talking. I appreciate the help I received in starting this new way of living. I do much better now. I don’t need to keep track of what I said to who because I spoke my truth.
4. I learned that what I did and do is not who I am. When my counselor asked me who I was, I wrote a whole page about what I did but I had no idea about who I was. Many times goals are things we do to bring us closer to what we want to be. If I want to be kinder, I do kind things. If I want to be grateful, I thank people for what they do. If I want to be closer to God, I pray. However, what I do only points me in a direction. Who I become is not defined by my abuser, unless I let them. Not defined by my past, unless I let it. It is a complexity that I am still working on. I am a do-it-yourself project that will last my life time.
Happy New Year let this be your best year ever.