Healing From Trauma

I went to my therapy appointment yesterday armed and charged to stand up for myself and the unfailing pattern of starting my sessions later and later, short-changing my appointment time. Luckily for both of us, she actually retrieved me just a few minutes after my scheduled start time, so it felt nitpicky to squabble over a few minutes. That said, the session was so depressing and I cried my way through it. This is not inherently a bad thing or abnormal for psychotherapy, but it certainly was enough to deter me from signing up for a session again in just two weeks, rather than wait my full month for my required session frequency. Moreover, I had horrible trauma-related nightmares last night, much worse than normal, which I guess I attribute to discussing those topics in therapy.

My therapist said it’s normal to still have PTSD symptoms this far out from the event, though I feel like I’m “failing” in my recovery by still having these struggles in terms of flashbacks and nightmares. However, I must say that most of the other anxieties and phobias that cropped up as a result of the attack are mostly all resolved or nearly resolved at this point. It’s actually quite remarkable and I’m so proud of some of the recent indicators of deep healing that have become apparent to me. This is one place I truly deserve to give myself kudos, which isn’t something I dole out to myself easily, yet in this case, I think it’s critically important to do so as I way to recognize my relentless effort to recover from this life-changing trauma. It has been the most trying and challenging obstacle in my life and progress has often felt impossibly slow if not flat out impossible. It’s not though, because it’s been happening. As I fight my way out of the terrible psychological and emotional place I was thrown in, I find that life is waiting for me with open, supportive arms on the other side.

I’m not sure whether I’ll call and see if I can come in for an extra appointment this month. Right now, I’m decidedly settled on waiting the full month, but that may change. I think what I’ve discovered is that my self-directed therapy is dredging up a lot of feelings and wounds that I’m then unsure how to diffuse or settle. I’m not planning to stop yet though; I still think, despite the pain, the work must be affording me some sort of benefit. I’ve grown a lot in the past four months and I think it would be short-sighted to not recognize the contribution of this hard work I’ve been doing in my own independent therapy sessions. I wish I had a reasonable excuse to stop since it’s not something I enjoy, but that would entail selectively opting to ignore the benefits and focus just on the troubling aspects. That’s not the weak and dishonest mindset I’m willing to adopt. Thus, I’ll push onward.

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