Forget Me Not: Crawling Out of the Darkness — Part 2May 2, 2016
“Put one foot in front of the other, and soon you’ll be walking across the floor. Put one foot in front of the other, and soon you’ll be walking out the door!”
In my last post I talked about the first step to healing from the dark pit of depression and anxiety. Those of you who have follow me have probably picked up that I rarely sugar coat things. Life can be downright impossible sometimes and it is up to us to pull ourselves up and make it better. It is easy to get stuck in a rut of despair, sadness, and frustration. But, it is often very difficult to move out of that rut.
Many of us have experienced extreme trauma in our lives, from domestic violence, to child abuse and rape. These experiences have left us scared and struggling to find happiness and peace in life. What is more difficult, from my point of view, is that society is often quick to judge those experiences, or simply ignore them. For some reason, it seems that society simply does not want to discuss these terrible aspects of humanity. I believe, personally, that it often hits too close to home, and that it is easier to look away than deal with the unpleasantness of the terribleness happening around you, to those you love, or to you.
Because of this, victims often feel alone and as if their hurts do not matter. Or, that no one understands where they are emotionally. When you lack support in your healing, it makes it all the harder to actually heal. It compounds the situation.
And this is why, sadly, we must, as victims, find it in ourselves to move forward. It never hurts, of course, to find forums where there are others that understand your pain and cheer you along in your healing journey. But, no one can make you better but you. And, the first step to healing is to simply survive. You will never move forward if you are stuck where you are.
This was, by far, the most difficult thing I have ever done for myself. It was a concept that was so foreign to me that making it happen was the equivalent of blasting myself into space. It took immense amounts of practice, failure, and retrying before I was able to make the slightest move in the right direction. But once I did, I was able to move on to making progress in other areas of my life.
Finding Something You Love
The second thing I did, in my journey to healing, was to find something I loved. For me, this was biking. Biking later led to kayaking, which then led to roller blading. Basically, I got myself involved in activities I could do outside, on my own. I wasn’t ready to make friends, join groups, or get involved in anything else that involved people. But I knew I needed to do something that brought me joy. As a matter of fact, my therapist told me to find a hobby. Yes, it took my therapist assigning this task as homework before I moved forward. My outdoor excursions got me out of the house, into the sunshine, and exercising. These three things are all great for increasing happy hormones. I’m not a scientist or a therapist, so you will just have to trust me on this.
You don’t have to bike or kayak to get moving, but find something you love. Take a walk, start an exercise program, go hiking, read by the water, take your dog to the dog park, take a ceramics or painting class—the options are limitless. Just find something that gets you out of the house and moving.
Make the Changes on Your Timeline
It’s important to stress that everyone’s healing will happen differently. First, you have to make yourself want the change, then you have to start moving forward, then you have to start doing something productive that you love. This is not going to happen overnight. I’d love to see everyone, who is struggling, jump out of bed and take on the world, but I know that is unrealistic.
It took me several months to get to the point where I started riding my bike. And sometimes, I would ride to the ocean, sit on the beach, and sob. I tell you this because it was no easy task. But please do not be discouraged. If you are in this negative place, there is nowhere to go but up. Remember that you are worth it, no matter what society, your abuser, your parents, your friends, or you tell yourself. You are worth it!!
And, I am here for you…others understand you…you can do this. Keep pushing forward. Hugs.