Healing from trauma of any kind takes enormous effort. Some people only think about trauma in terms of car accidents, time in the military, abusive experiences, or other major life impacts, but the truth is that trauma is ANY experience that leaves you feeling emotionally affected in some negative way. This means that trauma can even be the result of a toxic relationship, chronic discouragement, loss of abilities, or the lack of emotional support through your life. Trauma cannot be measured by size of event. Trauma can only be measured by one’s internal experiences (how they feel impacted), which will be influenced by any number of factors, including your intrinsic level of resiliency, thinking patterns, coping skills, social support, resources, and ability to heal. Your emotional pain – however it presents – is always important, valid, and worthy of being expressed. There is no need to ever diminish the validity of your opinion.
Trauma survivors are some of the most resilient people who know firsthand just how taxing the recovery process can be on all areas of your life. Most mental health therapists recommend having a strong social support system, finding safe outlets for self-expression, normalizing your trauma story, building upon your coping skills, and reframing negative thinking patterns. Every now and then, you might also need some positive reminders to keep moving forward. Below are 15 reminders that you can reference during times of frustration or discouragement. It may be helpful to write these down on paper, display them on sticky notes, or simply bookmark this webpage.
- You are allowed to struggle in this journey, you don’t need to be strong all the time.
- It’s okay to tell others how you’re feeling. Don’t be afraid to open up to people you trust about sadness, anger, loneliness, frustration, or anything else.
- There is no right or wrong way to recover. Everybody will find what works best for them and you don’t need to compare yourself to others.
- You are not alone. If you are struggling to feel like people are in your corner, please reach out to us at River Oaks Psychology so that you can connect with a trusted therapist to walk along this journey with you.
- It’s okay to ask for help. We all need help recovering from trauma. Speak up and let others know that you need support or resources.
- You did not deserve to experience trauma. Rather than questioning “why” this happened to you, shift your attention to empowering yourself now during recovery.
- You always have the right to be heard and to be taken seriously. Always remember that you are your own best advocate.
- Healing is not linear. Sometimes it may feel like a roller coaster. Try to ride the ups and downs as best as you can.
- You are still a complete, whole person. Trauma will never change that. It does not mean that you are any less of a person.
- You don’t need to explain or justify your feelings. There may be days where you cannot quite articulate why you feel angry or why you feel sad. That’s okay. You are allowed to feel those emotions without having to justify them.
- Your trauma is still valid even when other people don’t understand it. The reality of how you feel is not dependent on whether someone else can understand it.
- Be patient with yourself. Recovery takes time and there is no finish line. You may find yourself healing in new ways throughout your whole life. People never stop growing and learning.
- Pay attention to your inner self-talk. Are you putting yourself down? Are you putting too much pressure on yourself? Are you very self-critical? Try to shift to your negative inner dialogue to more positive self-reflections.
- You deserve love and friendship. Sometimes recovering from trauma leaves us feeling withdrawn or isolated. Always remember that you are worthy of love and friendship. Keep yourself open to receiving genuine support from others.
- Your trauma does not define you. Your trauma does not need to be your entire story. You will continue to build a life of fulfilling experiences, relationships, accomplishments, and milestones that you will celebrate and incorporate into your whole life journey. Your trauma experience is just one part of the picture.
Written by Lauren Presutti