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  • Writer's pictureShaelyn Heise

What does Recovery look like?

Many hiccups come with working through trauma. Including days where I don't want to get out of bed, but I decide to. Whether my goal for the day is a laundry list of errands, or simply to take care of myself. I always set a goal, that is what continues to motivate me. Taking everything day by day, because that's all I can do at this point. This means attending weekly EMDR therapy sessions, monthly psychiatrist visits, and each day taking care of myself.No matter how hard it was in the beginning, to accept that I need time to focus on myself. Hard to accept that I currently cannot work, therefore help provide for my household. For many weeks I felt like a burden, taking advantage of those closest to me by not being able to "contribute."

Through many nights of reflection, many conversations with my therapist and family members I have realized I was never going to be able to fully "contribute." I was miserable, terrified of many situations, avoiding my fear like clockwork. I was living in my personal nightmares, each day. Don't get me wrong, not everyday was bad. Some days the "symptoms" would seem to disappear. I later realized this only happened on days I was avoiding, therefore feeding into my fears.

I would never be able to be the best version of myself, until I took the time to take control of my past. Although I know nothing can change the past, I fully realize that. I can however change how I perceive the past. I can change how it affects me, and that's what I am focusing on. These changes of my personal perception, of my personal view of the situations that haunted me. Not trying to understand them necessarily, only understanding that it doesn't need to affect my daily life. The past is the past. While I myself am still trying to accept that simple five word sentence. How we perceive the past in relationship to trauma is up to a simple response of fight or flight. Whether we decided to defend ourselves, and how we are dealing with that. Or whether we endured, ran, or stayed silent and now we are dealing with that.

Whether you chose fight or flight, your choice was the best option for you at the time. It is now a matter of accepting the choices we made, not the situation itself. In my opinion there is no solution to the past, to solving the past that involves other people. All you can change is your view of the past, and accept that it is the past. For me yes, it is taking months of extremely difficult work. I will admit more bad days than good, but I am doing it this year for the next fifty years of my life. I know that if I can do this, in many ways recommended by the professionals. (in many views, the hard way) This year may be hard, but the next fifty years will be easier than the past twenty-two, give or take. I have hope, which is the best and sometimes the most unnerving feeling you can have. I am vulnerable, with that comes fear. Fear that what if all this is for nothing? What if nothing changes? That fear, is simply focused on whether or not I put in the work for the change. All that I can hope for, at this time is that I can heal the wounds. PTSD comes with many of them, as well triggers. These triggers are the part impacting my daily life, and what EMDR therapy is focused on.

From a few months of this treatment, my triggers are getting slightly better. It is difficult, yes but on days I am not in therapy I find myself being triggered less. For the most part, obviously there are days when they completely control me. Slowly but surely, they are getting better.

All that I can hope for is healing, and I hope that for anyone suffering as well. I hope that by hearing some of my story, I know it's not full of sunshine and rainbows but it is a positive story. I hope it will encourage another person to get the help they need. Struggling everyday because of your past is wasted potential of a great life, and everyone deserves a great life. If anything I said in this post resonated with you please reach out to someone in your community. There are so many people you can talk to, and it's so worth it.

Thank you for listening, take great care.


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