Whether you survive cancer, a terrorist attack, or any other horrific ordeal... they are all traumas and they all change you forever.
Two days ago was the anniversary of the terrorist attack at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, and it got me thinking about trauma.
Whatever the hell might be that you went through and survived, your life will never ever be the same again. And I think people struggle because they try too hard to make things be exactly like the way they were before the nightmare happened.
It's the lack of acceptance that makes the ordeal live on inside yourself; not being able to make peace with the fact that your life before the trauma has gone and now you are faced with an unfamiliar new one.
Longing for the past is futile and a waste of time. I wasted three years of my life, post cancer treatment, fighting my way back to the way things were. Three years of wasted energy, continual disappointment, isolation and desperation.
But I know now that losing the old you, because you endured something horrific and survived, is not a bad thing... on the contrary, it is an incredible thing. Your new life, post trauma, can be 100 times... no a thousand... no a million times more beautiful than the life you remember and hold on to so tightly.
So it's time to LET GO!
Because in order for the beauty and transformation to happen in your life you must first stop trying to GO BACK to normal and instead meet the normal where you are right now.
Of course it's unfamiliar and strange, and that's okay; it's okay to feel nervous and awkward about facing the fact that your whole reality has changed.
It's like making a new friend. You just start from the beginning and slowly get to know each other. Crazy as it sounds you have to do the same thing with yourself. Realise you are meeting the new you, post trauma, for the very first time and therefore you have to learn about yourself from the beginning...from today.
Get to know who you are now as this incredible survivor. Start right now, look in the mirror and say to yourself, "Hello me... It's really nice to meet you."
Just by that simple acknowledgement that you are not the same person you were before, just by looking in the mirror and saying that to yourself, will trigger the beginning of your new journey.
So be excited, and of course, you can be nervous about it too... the person you have known your whole life, better than anyone, has transformed and you are starting over. Of course that is nerve racking, but it's also awesome!!!
Be prepared to discover that you have changed in all kinds of ways after surviving a trauma - emotionally, mentally, physically, your likes/dislikes, your spirituality, politics, taste in music and food. It may all be a little bit different...it may all be a lot different. Just take your time, be gentle with yourself and the process, and most of all just enjoy meeting and getting to know the amazing and beautiful survivor that you are.
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