As someone who suffered from cPTSD for almost my whole life, I can tell you there were many times when I wasn’t sure whether I could get through another day or if I really wanted to. When I intentionally started working on my trauma healing and was processing emotions I hadn’t properly done, like grief or anger, things weren’t as linear as I thought they would be. ⠀
The truth is they initially became worse. I found regulating my emotions extremely difficult and experienced sensations in my body I hadn’t before. My partner is the only person who has ever seen me in this state. ⠀
Then I had a realisation with the help of my therapist. In the past, the minute I would get distressed, sad or angry, I would instantly react to my emotions. I would do anything to avoid and distract myself from them. ⠀
Sometimes, I would drink or I’d call a friend and obsessively talk about how I had been hurt by another friend. Other times, I’d stalk my ex-boyfriends on social media, making up stories about how happy they were compared to my own misery. I’d often convince myself that I was dying of an undiagnosed disease, resulting in spending whole weekends searching online for evidence.⠀
While I was succeeding at avoiding my real emotions, I was under extreme, constant anxiety. It was exhausting. ⠀
In time, I saw that anxiety isn’t an emotion – it’s an inner wall our unprocessed emotions hide behind. One of the remedies that can have the most positive long-term impact on our mental health is learning from our anxiety what we don’t consciously know/admit about ourselves – what has hurt us in the past & needs healing & our unfulfilled dreams we deprive ourselves of living. ⠀
Something that helped me get better in time was journaling. My own words on paper allowed me to understand myself better and ask hard questions whose answers became the stepping stones to start loving myself as I deserve. ⠀
That’s why I’ve created Your Life be Design Journal, you can get a free copy here. It won’t solve all your problems, but it will help you imagine the best life possible for yourself and identify what you want to leave out of it altogether.
Try it and let me know 💕
Love & grace,
Effie writes about and coaches people on Inner & Cultural Awakening helping them understand the connection between culture and our well-being, and build better lives based on a new self-awareness, while getting rid of biases that create separation between ourselves and others. She’s passionate about exposing the shame culture we live in and helping create one where everyone is and feels accepted, and the whole spectrum of human experience is normalised.