I used to think it would never get better. That I was broken, unwanted, unloved, and that there was nothing I could do to fix it. After all, every effort I had made to earn love for more than 20 years had failed.
I’d ask myself “what’s wrong with me?” And my thoughts would inevitably spiral into “I’ll never be enough.”
This may sound tragic or familiar (or both), but I am not ashamed of my story. Trauma has a viscous affect on how we view ourselves, our worth, our desire to live. My healing journey is far from pretty, and far from complete... but I’ve come so far!
Dr. Gabor Maté, author of “When the Body Says No,” defines trauma as the disconnection from self. When we are subjected to traumatic experiences, whether they are isolated or recurring, we often turn to dissociation to protect ourselves. That may have even saved us for a time, but the longer we live at a distance from our true selves, the more we suffer.
That’s not to say that we are responsible for our own suffering. NO! You are worthy of wholehearted love and acceptance! If you didn’t get that when you needed it most, I feel for you. You deserve so much better.
A mantra that helps me in moments where my self worth seems challenged is: “I am worthy of love, always have been and always will be”
Remember your own humanity, honor it and give yourself the compassion you need most. Self compassion means showing yourself the same love, understanding, and forgiveness that you give so freely to others.
I’ve learned so much that has helped me to heal from trauma. The power of awareness cannot be overstated. I’ve had fantastic therapists that helped me to finally understand that there’s nothing wrong with me, and there never was. I learned to face the core beliefs I held about myself - replace the ones that weren’t serving me and nourish the beliefs I want to live by.
Because of how these techniques transformed me, I started Wave of Mind with the mission to make the tools taught in therapy more accessible and easier to practice. Our Self Awareness Guided Journals - created with our team of clinical psychologists - introduce a new topic, grounded in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, each week and include a weekly thought exercise and unique daily prompts. Each day helps you better connect with your authentic self, and each day you show up for yourself builds on the last.
You are the person with the greatest capacity to heal you! But this can take time. If you are looking for immediate support, this link (https://www.waveofmind.com/pages/therapist-network) has a list of crisis lines you can call or text anytime, as well as contact info for therapists we know and trust.
I’ll end this blog post with a quick story that illustrates what my healing journey looks like now... I was recently triggered. My body felt overcome with fear, anger, and emotional pain. Because of the tools I’ve practiced, I now know that I am strong enough to face any emotion, no matter how uncomfortable it may be. So, instead of unconsciously resigning to the deeply rooted belief about myself that I am unwanted, I sat with the discomfort. I could then see my trigger for what it was: a memory of pain. Then, I grieved. I cried for my younger self who just wanted to know that she was enough and that everything was ok. I held my dog as he anxiously tried to comfort me, and we waited out the storm of my emotions. Triggering experiences that used to break me don’t have the same power. Now, I know and love myself. I can hold true to my core values.
Remember this, no emotion lasts forever! If you ever need a listening ear, an extra dose of compassion, a friend - please reach out!
Whitney wants to be your friend and support you on your mental health journey. DM her on instagram @waveofmind_co for additional support!