The hardest part of the healing process may be taking the very first step – confronting our trauma. Very often our addictions rely on the denial of our trauma and the avoidance of our pain. We bury our emotions under our addictions to try to escape them. The substances and behaviors we’re dependent upon become our main focus, even our obsession, and our trauma can recede further back into the lost parts of our memory. The first step in healing from a traumatic experience is accepting that it happened, accepting that its energy is still within us and that it is still affecting us. We have to learn to accept our pain rather than resisting it.
Acknowledge your trauma. Allow yourself to relive any memories that come up for you. Chances are you’ve blocked many of the memories you have pertaining to your traumatic experiences, but to clear them we’ll want to really feel them. Bring your memories to the surface of your awareness, with the support of a therapist or spiritual guide to help you process the painful emotions that may result. Recall the trauma you endured and consciously turn towards it rather than away from it. Allow yourself to feel any emotions and physical sensations that arise. Make the choice to sit through the process rather than trying to run from it, which many of us have become accustomed to doing.
Be gentle with yourself. Comfort and soothe yourself. Be a source of nurturing for yourself. Visualize yourself as your child self, and hold your inner child, giving her all the love that you may not have received as a child or which you’ve been denying to yourself with your lack of self-love. Be patient with this process. It will take time. We’ve spent years accumulating and suppressing our trauma. Its energy has been festering in our bodies and causing all kinds of emotional and physical unwellness. We may feel impatient and frustrated with ourselves that we’re still suffering, that we haven’t just gotten over it. The more we confront our trauma, we see just how much it is we need to process – years of traumatic events, relationships, depression, along with our addictions that we’ve been using to self-medicate but which are a source of trauma as well.
Commend yourself for the strength and courage you’ve demonstrated in surviving your pain. When you feel like giving up, hold on. The pain will pass with time and with your concerted effort to heal.
Our treatment plans allow you to take advantage of a specialized trauma program. We work with you on confronting your trauma, healing from it and learning healthy coping skills moving forward. Call Riverside Recovery at (800) 871-5440 today for more information.