The Reality of Healing

I think that as a society we think that healing looks like not hurting any more and once the tears have stopped rolling down our cheeks that we've finally reached the destination of being healed. But what does being healed mean to you?

We often forget that our mental health is just as important as our physical, and there are some comparisons that we can draw from it. Now this is rather cheesy, but stay with me... say you broke a bone and you weren't able to do some of your usual activities, you would assume that you were healing when your leg became less sore, or you were able to put more weight on it. You may even get to a stage where you can walk on your own and everything can seem fine but one day, you get a pang of pain and it reminds you that there was some trauma there.

You see, I think that this is just like our mental health. There are past traumas that I have walked through that I thought I was 'healed' from because they didn't consume my mind every moment of every day. In my younger teen years, I really struggled with insecurity and therefore struggled with my food intake. Nearly nine years on, I am the happiest I have ever been in my body, including my baby bump that for some reason really likes to stick around! However, there are still thoughts that cross my mind every so often as to whether I am adequate or not.

Grief and loss is a lot like this. Today marks 14 weeks and 2 days, 100 days, 2400 hours without feeling those sweet butterfly rolls and kicks in my tummy. 2400 hours without my son. The only time I have with him now is when I pick up his ashes from the side and hold him close to my chest, every time a stark reminder that I never got that beautiful skin-to-skin contact that I so longed for with him. I still think about him every day, there isn't a moment that goes by that I am not thinking about him but I am healing and so are you.

Healing is not linear. Let me say that again... healing is not linear. We want it to be, because it is so much easier when we notice the steps we have made. Though if we measure it on the practicals we will find ourselves disappointed when we forget to check one of those little boxes daily. Some days, I feel like I can take on the world (maybe a little bit of an exaggeration!), I even caught myself humming on my walk with my puppy the other day. Though some days I can't get out of bed and the only bit of the outside world that I see is from my bedroom window, but I don't assume that on those days that I have returned to square one.

My mindset is shifting. From loss to gain. From defeated to hopeful. From chaos to peace. From tears to smiles. From being a recluse to seeing my friends. From not eating well to choosing nourishing foods etc etc.

The little steps we make mean so much more than we know and we ought to know that healing is a path that is lined with obstacles and sick to your stomach moments but also laughter and tears with loved ones. Healing is not based on not feeling a certain way any more or not shedding a tear in a crowded public place for example, but it is based on renewing your mind daily, recognising the little steps that you're making and celebrating your every day achievements.

So today, if you're humming along to yourself on the street, or tears are rolling down your cheeks while you read this, know that you are still healing, you are still on a journey, you are still worthy of love and even in the deepest depths of your despair there is still hope.

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