What if you’re not in some way damaged, broken, or acting out? What if this is a natural and understandable reaction to all the hurt and pain you’ve endured, and that your symptoms are a normal response to an abnormal experience?
We live in a society (and within a medical system) that tends to pathologize, label, demonize, medicate, imprison, or send to rehab every single symptom that’s deemed “abnormal.” But this pathologizing model clearly isn’t working, and instead of recognizing the significant impact of trauma can have on our wellbeing, we personalize the symptoms as a fault of our own. This doesn’t mean these symptoms don’t need treatment, or there aren’t real illnesses, or that we don’t need conventional medicine approaches; we do.
Our strategy for managing symptoms needs an overhaul, and it starts by examining all these symptoms through a trauma-informed lens- and learning to see how these symptoms may be paradoxically both harming us- but also helping us. Many of the symptoms people experience are coping strategies that once worked really well in response to a trauma. And because it worked so well, they kept using it – we are, after all, creatures of habit. And that survival strategy that worked so well at the time it was needed then becomes a hindrance when it’s outlived its purpose.
Wouldn’t it be a relief if you could simply let go of the idea that you’re broken in some way? Imagine if you found a way to love, accept, and understand all aspects of your being, not just the parts you like, but even the parts that annoy you, the parts you struggle to get a handle on, the parts that hurt you or other people, and the parts that might be very fragile, vulnerable, and pushed aside.
You are, by your very deepest nature, whole and complete. More so, the body naturally orients to healing and homeostasis. Cut yourself and watch. Your mind and body want to heal. It does so organically through its unfathomable intelligence. Sometimes, we just need a helping hand to surrender our outdated protective mechanisms and to redirect our healing capacity back to a path that serves us better.