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Hi everyone! 馃挆

I've been working on discovering and practicing different things that help me in the healing process from trauma. Generally, when I research this sort of work, I get a lot of resources about things like breathing exercises, mindfulness, and ways of generally calming down. However, personally those methods haven't been as helpful to me as some other ones that I think don't get the spotlight as much.

____

I'm curious, for those of you living with trauma, what helps you?
I'd love to know what you've discovered that works for you, as broad or as idiosyncratic as you'd like. I think we could use some more time discovering and sharing the diversity of ways we can heal.
_

As for me, I'm in the process of being diagnosed with C-PTSD and the trauma is primarily emotional/mental instead of physical. There's years of coping mechanisms that I've fallen into that are kind of destructive to me now, and I get a lot of symptoms of depression and anxiety, too. Some symptoms of dissociation and depression have made me think I even have ADD, but I think it's just another trauma response state.

What's helped me a lot has been more active and outward methods- things that are actually high energy. (I guess anything to get me out of my head and engaging in the real world again). Dancing has actually been SO helpful to me. I'll feel like an idiot dancing around to music when I'm freaking out, but it works. Just really going as wild as possible. I think it's funny and powerful and disarming. My therapist even encourages shaking to release pent up energy. Something that doesn't deny fight or flight responses but acknowledges and vents them outward instead.

Comfort and nostalgic sensory things that remind me of good and safe times help too: lapsang souchong tea that reminds me of campfires from being a kid with my family, music from movies and games that comforted me, even just self soothing by bundling up in blankets. Purposefully remembering good times is a new one for me, and it's a little hard at first, so I might actually start writing them down on cards that I can look at when things are bad again. Certain statements that help me out of worn thought spirals help sometimes, too.

Another line of thought that has been very interesting to me somewhat rejects or counters western psychology's insistence that healing from trauma is purely or even mostly the task of the individual. Especially for those who are still living in traumatic conditions. I think a lot of the symptoms of my mental illness fall away when I am allowed to live communally, to function very clearly as a part of a group, to feel surrounded by family and community, to be social more than not. To generally be allowed to exist beyond a purely self-centered mode of living. This isn't ground breaking stuff, but I think all too often we're told to somehow just get better on our own when maybe we really do just need other people on a level most don't usually get these days. Especially with quarantine.

___

Anyway, I appreciate if anyone would like to share something that helps them, big or little- seemingly intuitive and tried and true or unique to yourself :)
 

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First of all thanks for having the courage to stand amid vulnerability with this post. That is harder than you think. I encourage you to expose your issue this way in person, to people, you know OR dont know, because this medium is TOO safe. Safe spaces ARE NOT your solution, trust me; and I will explain.

Hi everyone! 馃挆

I've been working on discovering and practicing different things that help me in the healing process from trauma. Generally, when I research this sort of work, I get a lot of resources about things like breathing exercises, mindfulness, and ways of generally calming down. However, personally those methods haven't been as helpful to me as some other ones that I think don't get the spotlight as much.
So, here, I think you need to say WHY these methods do not help you much. You are full of emotive perspective, and no such much full of details. This means you are likely more desire oriented than fear oriented.
I'm curious, for those of you living with trauma, what helps you?

Although you may not agree with this, EVERYONE has trauma. I would define trauma as any (in this case, your case emotional) damage that is chronic and that one is unable to balance, thus, one is 'forced' to live with it. As an extreme example, someone could have a missing arm due to injury and of course, so far, they cannot regrow arms easily. Healing is a word used to describe any available process for balance. If your body could balance a missing arm, it would, and some animals do, through regeneration. Likewise, emotive trauma would be healed if it could be healed, so, for many reasons, it 'cannot' be healed presently.

Remember that 'things as they are' is only a current state. There is a friendly tautology in life and that is, 'things change'. Focus on that; RATHER than focusing on 'things stay the same', which is a delusion. It is NEVER true that things stay the same.

I'd love to know what you've discovered that works for you, as broad or as idiosyncratic as you'd like. I think we could use some more time discovering and sharing the diversity of ways we can heal.
There is only one path to healing. That path is moral growth. All healing is moral growth.

Morality encompasses all three dimensions of love, fear, anger, and desire; which could be said to be, mind, body, and soul.

How is healing accomplished?

Healing happens when the other two emotions are used to balance the already string emotion. That is to say, the weak emotion is a problem, always. But, the strong emotion is just as much a problem, and maybe more of one. This is surprising to people and they resist this truth. This resistance by choice of truth is what is stopping you from healing.

As for me, I'm in the process of being diagnosed with C-PTSD and the trauma is primarily emotional/mental instead of physical.
Well, let's chat about that. Do you know who mostly has PTSD? People who have been in high action environments, anger environments.

The disorder I think arises when the normal stressors are absent and ... expected. Why is that, do you think? What emotion is involved mostly? What does that mean?

There's years of coping mechanisms that I've fallen into that are kind of destructive to me now, and I get a lot of symptoms of depression and anxiety, too. Some symptoms of dissociation and depression have made me think I even have ADD, but I think it's just another trauma response state.
Well, all these categories and labels will lead you astray.

It would help immensely if you have details about the specific trauma you face. Nothing has yet personalized your trauma. All we know is that you are under a lot of stress, anxiety, and depressive states.

What's helped me a lot has been more active and outward methods- things that are actually high energy. (I guess anything to get me out of my head and engaging in the real world again). Dancing has actually been SO helpful to me. I'll feel like an idiot dancing around to music when I'm freaking out, but it works. Just really going as wild as possible. I think it's funny and powerful and disarming. My therapist even encourages shaking to release pent up energy. Something that doesn't deny fight or flight responses but acknowledges and vents them outward instead.
This is EXACTLY what I was about to recommend. So, I can explain.

Your issue is anger.

Anger is the emotion that allows one to stand against the entire world, everything in it, with confidence, no matter what. Anger demands its right to be, and be calm if need be, and be angry if need be.

You have pent up your anger, your essence, your being. WHY is unknown as you do not share enough details. That is also effectively NOT RELEVANT. Because the emotion of order and restraint, of analysis paralysis, is FEAR. You over-express fear and under express anger. That is all.

Moral growth is always increasing each of the emotions. That is fear, anger, and desire. But right now you need more anger, and maybe more desire, because your fear is jacking you up.

The quintessential situation is the kid climbing the diving board. They get to the top and ... fear. Anger must be used to increase presence in the now. Anger is summoned by loudness, presence. Anger is summoned by body awareness and dropping mind (fear). The body runs on intuition and demands its space. Use the space (we need more cowbell!)(look that up if you do not know the reference)

So, you are right that activity is better for you when you are being troubled.

Comfort and nostalgic sensory things that remind me of good and safe times help too: lapsang souchong tea that reminds me of campfires from being a kid with my family, music from movies and games that comforted me, even just self soothing by bundling up in blankets. Purposefully remembering good times is a new one for me, and it's a little hard at first, so I might actually start writing them down on cards that I can look at when things are bad again. Certain statements that help me out of worn thought spirals help sometimes, too.
So, this is VERY revealing. You are almost certainly a desire type. Desire is tricky. It lies to you, as does fear. Anger is honest.

Desire lies to you by proclaiming secretly to you that you are worthless. This is a tautology. You have to address this truth with anger and fear. So, desire does this by suggesting to you (correctly) that if you want something, you are insufficient unto yourself. That is correct in one sense and a lie in another. This juxtaposition of a delusion with the truth is a common pattern in earning wisdom.

The lie is that this affects your inherent worthiness, your right to exits and be. The truth is that if you want something there is something FUNCTIONALLY missing in your choices. So you can choose to address that function by growth in patterns which is skills and fear. Or you can address this growth by anger, denying the want, saying that since you are equally worthy to all, no matter what, you choose to release yourself from that want as unnecessary. This is quite tricky, but it can be done.

So, just being active is a COPING strategy. It DOES NOT address the core problem. Until you do that, the coping strategy may take over your scenario. Then you'll be dancing 24/7 and then ... you'll need more, and you cant. So, what then?

The moral therapy of getting angry and demanding that fear recede, of getting angry and demanding that desires be quiet, is a wise way to go. You have not really said what you want other than a therapy, a coping mechanism. Why would you do that? You need to get beyond merely coping. You need to live and exalt your life.

Another line of thought that has been very interesting to me somewhat rejects or counters western psychology's insistence that healing from trauma is purely or even mostly the task of the individual. Especially for those who are still living in traumatic conditions. I think a lot of the symptoms of my mental illness fall away when I am allowed to live communally, to function very clearly as a part of a group, to feel surrounded by family and community, to be social more than not. To generally be allowed to exist beyond a purely self-centered mode of living. This isn't ground breaking stuff, but I think all too often we're told to somehow just get better on our own when maybe we really do just need other people on a level most don't usually get these days. Especially with quarantine.
I would be careful to go down this path. Losing yourself amid the group IS NOT actual. It's delusional. I am not saying that you cannot use a delusion to cope, you can. But I am saying that you cannot use a delusion to heal. It does not work that way.

The self and the group are both identities, which are both delusions, ultimately, that do more harm than good as false limits. Still, I would not deny even a pleasant coping strategy to someone who was experiencing trauma.

Ultimately I need more details to offer you better advice, but, the core solution will always be to get your anger up to the level of your fear and permanently. When you do that you will actually heal. It will not be a coping scenario.

Anyway, I appreciate if anyone would like to share something that helps them, big or little- seemingly intuitive and tried and true or unique to yourself :)
Intuition, knowing without knowing, knowing in essence, is ALL anger.
 
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I don't know if this is something all ISFJs share, but for me in particular... the "trauma(s)" that I've experienced/endured over the years (particularly between the years of 1996 and 2000) are the "roots" of my "identity". Without these trauma(s), I wouldn't be the person I am today; or at the very least, the version of person whom is posting today. Honestly... I'm not looking for ways to "heal". I'm looking for ways to "cope". I've been listening to a lot of music lately (mostly synthwave and vaporwave). But between the COVID, the social unrest and the unnecessary tension between my co-workers and I... I'm 99.99% burnt the eff out. So starting 6am, I'll officially be on vacation until the 16th. Don't know what I'll be doing to unwind, but we'll just have to wait and see I suppose.
 

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Hey, thanks for taking the time out to really read and respond to this.

So, here, I think you need to say WHY these methods do not help you much. You are full of emotive perspective, and no such much full of details. This means you are likely more desire oriented than fear oriented.
I guess I should have been more clear with the purpose of this thread! I'm not so much looking to offer up all the details of my particular trauma and individual journey. I'm lucky to now have a therapist and way more importantly some friends that know a lot of my history over the years with which I discuss things a lot and receive support. I was more curious as to how other people find their own ways of reentering life, healing, coping, renewing, accepting, etc. I'm not looking so much to have this be a thread based on my issues (or purely to find ways specifically to deal with my issues) but more of a way to be exposed to a diversity of thought around the subject- I think it's important to see these things from other perspectives and systems of thinking. For example, I find your model around morality and its dimensions pretty new to me and it's good to have this way of thinking available! I think I am often just presented with the various perspectives of the therapists I have had or the friends I have had, and they're pretty limited sometimes.

Although you may not agree with this, EVERYONE has trauma. I would define trauma as any (in this case, your case emotional) damage that is chronic and that one is unable to balance, thus, one is 'forced' to live with it. As an extreme example, someone could have a missing arm due to injury and of course, so far, they cannot regrow arms easily. Healing is a word used to describe any available process for balance. If your body could balance a missing arm, it would, and some animals do, through regeneration. Likewise, emotive trauma would be healed if it could be healed, so, for many reasons, it 'cannot' be healed presently.

Remember that 'things as they are' is only a current state. There is a friendly tautology in life and that is, 'things change'. Focus on that; RATHER than focusing on 'things stay the same', which is a delusion. It is NEVER true that things stay the same.
I 100% agree that everyone has trauma. I would say that life is fundamentally traumatic because of the passage of time, because of death, change, and because we are so firmly in the illusion that we are beyond those things. I guess it's worth mentioning that I'm mostly a Buddhist at this point. I have let go of trying to recover things that have been lost. In fact, I feel very completely like a different person post-trauma. However, I have found it strengthening to slowly find ways of connecting myself now to myself before- finding the continuities I had thought were lost. In fact, being on this site has been very helpful in this regard! I read what I've written a long time ago and recognize myself again. I'm not the same, I'm not intact, but maybe there are parts that made it through. And that's been important to me.

There is only one path to healing. That path is moral growth. All healing is moral growth.

Morality encompasses all three dimensions of love, fear, anger, and desire; which could be said to be, mind, body, and soul.

How is healing accomplished?

Healing happens when the other two emotions are used to balance the already string emotion. That is to say, the weak emotion is a problem, always. But, the strong emotion is just as much a problem, and maybe more of one. This is surprising to people and they resist this truth. This resistance by choice of truth is what is stopping you from healing.
It took me a second to absorb this, but I actually do agree that healing is moral growth. I am developing and discovering more clearly what it is I believe to be good and how I should live with that in mind. The concept of unconditional love and compassion and the sanctity of all life, have been guiding me to look at and treat others differently, and thus myself. I think things like everyone deserves peace, safety, times of joy and belonging, the ability to witness beauty, etc. And I realize that compared to our normal ways of living that's actually a radical statement when it is unconditional. When I work on extending this compassion and goodwill to others, I find it easier and easier to extend it to myself.

This is EXACTLY what I was about to recommend. So, I can explain.

Your issue is anger.

Anger is the emotion that allows one to stand against the entire world, everything in it, with confidence, no matter what. Anger demands its right to be, and be calm if need be, and be angry if need be.

You have pent up your anger, your essence, your being. WHY is unknown as you do not share enough details. That is also effectively NOT RELEVANT. Because the emotion of order and restraint, of analysis paralysis, is FEAR. You over-express fear and under express anger. That is all.

Moral growth is always increasing each of the emotions. That is fear, anger, and desire. But right now you need more anger, and maybe more desire, because your fear is jacking you up.
I wanted to bring up the subject of anger now because I think that my firm belief in the sanctity of life, and what all life deserves- and that compassion in the face of, well, the real world- allows me to be more fully angry. A righteous and protective anger that does allow me to act for others and for myself. You're right about my tendency to "over-express fear and under express anger." I have come a long way in this, and I still have a ways to go. But you would not believe how long I've already come. If I stayed the way I was as a kid, how I was raised, I really wouldn't be alive because I would never have defended myself. In terms of how long I have to go, I will say that participating and volunteering in local organizations, advocating for others and raising each other up have been incredibly healing to me. We all deserve better, and we can (with anger and compassion) work to supply what we need.

Well, let's chat about that. Do you know who mostly has PTSD? People who have been in high action environments, anger environments.

The disorder I think arises when the normal stressors are absent and ... expected. Why is that, do you think? What emotion is involved mostly? What does that mean?
I will say that I have C-PTSD which stands for complex PTSD. It's more associated with longterm abuse, especially child abuse, which is what I experienced among other things. BTW, I actually do share your opinion on labels. It's just something I use as shorthand to communicate with people who need to see those to understand. I also see things like depression, anxiety, ADD-like symptoms, etc, as just descriptors for the symptoms of the root of the problem, which is a combination of trauma and harmful upbringing. (Which I say C-PSTD as a shorthand for)

I am just starting to really contact the underlying emotions here without suppressing them and without judgment. At the bottom, there's love, my old identity and a sense of belonging. Then there's grief, shock, feelings of abandonment and betrayal, just a very deep sadness... anger is somewhere here in between.... and then in the next layer, (maybe only there upon the suppression or redirection of anger towards myself) disappointment in myself, shame, fear, groundlessness, confusion. At the top there are simply all these symptoms of depression, anxiety, escapism, inaction. It feels like layers, if that makes sense. If I pay attention to just the top, I just don't know why "I just can't do stuff". When I reach the bottom, the heart of the matter, I still have some very painful questions I do not think will ever be resolved or will ever make sense. (I suppose, that is one definition of trauma. Something unresolvable.) Mostly, the question is "WHY?"

The lie is that this affects your inherent worthiness, your right to exits and be. The truth is that if you want something there is something FUNCTIONALLY missing in your choices. So you can choose to address that function by growth in patterns which is skills and fear. Or you can address this growth by anger, denying the want, saying that since you are equally worthy to all, no matter what, you choose to release yourself from that want as unnecessary. This is quite tricky, but it can be done.

So, just being active is a COPING strategy. It DOES NOT address the core problem. Until you do that, the coping strategy may take over your scenario. Then you'll be dancing 24/7 and then ... you'll need more, and you cant. So, what then?

The moral therapy of getting angry and demanding that fear recede, of getting angry and demanding that desires be quiet, is a wise way to go. You have not really said what you want other than a therapy, a coping mechanism. Why would you do that? You need to get beyond merely coping. You need to live and exalt your life.
"You need to live and exalt your life." Thanks for that, that's something that'll rattle around in my brain for a while.

I suppose that I haven't gone into what being active means for me. I'm an artist and when I dance in this situation (once I get over initial embarrassment or shame) I try to express how I'm feeling, or what I want, and sometimes I don't dance to dance music or music at all- sometimes it's just noise, or nothing. And I guess it reminds me of experimental dance- movements that convey emotion, vent energy. I guess it's also art, now that I think about it. Expression. And sometimes this does let me express anger when I can. Or sadness. Or fear. Or even humor, which is another powerful force I need to tap into to deescalate my spirals a lot. Even beyond emotional expression, it feels like regaining territory. I give myself the ability to take back my own body. To loudly take up space, to exist.

But yeah if I don't tap into that every time and I just go "oh gonna hop on the treadmill, that's my happy pill for this mystery problem" then I can see it falling into a mere coping strategy.

I would be careful to go down this path. Losing yourself amid the group IS NOT actual. It's delusional. I am not saying that you cannot use a delusion to cope, you can. But I am saying that you cannot use a delusion to heal. It does not work that way.

The self and the group are both identities, which are both delusions, ultimately, that do more harm than good as false limits. Still, I would not deny even a pleasant coping strategy to someone who was experiencing trauma.
I always feel like I have to defend this thought with a lot of caveats for western people. I have already escaped the cult I was born into (which is a whole other story) as well as dodged quite a few since then. I'm part of a LOT of groups but I'm always careful to guard my own self as fundamental, and larger than that of any group. Larger or nonexistent, however you want to see it. I guess what I'm saying is that I think that community is undervalued here, and that it has powers to heal on very simple and maybe necessary levels. Doesn't have to be all or nothing, totally losing yourself, but I also don't think being self-obsessed in isolation is better (which a lot

Wait, actually do you ascribe to a lot of Taoist and or Buddhist thought? Just wondering. Not to put more labels on things lol, I just feel like these ideas are close to home.

Ultimately I need more details to offer you better advice, but, the core solution will always be to get your anger up to the level of your fear and permanently. When you do that you will actually heal. It will not be a coping scenario.

Intuition, knowing without knowing, knowing in essence, is ALL anger.
Thanks again for offering your words. I'll sit with them.
 

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I don't know if this is something all ISFJs share, but for me in particular... the "trauma(s)" that I've experienced/endured over the years (particularly between the years of 1996 and 2000) are the "roots" of my "identity". Without these trauma(s), I wouldn't be the person I am today; or at the very least, the version of person whom is posting today. Honestly... I'm not looking for ways to "heal". I'm looking for ways to "cope". I've been listening to a lot of music lately (mostly synthwave and vaporwave). But between the COVID, the social unrest and the unnecessary tension between my co-workers and I... I'm 99.99% burnt the eff out. So starting 6am, I'll officially be on vacation until the 16th. Don't know what I'll be doing to unwind, but we'll just have to wait and see I suppose.
I definitely feel the same way. I had an identity pre-trauma, but I feel so disconnected now that I feel like a completely different person. Who I am now is formed by trauma and that can't be removed. I don't think it should be- doing that would be denying the truth. No matter what words we use for it, I think living after trauma means not denying it or trying to go back to the way things were. It's learning to live again in a new world, as a new person.

I feel you on the burnout. I don't think being quarantined is mentally healthy for anyone. It's not the rest we sometimes try to pretend it is. I hope your vacation goes well and you can unplug. I think I'm going to try to go camping next week. But it's all hard, since I don't have a car and rely on public transportation :(
 

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I definitely feel the same way. I had an identity pre-trauma, but I feel so disconnected now that I feel like a completely different person. Who I am now is formed by trauma and that can't be removed. I don't think it should be- doing that would be denying the truth. No matter what words we use for it, I think living after trauma means not denying it or trying to go back to the way things were. It's learning to live again in a new world, as a new person.

I feel you on the burnout. I don't think being quarantined is mentally healthy for anyone. It's not the rest we sometimes try to pretend it is. I hope your vacation goes well and you can unplug. I think I'm going to try to go camping next week. But it's all hard, since I don't have a car and rely on public transportation :(
I don't have a problem with being quarantined. Hell, I thrive on it. I'm a loner who exhibits strong schizoid like tendencies. Unfortunately, I've just been experiencing an uncomfortably high burnout rate lately. And It's taking me longer and longer to "recharge my internal batteries" as the weeks progess and the needless B.S. people spew at work intensifies. Simply put, It's people and their fragile egos that are burning me out needlessly.

 

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Nobody likes being yelled, cursed at, and bullied. I think leaving toxic environments and noting down the abuse if it becomes chronic and inflammatory is an obligation
Yeah, but what happens when you have people in power who are notorious for choosing not to do squat about it? Better yet, what happens when the "toxic environment" gets even worse than had you not said anything at all in the first place? Reporting it is one thing, but having to deal with the fallout of retaliation is another problem entirely.
 

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I'm curious, for those of you living with trauma, what helps you?
I'd love to know what you've discovered that works for you, as broad or as idiosyncratic as you'd like. I think we could use some more time discovering and sharing the diversity of ways we can heal.
I, too, have a history of emotional/mental trauma (family alcoholism). I got away from the direct trauma more than 30 years ago, but sometimes it still haunts me.

Some things that have helped with healing:

  • Physical activity (I have arthritis so I don't dance, but I use a recumbent bike and pretend I'm world champion :))
  • Journal writing
  • Honest affirmations - I say honest because something like "I am becoming more and more extroverted every day" isn't going to happen for this INFJ. My affirmation would be more like "I can smile and talk to one person today."
  • Acting "as if" I can respond to a situation in a healthy way. For instance, a long time ago I met an authority figure I'll call H. H smiled a lot, talked to me and not at me, was kind and friendly, and could de-escalate conflict. I wanted what she had. So I practice smiling at people more, using good listening skills, being warmer and friendlier, and trying not to freeze at the slightest hint of conflict. Don't get me wrong - all of these things are difficult and I have a long way to go until it feels natural. I give myself credit for trying, though. And I realize that H probably isn't perfect at it all the time either.
I like this topic, and I'm learning a lot from the other posts. :)
 

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Yeah, but what happens when you have people in power who are notorious for choosing not to do squat about it? Better yet, what happens when the "toxic environment" gets even worse than had you not said anything at all in the first place? Reporting it is one thing, but having to deal with the fallout of retaliation is another problem entirely.
I hope you can find yourself in an environment that isn't so toxic to you sometime. But I totally understand not being in a position to advocate for yourself or escape in the moment. Sending you good vibes and I hope you can get some rest soon
 

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I, too, have a history of emotional/mental trauma (family alcoholism). I got away from the direct trauma more than 30 years ago, but sometimes it still haunts me.

Some things that have helped with healing:

  • Physical activity (I have arthritis so I don't dance, but I use a recumbent bike and pretend I'm world champion :))
  • Journal writing
  • Honest affirmations - I say honest because something like "I am becoming more and more extroverted every day" isn't going to happen for this INFJ. My affirmation would be more like "I can smile and talk to one person today."
  • Acting "as if" I can respond to a situation in a healthy way. For instance, a long time ago I met an authority figure I'll call H. H smiled a lot, talked to me and not at me, was kind and friendly, and could de-escalate conflict. I wanted what she had. So I practice smiling at people more, using good listening skills, being warmer and friendlier, and trying not to freeze at the slightest hint of conflict. Don't get me wrong - all of these things are difficult and I have a long way to go until it feels natural. I give myself credit for trying, though. And I realize that H probably isn't perfect at it all the time either.
I like this topic, and I'm learning a lot from the other posts. :)
Thanks so much for sharing what's been helpful to you! I totally forgot to mention journaling, which has been key. I find it hard to work up the energy to keep doing it sometimes but idk if I'd even be alive without having journaled for so long.

I also like what you say about affirmations that are honest- I think it's an important skill to try to be positive and motivational to yourself but not be bullshitting yourself either. Definitely hard to grasp for me personally, most of the time, but I feel like it's something that gets better with practice.

Oh and using a good example of someone else has been really pivotal too! It's so subconscious sometimes I don't even notice it, so thanks for writing about it. Sometimes I think it's crucial for us to have real life examples of how we might be able to be, and despite everything just give it a shot.

And thanks, I hope more people keep sharing :)
 

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I like that you mentioned spirituality.

Spirituality is the one thing that helped me pull through, and also remembering people who mattered the most. People who left an long-lasting impact, like family- those who dedicated to their time to nourish us, to love us. I relish in those memories through songs and music.

And the simple things. Enjoying the stars at night- eases the pain. Reminds us of who we are, and where we came from. Helps to guide us along our own destiny- past, current, and future.

Sometimes I also like to light incense and say a prayer to those who have long past and gone. It is a part of Buddhist tradition (I grew up Catholic- but I was always attracted to Buddhism). Buddhist philosophy has really nurtured my healing process. I find religion to be quite the opposite. And sometimes, I visit old graves of many family members (I have a lot of them). It's healing to remember our ancestors and relatives. And also, the Mother Earth. I find healing when I plant flowers, or enjoy nature. Sometimes I'll plant flowers for certain individuals who already passed on. Watching it grow from seed, and then cutting those flowers to place on the graves of lost loved ones helps. Photography. Photography is zen to me. Photography helps me to feel at one with nature. I love enjoying scenic peaceful views. The tranquility of it is a natural elixir.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
@strawberryLola

Yes! I feel like we're very much on the same wavelength. I was raised Catholic and always felt extremely called in a spiritual way, even though religion didn't really click for me. I've read that trauma often breaks ones' whole system for understanding the world (terrible things break the mold of what should be allowed or possible) and it definitely axed the last of my monotheistic beliefs for me, personally. Buddhism to me is straight therapy, haha. It's very easy to secularize, even, though I don't want to do that completely. It's important to cultivate beliefs again, whether moral or spiritual or both, on your own terms

What you said about simple things reminds me of something I used to do during my darkest time that I felt, inexplicably at the time, was critical. I just had to sleep with my windows open in the summer, just so I could hear the crickets. And that would calm me down and help me sleep. I guess it makes me, and my problems, feel small again- and less alone, less wrong. Funny enough I get the same effect these days walking through the city and just observing all the people with their own lives. Intense spirals centered on the self ease up a little in the face of the rest of the world.

I also feel the same connection to nature. I don't think everyone is blessed with a positive relationship to the natural world but I was really lucky to have grown up with it. I think my world gets restored a little every time I return to nature. It more or less stays the same, it's beautiful, it just feels right. I connect to it a lot with painting myself. It feels like a devotional act. Sometimes art, nature, spirituality, therapy- it's happening all at once
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Oh something else I just remembered that I wanted to add here!

Pre-covid, I used to go to a lot of noise, punk, and industrial shows. You'd go there and basically get hurt- apart from even the music and darkness and flashing lights, I'd get thrown across the room, pushed, punched in the face, just really beaten up lol. But it felt so incredibly healing. A lot of the times the musicians are making art about their own trauma- lots of which I can relate to, and resonate with me. One time I went up to Heather (the singer in the 2nd video) after a show and told them "Thank you.... that was really therapy for me." and they went "Thanks, that's what it is for me, too." I think it's helpful, even if you're blocked from your own catharsis, to go and experience another person giving a voice and a body to what you're feeling. And it can be a big release and a healing process. I think sometimes it looks trite to outside observers but everyone in the room has it coming from the heart in an important way


Here are some videos of my favorites.... of course this is not at all what it's like to be there but it's the best I can do from here ;)

866620

Dreamcrusher:



866621

HIDE: (caution: flashing lights!!)




866622

Deli Girls
 
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