There is a deep, lingering pain that many people carry from past wounds. It can result in a desire to use drugs or drink alcohol to cover it up, numb out, or just ignore the pain. It will still be there, waiting to be dealt with, but the person who tries to cover it up will end up feeling more pain as a result of their choices that come out of that trauma. Learn more about the signs of healing from past trauma and how to help a loved one who is struggling.
Culture of Trauma
In the western world, healing is about finding wholeness and restoring someone to their original state. Unfortunately, human beings are deeply flawed and cannot be repaired to be brand new once they have experienced brokenness and pain. To repair the damage is to do it in such a way it looks as though the damage never occurred, but it still lies underneath the surface. Emotional healing is not like physical healing, but the same principle applies: everyone has to work through the pain to emerge a new, transformed person as a result of having done this hard work. It is a sort of ‘Kintsugi,’ or the Japanese art of healing that seems to be the best metaphor. When the item is broken, there are precious metals poured into the cracks to repair it, forming a new pattern and shape. The repaired object remains itself, while also bearing the scars of resilience and healing.
Shape of Healing
When recovering from past trauma, the healing will look different for each person. It will also have some similar context in that every person can utilize tools from therapists and others who can start them on the journey to uncovering and healing their trauma.
- Name those feelings: emotional intelligence is learned, but not in environments where trauma overrides this valuable tool. When shame and fear are more present, people quite often don’t feel they can say what they need or speak up for themselves. They usually end up victims or abusers who seek to control others with their behaviors. In therapy, they can learn skills to cultivate emotional intelligence, develop boundaries, and learn to name those feelings
- No second-guessing: self-confidence is key for people in recovery. It can feel difficult to develop this if it has not been supported. Old scripts may express a lack of expectation for change, and they challenge every decision, making a person wonder if they can ever do anything right (by themselves or others)
- Less sensitive to rejection: healing from trauma looks like losing anxiety over being rejected. Being on high alert someone is going to cause pain is no way to live, but many do who experience trauma. They are afraid to get hurt so ‘wait for the other shoe to drop’ in work, life, and relationships. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy to expect this kind of emotional response. It drives people away but eventually, with help, a person learns how to lose sensitivity to this, build trust, and have confidence in their choices and the ability of others to love them well (without causing undue harm or pain)
No matter how your journey forward from trauma in recovery from addiction, you can learn how to anticipate stressful situations and cope with them effectively. You can become proficient at being calmer and less reactive. The journey can teach how to take it slow, but still, expect change to come. Practice self-compassion when reverting to old habits and expect it will not be easy, but it will get better with time (and patience).
The Last Resort provides a safe, supportive environment for men in a retreat-like setting. Our goal is to help you develop patience and support for the journey of healing from addiction. We offer therapy that helps you learn how to navigate trauma while dealing with addiction recovery with confidence. Call us to find out more: 512-750-6750.