Yesterday, I posted a difficult story about myself. Yesterday is when I finally started to allow myself to heal from that emotional wound. It took almost 20 years before I allowed myself to start healing.
How many of us hold onto old emotional wounds like a tattered blanket around us? We beat ourselves up for choices we made, choices other people have made that affect us, and other outside forces that wound us emotionally.
When do we know that it’s time to throw that worn out, self-loathing blanket of emotional wounds? For me it was yesterday – 19 years, 8 months later. For you it could take a lot less time or perhaps never. It’s up to us to decide for ourselves.
Most people will say, and I did too – don’t judge me on my past mistakes. This is very true, but do we practice it for ourselves? How many times do we continue to replay events or conversations in our heads with judgement a key factor? How often do we berate ourselves for not doing something or doing something differently to change an outcome?
We are human, therefore we are fallible. We make mistakes, we make hard decisions, we choose to do or not do things that we regret later. As a human, we hopefully learn from these things and grow into a better version of ourselves.
How do we grow and better our lives? Sometimes it is as “simple” as speaking about something we did or had done to us to someone. Though, to be honest it’s never simple. I chose to finally share my story publicly. This decision was simple yet difficult for me, but I knew in my heart it was the right thing to do and the right time to do it. And yes, I shed tears when I shared at the rally and when writing my blog. I cried a bit then and will most likely shed more as the healing process continues.
Others, it may be talking about it to a therapist or counselor. This is a great way to handle old emotional wounds as you have someone who can guide you through acceptance of what was and moving forward toward a more whole version of yourself. It’s a safe environment where you can feel comfortable sharing your innermost thoughts. I highly encourage and recommend therapy as needed.
Another way is to join a support group. For those who are the children, adult children, significant others, family members, etc. of addicts, Al-Anon is a fantastic organization to help them. There are so many support groups out there, just do a Google search and you’ll find plenty in your area. Support groups can also be found on Facebook, which can be helpful.
Emotional wounds are the hardest to heal. They affect us on every level, a lot of times without us realizing it. They hamper our emotional and spiritual growth. They eat away at self-esteem, self-worth and self-love. Emotional wounds can sometimes never be healed because they are too painful. These wounds become part of our every day existence and it can seem you will unravel if you strip them away.
The benefit for attacking the issues at the core of the emotional wounds is a sense of freedom. Emotional wounds can feel like a prison, but when you address these wounds and begin confronting them it feels like a key unlocked that prison. It takes time to walk through that door and put it behind you, so realize healing is a process and takes time.
The healing from an emotional wound or from several can take a very long time. Perhaps we never stop healing from it. Like grief, it can sneak up on you when you least expect it. Some random thing will trigger the tears, the emotions. That’s okay. It’s part of the process.
We’re allowed to cry. We’re allowed to be angry. We’re allowed to feel sad. We’re also allowed to smile, to laugh and to feel joy. Most importantly we are allowed to love and be loved.