In terms of recovery after trauma, child loss, or PTSD I think the word “healing”can be misleading. It brings images of scabs and stitches; fading bruises and non-tannable blemishes. The mysterious inner workings of our circulatory system and the magic of time. The body is designed to protect and restore itself. So it can be confusing when we see someone who has experienced extreme circumstances or loss and wonder what is holding them back from fixing themselves and moving forward.
Healing is natural.
Give it time.
Learn to move on.
It would be unfair to assess if progress is happening from a limited list of qualifications. Almost assuredly it is, even if the ‘what’ and ‘how’ are unmeasurable. Injuries of this nature and magnitude include physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual ramifications. And just as the body clots to prevent bleeding out, it also tries to protect the mind and soul from being overwhelmed. Though,unlike lab results that indicate deficiencies and show abnormalities, trauma does not have a report card.
Causes and triggers are unknown.
Wounds are layered deep within.
Many stay dormant until it is safer.
Rebuilding after loss is not natural. Unless waking up inside an abandoned warehouse in the middle of a war zone and being told by a complete stranger that there is no one qualified to help, but to look around and there should be some stuff to help get by and to make sure to remove the shrapnel as soon as possible is considered normal. All this on top of paying the bills, feeding the kids, attending concerts, volunteering on weekends, and staying hydrated. The task seems impossible, but this is not a job that anybody else can do.
So it’s survival.
As long as it takes.
And then one day the patient IS the surgeon.
Without 8 years of med school or residency.
The operation is messy. It starts and it stops over and over again. The doctor is untrained and doesn’t even know what to look for. New wounds are uncovered. Small victories are won. Progress, setbacks, intensity, and rest. There are no stand-ins. It will be the most intimate procedure ever preformed and only one is qualified. Digging into the depths of brokenness to make sense of the pain. Nothing can be left untouched.
Recognizing what is felt.
Until there is no more distress.
This is no bandaid repair. This task requires strength and bravery. Fear cannot rule the heart, but rather determination and persistence. And the ‘leaning in’ to those you are loved by.
Just to heal.