Trauma recovery is a process where small steps often matter the most. Here are some subtle signs :
- Feeling a wide range of feelings – Your emotional landscape often becomes more varied as you heal. After trauma, many of us get stuck in feelings like anger or shame, or we might feel completely numb and detached. Accessing other emotions can feel scary and be early impossible. The ability to experience a wider range of emotions and being able to feel your feelings (even the uncomfortable ones) can be a big sign of healing and recovery for trauma survivors.
- Triggers no longer control your life – Especially in early stages of trauma recovery, triggers may control our lives: we might be triggered by very “minor” things on an everyday basis, and the triggers can have really scary and intense impacts. You might till get triggered, even if you’ve been recovering and healing for years! It’s a natural response to trauma. However, a big sign of recovery is the realisation that triggers no longer ruin your week: you might be triggered, but you’re able to move on from it and process it.
- Increased self-awareness – Life and our trauma responses can be rally, really confusing to navigate early on in our recovery process. You might feel like you have no idea what going on or why you do the things you do. In recovery, things often start to make a bit more sense. You gain more self-awareness and you start understanding your triggers and behaviour. You’re able to communicate your triggers to others, and you’re overall feeling less confused.
- Being more balanced in your relationships – Trauma can make us hyper-independent: it can make u feel like we can only rely on ourselves, and asking for help is dangerously vulnerable. On the other hand, trauma can also make you feel like your dependent on others: you might depend on external reassurances, and feel like you can’t cope alone. When you’re recovering, you often gain a more balanced approach towards your relationships: it’s not as black and white anymore. You are able to ask for help, but you don’t underestimate your own abilities, either.
- Choosing self-compassion – After trauma, we might struggle with shame, self blame, and even heavy feelings of self hatred and inadequacy. Trauma recovery often comes hand in hand with being more skilled at applying a self compassionate perspective to your own life. Instead of beating yourself up, you choose to view yourself through a lens of acceptance and compassion. Even if that doesn’t happen every time, practicing self compassion in small dose can make a big difference over time.
- Experiencing setbacks – Now, this might seem counterintuitive, but hear me out. Recovery is a not a linear process. Experiencing setbacks, relapse, and steps back is a common and normal part of recovery, and it’ a sign that you’ve already comes very far. Setbacks don’t take you back where you started: you already have all the knowledge that you didn’t have when you first started out. Setbacks give you a chance to adopt new perspective and unlock new doors. They’re not signs of failure.
What else would you add?