This photo was a facebook memory from 3 years ago. I am using it to talk about the trials of life, recovery and being kind to yourself.
Background to the photo (tl/dr: I was ill and homeless)
At the May bank holiday, I was at a car boot sale and went to pick up a box and in doing so, injured my already unstable spine. The outcome of that was a spinal cord compression and going from a self transferring wheelchair user with some walking, to needing a hoist, needing help to turn in bed, the whole deal. Whilst in hospital, I got a no-fault eviction notice. I found my current house with one week to go until homelessness It’s a long way from anyone I knew at that time and of course I needed lots of care which I had difficulty getting. All in all a very traumatic time.
The emotional response
Seeing that photo gave me such a rush of emotion, I was shaking, tears came. I was right back in the trauma, yet at the time, I didn’t cry I just fought for what I needed.
Time passed, and now I can feel the emotions that I didn’t have at the time. These things happen to all of us, not all of us will break our backs or get evicted but we all go through traumatic events, often without really realising at the time how traumatic it is.
Only now I’m recovered (or as recovered as I’m going to be) and I have time to feel the emotions. I am being kind to myself, giving myself time to process it all over again, to grieve my old life and then plough on with my new life. Making every use of the abilities I do have. Having adventures, being fit and just generally having the full life that 3 years ago, I thought was impossible.
When something from the past hits you in this way, be kind to yourself. Take some time to work through those emotions, to recognise all your achievements both at the time of the trauma and since. If when this happens, the negative emotions drag on and you are struggling with your day to day, you may need medical help, don’t allow the thing to damage your new life.
Sources of help
Your own GP can help you access therapy and if needed will have a crisis team should trauma hit you so hard you are unable to cope
mental health charity with lots of information and support including in person via their network of local organisation (www.mind.org.uk)
Lots of online support and resources. Regular email checkins for desired (www.blurtitout.org)
Campaign Against Living Miserably. Support and campaigning to prevent suicide (www.thecalmzone.net)
Support at times of crisis with lots of ways of contacting them (www.samaritans.org)