What do people suffering the loss of a loved one and survivors of violent crimes, accidents and natural disasters all have in common?
A. They’ve survived traumatic events.
B. They know what it feels like to have their lives spin out of control.
C. They hope to recover—but they’re afraid.
D. All of the above.
If you answered “all of the above,” you’re right. Maybe you know how it feels to live though something awful, something that changes your world forever. Maybe you have a friend who is struggling with trauma. Or maybe you’re struggling right now.
Healing will come in time—if you let it. It’s a process, and it’s different for everyone. Where do you begin?
15 Healing Steps
- Recognize that you are not responsible for what happened.
- Recognize that whatever you feel is a normal reaction to an abnormal event.
- Cut yourself some slack.
- Talk to people you trust about your thoughts and feelings.
- Do what it takes to feel safe and secure.
- Stay connected to people who care about you.
- Don’t withdraw—try get back to your normal routine as soon as possible.
- Exercise, take a walk, meditate—they may all help you relax.
- Get plenty of rest.
- Take empowering action—whether that means filing an official report against whomever hurt you or owning up to your feelings in a journal.
- Recognize the emotional triggers that make you feel bad and find ways to cope with them.
- Be patient with yourself—healing takes time.
- Seek professional help if talking to friends and family doesn’t make you feel better.
- Use all the resources that are available to you.
- Remember you are not alone.
For more information, contact the Carruth Center for Psychological and Psychiatric Services (304.293.4431, 24 hour).