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Can You Recover From Trauma

Ever feel like your life is cluttered with memories and feelings that weigh you down?
Ever looked at a scar and remembered the pain it used to cause?”

Listen to the podcast episode, or read below:


Scars tell stories. . .

They remind us of the battles we've fought, both physical and emotional.

But what if those emotional scars, the remnants of trauma, didn't have to be a constant source of pain? 

Is it possible to truly recover from trauma and find hope beyond the shadows of our past?

“The sun was shining brightly outside, yet the room was charged with anticipation. Valerie and JM took a deep breath.., 

This discussion might feel like we're diving into deep waters, but believe me, it's worth every second. The question that's been dancing on everyone's lips: 

Can someone truly recover from trauma?

And today, we’re not just answering, we’re pulling back the curtain to uncover the truth...

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Life throws curveballs at us - sometimes. They hit hard enough to leave a mark, both physically and mentally. These traumatic events can change the course of our lives. They often leave us feeling overwhelmed, scared, and even lost.

However, what if there was a roadmap, a system, that could guide us from these moments of trauma towards a renewed sense of joy and purpose in life? This journey from trauma to the "Joie de vivre" is what Valerie and JM aim to explore and guide you here through.

The Two Facets of Trauma: Physical and Mental

Over a decade… 

.., that's how long Valerie and JM had been at the frontline as first responders. They've seen tragedy, hidden pain, and human resilience. Each wound, every scar, told a story of its own…

 We've seen the injuries, both the physical cuts and bruises and those intangible emotional scars. They may not bleed, but they hurt just as much.

..,you know if there is a wound on someone's arm and it’s left unattended, and it festers, gets inflamed, and becomes a source of constant pain. 

But, with the right care—cleansing, bandaging, and patience—it mends. 

Over time, it might leave a mark, a reminder of the past. Yet, it no longer hurts.

“Scars  are healed”

…  letting the analogy sink in . . .

The Four Crucial Steps: Navigating the Stages of Recovery

Healing is a journey and, like any journey, it is best navigated with a roadmap. Here we highlight the four-step guide:

1. Stop the Bleeding (Hemostasis):

Think of a fresh wound; perhaps a scraped knee. It's the immediate aftermath of a traumatic event…

… raw, stinging, and open to the elements. It could get inflamed, infected, and more painful. It marks the beginning, the very first moment of a recovery journey that could stretch out before you. Now, here's the catch. It needs attention, which is the first step. To really understand the healing process, let’s compare the physical wound with the mental side of the trauma.

On the physical level: it’s bleeding, this requires immediate first-aid attention. Remove the immediate danger and stop the Bleeding or Hemostasis, stemming the flow, halting further damage. 

It’s the same thing with the mental process: Eliminating or avoiding triggers is crucial. These triggers can stir memories of the trauma, similar to how a physical irritant can cause more pain or damage to a wound. Engage in calming activities to control distress and manage fear. This step is about immediate relief and safety.

2. Scabbing Over (Clotting):

A protective barrier forms, keeping out infections and safeguarding the wound as the healing truly begins.

Physically, it's when our body forms a clot to protect the wound. What attention it needs is ensuring that the wound is clean and free from dirt or foreign objects.  Then protecting the wound to allow it to start healing properly. 

Mentally, this step is all about commitment. This is the point of introspection and self-awareness. Realize that healing is in your hands. Surround yourself with positive influences and consciously choose recovery over resignation. It's about nurturing the mind, the same way we'd protect a fresh wound.

But this stage, this scabbing over, isn't without its hazards. Physically, the looming danger is infection, introduced by harmful bacteria or foreign objects. The mental counterpart? It's those pervasive negative beliefs, the limiting thoughts that seek to pull us down. 

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It's a battle of mindset where we must wrest control from self-deprecating thoughts. It's where we declare, 

“I choose to take charge of my own journey. I won't just let time do its thing and hope for the best. I will actively work towards reclaiming my life from the clutches of trauma."


3. Rebuilding (Growth & Proliferation): 

New tissue forms, and the wound starts to close.

As we progress, we reach the 'rebuilding' phase. In a physical sense, this is when the wound is finally clean, free from threats, and stable. Ensure that you are feeding your body the right nutrients and getting adequate rest. The body's innate ability to repair itself is truly remarkable when given the right tools.

In the realm of trauma and Mental, it signifies a state where emotions and thoughts are more regulated. The overwhelming negativity recedes, replaced with a semblance of control. Controlling thoughts and emotions, once scattered, now needs realignment. It's about rediscovering oneself, setting new goals, finding new passions, and determining what you desire in life now. Consider engaging with professional guidance.

4. Maturation (Strengthening): 

Physically, the final stage where the scar becomes firm, and though it might remain as a mark, the wound underneath has healed. While the scar is forming, continue to protect it from excessive heat and dangerous exposure and possible reinjury.

Maturation is that delicate stage where the scar continues its silent healing. It's no longer an open wound, but it still reminds you of its presence through occasional itching or tenderness. 

Mentally, it translates to those days when even a small hiccup feels like a relapse. A bad day might make you wonder, 'Am I slipping back?' 

But by this maturation phase, the foundation of your recovery is robust. Physically, you're more mobile. Just as you'd steer clear of anything that might reopen a physical wound, mentally, it's about decluttering your surroundings. Eliminate those triggers, the elements that could potentially drag you back into the vortex of trauma. 

It is the consolidation phase. Reinforce positive habits and behaviors, continue to avoid triggers, and maintain an environment conducive to mental well-being. This stage is about accepting the past, acknowledging the lessons learned, and forging ahead with renewed vigor.

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Lessons from Scars

Scars are silent storytellers of our past experiences, but their presence in our present is often subdued. JM's account of his motorcycle injury beautifully illustrates this. The physical scar on his leg serves as a reminder, but it does not deter him from his love for bikes. Similarly, past traumas may leave emotional scars, but we hold the power to decide their influence over our current lives.

Valerie echoes this sentiment. As we navigate life post-trauma, we must understand that healing doesn't mean the scars disappear. It means they no longer hurt. These scars then become symbols of resilience and testament to our strength.

“Having a tough day doesn't mean things are going backwards.”

Building Resilience Through Scars: Just as a scarred skin might be tougher, our emotional and mental resilience can be fortified through our experiences. By facing and overcoming challenges, we equip ourselves with tools and coping mechanisms for future obstacles.

Embracing the Past, Not Being Defined By It: The scar is there, a testament to an event, an experience, but it does not define us. It's a part of our story, but not the entirety of it. Embrace the past, but do not let it overshadow the present.

It is a fascinating process. On the surface, a scar may seem healed, but underneath, it is still mending, still coming to terms with its new existence. Yet, with the right approach, patience, and support, one can emerge stronger, scarred but perhaps - unbroken.

It truly is remarkable that if you genuinely wish to overcome and rebuild, taking action is non-negotiable. It's as simple as making the choice not to scratch the wound anymore, allowing it to heal naturally.

Trauma, be it of the body or the mind, requires attention, care, and time. It's undeniably a challenge. but with understanding and the right tools, recovery is more than just possible—it's a promise waiting to be fulfilled.

Interested in learning more about overcoming trauma? Dive deeper into the topic: "How to Overcome Trauma?" Check it out Here

Every scar has its story.., 

The journey from going through something hard to getting better isn't simple. But with understanding, waiting, and not giving up - that story can transform into one of strength and recovery.