“Sadness is the strangest thing. We are so helpless in the face of it. It is like a window that will simply open by itself. The room becomes cold, and we can do nothing but shiver. But it opens a little less each time, a little less; and one day we wonder What happened “. – Arthur Golden
The therapeutic benefits of time do not apply to us if we do not do the work. “time heals all wounds.” We hear this phrase over and over again, but I haven’t really thought about how accurate it is until recently.
The truth about “time heals all wounds” is this: Unless we’re really willing to address our deeply rooted, irrational beliefs about ourselves (such as “I’m not good enough” or “I’m unloved”), time doesn’t do anything.
When I was in high school, two of my friends died in a car accident. Seven years later, after four years of sobriety, I am already beginning to feel the weight of this sadness. I’ve learned the hard way that we don’t really flow through the stages of grief when we’re in an active addiction. Time has not healed Sadnes; Only time passed while I continued to drink it away.
In 2015, I decided I needed to find a good treatment. I say good because not all treatment is beneficial. I’ve heard countless stories of friends or patients seeking therapy for years and simply breathing for an hour while their therapist listens. which – which. he is. no. Psychiatric treatment.
I think therapy has to be challenging, collaborative, and sometimes uncomfortable. It must have been more than hearing myself talk for an hour while someone listened with a blank expression on their face. (That’s just me, though).
In therapy, I discovered a tremendous amount of unresolved grief, childhood and teen trauma (which, of course, I reduced), and a tremendous barrier I built between me and real communication.
Related: 4 Steps to Hope in Hard Times
In the last five years of amazing therapy, I’ve discovered so many essential core beliefs and compounds that I had no idea they existed. You have not benefited from my insight and awareness in anything; I have BA in Psychology and MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, but I still can’t make connections on my own.
More than ten years after my first experience with rejection, I still look for all of the confrontational behaviors, such as attention seeking or raising walls. I must constantly get rid of old patterns of thinking and acting on a daily basis, or else I subtly fall back into these patterns.
If someone had a trauma at the age of five, and they did not deal with it appropriately (with professional help), that trauma is still alive and well when they are 55 years old. If I choose not to jump upside down on my emotional experiences and fight my fears with an open heart, there is no way I would be in a healthy relationship today.
The truth is that time heals nothing. Time gives us the opportunity to bury our pain as deeply as we can.
But what’s important is that pain will undeniably manifest in other devastating ways in our lives, even if we think there is no connection. So if you just sit back and let time pass until you feel “better” about a particular experience, stop.
Perhaps the goal is not to feel better. Maybe the goal is feeling. I challenge you to look inside, lean on the discomfort, and come to terms with your deepest, most vulnerable thoughts and feelings.
Make the most of your time. Make room for a diary, to find a therapist, to confide in a close friend, or to pray. Allow yourself to speak to the part that is not heard, not seen, and not validated.
We all have parts of ourselves buried so deeply that we consciously forget they are there. Subconsciously though, they are rampant.
I hope this article spoiled your day. I hope it has awakened you to a truth so profound that you neglected to acknowledge it for years, or even decades. Because if you’re feeling this upset, it means I’ve touched something in you that I don’t want to be found. This means that the words on this page resonate, and your defense mechanisms are in full swing.
Related Topics: The Five Stages of Grief: Exploring the Kobler-Ross Model
Consider this your flashlight. Look inside.
And remember, be kind to yourself.
Written By Hannah Rose Originally Appeared On Psychology Today