By David Joel Miller.
Some pain and trauma is just too intense to get past the first time around.
Getting over things is a process. Some things need time to heal. It is hard for others to sit and watch you suffer but sometimes you just need that space to get past it. What you can’t do is pretend it never happened and hope the pain will go away.
People come for counseling and they expect the pain to end right away. It can’t always happen that way. We find that pain, from trauma or grief and loss, take time and repeated attempts to get better.
Clients who have suffered a severe loss, someone close to them has died, find it hard to talk about that person at first. In the beginning it is mostly about the pain of the loss and the tears.
Over time, the process of recovery is like the way you might peel an onion. You strip away an outer layer and then you cry. Then as your tears dry you strip away another layer. Eventually you reach the core.
In the early stages of grief all you can feel is the pain. What can happen if you keep working on the process is that with time you can let the pain recede and begin to remember the good things, the treasured memories, you have of that person.
People mean well when they tell you to just get over it but what they often do not understand is that getting over it is a process not a destination. Some things in life we never get over, not completely, but we can reach a place of peace with what happened.
In counseling we find that to push the client to talk about things before they are ready can cause more trauma rather than aid healing. Some clients come for a while, go as far as they can, and then go off to live their lives for a while. Some find that they need to return to continue or finish the process. Others have the drive to get the painful part over with as soon as possible. You may find that the pain keeps reminding you that help is needed and you can’t let it go until you finish the project.
Either way I hope that if you are feeling the pain of a loss, a death, a trauma, a life disappointment, that you will find someone to work with on this issue that helps you move through the pain by leading you along not by forcing you to go faster than you are ready to go.
Therapy should heal the emotions not create new wounds.
If you are only part way along in your healing process, keep moving forward and know that eventually you can reach a point of finding the meaning in the loss. Not having someone now should not take all those happy memories from you. Having suffered a terrible trauma need not rob you of your future.
The road of recovery can be difficult but recovery is worth the effort.
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For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page. For information about my other writing work beyond this blog check out my Google+ page or the Facebook author’s page, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings and classes” category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended books.
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