January 09, 2023

Article at Ashleigh on Authory

Healing Is Not Linear

Have you ever been going through something mentally or emotionally and felt like you should be able to get over it in a couple of days? You told yourself that healing shouldn’t take long, so you’re confused when you’re still upset weeks later. I’ve had many clients, who came to see me because they don’t understand why they haven’t healed in the timeframe they gave themselves to “feel better” and I’m going to tell you like I tell them, healing is not linear. It’s a process that takes time, and it isn’t something you can set a deadline for. Mentally healing is very similar to healing from a physical problem. 

If you follow the AnnodRight blog or IG page, then you know I have fibroids. Right before Christmas I had an abdominal myomectomy, which basically means they cut open my abdomen as if I was having a C-section, to give birth to some of my biggest fibroids. 23 of my fibroids came into the world that day. Through that process I figured "Oh, I’ll just feel better everyday after." I thought by the time a couple weeks passed, your girl would be back on her feet and everything would be good. But, that's not how my healing went. While overall I did (and I’m continuing to) get better, so in a sense there was healing, it has not been linear. There were days when I woke up and I felt like I could get out of the bed by myself, I could get up and down the stairs by myself, days that I felt like... I got this. Then there were days that followed those where that was not the case at all. There were days I felt I could barely move, days where the pain was more than the day before. And it felt like no matter what I did, whether I sat still and didn't do anything or just a bit too much what I found was that my healing was not linear. I had to accept that my recovery was going to include days of progress and days of setbacks and the same can be said for how the therapeutic process goes.

Sometimes our impatience has us thinking that we are just going to get better in 4-6 weeks or in a year. It'll make you feel like if you just commit to therapy for 6 months or a year that you’ll  be 100%...but that's not how it goes. We have to exercise patience with our healing because you will have days where you are set back. There are going to be days where you enter the therapy office happy and think that you are almost done with the process and then your therapist knocks you on your butt. They are going to ask you to address some things that you have purposefully neglected and bring it up on your happiest days. Why? Because those days are the most productive. While it doesn’t feel like it at the moment and as harsh as these days may be, they can have the biggest impact on your journey towards healing.

So I want to share 3 things you can do to help facilitate and prepare yourself for these difficult days in your healing process:


Ask yourself what has gone wrong, what doesn't feel right to you. What other areas of your life do you feel there's a problem? What is the problem? How does the problem affect you and stop you from living the life that you want? We start with asking the real question about the problem and how we are tied to it because when we aren’t really sure of the issue, we cannot begin to resolve it. 


Ask yourself what are the things that are great about you. These strengths don't have to be related to the problem that you identified. What are the things that you do well, that could help you get through this problem? Sometimes we come day too hard on ourselves. We will acknowledge a problem but swear up and down that we don’t have attributes that can help. Maybe one of your strengths is that your tenacious. This is a strength that CAN help you with your issue. It tells me you won’t be giving up so easily. 


Who can help you facilitate your healing? When you have surgery, the hospital doesn't want to release you unless they know you have a tribe of people who are going to be there to help you. My partner was there to help me with the day to day, he did the brunt work of helping me get into and out of the bed, helping me wash myself, holding my arm as I walk around...he was there for that. But the rest of our tribe still showed up. People would show up at my house to help me clean, cook, do dishes, or just hang out with me because they know I needed to see another adult's face. 

These are the people, my tribe, that helped me in the process of my healing. In the process of your healing who is making up your tribe? When you think about where you mentally and emotionally who are the people that you want to help facilitate your healing? 

These are 3 things that can help you facilitate your healing, but one of the most important things to  remember is that you will have setbacks. Healing doesn't mean you'll be happy all the time - but as long as you know yourself, your strengths, and have a supportive tribe you have the tools you need to get through it.