Healing is not cozy. There’s a lot of stigma regarding going to therapy and doing any independent inner self work. It’s seen as something that either weak or crazy people do. That’s not true. It might not be 100% easy and not just bubble baths and scented candles, but healing is a journey that leads to deep fulfillment that nothing outside of you could shake or take away.
This process is very humbling but with high risk, comes high reward. During this journey, you will start to feel the growing pains of change and self integration. Keep moving forward! (Kid Cudi voice). This discomfort is helping you move into a beautiful life in which you are in control of and have inner peace. So here are 9 uncomfortable signs that you are healing.
- You Allow Yourself To Feel Your Emotions
When you’re still stuck in survival mode, you’re mostly focused on logic and what you see because emotions are painful for you to feel and process. It’s hard for you to take the time and make room for your emotions to just be acknowledged and validated because it reminds you of hurt that you would have liked to keep buried.
When you heal, you start acknowledging your negative and positive emotions because you realize that extreme focus on one is detrimental to your whole being and that you are a whole person. It’s uncomfortable at first but as you are no longer suppressing or denying them, you see the value of your emotions and feelings and of just letting yourself sit with them and allowing them to pass.
- You Are Getting Better At Expressing & Maintaining Boundaries
When you’re not healed or in the process, you struggle with stating and enforcing boundaries because you’re afraid of rejection, feelings of shame and guilt from putting your own interests first or saying what’s on your mind, which results in resentment because this other person or people can’t read your mind and reciprocate how and what you want them to.
It’s unusual to set firm boundaries when you’re not used to it but once you start, it creates more healthy interpersonal dynamics and less resentments because you stated your opinions and emotions. You have the mental and emotional clarity and you are more capable of making your own decisions.
- You Accept That You Have Had Difficult Experiences
Life is hard and unfair and instead of suppressing all of the experiences that you have been through, you acknowledge and accept that they happened. You accept that these people, places and things had a life-changing impact on you and probably still do.
Once you have accepted that these uncomfortable events impacted you in their entirety, they actually start to not hurt you anymore because you have accepted the truth and are in charge of the narrative of your life again.
- You Are Less Reactive & More Responsive
When you’re in the survival mode, everything & everyone is a threat and is treated as such. Nothing is trusted and you don’t have time to sit and logically think things through because you are pure action, needing to defend yourself constantly.
Once you start healing, your natural response of lashing out, shutting down, running away or people-pleasing is tested and slowly makes way for questioning your feelings and reactions regarding things. You even find yourself asking “why do I think this way?” “Where does this thinking come from?”. You start practicing emotional self-regulation, self-analysis and responsibility.
- You Realize That Healing Is Not Linear
Healing is uncomfortable because you are unearthing and confronting things you would have preferred to keep suppressed deep in your subconscious that cause you great distress that you can feel in your body and mind like it just happened.
Once you get into the rhythm, you realize that part of that healing is that this distress is okay and normal because it’s not a straight road to inner peace and healing. You understand and have experienced the highs and lows of healing and know that the feelings of today will not match the feelings of tomorrow, or even later on.
- You Begin To Step Out of Your Comfort Zone
Here’s the thing about not healing: it’s not something everyone will and can do. However if you decide to, it actually has far reaching consequences beyond the acceptance and acknowledgement of the traumatic experience.
Once you are in the healing process, you’re developing a bravery around your emotions and your mind. With this newfound conscious control, you are no longer scared by things that scared you before. Public speaking? You now make speeches and attend toastmasters class regularly. Scared of making a living situation change? You now are redecorating your bedroom and experimenting with paint colours you never thought that you would.
- You Easily Accept Disappointments And Take Them In Stride
Life is a balance of success and failure, light and dark, ups and downs. When you’re not healing, disappointments hit you like a freight truck to the chest, knocking out all of the motivation and passion out of you.
With healing, you understand that bad days do happen, can’t be avoided but are also temporary. Any disappointments or unmet expectations are accepted and taken in stride. You don’t even respond how you used to. What you would spend a few days crying about is now processed in a day or even a couple of hours.
- You Have More Inner Peace
Healing brings about self integration. If you’re a Harry Potter fan: it’s like if Voldemort brought back all his Horcruxes and decided on becoming a better, complete person who accepts the natural way of life, on a soul level. And if you’re not a fan, it’s like taking inventory of all of your experiences, painful or not and seeing yourself as the whole person.
You develop this inner peace because you deeply forgive yourself and you can readily forgive others, too. By having this peace and integration , you are less likely to self-sabotage because you are no longer a warring country within yourself, with conflicting desires and emotions. You reconcile your inner differences. You no longer criticize and dismantle your character in your mind.
- You Welcome Help & Support
The independent survivor has a “don’t ask for help” mentality, maybe because they never got it when they needed it or because of the harsh rejection when they spoke up. They shut down to get by and decided to do it by themselves because they had no choice.
With healing you start to realize that as strong as you are, you can’t carry and do everything by yourself. You do need help and it’s available out there for you. You are more open to support and less afraid of having this need for assistance met. The pride and shame you might feel for asking for help is gone because you know that it’s okay to let go of the heavy burden on your shoulders and have someone to lean on.
As rewarding as the first steps of healing are, you will run into the discomfort of your healing and this will try to make you stop to lessen or ignore the pain. But whatever you resist, you prolong. It never goes away so allowing that discomfort to show itself and be felt and release it. If you are in the healing process, well done. I’m proud of you for doing this work and I hope you can find peace through it. If you’re not, that’s okay because healing is an individual decision that you make when you’re ready. You’re still living and doing what you can. Applaud yourselves.
See you soon, Psych2Go-ers.
*Goldsmith , B. (2014, November 21). Seven signs that you are healing emotionally. Google. Retrieved October 14, 2021, from https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.psychologytoday.com/za/blog/emotional-fitness/201411/seven-signs-you-are-healing-emotionally%3famp.
*Let’s Talk Mental Health. (2021, October 4). Signs You Are Healing. Letstalk.mentalhealth. Retrieved October 14, 2021, from https://www.instagram.com/p/CUm5LI4sq_5/.
*Shah, P., Muhammad, D. A., Sadeghi, D. H., & Parsons, A. (2019, July 18). 10 signs you’re Healing through your trauma. THE FULLEST. Retrieved October 12, 2021, from https://thefullest.com/2019/07/23/10-signs-youre-healing-through-your-trauma/.
*YogaBar. (2019, September 26). Emotional healing: Signs that you are on the right path. YogaBar. Retrieved October 12, 2021, from https://www.theyogabar.com.au/emotional-healing-signs-you-are-the-right-path/.