I would like to recommend a book that has helped me tremendously in my healing process. The book is: The Courage to Heal, by Ellen Bass and Laura Davis. It is jam packed with stories and “homework” assignments and affirmations to help you on your way, and to affirm that you are not alone. There is also a workbook that comes with the book and I highly recommend it as well. The Courage to Heal Workbook is full of writing exercises and poems and stories that you can identify with. These books have been a life-line to me. I was able to realize, through reading these books, that I do not have anything to be ashamed of. I no longer hang my head in shame. I am proud of the person that I am. I am a survivor. I am no longer a victim! I took back the control of my life.
This is where I found my voice
I started writing about what happened to me while reading these books and doing the writing exercises. In fact, “Remembering” was initially written as a writing exercises in the The Courage to Heal Workbook. I realized that writing was very therapeutic for me and I started to write more and more. The idea to start this blog was born out of reading these books and realizing that there are so many other people out there who are hurting and looking for healing. I know that the things that stop most people from seeking help is the feeling of being stuck. Feeling as though nobody understands what you have been through or how you feel. People DO understand! I understand! But more importantly, you will find MANY stories in these books that will confirm to you that YOU ARE NOT ALONE. YOU HAVE NOTHING TO BE ASHAMED OF, AND YOU CAN HEAL. I used to think that healing was impossible. It is not. I am living proof that it IS possible. I am healing. I broke out of the self-pity trap that I was stuck in. I found my dignity and I found my voice and YOU CAN TOO!
It does take courage to heal
But remember, you have already survived the worse part, the actual trauma. Now it is time to stop letting that trauma continue. You can put an end to it by taking back the control of your life. That reclaiming of your life can start with the reading of The Courage To Heal. I promise you, it will be the best book (actually set of books) that you buy this year! You have to decide. Are you sick of the pain? Do you need direction? A plan? You can find direction and a plan in these books.
Take it slow
If it is hard for you to read The Courage To Heal, I recommend that you do it step by step. Take it slowly. Maybe take the books in to your therapists and ask him/her to help you get through them. These books are great for breaking the ice when in therapy and giving you topics to talk about and things to work on in therapy. I did this and my therapist was very helpful and plugged in to the work that I was doing while reading these books. She actually formed a support group based on these books and I joined it. It was very encouraging to be around others who were going through the same struggles as I was. It was good to hear other peoples’s stories and to share my own. Mostly, it was good to not feel judged or looked down upon. I no longer see myself as damaged goods. I am a chipped pot that is still very useful!
But you don’t have to be in therapy to get healing
Maybe you don’t feel comfortable talking to someone about what you have been through. That is OK. You can just read Courage to Heal and work through the workbook on your own, if that is where you feel the most comfortable. I do, however, recommend that you get a support system going. It could be a spouse, good friend, or even myself if you want to send me private emails at: email@example.com and I will respond to EACH and EVERY email that I receive. I am serious about making My Secret Place a soft place to fall. I want to help you to help yourself. You can do this! You CAN heal! I am also willing to publish your writings here at My Secret Place. If you have something that you want to share, you can share it here. Your input is valuable and welcome at My Secret Place.
This is just a good first step
Your healing has to start somewhere. Start with The Courage To Heal and the The Courage to Heal Workbook. You will be glad you did. Your pain may seem mountainous, but If you look at the pain in your life en mass, you will get discouraged. You just need to look but a few steps at a time, you will find the strength to go on. Just take baby steps. Start by buying the book. Read it slowly. Take your time. Then get support. I suggest a good therapist, but sometimes they are not easy to find. I know this, I have been down that road. But don’t give up. You only lose if you quit. Don’t quit. You are worth your good health. You deserve to heal and you CAN heal. You are not alone. You are not dirty. And you have nothing to be ashamed of. Hold your head up. You have a right to be whole.
All you have to do is decide to heal. Make that choice. Then don’t back up. Take baby steps forward. Start with the books. Send me an email. Or maybe just post a comment at the end of this post. Take a step. It will be the first step to the rest of your life.