July 16, 2020

How Do We Know that We’re Healing?


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I’ve been told the healing process takes time.

When I hear this lately, I find myself wanting to ask how long it takes.

Because I’ve been on this road quite a while.

I used to believe that I just needed a year of therapy and some medication to feel better.

I signed up for my first session while in graduate school.

It’s been five years now, and I continue to go to therapy as often as most go to the gym. I’ve done CBT, IFS, DBT, EMDR, Gestalt, and Mindfulness. I even meditate frequently on a mountain with monks.

Yet, my ego is still often in the driver’s seat, and I frequently sink into a dark depression.

I wonder what healing is, because it feels as if I am being dissected and my brain is being reduced down to all its pieces and processes before being reconstructed.

Some days, this “healing process” feels more like going through a meat grinder.

I wonder if there is an endpoint. Maybe there is. Maybe there isn’t. Maybe it’s enlightenment.

All I know is that I’m still stuck in the grinder and have no idea when I’ll be made into something else. Maybe I’ll just be left here shredded with an expired label if I don’t finish this healing process quickly enough.

When I think of healing, I think of a cut or a visible wound I can see.

I seldomly visualize a shattered heart being rearranged, remolded, polished, and smothered with boundless love. This is not what I visualize when I think of the word healing, but this is the process many of us find ourselves experiencing as we sit on sofas and tell our lives to strangers.

Right now, it feels like I am dumping out the dresser that is me and spilling my deepest secrets. I thought I had already dumped everything out, but that was just one drawer. There are several more to go.

I don’t know how long I’ll be in therapy, but I do know that psychological healing is not the same as one’s body healing a broken bone.

There are no casts, no surgeries, and no prescriptions for six weeks of rest to heal.

I am only just beginning to walk down this road, and that is okay.

While therapists will come and go, I will gather pieces of knowledge from each of them and keep walking down this path.

It’s okay if it takes me a lifetime.

The healing process is a journey after all.


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