Going through something traumatic is hard – and that’s a sad understatement. If I try to put into words how the experience of going through a traumatic situation is, I am usually at a loss for words. For 6 months I felt so much emotional pain that I was at a complete loss at what to do. I grew up knowing that if something in my body hurts, I can take a painkiller, but never what I was supposed to do to cure my emotional pain.

While some might argue that anti-depressants and medications alike are the solution for the emotional pain, I say that’s a lie – they’re like a Band-Aid. If you don’t fight the pain and look for your emotional strength to fight what you are going through, as soon as you stop the medication, you will be right back where you started.

But how do you find and build your emotional strength?

  • By deciding you want to do something about your situation
  • By talking about your traumas with friends or with a therapist, and actually working through them
  • By acknowledging that there is something that needs to change
  • By creating and learning coping mechanisms to help you function through daily life
  • By embracing your fear of the process, and doing it anyway

By taking these steps, you should start to see that slowly your emotional strength is getting bigger and steadier. And that while you might not think that it is currently helping you, if you are ever triggered in the future, you will see that your reaction will be a lot different than if you get triggered now as you will have a better mechanism to help you manage your way through that.

It is easy to remember the bad things and the pain that came from those moments. It is easy to live in those painful memories even though that might be the last place you want to be in. What is hard is remembering the strength it took to deal with and heal from each of those situations. I remember thinking I couldn’t deal with my parents’ divorce, but I did. I can remember thinking my bullies would break me for good, but I’m still standing. I remember all my past coming back to me, and somehow, I am still here, still fighting.

All the steps you take in the process of healing are continuous and they complement the others you have taken. It is one long, often painful journey, but we always emerge better and emotionally stronger at the end.

By Bruna Gorresio