In today's episode, I talk about how to deal with the struggle of healing trauma.
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In today's episode, I talk about how to deal with the struggle of healing trauma.
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Read my book Think Unbroken for FREE at book.thinkunbroken.com
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Hey, what's up, my friends? I hope you're doing well wherever you are in the world. I'm Michael Anthony, author, speaker coach, and advocate for adult survivors of childhood trauma. You are all listening to or watching the Michael Unbroken Podcast.
So, one of the questions that I got this week that really hit home with me and made me pause and think is, “how do I help people with something that you cannot possibly help them with?”
I get this all the time from people on TikTok and Instagram. My clients often raise this concern during our coaching sessions too, and they are curious to find when they can say that they are finally healed. Anyone I’ve coached personally knows that the number one word I use is patience.
I understand the struggles and frustrations. Trust me, I do. As someone who was constantly in this zone and who, after all these years, considering what I do, is still on my healing journey, I don't know if it ever ends. Those challenges that I think so many people face are also mine. I get moments when I question myself when I can finally get past this. Am I doing it right? What is happening in my life?
What I want you to think about here for a moment is how do you ever know if you've ever made progress in your life? There's always a measurement, to some extent, by looking at your life now versus where you were. What do I mean by that?
So, I’ve told this story before, but not that long ago, about almost three years. I was sitting in my therapist’s office, and I said, “you know what, I'm done with this shit. I don't want to be here. I'm tired of talking to you every Wednesday. When will this be over?”
And, he said something fascinating to me, “I don't know that it is.”
That's a hard pill to swallow, right? It truly is because we all want to move on with our lives. We want to say, “Hey, I don't struggle with this anymore.” We want to have the whole gamut of love, compassion, hope, joy, and all those things possible for us as human beings. And yet, we find ourselves still in this place of struggle.
But the struggle is the measurement, right? I would like to ask you, “At what point can you gauge whether or not you've healed?” Is there something concrete that you can look for in 3, 5,12, 28 years, or whatever that time it may be?
I smirk, and I smile at that thought because I don't know if you can. And I'll tell you right now for myself—I cannot.
Now, I want to be clear. One of the things that are powerful about this journey is that eventually, you will recognize that if you stay in it long enough, do the work, and show up for yourself, life gets better and easier.
Have coaches, listen to these podcasts, read the books, go to therapy sessions, and the whole nine yards! When navigating through trauma becomes an integral part of your life, you gain a better understanding of your triggers, reactions, and behavioral patterns. You’ll have a better appreciation of who you are in conjunction with the person you see yourself to be. We want this to be self-defined because, well, this is your narrative.
So, with that discernment, can you create a data point in your life that becomes the measurement in which you quantify, “this is where I am healed”?
I think the struggle for so many people is that they can't. Well, I can’t. I have no idea what it would look like, but I think about what my life looks like today versus just who Michael was 10, 20, or 30 years ago. And I realize the goal is to understand that every day that we're on this journey, we are stepping onto a path that leads to changes in our lives. This is the game and how it works — you show up and do the things. It may be uncomfortable, but you grow, learn, and move forward. You heal one step at a time, from now until the end.
Some days are going to be more challenging than others.And you're going to make mistakes and fuck up because that's life. But then, some days will be fantastic, bright, sunny, and easy. You will look at your life and say, “this is great”, or “I’m really excited I’ve done this therapy or journaling”.
Here's a fascinating insider’s secret. As a coach, I’ve clients from all walks of life. Each with a different story, mission, and understanding of the person they’re becoming. But they have one thing in common; they learn to understand patience as the healing journey is incredibly frustrating.
You need to accept that your everyday struggles won’t disappear. It doesn’t necessarily mean it’s true, but that’s how I look at it. This is your life, and the healing process is yesterday, today, and tomorrow. It’s even happening right now as you’re listening to this podcast and taking everything in.
For the longest time, I spent so much on therapies, including CBT and EMDR. I also did bodywork treatments like massage and acupuncture, wiping myself out financially in the process.
One day, I calculated all my spendings and realized that I could buy three houses with the money I've spent on my trauma healing journey. It does not even factor in the cost of certifications that I now have as a coach, worth tens of thousands of dollars.
I was struggling like so many people are because I was trying to create an end out of something that may not ever end.
You've heard me say this before — there's no Disney moment. It isn’t happening, and it's not ever going to happen. The Disney moment is right now, every single day and moment of this life, that you're showing up for yourself.
The number one measurement for this journey is looking at the person you are today versus the person you were yesterday and asking yourself these fundamental questions: “How do I feel about myself when I'm alone?”, “Am I doing things to be the hero of my own story?”, “Am I making the changes?”, “Am I growing in my healing journey?”, and “Am I showing up for me first?”
As you move through these and inch your way closer to who you are and your struggles, it doesn't feel so daunting anymore, and things become different because you let go. You don’t measure what is intangible and cannot be calculated by the human brain, like trust, healing, happiness, human connection, capacity, belief, and others. And that is self-love.
That measurement of struggle will evolve and change. In my own experience and that of many of my clients, when we take off the time including the restricted parameter of trauma, your healing journey gets so much easier.
My friend, I hope this was helpful to you. Thank you so much for hanging out with me today.
Please do me a favor. Like, comment, share, leave a review, tell a friend.
Until next time my friend,
Michael is an entrepreneur, best-selling author, speaker, coach, and advocate for adult survivors of childhood trauma.
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