What you need to know when trauma changes the course of your life
There were two very specific times in my life where I felt like my life was over. Both of these times came after a traumatic event. The things I believed about myself and my life after these events, are strikingly similar.
Both times, I believed with all my heart that I was ruined for good. I considered what had happened as the end of the life I had wanted. It felt impossible to see things any other way. I said goodbye to my hopes and dreams for the future. I deeply feared to the point of believing that my life was ruined forever.
Those feelings were hard to shake. I felt them for years after each traumatic event. Years. For so long, it was nearly impossible to believe otherwise. I was kind of hard-hearted too — unwilling to be open to the possibility that perhaps what I had believed all those years wasn’t actually true.
Immense pain from significant trauma can warp us into believing the absolute worst for our lives. I have experienced this and I know this. I know how hard it is to believe otherwise. I know how hard it is to have hope. I know how easy it is to be closed off towards any other possibility or outcome for your life.
It was my pain that resisted all the good that could come. It was my pain that made me feel dead inside. It was my pain that told me my life was over.
And you know what? The pain sucks, but believing all these lies about your future makes it ALL THE WORSE. It adds a suffocating and unnecessary weight to the grief.
Even though the pain is telling you that your life is over, and it really feels that way, your life is far from over. You’re not dead. You can find good in your life again. Good things are coming your way, even if you can’t see that right now. Even if you think that is impossible! You will be okay. You will see goodness in your life.
Your life is changed forever because of the trauma, but it’s not ruined. Changed? Yes. Ruined? No. Changed means that it’s different now. You’ll be making a new path. Things aren’t as you thought they would be, but you can still have a good life.
You need to remind yourself that this is not the end. You are alive. I know it feels like it’s been the end of you and the death of all your dreams and how you thought life would turn out, but just because the life you thought you wanted ended, doesn’t mean your actual life has ended.
Right now, your life is starting a new story. It looks very different from the story you wanted to happen. I know that’s incredibly painful, but this story is going to be something good. I’m excited for you.