You will never see another picture of me looking like this! ENJOY.
[Disclaimer: Everyone and their stories are different. There is nothing more I would recommend than finding your own therapist to talk through any past traumas no matter how small.]
People think that therapy is about hashing up your old problems and feeling oh so sorry for the woes and hardships you have been through. Everything which being an eternal victim entails. Ok, those people may be right to a certain extent and it is important to address those difficulties. It is also very important to acknowledge how unreal you are for getting through them in the best way you knew how. Here is how I went from a victim to a survivor and how it helped me. I hope it can help you, too.
When I told my lovely therapist one of my biggest personal woes, I expected her to be shocked and sympathise with me and assess how this event ‘made me feel’ as a victim.
Considering this had happened a few years prior to this session, it had fudged up certain other aspects of my life and decision-making. I expected her to delve into that more to shed a light on how I should acknowledge my victim hood even further.
What she did do was a damn sight more valuable; she brought my attention to the simple fact that I was still here, I had survived it.
My homework for that session was to go home and write a diary of everything that happened after the upsetting thing and what I did to get through it. Me. What decisions did I make to look after myself and make myself feel better. What actions did I take to keep moving forward. She didn’t ask me to focus on how hard it was, or how bad I felt. She asked me to revisit the time after and contemplate the aftermath from a different perspective.
Because of this, I was able to see my role differently. I saw how, even though I was suffering, I was still able to make decisions which kept me, well, alive. This was incredibly empowering. I saw how strong I was for myself when I needed it the most. As a result, I was able to give myself the credit I had never gotten but really deserved.
This has helped me in a lot of ways:
1. I no longer have any doubt in my ability to cope with difficult situations in the future. If I was able to survive that, I am pretty sure I have the coping skills to deal with anything. Along with some mindfulness and therapy under my belt. (insert strong arm emoji) I don’t doubt I’ll face hardships in my life, but that’s OK. I’ll be OK.
2. The traumatic event now has so much less power over me. Whenever it pops into my head, I no longer feel angry for the fact that it happened, or how it impacted my life. Now, I think of it as one of those pinnacle points in my life when my true strength was revealed, even if it took me a few years to see it. This negative trigger has no become positive and thinking of it leads to an ultimate feeling of pride.
3. I’m happier. Taking myself out of the victim role has improved my life so much. I was a victim in so many aspects of my life. Once I discovered a new way of looking at specific bad things which happened to me, I was able to spread the idea to other aspects of my life. I no longer see situations as an opportunity to feel sorry for myself, but to team up with my inner survivor and kick life’s ass. Life is just more fun this way.
This is not to say that when your friend is down you should tell them to just ‘toughen up’ or ‘to stop playing the victim’. Minimizing your struggles doesn’t do much for the relationship you have with yourself, you gotta be your own biggest supporter. No one will ever understand you like you do. It’s best to acknowledge the hardship or do whatever you need to do in that moment. My point is, you will get through it in your own way, and when you do, look at how you did THAT. Look at how you were strong enough to look after yourself in the best way you knew how. Thank yourself. You really are incredible.
Thank you so much for reading another one of my posts. I hope they can help someone change their outlook and be a tad bit more appreciative of themselves. You got this.
Love, like, comment, follow,