Post Traumatic Growth: The Recovery Journey Within
The beach has always been so therapeutic for me. Here I am, with the wind fighting my coils to get to my scalp, the birds flying high, and I am watching a crab make its way out of a crack in the wall. Instantly, I begin to reminisce on my life two years ago. It was one of the worst years of my life, and sadness took over the latter months.
I was what you would call a hot-head because the simplest thing would tick me off. And although I am not a physical fighter, I can assure you that my tongue was sharper than any sword. During this time, not a lot of people knew that I was struggling because I am a master at disguising my feelings. You see, I am naturally a helper—people tend to gravitate towards me because they know I can give them a sense of comfort. But child, it is a whole other ball game when I am the one that needs help
Truth be told, I believe I was just ashamed and I often felt like somehow, I was the reason for all of the hurt that I was experiencing. There were days when I would be at school and just break down in tears—I was going through it and I would not allow anyone to help me. And to add to that, I felt like I was wasting my time doing the major I was pursuing. Listen, I was an emotional disaster. I was eating less than I normally do, and I just felt lost and confused.
I knew I needed help when I almost fainted at the hotel where I was an intern. So, I decided to visit a psychologist which was a waste of time and energy. I poured my guts to a stranger just for her to tell me that I am okay. Really? I am so happy I did not have to pay her because I would be so angry. Life did not go up from there.
Months passed and the vicious cycle of toxic people entering my life, breaking my heart, confusing my brain, and draining my energy never ended. Honestly, I was angry, mentally exhausted, and I just wanted to give up. But I didn’t, because I dreamt of a life better than what I was experiencing, so I kept moving.
Post Traumatic: The Revelation Of Growth
The mind is a powerful thing, and it is what can aid you in making life-changing decisions. It is the anchor that keeps you sane and it is the rope that can kill you. Whew chile, the mind. Regardless of how I was feeling and all that I was going through, I still had a somewhat positive outlook on life. I acknowledged everything that was going on in and around my life and refused to let my experiences consume me.
I started writing more poems, going to the beach more, and developing a relationship with God. Many people don’t care for religion or spirituality but trust me, creating a stronger bond with God is what really made me feel at ease. I decided to surrender my life completely to him, and even though I still falter, my heart and mind are always on him.
I was always under the impression that I was a resilient girl but after doing some research I noticed that what I am, is a girl experiencing Post Traumatic Growth. This is a term used to describe the positive change that results from an individual’s struggle to deal with trauma. Psychologists have come up with a way to assess if, and to what extent, an individual has grown after experiencing trauma. It is a self-report scale called the Post Traumatic Growth Inventory (PTGI) which searches for positive responses in the following:
- Appreciation of life
- Relationship with others
- New possibilities in life
- Personal strength
- Spiritual change
Post Traumatic: My Reality
Growth is said to be the development of someone’s character. For me, there have been times when I was so low that silent tears were what kissed me goodnight. Times when I was so angry; angry at the world, life, and even God. I just wanted everything to end. But as I have said in my previous articles, what you spend most of your time thinking about is what you attract. I can honestly say that I have a strong mind (which I did not notice before writing this article). I can convert my negative thoughts into positivity, which I project into the world.
One of my friends once told me that I am “the sunshine in a world of dark clouds,” and that has been a constant reminder to me. It places me in the position to always be the best version of myself– to not only parade happiness on the outside but to also have the same positive energy on the inside. And when I stop and think about the profound changes that have occurred in my life, I just smile. Because I am here, on the beach listening to the waves crash against the shore and I am finally happy.
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