Do you remember the person you were before your trauma?
Sometimes we remember who we were and sometimes we don't. There is no judgment either way, but if you do remember who you were....How would you describe yourself? Were you strong, resilient, self-assured, ready to take on the world, enthusiastic, driven, busy, assertive, etc.?
The reason I ask this is because I have often heard from others about the person they used to be, as if we are one person before trauma and a totally different person after trauma. I used to talk like that too, until I discovered that the person I was before trauma is still the person that lives and breathes inside of the skin I live in now. I just had to find ways to remember that the very qualities that made me strong before my trauma are the very things that make me capable of getting through my trauma. They are the very qualities that have helped me to be successful with the healing process. Notice, I used the word, "process", after healing. Healing is not a destination. Healing is a journey of rediscovering the good that lies within you no matter where you've been, what you've experienced, what you've done, or who you think you've become.
There is often this conversation that goes on when looking in a mirror where we say we don't know who is looking back at us anymore. We've become something that we don't recognize. Those with PTSD face pain, sorrow, frustration, anger, a feeling of being trapped in our their own minds, and a malaise that this will never stop. A focus is placed on all that is wrong with the mind, and the body.
How much of the time are we placing focus on reminding ourselves that if we possessed particular qualities before our trauma, they still exist inside of us?
You are your most difficult mission. Don't leave yourself behind because I know that each one of you would never go into a mission purposefully leaving any of your comrades behind. Remember who you are. Remember the soldier, the officer, the firefighter, the wife, the husband, the mother, the father, the teacher, the leader, the person that you were prior to your trauma and believe that the qualities that made you who you were are still inside of you. It's a matter of recognizing that they still exist and realizing that they are still a part of you to serve you in a new way.
*image: Google Images