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February 19, 2023

Trauma:The Real Sliding Doors and How We Deal

Photo by Satoshi Hirayama on Pexels.

Imagine living life and going about your day and suddenly you are flooded and overcome with intrusive memories of the past as if you are back there.

This is more common than one would think. When this happens it is like a sliding door that opens and you are back in the past or watching a vignette of that event. The mind is amazing and has protective mechanisms to keep you safe. It is mysterious how those traumatic events can resurface and come back feeling so real. It is like the doors in our mind slide open revealing what was buried long ago in the recesses of our mind. After the memory show the door slides back and we are expected to go about our normal day.

Humans are incredible we are resilient, resourceful and powerful agents of our own change and healing process. The trauma we experience often makes us more sensitive, caring and empathetic. We can also become incredibly creative.

I have experienced this sliding door effect and I have developed my own coping strategies and writing and creating are a few tools in my tool kit. My own sensitivity has become a strength and creativity my gift. I know I am not alone. It is important to remember that if you have experienced trauma and lived as a survivor that you can also be thriving and vital as well as  engaging in this world.

If you struggle with the past and find yourself in a wave of emotions and memories of the past here are some practical things that you can do.

Learn to find a point of reference in your now : When memories flood and you feel uneasy and losing ground focus on something that will help anchor you to the present. You can start by scanning and bringing your vision back into focus looking around your environment.

Bring your attention to your feet in your shoes and your hands. Attention and intention brings us into the now. You can feel each finger and toe saying I feel my thumb, pointer finger, index finger etc. In doing so we bring our awareness back into our body and the hands and feet are a great place to start.

Come back to your breath and slow your breathing down. The inhalation may be difficult and full of tension so let a long slow exhalation out and at the end of the exhalation extend just a little more.

Remind yourself that you are here in the now and that you are safe.

Create a mantra and repeat. I like ” I am here, now and safe”

Walk, sway and move your body,

Healing is a process so be kind.

Find a trauma counsellor when you are ready to begin.

Remember your brain hasn’t failed you on the contrary it has saved you.

Sliding doors are just that compartments of memories hidden away until you are ready.

You are the one in charge of your own healing and recovery.

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