No pain no gain. Is a term normally used when working out. If you are not sore or hurting in some way, you are not working hard enough. When you are feeling the pain, that could be a sign of your muscles getting attention and strengthening. Some call it growing pain.
Well in therapy, we can experience growing pains also. The healing process can bring up experiences that we forgot, tried to forget, or the ones we are actively trying to forget now. It could be difficult to go through alone without a licensed therapist and a strong support system. Being able to sort through your emotions and a name on them could bring challenges. Gaining new insight could also be difficult.
Though healing can bring gains, you will also experience a lot of loss. You can’t move like you did prior to your healing. You are more aware and have more tools, so now you have to move differently. There is a possibility of not being able to have relationships with the same people anymore. Some people in your circle will only want to remember who you were before your gains, and will constantly remind you. Those are not the people you want to keep around you. You won’t be able to engage in negative self-talk or self-sabotage anymore because that interrupts your healing journey. Instead now you are aware of it and recognize it and you are able to tell yourself “this harms me more than it heals me.”
In the healing journey, there will also be scary times when things are feeling “too good to be true” or unfamiliar. Which both are okay, you still can step into that unfamiliar territory. Just because it is unfamiliar does not mean it is unsafe and just because you feel comfortable does not mean you are safe. That comfort zone could just be the space you are familiar with and could bring more harm than healing. That comfort zone could be abuse, negative self-talk, childhood trauma. Be aware and don’t get caught wanting to be comfortable. Lean into the discomfort of healing.
Then, there is a point in healing when you feel healed. As if you “fixed” whatever you initially went to counseling for or was working really hard to heal from. And a feeling that you recognize from the past arises. You are triggered, again. But, you went to all of these sessions and you thought that feeling was over. It is okay, this time you have more tools to use during this healing journey.
What are some things that you can not do anymore now that you are working on healing?
How do you encourage yourself through the growing pains?
How can you celebrate yourself today?