Step 4: Trust the Process
Once you’ve made the decision to get well, you’ve begun to tell yourself the truth and you’re taking responsibility, you’re in the middle of your healing process. Now is the time for patience as you learn to trust the process. What does that mean? If you’re in treatment with a good therapist, and I hope you are, it means really listen and pay close attention to what you’re being told. Let it sink into the gray matter (your brain, your mind). Force yourself to faithfully do all the assignments you’re given. Journal. If you’re dealing with DID, let your parts talk to you or journal. Let them talk to your therapist and share what they’ve been holding onto for you.
Then, be patient. Recovery is a process: it takes time. Do your journaling and assignments, but don’t obsess over them, allow yourself to rest, take a breather. Live. As you remain committed to your decision to get well, your inner wisdom will let you know when it’s time to move on and what to deal with next. New memories may surface. Don’t panic! Take a few deep breaths and remind yourself that your mind will only let the memories come when you’re ready to deal with them. It’s protected you this long, it’s not about to let you down now!
Don’t be discouraged if it seems slow. Slow is OK. Even baby steps are progress. And, you may occasionally get scared and slip back. If that happens, journal, call your therapist. Try to understand why it happened so you can avoid it in the future, then move forward again. As I said, this is a process, and no one can do it perfectly. I certainly didn’t, but I learned to look at even my setbacks as progress, because I learned from them.
Be committed to doing something toward recovery every day: journaling, working on assignments, reflecting, communicating with your parts – something. Just don’t let it overwhelm your life. Otherwise you’ll be living your trauma. You’ve already done that, successfully I might add, or you wouldn’t be here. However, part of recovery and life after recovery is balance. Start practicing it now.
Your relationships may have become somewhat one-sided, with you doing all the sharing and them doing all the supporting. Learn how to be a friend again. Find topics other than your abuse or your therapy to talk about. Ask them questions about themselves for a change. You will start to live your recovery, and it feels oh, so good. Try it. You’ll like it!