Moving On After a Traumatic Event

Moving On After a Traumatic Event

By Jennifer McDougall

“When a problem or a difficult situation arises, say to yourself, as if you already believe it: “This is for my benefit.”
― Chris Prentiss, Be Who You Want, Have What You Want: Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life

Moving on after something traumatic has happened can feel like an impossible task, but it’s not. It’s not impossible to move forward after something traumatic has happened. The event that has left you feeling confused, broken, hurt, abandoned, abused, silenced, or sickened, happened for a reason. It happened to teach you something. It happened so that you could be given the tools you need to help other people. It happened so that you could be given the strength you needed to move forward in your life with more courage than ever before. This traumatic event was not a downfall or a setback. It was something that needed to happen to teach you something good and valuable. This event was something that was meant for you and part of your destiny.

The concept that something good can come from a traumatic event may sound new to you. The idea that something like a job loss, a cancer diagnosis, death in the family, a breakup, witnessing or experiencing any type of violence or abuse, car accident, a miscarriage, or even rape could be turned around and looked at something you can benefit from might sound ridiculous, but after stepping back for a minute and finding something positive you can take away from that experience or situation you may see that your perspective of the traumatic event changes.

Looking for a lesson and a blessing in every situation will help keep your outlook on life and all the events that happen within it a more positive experience. Sure something like being raped, or diagnosed with cancer is not something anyone wants or is anywhere close to pleasant, but there is something to positive to take away from everything that happens in our life.

How you move forward after a traumatic event is how you begin to heal. Taking the opportunity to speak with a therapist and talk about what you are feeling will help you process the events leading up to, during, and after the event that occurred. It’s important to let out the emotions your feeling so your therapist can help you work through the trauma and sort out the thoughts tangled up in your mind so you can release the pain built up and move forward in a healthy way.

What happens to many people is they hold on to the pain. They cope with the use of drugs and alcohol to numb that pain, and they wait a while before telling anyone what has happened to them. Some people wait many years to open up and finally talk to a therapist or a trusted confidant. The problem with waiting is that you prolonged the healing process. The longer you hold on to the pain caused by the traumatic event, destruction tends to seep out into your daily life causing you to make poor decisions, get caught up in your head and be distracted.

Substance abuse issues frequently stem from a person’s inability or unwillingness to get the help they need after a traumatic event. It’s important to talk to a close friend or family member immediately after something traumatic has happened to you. It’s even more critical to seek professional help to learn healthy coping mechanisms and not let this thing that has occurred become a weight in your life that holds you back from being the best possible version of yourself.


Moving On After a Traumatic Event

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