When it comes to trauma, grief and loss aren’t talked about enough. In fact, some psychologists believe that grief is a more important factor in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. After all, once the trauma(s) are over, there is almost always loss; loss of meaning, loss of identity (in some cases), loss of childhood, loss of dignity, loss of power, loss of control. Does this make sense? So while the symptoms of PTSD can absolutely be treated, grief is something that takes time to sort itself out.
New meaning comes out of processing the grief and there is no time limit. You can’t treat it in a few months weeks or years. While the grief tends to get less and less as time goes on; the sorrow of what was lost is always there even though it changes over time.
Grief can feel a lot like depression but its something very different than depression. You can’t challenge negative thinking when you are grieving because there is nothing to challenge. It’s painful. Period. We have to move through it no matter how much it sucks.
We can medicate it with alcohol, substances, addictions, or distractions, but it isn’t going anywhere. The best we can do is make sense of it so that we can come to a place of acceptance with what happened. This doesn’t mean we have to forgive or like what happened, but simply to come to a place of acceptance with it so that we can move on with our future.
Who we were before the trauma is gone. Who we become is up to us.
The meaning that we make of the past is also up to us.
How we make sense of it, as well as what we decide to do with what happened to us is a choice.
This, we absolutely have control of.