Now that I’m sort of wrapping up the “advice” part of this, I thought it was important to talk about how who knows anything anyway.
I feel like I sought out a lot of advice as I went through this.
I felt a lot like I was just spinning down this hole or something, I don’t know. It has been really hard, and I didn’t know what to do.
I’ve read books. I’ve seen a therapist. I talked to friends. I tried some different things on my own.
And some stuff worked and some stuff didn’t. And some stuff worked sometimes and didn’t work other times. It’s been a rough road.
People have said all sorts of things.
When I said it felt like an avalanche was falling on me, someone said you have to feel the whole avalanche hit your face. You’ve gotta stand there and take it until the snow falls past you. Whereas others thought you more try to avoid the snow. Lots of people had different takes.
And I think we could definitely make a case for why I didn’t really have to do Project 882, or definitely more so why I didn’t have to go try to have experiences just to feel things (e.g. going to Safari Park and Sea World and stuff). Those things were as fun as they could’ve been in that headspace. But, it was a lot of money and I was chasing a feeling that swimming with dolphins probably wasn’t going to truly help. But I didn’t know that. (And that was cool.)
I don’t know that it’d be even worth making the arguments as to whether I should’ve done this or that with all the decisions I made over the past year and a half, because I don’t think any of those things truly hurt me. Could things have been better, and could I maybe have made smarter decisions and some better times? Sure, maybe, I guess. I dunno. But would I have magically “healed” any sooner? Probably not. And nothing super irreparable-seeming has happened. So, it all is what it is.
But I guess that’s the point. It all just kind of is what it is. I tried things ’til I got seemingly better. Some advice was really helpful, some not so much. But I think everyone is trying to be helpful. (At least, I want to believe in the best in people. So, I’m gonna go ahead and assume everyone is trying to be helpful.)
But we’re all seeing the world through our own lenses! We might be seeing a way different world than you are. And what might work for us might not work for you.
None of us know anything. (I mean, I know, we all know some things. And certainly people in certain fields (such as mental health) probably know a lot more about trauma than the average person.)
But at the end of the day, we’re all just trying to figure this life out. And for every piece of advice you find that works amazingly for someone, it’s turned out horribly for someone else. If you have a piece of advice that has helped you many times before, there may come a situation where it doesn’t work after all.
[Side note: that’s one thing I loved about this episode of The Bold Type. Something happened, and the outcome wasn’t that the girl “learn some lesson,” but instead her boss was like, “that’s what worked this time. And this time, it might be something else.”]
And I guess it’s weird to learn that even though we maybe “think” we’re learning through life (and we are) that different things we think we sooooo can handle this time around teach us different and new lessons. (How long do you think we’d have to live before we could stop learning super tough lessons? I dunno. But it’s much longer than this, or at least it seems so to me.)
So, anyway, basically, I just wanted to reiterate that none of us (including me) know anything anyway. So, if you’re looking for advice on how to get through a traumatic experience, sure, talk to everybody, and read the books, and try what you want. But at the end of the day, you do whatever you need. There is no “right” answer, as far as I’m concerned. There’s whatever works for you.
So, you might not take everything you hear from everyone. (You might not be able to, as some of it’s different!) And maybe none of the advice I gave here works for you. That’s totally cool. Just throw it in the trash then.
No matter how much somebody cares about you, or wants to help, they still might not know what you need. And you might not either. So, we try things on ’til something fits.
I feel like I’ve been pretty rambly in this post (and I doubt anyone is surprised by that, haha!). But basically, none of us know what we’re doing. (I apparently don’t even know how to write a blog post!) *tap dances out of frame*