It has been said that time heals all wounds. Does it? I suppose time has the ability to lessen the “sting” of shallow wounds, but deep emotional wounds…..I think they just get bigger with time. In my experience, deep wounds end up infecting every other area of your life. And eventually, you are a completely different person than you set out to be.
Psychologists say that emotional and psychological trauma is the result of extraordinarily stressful events that shatter your sense of security, making you feel helpless and vulnerable. Professionals in the field often advise people with emotional trauma to confront the things that are haunting them and holding power over them, because once confronted, they lose their power. I think that is easier said than done.
For me, I can link all of the emotional trauma that I have experienced to my chronic illnesses. In some way or another, the lost friendships, the lost opportunities, and the corrosion of my spirit, are all side effects of being sick. Despite my efforts to move beyond my hurt and loneliness, I am continuously pulled down by this anchor. I know I am not alone in this battle. Through my interactions in the mental health field and with friends and family, I am all too aware of how many people are still suffering due to a past or continuing trauma.
Chronic illness is no friend of time. For many of us, more time is equal to more pain and suffering. As time passes, the chronically ill tend to just get sicker and sicker; thus, deepening the wound of loss and hopelessness. However, there are people who seem to heal and bounce back emotionally, in what feels like, no time at all. How are they able to do that? What is it that causes some people to be resilient to pain and suffering, while others continue to be stuck in their pain, reliving the painful moments of their lives as if they had just occurred?
Since I am one of those people who are stuck in their own pain, I have to say that I don’t know the answer to the previous question. But what I do know (from my own experience and education), is that bitterness, complaining about the unfairness of your situation, negative thinking, wallowing in your own self-pity, and reliving the past over and over again, will not help you get past your pain. Those who are ready to stop being a victim, do the work required to leave the past in the past. This starts with acknowledgment of your pain. Talk about it with those you trust and get it out of your system. Next, forgive those involved. Forgiveness does not mean you condone the person’s actions; it just releases you from the pain that those actions caused. Next, make a place for the event in your life, and then, leave it there. “You can’t start the next chapter of your life, if you keep re-reading the last one.” Lastly, you have to be purposeful about everything you do and say. Choose to be positive! Choose to be an active participant in the direction of your own life! And, keep perspective! Just like physical wounds require care and upkeep, so do emotional wounds. So, if you are unable to do the work on your own or don’t feel like you have a sufficient support system, which is necessary in this type of process, then seek professional help.
Lastly, I think it is important to add the Christian perspective on this topic. The Bible says that only true peace can be found through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior; that only He can heal our physical, emotional, and spiritual wounds. With that in mind, I think that God uses time as a way to aid the healing process. By submitting to God through prayer and by being purposeful in your own healing, time will ease the pain.
Psychological wounds require constant upkeep. Without proper treatment, they continue to stay sore. I admit that I am still struggling to find peace with the things that led to my emotional wounds, but I do actively participate in therapy, as should anyone who has been through a traumatic event. And, although there are certainly days when I submit to my physical and emotional pain, I have not stopped hoping and striving for something better for myself. I have learned that time does not heal all wounds, but it does give you the opportunity to learn how to live with the pain. Hopefully with that knowledge, your wound will begin to heal, leaving nothing but a scar to remember what you went through and how you overcame it!
**Let me know your thoughts! Do you think time heals all wounds?**