Perspective and Reflection on Emotional Self-Healing Progress
How does a person know when he / she has made sufficient progress from a prolonged period of emotional and / or traumatic 'darkness' in their lives?Referring to this poignant question many may ask when they believe they are entering (or about to enter) the final stage of healing and / or rehabilitation in terms of addiction, abuse, trauma, loss, grief etc.
I have rationalised above question through various mediums, qualitative research findings and also directly asking accredited mental health professionals (from a point of reference from personal friends and close contacts in mental health care / emotional wellness professions).
There were many different answers; the metacognitive self-awareness of the healing journey, acknowledgement of behaviour change(s), personal growth and acceptance were most often cited as some of the most common denominators in someone's own healing progress identification and tracking, but there is only one person that will be able to answer this question (from above context) and that is the person who asked the question - to be able to assess the self in relation to progress and healing by means of having the courage towards facing self-reflection and subjective perception and objective reasoning.
Some may never (want to) know, others are determined that within the desire to achieve certain behaviour changes that their healing journeys will add more awareness, acceptance and subsequently, self-enrichment - all of which will be processed differently through different individuals (with / or without the professional intervention of a mental health care practitioner).
I evaluated my own abusive trauma and unfortunate loss of more than one person over a two year grief / healing period and concluded that in terms of my own cognitive understanding of asking and answering this emotional question I tried to answer it invariably from two personal perspectives:
- Time and statistical (qualitative) recognition / tracking
- Cognitive and emotional understanding of healing / acceptance
I realised now that I have almost oblivious to self divided my journey into four quartiles across a loss / trauma healing spectrum and that the most challenging period was up to the end of the third quartile of 75% - based on my own personal criteria. Now, being well into the 4th quartile the cognitive awareness of learning and understanding enabled me to place thousands of my own journaling words and objective research analysis / articles into a final personal quote of healing and acceptance (of change).
I would not have been in a position to prepare this quote a year ago, not six months ago or perhaps not even a month ago, but due to the desire to accept and move on I am in a fortunate position to close the searching (of a renewed sense of self and acceptance narrative) with the following: (which encapsulates two years of analysis and introspection, but took two minutes to write).
"The 'Mental Health and Motivation’ self-development and research journey manifested a renewed awareness of patience, presence and purpose - not just in learning more about the existential self, but also gaining a metacognitive understanding of our neuropsychological functioning that inevitably shapes behaviour choices - in any given moment or situation (in relation to self and others) - and that any of these choices can be changed if desired". — Vernon Chalmers
Disclaimer: For the purpose of this post the healing question and answer exclude any reference, claim or qualitative / quantitative speculation in relation to the formal rehabilitation, therapy or treatment stage(s) of any behavioural, emotional, mental or personality disorder as formally assessed and diagnosed by a psychiatric or psychology health care professional (by means of the DSM-5-TR and / or any other professional international diagnostic criteria).
Emotional Self-Healing Progress - According to ChatGPT
"Emotional self-healing is a personal journey that varies from individual to individual. It's important to note that as an AI, I don't have access to specific personal details about your experiences or progress. However, I can provide you with some general guidance on emotional self-healing and steps you can take to make progress.
- Self-awareness: The first step in emotional self-healing is developing self-awareness. Take time to reflect on your emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. Understand the patterns and triggers that contribute to your emotional struggles.
- Acceptance: Embrace your emotions without judgment. Allow yourself to feel and experience them fully, even the uncomfortable ones. Acceptance is crucial for healing and moving forward.
- Self-care: Prioritize self-care activities that nurture your emotional well-being. This can include engaging in hobbies you enjoy, practicing mindfulness or meditation, getting regular exercise, maintaining a balanced diet, and getting enough sleep.
- Seek support: Consider reaching out to a trusted friend, family member, or therapist who can provide a listening ear and guidance. Sometimes, talking through your emotions with someone can offer valuable insights and support.
- Practice emotional regulation techniques: Explore techniques that help you regulate your emotions, such as deep breathing exercises, journaling, practicing gratitude, or engaging in creative outlets like art or music.
- Let go of past hurts: Holding onto past hurts and grudges can hinder your healing process. Practice forgiveness, both towards others and yourself. It doesn't mean condoning harmful actions, but rather releasing the emotional burden they place on you.
- Set healthy boundaries: Establishing and maintaining healthy boundaries is crucial for your emotional well-being. Learn to say no when necessary and communicate your needs effectively.
- Embrace self-compassion: Treat yourself with kindness, understanding, and compassion. Remind yourself that it's okay to make mistakes and that healing is a gradual process.
- Engage in positive relationships: Surround yourself with supportive and positive people who uplift and encourage you. Cultivate relationships that contribute to your emotional growth and well-being.
- Keep learning and growing: Emotional self-healing is an ongoing process. Stay open to learning new techniques, exploring different approaches, and continuing your personal growth journey.