Healing is hard. I remember my first major experience with physical healing. I was three. I fell down in the front yard, and agony shot up my right arm like lava running up my nerves into my brain. My mother and aunt came running out of the house, and moments later, street lights whizzed by the car window. My aunt cupped my right elbow in her hands. I cried til I couldn’t anymore. We were on our way to the hospital.
I don’t know if it was minutes or hours later, but the doctor informed us my arm was broken. I was lucky it didn’t need to be reset. I sat completely still as the doctor immobilized my arm in cotton and pale, plasticized gauze. Weeks in a cast wasn’t easy as a toddler just learning to write. I tried writing with my left hand, and hated it. I tried writing with my right hand, and couldn’t move the pencil properly. Once the cast came off, I didn’t want to move my arm for fear of hurting it again, but move my arm I did. My parents made sure I did all the physical therapy exercises to make that arm work again.
Now, over two and a half decades later, I have full mobility in that arm, and no lasting negative effects. I wish I could say that experience gave me an edge on emotional healing as well. I don’t know if it did.
Right now, I’m facing a profound wound of a sort I never imagined encountering. Last year, just after our third anniversary, my husband asked to become my ex-husband. I doubt I will ever fully understand why, and I don’t believe knowing why is my task right now. For now, my job is to heal. I’m probably still in an emotional cast, but I’ve begun identifying the steps I’ve taken and some I still need to take in order to fully recover and become whole again.
Recognize the Wound – This may be one of the more difficult steps. Denial feels far easier in the moment. After all, why not just keep going in spite of it, right? This, as my therapist would say, is not good mental health. What is good mental health? Acknowledge that you have been wounded. See the wound for what it is. Your emotional and spiritual being have been harmed. It’s alright to hurt right now. It’s alright to cry. After all, just how well would my arm have healed without acknowledging it had been broken and putting it in that cast?
Allow Yourself to Feel the Wound – This is different than simply seeing that there is a wound. This is crying for the hurt. Crying for the cause of the hurt. Recognizing that you may have had no control over that cause. Recognizing all the varying emotions coming from the wound.
Remember to Live – Find a hobby. Find a passion. Find something that lights a fire in you that can help cauterize the Wound. Do not wallow in what was. Get up every day and for at least part of the day, live in what is and the possibility of what will be. Otherwise, the Wound becomes the controlling factor in your life.
Stay in Control – A massive emotional/spiritual wound can take over your life if allowed the option. Do not give it the option. Keep your passions alive. Keep yourself alive. Do not allow the Wound or the one that inflicted the Wound to have that control. It is your life. Control what you can, ignore the rest.
Practice Good Mental Health – Take an active role in your healing. If you are passive, the wound may scab over, but the likelihood of infection is high. Accept that you have been Wounded, and work to clean and stitch it so that it may heal well.
These are the five steps, in no particular order, that I’ve used to help me in my life as I work to recover from the Wound of divorce. Thank you for reading. If you found this helpful, let me know in the comments, or feel free to subscribe to the blog.