What They Don’t Tell You About Healing

What they don’t tell you is that healing is not linear.

 

Because if you were to graph it out on a science-y line chart, you might think that it would go diagonally up and to the right, documenting your journey from “broken” to “healed” with clarity, ease, and order.

 

But healing is not linear.

 

It’s more like a wave, curving up and curving down. Yes, you’re on the general trajectory toward “healed,” but it’s not a straight shot.

 

And by the way, this non-linear healing trajectory is not a fault of you. It’s not a character flaw. It’s not a way in which you’ve failed or fallen short.

 

Healing is not linear.

 

It’s not like you pass through a “checkpoint” once and never have to revisit it again.

 

Like, “Oh yay! I got through the the sob-in-the-shower-for-five-days-straight level and now I never have to go through that again! On to the next level, which involves copious amounts of jelly beans and Netflix!”

 

If only that were the case. But healing is not linear.

 

In my own healing journey, there were times when I’d go months without sobbing in the shower, only to find myself feeling broken, freshly triggered, and sobbing in the shower all over again.


Healing is not linear.

 

It has its ups and its downs.

 

And when you’re in your “downs,” please trust that you’ll feel okay again. Really, it’s possible.

 

What they also don’t tell you is that feeling better can be so terrifying. Because you know how far you have to fall.

 

Feeling joy is frightening when you already know the dark depths of yourself that you could journey (or “fall”) into. It sometimes even feels like it’s “safer” to not resurface into joy at all. Because at least there’s security in the plateau of dark depths that you’ve come to know so intimately.

 

Healing is not linear.

 

And when you say “I’m broken,” here’s what they don’t tell you:

 

You are perfect exactly as you are.

 

You might feel terribly, irreparably broken.

 

You don’t have to move or heal or mend unless you want to. You are perfect and lovable as you are, and you get to decide when and how you wish to heal.

 

From my experience, you won’t be the same person as you were “before.”

 

But what if that’s okay? What if it’s okay to emerge from this different? (Healing is not linear.)

 

After all, we humans are dynamic and ever-growing. We aren’t meant to be the same forever.

 

Healing is not linear.

 

If you feel that you’ve been shattered (I certainly did), consider this:

 

What if there is more than one way to put together the pieces of you?

 

What if you’re NOT made like a 5,000 piece puzzle that only has one correct way of assembly?

 

What if, instead, you are a kaleidoscope of shapes, ever forming and reforming beautiful patterns? Or you’re like a set of lego blocks. Each piece of you is cherished and there are so many incredible ways that you can fit together and be whole.

 

If you’re feeling tremendous, heart-wrenching, how-will-I-ever-get-out-of-this pain, please know that you can get better. You can heal. It won’t always be this awful, even if it feels like it will.

 

I didn’t believe that I would ever get to know who I was without my illness and without my trauma constantly looming over me. I didn't think I would ever be able to feel comfortable in my body and like I had more than enough energy to make it through the day. 

 

But here I am, on the other side of it.

 

Healing is not linear. But healing is possible.

 

I am healed and I stand on the other side of my trauma. I extend a compassionate hand to help you up: Healing is possible. When you’re ready. It might not happen as quickly as you wish, but it is possible.

 

Please be kind to yourself because healing is not linear. But with each downward curve, you know that there is an upward curve waiting to happen. <3

Marley Jamason