Betrayal and PTSD — Don’t Lose Hope

“Your healing is about you. It doesn’t need anyone’s stamp of approval. It doesn’t matter how long it takes, or how ugly it looks. It’s about you, and you alone.” PTSD is a response to a traumatic incident, and is frequently experienced when a partner or spouse discovers that their mate has a secret life. […]

Betrayal and PTSD — Don’t Lose Hope

Why Betrayal is so Devastating — Don’t Lose Hope

“A partner affected by intimate betrayal experiences a level of pain that is indescribable.  The hurt is so profound and complex, partners often wonder if it will ever get better.” Shira Olsen If you’ve been betrayed then you know that this is true. But why is betrayal so destructive and distressing? Why can’t we just […]

Why Betrayal is so Devastating — Don’t Lose Hope

No Regrets

Don't Lose Hope

There’s a good chance you’ve heard of Bonnie Ware’s book: The Top Five Regrets of the Dying. This was based on her work in palliative care.

The fact is, we all make choices everyday which affect the trajectory of our lives. These often feel unconscious and insignificant. And yet, over time, they become significant. They can cause us to miss out, and they can change who we become. It happens very slowly …. But it happens, all the same.

So what sorts of things did the dying regret? And what can we learn from their experience?

Regret # 1.I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”

Some questions to ask yourself ….

“What does it mean for you to be authentic, and true to yourself?

“What exactly does that look like?” Try to be as…

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Ditching the Emotional Baggage

Don't Lose Hope

“Ditch your emotional baggage, and just be.”

Sounds great, doesn’t it. And, honestly, isn’t that what we’d all love to do. But these peoples don’t go on to lay out a plan of how you can quickly to get rid of the baggage.

Because there is no easy way. It doesn’t happen “just like that”.

You’re dealing with layers in the subconscious mind.

You’re dealing with what feels like a mystery. For the reactions you have are often shocking and surprising. They seem to defy reason. They feel outside your control.

And learning what they mean, and how to heal, and then move on, is a massive exercise. It can take you years and years.

So the next time you hear something trite and superficial … Give yourself a break. And don’t pressurize yourself. You’ve probably come further that you realize right now.

And if your mind…

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It’s Time for Some Self-Compassion

Don't Lose Hope

“Things I know about healing: Speaking kindly to yourself helps a lot.” – Unknown

I wonder why we seem to find it so hard to be kind to ourselves.

To listen to ourselves when we’re struggling and in pain.

To cut ourselves some slack when we feel cannot cope. Or when we feel we can’t let go. Or we find we can’t move on.

Those things all take time. They are really hard to do.

You don’t just find you’ve healed.

You don’t just blot out the past.

Making changes is a process. Two steps forwards. One step back.

A journey full of landmines. Full of triggers. Full of tears.

But do you know what makes a difference? Do you know what really helps?

Working on your self-compassion.

Being kind to yourself.

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Some Things I’ve Learned from Trauma

Don't Lose Hope

1. It requires specialist counselling. Although it is essential to talk about what happened, and to have your experienced witnessed by another, a counsellor or therapist needs additional training. They need to know what is normal when you’ve been traumatized, and especially when it comes to managing flashbacks, re-experiencing the trauma, and dissociation.

2. You feel you’re going crazy; you don’t recognize yourself. You fly off the handle at the smallest provocation. You react in scary and unexpected ways; and you no longer live on an even keel.

This is not who you were, or who you want to be. You feel you’ve lost yourself, and you’ve lost yourself forever.

3. You experience emotions you never felt before; and these feelings can be hard to bring under control. They’re overwhelming, intense and can be hard to dial down. And you never really know “what is going to set you off.”

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Yes, You Can Learn to Love Yourself

Don't Lose Hope

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You are fine just as you are. You don’t need to prove a thing.”

Life often feels like one long competition. Who is the prettiest, smartest, funniest, most interesting … and so it goes on.

There is pressure to compare ourselves with one another, and that can often lead to massive self-doubt.

So what can do you do when the internal tapes are constantly saying that you don’t measure up?

It takes work to ignore, and to switch off, all those voices.

But you need to feel comfortable with yourself.

Think about it … You don’t want to feel that you’ve spent your whole life attacking yourself, and undermining your self-worth.

With that in mind:

1. Prioritize taking care of your health, and celebrate your body for all it does for you. Pay attention to your diet. Make sure you find some form of exercise you love, and can…

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I Think I’m Going Crazy

Don't Lose Hope

A girl who has lived through trauma has lived through a situation where her body, her mind, her self was not her own. Where she felt disjointed, ripped from her self, safety, and sanity. It was a moment, an experience, a something where her trust was smashed, her worth was gone, and all there was was pain.” – Victor Second

You’ve startled awake again at 3am. You’re shaking like a leaf. Sweat is pouring off your skin. You’re gripped by strong feelings of anxiety and fear, and you remember how you felt when you learned of the betrayal. The sudden punch in your stomach. Being curled up in shock. It’s déjà vu. You’ve been here so many times.

And now the adrenalin is surging and rushing through your veins. You’re completely awake; you’re on high alert. You’re mad that other people will believe that you’re to blame. You feel…

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6 Questions to ask when you’re making a tough decision — Coaching Skills International

1. What option would I choose if I knew I would definitely succeed? 2. What would I do if I didn’t feel scared? 3. Who can I talk to who’s been in my shoes? 4. What are the likely outcomes of each choice and decision? 5. What is the worst thing that could happen; what […]

6 Questions to ask when you’re making a tough decision — Coaching Skills International

Understanding Kids who’ve Experienced Trauma

Don't Lose Hope

Below are some facts on traumatized kids:

1. Traumatized kids don’t mean to push your buttons. Neither do they mean to be challenging. They are usually feeling tense, anxious, stressed and afraid. They also feel unsafe and out of control. In addition, they’re afraid to trust, they don’t know who to trust, and they wonder what awful thing might happen next.

2. Traumatized kids find it hard to relax – for they’re always waiting for the other shoe to drop. They find it hard to focus, and they can’t concentrate. They have to be on guard, to protect themselves.

3. Our definition of a trauma is individual and unique. What might seem small to you, may seem huge to a child. And it’s the child’s definition that matters, and counts.

4. There are so many things that can traumatize a child. The break up of the family (a separation or…

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Quote of the Day

Don't Lose Hope

The most beautiful people I have ever met are the ones who always see life in full colour. They are the ones who have been through hell and back and still stop to savour the parts of life that many seldom pay attention to … These are the people I admire most because, no matter how much they have suffered, they will always find a reason to make the best of this imperfect world.” – Karen Baquiran

Often those who have suffered the most have the most beautiful character.

They know what matters, and they know what is fluff.

They are also understanding and compassionate.

They are deep – not superficial – and they live in the now.

And they know how fragile our relationships can be.

So they appreciate and savour all the gifts this moment gives.

And they always see the beauty, and they search…

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I Promise …

Don't Lose Hope

“I have taken a vow to love myself, in good times and bad.” Stacie Martin

This is one of the most important vows you will ever make in life.

Don’t lose sight of it when things are tough. Or when the old tapes start playing in your head.

Remember to always love and cherish yourself.

Remember to be kind, and to cut yourself some slack.

Remember to listen to that faltering inner voice that wants to be heard, and be taken seriously.

There’s always a reason why we feel the way we feel, why we think the things we think, and react the way we do.

Don’t attack, or shame yourself. Don’t reject, or hate yourself.

Remember your vow. Choose to always love yourself.

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I Love Life

Don't Lose Hope

Sometimes, I have been desperate and despairing.

Sometimes, sorrow and grief have filled my heart.

There have been times when it all has felt too much.

When I’ve felt so lost, and hopeless, abandoned and alone.

Sometimes, I didn’t want to wake up in the morning.

I couldn’t face the struggle; I had zero energy.

Yet through it all I knew it was worth the fight and tussle.

And I wanted to keep living

Because life is beautiful.

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Some Thoughts on Finding Hope

Don't Lose Hope

I was shocked and traumatized by the news I received. For a while I couldn’t function. I could barely survive. But I held on hard to hope – for without it: “What’s the point?”  And there had to be a point, or you give into despair.

When I look back on the time, I can see the steps I took that helped me to stay strong, and which helped me find this hope. And perhaps there’s something here that will work for you, too:

1. Keep doing the same normal, routine things you’ve always done. You’ll have zero energy, and often doing the next thing will feel like an achievement. An impossible task. However, if you can still meet with a friend for a short walk once a week, or buy some groceries, or go and wash your car, there will be some things in life that still…

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Signs you are Healing from Trauma

Don't Lose Hope

Signs you are healing from trauma include:

1. You are able to acknowledge that you’ve been through something totally life-changing. Something that has shaken up your world. There’s no denial or playing things down.

2. You allow yourself to feel ALL the feelings. This includes the intense, negative, and scary ones. You don’t pretend that you’re OK, or use positive thinking to bypass your unwanted and negative emotions.

3. You accept support. From counsellors, therapists, doctors, or close friends. You know this is too big, and you can’t do it alone. Being traumatized is different from dealing with tough things. It’s a different beast entirely. And a very scary one.

4. You consciously nurture your body and mind. Your autonomic nervous system has been stuck on over-drive. Hence, you know you really need to pay attention to your health. So you rest when you can…

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Why Victims of Abuse Don’t Leave Immediately

Don't Lose Hope

When we hear the stories of victims of abuse, we also hear comments like: “Why did she stay? Why on earth did she put up with that level of abuse?”

As if the situation wasn’t really complicated.

So why do victims stay; why don’t they leave immediately? There are many different reasons – but the key ones include:

1. What’s happening doesn’t match their definition of abuse: Think about some statements like the following:

“He was yelling at me, and throwing things around the room. But he never, ever laid a finger on me.”

“He didn’t hit or harm me. He was just restraining me. He was blocking the door so I couldn’t get away.”

“It only happened a few times. I wouldn’t say it was a pattern.”

“I was being unreasonable so it was my fault, too.”

“I didn’t know, that as a wife, I could say…

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Why We Can’t “Just Let go”

Don't Lose Hope

How often do you hear someone say, “Just let it go”?

As if was easy that easy to “Just let it go”.

You don’t just snap your fingers, or make up your mind. The feelings that you have won’t just quietly lie down. The don’t just frizzle out and, no, they don’t just disappear.

And that’s why this trite phrase tends to annoy me so much.

If you try to block emotions and pretend they aren’t there, you will not solve the problem for the issue’s unaddressed. The feelings are still there – even if they’re underground.

For your feelings are designed to alert you to the fact that something isn’t right: that you’ve been wronged, or you’ve been hurt.

That matters – and it should.

And it is right to feel upset.

What to do About it?

If you can’t “Just let it go

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Trust me on This

Don't Lose Hope

So much of life is a huge unknown.

Where should I live? What career should I follow?

What will life look like if I do this or that?

Should I have a child? Would I be a bad mom?

Should I live on my own?

Should I marry this man?

Should I stay in this marriage? Is it really worth the risk?

Can I trust him again? Can I trust anyone?  

These are all huge unknowns. Time and chance place a role.

And that’s why we are scared.

It’s beyond our control.

But there’s still cause for hope in the deep of the night

When the darkness descends, and you’re starting to sweat.

You’ve gone through things before.

Things that didn’t work out.

Yes, it’s awful. It’s hard.

Yet you made it. You’re still here.

You don’t hold all the cards.

You don’t know what might change.

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Time for a Change

Don't Lose Hope

When a flower doesn’t bloom, you fix the environment it’s growing in, not the flower.”

Think about that for a moment.

What do you need to really blossom in life?

To be the best “you” you were made to be?

Who, or what, is stopping you from being your true self?

What is causing you to shrivel, or is hampering your growth?

What has happened in the past – that has left you with deep scars?

What secrets have you buried? Are there wounds that are still bleeding?

Who wants you to stay stuck, or who needs you to stay stuck?

Who wants you to believe that you are average? Not enough?

What environment would help to you to be free to be yourself?

Would help to bring the best out? Help you live a fuller life?

A life where you are happy, where you’re free and…

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Come, Sit Down Beside Me

Don't Lose Hope

Come sit down beside me, I said to myself.

And although it doesn’t make sense,

I held my own hand as a small sign of trust

And together I sat on the fence.

– Michael Leunig

On those days when we feel that we don’t fit in, when we feel so alone, like no-one understands, we can sit beside ourselves.

We can be there for ourselves.

We can offer ourselves comfort

On those heavy, lonely days.

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7 Signs That Tell You They Don’t Value You

Don't Lose Hope

Whether it’s a friend, or your partner or spouse, it’s horrible to feel that they don’t value you. It can really undermine your self-esteem.

But so often we push down all the signs that are there – because it’s very painful to be treated in this way. We don’t want to face the truth that they’re treating us like this when we care about them, and always treat them with respect.

So here are some signs we should pay attention to …

1. They aren’t interested in what you have to say. Perhaps they appear sweet when you are around, but they don’t really care about your opinions. But what they think, and the views of certain others, always seems to matter, and are taken seriously. They also show a glaring lack of empathy when you want to share something that’s important to you.

2. They…

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Your Now is Not your Forever

Don't Lose Hope

You look at your life – and all you see are broken pieces.

Shattered shards and splinters.

Jagged glass that makes you bleed

The impact of what happened keeps on cutting you anew.

You relive all the memories.

All the trauma you’ve been through.

But … this needn’t be your life.

You needn’t feel like this forever.

You won’t always be broken.

Or consumed by endless pain.

The pieces and the shards can create something beautiful.

This life is still your life.

This trauma’s not your destiny.

So gather up the fragments.

Hold them tightly to your heart.

Release them to the future.

And believe you’ll rise again.

Your story’s not yet written.

There are chapters yet untold.

Hold on to hope; believe it.

Claim your life.

You can be free.

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10 Signs you may be Carrying Unresolved Trauma

Don't Lose Hope

Some symptoms of unresolved trauma include:

1. You find it hard to experience joy. You want to feel alive and experience joy, but somehow that feeling continually eludes you

2. You fill up your life with distractions. Whether it’s binge-watching TV, or it’s snacking when you’re stressed … There’s always a way of avoiding painful feelings – for staying in the present feels too scary and hard.

3. You’re afraid of your emotions for they feel out of control. They hit you unexpectedly, and feel so intense. Or, you may find it hard to feel anything at all.

4. It’s impossible to turn your mind off. You’re always on alert. You never reach that place of calm. You’re always vigilant because you know things can go wrong.  

5. You’re afraid to trust anyone at all. You would love to be able to fully trust…

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Sacred Ground or Haunted Territory?

Don't Lose Hope

My past still haunted me … This is trauma: a near constant feeling in my gut that something is wrong, or that something terrible is about to happen, the automatic fear responses in my body telling me to run away, to take cover, to hide myself from danger everywhere. My trauma can still rise up out of mundane encounters. A sudden sight, a particular smell, can transport me back to the past.” – Edith Eva Eger

Perhaps you’ve heard it said that memory is sacred ground. But I would also argue that it’s haunted territory.

Think about it …

What happens if you live through something absolutely awful? A trauma or a horror? Something truly devastating? How are you told to handle it?

The message we pick up from society is: Bury all that stuff. Never, ever talk about it. Push it down inside. Don’t look at it…

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A Mantra for Managing Emotions

Don't Lose Hope

I recently came across a really helpful mantra for managing intense, overwhelming emotions. In its simplest form, the mantra is:

1. Notice

2. Accept

3. Check

4. Stay

1. Notice what you’re feeling when emotions are stirred. Don’t ignore what is happening inside your head and body. Don’t deny, or suppress, or trivialize your feelings. They are wanting your attention. They deserve to be acknowledged. They deserve to be seen. To be taken seriously.

You can do this by giving the emotion a name: “This is sorrow. This is sadness. This is anger. This is shame.”

2. Next, accept it’s your emotion. It’s your own personal reaction. The feeling is still yours, even if it has been triggered by a person, or a place, or an object, or a memory.

Also, remember there are no good or bad emotions. Our emotions simple are. There is nothing wrong…

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Paradise Lost

Don't Lose Hope

Try this.

Picture yourself as happy, carefree child – maybe 6 or 7 years of age.

Where are you? What are you doing? Try to identify what you might be thinking and feeling.

What makes this child so adorable? What makes your heart fill with love for her?

This is the real you.

The you you used to be. Before all those painful, damaging experiences. Before you stopped liking and loving yourself.

This is the you who got lost along the way.

But that you still exists – beneath the layers of the years.

That youis still there – maybe buried, but still there.

Oh, wouldn’t it be wonderful to reconnect with her!

If only you could access that child once again.

“This is the beginning of loving yourself. Welcome home.”

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I Want to be Remembered as ….

Don't Lose Hope

When my kids were small, we used to really enjoy making pancakes on Shrove Tuesday. Tossing them, however, was another matter.

Often, we would have to scrape them off the frying pan. And occasionally we scraped them off the walls and floor. But most of the time, they made it on to our plates, and then we would cover them in chocolate and fruit … and all sorts of other delicious things.

Yes, Shrove Tuesday was a lot of fun.

I was vaguely aware that the day after that was something called Ash Wednesday. But, honestly, Ash Wednesday meant nothing to me.

And it’s only recently that I’ve heard the phrase: “Remember you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” The words associated with Ash Wednesday.

An interesting phrase. One that really made me think.

We tend to live our lives as if we’re never going to…

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Gallery

The Footprints of Trauma

Don't Lose Hope

When you’re processing a trauma, and are in a state of shock, you experience emotions you’ve never felt before. Also, you sometimes act in ways that you almost can’t believe. You are in a scary place where you hardly know yourself.

The following information might help you see and grasp what is actually quite normal when you’re in a state of crisis.

Important facts to be aware of include:

  1. To be violated or betrayed by a person you trust and depend on has much more serious consequences than being harmed by a stranger, or experiencing an impersonal trauma like an earthquake.
  2. Memories of traumatic events are like shards of shattered glass. Our memories of the trauma itself come in pieces, turn up in unexpected places, and pierce and cut us at unexpected times. Our reactions to these triggers are generally intense and overwhelming. In this way, traumatic memories are very…

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Getting What You Deserve

Don't Lose Hope

“Darling, you deserve it all.

Love, and peace, and joy dancing in your eyes.

Heart, deep belly laughter,

and the right to let those tears fall and water the soil.

You deserve freedom, and goodness, and company, and days of bliss and quiet.

You deserve happy, and healed, and content and safe.

So keep going. Go realize into being the life you deserve.”

You deserve it all.

Happiness. Deep happiness. A rich, contented meaningful life.

The right to be authentic and genuine. The right to be who you were meant to be.

Unique you. Beautiful you.

The right to feel your feelings. The right to express your feelings.

The right to be healed. The right to feel safe.

Don’t ever believe you deserve less than this.

This is the life you were meant to live.

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What Now?

Don't Lose Hope

Learning of betrayal is extremely traumatic, and you’re likely to be living in a fog for a while. Below are some guidelines that can help you navigate the weeks and months ahead, when you’re in a state of shock.

1. You might feel pushed to make a decision related to whether or not you should end the relationship. Resist that pressure while you’re in a state of shock. This is not the time to be making crucial life-altering decisions. Your emotions are going to be all over the place. In fact, experts suggest you wait at least 6 months before deciding on a question like this.

2. Give yourself permission to experience all emotions. Many of these will be intense and overwhelming. But it’s important to allow yourself to feel them. Don’t repress them.

3. Don’t allow your partner or spouse to accuse, or put any of the blame on…

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8 Steps for Coping with Feelings of Panic

Don't Lose Hope

1. Try to keep in mind that feelings of panic are simply exaggerated bodily responses. They are an over-reaction to perceived feelings of threat. Your brain is trying to keep you safe.

2. The sensations themselves are neither harmful nor dangerous. Nothing worse is going to happen to you. In time the feelings will start to dissipate.

3. Do your best to stop adding to the feelings of panic by imagining all kinds of scary “what if” scenarios. Instead, try to reign in thoughts of where the panic might lead, and how much worse the situation could become.

4. Consciously work on grounding yourself in the present. Like an outside observer, do your best to notice what is happening in you, and around you. Try to be as detached and curious as possible. Describe what you are observing in simple, concrete terms (both inside your body, and in the environment).

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You Get to Decide

Don't Lose Hope

You are the one who gets to decide.

Yes, we are wounded. We are hurt; we’re betrayed.

Awful things happen.

The sky does fall down.

This isn’t the life we’d expected to have.

It’s not what we wanted; it’s not the life we planned.

No, we don’t get a say in the cards we are dealt.

And we don’t have control over choices others make.

But we still get to choose how we’ll play what we’re dealt.

For we hold the pen. And we write the next line.

The future is yours.

You will make it.

You’ll survive.

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So Much for Self-Help!

Don't Lose Hope

It happened unexpectedly. One moment I was standing in the sea, riding the beautiful turquoise waves. The next moment I was being pulled down and down, caught by the powerful undertow.

Never have I experienced such power.

Never have I experienced such utter helplessness.

Then, as suddenly as it happened, it was over again.

No longer was I swirling, and being tossed by the waves. Now I was bleeding on some rough-hewn rocks, surrounded by people who were offering their help.

I still don’t really know what happened that day, or how I survived that terrifying ordeal. But what Ido know is I owe my life to others who there, and who came to my aid.  

Another thing I know is that self-help couldn’t save me. I was too weak and winded to do anything. I needed other-help at that moment in time. I couldn’t save myself…

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Quote of the Day: For Those who are Struggling

Don't Lose Hope

This is for the ones who are struggling right now.

This is for the ones who have been having a rough day, or week, or year.

The ones who feel like this storm will never end.

Keep on fighting for YOU. Not for your friends, not for your family, but for YOU.

Keep fighting because deep down you hear a tiny voice that you were meant for far more than this sadness and pain you are feeling.

Keep fighting because the person you will be on the other side of all of this is cheering for you so much.

Keep fighting because you will get there.

And it will be worth it.” – Nikki Banas

Don’t give up.

You are stronger than you feel.

Breathe in deeply.

Let your mind and body rest.

Then, when you are grounded, you can stand and fight again.

You can do this.

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I Don’t Deserve to be Loved

Don't Lose Hope

I wonder if you ever struggle with that painful feeling … The feeling that you really don’t deserve to be loved.

And when we’re in that desperate place we often move to self-attack. We turn against ourselves and we recite the countless reasons why we ought to be rejected, disliked or even scorned.

But this self-attack is crazy on so many different levels.

It usually has no bearing in reality.

Also, it serves no useful purpose, and it scars and wounds us deeply as we turn against ourselves with loud, self-shaming accusations.

Why do we do it?

There is a voice inside our head that has been nurtured through the years by negative experiences that left their mark on us. The voices of our parents, or of cruel, unloving people, have gathered evidence that now feels hard to contradict. Words like:

“Nobody likes you.”

“No-one cares about you.”

“Who would…

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Quote of the Day: Your Trauma is Valid

Don't Lose Hope

 

Your trauma is valid.

Even if other people have experienced “worse”.

Even if someone else who went through the same experience doesn’t feel debilitated by it.

Even if it “could have been avoided”.

Even if it happened a long time ago.

Even if no one knows.

Your trauma is real and valid and you deserve a space to talk about it.

It isn’t desperate or pathetic or attention-seeking.

It’s self-care.

It’s inconceivably brave.

And regardless of the magnitude of your struggle, you’re allowed to take care of yourself by processing and unloading some of the pain you carry.

Your pain matters.

Your experience matters.

And your healing matters.”

— Daniell Koepke

Please believe it. Take these words to heart.

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It’s Good to Talk

Don't Lose Hope

Tell your story. Shout it. Write it. Whisper it if you have to. But tell it. Some won’t understand it. Some will outright reject it. But many will thank you for it. And then the most magical thing will happen. One by one, voices will start whispering, “Me, too. ” And your tribe will gather. And you will never feel alone again.”

-L.R. Knost

Can you imagine how good it would be to be able to talk? To be able to share. To have your pain held – like a scared, tender thing?

Can you picture that?

Can you imagine what it would be like to be understood? To feel understood. To know that you are not the only one. To know that others have walked in your shoes, and experienced what you’ve experienced.

Of course, it can never be exactly the same – because everyone’s experience is…

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Coping with Feelings of Panic

Don't Lose Hope

One of the features of betrayal trauma is experiencing overwhelming feelings of panic. This is very normal; you aren’t going crazy.

However, it can be particularly scary when this is new to you, and especially when the feelings hit you unexpectedly. So what can you do to help you cope with the symptoms? The following suggestions have been shown to make a difference:

1. Remind yourself that what you are experiencing right now are actually exaggerated normal stress reactions. You body is sending out a warning sign. That is all.

2. Although they are unpleasant, these bodily sensations aren’t dangerous or harmful. Nothing worse is going to happen.

3. Take control of your thoughts. Don’t let them run away. Don’t allow “what if scenarios” to intensify the feelings of panic. Those thoughts are usually groundless. They’re extreme, and they’re unlikely.

4. Stay focused on the present and what is happening

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The Painful Art of Letting Go

Don't Lose Hope

Fruit drops from the tree when it is ready. Staying too long, or moving too early, misses the mark … The process has its own timing, and it creates changes in your life when those changes need to happen.”

-Gary Zukav

Here are a few thoughts on letting go:

1.Letting go is a process. Yes, it may begin with a decision we make, and often there will be a desire to move on. But that is just the very start of the journey. The road is long and winding, and it’s unpredictable.

2. You can trust the process. You mind knows how to heal and protect itself. Allow it to guide you – though it won’t always make sense. It knows what it is doing; you can trust your intuition.

3. You might feel really bad, and you may struggle to let go. There…

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Do You Suffer From GAD?

Don't Lose Hope

One of the fall-outs from experiencing trauma is living with generalized anxiety disorder. It is a of a sense of dread that colours everything in life, so the person can’t relax and focus on what’s happening now.

Note: The difference between ‘normal’ worrying and generalized anxiety disorder is the worrying associated with GAD is excessive, intrusive, persistent and debilitating.

Signs and Symptoms

The person diagnosed with GAD will typically struggle with the following, on a regular and ongoing basis:

– Constant worrying

– An inescapable feeling of anxiety, and the feeling this is something that is outside their control

– Being constantly troubled by intrusive, anxious thoughts. (Thoughts they can’t switch off)

– Being unable to tolerate uncertainty, and not ever knowing what the future may hold

– A pervasive feeling of apprehension or dread

– Being unable to relax, and to enjoy time alone

– Difficulties with attending…

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Quote of the Day: And that is OK

Don't Lose Hope

“Perhaps most of all, though, you deserve to be okay. You deserve to know that a day in which you can just barely get out of bed because you are sad, or sick, or simply not ready to see the outside is not the end of the world. You deserve to know that moments of weakness do not make you fundamentally weak, only fundamentally human, and that sometimes we’re not going to be effusively happy, and that is okay.” – Chelsea Fagan

And that is OK.

Sometimes we need to be kind to ourselves, and to simply accept where we are today.

Perhaps we wish we were stronger inside

Or more able to process, and heal from, the pain.

Our desire and our hopes … they are in the right place.

But we are where are.

And it is what it is.

Healing takes time.

Recovery takes time.

It’s…

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Supporting Someone Who’s Experienced Trauma

Don't Lose Hope

To support someone who’s experienced trauma …

1. You don’t need to have any answers.

2. You don’t need to have gone through the same thing yourself.

3. You need to be able to listen. Really listen. Through the deep concern expressed in your eyes.

4. Silence is good. Often words don’t help. What really matters is the fact that you are there.

5. Find a way to convey that you absolutely ‘get’ how terrible this is, and how it’s shocked them to the core.

7. Often questions make things worse. If used at all, they should be used sparingly, and with sensitivity.

8. Do not offer your opinions or give advice. Never comment on the person who has caused them so much harm. Keep your focus on the victim, and what they are going through.

9. Keep emphasizing strongly that the person isn’t crazy. Their feelings and reaction –…

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Quote of the Day: It Mattered

Don't Lose Hope

“So often we try to make other people feel better by minimizing their pain, by telling them that it will get better, or that there are worse things in the world.

But that’s not what I actually needed. What I actually needed was for someone to tell me that it hurt because it mattered.

I have found this very useful to think about over the years, and I find that it is a lot easier and more bearable to be sad when you aren’t constantly berating yourself for being sad.”

– John Green

Truth!

It doesn’t help when our pain is minimized.

When we are hurting, it is because it mattered. And the more it hurts, the more it mattered.

Pretending otherwise to make others feel better, just leaves us feeling judged and alone.

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You Know Who You Are

Don't Lose Hope

I want to say thank you to the rare few individuals who walked beside in my darkest, bleakest times.

Who listened. Really listened. Without offering advice

Who told me this was normal, and I really wasn’t crazy.

Who let me rant and rave.

Held the rawness and the pain.

Who didn’t ever judge me.

Understood my brokenness.

Who loved me constantly and – always – unconditionally.

Who held a light up for me when the blackness pulled me in.

You know who you are.

And I truly want to thank you.

Your kindness made a difference.

You have helped me to survive.

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Anxiety, Depression and Thankfulness

Don't Lose Hope

(Make sure you read to the end of the post!)

There’s a lot to be said for being thankful.

1.For a start, we have a lot to be grateful for – Even when we’re suffering, and life is full of pain.

Most of us will have a decent roof over our heads, enough food to eat, some family and friends … And then there’s the beauty that surrounds us in the world. When we start to think about it, the list becomes quite long.

2. Gratitude can also help us to keep things in perspective. When things are really tough, we usually feel quite negative. And feeling negative affects the way we see the world. There’s a dark and dusty filter over everything in life. We have lost all sense of hope. We expect the very worst. This is normal, and it’s natural, when we’re in this situation.

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Quote of the Day: Life Advice

Don't Lose Hope

Life Advice

Always be the best person you can be.

Be kind even when you’re tired. Be understanding even when you’re angry.

Do more than you’re asked, and don’t ask for anything in return. Don’t silently expect anything either.

Listen when someone talks; and really listen too. Stop just thinking of how you’ll reply.

Tell people that you love them, and that you appreciate them. Go out of your way to do things for people.

Be the greatest person you can possibly be and when you mess up, make up for it in the next moment, or minute, or day.

One thing you should never do? Never spend your time trying to prove to anybody that you’re great. Your actions will speak for themselves.

And we only have limited time on this earth, don’t waste it.

If someone doesn’t see your light, don’t worry. Like moths, good people are attracted…

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