When You Think You've Healed, Heal Some More
By Adiasha Richards
Imagine my shock after being in therapy, becoming a therapist, actively practicing the things I preach only to find out I had more work to do. Just as my clients say to me, more? More work and more healing, but as I like to own my shit, I stepped up to the plate and did my work. It’s been a hard, long process that I questioned many times, is it over yet? I faced many lessons from the universe, got tested and learned some more.
Now I feel peaceful and happy but started thinking "whoa, what's that". I have seen this in my clients as well, after we have sifted through the trauma and baggage from the past a new issue emerges. How to get used to happiness? Strange thought, right? Everyone is always searching for happiness but for some when they get there they find it’s scarier than the pain. What do you do in the space you’ve never lived in before? When I got there, I felt a little unsettled, not really sure what it was and what it meant to for my life. I pinpointed that feeling as unfamiliarity. From childhood, my life was faced with chaos, uncertainty and instability, experiences that pushed me into survival mode, defense mechanisms and basically a big ass wall of unhealthy strategies to get through life. Now here I am in my 30's I've done a lot of work, can't say it's complete and I feel raw. I have worked on the areas of my life that were strained, friendships, parental/family relationships, career, romantic relationships, picked apart my pain, my wounds, and sat through all the feelings we dread to feel. On the other side of this healing is a rawness, being open and vulnerable. I have taken down bricks of the big ass wall I built to protect myself. Now I live in my truth, the full complete raw truth. It’s new, it’s strange!
I didn't know my life without my defenses and chaos. Is this the other side of healing, I still struggle with the internal conflict, doing the old vs doing the new-- mostly I choose the new. And I know this isn't the end because life is constantly moving and evolving, there will be more work to do. I’m sure you may experience some of these similar feelings.
In this new space, I spend each day embracing life without my wall, getting to know the new me. The me that doesn't let pain and fear dictate my life but the me that acknowledges that loving and connecting comes with challenges, but that are worth it. The me that has healthy tools to cope with feelings and doesn't need all the old. I am gentle with her, I love and honor her because she has come a long way. I tell my clients "defenses are there to protect us but when the threat is gone we need to let them go". I have experienced just how deep that statement goes and I wish for everyone doing their work to meet the new and improved version of themselves.
When I say, “when you think you’ve healed, heal some more”, as someone who first went to therapy as a teen and still is as a I call myself “a healing soul”, in my thirties I have learned healing happens in layers. Whether you’ve dealt with your issues 5 years or 2 years ago, it can still come up and cause problems for you now. Always be open to staying true to your new practices, be open to revisiting an issue and learning new ways to be. Growth should be never ending.
Adiasha Richards, LMHC is a proud West Indian American, owner of Growth and Transitions Counseling located out of two offices in Queens NY (Ridgewood and Howard Beach). She has a team of licensed therapists which serve a wide demographic of people in the areas focused on Mental Health Services. Her practice offers Individual Counseling, Couples and Martial Counseling, Pre Martial Counseling, Family Counseling, and Children and Teens. There is certainly something for almost everybody. Adiasha states " Everyone is talking about do your work, find inner peace, posting positive quotes, but What the Hell is that, how do you do the work?" She works individually with women to help them work through their trauma, heal from the past, and grow the skills needed to move out of surviving and into a life of full living.