Healing wounds from the past
addiction coaching family positivity self care

Healing wounds from the past

Healing wounds from the past can be tricky.

Do you have issues and baggage from your years gone by?  Those dang wounds will come sneaking up on you sometimes and when you least expect it – they can reach up and try to pull you back. I’ve had the opportunity to explore some of my own wounds deeply in the last few weeks.

Here are a few things to help you through the potentially painful process:

The healing process doesn’t necessarily have to be messy.

If you’re anything like me, you can hold a grudge, and when the moment is ‘right’ – boom. I can recall nearly all of the negative things that have happened “to” me (notice – the quotation marks – I’ll get to those shortly). If I feel attacked, I can pull out any number of those scenarios and lay it out as a reminder of the other’s transgressions.

That’s where it gets messy – when you’re so focused on hurting the other person in retaliation that you ignore what’s hurting in you.

It’s important that you have the tools and support around you to take down the walls around your heart, and peel back the layers of hurt. Exposing the raw and delicate sores underneath, you can clean out the dirt, doctor it up to prevent (re)infection, and heal with only the scar and the story.

Your healing has to start with you

Here’s a few tips that can help you as you heal.

1) Relationships are our mirrors.

My husband can stir up murderous thoughts in me faster than anyone, and it’s because he’s showing me all the things I need to work on. My children too are mirrors as to what I can improve upon.  Coworkers, slow drivers, you name it – they are all here to show me how to be a better me.

Those closest to us are in the best position to push our buttons, and thus, receive the brunt of our wrath when we lash out in pain.

Being able to be strong in our relationships allows us to be our best in the world.  Being strong enough to say “I’m sorry”, or “I was wrong”, and “can you forgive me” –  is powerful stuff.  It’s important to own your baggage and speak up when you’ve disrespected a relationship.  You don’t have to own anyone else’s mistakes, drama or crap – just yours.

When we learn to lean into those who are safe for us, we can open up. We can allow them to see the soft spots, and know that they have our best good at heart.  Identifying a few people who you can be totally you with (even when you’re ugly-crying and hurt/angry, etc) is beneficial to the healing process.

Find people that will call you on your bullshit – and do it with LOVE – those people are gold.

2) Old wounds still hurt.

You’d think that over time, childhood drama/trauma would just heal up and go away, like they say ashes to ashes… but it doesn’t.  I’ve found that many times childhood stuff rears it’s ugly head somewhere in the late teens/early twenties and again (if not dealt with) in “Middle Age”. After having worked with hundreds of people it’s a common thread that can bubble up and reek havoc if not unpacked.

Until you address your schtuff, it’s going to keep coming up.  Hate to break it to you, but that’s how it is.  The teachers keep coming until the lesson is learned.  Dealing with a string of unhealthy relationships? Seem to keep getting the same crappy boss no matter which job you take? Maybe you keep gaining that same 5 (or 10, or 25) pounds over and over again…

Until you do a full, deep, honest scan to see what’s going on, and deal with it, it will keep coming back. Healing yourself now will heal many generations to come. It will also heal the hurts of those who came before you. (no pressure though *insert eye roll*)

3) There is no quick fix.

womp womp womp – sorry dearies. No magic wand, no pill, no fairy godmother to rescue us. Healing old wounds is only accomplished by going through it.  It will take time, but you can address the hurts from your past and move forward into a bright new future.

Especially when there’s addiction in the family – it can be even more messy.  I honestly thought that when my husband went to rehab, that he would come back and it’d be all hunky dory. Nope. We’re almost 6 years into a clean and sober relationship and we still have bumps. (Mostly old wounds coming back to the surface).

Healing can be messy

Remember – monsters only have power in the dark

It’s a bit cliche, but true. When we keep secrets, and stuff the hurtful things in, they will stay in the dark. It’s only when we bring our wounds to the surface, with people who love us as much as we love them, who accept us with our lumps and bumps and scars, and are willing to sit with us until it doesn’t hurt anymore that we can truly heal.  

Back to the “Things that happened “TO” me” quote from above – things are always working for you. I know that it’s difficult to understand or stomach when you’re in the thick of it. The most resilient people know, though, that things happen FOR us. When we look at our journeys as just that – a journey – we can take our power back and redirect to the path we were meant for. Learn the lesson, and heal the wound. You’ve got this.

Growth is messy. Life is messy. But it's oh so beautiful...

Your turn –  Leave a comment below with your stories of healing – I know they’ll inspire others.  Need some support? Email me and let me know – what wounds from your past need to be nurtured?

Erin Hill is a writer, speaker, and healer. She resides on the Eastern Shore of Maryland with her husband and children, who are her greatest teachers. She is currently working on her first book.

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