How To Accelerate Your Healing Journey

Accelerate Your Healing Journey

by Christina Enevoldsen

I felt incredibly insecure about my healing process in the beginning. Most other survivors I knew, the ones really serious about healing, had hired therapists. I couldn’t afford one. I couldn’t even afford a haircut.

I wondered how much I could heal without guidance and support from a professional. Whatever progress I made, would it be considered “legitimate”? I felt like an outsider even within the survivor community.

I was determined to heal. I would find a way. I had some ideas about how I’d start, but I’d have to figure out the rest along the way.

I noticed early in my process that healing required a lot of extra energy. My first clue was that I panicked when my phone rang. It was a threat and invasion and I had to get away from it. Everyone having access to me all the time was taking its toll.

I’d cultivated a lot of relationships where I was the giver without getting much in return. My ringing phone meant someone wanted another piece of me. Just like my abuse.

With all the energy that the healing process required, I didn’t have anything left to give. I only had enough for me.

My low energy threatened my motivation to keep going. I needed to make some changes. Healing and “life as usual” wouldn’t coexist. I couldn’t pretend that I was fine and or that I could heal in my spare time. It had to be a priority. I had to prepare for it and make a plan.

My plan involved two main things:

  • eliminating or reducing the things that drained my energy
  • being intentional about recharging so I could maintain my energy

I did that by reaching out and reaching in.

Reaching out: I found that most of my answers were (and still are) in relationships.

  • I rallied support through my husband and friends.
  • I found recovery buddies.
  • I learned how to ask for help.
  • I became intentional about scheduling time with people who energized me.
  • I learned to evaluate safe and unsafe people.
  • I reduced and eliminated time with energy-draining people.

Reaching in: The most important person on my support team is me.

  • I learned how to be there for myself in spite of how the abuse caused me to abandon myself.
  • I got to know myself and how to meet my needs.
  • I grew in self-care and learned how to love and nurture myself.
  • I discovered how to connect with my emotions and appreciate them as keys to my healing.
  • I learned to use triggers as a way to heal.
  • I found healthy coping strategies to use while I faced the pain.
  • I learned to create healthy boundaries.

During my healing journey, I’ve experienced the usual challenges of life. After all, life doesn’t stop handing us challenges just because we already have this huge recovery to manage.

I was homeless for several months while I was still learning self-care (who am I kidding? I’m always learning self-care!); I was sued by my parents for exposing my molester-father; I experienced the death of my dad; and I suffered a miscarriage.

All of that threatened to derail my healing process. But I kept working my plan and that kept me going—I not only strengthened my resolve to keep healing, but I actually had the energy to meet my resolve.

Healing can’t be rushed and there are no short-cuts but I kept moving and improving. Now I know there’s nothing “illegitimate” about the process I used to heal. I’ve felt better and better all the time. And it’s not just that I feel better. Healing is more than making the pain go away. I’m finally the person I always wanted to be.

Now I know how empowered I was to heal in spite of how insecure I felt at the beginning. And I’ve discovered something else after working with abuse survivors for nearly 7 years: ALL of us are empowered to heal.

I’d love to know what strategies and tips you’ve found along the way that works for you. Please comment below and contribute to the conversation. Remember to subscribe to the comments so you don’t miss any of the discussion. You can post anonymously and email addresses are kept private.

Christina Enevoldsen

I’m Christina Enevoldsen and I’m the cofounder of Overcoming Sexual Abuse and the author of The Rescued Soul: The Writing Journey for the Healing of Incest and Family Betrayal. My passion is exploring new ways to express my empowered new life. I’ve recently discovered the joy of waterslides, the delightful scented lotion from Bath & Body Works, “Dark Kiss” and hosting princess tea parties for my granddaughters. My husband and I live in Scottsdale, Arizona and share three children and six grandchildren.

Related Posts:
Taking Back My Life After Abuse
Healing From Sexual Abuse: Celebrating My Victories

How To Accelerate Your Healing Journey

17 thoughts on “How To Accelerate Your Healing Journey

  • June 4, 2016 at 8:58 am
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    Acknowledging the time involved in healing is so important! We, the survivors, have to learn that it’s okay to devote time to ourselves.
    Thank you for the post!

    Reply
    • June 6, 2016 at 5:19 pm
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      Cynthia,

      That’s so true! Enough people want to rush us through the process without us pressuring ourselves to do that too. Healing takes time and we are worth the investment. Thanks for sharing.

      Christina

  • June 26, 2016 at 2:32 pm
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    being kind and gentle to my body really helps me
    Not abusing myself like I was taught by the abuse I suffered helps me to know that I am a good person despite all and I am not to blame. I have to continually remind myself to do nice things for myself like have a bath with lots of scented bubbles, light a candle and read, exercise, etc…but its a journey I hope will get easier with time

    Reply
  • June 27, 2016 at 7:02 pm
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    Thank you for being open of your feelings! I am still struggling with bottling it up. Are there any online support groups that you know of?

    Reply
    • June 28, 2016 at 12:21 pm
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      Rachel, I have an online support group that’s private. It’s accessed via a course I offer. The next registration period will be opening soon.

  • June 28, 2016 at 3:03 pm
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    Blogging, Youtubing, starting a SelfLoveU Facebook page and group. Very similar journey and emancipation. Thank you for this article. Your writing is beautiful.

    Reply
  • July 12, 2016 at 7:06 am
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    Hey Christina!
    This topic was right on point, as I am finally starting the healing process that is so long overdue. I have been avoiding it for so long that I actually began to fear what was on the other side. Yesterday, I started to remember what it was like before the abuse. There was a few memories but it was mostly just this strong feeling. A sense of safeness, security, and the carelessness of a young, wild, and restless heart. I realized that more than anything that that is what I want to feel again. And not just feel it…live it. No it will never be the same, but I am going to hold fast, because for the first time in my life I am starting to have a little faith in myself. The points and advice that you gave in the article were all helpful and very useful things that I can already tell will help me through this journey. Thank you so much.

    Reply
  • July 12, 2016 at 7:12 am
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    My plan is not a perfect one, but I watch YouTube videos about other survivors, read books on the subject, stay in my bible, and ask myself hard hitting questions about things that I am going through at the moment. It is an everyday process… sometimes minute by minute, and it sure is not easy. It is an unpredictable, and ever changing journey that goes on and on to make me better. I am trying so hard, and I hope that you guys do the same and don’t give up. We can make it.

    Reply
  • July 21, 2016 at 5:41 pm
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    I have been on my healing journey for a bit but I’m stuck….i have so much guilt, shame, self hate, self loathing, and SOOOO many fears, I can’t get beyond this… I guess I’ll be living in the darkness forever!!!!

    Reply
    • July 21, 2016 at 11:37 pm
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      Lori,

      The healing process can feel daunting at times, but I hope you stick with it. You’re worth the effort and deserve to heal.

      Christina

  • September 15, 2016 at 7:42 am
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    Hi, my name is Heather. I know I need healing in this area. It’s deep inside and its poisoning me. I don’t know how to heal. I believe in God, read my bible and pray. I ask him to bring healing. I still feel the pain. I’ve acknowledged past memories but the pain remains. I need help.

    Reply
    • September 19, 2016 at 9:35 pm
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      Hi Heather, I’m Donna. I’m also having problems healing in this area. I’m distrustful of people, don’t like crowds and have a hard time leaving the house and wanting to be in public. I also believe in God, read my bible and pray. I haven’t asked Him for help in bringing healing. I don’t know what to ask Him for. I will pray for you, that God will show you the road you should go down.

  • September 26, 2016 at 8:07 am
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    I’ve just begun the healing process. In all honestly, it seems to take forever to get going. I’m continuously battling a sense of urgency within me. My counselor tells me that healing is a process which is void of a step-by-step formula. She also tells me that the sense of urgency is probably coming about because I don’t feel comfortable spending time on myself or my feelings. I also told her that I feel resentful that I have to deal with all the extra side issues that life seems to bring every day. She tells me that dealing with the side issues is part of the healing process. I have to learn to slow down and to be ok with that.

    Reply
  • January 17, 2017 at 10:57 am
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    I went no contact with my entire family 10 months ago. This article has been very empowering. I have been doing self therapy. After much research I am pretty sure that my parents are sociopaths. I was stuck in my sadness, they are broken people, where is my compassion…blah, blah, blah.

    Then, I read that sadness is inverted anger. Boy, was that liberating! I sat with my anger, let it unfold, acknowledged it and I am feeling so much better. I was trapped in this dark hole, couldn’t find the path out…anger was my path out!

    I still have more healing to do…but it is no longer as scary. The guilt and shame are diminishing.

    Reply
  • February 10, 2017 at 11:25 am
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    Hi Christina!

    I am a 23 year old who just started her healing process. I was abused and raped by my cousins and workers around our house and I have kept quiet till I was 21 about it. I used to pray and immerse myself in prayer and isolated myself from the world.

    I’m having an emotional storm inside of me currently, and I keep on confusing one emotion with the other. I push people away, people who are closest to me. I owe all of this to my best friend who helped me talk about it and to make me talk to my mother about it. I am very grateful to have such amazing support.

    What I am confused about is that I am unable to feel sexually attracted to men at the moment and it worries me because I am also afraid to get married to one without having healed first. People around me are getting into relationships and I feel extremely lonely but also feel pressured because I don’t want to get into one without having to experience love first. I am worried, i might be gay for the sole reason that I am unable to find sexual fulfillment with men due to the past abuse. I look at others, and go like I want that but I am unable to feel anything for men at the moment. They have confused me to the point that I resort to some mild sort of emotional dependency on my best friend.

    Is this normal? Am I suppose to go through these confusing feelings? I am also going to start therapy next week. I just needed to know whether it is a part of the process and that I’m not alone in this.

    Reply
    • February 10, 2017 at 12:00 pm
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      Hi Gwenyth,

      Yes, that’s normal. I had those intense feelings toward a few close friends. It’s not something that gets talked about very much but it’s a very natural response. For me, I never got the feminine nurturing (emotional or physical) from my mother so my attraction was about those unmet needs. I worked through those and gave myself time to figure it all out.

      It’s okay to give yourself time. I appreciate you sharing.

      Christina

  • February 10, 2017 at 12:12 pm
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    God bless you, Christina! You have earned the prayers of so many survivors, including I. I hope to one day heal and help others like us.

    Much love xx

    Reply

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