In June, it will have been 3 years since my trauma. I’m constantly comparing myself now to the person I used to be before it all happened.
I was very healthy. I went to the gym once a day. I ate super healthy. I was my ideal weight. I ran a half marathon. I liked the way I looked. I dressed how I wanted to dress. I was confident in myself and my body. I was generally always happy. I loved going out with my friends. I drank alcohol. I had fun.
Now, I’m not healthy at all. I eat whatever I want. I rarely go to the gym. I’m 70 pounds heavier than I used to be. I don’t run. I hate the way I look. I dress to hide my body. I have little confidence in myself and have no confidence with my body. I’m generally happy, but I’m also on a lot of medications to make me that way. I don’t like going out. I don’t drink alcohol. I stay at home a lot.
My self-respect is really lacking. I do not accept myself. I constantly talk negatively about myself out loud and in my head. All results of one unfortunate day.
Here are some things that I have learned:
1. It’s ok to change.
Everyone changes after a trauma and that’s ok. I’m still learning how to be ok with this. It’s really hard for me to understand.
2. My capacity changed and that’s ok.
After my trauma I didn’t want to do anything but sleep and stay in my bed. I felt lazy and called myself lazy. The truth is, I wasn’t lazy at all. I was trying to heal. Healing takes energy and a lot of it. I had less capacity to do the things I once did like eating, socializing, or working out.
3. The way I coped with things changed and that’s ok.
I started coping with food. Which is much better than coping in a harmful way such as drugs or alcohol. This kind of coping wasn’t normal to me. I spent most of my time trying to eat healthy and exercise, so laying around and eating was very unfamiliar to me. I now know that I was coping in the only way I knew how to survive and that’s ok.
4. My brain and body are protecting me and that’s ok.
It is common among sexual assault survivors to gain weight. Your brain is trying to protect you from an assault happening again, so it does it’s best to make you “unattractive” and it does it all subconsciously. That’s amazing, right?! Your brain does that! I thank my body for protecting me.
5. My interests changed and that’s ok.
Drinking alcohol and going out with friends no longer interest me and that’s ok. I have found peace in spirituality and yoga. I also found a love for the outdoors. I am very ok with these changes.
I am obsessed with getting back to who I was. I think that if I return to that person than I am “healed”. I am working on becoming the new me and being happy about it. I have taken care of myself the best way I know how. I am learning to accept the person who I have become.
Relearn your (new)self
Make peace with your (new)self
**Credit to Tiffany Lee for inspiring this post.