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Grieving the Person You Were Before Trauma

Trauma can drastically change how you think, feel, and appear in the world. It’s very common to grieve for the person you were before trauma. This cycle of grief is entirely normal. However, with the right tools, you can find deep inner healing and rediscover your purpose in the world.

The Cycle of Grief in Trauma

According to Grief Reaction by Mughal, Azhar, Mahon, and Siddiqui, grief is a person’s “emotional response to loss.” Grief is a natural response to the loss of a loved one, and it is universal across different people, cultures, and countries. Grief Reaction also notes that grief is “not a state, but a process.”

People who have experienced traumatic situations can grieve the loss of the person they were before the event happened. Your whole life and perception of reality can be completely changed after you’ve experienced trauma. In this instance, it’s important to understand that you are, in fact, grieving. This is called a “cycle of grief” because it is a process that can look different for every person. Giving yourself time, space, and empathy is important while healing this loss.

The Stage Theory of Grief

According to the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA), many people will put grief into five stages: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. The VA notes, however, that this “stage theory” doesn’t consider the fact that different people can react to grief in many different ways. The VA also mentions that grief is “a more complicated, ongoing process that comes in waves.” As time goes by, the intensity of your grief may lessen, but periods of intense emotions can still pop up at random.

When grieving the loss of the person you were before trauma, your grief will look unique to you. Even if your cycle of grief may become more balanced over time, it’s still important to have healing resources and strong support when you need it most.

Disconnection With the Person You Were Before Trauma

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) says that “many people experience dissociation, or a lack of connection between their thoughts, memory, and sense of identity, during or after a traumatic experience.” You may have a huge disconnection within yourself, leaving you feeling scared, vulnerable, and lacking purpose.

Always remember that these feelings are normal, and healing is possible. Every person’s trauma is entirely different and unique to them. In order to begin the healing process, it’s important to be gentle with yourself and understand that it can take time.

Your Life’s Purpose

Many people who experience trauma feel a loss of purpose in their life. Whether you experienced trauma as a child or an adult, it can change your entire reality. According to a 2013 study in PLoS One, purpose in life “predicts both health and longevity.” When you can find meaning in life’s challenging experiences, this may be a mechanism for healing and resilience.

Becoming Your True Self Through Healing

PLOS One also says that having a purpose in life “may motivate reframing stressful situations to deal with them more productively, thereby facilitating recovery from stress and trauma.” It may be possible to re-frame your trauma as the catalyst for finding deeper meaning and purpose. Once you grieve your past self, you can begin a new process of self-discovery. You may even find that your journey takes you further in life than you ever imagined. The process of deep inner healing is not for the faint of heart, but it will be the most rewarding experience you will ever have.

Healing Who You Were Before Trauma

In order to move forward in life, it’s important to honor and heal the person you were before trauma. This process is never easy, but “you need to feel it to heal it.” The Guest House is a trauma-focused recovery center that provides you with a multitude of healing modalities for your personal journey. Our clinicians are specially trained in trauma recovery and will support you every step of the way.

Individual and Group Therapy

Healing trauma is a process of unraveling the traumatic experience. Think of it as pulling back the layers of an onion until you become fully confident in your true self once again. At The Guest House, we believe in the healing power of words. Talk therapy can help you lift the weight off your shoulders and work through the traumatic experiences you have faced.

Individual therapy is an excellent place to begin the process of unraveling. This is a powerful modality where you can use conversation as a way to explore your thoughts and feelings. It also may feel good to know that you are not alone in your experiences. Group therapy at The Guest House is a great way for trauma survivors to find a connection with others who understand their experiences.

Holistic Healing

At The Guest House, we understand that trauma is a condition of the nervous system. In order to fully heal trauma, it’s important to use therapies that heal your mind, body, and soul together as one. Somatic therapy relies on the belief that trauma effects can linger in your body long after the event is over. The Guest House offers a somatic therapy program to help you release pent-up tension and move lingering trauma out of your body. Breathwork, sound healing, yoga, and meditation are other therapies that can help you process trauma physically, mentally, and emotionally.

At The Guest House, we understand that everyone’s trauma is unique. Our individualized approach and a wide variety of healing modalities will help you find the methods and tools that work best for you.

After a person experiences a traumatic life event, it’s common for them to grieve for the person they were before the trauma. Grief is a complicated process that often comes in waves. It’s important to understand your personal process of grief is completely unique to you. The Guest House is a trauma-informed recovery center that has a wide variety of therapies to help you along every step of your healing journey. We offer traditional talk therapies that will help you process your thoughts and emotions. You can also find many different holistic methods that help you move stuck trauma through the body and heal your mind, body, and soul together as one. Call us today at (855) 483-7800.