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A woman is walking on floating steps that represent the different stages of healing.

Stages of Healing

As of writing this, I am 12 days post op from having surgery, and I realize that there are stages to healing that we cannot just skip. During this process of healing, I have experienced several different emotions. While I was feeling that emotion, I felt that it would last forever. After getting to the other side of healing within that emotion I faced a truth unbeknownst to me. I was unaware of the necessary steps that were required to heal. Whether this be physically, or mentally, I realize that there is a unwritten blueprint that allows me to heal in a proper way.

The five stages of grief

My mind thought of the five stages of grief: anger, depression, denial, acceptance, and bargaining. Maybe not in that order, but I am very familiar with the five stages of grief. I’ve come to realize that there are stages of healing as well. In my experience, healing physically and mentally are the steps that have stood out the most when I took the time to be intentional about the outcome that I wanted to receive. Surprisingly, some of the stages of grief coincide with the stages of healing. I experienced depression, denial, acceptance, accountability, and grace.

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Even though I have been able to identify the steps that it takes to heal physically and mentally in the past, and until this moment, had I not been intentional with the ‘how’. How would I navigate these steps the next time I approached it? I believe we have the natural desire to get through things as fast as we can, but in reality, we need more time to heal throughout the steps properly before we can move to the next one. It was explained to me in the past that, like baking a cake you can have all the materials you need and ingredients that you need to bake a cake but if you do one of the steps out of order or if you did not follow the instructions on that box of cake. It is not going to come out right. When things don’t come out right or correct, you end up having to try again.

Our process may not look the same as someone else's

I can reminisce of times where I rushed healing physically when I was supposed to be resting. In the process, I exerted myself in a way that I shouldn’t have as soon as I did. I ended up re-injuring myself. I can also vouch emotionally. I’ve felt offended or disrespected by someone in the past. The easy part would be to make up with that person and move on, but in reality, I will still hurt from the things that transpired between us. I wasn't completely healed, so when I made the decision to become close to the person that I had these unresolved feelings about, I just reopened a wound.

It’s really important to remember that your process may not look like anyone else's. Your process of healing and the steps may look completely different. It is essential and critical to make sure you spend time at each step as long as you need to so you can heal accordingly.

Shifting my mind

During my healing process of surgery, I had fully accepted that I needed the surgery and that it was going to happen. After I got the surgery, I was in denial about what I could do post-op. I rushed my healing to do things I thought I was ready for. I starved myself physically and mentally of the grace that I needed to start my healing journey and became depressed I wasn’t ready. I’ve been had to make a conscious effort to hold myself accountable, which was by allowing myself to rest. Honoring and valuing the six weeks of healing I had. I started to be intentional about setting boundaries of what I would do myself.

Sometimes to shift your mind frame is as simple as changing your scenery. Today, I was able to drive and run some errands by myself, and I was able to just think clearer than I had been in the past 12 days. You may not be able to make a drive but you can change where you go to free your mind. This could mean going to a different room of your house for a significant amount of time. Changing where you sit. This can be inside or outside getting some fresh air for a change.You may get revelation of a different perspective of how you’ve been feeling And your healing. This has been an absolute game changer when it comes to how I will work to achieve healing in the future.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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