Getting over the trauma of an abusive relationship can take months, years or even a lifetime. Depending on the level of intensity of the abuse and the length of time you have been in the relationship, moving past it can be difficult.
But, it doesn’t have to be that way.
Healing can come in many shapes and forms and it all depends on how ready you are to start the process.
It didn’t come easy for me. The first few weeks after I left my husband, I was still in survival mode. I was grappling with fear and worry of the unknown. I was anxious of the “what ifs”.
But I also knew if I continue to let my fears get the better of me, I’ll never get past that experience.
So, little by little, I started to get my life back on track. I refuse to continue playing the role of a victim, life is too precious to waste it away by feeling sorry for myself. If I want my life to change for the better, I have to do something, anything.
In the book, Leveraging the Universe by Mike Dooley, he said, for the Universe to do its part, you have to take action. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know what you exactly want, the point is, to move past your current situation, you have to do something with all you can, with what you have, from where you are, even if nothing makes perfect sense, at first.
You’re here to reclaim your life and doing so doesn’t have to be complicated. You can begin from wherever you are and with whatever you have.
Here are some simple things to do to start getting your life back on track.
Visit Your Public Library And Sign-Up
Books have long been my refuge, but they have been especially useful in helping me cope with my situation. When I found a library near my place, I was filled with so much happiness.
Reading the right books can make you smarter and wiser and the library is the best place to start.
Most of the time, you only have to show that you’re a local in the area for you to sign-up and get a library card and you can borrow books for free.
Most of the libraries now have digital affiliations with online media providers and you can borrow books, movies, audiobooks and more through an app. You’ll be amazed at the titles they offer. You can learn as much as you can by reading and listening to as many (audio) books as you want. The best thing? You don’t need to spend a single cent.
Join A Yoga Class
I’ve done yoga in the past and it has helped me immensely with my scoliosis. But since the separation, yoga has done more than ease my back pain, it helps me become centered and grounded. It plays a big part in my healing process and I’m grateful for the practice.
I found yoga classes in the area where I live and I would go twice a week. If you haven’t done so already, check your area if they offer yoga classes. They’re usually by donation and you can give any amount you want.
If none are available, look for any form of physical activity or exercise to do. Some places offer free zumba classes, tai chi by the park, bootcamp style workouts, and a lot more. If all else fails, there’s always You Tube. Check out Yoga with Adriene, she’s got a 30-Day Yoga Challenge that can jumpstart your practice.
Get those endorphins flowing, your body and mind will thank you for it.
I can’t stress how much meditation is helping me go through this dark period of my life. I tried it before, but I was struggling each time I closed my eyes and tried to quiet my mind. It’s only now I realize that meditation doesn’t mean shutting down your thoughts completely. Not only is it impossible, but the more you resist your thoughts, the more you struggle.
Meditation teaches you to be mindful of the present moment. It helps you become more aware of what’s going on in your inner and outer world.
Your thoughts will always be there and the key is to be aware of them. During meditation, each time you drift away, bring yourself back in the moment. I know it's easier said than done, that's why practicing regularly is essential.
I practice meditation on my own for 10 minutes before I go to bed and after I wake up in the morning. To further improve my practice, I found a free mindful meditation class near my place through a Google search.
You can do the same and check online for some free or by donation classes. You can also join meditation meetup groups through Meetups.com. Not only is it a great way to learn a new life tool, you also get to meet like-minded people.
If there’s nothing in your area or the meetups are too far, don’t worry, there’s always YouTube. There are tons of guided meditation videos you can start with or like me, you can search for meditation music and practice in the comfort of your own home.
With your background music ready, find a quiet place, close your eyes while slowly breathing in and out. Do it for 10 minutes everyday and notice the difference it brings to your mind and body. You can increase the time as you get better.
Relax, you deserve it.
Enjoy the Outdoors. Alone.
When going through a difficult phase, you might find it hard to be alone. Being with other people can give you a feeling of security, but finding time to be alone can be therapeutic. While it’s easy to curl up on your bed, cry your eyes out, and feel sorry for yourself; you will find it’s a good idea to spend some time outdoors and soak in the beauty of Nature.
Head off to the beach if there’s one nearby, go to the park and watch as life unfolds through the people that you see and meet, or go for a walk and take in everything around you. The key here is to realize that life goes on no matter what you’re experiencing and it’s up to you on how you respond to it.
By taking in all the sights and sounds of the world around you, doesn’t it feel good to be alive?
Spending time on your own can give you the opportunity to reflect and ponder on the endless possibilities that are ahead of you. Find solace and peace through the soft lapping waves, the chirping of the birds, and the touch of the gentle breeze.
Being close to Nature is also a way to experience God.
One simple exercise that works for me when I’m feeling a little bogged down, I look up and just stare at the moving clouds. Not only is this meditative, but it’s also a reminder that all things are temporary and whatever you’re going through now will eventually pass.
So, keep your head up and always be grateful.
Keep A Journal or Start A Blog
When I started therapy, one of the things my therapist advised me to do is to write my thoughts on a journal. I’m no stranger to journal writing, but what makes this different from my past journals is the intention it holds.
While I have a notebook where I can scribble my thoughts anytime, this blog allows me to write about my experience with the hope of reaching others who can relate to my story.
Whether you decide to keep a journal or start a blog, what matters is you give yourself the space where you can express yourself freely. For some, starting a blog can be intimidating because it means exposing your vulnerabilities to others; but think of the people you can help along the way by sharing your experience.
For those who would rather keep their thoughts private, you don’t need a fancy journal. All you need is a simple notebook and a pen.
Fill the blank pages with your story and let the words flow. Don’t think about grammar or composition, just write and pour what’s in your heart. It’s meant for you and the world doesn’t have to know.
Perhaps when time has passed and things are better and you read what you wrote, you'll realize how much you’ve grown as a person-- emotionally and spiritually.
Having a journal allows you to check-in with your deepest self. It’s where you can be raw and honest and no one is there to judge you. Use it as a tool to help you find your purpose.
Words are powerful, use them wisely to reclaim your life.