Time Is Not a Healer But It Takes Time to Heal
One of the enduring myths that we have about mental health is that if we leave it long enough, time will eventually wear down our problems and heal us. According to this myth, all things, no matter how difficult or traumatic, are healed by the mere passage of time. Unfortunately, although time is not a healer it is a factor in healing.
All around us, people struggle
If we look around us, we can see plenty of people who are still struggling with the difficulties of the past. Even though this may not manifest as clinical trauma, often we can tell that people still struggle with what's happened to them. For people who do struggle with clinical trauma, the passage of time doesn't seem to have much affect at all. Yesterday I was watching a video of someone who was a World War II veteran who was saying that his war was 70 years ago, and yesterday.
Make healing a focus
If we have learnt anything about mental health, it's that to get beyond the things that happen to us in the past we need to make healing a focus. We need to put time and energy into dealing with what happened with us. This is where the time comes into it; if we want to deal with the things of the past, we have to be prepared to put the time into our own recovery.
What you can do
There's good news and bad news here. The bad news is that it does take time, commitment and often money. The good news is that there are things you can do to make a real difference. One of those key things is to find someone who can actually help you with the problem. Find a professional who is trained to help with problems like this; it can make all the difference. Even problems that have been debilitating and persistent can eventually start to shift and change.
This change is not going happen with the mere passage of time. Time is not a healer; it takes time for change to happen.
Thank you to Rita Barnett for the quote I have used in the title – see her excellent blog post on family violence.
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