by Melissa Geissinger
When You Leave Your Old Life Behind
When you go through a trauma, it creates a rift in your life. For me anyway, there is the life I had before the fire and my son being born, and there is the life I have after.
It's not even like two different chapters, it's like two completely different books in the same series - some of the characters are the same, but it could very well exist independently.
New Life, New Adventures
After I experienced the trauma of the fire and of my son being in the hospital, it took a while to break out of reliving that trauma repeatedly through constant triggering. It felt like for over a year I was stuck in survival mode.
Now that I feel like I'm finally out of survival mode, it feels like coming up for air after being stuck under water for ages. It feels good to finally be in a position to move forward with my life. And by moving forward I mean just that. I don't want to go back to what life was like before. I want to feel like I'm making progress.
One of the things that has helped this feeling more than I anticipated is making new friends. Somehow, by introducing new people into my life since my trauma, it's allowed me to grow in ways I never anticipated.
Knowing Myself Better in my New Friendships
In a way, I've been able to know myself, my new self, better through seeing myself in my new friendships. I recognize myself as confident, strong, resilient and unshakable. It resembles the old me, but with more scars that I'm not afraid to hide.
I no longer make apologies for my imperfections, but instead welcome my new friends to share theirs with me and give them the feeling that they will not be judged for them.
It's freeing to be this open, and it's exciting to have a new world of possibilities open up by getting to know new people!
Hopeless Introvert? No Problem.
If you're an introvert and hate to put yourself out there, you could try engaging with someone you already know but on a deeper level. Who reached out to you during your trauma? Someone who you don't necessarily know really well? Great opportunity to ask them to coffee, say thanks and get to know them better!