How to Recover from Trauma: Tip #5 Be Selfish


When It's Too Much

I’ve talked about how in my experience when you’re going through a trauma, most days you just need to focus on being okay and not necessarily worry about making progress in life.

Well, sometimes there are bad days. Days like today for me when my mortgage company is struggling to get a check out to our builders who have already begun building our house. Days when you drop the ball for a client and forget one of the most important parts about the job you’re doing for them. Days when you just want to hide your head in the sand and wait for the complications to blow away like trash from your picnic table.

Get some Wiggle Room

I’ve learned how important it is to listen to that little voice in my head telling me I need to break away. I don’t mean forget all your responsibilities and hide until they go away. I do mean:

  • Ask for help. Delegate where possible.
  • Tell people when you need some extra time to complete a task.
  • Instead of getting mad at people for calling you on your shit, thank them for pointing out how you can improve.

This isn’t about making everything go away or solving all your problems instantly. It’s about giving yourself a little bit of wiggle room so you can step away and take care of yourself. Sometimes just by simply acknowledging that there is a problem is enough to feel like you’re doing something about it. You’ve taken the first step, and that’s something.

Take Time for Yourself

When you have the space to step away, take a breather. What do you enjoy doing? For me, it’s taking time to write, going for a hike, or browsing a bookstore. I can’t stress enough how important it is to just give yourself some room to breathe.

I know now what it feels like to be on the edge: right before you fall into a feeling of helplessness and anxiety so overwhelming you would give anything to make all your problems go away. Learn to recognize the warning signs and take the necessary steps to break away.

After writing this, I’m already feeling better.


  1. Tivon on June 18, 2019 at 9:53 am

    Thanks Melissa, needed to read this today!!

    • melissa on June 18, 2019 at 10:04 am

      Glad you found it and it helped, Tivon!

  2. Susan on June 24, 2019 at 11:52 am

    Thanks, Melissa. This and all of your tips have been really helpful!

    • melissa on June 24, 2019 at 12:13 pm

      Really happy you’ve been reading these, Susan. Miss you!

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