Bad things happen. Sometimes really bad things happen. When we experience trauma or pain, it takes time to recover from it. Several years ago, I experienced two major traumas within six months. These events resulted in depression and a diagnosis of post traumatic stress disorder. It seemed like I would never get out of the darkness that surrounded me.

I started with little things. I began to count on a few friends. Those friends, in turn, in turn got me my cat. I began seeing a therapist. I get involved with local events. I had a gratitude journal that I wrote in daily. Things seemed to be going well and then they weren’t.

It was brutal. All of that progress, gone in a week’s time frame. It was hard to handle. That was when I learned the hardest part of recovery and the most important one. Time is the most essential part of recovery.

Image from Aron Visuals

I began to look at time as segments. If I couldn’t get through a few weeks, then try to get through a few days. If not a few days, than just one day. If I couldn’t do one day, then get through just a few hours. It made recovery more manageable. When I looked at that time, it seemed like recovery was taking forever. How was I ever to recover when it was taking SO long?

It took that lesson to learn one other important lesson about time and recovery. It was necessary to celebrate small victories regularly. Getting through that hour, getting through a few hours, getting through a few days. As time went on and those chunks of measurement got larger, I realized that as they did, so did my spirit.

“Healing takes courage, and we all have courage, even if we have to dig a little to find it.”

Tori Amos

Now, I am proud of how far I have come from those traumas. I still have bad days and moments, and so will you. But remember that these bad times are temporary. Look for the good things, even small ones and the little victories that you’ve achieved. Write them down where you can look back at them later. Trauma changes us forever. Time allows us to learn from trauma, to celebrate our victories, and to recover from it.