Why Do I Feel So Alone?
Traumatic events call into question basic human relationships. They breach the attachments of family, friendships, love, and community. They shatter the construction of the self that is formed and sustained in relation to others. They undermine the belief system that give meaning to human experience.
Dr. Judith Herman, Trauma and Recovery
The real or perceived sense of life threatening danger can be scary, cause feelings of powerlessness and distort our understanding of ourselves and others. A natural response to trauma is to attempt to make sense of the event, to turn inwards and question “why did this happen to me?” or “how could I have prevented this?”. This can be an attempt to gain power back that was robbed during the time of the trauma experience.A traumatic event can cause us to feel like we don’t even trust our understand ourselves. This responsecan enhance feelings of guilt, loneliness, and shame.
The hopeful news is that we can heal from trauma and that the feelings of isolation and loneliness are not permeant. One place to start is by re-connecting with yourself. There are many way to do this, through focus on your physical self, emotional self, and spiritual self. Byengaging in relationship building we canstrengthenour compassionate and trust. Re-connecting with yourself can look different for each individual. Below are some ideas that may inspire you to move towards connection:
Carving out time to mindfully reflect on your experience of the day can be helpful in connecting with yourself. Research shows that intentional reflection on emotions, thoughts and experiences can be helpful in gaining insight and building resiliency.Gratitude listshave been identified as helpfulin journaling as well.
2. Body scan
A body scan can look like a type of meditation. It’s a chance to be curious and observe what’s happening in your body, without judgment. Some body scans encourage you to bring the awareness to the top of your head and move your observation all the way down through your body. This can provide a chance to tune in and receive any information our body may be giving us.
Taking 5-10 minutes out of your day to non-judgmentally pay attention is an incredibly powerful way to connect with yourself and the present moment. For some mediation may be too difficult. Don’t forget, you can do this in a way that feels right for you, you could start with youreyes open, or meditate for 30 seconds and build up your time.
Talking to a trained professional can be helpful when recovering from trauma and connecting to certain emotions, thoughts and behaviours. Its important to pick a therapist that you feel comfortable with as you need to feel safe in your therapy sessions in order to do any trauma work.
If these suggestions don’t resonate with you, or your’e still unsure of what you need, you can ask yourself what you would want to tell a friend who was going through a similar situation.This can tap into a loving response which is helpful when attempting to identify needs.
There’s no perfect or prescribed way to connect with yourself or toconnect with others. The hope is that as you go through the journey of healing from a traumatic experience that you are compassionate with yourself throughout the process.
If you’re in the Toronto or GTA area and are looking wanting to start counselling please feel free to contact me to set up a free 20 minute phone call.