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How to Adapt and Regenerate Despite Repetitive Trauma

Trees are fantastic, aren’t they? Spring comes and these trees get life. They get green, they get full, they get beautiful, they smell good. It’s like it’s a whole different vibe that they have. And that’s like when things are going good in life everybody feels good. You got a little pep to your step and then all of a sudden the summer comes and potentially droughts come, and the heat waves come, and the tree got to make some adjustments. It’s not getting the same stuff it used to get and it’s got to make some adjustments. And some of you might be in a tight spot right now and you’re in a drought, you’re not receiving what you need. Can you adjust and adapt to the environment? And then trees, when the winter, when the fall comes around they start to change their colors. Man, they start to go from this beautiful green life, from green to these very very beautiful colors of red, yellow, orange and they’re just going through this transformative stage and you might be wondering if you’ve never seen it before. Growing up you’re like what is going on? It’s because they’re adjusting and adapting to different things, different ways of light, less light. They can’t be the same way, right? More temperature changes – it can’t be the same way. More weight on the tree – it can’t be the same way – it’s just changing and changing and evolving and adapting. And human beings, we’re the same thing – we go through life, we go through our various seasons.

Can you adapt and adjust?

I believe you can. How do I know that? Because you have in your life, not once, not twice, not 10 times, not a thousand times, but all the time. You are constantly adapting and regenerating, and I want you to know this. There’s nothing wrong with saying that you will regenerate and self-heal. Sometimes people wait and they wait and they wait and guess what? They want the person that harmed them, that hurt them, that wounded them, to come and apologize to them, so they can start the healing process. They want other people to come help them and heal them and rescue them so they can heal. But my friends, here’s the question. What if that person never comes? What if that apology never comes? What if that human that’s supposed to save you never comes? And then what? You’re just bleeding. You’re just wounded, you’re just hurt, yes other people did it to you, but if nobody comes to help you heal what’s the only option left? Continue to be in pain, continue to struggle, continue to live in agony, or start the self-healing process.

Our Body Teaches us to Adapt

You look at the body and it teaches us something. The human body. By the way, you are not your body, you are a human being that has a physical body. You are a spiritual being that has a physical body. But the human body teaches us that it’s capable of regenerating. You ever broken anything? It’s painful. Things out of alignment. Sometimes they put screws in it, put casts on it, time goes by, it heals. You ever got a really bad bruise, like you hit your leg on something and you’re like, “Oh my God, this is going to bruise so bad,” and it is swollen. And the next morning you wake up it’s like this big black ball of just bruise, of dead blood underneath the skin. You’re like, oh my goodness. The next day it gets even worse and you’re like, “Oh this is looks horrible! Am I going to be okay?” And then two weeks later there’s nothing there. Self-healing. Regenerate. Our brain can do the same thing too. We got this thing called brain plasticity. Brain can reform new neuropathways. The brain can restore ability to not only receive information, but comprehend it. Remember our executive functioning? Our decision-making of the brain can actually improve and heal. So it’s showing us it’s capable. Now can we do it with our mind and our heart and our soul? The answer is yes. Trees do it, we can do it.

Repetitive Patterns of Trauma in Today's World

Trauma is something that’s been around for a long time. Now the repetitive trauma that we’re talking about, I believe some of it comes from exposure to traumatic things we see. Right now if I go on my phone and I start looking up traumatic things I can be constantly, constantly exposed to trauma. So the first thing it would do and which it ultimately does what? Dysregulated the nervous system. It puts us in a fight or flight mode. Because sometimes the brain doesn’t know if the trauma is happening to someone else or if it’s happening to us. There’s something called vicarious trauma and that’s downloading the trauma of other people. 

  1. So the first thing I would recommend to do to chill out the nervous system is to limit your exposure when and if possible to any type of trauma. Now some of the trauma might be in your own world, in your own life, in your own history, past, present, that stuff if you’re in a treatment facility for. 
  2. The first and foremost thing you got to do is first of all you got to discontinue the use of any type of substances, any type of negative coping skills, any type of maladaptive behaviors. And it’s going to be difficult at first because when you stop all that, what happens? All of that trauma that’s living inside of you is going to come up, right? However you have to feel it to heal it. See, all of those things prevent us from feeling the trauma. It’s just like sweeping it under the rug. But you got to feel it to heal it. 
  3. So there are forms of treatment. I was actually sharing this with some program participants. EMDR is something I strongly suggest and recommend. EMDR is made for trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder complex. Post-traumatic stress disorder it’s something that we can have a talk on one day. I could bring in a trauma therapist to educate you on it. 
  4. Then there’s other things too which have to do with learning how to regulate the nervous system through other ways. The most effective and quick one to do is just breathing. I like to tell people when’s the last time you took a conscious breath? And unless you’re exposed to some type of breath work or meditation, most people just go through life and the day starts and the night ends. They breathe hundreds of thousands of times but none of them are ever conscious. None of them is ever like that. And if you repeat that a few times your nervous system which is in fight or flight, and people that have a history of trauma, their nervous system is always in fight or flight – it slows it down. And then you’re able to think a little bit more clearly.

Set Your Boundaries of Exposure to Trauma

The patterns of trauma in this world right now, it’s intense. But I do believe that we have the ability to set boundaries of who and what we expose ourselves to. Sometimes people with trauma get into relationships with people that repeat the same process with them because of their unhealed trauma. That’s how sometimes you go in a new relationship and it’s somehow the same damn relationship as before, just a different name and a different setting. But it’s like, how does this keep happening to me? It’s not about them. I know you want to say this person was a narcissist and the next one was a narcissist and this and that. It has to do with you and why you allow yourself to be exposed to that repetitive trauma. It’s the unhealed stuff. So when you heal you can move forward. It takes some time. And remember we are talking about patience over there and if you’re working through trauma, complex trauma that you’ve had for years and decades, just don’t expect that in 30, 60, 90 days you’re going to be okay. It might take a couple years to get through it and that’s okay. Because we’re thinking long game, macro level view. Adapting to different situations makes a person more resilient and less vulnerable to adversity. Resiliency is a beautiful human trait. I believe that people in recovery demonstrate it well. 

Call Buckeye Recovery Today!

Are you in recovery but not making progress? Recovery is not only possible but attainable, and it all begins with reaching out for assistance. By addressing both addiction and mental health issues, individuals can break free from the cycle of despair and embark on a path to a healthier, more fulfilling life. Contact Buckeye Recovery Network today and initiate your journey to recovery and improved mental health. Our dedicated team of professionals is here to guide and support you every step of the way.

Today is going to be the best day of your life.

Kelsey Gearhart

Director of Business Development

Kelsey carries multiple years of experience working in the substance abuse and mental health treatment field. Her passion for this field comes from her personally knowing recovery from addiction.

Prior to Buckeye she held titles of Recovery Coach, Operations Director, and Admissions Director. Kelsey was brought on at Buckeye Recovery as the Director of Business Development. She has a passion for ensuring every individual gets the help that they need, and does so by developing relationships with other providers.

Kelsey also oversees our women’s sober living environments – The Chadwick House for Women. She is committed to creating a safe, nurturing, and conducive environment for all women that walk through the doors of Chadwick.