Unfortunately, holiday time isn't enjoyable for everyone. Most people expect you to be happy because it’s the holiday season, but it’s difficult to force a smile when you feel like you’re dying inside. It’s difficult to be in a room with people who don’t understand what it’s like to have your life marred by trauma. It’s difficult to be in a room with people who have hurt you or didn’t protect you from getting hurt. In this video, I discuss what I’ve done to handle holiday time.
If you're looking for answers to other common questions after healing from trauma I encourage you to read my book, Moving Forward: Life After Trauma. The paperback and ebook can be found on Amazon: amazon.com/dp/B0CND648YJ
You can also sign up to read the Introduction and Chapter 1 for free on my website: serotinouslife.com/moving-forward-book
Some events in my life have caused my PTSD symptoms to come back with a vengeance. The anxiety, hypervigilance, and hyperarousal are exhausting and have now led into a severe depression.
In this video, I discuss a pattern that has helped me get through bouts of depression, as well as difficult hikes: 1. forcing myself to take specific actions before I rest, 2. allowing myself to rest briefly, and 3. keep going after I've rested. This always reminds me how strong and courageous I am and fills me with pride for never being willing to give up even when I want to.
Being in the mountains always reminds me that what goes up, must come down. That means even though my symptoms and unhealthy coping strategies have escalated, they will eventually subside. If you're currently struggling, or for when you are struggling, I hope this video serves as a reminder that the difficult period will end.
Goal setting has been, and continues to be, so important in my trauma healing journey. That's why I...
After years of being made to feel that I was worthless and my sole purpose on earth was to please men, it's no wonder that some of my core beliefs are that I'm unlovable and undeserving of good things. It's taken me a long time to work through these beliefs and there's still more work that needs to be done. In this video, I discuss how important other people have been in this portion of my healing journey. But that required me letting good people into my life and not pushing them away.
Most of my traumas involved being hurt by other people, so it's no wonder that I responded by not allowing people to get too close to me for most of my life. It's only been in recent years that I've allowed people to get close to me. It hasn't been until recently that I've found that people can love me without me having sex with them, and even with my jagged edges from years of trauma.
In this video, I discuss a particularly important friendship that has been critical in my healing journey. I hope it...
This video was difficult for me. I knew I would need to hold back tears and I knew it would require an immense amount of vulnerability for me to open up about things that cause me to feel shame.
In this video, I discuss my struggles over the past few months with my PTSD symptoms flaring up and my difficulty coping. I wish trauma healing followed a linear path, but that's not how it, or life, works. Everything in life has ups and downs.
If you're currently in a similar situation, I hope this video lets you know that you're not alone and gives you ideas for how to get through this difficult period. As I keep reminding myself, just keep holding on until this period of turbulence ends because it will. Spring always follows winter and day always follows night.
I continue to practice a variety of tools to get me through this rough patch. I detailed most of them in my book, Transformation After Trauma: Embracing Post-Traumatic Growth. Sign up here to begin reading the Introduction and...
Promiscuity is common among victims of sexual violence. In this video, I discuss how I broke this habit, in case it'll give you ideas on how to break the habit if you're also struggling with this same issue.
Victims of sexual violence often struggle with low self-esteem, self-hatred, and shame. I know these feelings well and detail the tools I used to work through them in my book, Transformation After Trauma: Embracing Post-Traumatic Growth. Sign up here to begin reading the Introduction and Chapter 1 for free: serotinouslife.com/transformation-after-trauma-book
If you want to read or listen to the full book, you can find the ebook, audiobook, and paperback on Amazon: amazon.com/dp/1950336204
One of my clients recently asked me how to find joy in little things, and in people and processes she doesn't particularly like. I had to spend time reflecting on why I'm so joyous and how I'm able to find joy in the smallest things. What I determined is that feeling joy is a choice I've made. I never wanted my abusers and the numerous disgusting people in this world to steal my joy from me. I considered practicing joy and being happy when others tried to steal it from me as an act of defiance and made me feel like I was winning the battle.
What I realized is that finding joy requires practice and when practiced often it becomes a habit and doesn't require much thought. But if not practiced for a period, the habit can be broken. In my mid-twenties I experienced a particularly severe bout of depression. I can easily say that happened not just because of the circumstances in my life but because of what I was focusing on. I stopped focusing on the beauty in every moment and when that...
I've always been criticized for being a dreamer, an idealist, and too big for my britches. Between these relentless criticisms and sexual violations throughout my life by multiple people it's been hard to stay gritty and foster the fighter in me so I can keep going.
In this video, I discuss how I've begun dating again after being single for the past two years. Dating has caused me to reflect on what's important to me in a life partner, and really any significant relationship in my life. One thing I've determined is that it's essential to find a partner who's supportive of my goals and has goals of his own. I'm very ambitious and it's important for me to also be with someone who's ambitious, even if it's in different ways than I am. It's difficult for someone to understand others who have passion and drive to pursue a goal when they don't have passion and drive themselves.
I also discuss how problematic the need for external validation can be, especially when you're looking to get it...
I was recently cleaning my windows and I was shocked to see the difference between the two in front of my kitchen sink when I was done cleaning the first one (image shown in the video below). It was amazing the clarity, detail, and beauty I could see through the now clear glass. It has made me reflect on all the times the ways I was looking at myself, another person, a situation, or my past may have been clouded and I didn't realize there was residue altering my ability to see the situation or person clearly. It has caused me to reflect on how my life has changed every time I've shifted my perspective or how I've remained stuck when I refused to change my perspective.
In this video, I discuss the relationship between these windows, reframing (shifting perspective), and trauma healing. I also read a section of my book, Reclaim Your Life After Trauma, where I discuss reframing and how it allows us to look at ourselves and circumstances through a different set of glasses.
As I often tell my clients, "Trauma doesn't disappear when you ignore it." Of course they don't want to hear this. I can always tell they know it's true, but they don't want to give up the hope that ignoring their pain will make it disappear.
We all do this; we just have different ways of pushing our pain aside. Some of us overwork, overexercise, overeat, overconsume TV or social media, indulge in idle chit-chat and gossip, use drugs, drink alcohol, or smoke cigarettes and sometimes we engage in multiple forms of distractions and numbing to push our pain aside. But it never works. We may get relief for a moment, but our pain is always there to tap us on our shoulder and remind us that it hasn't gone anywhere. So, we continue to try to push it away, often to the point when multiple aspects of our life begin to suffer (e.g., health, finances, career, relationships).
It's understandable why we avoid our pain. As the name implies, it hurts. However, moving beyond our pain requires moving...
With how broken I used to feel, I was honored to share how I began to think unbroken on the Think Unbroken podcast.
Experiencing trauma is hard enough but trying to figure out how to move past your trauma can seem like an impossible task. It's why many people want to give up because they feel like their suffering will only end in death.
The host, Michael Unbroken, and I discussed how important it is to leverage the small wins you have along the way so you can build momentum. As you continue to progress and experience small wins it'll build your confidence and the belief that you can move through and beyond your pain.
You can find our episode on Apple Podcasts, Audible, Spotify, and other major podcast platforms. The title of our episode is, "E374: Stephanie M. Hutchins, Ph.D. - The power of nature in healing trauma | Trauma Healing Coach."
I'd love to help you take back control of your life! Learn more: serotinouslife.com/coaching-programs