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The other side of healing


Lone hiker on a rocky summit at dusk looking down at ridge after ridge below.
Photo by NEOM on Unsplash

What happens when you arrive at the far end of your healing journey? I find myself here, and it is such a strange place to be. It’s strange enough to almost scare me right back into my old patterns, but I don’t really know how to access those old patterns anymore. They’ve been repatterned, even as my new patterns are still being formed.

 

It’s the most liminal space I’ve experienced, akin perhaps to the wrinkle in time between my college graduation and stepping into what came next. Even though I knew the basics of what would happen (I’d move home with my parents, I’d work a few months at a pre-determined temporary job), I didn’t know who I’d be as a non-student. I’d only ever known how to be a student.

 

So it is now. Old traumas have lost their hold or fallen away completely. New resilience has grown like a thick forest around me. I have a new way of being in the world, but I’ve lived a small and traumatized version of my life for so long that I’m not sure what I look like outside of that skin. I don’t know what this fresh-eyed, strong version of me will manifest for my life… with one exception:

 

I feel a strong pull back in time to the point in my past during which I felt the most powerful, capable and whole version of myself.

 

While there are many versions of myself I will not take with me into my future, that version might in fact be my future. I will pick her up where we left off, nurture those powerful, capable and whole aspects and integrate them with the wisdom, courage, determination and self-trust that came as a result of my healing journey.

 

In life, we are a thousand different things – child, parent, student, guide, leader, follower, asker, giver, broken, whole, weak, strong, sick, well, timid, bold, and on and on. Indeed, in a mere moment, we can be an infinite number of things. By healing our inner wounds, we gain awareness of those things, and with awareness, we gain the power to leave some behind, integrate others and leverage the dichotomies for power and growth.

 

When I stood at the threshold of my healing journey a year ago, I had few guideposts and no roadmap to follow, but resources showed up when I needed them. I just had to be paying enough attention to catch them. I imagine it will be similar on this side of healing: Aren’t there a lot more books and resources on how to heal than how to live Whole? Perhaps I just haven’t had enough time for the resources to show up for me yet. Or maybe I just need to pay more attention.

 

Regardless, I’m on the cusp between past and future, surrendering once again to the unknown. But this time, I’m safe within my own nervous system. I know what real “self-care” looks like for me. I know how to know when I’m triggered, and I know what to do to re-regulate. I know how to know when it’s better to let the triggered response play out, and how to harness it for power instead of recklessness. And I know how to bring my full neural resources to the challenges I face without sacrificing my health, safety and joy in the process.

 

Is there anything more worth knowing than this?

 

Likely not. It’s been the most worthwhile journey of my life.


If you stand at the starting line of your own healing, or if you’re being called to begin, know that the journey has a finish line, and it isn’t as far away as it feels. The person you’ll be then is a seed within who you are today, and it just needs the right water, sunshine and time to bloom into the most amazing life you’ve ever imagined.

 

You’re worth it.

 

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This marks my 50th post since unveiling my Autism a year ago. I’ve tracked my journey throughout these 50 posts, and many of you have come along for the ride. Thank you for your support. I am now planning to celebrate by taking a break from relentless blogging. I may return. In the meantime, subscribe to my newsletter to stay updated on neuro news and offerings... as well as what comes next.


I wish you all the best on your own journeys. May you, too, find your way to the far side of your healing journey.

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