Trauma is bullshit. Anyone who tells you otherwise is dumb. There’s nothing beautiful or redemptive about trauma. There’s no strength in trauma. It just is; it’s trauma. It’s complex, and simple, but nothing more.

The strength is what comes after the trauma. It starts when you finally are able to muster up what little strength you have left to drag yourself out of the traumatic situation (or crawl out of).

It’s when you finally tell your friends and family what you’ve been going through. When you allow them to wrap their arms around you, when you wouldn’t before. It’s when you let them love you in the way you’re not sure you’re worthy of being loved.

Strength is going to therapy. Every week. It’s opening up your mind to inspection by another. It’s letting them probe, poke and methodically pull things out of your head. It’s allowing them to perform the surgery necessary to rip out all the cancerous thoughts and memories that bring you panic attacks.

Strength is having those panic attacks. And anxiety attacks. And PTSD moments. It’s reliving those moments that brought you so much pain, at the slightest of triggers. It’s apologizing after forgetting who one of your best friends is during one of these episodes.

Strength is pushing through the pain, and regret. It’s accepting your part in being codependent or scared or enabling, and then letting all that go.

It’s forgiveness.

Forgiveness for yourself, for the situation that caused your trauma. For whoever you are right afterwards. For whatever mistakes you may make in the future because your brain has been wired to respond to certain situations with fear and not strength.

Strength is moving on. It’s contiuing on with your life. It’s having a better life than before. It’s opeming yourself up to all that life and love and God have in store for you. It’s talking about what happened so that if there’s anyone around you who’s stuck in the same vicious cycle, they can see that there’s a way out.

It’s never giving up on your softness. Never losing your compassion and kindness. It’s not letting the trauma break you and turn you cold. It’s choosing, every day, to be a light in the darkness.

Trauma is not strength. Strength, is what comes after. Trauma, that’s just bullshit.

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