The symptoms that no longer serve us

The „symptoms“ that no longer serve us were once the survival strategies that saved us.

Healing does not come through force. It comes through listening.

Through being gentle with everything that is unhealed within us.

Through treating this space, between where we are now and who we would like to be, as sacred ground.

And yet, within dominant narratives around mental health there is not much space for the unhealed and unfinished, for honoring the survival strategies that once saved us.

Instead, there is an ever-present pressure to get rid of our „symptoms“, to become better adjusted to our oppression, to get back to work.

As we restore the link between the threats and traumas we have been through and what we hat to do to survive, we realize our so-called symptoms may be deeply human responses to adversity.

This can help release some of the shame we carry.

To know that our self-starvation, bingeing and body hatred, our alcohol use, self-punishment and voice hearing is not because there is something wrong with us.

But because our safety, survival and wellbeing has been threatened and this is what we had to do to manage our overwhelming feelings, to self-soothe, to survive.

This gives us power.

To turn towards our survival strategies rather than fighting them.

To honor both how they have served us in past and how the may be limiting our life in the present.

To reach out for help and reach in for truth.

To explore new resources to cope with threat.

New ways to experience emotions.

New ways to express distress.

New ways to take care of ourselves and each other in this glorious, grief-filled world.


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