“The habits you created to survive will no longer serve you when it’s time to thrive. Get out of survival mode. New habits, new life.” – Ebonee Davis
I came across this quote and both nodded and cringed. In times of trauma, we often develop methods of coping that are the very best we can do at the time. Letting go of them is not so simple.
It might be that we learned to freeze and be silent – or drown out our emotions with alcohol or food or some other compulsion – or rage and lash out – or placate – or isolate – or any number of things just to try to get through, be safe, be loved.
These “adaptations” become habit, and it’s true that their appropriateness and usefulness does seem to have an expiration date. They can begin to do more harm than good.
Until the trauma memories are healed, it is hard to convince our nervous systems that we no longer need these adaptations.
However, I’ve seen the old coping behaviors lose their draw once we process through the pain that was their origin. It’s tough work to get there, but it’s possible.