24/7 Hotlines: Call or text 988 or text 741741

What Changing Seasons Can Teach You About Healing From Unseen Pain & Trauma

There’s a short beauty in the transition of the seasons — and it’s a type of beauty easily overlooked. Through it, I learned one of my most important lessons. And the biggest tool in my toolbelt for mental health and relationships.

The Spring Season

The air slowly increases a degree or two warmer every passing week as we enter the spring season. Two weeks go by and suddenly you crave sun on your skin and can sleep with the windows open. 

But you don’t realize this until you notice the top of your air conditioner has collected dust. You realize how fast time has passed since last summer. 

The tree’s gently buds new leaves, practically unnoticeable, and uncaptured by your eye and camera.

The sun gives a few minutes back every day, but it escaped your notice. You light a few candles, flip a switch, disregarding the few minute difference. Until, suddenly you are shocked at the day’s sudden longness. Which is full of opportunity.

The day turns into a deep inhale, instead of a quick breath. 

You wonder where the time went. But we’re adaptable creatures, so we move past it. We embrace the days to come, romanticizing the smell of grills and the sound of birds in the morning.

The Transition of Spring Season to Ourselves

While the transitioning of the seasons is sometimes like falling asleep next to someone you love, seamless and with little remembrance of the moment when you slept, or for how long in your comfort and safeness — this can have a bigger magnitude with the harsher moments of life — the unseen gaps that creek beneath our heavy steps before the floor gives out.

Two things:

  1. As forward projecting beings, the transitions and smaller details of life may go unnoticed. That is due to the bigger moments or romanization we envision about the future. We then become more prone to disregard the smaller pains, moments and conversations in our days.
  2. We are adaptable, survivors, with grit and willpower. Oftentimes we have a strength that we do not give ourselves enough credit for, but it is there nevertheless. While useful, powerful and brave, we also develop an achilles heel. Of flying past the smaller pains, details and moments that will eventually become our vaster, bigger, enemies.

The “Small Wounds”

I refer to these pains as “small wounds”. If you have any suffering, anxiety, trauma or trials, I’d encourage you to take a moment to reflect on this idea of small wounds.

Small wounds, metaphorically, for me are in the moment not as dangerous as the big, sudden, catastrophic wounds. But, just as dangerous when mixed with time. Small wounds can compound, and create resentment; confusion, fear, triggers, anxiety and so on, and eventually, become more complex. 

By recognizing this, we can prioritize the importance of healing from small wounds. Don’t worry, I’ve learned that the seasons provide us the wisdom we need to address this. And put in efforts into a detailed and more aware mindset.

Something “Minor” Can be Something Big

I’ve grown up with a lot of health issues, and I’ve let a decade of minor daily nausea control me, but in subtle ways. I didn’t think this was a big deal. I would cancel plans, eat wrong food choices, arrive late to class, or have my mood be affected for years.

Each time, I would adjust and adapt. Eat different foods, eat through stomach discomfort and make excuses. Eventually the issues started compounding and I got sicker and sicker until some days I was in bed all day, terrified of what was happening to my body. 

Multiple doctors appointments later, we realized I had a big ball of yarn to untangle to get to the core of the problem.

The Importance of Our “Small Wounds”

In other situations, I would be “small wounded” by the words of a loved one. I would repeat the words over and over again in my mind until they triggered new words, bitter thoughts and changed my perspective of them. 

I would be triggered in other, unrelated, conversations and let the emotions build up until I imploded. Creating a new wave of issues and things to work through and talk about — having to invest much time and tears into resolving them.

I’ve learned it’s the small wounds that turn our neck slowly. Taking us a few degrees off path each passing bit of time until we end up at an entirely new destination. Suddenly autumn becomes winter. And we aren’t prepared for winter. Or spring becomes summer and the days are sweltering.

Imagine your small wound as a physical one, that requires attention. Perhaps, it’s a conversation with someone to express how you felt after they said something hurtful. 

Or, it’s apologizing to someone after a heated text message was sent at that moment. Maybe, it’s journaling, to write down how something stressed you out or made you doubt yourself.

Seasons are Meant to be Looked at in Detail

I’ve learned this is very true with trauma. Learning about my small triggers is just as important as my big triggers to find a more impactful way of healing. It’s also given me the grace I need to understand that the conversations that harm me may be due to my past. And that is okay.

I have taken the power back and set up a stronger future due to acknowledging that truth.

The seasons are designed to be gradual in many places — and while this is not true or possible for all climates, nature has an art form. Thanks to our loving God, to display the importance of small details and microlessons. 

The temperature change slowly provides signals to the trees and small animals to begin certain tasks, and prepare for the season to come.

Small adjustments and time can create big things for you, including in your healing process.

Moving Forward with Understanding

My friends, sometimes God uses small wounds to prepare us for big sufferings and trials in life. While this isn’t as cheery as the spiced latte you are now surely craving (sorry) it’s TRUE. 

Not all good things are exciting, beautiful, and warm. Sometimes they are scary, and that doesn’t automatically make it bad. It might just mean we need to take action.

For those that don’t know me personally, at the time of this article I am engaged. This is a sweet and fruitful time, and I can say that with confidence, because I taste the sweetness due to the bitter days. I know it is fruitful because some of my sins and struggles have rotted. 

Tearful conversations have been had, small wounds have been made but also addressed and we are soon exiting the season to marriage better prepared, more in love and more sanctified because of this time. I would not trade it, return to go, or reverse the clock.

Like the small animals stretching their legs for summer, the seasons can prepare us, strengthen us, and bring attention to something that needs our time and love. 

It signals us to have the hard conversation, to notice the pressure points in a relationship or situation.

What small wounds have you had recently that you should take time to address or reflect on?

Oh, did I mention you get a free month of Skillshare when you click the link?

Written by Sarah Edwards (@setapart_company), TPCT Project Coordinator.

Take A Self-Assessment Of Your Choice


Click here to take a self-assessment of your choice (depression, postpartum depression, anxiety, psychosis, bipolar, eating disorder, PTSD, ADHD, addiction & more).

Visit our Q&A page to learn more!

Trauma and Women’s Health

Women’s Health Week is this week and I can’t help but cringe when I hear it. I have struggled since a teenager with accessing healthcare, for several reasons. After some time in therapy, I learned that all of the reasons why I wasn’t able to access necessary healthcare, all came down to: trauma.

After explaining to several different providers the history of my trauma and how it effects me in medical settings, I was offered little solutions and supports and instead heard, “well keep going to therapy and it will get better,” or “it won’t feel the same as the trauma did”. The amount of insensitivity and lack of training around trauma that I have observed in so many practices astounded me. I thought if anything, OBGYN’s would be well-equipped.

So for years I went undiagnosed and untreated and eventually found myself in the depths of serious health complications that I had to face. About two years ago, after a horrific experience getting a pap smear, my diagnosis left me feeling shame, embarrassment, guilt, and worthlessness. In order to attend to my physical health needs, I had to put my mental health needs aside, which was a recipe for disaster. I spiraled into a severe depressive episode, started to have plans of suicide, and struggled to keep my addiction recovery strong. I had to get procedure after procedure, all under heavy sedation, which sky rocketed my medical bill, and brought old traumas to the surface. Not only was I now experiencing physical and mental health issues, but this situation caused a huge financial burden on me and the savings I accumulated over the past few years was back to negative.

I’m still struggling to find a provider that truly understands trauma and can respond appropriately and empathetically. My current provider tries to understand, but can be very dismissive and have a “no big deal” type of attitude. Attending to my physical health needs caused a PTSD episode as I continued to experience the traumatic events as if they were happening all over again. This caused strain in my romantic relationship, distance from friends, and secrecy from family. All the while, I struggled with keeping things private because of the transparent person that I am. I’m not at the point where I’m comfortable talking about what I’m going through, but I can say that I’m taking it a day at a time with gratitude at every step, even on the rougher days. I’m saying yes to self-care and I’ve established firm boundaries around my professional and personal life. As for support, I have people in my corner that I trust, and the one’s who question and don’t honor my boundaries, I have 0 desire to teach them respect or alter my reality to fit their comfortability.

How Trauma Has Changed My Life

Nobody likes thinking about how trauma has affected them. But, there’s no hiding the fact that trauma has had an impact on my life. Whether I like it or not, there are a lot of things I do and don’t do because of past traumas.

Trauma isn’t always one event. Sometimes it’s repeated events. Anything can be trauma, it’s different for everyone. There are some things that I would consider traumatic that I have flashbacks about that people would probably argue aren’t trauma. The problem is, they are traumatic because those events have completely altered me.

Before I get into how trauma has affected me personally, I’d like to give you a list of some of the effects of trauma:

  • Flashbacks
  • Panic attacks
  • Dissociation
  • Unable to relax
  • Sleep problems
  • Low self-esteem
  • Grief
  • Self-harm
  • Suicidal feelings
  • Alcohol and substance misuse

I’d love to tell you I’ve only dealt with a select few of the issues on that list, but I have struggled with all of them as a result of traumas in my life. I’m sure a lot of you are thinking there’s no way someone who’s only 25 has dealt with that much trauma in their life. But, due to a lot of mental health issues, I put myself in a lot of really bad situations, but there were definitely things that happened to me that were completely out of my control.

I think one of the worst things I’ve dealt with are flashbacks. There are days when it’s constant. I’ll have periods where they won’t be an issue, but then they’ll come back full force out of nowhere. This typically leads to anxiety or even panic attacks as I relive the traumas.

The flashbacks also lead to dissociation. Sometimes the dissociation is not being able to differentiate the flashbacks from reality. Other times, the dissociation is literally my brain completely shutting down in an attempt to protect myself from my own thoughts. In other words it’s a bunch of nothing-ness while I stare at a wall with no thoughts for hours. Dissociating is something I’ve even turned to during traumatic events to escape the reality of what was happening to me.

Oh and don’t forget how the flashbacks also negatively affect my sleep. The flashbacks love to come as I’m trying to fall asleep at night. Some nights they will be so bad, I will be terrified to close my eyes. So instead of taking the chance of closing my eyes and getting sucked into a flashback, I’ll keep my eyes open and stare at the ceiling until I’m too tired to fight it anymore.

My traumas have lead to a lot of suicidal feelings. Sometimes when I think about the things that happened to me, I can’t help but think why? There were many times when I thought about ending my life after traumatic events.

Another way I tried to deal with my trauma was by using substances. I used alcohol and marijuana to numb myself. I didn’t want to feel anything. Getting so stoned or drunk that I was barely there was an escape for me. It was my way to avoid the flashbacks and the anxiety.

That’s the other thing about trauma. A lot of traumas are tied to people, places, and things. I avoid a lot of people and places because of my trauma. I have lived in the same area since I was a kid and there have been a lot of times that I have honestly thought about moving away because I drive by triggering places just in my everyday life.

I avoid places where I might see someone from my past that I went no contact with. If I can’t avoid these places, I am anxious the whole time. There have even been times where even going to one of these places was mentioned and I’ve had a panic attack that lead to hyperventilating and tears. How do you tell someone that you can’t go a certain restaurant or another normal place without feeling like you’re going to die? How do you explain that to someone who has never been through it?

While I don’t want my trauma to control my life, I feel like it definitely does sometimes. Sometimes, it makes me feel completely helpless. It’s like a never-ending hell. I hate that there are places I can’t go to because they’re attached to certain things that have happened to me. I hate that I have to live in fear going to certain towns because I might see someone who did something to me.

But, this is the reality of being a trauma survivor. It doesn’t matter how many years have gone by, the effects are always there. Sometimes the symptoms are in my face, other times it’s subconscious because I’ve been living with these things for so long. This is my life with CPTSD from years of repeated trauma.

If you’ve dealt with something traumatic, I am so sorry. I really would not wish any of these aftereffects of trauma on anyone. I know how hard it has been for me. But, if you are struggling, there is help out there. Check out some of our resources to find help.

If you liked this post, be sure to check out Sasha’s post My Thoughts On Trauma right here on turningpointct.org.

Calendar for Mental Health Awareness Days: 2019

TurningPointCT.org’s 2019 Awareness Calendar is here!

Every month there are awareness days that celebrate and recognize different things relating to mental health and advocacy. Have you ever wondered when all those awareness days are?

If so, check out ours below! Scroll down to find it!

Download the PDF or save the PNG to your desktop. Print it, share it, and enjoy it! #YouAreNotAlone

So, if you ever have felt like you are the only one experiencing your struggles, you are not alone. These awareness days exist to remind us of that fact. Together, we are strong. Love yourself, spread awareness, and fight stigma.

Make sure you are following us on Facebook and Twitter to see our posts on each awareness day. You can also find out if there are any events happening in honor of the days.

Questions? Ask the forum!

Did we leave out any awareness days that you want us to include? Or, do you have any suggestions? Then let us know in the forum!

You can scroll down for the PDF!

Here is the PDF link:
2019 awareness calendar PDF

And scroll down for the PNG! Hint: you can save these by dragging them to your desktop. If you are on your phone hold down your finger and save the picture!

Here is the entire calendar, month-by-month in PNG form:
January 2019:
January 2019
February 2019:
February 2019
March 2019:
March 2019
April 2019:
April 2019
May 2019:
May 2019
June 2019:
June 2019
July 2019:
July 2019
August 2019:
August 2019
September 2019:
September 2019
October 2019:
October 2019
November 2019:
November 2019
December 2019:
December 2019

If you want to check out last year’s awareness calendar, click here!

S.G.’s Monster (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)

Sara is inspired by Toby Allen’s illustration of the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) monster. Relative to the anxiety monster, the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Monster can be found stalking battlefields or lurking near traumatic events and natural disasters, feeding off the collective trauma and fear. On her monster’s back are various targets to remind her of experiences. 

Artist: Sara


Suicide Prevention

Suicide Prevention – May is Mental Health Month! Please join us in spreading the message that suicide is preventable and it starts with being smart about our mental health.

Let people know why suicide prevention is important to you!

Watch the video below and follow this link to learn more about how you can help to prevent suicide.

Find more resources HERE: https://turningpointct.org/resources/.

The Magical Pill

I take my medication in the evening, but sometimes if I have an impromptu overnight stay somewhere and I didn’t pack them, I can miss a dose. Sometimes I might also fall asleep early and/or forget, but I am definitely getting much better because I know the major difference and side effects from missing a dose.

Apparently, there’s a new “Smart Pill” that can be taken to remind you to take your medication. There’s an app on the phone that it alerts to and also can contact providers (to make sure you are following through with medication management).
“(It’s) a pill coated in digestible metals — copper and magnesium — which react with stomach acid to send a tiny electrical signal through your body. This charge zaps a Band-Aid-like patch on your skin, which sends a signal via Bluetooth to an iOS app that notes you’ve taken the pill. The skin patch, worn for days at a time, also transmits physiological data like step count and time spent being active versus resting.”
You can read about it Here
or here ->>>> http://www.buzzfeed.com/stephaniemlee/this-smart-pill-tells-your-doctor-if-you-miss-a-dose#.kyO4yODlP
Right now, only some medications work with the “Smart Pill,” such as medication for hypertension. However, they are making progress with introducing more medications like anti-psychotics.
It might actually save a life, but it seems a bit odd in my opinion, a pill that will actually determine if you took your medication!?
What do you think? What are some tricks you use to remind yourself to take your meds?