Do you feel like nothing is working and you’re doing it all wrong? Do you feel like you’re working so hard on your trauma healing and not making any progress? In every journey, especially a journey of hard things, we women experience plateaus; we feel like we’ve hit a wall or we’re on a freaking hamster wheel. You’re not alone.
You Are Where You Are Supposed To Be
You are making progress. You are heading in the direction you want to.
Whether you chose this divorce or you were blindsided by it, I know that you want to build a life that you’re in love with.
When we women hit a healing plateau, it activates all the issues that we struggle with. Even if you’re journaling, going to divorce recovery therapy, and working on yourself, you may still be experiencing periods of unmanageable anxiety, insomnia, resentment, or obsessive thoughts about your ex. This blog is for you.
Sleep, Nutrition, Hydration, Support System
At the beginning of your divorce journey, when everything is on fire, and you have so many issues that need to be stabilized, many things will feel helpful fast. Basic trauma healing tools will go a long way.
Prioritizing sleep, nutrition, having someone come over and help you fold a load of laundry or watch the kids for a couple of hours, one journal entry, one divorce recovery therapy session.
These things are going to feel good because you’re so overextended and you’re in so much pain that even little chunks of relief feel helpful.
When you start taking steps to heal and rebuild your life after divorce, a lot of tools and supportive strategies will work for you. The further along you get, you won’t feel as though you’re getting the same bang for your buck. This is not a sign that you’re doing it wrong. It’s a sign that you made so much progress. You need a next-level strategy to go up a level.
Let’s look at EMDR therapy, which is a fairly advanced-level tool.
If EMDR trauma therapy isn’t working for someone, it usually means that they’re not stable enough for that level of trauma processing yet, and their nervous system is not yet grounded enough to tolerate the intensity of EMDR.
In all of my years of doing EMDR therapy, I’ve had two cases (both men) where it was not an effective tool, and they weren’t able (or willing) to take the steps for it to help them. It’s usually that the tool and the person aren’t the right fit at the time.
Someone at the very beginning of a divorce trauma healing journey might not be quite ready for EMDR therapy, and someone who has stopped making progress with EMDR may need to dig a little deeper. If it’s the latter, we start looking at how internal family systems work or deal with the more intricate details of your story and the painful experiences you’ve gone through. This will unlock deeper levels of trauma healing.
When you feel like you’re at a plateau, it’s time to ask yourself: “Do I need to go back to the basics to get more stable? Or do I need a more advanced tool to break through to the next level?”
Basic Trauma Healing Tools
How do we know when it’s time to go back to trauma healing basics or to go to an advanced tool? Well, let’s start with the basics:
- Are you getting at least seven hours of sleep a night?
- Are you hydrating?
- Are you eating some nutritious, healthy foods?
- Is your body getting the nourishment it needs?
- Are you using some tools to regulate your nervous system?
- Are you being intentional about using a tool when you are triggered?
- Do you have a support system that’s helping you during this season of your life?
Let me dig into some examples from my life after divorce, where I hit healing plateaus. While I was going through a divorce (and for several years afterward), I was using a lot of healing tools and modalities. I was going to individual therapy, I was part of a women’s group, I was journaling, I opened my own business, I was doing yoga, I was getting massages, and I was doing personal development workshops – please bear in mind I was single, and I didn’t have a child. I was getting better so much faster and it was super exciting.
As a result of doing all that work, my husband and I got together and our daughter was born. I had a lot of health problems, and pregnancy took a toll on my body. I experienced nervous system dysregulation, anxiety, and a lot of insomnia.
So I realized that something was missing. It didn’t mean that all that work I did early on was a waste, but it meant that I needed a deeper solution.
Advanced Trauma Healing Solutions
I worked with some functional medicine practitioners to make sure that my body was getting what it needed to heal emotionally, mentally, and physically. I became EMDR trained and found my own EMDR therapist. For me, EMDR and functional medicine worked really, really well. I also spent a lot of time in chiropractic care because it strengthens the nervous system and helps us work through misalignment in our structural anatomy, which can come from physical, mental, or emotional traumas.
After my nervous system became more regulated, my body was healthier, and my mind became more stable.
This year, I found homeopathy, which is an energy medicine that I have fallen in love with. Through hiring a homeopath, reading a lot of books, and understanding the nuance of energy systems in my body, I’ve become so much better. It has taken me 13 years.
The mind and body heal in layers. It’s not all going to come at once from one healer or one set of tools.
If you feel kind of stuck, it’s okay to find a new healer and move on.
Life Is Change
We, women, are not static or the same person from one day to the next. We’re dynamic. We’re constantly shifting and morphing.
What I needed ten years ago was not the same as it is now. Don’t be afraid to try a different healing tool.
Let’s also talk about the role of nuance in helping you shift through a layer of healing. It’s similar to looking at colors. There is green, but there is also forest green, lime green, and mint green. There is a nuanced difference between shades of green. When we’re talking about healing things, the breakthroughs often come from acknowledging those little nuances.
Nuance is one of my superpowers. I can read a micro expression on someone’s face. I can perceive an energy shift, a different tone of voice, and a body language change. If you’re in my inner circle, it’s one of the things that you just have to love about me, or else it’s hard to tolerate being near me. I’m so aware of them that when you tell me your story, I know exactly which nuanced spots need to be pressed.
Often when we’re feeling blocked or stuck, it’s because it’s time for a new healing tool.
If I’m trying to please people or I’m trying to fit in, I’m probably denying or avoiding nuanced things that are my story. If I am trying to hide something or suppress what I feel, that’s exactly where we need to look.
The things that cause you to feel separate or different from other people are exactly the things we need to peel back the layers of and dig into.
I want you to notice all the places that you would rather not look at right now – these are key to your next breakthrough.
You may not believe me right now, but any of the places that you’re tempted to hide are the most magical spaces. I want you to learn to love yourself around those things, which only come with practice. Shining a light on it, loving it, and letting somebody else love you well is the special key to unlocking it.
In healing, it’s a powerful experience when you tell someone your story, and they say, “You make sense, I see you, and I get you, and I’ve had a similar experience.” There is a moment when you feel so seen and so heard. You exhale and feel much better.
This experience is a form of matching energy. It’s speaking to the stuck energy in your body and allowing that blocked energy to flow.
Feeling Seen and Heard
Homeopathy was the perfectly matched remedy where my mind and body were able to feel acknowledged, and it felt safe enough to let go. The perfectly matched remedy or solution is out there for you. You are not alone. You are not damaged or broken. You just have to be willing to look in the hard little cracks and crevices and try new things, which means getting uncomfortable.
Don’t think that just because I’m a therapist, I’m immune to the nervous energy that comes with calling a new healer. I have had my share of nervous first therapy sessions or awkward first sessions with a healer. I experienced that when I started going to a new chiropractor this year. It makes you feel vulnerable.
If you’re plateauing, it’s for a reason. So, hey, if you want extra help and support in this way, send me your story. I’ll find that little nuance, and then we’ll tackle it.
Peace and love.
Divorce recovery coach Dawn Wiggins
...helps people crack open. Challenging the status quo, she integrates multiple modalities from EMDR to EFT tapping, journaling, homeopathy, and movement, embracing remedies that heal both the mind and body. Divorce recovery coach Dawn Wiggins is on a mission to deliver life-changing therapy in an accessible, scalable, affordable way and make waves in the world of mental health with the same enlightenment that happens in her office. Part science, part essential oils, pure magic.