It is 2009. As I laid down there in the ICU bed what seemed like an eternity, I realise that I’d have to spend many days with whatever was wrong with me. The recovery won’t be easy as a sharp surge of pain rose in the multiple intravenous dips and injections passing through my hands and neck. At the moment, I wanted a quick recovery and go back home. Who wouldn’t? The problem was that there wasn’t any quick fix available and I’d have to comply with what the doctors said.
With time, slowly but surely when I gave myself enough time and space and supplemented that with proper nutrition, recovery started to happen. It took me exactly 30 days but it happened. The goal during the entire period was to make the body return to its original state. Even though I knew it wouldn’t be possible as the body has its own way of doing things and regenerating. I was weaker and sensitive than usual.
However, after almost ten months, I was back to my exuberant self having experienced complete and holistic recovery.
I assumed the mind worked in the same way. However, no statement can be further from the truth for recovery, healing and the way they differ is subtle yet profound.
Fast forward to 2016. There was this girl I adored and she adored me back. However, somewhere down the line, something changed. Something snapped. From being virtually inseparable, we severed as if an axe had been used rather brutally to disconnect us. The outfall was extremely painful and distressing for me. Life had been squeezed out of me as I didn’t look forward to doing anything. I kept myself closed and stranded in my thoughts with no escape route.
I tried hot baths, spa, meditation, mental health retreats but all in vain. I thought that if an experience damaged me in life, the best course of action towards recovery would be to return to the initial state. The way I did it in 2009. I thought I’d it worked out but little did I know that is not how things worked when dealing with matters of mind and soul.
While our bodies are gifted and know how to trudge on a path of recovery, our mind and soul do not. They need healing and the two are entirely different.
I was on the wonderful path of recovery when I was trying to restore myself to the human being I was before the hurt happened. However, I was on the divine path of complete spiritual healing when I was prepared to shed my old self with the old beliefs and dispositions and become someone absolutely new.
Recovery for me entailed trying desperately to go back to the person I was before, the person who was ignorant and didn’t know any better. I got myself stuck into the situation due to my innocent acts of naivety. Despite all I was going through, I kept looking back at the past, in some way idolising and romanticising the traumatic event. I grasped at the past since it was familiar and as they say, a known devil is better than an unknown angel.
Read about: How Getting Stuck in the Past has No Way Out
I thought and believed to my core that recovery is the solution to all my problems since it felt like a magic bullet, comfortable and pleasant. At the onset, it made me feel a hell lot better. Recovery was taking a leave from work and watching Netflix. Recovery was avoiding phone calls and messages from people who irked me. Recovery was indulging in a chocolate cake because I deserved it by slugging it out. Recovery was remembering my self-esteem and power. Recovery was taking a step back into the realm I had created before. Recovery was about coming back.
Recovery meant I wasn’t taking any lessons out of the past. Instead, I was choosing to ignore it and move on as if nothing happened. Healing, in contrast, involved realising that in order to truly move on, I would have to step on a different path and step up to become a different person.
I learned the hard way that for healing to happen, plenty would need to be altered. The transformation was personal as there were no spiritual healing schools guiding me through the way. I had to forge my own road and the first step was accepting about everything that was wrong in my life. Healing is a process of change through which I improved and enhanced my life and strived to reach my full potential. Healing involved recognising that my older job was killing me. Healing was about forgiving the girl who did me wrong without an iota of acrimony. Healing was giving up on video games because I had to work on my dream of finishing that first book. Healing was enforcing a stricter budget because I had long term financial dreams. Healing was restoring relationships and friends instead of just walking away from them. Healing was choosing what nourished me instead of falling back to what comforted me. Healing was remembering the Biblical promise of healing. Healing was finding remarkable self-esteem and power. Healing was taking a step into a new realm to do things that I have never done before. Healing was about renewal.
While many of our worries and troubles can often be tackled by taking the time to plod on the slightly tough road of recovery, it is our prominent, underlying, and overarching, continual, and behavioural problems that need to be solved by healing. Avoiding these troubles by replicating the old behaviour patterns is futile and often harmful for it gives the false sense of healing.
Recovery, Healing and the way they differ comes down to the kind of change they bring about and the duration they last. Recovery can be supported by peers and family but healing is an internal process, one which you have to go through alone. While recovery is important but is temporary and fleeting, healing is necessary and irreversible and everlasting.