As we wave goodbye to 2022 some of us are filled with nostalgia looking back on a year full of happiness and challenges. I don’t think anyone can achieve true happiness every single day but hey… What do I know? Challenges, however, I do know about. Life is full of them and as a human race, we strive to achieve our goals.
Not everyone shares in this fussy, happy nostalgic feeling about the year 2022. For many of us living with Complex PTSD, 2022 was riddled with pain and triggers. Some days were truly awful but others were not so bad. I’m sure some days were even great. We survived another year and that in itself is worth raising a glass in a toast. We survived in the only way we know how – by being ourselves! You are so much stronger than you think. Even on the days when you think that you cannot fight to live another day, you are strong. There is a pull like gravity holding us together, tethering us to live like a boat safely tucked away in the harbor.
As 2023 begins, many of us do some soul-searching. Am I truly happy? What do I need to do to achieve my goals? Are there any changes I need to make? Am I happy with my career choice? Do I need to work on my health? A new year usually brings out those kinds of questions. It is the hottest topic of conversation as you return to work after the Christmas break. Most people can take extended time off work between Christmas and the New Year. A lot of companies choose to shut down non-essential operations and give staff a well-earned break. It is a time of year that we get together and celebrates with family and friends. We return to work rested and ready to be super-efficient!
Goal and Dreams
Some people like to make a New Year’s resolution before the new year begins. A resolution is something that can be made with the intention of working towards a goal or a dream to improve or change something. A way to look into your life and decide how to improve it. It is important for a survivor or for anyone to not just focus on what has been and gone but to look forward to the future. It is an exciting time because the year has only just started and I’m full of ideas on how to make 2023 a much better year than before.
What is your outlook in 2023? Have you made a New Year’s Resolution or a promise on what you want to happen in the coming months?
Improving Your Own Life
A new year’s resolution is often about your own life. A lot of people I know choose to focus on their health after having overindulged in all the tempting food over the holidays. Some people like to exercise more or start a new exercise regime, maybe even sign up for some advanced classes. Whatever you choose to do, make sure that you do it for the right reasons and not because someone decided you should do it.
Remember you are your own person and you deserve to live your life the way you want to.
Not everyone is able to exercise for various reasons but there are many ways you can improve your life. Relaxation exercises, stretching and yoga are all ways to get in tune with our bodies. It is especially vital for someone who is living with Complex PTSD because we are naturally tense and wired. Find out what technique works for you and give it a shot! What have you got to lose?
Mindfulness is a hot topic in our society today. I thought initially that it was crazy stuff that only retired people did. How wrong was I? Mindfulness is for everyone. My friends decided to give it a try but I was not ready to jump on the bandwagon because my friends did. Their reactions to mindfulness changed some of them fundamentally in their outlook on life and so it sparked my interest. After looking into it and giving it a fair shake, I have changed my previous views. Mindfulness is all about how we as human beings fit in our bodies and in the complex world we live in without judging it. It is about becoming aware of what is already out there all around us and the opportunities missed. It is about reducing our stress in life and becoming more attuned to the now. Life is happening right now and you will miss 100% of it if you don’t try and grab it with both hands. It can be as simple as starting a journal and writing down a few simple statements about your day. Acknowledging the bad and the good and feeling grateful. It can be about recognizing your thoughts about people and experiences and taking a moment to pause…. It makes you stop and organize your thoughts and consider the big picture. Think about how you react to something and why you feel that way. If your mind is like mine and constantly churning ideas, mindfulness will help. There are lots of books and classes on mindfulness. Why don’t you give it a go? It’s a new year full of opportunities!
Helping Family or Loved Ones
Those around you who you care about the most may need your help in 2023. Choosing to help them is a great way to start the new year. Once they are where they need to be, they may even help you with something you struggle with. Taking time out to help others is really worthwhile and should never feel like a burden. I see it a bit as that film called “Pay it forward”. If you help others with a small thing, it eventually comes back to you.
As an example, at bedtime, I always take the time to read with my young kids. It makes them happy and settled down to sleep each night. If you don’t have kids, helping a friend make a coffee after an accident and staying to talk for a while can mean the world. It feels good too. Pay attention to others around you this year. A simple gesture of kindness really can make a difference.
Charity – Helping Others in Need
Some people decide to give more to charity. There are lots of ways to do this and doesn’t have to cost the world. Entering a half marathon and running for a cancer research charity is something I have done in the past. It felt great to have that focus to train for the race with friends and then the goal of raising money for a good cause. My kid’s school often gets the parents together to raise money. Embrace it and help whenever you can in whatever capacity you can. Charity doesn’t always mean money, quite often it is about giving your time and energy. I had so much fun helping at a homeless shelter serving food when my friend got sick. I’m always thinking of donating toys and clothes to people who have less.
Changing Your Attitude
Before I finish this post, I want to highlight the importance of your attitude to life and how you are with other people. If you are constantly feeling sad and depressed your outlook will also be that. Try, even when life is hard to smile more and think positively. Life is what you make of it and the world really is at the tip of your fingers. So what are you waiting for? Go out there with your head held high and grab life firmly with both hands. You do matter and this year is going to be great!
Elizabeth Woods grew up unwanted, in a world of brutal sex offenders, murderers, and inconceivably neglectful adults. She got caught up in a secret sex ring where her so-called father was in charge and loaned her out to vicious sexual predators for their enjoyment. She suffered sexual abuse throughout her entire childhood and desperately tried to seek help from the adults around her. She was let down by doctors and psychiatrists who knew she was being abused but was sent back repeatedly to be harmed again. She was forced to witness several brutal murders. Memories that will forever be ingrained in her mind.
Elizabeth survived in an environment where most people would not and she is now able to help other survivors heal from trauma. Elizabeth lives in a happy home with her husband and children. She has friends all around her and is working a job she loves. Elizabeth has written a book, telling her childhood story: The Sex-Offender’s Daughter: A True Story of Survival Against All Odds, available on Amazon Kindle. https://www.amazon.com/Sex-Offenders-Daughter-Story-Survival-Against-ebook/dp/B0BBSV97VF/ref=sr_1_1?crid=1W93IR8PLCYOH&keywords=the+sexoffenders+daughter&qid=1668277897&sprefix=the+sexoffenders+daughter%2Caps%2C151&sr=8-1