Healing can get quite Ghetto
I want y’all to take a minute and think of the word ghetto.
Some of us might have gone back to use google, some of us might have a slight idea on what it means, and some of us were smart enough to not do either because if they’ re asking a question obviously they’ll give us the answer, duh!.
And you are right, we have the answer, Google baba says Ghetto is “a part of a city, especially a slum area, occupied by a minority group or groups” and for reasons unknown it is usually directed towards black individuals. It has been assumed that people with black, white, yellow, green, blue, pink-coloured skin can also be ghetto. (let’s throw our narrow-minded thoughts, shall we?)
Which brings us to the point that ghetto is not people, it’s the place. It is portrayed quite clearly in the movie “Schindler’s List”, which talks about places being ghetto and not the people living in it. Ghetto is our state of mind. Keeping that in mind let’s talk about how healing can be quite ghetto.
How do we heal? It’s a simple question but the answer is rather complex. Physical wounds heal quickly but they leave a scar sometimes and that always reminds you how you got it in the first place. Some of these scars could have a happy ending and some not quite. People may have healed their physical scars but the mental scars are pretty nasty too.
They probably take much longer to heal because we humans cling on to our past like it’s none’s business (similar to how our desi aunties cling on to our business). Healing can be ghetto, be it physical or psychological. Ask a person with a broken bone or a broken heart and they’ll let you in on their story. It is definitely not a walk in the park, in fact, it can be quite unsettling and uncomfortable because you are face to face with your past 24/7. But the only way out of it is through it.
Our goal is to let go of the past so that it loses its power over us. Merely forgetting the past or ignoring your feelings and emotions will only prolong the healing process. Just like we acknowledge the physical pain of a wound, we must acknowledge the pain caused by a past memory or an incident because it is absolutely okay to feel vulnerable and uncomfortable (but don’t forget to be kind to yourself). If you are feeling that way, then congratulations you have begun to accept that something is bothering you and that is the first step in the process of healing.
The best way is to be aware of how this constant narrative of the past is affecting us in the here and now. (it’s the 21st century and we are owning it!) Most of the time it does affect the way we create our relationships, the way we perceive things that others say and do. It’s not a good place to be in. But hey, it’s ok to talk about it. Your feelings are valid and you are allowed to feel hurt, sad, and uncomfortable.
Talk about your goals, talk about what you wish to achieve through this journey but don’t just only sit and talk, act on it, do something about it!
We happen to know a brave person who knows a thing or two about healing.
“I am a woman who never went to the hospital for any medical reasons when I was a child and trust me ten years old I wanted nothing more than to be admitted to a ward and come home with a plastered hand/leg/hip or any other body part you can think of. I wanted to feel special, you know but what I didn’t want to be a part of the statistics of the Child Sexual Abuse cases in India. I have lived with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) for most of my life and boy what an experience has it been! I was suicidal, depressed, started smoking, and went through a lot of personality changes, most of which I still can’t make sense of it. Saying that it was perhaps the roughest period of my life would be an understatement. It was a freaking nightmare and truth be told I didn’t see myself get past the age of fifteen but thank heavens that things took a turn.
I met some amazing people who gave me the support that my family denied me (yep, clearly I wasn’t very lucky in the family department) but I’m not complaining. I found a safe place with my friends. They encouraged me to go for therapy, in fact, booked sessions for me because they knew I could never afford it at 16 without my parents’ knowledge.
The thing about healing is, it is never a complete process, it’s always a continuous process. But with the right social support and help, we can get better. I know this because I crossed that murky, difficult, impossible road to recovery. It seems so difficult, and it is and nobody ever knows what you are battling with every day, but if you won’t help yourself, then who will?
There are days when I still feel unable to move, breathe, feel my own presence, but even on those days, I know that if I pick up the phone and call my friends, I will have them at my doorstep, ready with the best new york baked cheesecake in the city and right now that’s all that matters.”
Each individual’s journey towards healing is different and nobody has the right to tell you how to process your grief, that’s right fam, you do you! So if Tony Stark can drop a nuke in space and come back then so can we!
However, having said that, we do have your best interests at heart and want to make this journey fruitful for you. Here we have a few key pointers that we would love for you to keep in mind the next time either you or someone you love is on this ghetto journey (yaas girl, own that sh*t)
Acknowledge your pain
Understand that you were not dealt with the best cards, and acknowledge your emotions.
Take time to process your pain.
Seek help. There is absolutely no shame in seeking help.
Bad things happen to the best of us (I mean 2020 am I right?).
Talk to a friend, begin journaling, seek professional help, and understand your process.
Let go of difficult emotions. Have you ever forcefully held back a fart? So you know what am talking about right?
Identifying how you feel is the first step. Learning to acknowledge and release the emotion liberates old wounds.
Make yourself a priority
Knowing how you feel is very important, that’s where all the great transformation stories kick-off.
Start taking care of your mind and body.
Healing is not a one-time bargain
Working on you every day is very important to keep your mind and body fit.
Reiterate tiniest things that make you happy to stay positive.
Be honest with yourself, repression has never helped anyone *tosses drawbacks of Freudian defence mechanisms at you* and is definitely not the most ideal road to take when you’re on a journey such as this.
Don’t fight the healing process and please be kind to yourself. The more you try to deny your pain, the harder it gets for you to heal from them.
Understand your triggers, if a certain friend or family member is harmful to your process, then cut them out, hon! (say it with me, “nobody is more important than my mental health!”).
Trying to fast-forward your healing process is like applying burnol on a third-degree burn. It is not going to provide you any relief!
There comes a point in time when you reach a stage where you say “enough is enough”, and you grab your struggles by its throat and dust yourself off and create a world that’s a better place for you.
Our past is past for a reason, so let’s leave it where it belongs and seek a new direction where we can laugh and cry all we want.
When I think about healing, it feels like a journey that only I am part of. But trust me, if you look around carefully there’s everybody healing from something or the other. It’s not a miracle that happens over night (and being envious of those who heal faster is also normal, y’all, we’ve all been there). But don’t you worry, we’ve got you covered.
Healing is more than the mere feeling of relief, it is the game changer. You should try it too!
So all you lovely people reading this, let’s all be mad together and heal together ‘cause remember when you heal yourself, you upgrade and we are so ready for the upgraded version of you.