The run up to the New Year is often seen as a time for recollection, for looking back on the previous year and on past events that have impacted your more recent life. Spending time with these memories brings up a range of emotions attached to a range of events.
Some of these positive emotions are attached to events and experiences that can make you feel happy and enriched in the present moment. Recalling them is good for you and is something you enjoy doing. You may enjoy sharing this happiness with your family and your friends.
Some of these negative emotions are attached to events and experiences that may still be stressful for you to recall. To remember what happened may even be traumatic for you. With such memories and recollections you may find yourself reliving the past stress and having the painful feelings this brings up.
The sad fact is that you may experience these past events as traumatic in the present and you may come to understand that the pain felt in the past is still with you as the pain you are feeling now, in the present.
So what can you do? Clearly you have a choice to make. You can try to ignore what happened and reject these hurtful emotions. This may push your feelings down and leave them for another day. Or you can recognise them and have them in the present. You can acknowledge the trauma you have suffered and the post-traumatic stress that you are now suffering.
You may decide to talk to your partner, your relatives, or to close friends about the stress that you are having. This may lead you to live your life differently. For example, you may decide to do more exercise, to go to bed earlier, to stop smoking, to drink less – or stop drinking – alcohol.
You may decide that your new understanding requires an appointment with your doctor who will offer advice, support and who may decide that medication is appropriate.
As you pursue your chosen path, your concerns and yes your worries about your future may lead you to decide to talk to a professional psychotherapist. Your psychotherapist will help you to be open about your experiences of trauma, to express your worries about and around this, to examine your current situation and your unfolding desires and plans for your life.
In this way your psychotherapist will help you to form a realistic view of where you are that will allow you to decide on a plan that will enable you to lead a future life free from the stress of past trauma and previous hurt.
It’s up to you. Talk to someone and give yourself the opportunity to live life in the present or stay silent and go on trying not to think about these things.