the act of bandaging scars.

I can still recall the first F I got in university, it had to be one of the most traumatizing experiences, I cried for days on end, as one does when they fail while having their drive be academic validation. I would blame myself for the longest time but eventually, enroll myself in the class again and leave with an A-, and I don’t know how to explain it but that is how challenging healing can be.

You set foot in a world where you’re taught how to study, what to eat, and how many hours of sleep you need and your steps grow heavier when you approach the questions that don’t have a specific answer, like how to cope with your emotions or how to heal. You realize that not everything can be taught or have a direct answer, but that people heal differently, as they always have.

You take it upon yourself to understand your emotions, what is logical, and what is common, and upon understanding how healing works, you try to immerse that through the situations in life. You go through such diverse obstacles and realize that healing can also be different from one situation to another, and now it can be a bit hard to wrap your head around how healing works. You do eventually find yourself in a state of mind that’s so peaceful, that you can proudly say you’ve healed from it, and yet it doesn’t feel like you did at all.

Healing, as colorful as it can be, is not linear. You can feel better about a situation today but so much worse in a month, but that doesn’t erase any progress you’ve achieved. Encouraging healing is one thing and not realizing how hard or time-consuming it can be is another, people don’t heal the same as you do. While healing is explained positively, people still look at someone and wonder ‘how long more do they need to heal?’ not realizing how impactful a situation can be from one another, and by now, I have explained how many differences the aspects of healing can have.

Imagine your worst fear coming to life, do you think you’d heal from it quickly? Or perfectly? That’s the part that can consume you whole if you cannot recognize how to approach it. As much as healing isn’t taught, it is rather gained with every situation you go through, you understand your needs, the outcome you’d like to occur, and sometimes even coming to terms with yourself that this aspect of healing might take longer than what you’re used to, that you can outgrow places at your own pace, even if people might think ‘they’re taking too long to move on’.

Sometimes, the idea of healing can be unacceptable to some, not because they don’t want to be better, but because it all feels rushed, like they didn’t allow themselves to get over this pain before healing, and yes, healing and hurting are too different things, one cannot exist without the other. Hurting is the process of allowing the situation to fully set in, to digest it, and get emotional about it before learning from it and moving on to the next step. Healing is the progress you achieve after going through a situation, it’s when you bandage wounds, surface or deep ones, and hope for time and positive thinking to do its magic. They both aid each other greatly for you can’t heal from something that never hurt and you can’t get hurt by something and never heal from it.

Life can sometimes be an F, it can be a resignation letter or a rumor, or even a goodbye note. Healing is never set in stone, just like every experience in life. You will never be aware of pain if it wasn’t caused, of failure if you didn’t go through it, and that is life, even with how hard healing can be, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a life worth living or that pain is all that you’ll ever feel. Surely enough, you’ll reach the end of the rainbow, and realize how important it was for you to heal from the things that hurt you, and how worthwhile all of it will be, even if not everything falls into place. You can heal from things and still have them wander around at the back of your head, thinking about the hurt that you once had doesn’t mean you retraced your steps to your first one, it just means you had a lot of love or care for that person or that thing, too many memories to forget, and healing is still healing even if you never forget, for it is the gift you can allow yourself to accept before moving on to the next page.

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danah swai

danah swai

living life one chapter at a time.