Progress, Not Perfection

Last month I had the opportunity to put together a new space for us to do therapy work. I chose each element to convey a welcome, comfort, and safety.

What I didn’t expect is that the new office is also full of things that are perfect metaphors for handling trauma.

Like, take this bookshelf. I chose it for lots of reasons. A major selling point was that the creator was based in Ukraine, and I was inspired by their story.

What I didn’t expect was just how many pieces would be delivered. I mean…LOOK at this!

Bookshelf shelves, sides, back supports, connecting pieces on dark carpet with other tools and boxes in the background.
When it’s time to put the pieces together.

I didn’t expect to have so much fun putting it together.

I didn’t expect to get ¾ done with putting it together and realize that there was a missing piece.

And, because it was manufactured in an area that is NOT safe right now…I wasn’t expecting them to be able to replace the missing piece so quickly. But they did.

I’m telling you about my experience with this bookshelf because trauma-recovery is like that.

Going to therapy initially might seem like a good idea.

But then when you start unpacking everything from your brain, you realize just how many pieces you’re going to have to fit together. And if you’ve been racking up awful experiences since you were a kid, getting this work done might feel overwhelming.

In a short amount of time though, you find your rhythm, you get in the groove, and gaining new perspective and control over your experiences and memories gets fun actually!

Except when, oops…you realize you’re missing a piece. You’ve had 10 nights of great sleep and then a night of nightmares. You manage to be brave and build a new friendship and then you explode “for no reason” on movie night and feel like you screwed it all up.

The bookshelf company was able to get me the replacement piece in less than 2 weeks because they had a local U.S. site that stored and shipped spare parts for them. Here’s the reason that matters to us:

They didn’t set up their company to be perfect.

They set up their company to be resilient and to prepare for mistakes.

You don’t have to be perfect.

Set yourself up to be resilient and prepare for mistakes.

If you struggle with PTSD, bad memories, intrusive thoughts, or feeling scared all the time, set up your life so that you consistently encounter people, places and things that support, calm, and validate you.

Know that you will get better and that mistakes are part of the process. Put systems in place in your life so that YOU can be more resilient, recovery from setbacks faster, and have fewer setbacks overall.

And if you want some help to get on track (or back on track), therapy is a great option. You can get in touch with me here.

Oh! And the bookshelf is all done! Isn’t she CUTE???

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