We hear a lot about post-traumatic stress. Soldiers in war, victims of crime and survivors of accidents and illnesses all face a heightened risk of dysfunction due to stress simply because of their difficult experiences. But have you ever heard about “post-traumatic growth”? This refers to the positive effects that a traumatic experience can have on us. We can actually learn from our trauma.
Many of the people who write to us here at WriteMyMemoirs share with us their personal tragedies, losses and challenges in putting the past behind them. We always encourage them to write a memoir as a way to work through those life-changing times. Writing it out helps to put things in perspective. It may provide an epiphany “a-ha!” awareness, or it can simply feel satisfying to get the facts in order and explore all the feelings involved.
Whether you have had a fully traumatic life or you’ve experienced just one traumatic event, please don’t let the post-traumatic stress define you. By writing your memoir, perhaps you will be able to turn it around and experience post-traumatic growth that allows you to move on. Instead of trying futilely to forget what happened to you, you’ll be confronting it. You’ll take the power back and, while you can’t reverse what happened, you can find a way to grow from it. Moreover, you may be helping others who read your memoir.