Sometimes I have these random, pivotal light bulb moments that propel me into a different mindset. Yesterday, of all things, I happened to be watching a crime show, as usual, and Dr. Phil came on. For some reason, I didn’t change it. The woman was grieving the loss of one of her children and her mother, and was dealing with it poorly. She gave up and lost not only herself, but ruined the relationship with her other two living children in the midst of her grief. I expected Dr. Phil to be sympathetic, but he looked her dead in the eyes and said,
“Grief is not a disease. You are not broken. You don’t have the right to curl up in a ball and sit on the sidelines. You have a responsibility to put one foot in front of the other and behave and think your way through this.”
It was shocking. It punched me right in the gut. Because he was right. Losing a loved one is traumatic, sexual abuse is traumatic. But we have no control over these things. We don’t get to just lie down and give up. We owe it not only to ourselves, but for the other people in our lives, to begin the process of healing. It will never change the things that have happened. We cannot go back. But we can go forward. And we must.