Myth No 1: Resilience is about ‘bouncing back’.
Google “resilience” and the term “bouncing back” will crop up again and again. But the truth is that for anyone who has experienced severe trauma, loss or adversity there simply is no bouncing. When you are faced with tragedy, with severe calamity you do not bounce; and nor would you want to, because “bouncing” back from anything truly heart breaking is a farcical notion. Working through trauma takes intentional time and dedicated attention – it requires deep processing, ideally with the help of a qualified professional, to ensure that the trauma is processed fully in both a safe and held space so that the person who is working through their trauma isn’t retraumatised and emotionally flooded. To “bounce” after trauma would mean that absolutely none of this processing has in fact taken place and therefore you can be guaranteed it will overwhelm you at some stage in the future.
So that’s the ‘bouncing’ .. what about the ‘back’ part? Well here’s the other thing… again; you never go back. You can’t un-see what you’ve seen; and you certainly can’t un-experience what you’ve experienced. Every experience we have shapes, moulds and forms us into who we are right now; or who we will become. You can’t go back … but you can integrate, assimilate and try to make sense of your pain and suffering so as to give it meaning and grow forward.