Home Depression Small victories count and should be acknowledged
Celebrate small victories in your healing journey from abuse

Small victories count and should be acknowledged

by Matt Pappas

If you’re anything like me, you can be a total minimizer of any personal successes in your life, no matter what they are.

So many take for granted that they are able to get up each day, go to work, attend a dinner party, bowling league, or anything else that might be considered “no big deal”. For survivors, those things can be terrifying and just the thought of them is enough to make us want to stay home in our safe zone.

As a survivor, just getting out of bed is a victory for so many of us. It’s so much easier to just pull the covers over our head in the morning, turn off the alarm, cuddle up with our cat or dog, and call off sick. When you wake up and your mind immediately goes into full gear, thinking of what all has to be done or worse yet, never shut off from the night before, it can be exhausting and overwhelming.

So when we do something positive, no matter how minor it may seem to someone else, why not celebrate it?!

Maybe you don’t throw yourself a party with balloons and streamers every time you walk into the office or factory each day, but there’s nothing wrong with giving yourself a little credit now and then!  That goes back to the whole validated concept in some ways.

An amazing survivor and friend that I met on Twitter, Joy,  commented on my recent Validation post with the following great point:  It is good to be validated by others. What is even better? Validating ourselves even when no one else will .   How great is that, right?! Even though her point was more on the validation of our struggles, it holds true for giving ourselves credit in our healing journey for what we accomplish at any given time.  At least I think it does.

Regardless of whether nobody is around to congratulate us or we think they wouldn’t understand and judge us, go ahead and celebrate what’s important to you and what makes you feel good inside.

An example of a small victory for me; I get so nervous when certain people ask me to go out for the evening that I have to fight the urge to come up Celebrate small victories in your healing journey from abusewith an excuse to just stay home. Pushing through the fear and anxiety; going out of my comfort zone is intimidating. I find quite often that when I do “just get up and go”, that I have a good time and end up being glad that I went.

After all, what’s the alternative? Staying home, alone, and sad again? I do that enough as it is.

Even if we don’t have fun or the day doesn’t go as planned, we still made an effort to move forward in our healing journey and try to enjoy life. Use whatever you can as a stepping stone or building block to becoming the person you want to be and the way you want to ultimately feel.

We are strong! We have been to hell and back, and some days it feels like we are still going through it.  We deserve some recognition as we navigate the waters of survival. Trust me I know those waters can feel like a storm more often than not, but that makes each success, each victory, so much more important than we realize.

Be proud of yourself! Whether you went to the grocery store, out with some friends for a night on the town, or just went for a walk with your significant other when you totally didn’t feel like it, you are a warrior! You are taking steps every day to not let your past rule your life as much as it did the day before, or the week before, or the year before.

This whole healing process is never a race; it’s our own marathon that we run at our own pace. There is no stopwatch or timetable, because we are all unique in our own way.

I encourage you, and I will do the same, to find one thing each day that you can celebrate…and build on that, little by little.




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Joy Richardson April 23, 2016 - 11:54 pm

As always, you say exactly what I need to hear at exactly the right time. You’ve saved my life several times, Matt. God bless you,

Lyric April 24, 2016 - 8:53 am

Thank you Joy, as much as I encourage you, you always encourage me whether you realize it or not. You are special and you are important, always, always remember that!

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