The healing and recovery wave are pretty similar from how they behave.
The healing wave brings you forward, but the recovery wave is just about minimizing the loss and damage. It is often a response to a trigger, trauma, etc.
More details to each below.
From Episode 59:
Let us first get into what a healing wave is. Did you ever look at a weather chart? The same on a small scale also applies. On the big scale you have the temperature over the year.
In zones with 4 season that should be a perfect up and down. From Summer to Winter. On the medium scale you see that there are hotter times in spring or cooler ones. Simple Week up and downs.
Then on a small scale we have the up and down of day and night. So for our example, our healing path is the big scale, our recent healing phase is the medium scale and our daily situation is the small scale.
You might have better or worse days, but it all usually follows more or less the same formula.
So we first go step by step of the healing wave, then when it doesn’t apply and why it sometimes seems it doesn’t end.
Start/Opening the box/Summer
First we start when you are feeling good and the brain has enough energy to start this process. Yes, this is good. As it needs to be done. You need to be in a state of some what stability and enough energy.
Usually what the brain decides to handle is caused by a cue or it having gotten the brains attention lately. But - as far as I know - it can’t be directly controlled
For our box example that is opening the box and for our season example this is summer.
The Fall/Inspecting the box/Autumn
Now what comes next is the fall or decline of our wellbeing. We will show symptoms or our symptoms gets worse - depending on your situation. Insomnia, eating disorder, depression, disassociation and so on.
Everything gets worse and worse. No matter if it is the void inside of you that make everything numb or the chest pain and swell of emotions, that make you feel like you are being ripped apart.
Generally it is usually a soft floating down, that you don’t really notice it. You just suddenly notice that things have gotten worse… and most likely have no idea what started it all.
There is just too much of an delay. We talked about this phase in greater deal in episode 54 about why we feel worse when we are getting better.
In short your body is directing EVERYTHING it has to deal and be done with the issue at hand. In our box example we are inspecting and dealing with the box we opened. The Season we are in now is Fall or Autumn.
The low point/Sorting what is in the box/Winter
The descent continues until we hit absolute rock bottom. We are now stretched to the absolute maximum what we can endure. Literally every ounce we have is redirected to solving the issue.
Usually this means we are not capable of doing ANYTHING. Like literally. Sometimes that means being reduced to just stare at the wall and suffer. Sound, visuals, smells… everything can be now too much.
This is the point to just try to relax and do as little as possible. First so that you don’t waste energy and secondly so this goes over faster and thirdly that it goes over more smoothly.
This is clearly the worst phase. In our example this is the brain sorting what is in the box. What is needed and what not and where to put the content. The Season is clearly winter.
The rise/Repacking the box/Spring
But once the knot is loosened, we rise! It almost feels like a whale shooting up to break the surface. Suddenly we get energy and all the colors return and we can do stuff again and everything seems possible!
Getting healed appears to be just around the corner! Usually we use the time to do all the work pile that piled up during the last two phases. It is wise to not go too overboard with this, otherwise you get a crash.
I also recommend using this time not just to work but to gather positive energy in form of good memories, getting things done for yourself and have some quality time with maybe some friends.
For our example this is repacking the box in a new box that is now correctly placed. There is the feeling of having succeeded and a job well done. The Season we are in now is spring.
In the end you should be now at a general higher level than you were before that process started. Climbing higher and higher up the mountain until you reached your goal.
When it doesn’t apply/ the recovery wave
Though the last point only applies if it was a healing wave. It doesn’t apply if this whole process was caused by a trigger and your brain being unable to target or dissect a trigger. Then it is the other way around.
After you succeeded you will be a bit lower overall than you were before. Or even a lot if you were traumatized again. I would refer to it as recovery wave and I will get into that another time in full.
For now I just wanted to clarify the difference between those two.
Why it sometimes doesn’t end /stacking up/too low
Then we have sometimes the situation where it doesn’t seem to end. Sometimes you can trigger another wave while you are in a wave. Which is of course something horrible that shouldn’t happen, but does.
Which means you have to deal with two waves at a time - that won’t end well, especially if you were triggered or traumatized and will be just lower at the end result. Which you of course can recover from.
But that is why it is so important to be careful with triggers or new trauma. Though sometimes it is just that you are SO low that even spring feels barely energetic at all. It will just feel like a small relief.
Other times the healing wave is just big and can take multiple weeks to take place. It really depends, but with experience you can learn to read the situation, ride the waves and make the best out of it.
From Episode 60:
The recovery wave, unlike the healing wave, is a reaction to being hurt or harmed in any way or shape during your healing progress. Which usually happens in a bad time for you.
The time and extent of this recovery is of course depending on what hit you. It can take hours to months to more… if you were severely traumatized again. But usually it takes hours to weeks.
Unlike during the healing wave, we don’t have a summer - if we pick up our example from last week. Which means we also don’t open boxes, we just put something back where it was and lose energy.
It is like going to Alaska and measure the season by European and most of US standards. That means we have Autumn or Fall, a very long Winter and a bit of Spring.
Because the body didn’t plan on doing anything it couldn’t gather enough energy, prepare and so on, which is why we don’t have a summer.
That also means the whole process is worse than the healing version of it, as the body can’t soften the blow and is ill prepared to deal with it all.
We start with our fall, as we decline more and more. It depends on the sort of impact we had, if it is a slow fall or a rapid descent. Also how far we fall depends on that… but also how quick we were able to catch ourselves.
The better our state the better we are at catching ourselves. Usually, the better our state overall, the better we are and the easier it is. Similar to the healing wave - you will notice your symptoms getting worse.
From side effects to the main symptoms. It might once again take a while to figure out WHY you are falling. The sooner you figure it out, the sooner you can stop the fall - if you know how - and start the recovery process.
Season wise we are in Autumn or Fall in our example.
Then comes the long time at the bottom. You are fighting an uphill battle on multiple fronts.
First, you will most likely be in a weakened state to begin with.
Second, you will most likely have barely any energy to do anything.
Third, you will have only limited information on what you are up against - as this is new - unlike the old things you have stored away. This makes it harder to aim.
Fourth, the lack of information makes it also harder for you to correctly plan your energy spending. As you don’t know how small or big your opponent is and what you all need.
All in all you are fighting against a vicious circle and need to push it back and turn it into the opposite. It is exhausting, unrewarding, frustrating and a lot of work.
Take a breather wherever you can. This is truly a marathon and sadly rushing doesn’t really help. It takes really long, as you can barely move at all. If you are able to get some help, I strongly encourage you to get it.
Accepting help is not something bad. Otherwise I recommend treading very carefully and accepting the situation as much as you can. Season wise we are of course in Winter.
After that comes the breaking free. There isn’t really a rise like in the healing wave. Depending on how long the winter was, you will be in the end lower than you were before entering this. Maybe even much lower.
It is more a feeling of being able to breathe again and having survived a storm. Still this is a victory and a success. This is incredible hard to archive and a huge load of work is needed for that.
It is difficult to feel good after spending this huge fight to just come back to a worse status quo, but it shows you are able and willing to pick yourself up after being put on the mat.
Kudos to you - it is a good reason to be proud. And we end the seasons with spring once again.