Dealing with the past can be a difficult thing, you can think you’ve moved on, and then one day a memory pops up out of the blue, or you see something or someone or even smell a smell that evokes a memory – good or bad. Sadly if it’s a bad memory, it can take you right back to a place you would rather forget.
If you know the past is still bothering you, and you’re ignoring it, or perhaps you want to deal with it but don’t know how, but here are a few reasons why it might be time to face it and deal with it:
To Get Closure
It can sometimes be difficult to get closure from past events, for example, if there is something unfinished, unsaid or if something ended unnaturally and suddenly, then it’s understandable that this is still bothering you, even when you think it isn’t. These feelings can come back to haunt you when they are triggered, for example, when you see your ex, or when you’re struggling in your current relationship or feeling lonely and depressed. If this is the case, then it’s time to deal with it, think about it, not ignore it. If there are things you wish you had said, then write them down, if you really feel the need to, then send those things to the person, but you might find that writing them down is enough for you.
If You’re Suffering From Post-traumatic Stress
If you’ve had a traumatic experience, this could be something like abuse or being at war but it could also be something like a car accident, the sudden ending of a friendship or being fired from a job, your brain reacts in the same way. It pushes those experiences to the non-verbal part of your brain meaning that you are left with raw images that have no words, that trigger flashbacks, over-reactions, an overall hyper-vigilance and fear that can infect your everyday life.
Around 80% of people with PTSD struggle with nightmares, so you might find that you’re alright during the day, but you’re struggling through the night. If so it’s really important to address this. Ptsd nightmares treatment draw on the same approaches used to treat trauma. They address the underlying issues behind PTSD. Getting to the root causes of symptoms often causes the nightmares to stop or become less frequent.
To Get A Better Night’s Sleep
Whether it’s nightmares or dreams, just like closure, doing something with the content of your dreams can often make a big difference. It could be that you have a recurring dream about something or someone, is that your brain’s way of trying to tell you to deal with something?
To Move On
If there are other things plaguing you from the past, things from your childhood that perhaps you’re not clear on and it’s bothering you now, then ask. Speak to your parents about their divorce, about that argument you heard once or speak to your Grandmother about that family event. Whatever it is, you don’t need therapy; you just need an honest conversation so that you can put whatever it is to bed and move.on.