Eighteen months. That’s how much time researchers say it takes to heal. Eighteen months for each stress inducing life event. Be it marriage or divorce, birth or death, diagnosis or remission; the fact is that the body doesn’t know “good” stress from “bad” stress. The time allotment is the same for each: eighteen months.
When too much happens too quickly and the stressors are multiplied, there can be overwhelm and eighteen months can stretch into thirty-six or forty-eight. Which, in turn, can be cause for more overwhelm. The process of healing is one that takes time, and it takes the time it takes.
Time To Heal Takes Time
When eighteen months seems to pass slowly, the tendency is to rush decisions and go along with what others want. We tell ourselves that enough time has passed and we are ready to move forward without any kind of real conviction. There’s a period of elation and it appears from all outward signs that we have healed…. right up until we run into another stressor. It’s usually something minor - an aside comment, a breakdown in communication, a flat tire – and we’re right back down the rabbit hole. Better to give ourselves permission to take the full eighteen months to heal and when we’re chomping at the bit to get back into life, we’ll know we are truly ready to take on whatever comes our way.
Taking action and getting back on the court of life can only really be accomplished when we are invested in the forward progress. Indecision and waffling often occurs when we are trying to reach someone else’s finish line.
Healing Is An Individual Process
There is no right way to heal, there’s only your way. Give yourself permission to take at least eighteen months to find out what that means for you. Be committed to curiosity and not judging, fixing or rushing. Eighteen months. Take them.