11 August 2015

Post traumatic growth

By: Jessica B.
Tagged: Random

While getting my hair done last weekend (insert adorable emoji), I was forced to read real magazines of substance, like Time. Let’s just say, someone getting highlights was hogging the Us Weekly‘s.

And while I was exercising my brain as my color processed, I stumbled upon an article that caught my attention. It’s about Post Traumatic Growth.

According to the article, Post Traumatic Growth was named in 1996 but recently has been a renewed focus of researchers. And the best way to summarize it is this, “The suffering that resulted from these horrible experiences was not an endpoint. Instead it acted as a catalyst, pushing these people to change for the better…Trauma sent them on a path they never would have found otherwise.”

To say I can relate to this in some capacity is an understatement. Sure, I’m not an Olympic athlete whose career dreams were dashed, and I’m not even close to those who serve in our military and endure overseas and then return to the U.S.

But the idea of using something traumatic to enact positive change, is something I can really connect with.

Losing my job and my grandmother (who was an integral part of my life) in the span of a month, was extremely traumatic. And I still feel a strong part of that loss. But, that experience and me “flipping the switch,” pushed me in a completely different direction. I left and traveled for three months, and then returned to Chicago with a new perspective and, hopefully a long-term new attitude on life.

I’ve started little things of “self betterment.” Reading 30 minutes a day, watching less TV, focusing on more positive relationships in my life, and re-establishing a connection with family and the closeness I felt we developed while dealing with my grandmother’s loss.

But I can’t say professionally it’s pushed me (yet) where I want to be. But having a clearer idea and new approach to it, will help.

And the thing I liked a lot about this article too is that for many people who talked to the researcher and had something traumatic happen, their lives weren’t 100% puppies and rainbows. They still had hard times (cough, like me applying for jobs), but overall their lives were better. And as my birthday approaches and I look back at this time last summer and how fucking miserable I was, I can say I’m in a better place now, even if I am not where I ultimately want to be, yet.

Just thought I’d share this.




  1. Thank you for so much important information! This topic is very much difficult and we should share this essay review with other people who have the same problem

  2. Akirah says:

    I love PTG. As I continue to hone my expertise as a therapist, I really hope to incorporate the research findings about it in my work. It’s powerful stuff!

    I’m glad you’re growing beyond the pain and trauma. XO!

  3. I love that approach to life too. I believe that we can use the tough stuff to grow. In fact, a lot of the time those times FORCE us to grow! I know that the toughest stuff I’ve ever been through has definitely made me a stronger person, even though it was traumatic and felt hurtful and unfair.

  4. Paula says:

    Great post! and i’m glad you’re starting to feel better x