# Recovery In Real Time: Trauma, Depression and the Hope of Sadness

Publishing for a Change, LLC presents Gail Dickert, author of #RecoveryInRealTime as shares more about the writing process behind her "Anti-workbook" for surviving multiple traumas.

Turn to page 60 of the Anti-Workbook and let's see if there's some method to the madness of these 125 hashtags for trauma recovery. 

There's no other way around it... hashtags #76 and #77 are linked to the basic reality that we face as survivors. When I was cycling through one of many depressions related to lifetime recovery, it occurred to me that everything I was feeling "should" feel sad. I try not to "should" on myself, but reflecting on innocence lost SHOULD hurt. What better way is there to validate the depression than by recognizing that innocence lost is devastating? 

All the time we spend in denial, anger, or bargaining lead us to recognize that it's really sad shit - what we've seen. I have noticed it more prominent lately as I struggle with secondary traumatic stress through being a parent to a child in foster care...

There's something powerful in being so sad that we can't get out of bed.

There's something meaningful in being so sad that we can barely eat.

There's something shocking about being so sad that we can't enjoy the beauty of life.

It could be clinical or biochemical, the sadness.


It could be that trauma is fucking sad!

Hashtag 76, #ItShouldHurt, is a reminder that something was taken from me, it's okay to be sad. Memories of trauma shouldn't be so desensitized that we go on like it didn't hurt. That's denial and we know denial is only useful for a season. 

But if we know #ItShouldHurt and we feel the pain of it all, how do we pull ourselves back together?

Hashtag 77 is right there to suggest the next step... #AbuseIsHeavy and so that awareness brings us to the point of reaching out to others. 

Depression says, "This shit is hard..." but then it also declares, "I need help with it."

The burden of our sadness is only too great if we bear it alone.

Our lives are not usual... our sadness, even when medicated so we can be functional, is not wrong.

The hope that I find in my sadness is this: I will honor that something was lost.

The day I watched a suicide, the years of molestation, the decade of emotional abuse, the decades of toxic religious indoctrination... My voice, my innocence, my essence - were all lost, in various ways.

Acceptance is not found unless we recognize exactly what it is we are accepting.

So today, if you're sad and the depression is knocking on your door, I'm there with you in this moment... as it slithers outside my door like a poisonous snake this week.

But I know it will only visit - it will shed its skin, and I will learn that this is just another layer of my recovery, in real time... for the rest of my life.

Brave readers, keep sharing. I’m here with you. #RecoveryInRealTime happens today.