The following stages of recovery are sometimes known as the “Steps” in Twelve Step groups. For our purposes we have only eleven; they need not occur in strictly linear fashion:
- We recognized we couldn’t control our trauma-related distress.
- Came to believe that someone or something outside ourselves could help us heal and achieve greater sanity and wellness.
- Relinquished a degree of control over our lives as we felt it was safe to do so.
- Made an honest and gentle exploration of our thoughts, feelings and experiences.
- Acknowledged our struggle to ourselves and when safe to do so, others.
- Prepared ourselves to work through our distress with safety and made a commitment, however small, to do so.
- Rejected the notion, if we had a perpetrator, that we had to forgive them under any and all circumstances.
- If we chose to do so, made a list of people we may have hurt in our distress and made amends to them unless to do so would cause further injury. This list may include ourselves.
- Recognized our points of progress and allowed ourselves to integrate improvements.
- Sought through whatever means worked to maintain and continue our journey in a positive direction.
- Having experienced healing and growth as a result of our efforts, we shared our story with others and continued to practice the principles.