Unpacking Your Baggage 

Before making big changes in life you often have to deal with the baggage you already carry. You probably know what I’m talking about. We all have a history of some sort, with hurt, disappointment and even trauma.

Does your past haunt you, affect your self-esteem and life choices, or cause you ongoing anxiety? Well, there is one big thing you can do to help, to get the hard stuff out of your head… and it means telling your story in detail.

There are a couple of ways of doing this.

  1. Write it out. You can start from the beginning work your way up to the present, or pick particular events that you need to deal with. No-one else has to read it, you can destroy it afterwards if you prefer. Or you may be inspired to write a book – who knows? If you tell your story from the beginning it can be amazing what comes out, things you may not have thought about for years.
  2. Tell someone trustworthy. There may be an anonymous support line you could call if there is no-one good in your circle of relationships. Or a therapist if you have access to one.  If you feel safe, talk about your experiences with someone who was there too.
  3. Record yourself telling the story (privately). Again, you don’t have to keep it afterwards.

The reason why this is helpful is that often we have never really spoken the truth of our experience out loud. Just doing this can be a relief. Sometimes hearing ourselves tell our own story can even change our perspective on the circumstances, or make us realize new things about ourselves or others. Maybe you will discover strengths you did not know you had.

Don’t forget, it’s ok to say – ‘that really hurt’. There is no point pretending it didn’t. We often fall into the trap of minimizing our experiences to protect the feelings of others or to not look ‘weak’.

Some of us carry deeper wounds than others, and may suffer from post-traumatic stress for years afterwards. I will address this topic soon.

**Safety Point** – There may be things that you know you are not ready to open up about. That is ok. There may be a point in the future where you are safe to go there. In the meantime, try addressing other things that you are ready to talk about.


So what’s this all about?

Most of us have heard the phrase “just build a bridge and get over it” when we have complained to someone about things that are not going well in our life. To be honest, that is a pretty unsympathetic way of responding – but not without a measure of truth.

Without sounding cliched, life is a series of inter-twining journeys – our childhood, teenage years, parenting, work experiences, major relationships etc. At times things get complicated, difficult and even hopeless….. to the point where we can not see a way out.

Some people carry long term trauma which never really leaves. Others have survived difficult circumstances or live with mental health issues of varying degrees. We all have times where we can imagine a better, happier future but just cannot see how to get there.

A bridge is a way of getting from one place to another, one circumstance to another. As a therapist I use strength building conversations to help someone build their bridge to a happier life and take a step on to it. Now this may take a while. Sometimes our trauma has been so great that it never goes away entirely – instead we find a way to manage and build a bridge around it.

To help someone get to a better place in life is an amazing thing. I am not perfect, I have my own challenges just like anyone else. This blog is designed for me and you, and everyone. To support, encourage and be honest about moving forward in life. There is often no ‘quick fix’ solution, but things can always change.

Feel free to comment and get involved. We often need a community around us to really make things better.

Oh, and if you see a few links around the place, they are solely there to help support the costs of this blog, don’t feel pressured to click them 🙂



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