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While You’re Healing, You Don’t Stop Living

·303 words·2 mins

“Can I date while I’m still healing?” she asks.

“Yes,” I say. “In fact, it’s almost guaranteed that you will date while you’re still healing.”

She cocks her head.

I tell her that healing isn’t a process that ends. It’s lifelong. There will always be something to recover from. And you’ll never be fully caught up on your past healing. It’ll just become workable to the point where you mostly don’t think about it consciously, relegated to the background of your psyche. Still, you’ll be healing even so. From something. It’s like how your immune system is always busy fighting something. Emotional healing is always ongoing to some degree. It’s just a matter of speed and intensity.

“So it’s not a question of whether you can date while you’re still healing. The question,” I say to her, “is whether you’re in the part of your healing where you can take on a specific challenge. And that’s a different question.”

“It is,” she says.

“And that more depends on how you feel — are you still reeling with resentment from the injury you’re healing from? Does it preoccupy your thoughts? Do you lack the mental energy and mental space for a new experience? If so, it might be a little soon to seek out other people, involve other people’s energy and the distraction of their own healing in it– because we all have something we’re healing from,” I say.

She nods. “In that case, it’s probably not time for something new.”

I shake my head. “Oh, you could probably benefit from something new. You could certainly use a distraction. But not the same kind of thing that hurt you. And arguably something more simple, straightforward.”

She narrows her eyes at me. “Is that why you’re so into pottery lately?”

I laugh. “Maybe,” I say.


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