There is no magic formula for handling the emotional and physical toll that an abortion can take. For each person, the healing process will be different both in process and timing. Healing from an abortion physically may appear the same, though it will take time and take a larger toll on some that it does on others. Healing emotionally is the wild card. Healing from an abortion will often involve a grieving process that many did not expect to happen. It will involve acknowledgment, support, and forward motion.
1. Acknowledge It Happened
In some situations, abortions are kept a secret in hopes that it will happen and be put behind you. However, your emotions and body do not always cooperate. It is easy to want to try to push these emotions away and move forward. It is normal to want to move forward. Yet, before you can move forward, it is important to process what happened and the feelings that go along with it. One step in the grieving process is acceptance. This does not mean that you are healed or “get over” what happened. It simply means that you acknowledge that the emotions you are experiencing are something you need to address. When you acknowledge the abortion, you can begin to process it as a whole.
2. Seek Support
Support will be the first step in healing after an abortion. At some point, even if you are not yet ready, you will want someone to talk to about your experience and emotions. If you do have the support of close friends and family, it can feel very overwhelming being alone with your thoughts and emotions. Postpartum and post-abortion depression are very real. Seek support both from those around you as well as from your medical professional. There is no shame in needing and asking for help. You deserve support to heal from this experience and your medical professional should be more than happy and ready to provide you with resources. You will also find many groups on social media dedicated to those going through life after an abortion.
3. Focus On The Future
Healing from an abortion will be largely about understanding that you will eventually heal. It can be easy to fall into patterns of depression or despair. When you are on an emotional roller coaster, it can be hard to figure out a way off. However, focusing on what the future holds will help you to move forward. You may never get over an abortion and should not be expected to get over it. Yet, you will eventually move on from an abortion. The first step in moving on is taking that first step forward. Focus on getting back into a routine and achieving goals you have set prior to an abortion. Living life—though it may have changed—will be crucial to the healing process.
If you are unexpectedly pregnant, please consider adoption. Visit Adoption.com to view adoption profiles from hopeful adoptive parents. Visit Adoption.com/unplanned-pregnancy to find guidance with your unplanned pregnancy.