Mental health

Resolved how to be okay after abortion

Posted by
Nectar Editorial
| 2020-12-16 | Mental health

I just had an abortion and nothing feels right. My friends and family keep asking if I am okay, but I don't want them to know about the abortion. How do I feel well again?

1 Replies
  1. Dr Annabelle Chow
  2. Psychologist
  3. 28 Dec 2020
  4. Expert
Pending Moderation

It is normal to experience intense emotions after an abortion, such as grief, loss or relief. Emotions come in waves - while they might be intense at times, they come and go. Let ourselves feel whatever emotions we are feeling and accept them for what they are. After all, there is no right or wrong way to feel when it comes to our emotions. Give ourselves the space to experience these feelings too.

At the same time, try viewing our experiences from a third-party perspective (i.e. imagine that a friend is going through the same ordeal – what would we say to her?). Many have found this approach to be helpful and gives them clarity of their current situation. Not only does this validate our emotions, but it also allows us to practice self-compassion, which is instrumental in healing.

While experiencing intense emotions after an abortion is normal, if they take up significant amounts of time or disrupts daily life, consider setting aside a designated amount of time in each day to process them (e.g by writing them down on a journal). This is helpful in making sense of the current situation and tracking progress too.

There are also healthy outlets to express our emotions, such as confiding in someone we trust. If you experience discomfort in talking about your feelings, consider other channels such as journaling, art or playing music. These activities are also healthy ways to temporarily relieve the stress we face.

Healing takes time. While these methods have been found to be helpful, it is inevitable that negative emotions might still surface. As with all traumatic experiences, healing is a process that takes place over time. Allow ourselves the space and time to process the painful emotions we experienced. Remind ourselves of how and why the decision to opt for an abortion was made, and that it is normal to experience emotions after a big decision, regardless of the outcome.

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