I was told early on that I was not going to get over my trauma, but rather get through it. At the time I was told this, I had little concept of what that actually meant. Through a summer with Sacred Cycle, I learned to embrace this concept and the long and often arduous process of healing. As I like to say – “putting my healing on a hard boil.”
Following my assault, my network slowly started to forget that I was still healing. That my trauma was still a heavy weight on my chest. That I felt alone in the journey. However, Sacred Cycle came into my life to remain that steady, supportive community that empowered me to transition from a survivor to a thriver. One of my co-participants referred to Sacred Cycle as “life changing,” clarifying that she doesn’t ever say that lightly. I would agree.
It was the moments on the bike, with my coach, that she reassured me that I can get through anything in life. The group therapy sessions that allowed me to cry unencumbered; with no judgement. In the weekly phone call from Dani (my Participant Clinical Coordinator) just to check in and remind me that I’m not alone in this. In those cathartic mountain bike rides, with Head Coach Erik, after a long night of flashbacks. In the reassuring eyes of each participant, coach, and staff member that, without words, reminded me that I am loved.
“The beauty of Sacred Cycle is that it gives you an army of people who are willing to hold the flag for you and support you on your journey. Never alone. Always loved.”
Rape and sexual assault are incredibly alienating. I often felt that loneliness was the most poisoning; even more than the flashbacks, fears, and trepidation. The beauty of Sacred Cycle is that it gives you an army of people who are willing to hold the flag for you and support you on your journey. Never alone. Always loved.
It has only been nine months since my sexual assault. In the months with Sacred Cycle, I have been given the energy, confidence, and inner knowing to change my life for the better. I have quit my job that had played out its course, rafted the Grand Canyon for a month, and traveled Europe alone. This liberation would not have happened without the Sacred Cycle community. I would still be trapped in my own pain, in a life that was tainted by my assault. I owe it to the participants, my coach, and all the staff for freeing me from such anguish and teaching me to find the “inner Melissa” who thrives. I am more than thriving; I am shining.
Written by Melissa Wills • 2021 Participant