If you’re like me you’ve had times in life where you felt like you were barely treading water. Maybe you’re living in one of those times now. Maybe the effects of such a circumstance still linger on months or even years after the event passed. For me it has been decades….more than 2 actually.
PTSD, GAD, panic, and hypervigilance follow me around like the rain cloud hovering over Eeyore. It is nearly impossible on my own to break out of the cycle of discouragement, self-shaming and worry. Again, if you’re like me you already know this.
Today i want to encourage you (and myself) in a few things:
- Remember when you look at someone else who seems to have their life together that nobody goes through the exact same circumstances as you. Even if they did, everyone handles problems and struggles differently. This isn’t because some people are stronger than others. It is because we are all different. We were raised with different beliefs, traditions, cultures, and environmental determinisms that molded and shaped our worldview. Thus, some were better equipped to handle conflicts and trauma.
- No one, no matter the situation, should be looked down upon for the way they respond to negative or traumatic experiences. Ultimately, we are all in this together. Tearing one another (or even yourself) down, or devaluing other people (or yourself) with the assumption that they are weak, or lesser than another is shameful! Stop it! Everyone has a great value, and every life matters.
- Don’t feel like you have to “put on your big girl panties” or “pull yourself up by your bootstraps”. It’s okay to just sit down and have a moment. My encouragement though? Don’t stay down too long. Not only will you begin to feel so heavy you don’t ever want to get up, but you will miss out on an amazing life just waiting to be lived. And whats more, the world will miss out on all the amazing things you have to offer them! We need you!
- Find a friend, or co-worker, a therapist, or doctor that you can trust and talk to. Anxiety, PTSD, and the like, all have chemical causes in your body. Whether it means talking it out, or finding if a medication is right for you, do it! You matter, your peace matters, your life matters. You have a tribe of fellow sufferers cheering you on, believing you are one of us, and that you will not let the evil of this world win.
Sometimes i feel like i am standing in the deep end of the pool with my nose and mouth barely above water just holding on for one more day hoping something changes. When i find myself in this place, i remind myself of these things. It’s easy to come unglued when your feet are tired of tiptoeing in the waves. Remembering that you are not alone, that you’re important, that there is hope, and that you matter will help get you back on solid ground where you can just sit and rest for a bit. Never give up, just rest until you’re strong enough to move on again.