When Your Life Is Turned Upside Down-
Your life seems very different than what it was yesterday.
When we are met with drama, trauma or upset-how do you even begin to rethink or rebuild your life? It is important to ask for help. And it is important to recognize you are not alone.
I recently read this article called "10 Tips for Moving Past Trauma". This article gave me words of wisdom and constructive tools for moving on with life, written by Dr. Kathy Charles. When we are invested in our dreams trauma hits like a blunt force between our eyes.
As we witness our shattered dreams splinter the life we thought we knew it can be paralyzing to pick up the pieces. In your shattered dreams, you were once whole; before the treachery, the lies, and the betrayal. Shattered dreams are sometimes not even about the dream anymore, but instead, they can be about who hurt you or how badly you were betrayed. And most times this is because we have invested so much in our dream that when it falls apart or is destroyed, everything and anything else seems to fall apart with it. Shattered dreams often come with depression because we feel a sense of disbelief that what we had or thought was real didn't really exist at all...and even worse- on how to cope with life's biggest challenges. This article really helped me through my gain clarity. Invest in becoming a student of your life. Read and research as many books and articles as possible about moving past trauma and depression.
When you are met with trauma, drama, or upset what do you need to know?
When your life is turned upside down it feels like everything in your life has been turned around. It can feel very scary not knowing what is going to happen next. We think that we have a hold on our lives and then boom! Something unexpected happens and our whole life is turned upside down. When we are feeling absolutely shattered and our life feels like it has been torn apart, how do we begin rebuilding?
If you are feeling shattered or triggered over again by reading this, reset your mind and ask yourself these simple questions:
1. Is there someone I can talk to about my feelings?
2. Am I able to express how I feel?
3. Who do I know that makes me laugh?
4. What is one positive thing that has happened to me today?
5. Where is the sun rising right now? (you may have to look at a map)
Don't GO It Alone
This may seem counter-intuitive, but when you want to be alone- rethink this. Isolation is the anecdote to your healing.
You are not a burden or inconvenience. Find a supportive person or group to engage with because it is what you need right now. Try to remember that there is a world of people out there who will not let you fall. Once your wound is manageable, look to those who are constants in your life. Those constants may be a friend, clergy, or a co-worker. Make the effort to reach out and ask for help and ask for support. Allow yourself to be vulnerable and ask for assistance in moving past the events that have left you feeling broken.
If you feel alone, go out and find a friend who will stay in touch with you but also allow you time to collect your thoughts. Make a list of things you can do on your own or with someone else if he/she is available. List your hobbies and how they make you feel good when performing them. Think of people, places, activities that are important to YOU! Remember small things that bring you joy?
When I am feeling low, I carry a little notebook with me. If I am inspired or feeling a complex mix of emotions, I scribble these feelings down. It sounds simple, but the release of putting pen to paper relieves me of my negative thought pattern.
I have a friend, Teri, who shared a story with me about her young husband's unexpected death after a surgical procedure. Teri's husband, Mike, died after 21 months in a post-surgical vegetative state.
Teri's life change in one day.
Teri and her husband Mike were a young vibrant couple. Mike was a beloved police officer and an integral part of the community. Mike had always been a positive influence in their marriage and assured his wife that everything would be fine.
Unfortunately, the universe had other plans for him.
As the clock ticked, and hours passed, the surgeon finally appeared. The breath was knocked out of Teri as the surgeon delivered the grim news. At that moment she knew that her life would never look the same. The valley of shattered dreams engulfed every inch of her body.
In the depths of her despair and grief, she was overwhelmed by everything. Small tasks were difficult. Getting out of bed and brushing her teeth was a monumental task. Through this veil of mourning, well-meaning friends would ask Teri, what can I do for you? This question brought so much angst in her daily existence because she did not know what she needed. Her mind was a jumble of confusion. Teri made the decision to keep a notebook near her so when she was recognized a needm she could jot it down. Teri began taking notes throughout the day of things she could use help with. And when she would get asked the question, by her caring community, Teri would refer to the list she carried around with her.
Teri recalls, being paralyzed with grief one day and walking into her restroom, and realized she was out of feminine products. She did not have the energy to even go to a store to purchase these items. She scribbled down on her list that she needed these supplies and was able to hand it over to a neighbor. The next morning she opened her front door and she was greeted with a bag, toiletries to last her for months.
When even thinking about rebuilding your life, you need to reach out for professional help. Talk therapy allows a person to talk about everything that is bothering them. Find a therapist who specializes in trauma or depression and will listen. Find someone to be a sounding board and open up a safe space for you to express yourself and heal.
My dear friend, Dr. Sherrie Campbell, a renowned psychotherapist and author of the book, "But It's Your Family", writes that moving past trauma takes time. She also writes that when moving past trauma, a person must take daily steps to move forward in order to recover and heal. If you are feeling shattered or you are met with despair, how do you begin to think about rebuilding your life? You need to find the support of healthy people who will listen and understand what you have been through.
Dr. Sherrie Campbell, says healing takes time and moving past trauma takes a daily commitment to move forward. This daily commitment to take micro-steps is imperative to your journey.
My Takeaways: Begin With The Basics.
1) Take care of your physical health - create good eating habits and make sure you get plenty of rest and exercise. If you don't feel well, move slower through the healing process.
2) Create space to express yourself – find someone who will listen without judgement so you can vent, cry, scream or laugh.
3) Journal- even if you write a few words a day, let your emotions flow to paper.
You got this, one small step at a time. -Jules