You all have experienced it in some way. I shared about my (still) missing teen grandson last week, and many of you have also experienced some type of painful event that has created feelings of helplessness, fearfulness, depression, and more. We read about PTSD and associate it with military battles or international terror events. How many of you have thought about PTSD as it applies to your daily life? What can we do to respond to these traumatic events that we may or may not be intimately involved in to some degree?
- Seek health care! Many times sharing these feelings with a professional will provide some insight to increase your coping skills and provide some short term counsel or medication that will help you until your own strength and coping ability is up and working again.
- Give yourself and those with you, permission to express their feelings and worries without being judged.
- Try hard to keep up the usual routines of daily activities, taking some time as needed to put your thoughts and actions in a way that allows you to function appropriately. An example would be to realize that you are feeling panicky, allow yourself to step away for a few minutes to practice relaxation techniques, and then return to your environment. The second bullet kicks in here!
- As you are learning to deal with and overcome the feelings that PTSD can create, always try to find ways to show all the important persons in your life that you love them, you are thankful that they are there for you, and you want them to know that you are trying to regain your control and will need them!
Above all, as you struggle or see others around you struggling, point them to the eternal source of healing—our great God. There are many times that we walk away rather than comfort. I find great help and strength in Romans 12:1-7 in leading me away from the stressors of daily life and toward what our Lord would have me do or be. I urge each of you to copy this passage from your Bible and carry it with you for the moments when stress, trauma, difficulty concentrating, etc. seem to overcome your ability to find the peace and comfort that you need.
Despite the difficulties we face, we take great comfort in knowing that our God … will heal us and bless us with perfect and lasting peace (Jeremiah 33:6)
Please see me if I can be of any help to you or your loved ones,
Cynthia Rutan, RN, Parish Nurse at Peace, email@example.com