Unlocking a Bit of My Trauma Brain
11 months ago my father-in-law died unexpectedly. I’ve recognized that my body is processing the shock and trauma of current events in my life in very similar ways to that time period 11 months ago, even though in the big scheme of things current events in my life aren’t as impactful as a sudden death.
Something I unlocked in my brain about myself through this, is recognizing that when my body is processing trauma:
- I’m not going to be as productive.
- I need to be ok with slowing down.
- Efficiency can’t be the priority.
- I need to get away from work and touch grass when the night brain voices try to take over.
- Some things just aren’t going to make sense, and justice may never be realized, because we as humans seek to preserve the reality we see, and fight hard to let anything in that might break or challenge our perception of reality.
Sometimes the hurt and anger threaten to overwhelm, and I feel like my body is going to physically explode. In other moments, the grief is so debilitating that I find it hard to breath between the tears. Up until these two events over the past year, I didn’t recognize how exhausting it is when your body is physically processing something like this.
And it’s so important to recognize that, if we are able to, give ourselves space and time to rest and recover and know that this is not forever - our body, mind, and spirit will heal just like if we broke our arm. There will be scars that remain long after, but you - and I - will be able to heal if we take care of ourselves through the traumatic event.
A few random thoughts as this tweet turned into a blog post that turned into a oversharing rambling journal entry:
- I’m not going to share publicly about what’s going on right now. IYKYK as the kids say. Feel free to DM or contact me directly if you have good intentions.
- Nobody is dying or sick. My family is healthy. We have a home and food on the table. We are immensely fortunate. This all reads as more serious than it actually is in some respects. I’m an enneagram 4 who’s prone to fits of melancholy that I work through with creativity. Deal with it. 😊
- Please get a counsellor if you’re going through anything at all. Do not try to self-diagnose mental health forever. It costs $$.
- Be ok with saying no to people around you that don’t feel like a safe place to process or work through things with. It doesn’t mean you have to shut them out forever. Not everyone needs to help you heal from the immediate trauma. You might need someone 6 months down the road who can help in different ways than the people who are there right now in the middle of it all.