Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Post Traumatic Growth

I can't believe that I had never heard this term until today. Back when I was in school, we used the term resilience. This is not quite the same thing. I see resilience as being more of a returning to a previous norm after a traumatic event. PTG appears to take it a step further, suggesting that there can be not only a return to *normal*, but a progression to *better*.

It is probably a blessing in some ways that I was not familiar with the term "post traumatic stress" in my younger years. I really did not recognize any option after traumatic events except to just keep going. Breaking down simply was not an option. I had a education to get. I had a chronically ill mama. I had jobs to do that made me less dependent on my parents, who had medical bills and 3 in college at the same time. I kept going, but I never really returned to my previous normal. I certainly did not experience growth out of the circumstances. 

Then, on Christmas morning, 1990, my mama did not wake up. She died that night in the ICU of the Vicksburg Hospital. My grief was absolutely crippling, complex, and I spiraled into a severe depression. As usual, I was prepared to just muscle on through. Thankfully, my truly concerned and savvy friends talked me into getting counseling. I didn't have to do it alone. Not this time.

With help, I was able to finally work through, not just my grief over my mother's death, but through multiple previous traumas as well. I got back to a semblance of normal, then a growth and joy beyond what I had ever really known. I took a huge chance and my first student loan, and, at 35, went back to school to get a second Master's Degree in counseling. I learned to stand up for myself against even well-meaning bullies. I got myself out of relationships that became one-sided and unhealthy. Later, I began to dabble in art, something I loved as a child, but was discouraged from as a teen. 

Anything I go through now I consider a normal reaction to events that would cause anyone sadness or anger. Deaths, health issues, being wounded by loved ones are going to cause some understandable distress. As long as this is not prolonged or complicated, I consider this normal. I worked hard to learn how to feel my feelings, deal with my issues...

And keep growing. 







Saturday, July 18, 2015

Healed

After 6 months that involved long periods of not talking and even longer periods of not singing, my vocal cords have finally healed. I must admit, this has seemed like an eternity to me at times. 

Due to multiple health issues and medications that have the potential to cause problems in the future, I do have to use some degree of caution. I am working on getting my confidence in my singing voice back. I know that I cannot adequately express the relief I felt when I saw my vocal cords on the doctor's screen, coming beautifully together exactly as they are designed to.

Thanks be to God. 

 




 

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Peace

As fireworks continually punctured the peace of the past few evenings, I was once again reminded of just how crucial a certain degree of peace and quiet is to me. The older I get, the more true this becomes. 

Although I am outgoing and social by nature, I do need my quiet time. I need my time to tune the world out to some extent. I need moments away from loud noises and loud voices (whether in real life, or on TV and social media). 

I also find that I seek out more peaceful people to be with. People who don't have to be the loudest voice in the room. People who have found peace with the circumstances they are currently in, while working to change them if possible and necessary. People who don't have to constantly "one-up" other people. People who are able and willing to both nurture and be nurtured. These folks are balm to me in a world of constant and unremitting noise. 

Don't get me wrong. I do love periodic lively discussions on a number of topics. I will sacrifice my peace at times for causes I believe in. I struggle with spiritual issues that rightfully disturb my peace when the need arises. But, I continue to seek and crave peace whenever and wherever possible. 

May all who seek peace find it today.