Trauma affects everyone differently.
Some people are able to push through the trauma, leaving them relatively unscathed. Some may crawl into the bottle while others may turn to self-harm. Generally speaking, people affected by trauma can have problems with their self-esteem and their self-identity. They can lose track of who they are.
While my mental health struggles have been compounded by multiple diagnoses, one of the key components off my struggle is trauma.
Some of the trauma is obvious, such as my over a decade spent working as a first responder. I know death. I’ve stared the bastard in the face, while I’ve used all of my skills to snatch a patient from death’s grip. Sometimes I was successful….others I lost, not for lack of trying.
While the trauma I experienced on the front lines is a major contributor to my struggles of the last two decades, it is not the only contributor.
Thanks to the, then undiagnosed, Borderline Personality Disorder, I’ve always struggled with connecting with people. I was bullied as a child. A lot. The bullying further fractured my abilities to interact with people as a productive human being.
My relationship with trauma has caused me many problems over my life, particularly the last two decades. The thing is, like steel that is hardened in a forgers fire, I’ve grown stronger. I’ve learned skills that have helped me cope.
It’s these skills that I have heavily leaned on as the world as faced a cumulative trauma of its own in the form of the Covid-19 Pandemic.
The world changed a year ago.
I won’t get into the politics of it, because that is not the purpose of this blog. It doesn’t matter one’s opinion on the subject, the fact that the world is dealing with trauma is without doubt.
This pandemic is unprecedented in our time. People Arte struggling. People are struggling with masks. They are struggling with hand-sanitizing. They are struggling with self-care.
As someone who has struggled with trauma for the majority of my life, I know that self-care is important. Be kind to yourself. Be kind to others. Let the challenge strengthen you. Look after yourself, and know that even though the times we are in are unprecedented in our time, they are not unprecedented.
The world has dealt with the pandemics before. Looking to history, the world has always made it through these challenges. It’s taken time. It’s taken perseverance. It’s always happened, and it will again.