So, recently, I have taken a hiatus from blogging all together, as the stressors of both being a full-time student and a full-time employee has taken over my life. The last four years of my life have been extremely confusing and extremely difficult to deal with, as I was faced with having to deal with a lot more trauma than I even have come to remember. Now, I am sitting here four years later, kind of laughing about the trauma I had encountered, but slowly realizing the incredible impact it has made on my life.
To say this year has been easy IS A COMPLETE FALSE STATEMENT. I thought 2017 was going to be my year, and while it has been a year to remember, it will be remembered as a year that I will never forget.
To be a little clearer about trauma, over the course of the last 3 years, I have lost a total of 10 companions, all near and dear to my heart, a loss of a bunny. The loss of each and every soul really took a toll on me, as death is still something I am not able to comprehend. Speaking of near death experiences, at one point, I believe March 2015, I had my life threatened in front of my eyes. I also witnessed my best friend’s life threatened right in front of my eyes – not kidding, we made a close interaction with a gun and a knife. To say that I have processesed and made peace with the fact that a gun and knife was millimeters away from my own body would be a lie. Similarly, having to watch my best friend experience the same thing is something I try not to remember.
There were of course other instances of abuse, too many for me to remember, that I experienced in that portion of my life, but I prefer not to go into detail about that. Similarly, I faced spouts of cyberbullying and bullying and harrassment of all sorts – it was an intense last four years to say the least.
I am not victim, just speaking outloud.
Of course, going through every extreme detail of my life events would take a lifetime, especially with what had happened over the course of this short time span. To put it into perspective, it was more than a rollercoaster ride, filled with what seemed like more bumps than smooth pathways. But, honestly, these are all just memories in the past, why should they matter now? Why are they coming back to haunt me again, and again?
Honestly, my best coping mechanism is usually repression and avoidance techniques, usually overworking myself beyond my limits and avoiding my friends and family. Also, I am a firm believer of repressing my emotions and expressing my pain in forms of humor, rather than asking for help. WHILE THESE ARE GREAT AND ALL, ONE MUST FACE THEIR DEMONS AT SOME POINT AND THEY WILL FOLLOW YOU.
I guess it took me a while to settle down, because now, after FOUR YEARS, I am just now dealing with the reprucussions of my life experiences, experiencing things that have led me to spend days crying on end, so anxious I do not know what to do, and trying to find myself beyond on that clutter. It’s funny, though – I think about all these traumatic things now and have found myself baffled at how long I pushed these feelings aside. I am not a very emotional person, or one who speaks about their emotions. Due to my upbringing, I really believe that it does not matter whether it is a bad day or a good day, I will still outwardly appear and present myself like nothing is wrong. I am sure after my lengthy 12-hour panic/anxiety attacks, I probably do not appear as put together, but I sure pretend to do so, and TO THE BEST OF MY ABILITIES. However, looking back on it now, I do regret not seeking or speaking out very openly about these experiences, whether it would have been from self-doubt, embarrassment, or fear. BUT, SERIOUSLY, I SPEND DAYS WONDERING WHEN THIS PAIN AND AGONY WILL GO AWAY. TIME IS SUPPOSED TO HEAL EVERYTHING, BUT UGH. (*INSERT EVERY CUSS WORD POSSIBLE*) I am not going to lie I do feel like the craziest bitch in my town, and while this may not be true, I do feel this way.
As I am NOW even more confused than when I was in any of those instances, I have realized a few things about trauma and dealing with your emotions in a healthy way. (Yes, there is a point to this blog post, I promise).
Here are ways you can rub some dirt into your wounds, when you are feeling vulnerable:
- SPEND TIME WITH YOURSELF- BUT, NOT TOO MUCH TIME – this is where I go wrong all the time. Too much time by yourself can put you in a dangerous state of overthinking, which can lead to irrational thoughts or behaviors, even paranoia. Reflecting on your reality, or your past, can be healthy as you are able to revisit memories and experiences. This can help you get to know yourself better, as that is always important when dealing with a hard time.
- SURROUND YOURSELF WITH LOVE – This is also difficult for me, as I try to be the most independent, strong person for me and my loved ones. The strength of love and friendship goes very far with the process of healing, and dealing with traumatic experiences, or even a bad day, is easier with company sometimes. The great thing about good company and friends is that they will love you NO MATTER WHAT. Even if you are a complete looney, or at least feel like one, this does not matter for your true friends, they will be there for you every step of the way. THIS IS SOMETHING I TEND TO FORGET.
- DO SEEK HELP, OR AT LEAST TELL SOMEONE ABOUT WHAT YOU ARE EXPERIENCING – No, this does not mean that you need to seek a psychiatrist, a mental hospital, ect. But, perhaps therapy or just telling your parents or close companions about what you are experiencing will help alleviate the stress of having to deal with things on your own. Perhaps, they can provide you with some guidance or advice, or simply just be there for you. KEEPING THIS SHIT INSIDE OF YOU IS TOXIC AND WILL TURN OUT TO BE A BIGGER CHALLENGE YOU NEED TO OVERCOME. STOP PROCRASTINATING!!!
- DO NOT FALL OUT OF RESPONSIBILITIES – While it is important to take time to heal, completely isolating yourself from work, school, or family responsibilities will not help the situation. Exposure, while it may be hard on the inside and outside, is the best way to deal with anxiety or stress sometimes. Exposure helps me realize that I am capable of a lot more than I even imagined.
- BE KIND TO YOURSELF – You are an amazing composition of the most unique and incredible genetics that you could ever ask for, whether you know it or not. You possess qualities and strengths that are completely unique to you, and you are not any less significant if you end up having to deal with these problems. YOU DO NOT NEED TO BE YOUR VERSION, OR ANYONE ELSE’S VERSION OF PERFECT, BECAUSE THAT IS NOT POSSIBLE.
- BRANCH OUT AND FIND NEW HOBBIES (AKA ADVENTURE/EXPERIMENT WITH YOUR LIFE) – Just because it may not be the easiest time for you, uncomfortability is always something beautiful, because most often you are forced out of your comfort zone, which usually leads to finding new hobbies or passions you may have. This sense of “new” can replace the “old” feelings that you fealt, as a result of your bad day or experiences. Try something fun or out of the ordinary!
- PAY IT FORWARD – This one truly resonates with me. Not feeling so great about yourself? Try making someone else’s day better and pay it forward with a smile, kindness, happiness, or a joke. Help someone else out. This most definitely is one of my favorite ways to get out of my jams.
- STAY AWAY FROM THE NEGATIVITY – Yes, so cliche. I know. But, truly, staying away from negative things that can cloud your judgement and your own personal happiness is important. Falling into new habits that are beneficial, though they may be unfamiliar and uncomfortable, is something that will end up helping you in the long run. It may not even just be bad habits, but bad things that trigger you. The most important thing is to try your best to develop ways to handle being triggered, but if you can avoid circumstances where you know that it will lead to bad decisions, stay away from these, PLEASE. These negative reinforcers are only distractions – simplify your own life.
As I continue breathing another day, I will not say that every day is easy – in fact, most days are hard, as I deal with flashbacks, nightmares, extreme shakes, extreme stress sweats (which smell so bad), and deal with horrible social anxiety, among other things. Every day I wake up though, knowing that there is a reason I am still here and knowing that I am loved. We all have to spend time healing and getting to know ourselves, and through repression and constant negative distractors I was able to escape my reality. To be honest, my reality was very, very scary for me at one point, and it still is.
It takes a huge amount of courage every day to wake up and face your world, so never forget to give yourself a pat on the back. And, do not forget to cherish those beautiful moments that make you smile when you haven’t smiled for a while, or laugh when you haven’t laughed for a while. Just like the bad experiences, good ones are important too. So, admist the difficulty, try to see beyond what is bothering you and try to make your day as a best as you can. THIS CAN BE HARD AND TIRING, BUT DO NOT BELIEVING.
BECAUSE, YOU CAN DO IT.
As I continue battling my own inner demons, I will hopefully get back to religiously blogging, and through my own struggles, can be a glimmer of hope for those who may be dealing with some hard times. WE ARE IN IT TOGETHER.