Tuesday, March 6, 2012

In the aftermath...

 ... of trauma

 When asked how I'm doing, my usual answer during this time of intense emotional pain and turmoil, physical fatigue, weakness, severe itchiness,  loss of cognitive abilities, apathy, listlessness, etc.  is ... interesting.

Not good.  Because surely my journey has a lot of bad in it.

Not all bad, though.  My journey has a lot of good in it as well.

My journey is a complex mixture of both good and bad together.  Relationships sundered.  Relationships built up and strengthened.

Times of depression and tears; yet, also, times of humour and laughter.

The sun sets, but it also rises again every day.  In newness.  In glory.  In hope.

Just as the river across the street from my house changes according to the conditions, my emotions and physical condition ebb and flow with my current conditions.  Sometimes high, overflowing its banks.  The current strong.  Dangerous even to navigate in a canoe.  Other times slow and sluggish.  Water level so low people can walk across.

I live and cope daily with the latent affects of severe stress endured over a period of years.

Yet, at the same time, in the same place, in the same body, I live with and strive towards recovery on a daily basis.  I experience the negative affects from the toil the stress plus the hard work of recovery has exacted on my body with negative emotions flooding over me like a tsunami, devastating me just as the strong current erodes the banks of the river when in flood.

Yet, I experience positives as well: the sound of my wind chimes, which I call silver music, jingling on the wind; pictures of walks with my beloved, Papa Bear; camping trips; family times.  All are balm to my soul.

At first, I had no clue what was going on within my body.

After all, the hard work, the underground, had already been laid during the pre-flood, pre-trauma period.  Significant progress on the walls and structure had been initiated.  I was well on my way to recovery.  Right?

Actually both right and wrong.  When the tsunami of severe stress hurled unrelentingly toward me, engulfing my still fragile, still in-progress work of recovery, the walls and structure vanished in the flood of my twirling emotions.  All that remained was the underground.  BUT the underground stood fast.  The basis on which my recovery was based stood firm.

The relationships I'd painstakingly re-invented also stood firm.

My newly re-invented and still very fragile sense of self-worth did not.  Washed away in the rising current of the flood.

Yet, I have come to realize this about myself:  I am a survivor.

I will rebuild my sense of self.  I will make it through this time of both loss and recovery.

When I do, I will be strong.

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