What if We All Have PTSD?
According to the Medical Medium Anthony William, almost everyone alive has some form of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I believe this idea to be true. I was diagnosed with PTSD after the traumatic accident at my daughter's birth (for that story). According to William and other spiritual leaders, trauma is stored in the body. I believe it is stored both in our physical body as well as our energetic body (think chakras). No one goes through life unscathed and we all process traumatic events differently.
Currently, we are in the midst of a traumatic shift in the collective consciousness. Trauma is a deeply distressing or disturbing experience. Change for many is traumatic. Just a quick glance at the tried and true Holmes-Rahe Stress Inventory shows that all the stressors have to do with change. We have all been forced into a sudden and rapid change. The way we once did things are now different. In some cases, radically different. Think about an average American family where both parents work and the children go to public school. Now the children are being schooled from home, one or both parents are working from home (or not working) and things like weekend trips to a museum are no longer happening. Simple things like shopping at the grocery store now has new social rules and comes with a set of stressors that were not present before.
I think about this morning in my own home as an example. My daughter looked at me from her chromebook with tears in her eyes and told me she is sad. She is sad because she doesn't like doing school this way. My son cried for ten minutes because he just wanted to go grocery shopping with me. He just wanted to get out of the house and be with his Mama. And for me, donning a face mask makes me feel such anxiety. The masks remind me of visiting my daughter in the NICU for the first two and a half weeks of her life, which is where my own PTSD comes from. And our family doesn't even have it bad. Others have it much worse. There really is no one not suffering from this change. I believe it is important to recognize the shift as traumatic. Recognizing and radically accepting the trauma will help us process and heal faster.
To act as if everything is fine or unchanged or pretend that things will return to normal is just not realistic or helpful. The darkness is here. We are all confronting darkness on some level. It may be the darkness of uncertainty, of loneliness, of anger, of anxiety. Whatever it is, comes down to fear. Fear contributes to trauma. I was afraid that my newborn daughter would die and this fear is what caused me to hold onto and store the trauma of her accident. If I could have breathed through it, accepted what happened and held onto hope, I wouldn't have held the trauma and I wouldn't have been diagnosed with PTSD.
How do we accept the traumatic changes without contributing our fear? How do we avoid PTSD?
The first thing we must do is accept the changes. I wrote about this earlier but it is worth repeating. If we ignore or deny them we can get stuck. This idea means to accept new changes each time something changes. Each time you recognize that something is different, recognize it and accept it as is. For example, "we now where masks to the grocery store. It is what it is. This too shall pass."
In mindfulness, we stress the idea of living in the present moment but this does not mean you cannot hope for change in the future. Holding onto hope is important and it keeps you out of fear. Plan out a dream vacation, a move, a date night, a girls' night, etc. Write really vivid and detailed ideas of what you wish to do again. When you feel stuck or unhappy, you can take these ideas out and read them. Remind yourself that these things will happen soon.
Gratitude is something that everyone talks about but it really is helpful. Try to find one thing a day about this change that you can feel grateful for. For example, "I am grateful for this extra time with my children."
Face your fears. Whatever trauma from your past that may be bubbling up needs to be addressed. Write it down, talk to a loved one about it, but don't bury it. When something traumatic happens it often triggers past trauma we have not dealt with. For me, all of this focus on cleanliness really does trigger the time I spent in the NICU and after we brought my daughter home. I am able to recognize the trauma and remind myself that everyone is safe and healthy at this moment in time.
Try to make time for things you enjoy. I see many people rediscovering hobbies, talents and interests. Doing things that make you happy up your vibration and keep you out of the zone of fear.
I would like to end this post reminding you that I am not a therapist and if these traumatic changes are overwhelming to you, please seek out a professional to talk to. There is no shame in prescription medications and therapy is life changing. I think PTSD is something that many could develop from this world-wide shift. But if we address it now and use the tools of mindfulness we can work on releasing the trauma.