What Else Can I Do to Get My Trauma under Control?

There are a number of ways that tragedy can be dealt with that may seem like platitudes, or completely out of the norm. Oftentimes, a cliche is a cliche because it has some truth to it.

Idle Hands

The old adage that keeping yourself busy can preoccupy your mind is not just a phrase that people use to invalidate what their friends or family might be feeling. Busying yourself with crafting or a hobby is an excellent way to refocus. The difficulty though may come in from having to get up the willpower to do the thing. In the end, it is important to remember that the only way to go on is by moving forward. Initially, it will be hard to get up in the morning and do the thing that is in front of you. And again, this is where a cliche comes in helpful. One foot in front of the other. Brush your teeth, put on your shoes, tie your laces, drink some water, go for a run. Then, and only then, can you begin to think about the day. Think about the things you can do to occupy your mind, to distract yourself from the trauma. Crafting anything from paintings to jewelry boxes to banners advertising a new business (that you managed to grow from home with all your time to think) are excellent ways forward. By keeping your hands busy, your mind focuses on the task and less energy is spent obsessing over past events.

Get out and get away

All joking aside, that trip to Las Vegas is not the worst idea. Maybe don’t go too far into the bingeing, or the gambling. But the essence of being in a new environment can be refreshing and rejuvenating to the point of resetting your thoughts to a more peaceful, happier place. Distractions can be found in so many ways – hiking, sight-seeing, visiting the old-world tourist traps all across Europe. And if money is tight and you just can’t afford the expense, consider visiting a friend, whether it’s family, an old classmate, or a new friend from a therapy group. Different environments offer different perspectives and release the mind from the same nagging thoughts that cycle through it at constant contact with the same old same old.

Write it down

Write, draw, paint, craft, make music. The human mind has a lot of faults, but what it lacks oftentimes in compassion or coherence, it makes up for in the ability to create. And it’s a universal truth that pain makes artists of the most unlikely people. Whatever it is your hands want to do, let them. Let the feelings flow out of you onto the page or the canvas in a therapeutic flourish. It’ll be like syphoning all the bad things from your mind and putting them in front of you in black and white for you to look at, analyse, and see them for what they really are: a few bad memories in a lifetime of good ones.

Speaking of music, this music video by Shakira cheers me up almost everytime:

Are There Any Real Solutions?

So how are the best ways to deal with tragedy? There are the obvious solutions: hide the soul-gutting affects of it behind metaphorical flags and banners that promise there is nothing wrong. Tell our loved ones that we’re fine even when we’re not. Medicate, drink, medicate some more. We could even shop. Retail therapy is definitely not something to stick one’s nose up at. But let’s face it, these aren’t long-term solutions. As stated, the answer is not a figment somewhere that the eye can’t trace it; it’s closer than we think. All it takes is a little empathy, self-evaluation, thinking, and progression.

Solutions to be found in others

Support groups are a great way to cope with tragedy. Talking is the most basic form of human communication and can be cathartic, in spite of the fear that in talking about a tragic event, one must relive it. Let’s take an example:

Jane finds herself waking up in the middle of the night from nightmares. Every night she relives the moment that her husband Louis’ face hit the windshield as their vehicle came into a headlong collision with the Sign Company’s truck. She sees the same image over and over, the banner wrapped vehicle coming clear through the rain, the address for Las Vegas, Nevada. The trauma of it has her not only stuck inside her own head but losing sleep. She fears that, by talking to anyone, let alone a whole group of people, she’ll only be forced to see the same image more and more until it haunts her every waking second. Not so. The moment of sharing, of finding someone else who shares Jane’s horrifying fears, night sweats, and her terror of driving makes Jane realize she is not alone!

Can the answer be found in spiritualism?

Yes! You don’t have to be religious to know that your body is not the end of who and what you are. Your mind needs as much healing as your body does. A broken bone heals, but a broken heart can hurt forever. Jane, from our previous example, should have taken her nightmares as a sign of a spirit in need of some serious healing. Meditation and reflection, while always helpful, can be a little hard to achieve without training or at least a little guidance. Why not see if the answers can be found in the printed word? Books that offer guidance and support literally flood the shelves of most bookstores and can certainly be helpful as a starting point if you are asking yourself: where do we go from here?

Are the solutions permanent?

Sadly, no. Trauma is a lifelong scar that people who have experienced a tragedy carry on their hearts. It may heal, but the memories of it never really will. As we said; it’ll fade, and some new good things can come from it with a little self-care and constant reminder that there is nowhere to go but up.

This video should help: