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  • Bretta Durham

Post Traumatic Growth

Spring is a time of new beginnings, Flowers sometimes struggle as the weather can be somewhat unpredictable. Life too is not always predictable and we may struggle to come back from things we never even imagined..

Sometimes we can let things go in a moment because we can. Other times we hold onto feelings of brokenness until we can begin to mend from the inside out…

Although the term PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) may be something we have heard of or are familiar with it isn’t something we all develop. It is though more likely than not that each of us have experienced or will experience something in life that will cause us to feel traumatic stress.

Traumatic stress is not something that can be clearly defined as no two people can experience trauma in the exact same way. Traumatic stress, generally speaking, would more likely be related to events and exposures that are outside of what could be classified as “normal” human experiences.

The time after unexpected trauma (physical, mental, emotional, even relationally) on any level impacts us.

We all need to “unpack” life experiences emotionally. Releasing feelings and thoughts, that can sometimes paralyze our abilities to move forward, (emotionally, mentally, relationally, and sometimes even physically) is part psychological processing.

Dealing with the unexpected on an emotional level (feeling and processing) helps us to move forward in relationships and throughout life. Sometimes we can process and move beyond traumas by ourselves, other times will we may also need help.

Post traumatic growth is, in part, about developing patterns and behaviors that can help us deal with life on an emotional, mental, relational, and physical level.

Protective statements we can easily recall, established routines we can readily follow, and comfortable surrounding all help to stabilize heightened emotions. Predictable behavior and responses also help put “control” back into previously unexpected or uncontrollable situations. Familiar can also feel comfortable and safe at least to some extent.

As we continue to move beyond a trauma we in essence develop abilities to “come back” to a status quo state or reach a new normal over time.

Resilience is also a part of our own innate ability to come back or recover after experiencing something traumatic or negative. How we find and draw from our own resilience (inner strength) is a personal journey.

Post traumatic growth has no time table. There will always be moments passing us by but not missing a second of opportunity to live, love, and laugh, while we can, is a challenge that is worth embracing.

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