So…yeah..let’s talk trauma for a moment.
I’m not sharing this to make you uncomfortable. Trauma is a real thing and on so many levels. We all have experienced some form of trauma in our lives and it stays with us to a certain capacity — as long as we’re willing to deal with it.
A common definition of trauma I found on the web is “a deeply distressing or disturbing experience.”
This can be physical, emotional, mental and spiritual.
According to The Center for Treatment of Anxiety and Mood Disorders, “trauma can be defined as a psychological, emotional response to an event or an experience that is deeply distressing or disturbing.” This all can be referred to something very upsetting such as an accident, an illness or injury, divorce, and/or losing a loved one or job. There is also other forms of trauma such as sexual abuse and torture.
So why am I talking trauma? Well because the month of March was a month of traumatic events all wrapped into one.
It started at the beginning of the month when I got an unexpected call from a family member telling me that my father just got out of surgery (in Orlando, FL) because of a tear in his esophagus, causing fluid to spill out into his body. As I went through the day wrapping my head around that one, I managed to book a flight that week out to go see him.
The following day, early in the morning while teaching a Group Training class, a member collapsed to the floor going into cardiac arrest. No signs or symptoms by the way. EMS was engaged immediately by myself and the other members in the room. Not knowing what was happening to this member, all we knew something wasn’t right and he eventually stopped breathing. As adrenaline burst through me, I administered CPR compressions while awaiting EMTs. As the dispatcher was assisting us via speakerphone, they asked if he had a pulse. Nope. They then asked, “do you have an AED machine?” Yup. “Well you’re going to need to use it.”
I delivered two shocks to this member and by the second one, the EMTs arrived and were able to take over. Adrenaline was still surging through my body and it was when I stepped out of the room when I realized what just happened. For the rest of day, I kept playing back everything that happened. It was very, very, very fortunate that this member survived this ordeal and is recovering well.
For the next couple weeks, what the Help Guide provides here:
Emotional & psychological symptoms:
Shock, denial, or disbelief
Confusion, difficulty concentrating
Anger, irritability, mood swings
Anxiety and fear
Guilt, shame, self-blame
Withdrawing from others
Feeling sad or hopeless
Feeling disconnected or numb
Insomnia or nightmares
Being startled easily
Edginess and agitation
Aches and pains
After seeing my father who was stable and doing much better, I got back to my usual routine to find out that gym I worked at for 2 years will be closing. The cherry on top basically.
I continue to process and do as much as self-care as possible:
Reaching out to others
Talking to family and friends
Talking to a therapist
So what did I learn eh? That change is constant and is the only consistent thing in life. Some changes can be small, medium or large. It’s also how you react to it all, but that it’s so vital and important to practice self-compassion and self-love. Sure be angry, be sad and don’t hold it in. We’re human and to be human is to feel.