This journey from Survivor to Thriver and Then Beyond, is in no way easy but it is truly within reach of each of us. Myself, I am between the Survivor and Thriver Stages and I work every day to take the necessary steps to keep moving more forward that backward. This road is often bumpy and there are many days I just think "Maybe I am good with just being a survivor. Why do I need to thrive anyway and is the beyond really that amazing? I am happy as I am now. Why do I need to keep pushing myself?"
The simple answer to all this is: I am meant to do MORE! My journey hasn't ended so why should I just stop working to achieve the ultimate life I am meant to live? I survived sexual abuse! I survived suicide! I survived a life of negativity. Why? The only logical explaination I can come up with is that I am meant to THRIVE and even more importantly reach BEYOND! I am meant to share my story so that others can survive themselves and know that if I can do it they certainly can. If you have done the work to survive your past regardless of what it held, be sure you are working toward thriving and living this life you have, to it's fullness without regret.
I want to discuss Post Traumatic Stress and how it feels as though our souls have been stolen after a traumatic event. There are of course various levels of Trauma but no one can really say that one level is easier than another. It truly depends on a multitude of variables and it really isn’t anyone’s place to determine how each traumatic event will effect each person. Two people can go through the exact same event at the exact same time and each will process it all differently. No one person has the knowledge or power to determine another persons thoughts or emotions. Everyone of us is unique and need to process things in our own way. For society to tell us we need to just accept something and get over it isn’t realistic in a lot of cases.
I battled with PTSD myself after I was raped at the age of 12. I repressed the incident so that I wouldn’t have to face the truth and continue to relive the act over and over in my nightmares. This is how I dealt with the trauma and it almost killed me as I dealt with suicidal thoughts and attempted, thankfully I failed. The one thing in my life I can honestly say today that I am proud of being a failure at. Those thoughts can really get the better of you and for those not having them you have no way of comprehending what it is like. The only way I can try and describe it would be like this… Have you ever had a recording of something you hated play over and over and you couldn’t get the player to shut off? You feel anxious because you want it to stop but it just continues no matter what you do? It is kind of like that but the voices or images are inside your head and there is no off button to push, or power cord you can pull. Think of it like those battling with those voices and images in their head finally have enough and they make suicide their disconnection from the ultimate power source of life. Typically, they resort to these measures because they believe there is no other way to get them to stop and no one can possibly understand what they are going through. Those battling with memories of a traumatic event, continue to replay that event over and over in their minds because their brain is trying to resolve the issue and can’t change the outcome. They are the star of their own personal thriller movie in their minds and they are often scared to share with anyone for fear that no one will believe them or will believe they are weak.
No matter why, it is wrong that they should be made to feel they are the ones that did anything wrong. They need to be ensured that they are loved and that they will not be judged for the acts of others choices or even their own in some cases. Things that have happened in our past, whether that is yesterday or several years ago, can never be changed or taken back. We have to learn to acknowledge those events and history and accept who we are today. In order for us to overcome our past we have to put it in the past and not allow it to continue to tear us down in our present and definitely not let it hold us back from our future. We are on this journey together and we all need to help one another achieve the future that we were meant to have.
What is it depression? A feeling of loneliness? A feeling of there being no hope and not being able to change what has been done? It is a feeling no one wants but just about everyone has experienced at some level in their life. Some of us have been able to get through it, some of us have not. For a certain percentage of people, it was too much to handle and they cut there life short. For others they are still fighting it. It’s a long battle and some start to feel it’s a war they are losing but they are keeping their head up and thinking positive.
Then there are the strong ones who were able to see the good things in life and pull themselves out of it and move on. They put a smile on their face and said it is staying there no matter what happens. We can all hope we are these lucky ones that can pull themselves out of it. Some things are just too difficult to pull yourself out of for some. Death of someone held close to the heart or the loss of a loved one due to break up or divorce can be things that are just too much to pull yourself out of. Bullying and shame will cause people to do things out of desperation as well.
The key to pulling yourself out is knowing no matter what situation you are in, you have support groups. Some lean towards music, others lean towards their friends. Then there are those that have lost all friend or family support and can’t find happiness in music so what do they lean toward? Counseling or psychiatry is always a good choice. Your counselor and/or psychiatrist should know somewhere that can get you help or they personally may know how to help. The key is do not give up; suicide is never the option. No matter what you may think, your death will affect someone. There is always someone, somewhere that cares about you, whether it is a friend, family, or someone you would never have thought of. DEATH IS NEVER AN OPTION TO FIX DEPRESSION.
Remember your life matters and if you are having suicidal thoughts or know someone who is call your local Suicide Prevention Hotline. There is always someone out there that wants to listen.
How do you keep going when the ones you love so much can’t help but hurt you? How do you keep loving those who are sick and make you the target when they are hurting? These are the questions I have been asking myself for most of my life! Having family and friends with mental illness is tough! You know they are sick but you also know you do not deserve to be the target of all their anger! You try and try to help but once this cycle ends you just work to restrengthen in order to prepare for the next! Mental Illness robs us of the true love of these family members and friends!
When will the system start helping these people? Why do we not see how bad this is and how many areas this matter effects? I appeal to those in power to open their eyes and start addressing the one core problem to so many of our issues in society! Drugs are used to self-medicate, crimes are committed by people doing drugs, untreated mental illness is responsible for a large percentage of violence, crime, and homeless! Addressing Mental Health could truly assist with so much of the negativity we are dealing with in society today! LET’S GET THEM AND THEIR FAMILIES THE HELP THEY SO DESPERATELY REQUIRE!
May is Mental Health Awareness Month and this has a special place in my heart as my regular followers know. I am the mother of children living with mental health challenges and I know first hand what this does to the individual living with the disorder and their family who would love them no matter what. Mental Health Disorders are invisible disabilities that most can’t even imagine how it impacts the thoughts that go through their heads. Often those suffering have no idea that they are even battling in the moment and those around them deal with the consequences. Society has labeled these battling with these disorders and made them out to be monsters or crazy, which then feeds the negative thoughts already tearing the sufferer apart from the inside. They want to just be “normal” and when they are constantly told they can’t be they often get discouraged. Society puts on the pressure and the result becomes rages, manic episodes, suicide, among other destructive results. Why can’t we get these suffering the proper help and stop stigmatizing them?
Can we take a bit of time this month of awareness and find out how we can all do our part to help and share awareness. Educate yourself a bit this month and try to understand what these battling are going through instead of hiding them and being ashamed if you have family members. The biggest thing these people need to be surrounded with are positive thoughts and lots of support. Show them that people do care about them and that there are people willing to listen.