• Letitia Coker

How trauma can affect your perception

This morning I managed to go for a bike ride. You may say "good on you" but this bike ride was significant to me as it was the first time since I had my bike accident in April this year. For those who do not know, I went around a corner of a narrow bike track met an oncoming bike which I had to swerve, which ended in a head on crash with a metal pole. I remember seeing it, the noise of the crash but nothing else. I do not remember hitting anything but with the injuries that I sustained, I hit the metal pole and railing. Ouch you say, ouch I said, remarkably I cycled to finish the ride and back to my car, so 25 kms all up. Little did I know that my legs where very badly bruised, like black bruised and my shoulder was badly damage, the things you do when you are in shock!!! At first my shoulder was ok, I was concerned more for my legs that were black in colour, but slowly over the next week my shoulder start to not work properly, and increase in pain, sad face!!!! Eventually my shoulder froze and the pain was searing, intense, continuous and I was unable to sleep or do anything. I was taking lots of herbs for the pain but nothing touched it, I was in so much pain I had a hydrocortisone injection, which also did nothing! I switched up my herbal medicine to lower the stress level and found an amazing Chiropractor, finally this began to ease the pain. So 7 months later, I am heaps better, no pain, still do not have full range of moment in my shoulder but I will get there in time.

I know that some of you have been through and are going through so much worse than a bike accident, some of you have had incredible psychological trauma from past situations or even ongoing situations, some of you have been abused physically, sexually and emotionally, some of you have had loved ones die and now you are alone trying to cope, or there has been a brake up, divorce and pain of losing the dream you cherished, some of you have had situations at work, you have been bullied or just treated unfairly, and the list goes on. At times it is not easy living in this world of ours as we face many trails and hardships, it is not how Hollywood portrays how our life should be and no matter what we do, we cannot shake the sense that we have failed in some way because my neighbour, friends, co-workers or family members don't seem to struggle as I do! And silently we scream "What is wrong with me!"

How do we get through these times in our lives that leave us feeling paralysed, depressed, traumatised, like we cannot go on anymore, or what do we do with the regrets, the painful unresolved situations?

Firstly we need to see where we are, we need to look at our lives and examine what is going on in them, how we are feeling, responding to the situation or if it is making us uncomfortable. Often when we are injured emotionally or physically we soldier on, we don't realise there is an issue, we deny it but the signs are there even if they are subtle. We become irritable, grumpy, and withdraw from life, from friends and family, stop talking and connecting. We may be finding it hard to sleep, waking exhausted and stressed at work and home, and little things seems to set us off, we may find it hard to concentrate, to read, to remember things which becomes another source of frustration. It is ok to not be perfect, to be struggling, to be low or not coping with life. Our society teaches us from when we are small to pretend but we cannot pretend, it is ok to admit we maybe broken. We all go through times when our lives fall apart, yet we think no one else finds it hard and our perception of life and others becomes warped.

Secondly, we need to understand that it is not a failure to ask for help when you need it, to seek the help out, you are not weak, you are actually wise to do so. Don't let that misconception of 'I must soldier on myself, I must face this battle alone, I must, I must, I must.........." stop you from getting the help you need. God created us to have relationships, to help each other, he also gave gifts to us all and some graciously received the gift of healing, so go to those healers and get the help you need. When we are going through the trials of life, ours is not the best voice to listen too because that voice in ones mind can be so full of criticism, and harsh words that are simply not true, yet we eagerly believe them. So I encourage you to get the help that you need so you can grow through this part of your life

Thirdly, be kind to yourself, it is not your fault and even if it was, we all make mistakes, we all do things that we regret. The secret is have we learnt from the mistake, do we have the courage to make right the mistake to the best of our ability, or has that mistake paralysed us. The truth is we cannot change what has happened, we cannot make others respond in the way we want them too but we can do what we need to do to resolve the situation so we can have closure. At times this takes courage, it takes, as the bible says, "speaking the truth in love" - Ephesians 4:15.

What does the bible mean by this, well for those of us who don't like conflict and stuff things down inside ourselves for them to fester, we need to be courageous by using our voice and talking the mistake or situation through. For those of us who blurt things out in harsh words we need to think carefully and choose our words wisely so not to cause more trauma. Remember you cannot control how someone will respond but you can gain closure for yourself.

If you are in a situation that is dangerous to you, please get the help that you need to get out of it now.

Fourthly, we need to not listen to the voice inside our heads that is overly protective, that holds us back from getting back on the bike again. That voice would have us sit in a bubble to protect us from everything out side our door. At times we do need to listen to it but that voice should not control how we live our life. The voice of fear can hold us up and shut us away from doing the things that we love to do. Fear of injury as in my case, fear of failure, of rejection, of not being perfect or meeting expectations. We can tie ourselves up with fear ending up living a life full of "if onlys" and regrets. The voice of "I am not good enough", this is one I struggle with alot but it is a lie sent to stop me from growing in confidence, or the voice that says you need to be perfect before you can do anything. Some have a voice that says you can never change, or it always turns out wrong, nothing goes right for me! When listen to the voices inside our head we live a half life and that is not what we were created to do. Jesus came to give us life and life to the full - John 10:10

So go out and live your life, get the help you need and cautiously listen to the voices inside your head, knowing when we are not coping with life our own voice may not be the best voice to listen too.

Myddfai Natural Medicine Clinic

To live well, be well

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