Life happens to us whether we like it or not. All of it, including trauma, and the numerous experiences that fall under the umbrella of trauma: accidents, acts of violence, the death of a loved one, the loss of a job, home, friendship, the onset of disease or disability. The list goes on.
There are no magic answers to managing trauma other than to give yourself permission to go through the experience and seek the kind of support, not that you need, but that you deserve. There is something else too. Remember the basics.
When I say remember the basics, I mean exactly that. Do your best to remember to bathe or shower. Don’t forget to wash your hair, brush your teeth, wash your clothes, change your clothes. If you’re having a hard time finding your appetite, try to eat some healthy foods. If you find you can’t stop eating, again, healthy foods. Your body deserves as much respect as your heart, mind and soul. Remember to keep clean sheets on the bed. If you are prescribed medicine, remember to take it. See if you can tidy up your living area from time to time. If you find yourself struggling with these things, try and let someone know. I don’t for a second think you need help or need support, I think you damn well deserve it. We all do when life takes a hard run at us.
If you are struggling with the basics it does not mean there is something wrong with you. It does not mean you are flawed person or, for that matter, a weak person. It means that you are a human being and there are times life dishes out experiences that still our regular life patterns and knock us down. No matter how difficult and grueling the experience of being one can be from time to time, being a human being is a good thing. It may not always feel that way, but I believe it always is that way.
Allow yourself your humanity. When you remember the basics, even if you can only manage some of them, you are remember to take care of yourself in a very real way. Taking care of the basics forces us to remember ourselves, and tend to ourselves. And that, I promise you, is a healthy thing – and a healing thing. Remembering the basics is you taking care of you. And if there is anyone you deserve support from – it is you.