When there is trauma you have to contain the damage. As a nurse I was trained to assess, start A.B.C.’s and stop the bleeding to contain the damage no matter the trauma. Actually now they call it CAB, circulation, airway , breathing. For this article let’s still use ABC. I think of the Jackson 5 song “ABC, it’s easy as 123!” Really It’s not that easy though when you are saving a life. It’s a challenging journey to a successful destination. What about the ABC’s of emotional trauma? This can be life saving also. No matter what loss, whether it be death, divorce, disease, loss of a job or income, let’s look at some steps that may be life sustaining and help you keep breathing.
A.) Allow- It takes time and tears to maneuver a loss. Ryan Stevenson has a great song about his mother dying, “ It’s okay to cry, it’s okay to fall apart… Don’t ever fight your tears ‘cause there is freedom in every drop …sometimes the only way to heal a broken heart is when we fall apart.” Allow yourself time, questions and tears. Every situation is unique and has it’s own path. You may never get over it, but you can get through it.This is especially true in grief. I was numb the first year of after my son’s death. I knew in my head he was more alive than ever and not suffering but my heart had a struggle to come to that point. We can’t aways change the circumstances in life, but we can change our reaction to them. Choose to accept what happened knowing God will be with you and get you through.
B.) Believe- You can do this, Don’t give into doubt or negativity. When you make a positive choice it changes the landscape of your brain. See Dr. Caroline Leaf’s book “Switch On Your Brain.” It’s not just mind over matter but a scientific reality.
Put one foot in front of the other. The needs of what needs done will spur you on. When we inherited an 18 month old after my son died, the baby needed his diaper changed and bottle no matter how I felt. He helped me through my loss as I helped him.
C.) Connections-Relationships are crucial. Connections are like an extension cord that gives life and purpose in every area of life. They keep you going when sometimes all you want to do is stay in bed with the covers over your head. There are three ways to connect; up, out and in.
Up- Look to God who cares about you. He loves you beyond your comprehension, John 3:16 “For God so loved the world…” That is you and me! Bring your concerns to him and He will heal your broken heart and bind up your wounds. He will give wisdom so you will know how to maneuver through any situation.
Others- Counseling will open new ways to deal with the pain or process. I highly recommend it. Many times books have been an excellent counselor for me, especially the Good Book! Have coffee with a friend and share what’s on your mind. It’s great to be loved by others and feel comfort with just their presence. Look to family, let them love on you or do your laundry. Pets provide companionship and support as they look at you with love and wag their tails. (Can you tell I have a dog?)
Self- Don’t forget to connect with you. If you don’t do this, you won’t be any good for others, even yourself. Start journaling, ideas will come as you write. Take a walk and enjoy the sunshine and fresh air, restoration will come to you. Give yourself to others and you will find yourself abundantly blessed.
If your emotional trauma is divorce, disease, depression, drugs or loss of any kind, such as a job; these are all a form of grief. I believe these emotional ABC’s should help you on your journey no matter what crazy twists, turns or tarpits you maneuver through and you will arrive at a delightful destination!
God Bless! Debbie
Sam is a businessman, writer, entertainer, speaker, husband, father to six children, grandfather and great grandfather. Sam graduated from Huntington University with a B.A. in phychology and drama and pursued a degree in Broadcasting from Illinois Central College with graduate level studies at Christian Leadership University. Sam is the creator of Granpa Cratchet, one of the most successful touring shows in the history of the live events industry. Millions of people see Granpa every year all across the United States at fairs and festivals. His characters have appeared on every major network: Good Morning America, Entertainment Tonight, The Today Show (4 times). Sam and his characters have made over 500 local appearances and on all the major networks; NBC, CBS, ABC, ESPN, PBN, The LeSea Network, The PTL Network and Praise the Lord. They currently appear all around the world every week on YouTube and Facebook, and on several satellite networks via the Kidz Television Network and The Captain Hook (children's) Show.