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newstasis :: a blog about improving wellness » 2012 » March » 14

Archive for March 14th, 2012

Great pdf About Coping With Fears After A Traumatic Event

GoodLife Fitness is a big organization that has a vested interest in keeping their staff healthy and happy. As one of the Canada’s biggest employers they have a strong HR team that work tirelessly to help each of us excel at whatever role we play within the organization. To this end, I’ve reached out to them in an effort to get something to help me move through this transitional phase of my life as quickly and smoothly as possible.

I found a document on their intranet sites that is also available online publicly. Here is a .pdf of Coping With Fears Following A Traumatic Event. Below is an interesting section that helped me feel a little more normal today.

Coping with fear and anxiety after a trauma
It’s normal to feel fearful for weeks, months, or even years after a trauma. If
you experienced a personal tragedy or hardship, such as the death of a loved
one, difficult emotions can feel even more intense. Here are some ways to
cope:

·  Remember that most people are not quite themselves after a trauma. It’s normal to
experience some or all of the following symptoms for some time following a
trauma:
- sadness and crying
- inability to concentrate
- fear and anxiety
- sleep problems
- distressing dreams
- a general sense of uneasiness
- outbursts of anger
- depression
- irritability

·  Realize that your mood and feelings may be intense and constantly changing. You
may be more irritable than usual or your mood may change dramatically from
one day to the next.

I’m not going crazy. Watching someone you love die is likely one of the harder things a human being will have to go through. Being both a human and not a rock, life happens as a blur. Trauma is an acute thing, as is my response to it. There are things that can be done to mitigate it from become a chronic issue, but while it is happening, it is real and very piercing.

I have fixed my diet, started exercising again, eliminated a lot of the habits that weren’t doing me any good and worked on establishing my boundaries as an individual and as a member of my family. It is really hard to see my mom cry, it’s really hard to be sad around her as she has lost her husband and best friend of more than 40 years. Theirs was a love that lasted exactly forever for my dad and will burn on for the rest of my mom’s life. There are thoughts going through my head when she is crying and talking about the loss that I almost feel horrible for having, but I have to keep reminding myself that her grief is hers to work-through. It’s a conscious decision that requires a lot of mental energy to not internalize and try to fix. I’m not a bad son for not trying to fix it.

There is actually nothing I can do to fix it.

Admittedly, I’m a little scared for the future, not for the recovery from my dad’s passing, but for the future grief that I will experience. But with the help of my performance coaches, therapist, doctor, family and friends, and myself, I’ll learn how to move through these traumas more effectively and hopefully remain intact when the next one hits.

GoodLife Fitness is a good organization when you get right down to it. Their policies are for service and profit, but when one of their team hits the wall or the bottom, their HR policies supersede those about money and they are there to help them regain their footing. It isn’t about engendering loyalty, it’s about restoring quality and passion.