• Lu Akin

Wellness in the Midst of Trauma

What. A. Year.


I honestly don't have the words that can bring comfort in a time like this. I am going through it. This year has been traumatic for me. I know sometimes the word trauma seems lofty and elusive, a word too large to describe your present state of emotions or a word that doesn't belong to you...but the reality of it all is that this year has been traumatic. In order for me to defend my wellness, I need to be able to sit in my emotions without feeling like an imposter for the emotions that I do have.


From the death of Kobe Bryant to the senseless killing of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, my emotions are spent. Here are a few ways I'm walking through my emotions:


THERAPY

I want to use this post to give you permission to feel and do what's best for you in a time like this. I've decided that I'm starting therapy, and I'm ignoring anything that's communicating to me that therapy is a "trend." If trauma wasn't a trend, maybe, just maybe, therapy wouldn't be a trend.


GIVING

I'm giving to things and organizations that are making a change. For some reason, growing up in church gave me the mindset that as a believer all my giving is done in the church. It was last year that I realized that I can and should give to charities and organizations. When you start your journey of giving, guard your heart against feeling belittled in your giving. Even if you're giving $1, just because Drake gave $100,000 doesn't mean your $1 is insignificant. You can give PENNIES, your monetary giving matters no matter the amount. And although giving might be a band-aid to make me feel better in the moment, I'm glad to know that I can still do something. I can contribute to something larger.


Here are a few organizations where you can donate:


Black Lives Matter Fund

Minnesota Freedom Fund

Ahmaud Arbery's GoFundMe

George Floyd's GoFundMe


There is no pressure to give monetarily. You can give in other ways such as; spreading information, committing to praying for these individuals and situations, and by providing support for those on the frontlines.


REMEMBERING

This might sound silly, but I feel better when I intentionally remember the things that are happening so that when it comes time to vote, I'm not doing a crash course on the candidates. I always feel immense pressure when I'm in the voting booth. By taking my time to track how I feel and what's going on, I'm putting less pressure on my brain to remember and process so much information for a specific task. While journaling is a great avenue for doing this, journaling hurts my hand. Using my Notes app or apps like Evernote help me jot down how I feel without my hand hurting. By intentionally remembering the response of public officials and companies I can make informed decisions on who to support and where to spend my money.


I hope those things help. Whether you agree or disagree, you're still FEELING, and for your sanity, you have to find things that will ground you and help you process the trauma in the world at large and in your world. Don't rush through your emotions. Sit in them. Allow them to fester. Feel happy and then sad. It is okay. We're going through a very traumatic time.



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