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Wise Words

Bethany Chouinard, Staff Member

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Trauma

Everyone has experienced something that has left a vivid, ugly, stain in their memory. I want to start off by saying that that’s completely okay. The only person in this life that we can control is ourselves. You are never responsible for someone else’s actions.

Certain things can make it seem like life is too hard, or pointless. But that is never the case. Trauma is a particularly hard thing to overcome. Memories are hard to forget, especially when they impact us so strongly. So what can someone do to help heal themselves? It’s important to remember what was aforementioned. This trauma, it was not your fault, and feeling upset is a normal, human reaction. It is crucial to realize that your emotions are valid. You are effected by the people around you, and if someone upsets you, you are entitled to have feelings. Dealing with those feelings, especially ones of fear or anger in a healthy way can be a draining and rough process, but it is key to moving on.

Suppressing feelings is never the way to go. You feel emotions for a reason, that’s your body’s natural response, so don’t fight it. Cry it out, talk to a friend, write about it, however you want to vent, do it. Locking painful memories up will only result in you having even more mental health issues later in life. All anyone wants is to be happy, but getting there is a long process that you must be willing to follow through on. Processing emotion will help, and overtime you may start to notice a change in your overall mentality.

Self-care is important 365 days a year, but focusing more on it after experiencing trauma can really help. Your body is your only permanent home in this life, and it deserves the best treatment that you can offer. This includes your mental health as well. A warm bath may soothe achy muscles, but it can also be a time of reflection, or a time to just be at peace by yourself, in a soothing environment. Any simple task, that helps you feel better about yourself, is worth doing. Maybe it’s putting on lotion so your skin is always soft, maybe it’s doing your makeup, or even petting your dog. Accomplishing one small task a day that furthers your happiness is a great goal to have.

Lists are an amazing tool that I highly recommend. Any time of the day, or even the night before, write down a few goals you wish to reach. This list can be as small as one item all the way up to one million. It’s whatever you want it to be. Something as simple as: take a shower, walk the dog, smile at a stranger, etc. are all great things to write. When you decide to set a goal, achieving that goal is an amazing feeling of accomplishment. This is a quick way to reclaim power in your life. You suddenly get to decide what you do today, you have control over certain things, and that can feel really encouraging.

The most obvious of all methods is seeking professional help. If you are a student, going to a counselor, teacher, or any adult at school that you trust can yield the quickest reaction. Specifically, Pinole Valley has a health-van on campus, here there are amazing resources. A safe space is guaranteed and the staff are extremely helpful. Therapy may not seem appealing at first, and that’s understandable. But help from a professional has proven to be effective. Having someone to talk to who has been trained to help, can be very useful.

No matter what you’ve been through in your life, you can overcome. And you will end up stronger than before.

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