A New World

To me, it feels as though life with PTSD has become more difficult with this pandemic crisis. Emotions are closer to the surface for everyone these days, and it just seems as though people fly off the handle at the drop of a hat. It sure makes life scary for someone who has PTSD. We tend to see life as a dangerous experience, to begin with, and when you stir in the tensions and fears of COVID-19, it gets even worse. We normally live on the edge, always waiting for something bad to happen. With the coronavirus added in, not only are we hard-wired for flight or fight, but it seems like everyone else is too. That makes for a very volatile environment for all of us.

I’ve recently been thinking about what we can do to deescalate the situation. How do we, as a society, chill out and relax, especially in the face of the current crisis? Many of our usual supports are no longer available to us. We can’t just run to the gym to work off some of our anxiety. We can’t fall back on our support groups as most of them aren’t meeting.  And, add in the stress that comes from having the kids back in school only part-time (if that). That’s even more stress! It makes for a very unstable environment. It’s no wonder that domestic abuse is on the rise, that civil unrest is building, and that so many of us are finding ourselves struggling to cope with the fear and anxiety of the day.

Perhaps this is a good time to bring back those things that strengthen our faith. Many churches are still not holding full services, but most are doing some on-line activities and even outdoor services. If you don’t already meditate, this might be the time to start. Seeking that place of calm within ourselves may be the best bet we have for finding peace now. And, while we may not be able to participate in support group activities, that doesn’t stop us from calling one or two of the friends we have from the groups we were going to and asking to meet for a brief chat. While large groups aren’t being held, small groups still allow us to interact with others while social distancing.

It’s a new world these days. Finding the supports we need to stay sane may prove to be a bit more difficult, but it’s not impossible. And, while times may be hard today, one thing I’ve learned in my advanced years is that the pendulum will swing back again. Better times are coming, my friend. Count on it.

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