‘Maybe we are not here to see each other but to see each other through.’ ~ Anonymous
I have had one of the most emotionally exhilarating and draining weeks of my life. I cried, I laughed, I hugged, I worked, I napped, I cuddled, I spoke, I wrote, I worried, I visited, I celebrated, I listened, I learned. Although immersed in so many activities that bring me joy, I was plum out of steam by the time I sat down to write.
Glancing back through my weekly planner, I realized that there was very little blank space on the pages. I filled almost every hour of every waking minute with something important. If I had to repeat the exact events of this week, I would do it in a heartbeat, but I would have to pay a little more attention to life balance and my energy levels along the way. It was quite a whirlwind.
Last night, though, I was triggered again, to a painful call in my life as a police officer. My thoughts were racing. My heart was pounding. Tears were flowing. I was shaking. My husband was working. It was late. I didn’t want to wake anyone up.
I knew; however, that I needed to talk. I needed to process my thoughts. I knew that I had to process what was coming up. As this was the third time in a few weeks where I was having a post-traumatic stress reaction, I had to reach out.
I called the EAP program for my husband’s work, a toll free number to schedule another appointment with a counsellor. As the phone attendant realized that I was in the midst of being upset, she ended up connecting me with an on-call therapist.
The fellow on the other end of the phone was able to calm me down, get to the root issue and talk me through some difficult messages that were playing in my head. He provided a website to do some further research (www.self-compassion.org), assured me that I was on the path to healing and congratulated me for reaching out.
I felt connected, even when I was in the midst of stress. I was able to go to sleep feeling peaceful and calm. I was so grateful that this resource was available for me to use.
I met wonderful people this week, in speaking engagements, and I am reminded why I do the kind of work that I do. I felt connected and hopeful, ignited and fueled. I realize how we all have so much in common. We are all doing the best we can with what we have. We are muddling through life, one day at a time and we are strong and resilient.
Still, through the feeling of utter exhaustion this week, I am left on high. I met Clint Malarchuk, the former NHL goaltender who experienced a traumatic hockey injury, which spiralled into a series of life altering events, including a suicide attempt, addictions and depression. He was so inspirational in overcoming all of his adversity and going on to share his story, to make a difference in the lives of others.
We each have our stories, our challenges, our demons, our addictions, our pain, our trauma, our grief and our issues. We suffer. We heal. We scar. We press on. Our time here on earth comprises of a series of experiences and our experiences shape us into who we are today.
Some of the stories are in the middle, where the end result has yet to be determined. Some of the stories have had closure. Some of the stories are just beginning.
Regardless of what part of our life story we are currently in, we are all on a path individually, but also together.
We need each other. We connect with each other. We rely on each other. We lean on each other. If we don’t, we suffer even more. We think that we can do it all alone and that we don’t want to bother other people, but reaching out is the very thing that we need to do sometimes.
I hope that you are able to connect when you need it the most. I hope that you are able to heal from your trauma. I hope that you realize, you are not alone. Your story is significant and you are valuable. Just remember that, when you are in the midst of struggle.
We are all fighting battles. We can remember that as well, when dealing with others. Other people are hurting too; maybe more than you realize. Let’s be kind to one another. You just might be a catalyst to their healing. Let’s practice compassion for ourselves and others. Let’s all heal, together.
A thought to ponder:
‘If someone were to pay you ten cents for every kind word you said about people and collect five cents for every unkind word, would you be rich or poor?’ ~ Author unknown, quoted by Jacob M. Braude