Written by my friend C.C.R.
“Out of the Darkness, into the Light”. These short seven words explain unmistakably the effects of healing the wounds of PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) . While reading my daily inspirational “quotes”, I came across this one. We see and hear it often in religious sermons. For the many whose lives have been relentlessly challenged by life’s experiences and survived only by the grace of a higher power or some special intervention, we have an intimate understanding of going from darkness to light.
Sometimes we may reflect on how exactly we got to a “lighter” place: lighter by the brilliance of radiance in our days, lighter in our spirits that carry a heavy burden, unseen, unfelt, and often times misunderstood, and lighter in our physical bodies that endured the trauma from our past.
The answer to how we got to the light may not be as important as the blessing, we are here. In reality, we don’t remain in this space of lightness every moment. Yet, when we experience these twinkles of happiness, we feel a profound sense of peace. A peace that lets us know we are not alone in our battles. A peace that validates we are loved and cared for during our conflicts. A peace that leaves us with the hope that when we are thrown back into the abyss, we CAN and WILL be able to climb back up to the light. Just trusting this inner knowing is what gets us through the dark days and nights. It is what enables us to wake each morning with new expectations for the day. Without such trust it would be impossible to continue the journey, for the path is too unpredictable.
Healing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is built on the trust that through inner strength and outer resources we can not only survive and mend, we can thrive. Trauma can cause immense changes in our brains and bodies. It is not merely a matter of ’sucking it up’ that will move us toward better physical and emotional health; it is taking action to get that help needed for healing. For most physical illnesses this is obvious.
If one has a life-threatening disease, he/she would get outside, professional help. She would endure the devastating effects of chemo and radiation to survive. He would go through open heart surgery to repair the damaged organ expecting months of rehabilitation and physical therapy. However, with emotional trauma, some in society still seem to attach a stigma. The only weapon for dissolving the stigma is knowledge. And the only way knowledge blossoms is through openness, education, and courage.
You see it will take each of us to continue to share our insights with others. Truthfully, it is far easier to remain silent, hiding our wounds from the eyes of [the] world. Yet, knowledge does not grow in such darkness. It requires light, nourishment, and valor. So it is up to each of us to contribute to the understanding of PTSD and how one can move “out of the darkness, into the light.”
Blessings and continue mending..