Sitting with someone who has PTSD can be one of the most joyful and uplifting experiences of your life, until they are startled or otherwise feel unsafe.
Just like red light wisdom provides space to pray, so does this moment of deer in the headlights, sit up straight, hold your breath, don’t move hypervigilance. It may very well be one of the hardest places to be.
Confronting post-traumatic stress, calling it out, being willing to talk about it and share your vulnerabilities, shed tears, just completely let your guard down when you have held it up for so long, might be one of the hardest moments in your life when you have PTSD.
Most of the time PTSD impacts some of the strongest, bravest, men and women who have fought some of the hardest battles on the outside. Most did not have a choice in the situation and now their lives are forever changed.
They told themselves they had been through the worst. They built up a wall and managed to block it all out for a while, but it slowly began to eat at their soul and eventually began to manifest itself in ways that they never knew. They try to convince themselves that they are the same person, but the experience changed them. Though not forever.
What they did not see coming, know or understand is that they were also picking up the tools to stay the course. They know how to troubleshoot and problem solve to maximize their potential. They know when to pause and how to seek God’s counsel when it feels like they are flashing back. So now, in this moment of uncertainty and feeling unsafe they know who to call…
Not quite, but we’re almost there. They call their support team or the Big 5 if it helps you to think in terms of basketball.
The Big 5 is especially tailored for you, you will want to come up with either 5 people or a combination of people, groups, and resources that you can turn to in moments of hypervigilance or feeling tense, on guard, or on edge.
An example of the Big 5:
Two people who are with you on a fairly frequent basis who know and understand your world. This could be a parent, your spouse, or close friend.
A counselor who is experienced in working with PTSD who can provide you with guidance and coping strategies for moments like we just discussed.
A support group specifically tailored to PTSD that can provide a safe space to connect with others where you can share your experiences and insights.
An online group dedicated to PTSD and mental health that can help you to connect with individuals who have been through similar experiences and can provide a sense of validation and understanding.
PTSD is not a life sentence. It is a place from which you can learn and grow. Some of our greatest hurts, our greatest pains, heartbreaks, and stressors, are what make us into great people if we can only stay the course.
If you or someone you love has PTSD consider sitting down to create a support team. On a piece of paper commit to using The Big 5 - identify who and what they are and how you believe they can help. Then get back to living that joyful and uplifting life you were living. And maybe treat your family to a night of Ghostbusters.
Heavenly Father, thank you so much for helping us to confront PTSD. We ask Lord, that you help every person, every family impacted by PTSD identify their support team, their Big 5. Help each of us to stay the course and live the joyful and uplifting life that you have called us to. Lord, we know that life is not always sunshine and rainbows, but walking with you God there can be sunshine and rainbows everyday. Thank you Lord for partnering us with people who understand. Have a beautiful day God! Amen.
Ya’ll have a beautiful one!
All My Love,
Get key information on trauma, PTSD and treatment from the VA.
For more information about Get Strong with Jen! click here.
To view 30 Days of Prayer for PTSD - Day 6 click here.