Despite the popularity of the iconic Friends TV show, it’s fair to say the generation of viewers who grew up with Ross, Chandler, Joey, Monica, Phoebe, and Rachel might have acquired a rather disturbing view of traumas. Throughout the show, the writers have mocked a variety of traumatic events, turning the characters’ worst fears and moments of loneliness into amusing jokes. The charming and bubbly Phoebe Buffay, for instance, portrayed by Lisa Kudrow, is a character who suffered great losses in her childhood including the death of her mother by suicide when Phoebe was only a teenager. The viewer, however, never gets to witness any of the lasting consequences of the traumas on her life.
While it’s fair to say the Friends was always designed to a light-hearted and entertaining series, it’s also important to notice that life traumas rarely disappear without leaving a mark. When you are confronted with a difficult and challenging situation, you are likely to question your sanity, your lifestyle, your identity, and your overall life decision. More often than not, trauma – regardless of the trigger or the perceived gravity of the situation – shakes your very core. Unlike Phoebe, who is a reasonably confident character in Friends, more individuals who experience a traumatic event tend to develop feelings of discomfort. They don’t feel safe in their lives anymore, let alone their direct surroundings. Ultimately, trauma, however benign it might appear, throws you off-balance. It robs people of their certitude and exposes them an uncomfortable, creeping, and crippling emotion: Fear. You can have the sensation that you locked into a scary place where anything and everything is out there to get you. There is no magic potion that can help you to get rid of your trauma. It takes time and effort, but the only way forward is to escape your scary place.
Is there any help available?
It never seems that way, but you need to remind yourself that, however scary and solitary your mind prison is, you are never alone. You don’t need to deal with the consequences of a dramatic event by yourself. There is always support available if you know where to look. Someone who has been involved in a traumatic accident can find the help they need with legal advisors, such as someone from the team of Robinette Legal Group’s personal injury attorney experts to provide legal and financial guidance. Additionally, if the trauma has caused a physical injury, you will also be able to discuss your concerns and path to full or partial recovery with qualified doctors who are experienced in dealing with similar injuries. When everything feels dark and lonely, you can attend therapy to talk to someone about your emotions and fears. Of course, while support is there and active, it doesn’t mean that it can erase your trauma. But what it can do is give you the key to take a step past and refuse to let unfortunate events define you. Seeking help is the first step of your emotional healing process.
Can you make your space more comfortable to live in?
More often than not, recovering happens at home. While there’s no denying that some traumas can require hospital and clinical stay, you will always go back to your home when your body is out of danger. Hometime means time to soothe your emotions. At this point, your surroundings play a significant role in your healing. The scary place we mention is not around you. It lives inside your mind. But if you want to be able to leave it behind, you need to inject comfort and coziness in your physical location. You need to make the home feel homely again so that you can forget about the scary place. Something as simple as learning some DIY skills to add cute homemade elements can go a long way in building a connection to your home. The more you reclaim each room at home, the more likely you are to detach yourself from your fears.
Do your friends know what you’re going through?
Those who have been through trauma and found the way back swear that being able to talk about it can make a significant difference. It’s not just a matter of engaging with a therapist. It’s about opening up to your friends and letting them know what your world currently looks like. It can be daunting – nobody is comfortable talking about mental health openly – but with each time you can verbalize your emotions, you gain a better grip on them. You can not only explain how you feel but also let people know how they can support you. The more you can talk about your scary place, the less it exists. For many, taking the first leap of faith and opening up to others is difficult and painful. But there’s light at the end of the tunnel.
Find new hobbies to distract yourself
Stress is a crucial factor when it comes to reconnecting with your true self after trauma. People who don’t understand how to manage their stress struggle to escape their scary place. More often than not, they can be tempted by unhealthy coping mechanisms. Distractions, however, can be a game changer. Finding a hobby that takes your mind off your fears for a moment can gradually help you to relieve your anxiety. Something as simple as looking after your garden can bring peace into your routine, without requiring a lot of efforts. Scrapbooking can also give you a new angle to explore when documenting your interests or your visits.
Get out of your comfort zone
When the routine doesn’t erase your fears, it’s time to throw it away. Stepping out of your comfort zone is scary. However, when you can’t find comfort and safety in your day-to-day habits, change is the only thing that can renew your luck. It doesn’t happen overnight; you’ll find that your mind opposes anything that unknown. But with a compelling reason, you can learn to push your boundaries and redefine yourself.
Trauma is often compared to a mental prison. But, what your recovery path can teach you is that you are the only one who holds the key to your cell. Don’t let yourself remain trapped inside. Escaping the scary place begins the day you realize that your mind has been holding yourself, hostage, all the time.