Thinking about the importance of communication on “World Gratitude Day”, the day I initially started writing this, I can honestly say, I learned a lot about communication, friendship, and gratitude for them both on a recent long-distance driving trip. For years, I have driven these fairly long trips, without needing diversion. This time, though, in the midst of some stress, I found myself feeling the need for someone to talk to, to have genuine communication and a real conversation about something of importance.
You see, this community has spoiled me in a good way. I am now used to talking with others about PTSD, or related topics, publicly and privately. We have people at all levels of PTSD experience. Someone to talk with is also available at most times.
What does it all mean? Communication has become a regular part of my world. When I get stressed, I need that communication to get through more easily. Communication is support, guidance, and security in many ways.
With PTSD, initially, and many tines thereafter, one feels like one is spinning in the world…no direction, no help, nobody to understand. Communication is an antidote to this. It shatters the lies PTSD is known to tell.
First of all, if you are talking with someone, obviously, you are not alone. One lie shattered. If the conversation is about PTSD, then you and the other person in the conversation are creating a direction that will work for the immediate time and problem. There are the help and the direction right there together. The support adds immeasurably to a feeling of security.
While communicating with those who do not have PTSD about PTSD can be a challenge, credit must be given for the attempt at understanding. Another person engaging at least breaks the loneliness, and some will actually end up learning and understanding, at least in part. With PTSD, sometimes you take what help you can get in a crisis.
As to World Gratitude Day as an important reminder, I am thankful for many things. The chat community, a group of understanding people willing to help at any time, is a blessing in my life. I truly believe that God, after many years, put this group of people in my life so that I can understand myself and also help someone else where I might have more experience in something, or just a little time to give.
Encouragement and acknowledgement go so much further than we realize. Those in this group know that from the point of view of helping, and also being helped by 0thers along the way. The fact that we understand the whole picture makes us more valuable, and also possibly less intimidating.
Personally, I believe that since crises don’t happen on a schedule, having others around at any time of day or night (made easier by chat members being all over the world and in all time zones), having casual conversations, and not having to make an official appointments, gives us the freedom and confidence to better and more quickly get help in the moment. That is in no way to say anything against formal treatment options. But for those who either don’t have that option, or need stress relief in the interim, the constant, immediate availability is a godsend.
We are the most useful when we communicate with others to help in a way that remembers our gratitude when we were in the same place of agitation and confusion they are in now. Relating to others in their time of need is crucial to helping them move forward. Communication is another word for healing…