SURVIVING CHANGE

Sooner or later, in everyone’s life, things are going to change. I don’t know why changes are so hard on us; maybe because we are afraid they’re going to hurt us in some terrible way. The thing is though, we are all going to have to adapt to change at some point in our lives. If we know it’s coming, perhaps it will be easier to accept if we stop running away from it and face it head on.

When I worked as a long-term care ombudsman, one of our mantras was “Change is good.” Our staff meetings used to start by having us recite out loud: “Change is good!” Lord, we all got sick of hearing it. No one really believed it, but it seemed to make swallowing whatever variation was coming in the program easier if we tried to take it with a positive outlook.

Now, years later, I have to say it was probably a smart step on my employers’ part. Change is inevitable, but by trying to help us think of it as being a positive thing, it was easier to actually accept those changes.

One of the things I’ve noticed with PTSD is that those who live with it tend to be inordinately resistant to change. It seems that maintaining in the usual environment is about all that can be managed and any changes really cause problems. It might be easier if we realize that nothing stays the same forever; stagnant waters are not healthy and neither is having everything stay the same in our lives. Change doesn’t mean that things are going to fall apart and cause us to explode. It just means growth is taking place…and that’s not a bad thing.

So the next time you’re looking at a change you don’t want to embrace, think about how important it is for you let yourself experience change in your life. It’s how you grow! You don’t want to stagnate either, so change really can be a good thing. Give it a try!

HAPPY JULY 4th

I think of myself as all-American; you know, the apple pie, baseball, and hot dogs kind of person?  But I get a little conflicted over the 4th of July with the fireworks and all.  You see, I know how fireworks can act as triggers for flashbacks to war time experiences.  I know how that affects veterans and family members and causes so much pain and sorrow.  For that reason, I’d just as soon leave the small fireworks alone altogether.  You know, setting off firecrackers can sound just like a barrage of gunfire, and I don’t want to trigger those memories for any of the men or women who served.

I’ll can understand those who want to watch the big fireworks display at night, but those small fireworks that invade the privacy of individual homes, no, I’ll pass them by.  It causes too much pain for the few moments’ worth of fun it might bring.  I’ll still be as true-blue without the bang!