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Trauma can be overcome

By Anne Mukei | September 28th 2014

For the past two weeks, the media extensively covered the commemoration of Westgate mall terror attack.

As a journalist, I must admit that it was done well.

However, whenever I saw yet another news clip or a newspaper headline on the same, I wondered whether this was really the way to go about it.

In my opinion, local media houses revisited the terror incident and shouted about it so much, as if they were out to outdo each other.

Of course all of it was well-intentioned and came from a good place.

Nonetheless, I shudder to imagine what those who were directly affected by the unfortunate event underwent.

Those who lost their loved ones, their property, their speech or limbs in the attack must have had a painful time being reminded of the incident over and over again.

Trauma is often sudden and violent — it is real and can happen to anyone.

Actually, at any given moment, the best of us are trying to overcome some form of trauma, for, life is not always simple and happy.

Every other while, life presents to us issues that torment our very cores, issues that need to be worked on if we are to stop hurting.

Some traumatic incidents are minor while others are major.

Some are truly damaging and take time to heal, yet some can easily be overcome.

Like Musician Alex Lifeson said, the shock of any trauma, changes your life. It is more acute in the beginning and after a little time you settle back to what you were. However, it leaves an indelible mark on your psyche.

I once had a damaging experience that traumatised me.

I was so broken and no matter how much I wanted the matter to go away, it just would not.

It was not enough talking to my dear and close ones.

I found myself talking to strangers at the mall — I called random phone numbers, just to talk. It was heart breaking.

That is all in the past now but I shudder when I remember the traumatising season, or when something triggers memories of that time.

Here are ways to overcome the ugly face of trauma.

• Talk to friends and family.

A problem shared is a problem halved. Talking will help you realise that worse things have happened to others. It will make you realise how strong you are.

• Pray. Talk and pray to a higher being.

This is especially important when things around you no longer make sense.

Many prayerful and spiritual people will say that when you let God handle your weighty matters, things appear easier.

• Read inspiring literature. Watch inspiring movies. Your mind will become more exposed and you will be filled with more hope for tomorrow.

• Remain positive and note that no matter how long it takes, the haunting moments will surely pass.

Time is a healer and even though we may not realise it, with each passing second we become better.

Then you will look back and note that the trauma you underwent was just but a passing cloud.

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