Trauma what a terrifying word. When we are young we learn how to happy, it is very easy to be happy, we smile we laugh and we enjoy ourselves. We are taught at such an early age to be happy it is such a natural thing. Playing peek a boo with baby is so much fun , making a baby smile and laugh what a great thing. We have fun doing it and the joy we get back is equal to the joy we see in the baby’s face as he or she smiles and laughs along with us.
This week a friend, a very talented guitar player I have known for a ever long time came into the store to get one of my books and talk with me. He had a severe trauma happen in his life and needed help, he came to just simply talk to me for the first time about it.. He told me how he hides his depression from his sister’s death by drinking and always being the clown and putting on a happy face because he doesn’t know how to deal with the trauma of her death in any other way.
He told me how going to see his doctor always ended in the same way “take these pills and you will get over it sooner or later”. But he never does and all the pills ever did was turn him into a zombie not feeling anything at all and never really dealing with the problems he actually had.
He told me why he began to drink and try to be the life of the party all the time. He knew that if he showed how he really felt that it would have a negative impact on everyone around him his friends his family everyone he knew and how he already lost his sister and couldn’t lose anyone else in his life by showing his emotion and how he really felt.
We talked about feeling happiness and how it is such a natural and great thing to feel .How as children we have never been taught to deal with sadness in a proper way that our parents were never taught to deal with it in a proper way. How a lot of people will use the phrases “you’ll get over it in time’. “ move on with you life “ and So on. It is not that these people who are saying these things are bad, but they to just do not know how to deal with trauma as well, they really don’t know how to help. But they want you to feel better because they are your friends and family, they do love you, and want you to feel better.
Traumas vary from person to person they are different for everyone. The way in which we deal with them is unique as well because we are all human all different. But the one thing I am noticing with all the people I am coming in contact with is the level of acting which takes place. The acting like nothing is wrong when really these people are dying on the inside, they are all doing the one thing that they were taught to do as baby’s smile and laugh on the outside because it is so much easier to do that than deal with the sadness and the loneliness and depression they are really feeling.
As I talked with my friend and explained that we are never taught to deal with trauma and extreme sadness in our lives, but we were taught to be happy. The tension eased on his face. This friend is a extremely talent guitar player and I asked him “you just never woke up one day and started playing guitar the way you play guitar did you?” He said with great pride “no I practised and practised for hours and hours on end”, I said “where did you learn the stuff you were practicing?” He replied “from my Guitar teacher”....I than told him “you have to learn to deal with negative emotion the same way you learned to play your guitar ”. He smile and said “I get it I need a teacher! “ I said “yes you do”. I talked with him for a while longer and he took one of my therapist’s cards as well as my book. He then told me “it is time to learn how to deal with my sister’s death, So I can go on to live a happy life. She would have never wanted me to be this sad.. for so long”( ten years he has been suffering)
Dealing with negative emotion is not a natural thing, dealing with trauma is not a natural thing. But there is help! You can learn how to be happy again you just need the proper tools!
To quote Bruce Cockburn like I do in my book! “Why I Run”. “Nothing worth having doesn’t come without some kind of fight,You gotta kick at the darkness till it bleeds day light”
“Only with open Conversation can we kill the stigma behind depression, let’s start talking and kill it together!”