I’ll never forget the day I opened an email and saw this word in capital letters …
My mentor had used it in a sentence, “What you are experiencing is NORMAL.”
It was about a year or two post-accident and my email to her contained a rant about my surprise and disappointment concerning the emotional roller coaster I was on. One moment I was thankful that I was alive … the next I was cursing my life. Then guilt would be added to the mix because I felt like I wasn’t dealing with my trauma/crisis well … and we’ve all been told how a crisis brings out the true character of a person. (not sure about that thought)
Along with not enjoying the roller coaster, I wondered if I was losing my sanity and would end up back in the hospital, this time for emotional issues instead of physical ones.
“What you are experiencing is NORMAL.”
Those words helped me take a deep breath. Others have been here. Someone else has been on this ride. I’m all about being my own unique self in most of life, but there was something about knowing I wasn’t alone in my crisis-coping skills (or lack thereof) that brought me comfort.
She went on to give me coping skills …
Give yourself time. Be still. Just as your physical body needed time and proper care to recover, your emotions also need both. Admit your losses. Allow yourself to grieve for what you lost. Go for professional counseling.
So if you have experienced any losses … obviously the lost of a loved one, but also any physical loss due to injury or disease, a job loss, a failed relationship or other losses … know that the emotional roller coaster that follows is NORMAL.
Admitting it is normal doesn’t mean that you use it as an excuse to not do the best you can with what you have, but it does mean you are aware and recognize the ride you are on. Emotional roller coasters take energy, so along with the coping skills mentioned above, make sure you get your rest and eat well.
Does knowing you are not alone with an experience bring you comfort? And any other coping suggestions for when we find ourselves on an emotional roller coaster?