Masking the Pain

It’s no shock that some people heal faster than others. Individuals respond to things differently, but everyone doesn’t have the understanding to consider this important fact when they see other people experiencing the pain of death, trials, and other hardships. My situation was no different. I can’t even begin to tell you the horrible things that some people said to me while I was grieving. These were people I looked up to, and I valued their opinion greatly. Just a couple of things that were said to me was “You’re not the only woman who has lost a husband” and “You’re still looking for sympathy aren’t you?”. That wasn’t the worst but I will spare you the rest for now. To hear such hurtful words come from a source I needed support from only made the pain worse. It made me feel alone. I felt misunderstood. I felt beat up, angry, sad, and hopeless. So, I did the one thing I have learned to do over many years of practice. I masked the pain. I pushed my feelings to the side and I isolated myself from everybody. I’m not proud of that decision and I would never suggest it, but it seemed like I had no other option at the time.

“They don’t ever have to worry about me” and “I don’t need anyone” is what I would tell myself to make me feel good about the decision to stay isolated. To keep me from dwelling in my grief and sorrow, I got busy. I got a job and threw myself into my new position. I worked hard and I went over and beyond what was asked. I wore the mask. When I got home I spent time with the girls and when they went to bed, I had homework to do for class. When homework was done and I couldn’t sleep, I was researching how to brand a business, how to make T-shirts, how to use email marketing, how to do this and that. I would spend endless hours researching while experiencing insomnia. I wore the mask. I started an online store called “Faithful Heart Co” which I did prematurely but I wanted to “Stay Busy”. I opened a second store on Etsy (which is doing well by the way). I did any and everything to keep my mind from thinking about the pain. I got promoted at work and that gave me even more responsibility. I wore the mask and I wore it well.

After so many months, I had an episode at work. My body was failing me. I was getting dizzy spells and it felt like the room was spinning. I don’t remember everything so I know I must have blacked out because the next thing I knew, I was in the hospital. The doctor said my blood pressure was high and I was having irregular heart beats. My regular doctor ran tests and said I was borderline diabetic. That scared me! It woke me up! I took a few days off to rest and I prayed a lot. While praying, I realized I hadn’t prayed in months. I realized I hadn’t stopped to even think about what I was doing to myself. The hard reality of all of this is this…

Unhealed trauma can make you physically sick. It will manifest itself emotionally and physically. A lot of people are walking around with physical symptoms including anxiety, heart palpitations, extreme fatigue, and panic attacks because of unhealed trauma. I had to sit myself down and re-evaluate everything because I wasn’t going to let my children lose a mother too. These precious babies are already missing out on having a father and I refuse to be another missing piece. I put an end to a lot of things to focus on what was important. I began eating better and paying attention to my body. I allowed my pain to surface so that I can deal with it in a healthy way instead of suppressing it. Today, I’m in the clear from having any illnesses. I’m not on any medications. I feel emotionally free which is an AMAZING feeling. I’m truly at peace now!

If I can say anything to help you today, I would encourage you to “Be Still”. Allow yourself to feel your emotions and pray for guidance on how to manage them properly. If you need clinical help, get it, but don’t suppress the pain any longer. Reach back to find the trauma in your life and face it head-on so that it no longer haunts you. Do the work! You owe it to yourself! As far as I’m concerned, as long as you’re breathing, you still have a purpose and God loves you enough to keep “Waking you up”.

Also, be sensitive to others when they are going through tough situations. Everybody isn’t as strong as YOU!

Remove the mask!

When people ask you how you’re REALLY doing, it’s probably because they can see that you’re wearing a mask. Take it off! Heal!

Encouragement

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