How do you cope when tragedy strikes?

>> Friday, December 14, 2012

Ok, Ok...I know this is my third post in one day, and I know that that is a BIG blogging no no...especially after being on a blogging hiatus for over a month, but I felt God pushing me to write this, and really, who am I to argue???

What do you do when tragedy strikes?

How do you react?  

How do you cope?  

We are ALL different, and this is no more apparent than in the way that we deal with a tragedy.  Do you sit around, GLUED to the TV or do you try to ignore it...maybe you are somewhere in between.

Today's tragedy in CT has pushed many of us to find out how we cope, whether we wanted to know or not...I am SO blessed to be a Christian, and to be able to fall back on God, and know that he is in charge.  My heart goes out to those effected personally by the tragedy, as well as those watching at home who are effected.  The latter of those groups are the ones I would like to talk to in this post...

It is VERY important while watching and reading the news to remember your boundaries...What can you handle?  It is SO easy to be sucked into news footage, feeling sometimes almost like it is your duty to watch and share in the countries heartbreak.  Let me tell you right now, while you may share in the country's heartbreak, you do NOT have to focus your day on it...It is so easy to cross the boundary to obsessing without even realizing it...

I have never shared this, but feel the need to now...My wakeup call for this very fact came on 9/11.  I like most of the country, sat glued to the TV, watching the second plane hit, watching the towers fall, mourning with our nation.  When I wasn't watching the TV that day, I was listening to the day and week were consumed by the tragedy...As time went by, the news was less and less on the subject, life resumed, and while we never forgot 9/11, time heals us...

Here is the thing....had I been "normal", that would have been the end of it, but looking back, it was far from the end.  Even though I was not personally effected by 9/11, by looking back, I know that I entered a small state of paranoia and depression.  In addition to my mild depression, I also became paranoid about the area we live in, the fact that we have multiple military bases in the area, as well as having shipbuilding, AND a port, all make this area prime targets...I became complacent to the fact that if another attack were to happen, it would probably be on our area...It wasn't only that though....I also became paranoid with my personal health...crying myself to sleep multiple nights when I noticed ANYTHING off about my body....elevated heart rate, pain in my head, etc...I was worried I may not make it through the night...(looking back most, if not all of the things that worried me were probably brought on my stress/anxiety)

The point is not to bring back 9/11, or to add stress to anyone local that reads my blog.  The point is this...knowing myself, when something like this happens, I know not to run to the TV or stalk the news sites.  I know that by reading snippets from news sites, and friends posts, I get the news I need, I still mourn with my country, but without causing myself grief that may push me to cross that invisible line.

All that to say this...When something like this happens, be sure to step back and assess how you are handling things...It's ok to turn the channel, close that tab, etc...If later you want to go back to it, that's fine, but do so with a mindset that you won't let yourself get pulled over the edge.  Make yourself be self aware.

No one will think any less of you because you didn't see every newscast, read every heartbreaking account, etc.

You know yourself better than ANYONE else, 
do what's right for YOU!  

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