Thursday, March 11, 2021

When we grieve, we heal

PTSD Patrol

Kathie Costos
March 11, 2021 

A year ago, our lives changed. In the last year we have lost over 520,000 people. Almost 29 million citizens have been diagnosed with COVID-19 according to the CDC. Millions have lost their jobs. Millions of people have had to seek out food distribution locations to be able to eat. The thing is, we may never know the true numbers of people who have suffered significant mental health conditions.

The UK has been doing research on the mental health of hospital workers.
The 'Frontline-COVID study', published today in the peer-reviewed European Journal of Psychotraumatology, surveyed 1,194 HSCWs, who worked in UK hospitals, nursing or care homes and other community settings, to identify and compare the rates of mental health disorder across different job roles and places of work.

The research, carried out just after the UK's first wave of COVID between 27 May and 23 July, 2020, found that:
58% of HSCWs met the threshold for any mental health disorder
22% met criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
47% had clinically significant anxiety
47% had depression.

With so many months from then to now, it is easy to understand that the numbers are higher and even easier to understand that the numbers here in the US are much higher.

Health care workers facing a mental health crisis, 60 Minutes
Nurses, doctors and others on the frontlines of the pandemic are facing a health crisis of their own, many feeling depressed, some considering therapy. Lowery spoke with health care workers across the country, including in Georgia's rural northeast, where one hospital is still grappling with the deadliest wave of COVID-19 they've ever seen.

Erine Raybon-Rojas, a critical care doctor at Northeast Georgia Medical Center, said her workload is still more than double what it was pre-pandemic -- with no relief in sight.

"Have there been moments that have felt like you're reaching a breaking point or have been difficult – where you have been overwhelmed?" Lowery asked Raybon-Rojas in an excerpt from the story that aired on "CBS This Morning."

"Every day," Raybon-Rojas said. "It's not uncommon for us to take a minute to go cry, I mean, I cry in my office all the time… Everything you do is about getting people better. And a lot of times it just doesn't happen. The lack of being able to help someone in their most vulnerable moments is the injury. The fact that it happens over and over and over again is what I think really causes the-- the damage."

Most of us know what it is like to lose someone we love. It feels like a part of us has been taken away. Some people may give you time to grieve but then end up telling you to get over it. They don't know what you are going through and they do not deserve the right to tell you when it is time to stop grieving. There is no timeline on healing. Everyone does it in their own time, and some people, never really get over the loss, but they do recover to a certain point. 

Do not fight your feelings. Don't judge yourself by thinking you should be stronger than what your heart is telling you that you need to do. If you need to cry, then cry. Honor your feelings. Talk about what you need to talk about. If it is how much you miss them, then do it. If you need to talk about how much you loved them or how much they suffered, then do it. If you don't have someone to talk to, then write it down, or find a support group. The more you honor your feelings, the more room you have inside your heart to let in warmer memories of them.

If you are a healthcare worker, you have been through things most of us will never understand. You have been a blessing. You were there to help save those you could. You were also there to comfort those you could not save, especially when their families could not be there in their final moments. You need to honor your feelings too. If you are angry because too many people did not take this seriously and only thought about themselves, then honor your anger too. You have no control over what other people do but only about what you do with your own life.



Hopefully, this time next year, we'll all be back to whatever normal was to us and we will remember all the goodness, all those we loved and those we miss, with warmer memories to comfort us.

Today the featured song is Peter Gabriel I Grieve because he put into words what most people cannot find to express their own pain. I hope it comforts you and lets you know that it is OK to grieve.

Remember, it is your life...get in and drive it!
#BreakTheSilence and #TakeBackYourLife from #PTSD

I did this one in 2008 for National Guard troops with the song I Grieve.


I Grieve
Peter Gabriel

It was only one hour ago
It was all so different then
Nothing yet has really sunk in
Looks like it always did
This flesh and bone
Is just the way that we are tied in
But there's no one home
I grieve, for you
You leave, me
So hard to move on
Still loving what's gone
They say life carries on
Carries on and on and on and on
The news that truly shocks
Is the empty, empty page
While the final rattle rocks
It's empty, empty cage
And I can't handle this
I grieve, for you
You leave, me
Let it out and move on
Missing what's gone
They say life carries on
They say life carries on and on and on
Life carries on in the people I meet
In everyone that's out on the street
In all the dogs and cats
In the flies and rats
In the rot and the rust
In the ashes and the dust
Life carries on and on and on and on
Life carries on and on and on
Life carries on and on and on and on
Life carries on and on and on
Just the car that we ride in
The home we reside in
The face that we hide in
The way we are tied in
As life carries on and on and on and on
Life carries on and on and on
Did I dream this belief
Or did I believe this dream?
Now I will find relief
I grieve

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Peter Gabriel
I Grieve lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC 

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