• Karen Law

Moving on as we emerge from lockdown

You have an incredible inbuilt, automatic, safety mechanism to alert you to danger and take steps to preserve life. All living beings have it. Unfortunately for human beings our modern way of living and our cognitive brain function can interfere with it working properly or effectively.

broken pottery, some coins and a spear tip
ancient remnants of civilisation

If it is working as it should, you react to any threat or stress. You can keep yourself safe, the threat is dealt with appropriately and you have resources to recalibrate. You are considered to have resilience.


Thousands of years ago the stress was from predators or finding food and water or keeping warm for example. In modern times the stress is different. There’s so much more kinds of stress and it’s more complicated. But our safety mechanism reacts the same way.


Imagine, if you will, that you carry a container or bucket that all the threats, stresses and tension of daily life get stored in. These are mostly all trauma, with a little t. This imaginary bucket has a valve or tap near the bottom which can allow you to drain it. Lots of positive things like good relationships, eating well, exercise, good sleep hygiene, enjoying your job, participation in hobbies, a social life, regular massage and other self care all have the ability to open the tap.

The Trauma Bucket


All the positive things that open the tap to empty trauma create a reserve in the bucket that we can call resilience. But what if these things are curtailed or perhaps the tap has been tampered with and you can’t seem to open it? Serious Trauma, trauma with a big T, has the potential to really impact the tap.


The tap will open less or even not at all. But the daily traumas still keep occurring. They begin to fill the bucket up. As you go about your daily life carrying this bucket gets harder. Compare carrying a bowl with a few millimetres of water in the bottom to one that is nearly full from one place to another. The water in the full bowl slops around getting dangerously close to spilling over. So you might become more irritable, get angry easily, have problems sleeping, use food or alcohol to self soothe, seem to get ill easily, lose interest in things, lack motivation, struggle to concentrate, feel so tense that your body aches. Can you think of others?

There’s less and less room for anything else so what is going to happen if something major happens? Suddenly the bucket overflows. It’s a right mess! You just can’t cope well at all.

rough drawing depicting the trauma bucket with a working tap and one with  broker tap full of trauma

Covid 19 and national lockdowns


We have all just experienced 14 months of fear, uncertainty and loss (of activity, jobs, people, health) with less, or even no, ability to enjoy the things we would normally do to open the tap to our buckets. Even if you feel you got off lightly I’m sure you might recognise that your bucket had less room for resilience than normal. Covid19 and lockdowns have been an added trauma none of us planned for.

Some of you might even have found that the added stress has stirred up the base layer in your bucket and old, long forgotten traumas, or possibly Trauma, came back up to confront or Trigger you.

So what can you do about it? Well, we’re all going to have to get used to a new normal. We will adjust. But perhaps you now recognise you can use a bit of help to process everything that 2020 and 2021 so far has thrown at you or dredged up. Yet you don’t want medications, or to end up on a long waiting list for a limited number of sessions within the underfunded, under resourced mental health system. Let’s face it, there’s going to be a much higher demand for it now.


Recovery

If you want to take charge of your recovery I can help. Together we can make sure the tap is working efficiently and allowing your bucket to drain.


I have tried and tested methods which SAFELY allow you to release tension and stress which then gives you a lot more resilience. Please get in touch for an initial chat to discover how, working together, I can help you transform.


close up of pink cherry blossom
Cherry blossom in spring

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