I saw this article today about an amputee softball team, made of a bunch of folks who were injured during their service, the kind of people we all would typically view as PTSD sufferers, and I really found this part of the article interesting way above and beyond battlefield trauma:
Yet, Schnurr says, there’s no denying the salve. “There are so many advantages to just talking and not isolating,” she says in reference to the Warriors. “Even if they weren’t amputees, feeling connected is key. I mean, just working together towards a goal? That’s very powerful.”
“All of us were injured,” says Cody Rice of his Warriors teammates. “We didn’t think we’d be able to do normal things again. But you get on the team, and you’re like, ‘Oh, I can do that.’ You realize eventually that there’s nothing holding you back except yourself.”
I’ve often talked about the importance of connection. It’s been mentioned in regards to suicide prevention, depression treatment, child trauma recovery and just about everywhere else that we talk about mental health issues and abuse. There’s a reason for that. It’s so much easier to feel hopeful about ourselves and the future when we know there are other people with us.
It’s the isolation that creates despair and hopelessness. When there’s no one there to remind us that we are more than our trauma, more than our struggles, it can have a devastating effect.
That’s why it’s so important that we are willing to not only tell our stories, to share our own histories and healing so that anyone reading them, or meeting us, can know that they are not alone, but also why those of us who have not been where they are, simply sit and listen.
You may not know what someone in your life dealing with these things is going through, but you can make sure they aren’t alone. It goes a long way.