I overheard my daughter telling her five-year-old, “You’ll be going to kindergarten next year! Isn’t that exciting?” So they talked about how much fun it would be.
After about five minutes, my granddaughter said in a very small voice, “But what if I’m scared?”
That’s the question, isn’t it?
If you’ve had trauma or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), I’m sure you know how it feels to be scared. It’s a fear that settles over everything in your life. A feeling of “dread” upon awakening.
When fear is in control, suffering people often:
- Can’t get out of bed
- Use alcohol, drugs, porn, or constant busy-ness to suppress the fear
- Stay home with known fears instead of going out and running into new fears
- Sleep a lot; it’s exhausting to push down the fear inside while trying to look “normal” outside
So here we are with a bunch of scary things that caused our trauma or PTSD. Like any five-year-old starting kindergarten, we have to deal with the present fears so we can go play with those toys! Or, in our case, move forward toward wholeness and a brand-new life.
Start by doing what you can. Every day take a baby step. Stand up to fear. Stomp down the fear. If you believe in God, you’ll know he’s cheering you on to a healthier path. One day you’ll get an inkling of an idea about conquering fear. Explore that idea, talk to God, and keep moving.
For me, the inkling came when I recalled a special type of prayer. I explored it and asked about it. Then I did it, and I was on my way. You can read more about this in my book, “Hope After Trauma and PTSD.”
It wasn’t magic, but it worked. Most days, fear no longer controls me. Every day, I’m building a brand-new life.
What about you? What do you do if you’re scared?