The American Psychological Association describes Post Traumatic Growth as an ability to make meaning out of something senseless – an ability to find positive change or a new appreciation for life. Those who experience this find a sense of personal strength and are able to focus on helping others.
Richard Tedeschi, PhD and Lawrence Calhoun, PhD first coined the phrase “Post Traumatic Growth” in the 1990s as they studied people who endure psychological struggles following adversity then begin to see positive growth afterward. Post Traumatic Growth is not a direct result of trauma, but is related to how the individual struggles as a result of the trauma.
Post Traumatic Growth (PTG) happens when someone who typically isn’t resilient experiences a traumatic event that challenges their beliefs. This event causes a psychological struggle, and finds a sense of personal growth. People experiencing PTG may find a new appreciation of life. Survivors seek out new, healthy relationships and experiences, and undergo spiritual changes. Of course, the ability to experience PTG depends on the trauma circumstances and timing. Studies by Tedeschi & Calhoun demonstrate that people who are open and extroverted are more likely to experience PTG -and women experience it more of then than men.
I was shocked when I first heard of PTG – we’ve all heard of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). We likely all know at least one person who has PTSD – someone who self-medicates with drugs or alcohol, or has panic attacks in seemingly mundane situations. I felt like I had been cheated – How could I not have known about PTG? Why is the focus on the associated “disorder” of trauma, but rarely the healthy ways some people are able to overcome it?
I decided to compile a list of those people I can think of who exemplify this ability to find meaningfulness in life and schedule activities involving those interests. Who did I miss?
Yesterday an article was floating around on social media about how we should stop wondering about when things will get back to normal because they never will. This is the new normal. After a solid moment of, “Excuse me, whoever you are, that can’t be right!”… I realized it was true. All night I thought about every aspect of my life. Every detail and how it will forever be different, impacted by this frightening moment in history. ✨ I’ve been up since 4:00, so got out of bed early and did some sun salutations. Greeted the day with tarot. As always, my card of the day helped me see a new way of thinking. ✨ Two of Wands. She’s ready. Determined. Planning. The world is hers. It’s time to plan, Witches. It’s time to decide what we will make of this new way of life. ✨ Maybe we don’t know yet. And that’s ok. Let’s focus our thinking from dread to planning. ✨ Planning for how we are going to keep our elderly safe. ✨ Planning for making sure our most at risk children are fed and educated. ✨ Planning for destroying capitalism and its ability to crush our most vulnerable friends and neighbors.
I’ve always been reading about animals and how their lives are impacted by the humans around them. ✨ From Born Free to Animal Liberation… From Watership Down to Animals in Translation… ✨ Sometimes life has led me away from helping furry creatures, but I’m always drawn back to them. ✨ As we consider the end of times, the apocalypse, the end of the world as we know it, I can’t help but feel grateful I’ve had an opportunity to live my dream of helping animals live better, more healthy lives. ✨ What are you grateful for? ✨
Spring Equinox: In like a fish, out like a ram. ✨ Recently, I posted about the Death card in tarot and how it signifies an ending, not necessarily a death. At the time of writing I didn’t realize what kind of ending we were about to witness. My intuition said the card signified the end of winter, the beginning of spring – a fresh start, a new season. ✨ What I didn’t tell you was I pulled the Death card two days in a row. The Death card was following me, trying to tell me this was a bigger situation than I could possibly realize ✨ Astrologers assure us the coronavirus was to be expected – 2020 was a time we knew some kind of chaos would take over the world. It’s a year of the Emperor, a year we look at structure and organization and decide if our current philosophies make sense. It’s time to look at the benefits and downfalls of capitalism and patriarchy. ✨ But with every ending comes a fresh start. Every winter welcomes a new spring, every night welcomes a new day. With each death comes a new beginning. ✨ How are you coping with coronavirus? What books are you reading? What movies are you watching?
It’s all feeling pretty scary out there these days. Coronavirus (COVID-19) has taken over our thoughts and our prayers – and hopefully our scientifically guided actions, too.
Here’s how I’m feeling: My face decided it’s time to look like I’m sixteen again. I can’t stop eating EVERYTHING. I had a sob fest every day last week and even hurt the feelings of two someones who most definitely didn’t need their feelings hurt.
Today at work I spoke to a bunch of people who are scared. Afraid they will lose their jobs. Afraid their loved ones might die. Afraid their pet will never have food or medication again because they’re certain the National Guard or Army or Navy is going to show up on their street and tell them they can’t leave their house ever again.
Usually during these insane moments off chaos in our world, I think back to that Mr. Roger’s quote everyone is familiar with: Look for the helpers. But these days, it doesn’t feel like the helpers have enough support to help. There are so many rumors and so much mis-information out there it’s hard to know. Someone told me she heard from a friend (is this true?) that the CDC staff walked out after a certain political figure spoke the other day because they were blamed for something that was his fault. Nurses and doctors are feeling overworked and scared. Many schools aren’t sure how to support their student populations who rely on going to school for breakfast and lunch (likely their only meals all week). Restaurant staff are out of work, most unexpectedly. And how in the world are we to be held accountable for this 25 person “social gathering” rule?
I keep sharing the new Modern Witch Tarot “Everything is Fine” card with loved ones. Ten swords in her arms, neck, legs – but she’s on her phone looking for coronavirus updates and hoping for the best.
And that’s all we can do, right? We can keep washing our hands, stay at home (if possible), and keep praying to every god, goddess, or higher power we can think of to keep our loved ones safe.
How are you?
Have you showered?
Are you drinking water?
When was your last meal?
What are you reading?
What happy thing have you done for yourself today?
✨Cemeteries are full of unfulfilled dreams… countless echoes of ‘could have’ and ‘should have’… Don’t choose to walk the well-worn path to regret.✨ ~Steve Maraboli ✨ Took a walk with my little family around Broad Street Cemetery today while hiding away from #cornonavirus. Stay healthy, witches.
Regret can cause us to become cynical, angry, anxious, depressed. A fresh start is just what is needed, but know that with newness comes inexperience: Be kind to oneself on this new path, and be patient with others. ✨ Stuck in the house? Need a mental break? Let me read your tarot. Email readings available so you don’t need to fret about the #coronaviruspandemic. ✨ 5 card reading: $25 3 card reading: $13 Venmo: @bookwitchsalem ✨