Despair and Trauma

Hi, all! The day dawns bright and clear here in my home town of Novato, just 30 minutes north of San Francisco. It holds promise of peace for me and I hope for you also.

Yesterday’s search term really spoke to me. It was “despair and trauma” and it spoke to me because I experienced trauma that caused me great despair throughout my life as an adult. My upbringing was physically and verbally violent, traumatic for me, and throughout my adult life, I drank heavily to quell the feelings of despair I felt over the incidents I experienced.

Sometimes, I got drunk enough that I lost all self-control and found myself wailing over my despair. I would keen for hours until I was cried dry. Even in sobriety, I experienced despair over the issue that I saw no purpose in having had experienced the abuse I did; there was no purpose in it other than to make my life miserable.

Then one day, I had the opportunity to be useful to another person who was struggling, simply by relaying what had happened to me and what I had been doing to heal from it all. He was so grateful for the information, he almost started crying.

As I walked to my car, I started crying because I suddenly realized my upbringing had been of use. I was crying tears of realization, of joy. My background had been something that allowed me to connect to someone who was suffering, and I was able to have compassion for their plight.

If I never would have suffered as I did, I never would have been on the healing journey I was, and what I learned never would have been helpful to that man. See how my upbringing suddenly became useful to another? I did, and my despair disappeared and has not returned since that day about 6 years ago.

You, too, perhaps, can quiet your despair simply by letting your experience with trauma be known to someone else who is struggling. Then, share what you have done to heal from that despair, things that have been useful for you, things that have given you even a little bit of hope.

It is my hope that you discover, as I did, that your heart soars because you used your trauma and despair to be useful to another. It is my hope that you find peace.