Years ago, I read a book on the Rwandan genocide. I’ll never forget one scene in particular. The journalist who wrote the book was visiting a village. He was with his group and his guide when he heard a scream from a woman coming from the nearby village. The first scream was followed by a number of screams from within the community. He asked his guide what was happening and the guide explained it was an alarm system. I cry, you cry. The first meant the woman was in the distress, the following cries meant, “Hey, we hear you. We’re coming.”
How often do we feel alone in our distress? How often are we met with “Oh, it’s not that bad”, or “At least…” (no matter how that sentence ends it’s not helpful), or we’re met with complacency? When what we need is to know someone hears us, they feel our distress with us—I cry, you cry. And they come running. Not walking, not when it’s convenient; they come as fast as they can.
We all know there’s an opioid epidemic in America right now. Opiates are pain relievers and I can’t help but wonder about the pain in America. It spans across the generations—no one is exempt from pain. And “pain demands to be felt”. From elementary school kids to the elderly, people are in pain. Healthy relationships release natural opioids in the brain. Relationships are natural pain relievers. So, what would happen if when I cry, you cry? What would happen if I cried out for help and my community came running? What would it be like if we felt seen, and heard, and our pain felt by someone else? I have a feeling those painful seasons of life wouldn’t hurt so badly.
At Restoration Hope Counseling, we’re here to walk with you through those painful seasons. If you need to feel seen and heard in your distress, we’re here. We can talk about your options and figure out what might be most beneficial: counseling, EMDR, or neurofeedback. Neurofeedback can also be a great intervention to support those working to get sober.
Things you can do during those painful seasons of life:
- Your local community center has leagues and
classes for all ages.
- In you’re in the Littleton area, check out https://www.ifoothills.org
- MOPS—Mothers of Pre-schoolers
- This is a nation-wide group supporting mother with young children.
- Find support groups relevant to what you’re
- Adoption, parents of kids with Autism, grief, etc.
- Get involved with a small group at a local church.
Supporting those struggling with suicidality
- If you’re worried about a loved one being
suicidal, here are some things you can do:
- Ask—asking is not going to give them the idea if they haven’t thought of it already.
- Do they have a plan?
- If yes, do they have the means to carry out that plan?
- If yes, on a scale of 1-10, how likely are they to carry out this plan?
- If you are concerned about someone’s safety, call the non-emergency line for the police department to request a Welfare Check. If the situation is emergent, call 911. The non-emergency line in Littleton is 303-794-1551
For those struggling with substance use:
- Find a treatment center
- Find support groups
- The Phoenix is all about being active and supporting each other in sobriety while also working to break the stigmas attached to addiction and recovery.
- Celebrate Recovery is a faith-based 12-step program. The program is offered in several states as well as a number of churches in the Littleton community.
*The book referenced: “We wish to inform you that tomorrow we will be killed with our families” by Philip Gourevitch
* “Pain demands to be felt”: John Green, The Fault in Our Stars
*The information contained herein is not therapeutic advice nor a substitute for therapy. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any mental health problem. If you are located within the United States and you need emergency assistance please call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room. If you are located within Colorado you may also call the Colorado Crisis Line at 844-493-TALK (8255).