To most people, July Fourth is a day of honoring our nation’s independence, a time for celebrating our freedom. It’s a day filled with backyard barbecues, swimming, outdoor games, or maybe an impromptu picnic or trip to the lake. The finale is then topped off with a spectacular display of colorful confetti, and bright starburst lights in the night sky. Followed by “booms” and “bangs” and “ooohhs” and “aahhhhs” from the spectators below that seem to echo throughout the world. Sounds incredible, right?
For most people it probably is, but for our Veterans, First Responders, people struggling from PTSD/trauma, those in addiction recovery, and our furry four-legged friends, it’s a day that can turn into a horrible nightmare. The flashing lights and loud noises become a “trigger” and can easily throw someone into a trauma response, or relapse.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Before you go out and celebrate this year, check in on your family and friends. If you know someone that struggles, find out how you can support them. Maybe opt for an alternative activity instead of attending a fireworks display. Take your friend that’s in addiction recovery out for a nice dinner somewhere, instead of attending a party where he will be surrounded by all of the things he is trying to avoid. Stay home and play games with your family while your furry pets are inside where you can help keep them calm. And with the lack of rain this year, if you must watch fireworks, leave them to the professionals.
Let’s have a safe Fourth of July!
“Living with PTSD is like having a video in your head, that plays traumatic scenes at random in full color, high definition, full sounds, tastes, and smells, and you can’t find the remote.” -Janice Story