After the Crash……….there’s the Impact

Posted: March 23, 2010 in Mothers Against Drunk Driving
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Changing of the Seasons

Cyndee McCarthy, MADD Victim Advocate

 Changing of the seasons reminds those of us, impacted by the crime of drunk driving, of things we sometimes wish we could forget.  Good times: an afternoon spent at the fireplace during the last snow in March, sitting at the table and coloring Easter Eggs, young adults running in and out of the stores looking for their Prom attire, and special dates such as Mothers Day and Fathers Day will hold a new meaning. No matter how different we feel time still goes by and emotions seem to change along with the seasons. 

 As a MADD Victim Service Advocate, my advice is to stay focused on what is important through  every season.  Remember to take care of yourself. Below are just a few steps that may help you get through the seasons. 

 Survive One Hour at a Time.

The pain that devours you is so overwhelming that everything you do to manage your survival has to be broken down into tiny, manageable increments. Before you know it, a whole day has gone by and you have managed to survive.

 Survive One Day at a Time.

Begin to live one day at a time, accepting the loving comfort that family and friends are so willing to give, but know that some down time of quiet solitude is also important. At the end of each day somehow you managed to drift off into sleep, and the next day would come, even if you didn’t necessarily welcome it.

 Take Care of Yourself.

You are no longer the person you used to be. It’s like having a stroke and you have to learn to walk and talk again, except in this case, you may remember to walk and talk, but you don’t know how to eat, sleep, dream, or love. You may not even remember how to care for yourself or for anyone else. All of these have to be learned again. In essence, you begin to reinvent yourself. Just do something for you! And don’t feel guilty about being selfish about it. You can’t do anything for others if you don’t take care of yourself first.

Have Faith.

“Be the Miracle”. We each can be a miracle no matter what situation we may find ourselves in. Again, believe it to be true for you and it will be. How will you know if it works if you haven’t tried it?

 Keep Yourself Busy.

Find something to do to keep yourself occupied so that you aren’t so caught up in that cycle of loneliness and despair. Try to occupy your own time and mind with something that will make you feel useful. We can always talk to ourselves if there is no one else to talk to.

Keep a Journal.

This will help to alter a negative into a positive. Even if writing has never been one of your hobbies, you must realize that what you are experiencing is incredibly unique. The important thing to say here is this: I keep writing about what I am experiencing so I won’t have to hold it all in.

 Give Yourself Permission to Grieve.

Despite what other people need or expect of you. Realizing that other people can’t fathom your pain, it is yours and yours alone.

  Give of Yourself and Connect to Others Who Hurt.

Do volunteer work, plunge into a project in which you comfort others, and/or allow your love to manifest itself in doing positive, creative things that can enrich other peoples’ lives. The best way to cope with pain and sorrow is to console another.

 Article by Roe Ziccarello of Sound Feelings Publishing

 Here at MADD we work to “Help Survivors Survive” If you have been impacted by a drunk driving crash contact us here at MADD Nebraska:  If you need immediate assistance please call our crisis line: 1-877-MADD HELP


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