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How to Process Our Collective Global Trauma

posted by Jason Kottke   Jun 23, 2020

Do you feel tired, scared, angry, sad or numb? Are you having trouble concentrating or sleeping? How about all of the above? Because of the events of the last few months — *gestures around at the pandemic, violence against Black people, climate change, global inequality, , etc. etc. etc.* — many people are experiencing trauma on an individual level as well as together on a collective level. Erin Biba interviewed psychologist Dr. Renée Lertzman, an expert on large scale trauma, about what we can do to address how we’re feeling in order to move past feeling like shit and become more useful to ourselves, our families, and our communities.

The next really important piece is stabilizing ourselves with the bigger context. Really putting things in perspective that this is an event that is in fact legitimately destabilizing. It is stretching all of us in ways we haven’t anticipated and it’s important to have that context to make sense of what we’re experiencing and why. This is in fact, my brain is struggling to process what’s going on because it’s on a level that’s so beyond anything I’ve ever experienced before, so I’m struggling to even know how to be. Of course, I’m feeling this way, These are global events that are having all kinds of unexpected and traumatic impacts. How we live with that level of uncertainty is huge. Everyone is outside of their levels of tolerance right now.

“I’m struggling to even know how to be” is a really accurate summary of how I’ve been feeling recently. See also What To Do About Our Collective Pandemic Grief Before It Overwhelms Us and Trouble Focusing? Not Sleeping? You May Be Grieving.