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Every day feels like I’m in a state of hyperactivity. Perceptual awareness overload of what needs to be done and when. A never-ending to-do list where my eyes are wide and my soul is fading. Hypervigilance to productivity is a slave. 

Most days, I’m scared. Scared that one day my heart will just stop. I’ll keel over. Dead from this anxiety. Depression. Cyclone of thoughts swirling in my mind. Blurring my vision. 

Scared of what will happen if I stop. Rest. Take a few minutes to not be productive. To actually allow my mind the time and space to breathe. Think. Sit with itself. And that’s a scary place to be. 

Because we’re not created to be machines that never stop, we’re human beings with flesh and bone, soul and marrow, joint and spirit. 

An alarm on my phone startles me. A national alert system to keep me safe

Then why is my heart pounding? My eyes glued over the screen. My hands are shaking even though I know it’s just a test. Perhaps because trauma is written into us, it’s not something easily erased. And the smallest trigger makes us jump like the monster out of the closest into our realities. 

In his profound recollection of the human experience, Bessel Van Der Kolk explains how one’s body keeps the score in almost every facet of life. From big T trauma, like the Holocaust, 9/11, or WWII, to little t trauma, such as divorce, chaotic upbringings, and car accidents, trauma is trauma, and our world needs to know how to respond. As a Christian, I think our Churches especially need this guidance. 

How can those within the Church respond to these mental health issues? By offering comfort, hope, and transparency to those who are hurting.