Overcoming trauma is a daily mental health battle that can be won but not won alone. I personally go through the side effects from the trauma I have faced thus far in my life. I had to put my pride aside and accept that it’s okay to not be okay. This acceptance helped me develop tactics to cope with trauma and create a balanced mental state.
I was in the 7th grade when my father sat me down and told me he was diagnosed with lung disease. He was a Heat Ventilation and Air Condition (HVAC) mechanic for the local hospital and suffered from an asbestos explosion. My childhood was taken. He was my best friend. If you are familiar with The Lion King, he was my Mufasa and I was his Simba. My father's health impacted our household financially, emotional, and mentally, but it also strengthened us as a family.
Imagine seeing the former Mr. Florida Bodybuilder living on oxygen tanks 24/7 and still going to the gym to get a pump. All the while, he was fighting for his life with every breath. On January 19, 2018 he transcended to the next life, just two days after my birthday. A few months later, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. She rung the bell declaring her victory over cancer in 2019. Recently, she has been diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer in 2023 and is winning her battle over cancer once again.
How football helped me through Trauma:
In football, every position has its own responsibilities to make one play work efficiently. If one player does not communicate with his teammates on what he is thinking or what he sees as a concern, the entire play can get annihilated by the team's opponent. Everyone has a job to do so the team can to move in the direction it wants to go. There is no "I" in team, but there is an "I" in win. This mindset is important for a team to be victorious. Each player must do his individual job. With that being said, you cannot heal from trauma on your own; communicate with somebody or people that are filled with positive energy. Holding trauma in will only give negative energy an opportunity to eat you up and spit you out.
My three practices for healing trauma:
Focus on your breathing and control what you can control — become the master of your universe.
Take it one day at a time. Wounds do not heal overnight. Choose a part of you to heal daily.
It’s okay to not be okay. Every day will not be a good day, but it is a day granted to you for learning more about who you are. Realize that the purpose is far greater than the individual. What you are going through is not to punish you but to help you develop into the great being you are meant to be and teach others how you tapped into your inner greatness to overcome your trauma.
Watch my video below, "It's Okay, To Not be Okay" to learn more information.