Post-Traumatic-Sandy-Disorder

For many of us, this past week has been traumatic. Our world has been rocked, by an unusually destructive storm and its unusually disruptive aftermath.

The beautiful canopy of trees that has always filled our backyard now has ugly gaps slashed in it by the loss of a handful of once-proudly-standing trees. Far worse, a neighbor’s house was punctured by a huge tree that will cause months of disruption to their busy lives. And many people, especially nearer the shore, lost everything.

The mess will take months to clean up; and the stress, in some cases, may take much longer. Sandy has disordered a lot of lives.

Here in America, we live in a privileged bubble where major pieces of infrastructure are simply assumed – water flows, lights work, temperatures are regulated, fuel is around the corner. 24/7, or nearly so.

We all know that we live in relative first-world luxury, yet we all still become dependent on the “normal” that surrounds us. Take away that normal for a season, and we experience trauma. Major disruption, of any sort, does that.

So many of you “came alongside” me (and others) via our virtual networks during the darker days, and I want to tell you how helpful that is. Words of encouragement, and sympathy, mean a lot when everything familiar is disrupted. In the midst of the storm’s destructive effects, we got to witness real neighborliness happening in our streets and towns here in New Jersey – people coming alongside and helping each other with shelter and water and chainsaws and (even) re-charging stations for starving mobile devices (a neighbor down the street, who had a generator, would turn on the outside light as the signal that power strips were hooked up and ready in their porch for those who needed to re-charge)!

But in our social networks, there was also a lot of support. Dozens and dozens of messages were exchanged via Twitter and Facebook. And, it meant a lot to know that people were concerned.

So, how can you help? Sure, there’s giving to the Red Cross and all that. But, on a more personal level, just reach out and care. Little expressions of concern and love go a long way in the recovery from trauma. We’ll get through it, even while fuel is scarce for another week or so. And words of kindness will fuel our spirits as we steer our way slowly back into normalcy post-Sandy.

Thanks for your friendship.

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About Steve Woodruff
Steve Woodruff is a blogger, a Connection Agent, and a consultant in the pharma/healthcare industry. He specializes in helping people and companies make mutually beneficial connections.

2 Responses to Post-Traumatic-Sandy-Disorder

  1. Scott says:

    Hi Steve. I am surprised to hear that there is any damage and devastation left in NJ. After Obama met with Christie for the love fest, I thought everything was magically fixed within a few hours. I have not seen any main stream national news outlet show anything other than governmental organized bliss. Am I incorrect, or do I have to watch FOX news to get an accurate picture. ;)

    I am very happy that you and your family are OK.

    Days without power are a common occurrence in NH. In the last 8 years we have been here, we have 3-6 days without power or water(well) at least once every single year. As soon as the lights go out, all you hear in the area is generators running. We typically have 10-15 gallons of gas on hand, not including the additional 40 gallons in the cars gas tanks, fill the bathtub and buckets with water, have a store of bottled water and food. We heat with a wood pellet stove in the winter to save on oil heat costs with the added bonus that we can run it with the generator. The generator also keeps a fridge going, a few lights, radio and microwave. We can do very well for about 3-4 days and if we have to a week. But at about 4 days we may have to get more gas and do need to find someplace (family/friends) to take a shower.

    I think we have to learn/prepare to not depend on all the first world luxuries as mother nature and/or the governments that supply them, can take them away in an instant! Americans are not good at looking down the road and preparing for the “storms” that may come our way, even with plenty of notice.

  2. Meredith Gould says:

    Glad you and your family are safe. And I truly am sorry for the loss of your trees. For some reason, seeing mature trees being ravaged by a storm always hurts my heart. Blessings.

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