Interesting word for today: damage.

We know the meaning. We know the spelling and pronunciation. We also know the effects.

That word is on my mind for various reasons. I’m listening to an early recording of the audio version of my latest book, Underwater. I’m hearing myself reading about my damaged brain, and thinking of the many people living with damaged brains, damaged relationships, damaged lives.

The damage leaves scars.

I’m also looking at experts today regarding the storm’s damage to our house.¬†

The damage left scars.

What are you? What damage has left deep scars in your life? How has that changed you? What have you done about it?

Denial isn’t good. Attacking back isn’t good.

It’s much better to face the damage and get help.

My brain is damaged and our house is damaged. Pretending they are okay is not okay. Engaging in war against the brain or the house is not okay either.

So what are the best responses to disaster and damage? Get help.

Here are a few ways:

* Face reality.

* Deal slowly and deeply with emotions. Don’t make emotionally controlled decisions, but neither deny what those emotions have done to you. It is often best to talk through those issues with a counselor.

* Refuse to make major decisions when emotions are controlling reasoning.

* Realize various damaging experiences often play off each other. Past hurts multiply present pain. Don’t carry too much weight at once.

* Journal. Writing your feelings can help you process better.

* Make a list of positives. Be thankful. Notice the good.

* Forgive those who’ve hurt you. Don’t wait for their confession or apology. Don’t wait until you feel like forgiving. It is a choice. One that you might need to make several times but one that is another step in the journey of healing.

* See a doctor. There might be other issues influencing your struggles.

Those are just a few steps in dealing with personal damage. What has worked best for you? Send us your suggestions and stories.

Let’s not attack or deny.

Let’s get help for our damage.