by Rossaue Hosein
Deny, Cry, Numb, Run. Which stage are you currently in? You probably have passed the denial phase since everything that can be shaken in our world has been shaken. Your work life, your kid’s education, your financial situation, and even how you gather for your church small group, has been shaken and looks very different than it did 6 weeks ago.
I definitely have experienced the gamut of emotions. Belonging to a large community of women has given me a lot of insight and real stories into how COVID-19 and social distancing is impacting people. Some days I’ve been fine; after all, this is only temporary right? Other days after talking with several people about job loss, homeschooling, loneliness, and sick loved ones, and it makes my heart feel as though an elephant is tied to my neck.
This entire experience is like nothing I’ve known. I found myself needing information to help me sort through it all. So, when I saw that Lifeway was offering a Facebook Live segment on mental health during social isolation, I made sure to watch. The segment was hosted by Lifeways Groups Ministry Director, Chris Surratt, and Evan Owens of Reboot Recovery. Evan’s ministry helps people deal with a crisis and make healthy adjustments. What helped me the most, was Evan sharing that the place to start to move through a crisis in a healthy way is to first identify where your mental state currently is.
The Four Stages
State 1 Deny: This stage is obvious. We play down or deny what is really going on. We deny what’s really going on because the new reality is too difficult to accept.
Stage 2 Cry: This is the stage where we grieve our new reality. Crying looks different for everyone. For some it looks like anger, others a short temper or frustration. This is the time to call for reinforcement and reach out to a friend or family for support.
Stage 3 Numb: This stage is how we chose to deal with the crisis. We use things to numb what we are feeling. It can be Netflix binging, Oreo’s, sleeping in, or exercise. On the negative side, it could be numbing with overeating, drinking, or substance abuse.
Stage 4 Run: No explanation needed!
Eventually, we get past denial, cry a river, and decide there’s not enough dark chocolate to numb our current reality, and we run for the hills. As we learned, running is a natural response to a crisis, but where you chose to run can lead you further into a pit of despair or it can lead to refreshment and rest. Let’s look to Matthew 11:28-29 for direction.
Are you weary, carrying a heavy burden? Then come to me. I will refresh your life, for I am your oasis. Simply join your life with mine. Learn my ways and you’ll discover that I’m gentle, humble, easy to please. You will find refreshment and rest in me.
Your feelings are valid. Ask yourself, where am I today. What am I running to?
Jesus is the Rest Giver.