Episode 62: It’s Not That Bad!

The Valley of Grace Podcast
The Valley of Grace Podcast
Episode 62: It's Not That Bad!

Have you ever been in a conversation with someone, sharing your pain, pouring out your heart and soul, only told to be told, “It’s not that bad!” Tune in to today’s podcast episode to find out if it is “that bad”.

Podcast Outline

  • What is Comparative Suffering?
  • What is empathy?
  • Why Comparing Pain is Bad?
  • How can we do better when talking about our pain?

Background Scripture: John 21

Question for the week: What will you do the next time that you are tempted to rank your pain with someone else’s?


Shutting Down

Synopsis of Shutting Down

We all respond different when we shut down from trauma. This poem is meant to encourage you and cause you to dig deeper in order to move forward. God bless!

shutting down, emotional health, valley of grace, katina horton, mental health, psychology, trauma, PTSD, coping mechanisms, staying grounded, bare feet, feelings, emotions
Photo by Shanu D. at Shopify

Shutting Down

Shutting down.

Shutting down.

Trying hard to maintain ground.

Feeling stuck.

A little unclear.

Knowing God.

Is always near.

Look around!

Look around!

Getting close to gaining ground,

Touch and feel and know you’re here.

No numbing out.

Just feel the tears.

Challenge Question:

What are your go-to methods when you find yourself shutting down?


Lots of times being with family can bring out a full range of emotions all at once or individually. As you read through the poem, ponder over the following questions: What are some words that come to mind when you think of family? What are some of the emotions that are stirred up? How can you be more engaging?

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Photo by Sarah Pflug


Family-it’s what we need.

Family-there’s strength indeed.

Biological or spiritual-doesn’t matter.

Some prefer the former, some prefer the latter.

Hold them tight.

Hold them near.

Just have fun.

Make it dear.

Laugh and twirl.

Turn around.

Dance and sing.

Hit the ground.

Move your feet to the beat.

Hand in hand.

Oh, how neat!


Good old times.

Gather ’round.

Time to dine.

Jesus saith unto them, Come and dine. And none of the disciples durst ask him, Who art thou? knowing that it was the Lord.

John 21:12

Other poetry

He Speaks

The “Inability to Focus” Aspect: Living With and Healing From Trauma on a Daily Basis

Background on the Inability to Focus Aspect

For about three months now, I have featured a series entitled, ” Living With and Healing from Trauma on a Daily Basis.  Last week, I discussed the “Blackout Aspect”.  That discussion can be found here.  Today’s discussion in the series ” Living With and Healing from Trauma on a Daily Basis”, will center in on The “Inability to Focus” Aspect.

mental health, emotional health, anxiety, depression, ptsd, trauma, adhd, focus, dissociation. inability to focus aspect

When we focus, we are able to use all of our attention in order to get a task done.  Unfortunately, with PTSD/trauma, there are times when the inability to focus can literally get the best of you.  There are several times that I have noticed this happening to myself.  These are the triggering situations when the inability to focus happens the most:

  • obtrusive thoughts are coming through
  • you are in shock/denial about the truth/reality of a situation
  • when you haven’t had enough sleep

mental health, emotional health, anxiety, depression, ptsd, trauma, adhd, focus, dissociation. inability to focus aspect

Obtrusive Thoughts

Obtrusive thoughts that come through are the thoughts that are for the most part not your own.  These thoughts are usually part of the inner critic voice inside of you from the person who abused or criticized you, or caused some type of pain or rejection.  When these thoughts are racing through, it is hard to focus on anything else because the thoughts are trying to literally take over your whole brain process.  I start off by praying and asking God to “take my thoughts captive”.  If the obtrusive thoughts are mild, this does the trick.  However, to keep it real, sometimes the thoughts are so out of control, that I am praying to God all day long about the same thing to the point of exhaustion.

mental health, emotional health, anxiety, depression, ptsd, trauma, adhd, focus, dissociation. inability to focus aspect

Shock / Denial

When I am in shock/denial about some revelation that God has brought forth, I immediately start having problems focusing.  This happened about three weeks ago when a personal situation with someone blew wide open.  During this time, I ended up redirecting myself several times over to the truth, which is good.  However, what I notice is that the truth is such a shock at this point, that the inability to focus increases instead of decreases from the truth.

This is because the revelation of the truth started the cycle in the first place, if that makes sense.  The only thing that helps to ease this up is when our brains know that it is safe to grieve.  Grieving breaks through the inability to focus aspect little by little when it comes to shock/denial.  In this sense, I think of it as being a protection from further emotional and mental damage.  This particular case from shock/denial is a form of dissociation as well.

mental health, emotional health, anxiety, depression, ptsd, trauma, adhd, focus, dissociation. inability to focus aspect

Lack of Sleep

Lastly, when it comes to trauma, we have to have enough sleep.  This can’t be stressed enough.  When this doesn’t happen, it increases the inability to focus.  In PTSD/trauma victims, this is exaggerated more than usual cases.  The situation can get so bad that you exhibit ADHD-like symptoms that are trauma-induced.  You have difficulty putting thoughts and sentences together, and you feel like your words are far apart.

My Experience with Lack of Sleep

One time about eight months ago this happened.  It was extremely scary.  I had been having problems sleeping for about a week do to a trial that I was dealing with, and the next thing that I knew, I realized that I was having problems gathering thoughts and putting sentences together.  I prayed and asked God to help me sleep, and to restore my mind.  And he didn’t fail to answer.

mental health, emotional health, anxiety, depression, ptsd, trauma, adhd, focus, dissociation. inability to focus aspect

Even if this is not your area of struggle with PTSD/trauma, I am quite sure that there are other that you have that may be just as challenging.  Feel free to comment below on how the inability to focus aspect has challenged you.

Thanks and blessings,